'television Extras' Given More Air-Time In New Channel 5 Comedy

19 Aug

SINGAPORE: Media household names Gurmit Singh and Fiona Xie are putting themselves in the shoes of television extras in the new Channel 5 comedy, “Calefare”.

Together with Benjamin Heng, Vadi Pvss, Mastura Ahmad and Tracy Tan, this group of much-neglected actors are off to pursue their dreams of fame, fortune and glamour in Singapore’s television industry, without whom the stars on stage and screen cannot do their job.

Speaking to Primetime Morning, Gurmit and Fiona share their insights on the types of calefares that are out there and on what it is like having not many people notice them, since they are now relegated to being behind the scenes.

Waiting eagerly for his big break is Gurmit’s character Andy Lau Hong, who has been in the industry for the past 15 years.

Ironically, although “Calefare” is scripted, Fiona divulges that “there’s a real extra on set who has climbed the rank” and is almost like Andy Lau Hong who is waiting to see when he will strike lucky with the stars.

Fiona’s character is Joleen, a wannabe ’emo’ singer who hopes that a singing contract will land in her hands.

Although acting and singing may not have a direct correlation, Joleen believes that being in the same industry will give her the opportunity to meet the right people, and somehow will land her a big break!

Looks like some calefares will do anything just to merit the attention!

So, are there any struggles or differences between being mainstream actors or bit-role actors?

“At some levels, we are all the same because we have to wait a lot,” shares Gurmit.

Essentially, what you get behind the scenes are just hordes of people waiting around for the scene to be set up.

With his funny man antics, Gurmit jokes that the actors will be in front of their laptops, busy chatting away, while others will doze off unknowingly, maybe a chicken wing in hand!

Now that’s presenting the unglamorous side of the media industry!

However, did the both of them ever have to start out as calefares before attaining their present amount of fair attention?

For Gurmit, he was emceeing at the old Haw Par Villa when a producer from the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation discovered him and invited him for auditions. And the rest they say is history.

On the other hand, Fiona was “plunged” into acting but she says that acting as a calefare has given her more “empathy” and now makes an effort to understand them more.

“Calefare” will also feature weekly guest star appearances such as Michelle Cheong, Utt, Edmund Chen and Jonathan Leong.

For more behind-the-scenes drama and laughter, you can catch the series every Tuesday evening, 8pm on MediaCorp’s Channel 5.

– CNA/jk

Channel News Asia

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