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From budding artist to model student

Former beneficiary of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund also owns his own production company

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"The BTBAF programmes gave me the courage to pursue a career in the arts, while my course at SP gave me the heart to use my talents to do good," said Vishnu.

Singapore

A FORMER beneficiary of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BTBAF) Vishnucharan Naidu s/o Vijayan received the Model Student Award from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) on Monday.

Altogether, 22 SP students - picked from 57 candidates - received the award.

Model students are those who not only display excellence in both their academic and co-curricular activities, but who also find time to give back to the community.

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Vishnu was part of the BTBAF's mentorship and arts incubation programmes for youths. The mentorship programme pulls together professional arts practitioners to offer guidance to young adults, while the incubation programme helps students improve their skills further and prepares them for a self-sustaining career in the arts industry.

At SP, Vishnu currently pursues a diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology, which integrates an education in drama with an understanding of psychology. It encourages students to engage in social causes through the use of drama.

"The BTBAF programmes gave me the courage to pursue a career in the arts, while my course at SP gave me the heart to use my talents to do good," said Vishnu.

Outside school, Vishnu also owns his own production company called Big Birds Productions, where he and his partner plan, produce and act in their own theatre shows.

The company aims to make the arts accessible to all, and has five core members and 15 actors to date. The shows usually take place at the Goodman Arts Centre, and tickets are priced at S$15 per person.

All profits made from ticket sales go into funding the next show.

"Basically, we do shows to keep doing shows," said Vishnu, explaining that his company is non-profit.

"I hope to be able to venture into education and use theatre as a tool to reach out to young people who don't have the means to afford an arts education, similar to what the BTBAF did for me," he added.

Looking ahead, Vishnu plans to produce at least three shows a year and to continue teaching on the side. He also hopes to explore the area of engaging his audience emotionally.

"So it's no longer just come watch, laugh, and then go home. I hope that when they come, they take something with them. Whether it's a sad or happy emotion, they learn from it," said Vishnu.