Beijing Film Academy stint births new (and improved?) Shane Pow

The actor looks forward to approaching his first role since graduating in a different way

Shane Pow with Feng Yuan Zheng
Shane Pow with Feng Yuan Zheng
07 May 2018

Shane Pow with Feng Yuan Zheng

Photos: Tammi Tan, Wang Xiao Ning, Feng Yuan Zheng

Shane Pow has become the latest local artiste to take on the big city of Beijing, following Bonnie Loo’s brief stint in the China capital last year.

Like Bonnie before him, the 27-year-old was sent to the Beijing Film Academy (which counts stars like Zhao Wei, Huang Xiao Ming and Liu Yi Fei among its illustrious alumni) by The Celebrity Agency at the invitation of Chinese actor Feng Yuan Zheng, who was also one of his teachers during the five-week acting course there.

“I believe it isn’t a course that just any applicant would be able to get into, so I’m very thankful to the company for giving me this opportunity,” he gushed during last week’s imaging session for his new drama, Toggle Originals series The Distance Between.

According to Shane, going back to school enabled him to delve into a lot of areas that he never really had the chance to properly explore – or never even gave much thought to – before. For instance, he told us, one of their daily class activities included tackling tongue twisters to improve their enunciation. He also learned how to analyse a script from new perspectives.

At the end of the short semester, the students were tasked with putting their newfound skills to use by organising a stage play. While their actions and delivery of dialogue were expectedly more exaggerated compared to a television show, many of the basics can still be applied to acting in front of a camera.

Because of this, the former Manhunt finalist is looking forward to approaching The Distance Between (his first project since graduating from the course) in a different way: one that will showcase a brand new – and hopefully improved – Shane Pow.

“I was very excited when I received the script [for The Distance Between] because I realised that I no longer look at it the same way as I would have in the past,” he said. “I’m looking forward to applying what I have learned to my future performances, so I hope to show a fresh side to everybody.”

(Continued on next slide: What challenges did Shane face in China?)

What challenges did Shane face in China?
What challenges did Shane face in China?
07 May 2018

What challenges did Shane face in China?

Other than the occasional slight language barrier and homesickness (more on those later), Shane had no trouble adapting to life in Beijing. He enjoyed the food, and seemed especially fond of the country’s almost exclusively cashless system.

“I used WeChat Pay for almost everything when I was there,” he said. “As long as you have a mobile phone, you can do anything. It’s so convenient.”

Not so convenient was sometimes not understanding what his classmates and teachers were saying, thanks to a few small differences in vocabulary, pronunciation and even hand gestures (the signs for the numbers seven, eight, nine and 10 are different there).

“I found the lines for our play very complicated at first,” he recalled. “There were words that I had never used before or never even knew existed, so I needed some time to get used to it. But after a while, it made me realise just how beautiful the Chinese language is. I was inspired to continue reading more books to improve my language skills.”

On the other hand, missing his family, pet pooch, and girlfriend Kimberly Wang was much more challenging to get through. “It could get very cold and lonely over there, which was the hardest part,” he sighed.

With that said, how does he feel about jetting off to Australia for another five weeks in the winter to film Amos in Wonderhouse? “I don’t really want to keep leaving my loved ones, but it’s a very valuable opportunity, so I think the sacrifice is worth it,” he said. “Thankfully, my family and girlfriend are very understanding.”

Click through for more photos from Shane’s adventures in Beijing, as well as from the imaging session for Amos in Wonderhouse!

Shane Pow takes a pic in front of the Beijing Film Academy
Shane Pow takes a pic in front of the Beijing Film Academy
07 May 2018

Shane Pow takes a pic in front of the Beijing Film Academy

Shane Pow puts what he's learned into his stage performance
Shane Pow puts what he's learned into his stage performance
07 May 2018

Shane Pow puts what he's learned into his stage performance

Shane Pow looks through a script at school
Shane Pow looks through a script at school
07 May 2018

Shane Pow looks through a script at school

Shane Pow in class
Shane Pow in class
07 May 2018

Shane Pow in class

Shane Pow
Shane Pow
07 May 2018

Shane Pow

Sahen Pow with his class after staging a successful play
Sahen Pow with his class after staging a successful play
07 May 2018

Sahen Pow with his class after staging a successful play

Shane Pow with his teacher and class
Shane Pow with his teacher and class
07 May 2018

Shane Pow with his teacher and class

Shane Pow at the 'The Distance Between' imaging session
Shane Pow at the 'The Distance Between' imaging session
07 May 2018

Shane Pow at the 'The Distance Between' imaging session

All Shane would let on was that he plays “a very mysterious” character in the show, and that his hair and eyes will be lightened for a more “westernised” look to reflect a mixed blood heritage.

Shane Pow at the 'The Distance Between' imaging session
Shane Pow at the 'The Distance Between' imaging session
07 May 2018

Shane Pow at the 'The Distance Between' imaging session

All Shane would let on was that he plays “a very mysterious” character in the show, and that his hair and eyes will be lightened for a more “westernised” look to reflect a mixed blood heritage.

Watch:
Shane Pow looks forward to filming in winter!

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