Travelling the world with the arts | The A List
If the stars of Cats, the international travelling musical, look good on stage, they have Singaporean Railee Husainni to thank. The 28-year-old lighting technician, with 10 years of experience under his belt, is the first Singaporean to be touring with the musical’s production crew.
He has spent the last year jetting around 18 different cities in China as well as Manila, putting on shows that have drawn crowds. Singapore is the last leg of this tour of Cats, one of the longest-running Broadway shows. The production in Singapore ends on 5 Jan 2020.
Railee brushes off his achievement coyly as “a stroke of luck,” but the story of his journey belies his modesty.
He started his career as an audio-visual rigger with Marina Bay Sands’ meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions department. He went on to pick up new skills in lighting, video and sound with encouragement from his mentor.
The mentor’s words to him were: Anyone can be a rigger, but to be a great one, you need to know what the other departments in production do as well.
His multiple skills as a show production technician helped to open professional doors for him. When the Cats musical team came knocking on his doors, he couldn’t say no to the opportunity to travel the world and do the job he loves.
As a lighting technician with Cats, he sets up the lights for the musical production, conduct regular maintenance checks on the equipment, and during the show, he makes sure the lighting cues are executed perfectly.
He says: “The actors do their job to act, dance and entertain. My job is to make sure they look the best while at it and set the mood for the show. I might be working behind the scenes, but I feel very much, a part of the play. I don’t have to be centre-stage to make an impact.”
His job, however, is not all glitz and glamour. He says: “The biggest challenge that comes with travelling for work is that I have less time with my family. And there’s also the challenge of language barriers in countries where English is not the primary language.”
But he has no regrets. “I love what I do and it’s rewarding to be able to travel and work in so many places.”
Cats the Musical opened on 17 December and will run till 5 Jan 2020. Details about Cats here.