Hard work pays off for Errol Singh
By SEETA PERSAD Sunday, July 1 2012
Well-known TV producer, Errol Singh, has been honoured by the Central-based Mere Desh Committee (MDC) for his work in the promotion of culture through the programme The Kuchursingh Family.
Coordinator of the MDC, Ajeet Praimsingh, congratulated Singh for his long service to television as he handed him a plaque and gift items at a recent ceremony at Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas, recently.
Praimsingh said, “There are many unsung heroes among us who work tirelessly to uplift culture in many ways and this is why Mere Desh chose to award Errol,” he said, adding that very rarely do people notice who is producing.
Praimsingh said the public falls in love with the actors on stage but the people who write, direct and produce go unnoticed, hence their decision to honour Singh.
Singh, a Chaguanas resident and past student of Presentation College, Chaguanas, went on to attain his diploma in Business Management in Manchester, UK and in Economic in TT. He started work as a TV producer in 2001.
“Becoming a producer in this country was not difficult because of my natural ability to create, write and learn on my own,” Singh said, noting that he is grateful to the people of Gayelle TV, Errol Fabien and Claudius Decan for loving his work and believing in him.
On this note he added, “I am happy with my work. However, limited resources limit what I can do.” So what exactly prompted him to get into television?
“I was always fascinated by local soaps and local programming. But I felt the Trini touch goes missing as local producers try to emulate the American styles too much and the real essence of our own culture goes missing.”
This is why Singh said he produced The Kuchursingh Family, which was based on the everyday life of an average family in TT.
Singh can be considered multi-talented, as he also sings and plays the keyboard.
“I am not a professional of either but I have recorded a Christmas CD with four songs and I have done a music video for the first song, ‘Good Ole Trini Christmas’, which was the only hit from the CD,” he said, adding that he currently writes songs for other artistes. His proudest moment in 20 years of television came when 10,000 people attended the Kuchursingh Family Day in Pierre Road, Chaguanas.
“I was more proud than the time when the Kuchursingh Family first aired or even when I got the contract to produce for Gayelle,” he said.
He admitted, though, that there were many disappointing moments in his career, where bad business arrangements meant he did not reap the full rewards for his efforts.
“Most people believed I live the big life but I never did, only those owing me are living those lives,” he revealed.
Being in television, he said, takes a lot of time and means that a person is away from their loved ones for long periods. There are areas other areas where the work is less, he said, but producing is tough.
“If you are not good at marketing forget it. And if you are not creative enough, well don’t even start to think about it. There are people who want to get into television thinking it’s simple but it takes discipline, dedication, passion and creativity,” he said.In the world of TV, Singh said he looks up to the likes of the late Benny Hill, Carol Burnette, Bill Cosby, Will Smith and the Wayans Brothers for their creativity in television comedy.
Talking about problems affecting TT, he said governments continue to pump money into tertiary education when they needed to focus of early childhood education, where the problem would be “nipped in the bud”.
“We spent millions to give free tertiary education to the minds that were already contaminated with an egoistic thinking and lack self control. If that money was spent on early childhood education and parenting-education we would have had a generation with a more constructive thinking, more loving and more tolerant,” he said.
“There would have been no children making children, no need to speed millions to talk about the Aids discrimination, or to stay away from drugs or murdering other people or following the wrong company.”
Singh said he spends a lot of time looking at 3D animated movies, and loves cooking and travelling. He is not a religious person but considers himself a very spiritual being.
“I come from a mixed family and we celebrate all major religious observances. I was christened in Hindu and I do a puja once a year in January. I read the entire Bible except the psalms and proverbs. My brother is a pastor; his family and my mother are ‘church people’,” he said.
His big plans for the future include setting up and acquiring a concession from the Telecommunications Authority to begin broadcasting on FLOW.
“There will be a huge pre-launch to raise funds on August 31. It will be called Triniwood TV and will showcase all local entertainment in a Hollywood world class style,” he pointed out, adding that he will not be entertaining shows from Bollywood or Hollywood.
Singh said he will also be offering acting training for persons who may be interested in his upcoming productions.
“When I have auditions I don’t get many people who can act, only persons who would like to act, so I am offering training to persons who I may wish to eventually use in our shows. My intention is to show all the other stations that they were wrong in making the business world believe that the country does not want to see themselves on TV,” he said.
Persons interested in trying out can contact 740-7133.
Touching on the cultural climate of TT, he said, “I think soca is doing well. Calypso has lost what was there in the days of Sparrow, Kitchener and comical calypso. Now it’s just political and hate, nothing to make you want to hear the songs throughout the years to come.”
Chutney, he said, is still finding itself.