How long have you been acting? What made you realise that this was what you wanted to do?
I started acting when a best friend of mine at the time almost literally twisted my arm into auditioning for the school drama club. I was 12. I’ve been acting ever since—the first big role I had was in Peter Pan where I got to play the older brother John. It was exhilarating, joyous, communal; everything that I could have hoped for and more. The following year I was cast in a children’s supernatural mystery TV series called Moonface back when there was still a Kids Central channel. So, technically I’ve been acting professionally for 17 years now!
I think I realised right from the get-go this was what I wanted to do. We have that big scene in Peter Pan where he comes in through the window and sprinkles the siblings in fairy dust and they begin to fly. I remember being lifted up off the ground by black-clad stagehands and I scream in delight, “We’re flying! We’re flying!” And for that moment me and everyone in that theatre believed we were, and that to me is magic. Getting to say that my “job” is to live in my imagination and express some sort of truth to an audience from that place is magic.
What’s the most satisfying part about pursuing acting as a career? What’s the most challenging?
Being able to be part of a vibrant, stubbornly determined, and inclusive community in the arts and getting the opportunity to put my heart and mind, and vision, and name behind stories that are important, engaging, or entertaining (and, in the best of cases, all of the above). That to me is the most satisfying part about what I do. If, just maybe, one person can leave a project I’ve been involved in and be inspired somehow, that would be enough. The challenge, of course, like with any other freelance gig, comes with being able to continually find the right projects that want to have you onboard, or finding projects at all. I’m still learning to juggle my relationship with productivity.
If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you’d be doing for work?
This is so hard to say since I’ve been doing it for awhile now, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. I did feel from a young age though, like I would not be able to do anything else with equal joy and fervour other than either being an athlete, a writer, or some sort of artist, performer, musician, etc. It only makes sense that I found my way into acting, which to my mind is a sort of fitting combination of all of these things—the physical prowess, internal rhythm, and mental acuity all in one.
Is there anything you’re looking to pick up or learn in the year ahead?
Totally! I wanted to make it a point to level up my toolbox of skills this year and have already begun a small handful of certification programs, some of which I’m not quite ready to share yet at such an early stage. But I can say that I am a couple weeks away from finishing a mentorship program in stunt choreography with Sandbox Training Ground. Outside of developing my professional skillset, I’d like to learn to ride a horse. Well, I’d like to be able to afford to learn to ride a horse firstly! I know it seems crazy here in Singapore, but my father was born and grew up on a farm in Germany and he was riding horses well before he was my age. I guess it’s just something I’ve romanticised in my head!
Is there a quote or a piece of advice that you live by?
“In order to have faith in his own path, he does not need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong”—from Paulo Coelho’s book Warrior of the Light. I think it speaks for itself: we’re all at different stages, on different journeys.