Life on stage
Article from the Sun daily by Yeevon Ong (posted on 18th Aug 2015)
YOU may recognise Roax Tan from his chirpy, energetic persona on MY FM, or as the funny See Yew Soon from Oh My English! but the radio host and actor has not only got chops on air and television but commands a kind of underrated respect in stage-acting.
Tan, whose full name is Tan Teong Sik, started his acting career from the stage. His first taste of theatre was in high school where he landed himself a role as an extra for a short sketch. The sweet sting of his then very strict drama teacher only solidified his childhood dream to be an actor.
Adamant and with a goal in sight, Tan enrolled in New Era college after graduating secondary school to study stage performance and movies. After securing the diploma, Tan disseminated his résumé to any production house that might find his potential productionworthy.
While he was going from one interview after another, Tan was busying which at one point got in the way of several offers.
“There was no chance to become famous because the one whom played the character I was offered but had to turn down, got very famous,” said Tan.
However, for Tan, getting into show business or desiring to hit the big screen is not about becoming famous.
“I love acting. I enjoy creating a character, being a team player and work with everyone to come up with a product. I don’t think about how much of a celebrity I am – I just enjoy acting,” chimed the easy-going young man who has acted in over 20 stage plays and television productions to date.
His favourite director is Mark Beau of the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) whom he has worked with extensively ever since his acting career kicked off. Beau’s knack for creating dark and pensive productions draws Tan in and never fails to foster real-life revelations for Tan. Working with Beau, the versatile actor has played various roles, from a boy, a man to a girl and even a transgender person.
While it is often enjoyable and fruitful to work with different directors, Tan has had his fair share of failures in the span of his career. When a production that Tan is involved in tanks and critics lash at every inch of the production, the actor employs a strategy he’s always used to get backup.
“I’m lucky because I’m in television, theatre and radio. So if the play was really so bad, I let people forget about me in theatre and focus on television and radio before I go back to theatre,” smiled Tan.
Acting will always come first in Tan’s list of priorities. While the satisfaction that comes from pursuing a passion is undeniable, Tan finds it extremely rewarding when his audience, who has seen him in plays countless times before, is unable to recognise him from the characters that he portrayed. Even better when he has to present two characters in one play and still manages to hide his identity until it is revealed after the performance. Unlike his upbeat public personality, Tan is actually, in his own words, “very boring”.
Whenever he has free time, he would choose to stay in and catch up on as much me-time as he can. Nonetheless, Tan is as outgoing as he is an introvert. Put him in a new place and he would easily make new friends.
Tan was recently involved in the musical I Have A Date with Spring where he played the antagonist. “I don’t think I am successful yet. I would say that I am a professional actor. Discipline is the key. Be disciplined in everything, whether it’s in your career or personal life,” said Tan.