[Read Part I here]
I get exhausted watching Sebastian, or Ah Piew, as he’s known to friends, in almost any context. On stage, offstage, at friends’ parties – Seb’s almost always stealing the limelight, albeit unintentionally, with his incessant banter, dancing, singing, miming and about one soliloquy every half hour – in English, Singlish, Mandarin and then, Hokkien.
As Sebastian said during our podcast recording at the Dream Academy’s premises in Chip Bee Gardens, “I come from a Hokkien family, that’s why I can speak it (Hokkien) quite well”.
Quite well. The man makes Hokkien sound good.
Five years ago when I was business manager of an entertainment agency, I was told of a Sebastian Tan, an actor who was, in the words of a friend of his, ‘quite desperate’ for work.
Looking through his CV then, which had a smattering of ensemble performances now and again with no television work, it seemed difficult to place him in any television role, which at that time, was the purpose of the company I worked for. No matter that he had had prior training during National Service, with Mindef’s Music and Drama Company.
Was Sebastian disillusioned at any point during his career at not being able to eke out a living despite being known as one of the more talented men to ‘graduate’ from the MDC?
I don’t know if it was press presence during our recording, but Sebastian seemed pretty reticent to recount any of the feelings of disappointment that I remember him expressing when I met him years ago.
Or maybe it’s because he’s got Broadway Beng this coming week (and which is slated to tour KL as well later on in the year), and Army Daze in March. Whatever it is, Sebastian Tan Ah Piew deserves every minute in the limelight.
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