Written by Jeeheng Yew
My dear friend and an aspiring actor, Norman only got into acting during his university days, something not everyone will have expected. Describing himself as a ‘positive guy doing what he loves’, Norman shares his experiences – both good and bad – about his journey and pursuit to becoming a great actor.
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love,” Jim Carrey.
This was Norman’s answer to the best advice he has ever received, or seen rather. “I know… typically people of our age tend to be lost in what they really want to do in life, and get stuck in the vicious cycle of working.”
Norman has always been the free-spirited and cheerful guy around his friends and family. Under this happy exterior, however, is a serious and calculated guy who has got the next few years planned out.
“I really enjoy being around people and making them laugh, but I don’t really allow people to stop me from doing what I love. I mean, I do listen to advice to focus but I might not heed them. Life is a marathon not a sprint.”
Juggling his career as a financial consultant and his passion for acting has not been easy. In addition to leisure time and family time, Norman’s schedule is usually fully packed – one week booking in advance is required (just kidding). But that has not stopped him to pick up any opportunities to appear on screen, albeit a rocky path ahead.
“I believe Singapore has this invisible barrier that stifles creativity. I feel that Singaporeans are extremely creative people, just that the available avenues for them to showcase themselves are limited compared to many other first world countries. Therefore, finding people to work and act with has been quite a challenge.”
In this current environment where people are encouraged to pursue their dreams, the avenues to reach them has also sprouted so much that there isn’t an excuse not to try. However, it is important to also realistically assess one’s capabilities and abilities to do so.
“I do have a full-time job which I enjoy,” says Norman. “But for those wanting to try out acting or any forms of art, JUST GO FOR IT! Geez… I can almost guarantee that there will be tons of people telling you to stick to a traditional path of career but try to follow your gut feeling once in awhile.”
Coming to the end of the conversation, I was reminded of a famous quote by Robert Frost: I took the road less travelled by. And that has made all the difference.
As we continued our friendly chat about our passions, Norman gave me a timely reminder.
“Don’t ever say you regret if you are constantly making the best decisions for yourself at any point of time.”
Be open-minded but also be sure. I am looking forward to your next big break, Norman.