The tears behind his debut TV drama (Updated)

“Is that Elkan on TV?” 

Since the sequel of the Dream Makers aired on Singapore TV 2 weeks ago, Felicia and I received many messages from our friends and relatives asking if our son acted in the drama. Yes, that is indeed our little prankster, Elkan.

The story began almost 7 months ago (May 2015) when Elkan was attending a 30-week acting course for children. Thanks to his teacher, he was invited to an audition for a MediaCorp Channel 8 drama. Felicia and I had no idea what role Elkan was auditing for. All we wanted was some new experience for our son. Nothing more.

The next day, I received a note from Felicia that Elkan was selected for the role. I was delighted and asked about the role. She said the crew was looking for a child to act in several crying scenes for the drama and Elkan passed the test.

“Wow, how did he convince the casting panel?” I asked.

“He cried. Really cried, real tears,” Felicia answered.

“Wow…amazing, how did he do that? It must really difficult to get him crying in front of the strangers,” I exclaimed. “Did they ask him to use the eye-drop?”

“Not really, it was you,” she said.

“Me?” I laughed aloud. “Must be one of those episodes when I was scolding and yelling at that naught boy, right? Oh dear, the crew must be thinking what a cruel dad I was!”

“No. I told the crew to ask Elkan to think about you. Especially those sad farewell moments at the airport. He cried immediately the second they asked him about you.” Felicia said. “He misses you a lot.”

My heart sank instantly and guilt filled my soul. Tears blurred my vision. I couldn’t carry on the conversation. I remembered vividly the scene outside the moving taxi. It was making an U-turn outside Times Square, heading towards Central.

Felicia’s words rewinded in my mind for many days. I never knew the impact I had on my boy. It was really bad.

Like the old Chinese proverb “人生如戏 戏如人生”,Elkan’s character in the show mimics our situation. In the show, Elkan’s mum (played by Huang Biren) left the family to pursue her career. In our case, I park my wife and kid in Singapore while I pursue my career in Hong Kong. The difference is we meet as much as we can and we treasure all the time together. Absence doesn’t divide us, it bonds us stronger and closer.

That summer holiday, we had one of our happiest holidays in New Zealand! Felicia and Elkan had to fly back to Singapore 1 week earlier for the shoot. As the show required Elkan to cry in a couple of scenes, I was worried about his mental state. Thankfully, the crew and his teacher were very kind and encouraging. He managed to finish all 7-8 scenes in 12 hours. We were told to catch his debut in December.

Being abroad for so many years, I have not watched any Singapore Channel 8 for the past decade. It was only 3 weeks ago when I read about the drama “The Dream Makers II (志在四方II)“, I realised Elkan was indeed very lucky to act alongside Singapore’s veteran actor/King of Caldecott Hill, Li Nanxing (李南星) and actress/Meryl Streep of MediaCorp, Huang Biren (黄碧仁).

Thanks to my son. I fell in love with Singapore Chinese drama once more. I have been watching Hollywood and Hong Kong dramas and realised Singapore drama has improved so much! It is indeed a very emotional and powerful show. I love the characters played by Jeanette Aw, Zoe Tay and Rui En. Just so addictive.

Certainly, Elkan is less excited than his old dad and mum. Afterall, he isn’t from our era. Elkan was more interested in the camera equipments than his old folks’ idols. And “fame-chasing” isn’t something in his mind. All he wants is to have fun and experience new things. He is more worried about facing his school mates when school reopens in the next 2 weeks.

So, here’s me – a very proud dad, sharing my son’s debut (and maybe his last) reel! Enjoy! I am sure his grandparents will be thrilled! I remember my first school holiday job working in my dad’s timber factory. This is certainly a more meaningful one for my boy! While there is both sweat and tears in his work, I hold his emotion dearest to my heart.

This blog is dedicated to Elkan’s best friend, Harshad who sees the rockstar in my boy since the first day they met. Harshad is also one of the reasons why we sent him to the acting school. And big thanks to his teacher for giving him this priceless experience! And big hugs to mummy for enduring 30 weeks and 12 hours of companionship.

3 Responses to The tears behind his debut TV drama (Updated)

  1. CKay Lim says:

    We are very proud of him, seeing him did well in the show. Thanks for allowing him to come to our academy for us to discover his talent.

    We are so proud to have him.

    • Wahbiang says:

      Finally has this chance to thank you in person. Thanks for this tips and exposure for my boy to build his character to be more open and confident amongst strangers. He is proud to have you as his teacher too and keeps pointing out your scenes on TV.

      Thanks CKay.

  2. CKay Lim says:

    We are also very proud of Elkan too and thanks for sending him to our academy for us to discover this gem.

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