I finally was able to thank him in person after more than a decade.
I first met Hossan at the age of 8. There was an audition for child singers and I was given the opportunity to give it a try. I remember having to be in a booth alone while Hossan and other adults instructed me on what to do.
Next year, Hossan and Selina Tan came to direct a school show in my primary school. I tried it out, not knowing what to expect. It was such a fun experience, being able to be someone you are not for a moment in your life. I was able to express my feelings. When usually we children were told to keep, for once we were able to laugh and be angry and just be a human being with real human emotions. I knew right then this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
13 years later this year, I was the lead actor in a theatre production. I was told Hossan would be attending the show. I was looking forward to meeting him again. However, as it has multiple casts he didn't get to watch my show.
I felt bumped out and was hanging out with the audience after the shows ended that night. I saw him still hanging around and told them how he introduced me to theatre at the age of 9 but I wasn't able to perform for him that night. Someone told me to just approach him and talk to him and that she is sure he would be proud of me. So I approached him just as he was about to leave. I introduced myself and said "13 years ago you directed my first school show in Jiemin Primary School. I just want to thank you. If not for you, I may have never discovered theatre and I might not be an actor today." He was in shock. He asked me again "How many years ago?" "13." He was so happy he introduced me to his friends. I told him how I felt sad that I wasn't able to perform for him tonight. He encouraged me and said that I should be proud of what I have accomplished, and that I am now a professional actor. I was crying throughout the conversation, partly because I couldn't perform for him, but more importantly because I finally was able to thank him in person after more than a decade.
I will always be grateful to this wonderful man and Selina Tan for planting the seed of passion and love for acting in me.
You are the best of me.
Te Hao Boon