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The Young Company's Alumni, Jo Tan dishes out advice to aspiring actors!

Jo Tan is an accomplished alumni of SRT’s The Young Company (TYC), who has won multiple Life Theatre awards. With a wealth of experience under her belt as both a playwright and actress, Jo shares some insights into her theatre journey. Check out the advice she has for aspiring theatre practitioners and her reasons why you should catch the new SRT play she is working on, Por Por’s Big Fat Surprise Wedding!

Q1. When did you graduate from SRT’s TYC, and can you recall the title of your graduation showcase?

I was in The Young Company for several years. It was a different system then and we could keep on training with the group as long as we felt we were still learning, though I was really there for the company. I was in Macbeth, Dracula and The Wiz, but my favourite production was The Wiz. I played Evillene the Wicked Witch, and I was in a full black PVC outfit complete with a whip to flog my topless winged monkey with. Very memorable for a 20-year old

Q2. What are your most treasured memories from your time at TYC? 
Running around the old Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre finding little enclaves to rehearse.

Jo Tan (left) in The Little Company's The Gingerbread Man (2006)

Q3. How did being in TYC prepare you for the theatre industry? 
I learned basic actor etiquette that taught me how to behave in a professional workplace, and made contacts with the people who would give me my first jobs, like Tracie Pang, and Dick Lee who I'm working with in Por Por's Big Fat Surprise Wedding now!
Q4.You have done quite a few The Little Company shows with SRT is the past years. Can you share about your experience? What advice would you give to aspiring actors who want to perform on stage especially those who are considering to join TYC ?
I realise I've played two princesses with The Little Company, which is quite something considering I wouldn't normally consider myself princess material, so I am grateful for that. I'd advise actors to treat feedback from your director as a gift rather than something to defend yourself against, and remember that the people giving you directions want you to succeed, because it's only when all the actors succeed that the show really takes off.

Jo Tan (right) in The Little Company's Hanuman (2016)

Q5. As both the playwright and actor for Por Por’s Big Fat Surprise Wedding, what excites you the most about your involvement in this production? 
The fact that it's something that hasn't been seen in Singapore for a long time.
Q6. What do you think will excite the audience the most at Por Por’s Big Fat Surprise Wedding. 
How they will be in the thick of the drama and even become involved in it. It's going to be one heck of a wedding!

SRT’s The Young Company is a yearly acting programme for young persons aged between 16 – 25, led by professional Actor/Director Daniel Jenkins. The programme has a rich 20-year history and was the first youth theatre programme to be established in Singapore. Thinking of joining The Young Company? Auditions for 2024 Semester 1 are now open! Click here for more details.

If you’re a fan of Jo’s work, come and watch Por Por’s Big Fat Surprise Wedding! This unique dinner theatre experience has been extended to 3 Dec 2023. Click here to book your tickets!

Published on: 08-11-2023