Repurposed by Eason Pek

Portrait of Shawn Tok
Shawn Tok, 24, has been in the media industry for more than 10 years.
Photo: Shawn Tok

To prove his acting chops, Shawn Tok had to scream at a girl during his audition for a spot in the 2008 Kids Central musical Schoolhouse Rockz.

He managed to earn his debut role as Fu Wen Bin in the popular musical, but soon learnt that acting was not all that glamorous. The 5-month shoot was “very tiring”, he recalled.

A music video from Schoolhouse Rockz

“I had a very bad heat rash because we couldn’t film when the [air conditioning] was on.”

One simple scene on screen lasts for only 5 minutes, but it can take you the whole day (to film it). It’s really long and there is a lot of waiting,” said Shawn, who was then 13 years old.

Now 24 and a graduate with degrees in Media Communication and in Film and Television from the University of Queensland, Shawn has gained a newfound identity, working in production for HBO Asia. And he learnt that going behind the scene is not any easier.

“Back then, filming was straightforward, because they (the producers) just told the cast what time to come and act,” said Shawn, who now assists in HBO Asia Original Series projects.

“I was really surprised that one simple shoot can take you so long to prepare [for],” he added explaining that there are “many paperwork and departments involved”.

The baby-faced actor said his early start in the entertainment industry does give him an edge as people recognise him for his previous works, not only as a teen actor but also as a vocal talent who emerged the winner of reality singing contest Campus Superstar in 2007.

Shawn Tok recording song
Shawn continues to pursue his passion, music.
Photo: Shawn Tok

Although Shawn spends more time behind the scene now, he’s not about to give up his passion in music. He’s released an album in 2016 and a single in 2018, and will continue creating music with his producer and taking on gigs.