Short+Sweet 2012: Karynn Tan
Taking a sabbatical from the corporate life since May this year, 34-year old Karynn Tan won best female actor in last year’s Short+Sweet Musical, held at klpac. Hailing from Penang, she has made KL her home for a while now. In between recharging her creative batteries, taking care of her two furkids and composing music that she sings and dances to, she tells us about her experience as a Short+Sweet (S+S) participant.
Tell us about yourself, Karynn.
I started out in the arts in 2010 after staging a Musical Wedding with my hubby in 2009. I thought, if we enjoyed doing it for our wedding, why not try it out professionally, right? So, ‘Mamak Mee-Ah’ – which was a musical spoof – was my first experience in musical theatre and I was hooked! My favourite part of being in a production was the outstation tours. I remembered how we stuffed our faces with nasi kandar, char koay teow, assam laksa, cendol and more, for both the ‘Mamak Mee-Ah’ and ‘Malaysian Girls’ Penang tours. Lucky for me, my costumes were stretchable.
How did you hear about klpac’s Short+Sweet?
I heard about the S+S festival from friends involved in the arts and decided to audition for both the musical and the dance categories in 2011 just to be more involved in the arts. I performed in both categories and enjoyed them a lot. This year, sadly I cannot perform in it because I have another production at the same time, so I submitted a musical piece with my hubby instead – that way I am still part of 2012 festival.
Tell us your experience in Short+Sweet.
I remember how fun it was working with director Kimmy Kiew on the musical ‘Oriental Takeout’ as she made us explore all sorts of style when it came to playing the characters. We even did a Chinese opera version and gangsta rap version! How I wish we had staged one of those silly versions we did at rehearsals. Still, it was amazing to see how exploring the acting, singing, dancing, music arrangement, props, etc morphed together into the awesome end product.
Karynn Tan in white
How has Short+Sweet helped you in your arts career?
Apart from the learning and exploring process, I think the most significant way that this festival has helped me was the hu¬ge network of industry friends that I got to know along the way. I’ve met a lot of talented people and people who inspire, revive and feed the idealistic, dreamer side of me. I feel like I can take on the world after that!
What is your advice to participants of Short+Sweet 2012?
If you love performance art, just be a part of it. Whether it's to meet new people, learn, explore crazy things or just to ‘syok-sendiri’, you will definitely gain something from it.
This is first of a series of three interviews with past winners of KLPac's Short+Sweet. The first Short+Sweet festival for penangpac. Dance, Sep 5-8; Theatre, Sep 12-15. See event listings.
Enter our contest and win two tickets to the Short+Sweet festival here.