Practice makes perfect

HE HAS a familiar face but you can't put a finger on where you might have seen him. Meet David Loo (吕晓成), part-time actor and full-time taxi driver, which means that you may have seen him on the small screen or in the front seat of your cab.

David is a familiar face in various commercials and local drama series on Mediacorp Channel 8 and Suria. In fact, you can catch him in the latest season of the local nursing drama series, You Can Be An Angel 3, currently being aired on Channel 8. In the drama, he plays a patient named Mr Fong who likes getting himself re-admitted to hospital because he feels lonely at home. Through the help of a community nurse, Xia Yaoyang (played by Desmond Tan), Mr Fong eventually finds new meaning in his life by volunteering in community activities.

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Like his character on the show, David is a people-oriented person, which is why he is a taxi driver of 28 years. Communicating with people has helped him overcome a speech impediment.

"As a cabby, I can interact with people from all walks of life and that helps me a lot in overcoming my greatest weakness - stammering. I used to stammer a lot, especially when I am stressed or when I fumble," said David. He believes that being a taxi driver and a part-time actor of 19 years helps him confront his problem head-on. 

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"I have tried many ways to overcome it, from seeking psychologists' help to reading self-help books on the topic, but all these didn't seem to help much. So I thought I'd just have to face the problem myself... the more I practise talking to people or saying out my lines on screen, the smoother my speech gets."

David added that even after all these years of practice, he will still fumble once in a while, especially when he meets a fierce and demanding director.

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"During the filming of You Can Be An Angel 3, in a scene where I was having an argument with an old lady, we had to have many takes because she kept tripping over her lines. After a while, I became stressed and started to fumble too. Fortunately, Zoe Tay and Desmond Tan were very patient and helped me a lot along the way. Everything turned out well eventually," he shared.

And age is no issue for the grandfather of six. On top of his two jobs, David plans to tap on his SkillsFuture Credit to learn Malay, which will help him when he has roles in Malay dramas. He also hopes to take up a course in Psychology.

For David, it's clear that learning never stops.

Catch You Can Be An Angel 3 from now till 23 November 2018, weekdays, 9pm on Channel 8 or watch it at your convenience on Toggle.

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