Mr Nice Guy
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For someone who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, Desmond Tan uses the word “worried” an awful lot.
It’s not like the 27-year-old can help it; the start of 2013 has been tumultuous for him. While New Year greetings were still being exchanged, Tan found himself in a hospital nursing a bleeding nose after a friend’s golden retriever lunged at him. With a packed filming schedule, he was naturally concerned. “I was worried the wound wouldn’t heal on time and there’d be a scar,” he says. Perhaps the incident serves as an allegory of the industry Tan chose to make his mark in: Showbiz is, after all, notoriously dog-eat-dog, and the top dog will knock you down...
Sitting on a narrow balcony at the studio after Style:MEN’s cover shoot, Tan lets on that he learned to cope by staying positive. “It’s a very competitive industry. Your confidence levels will just drop if you don’t stay positive. You won’t feel good about yourself and people around you will be able to sense that,” he offers.
Time has also been instrumental in helping Tan realise he can’t please everyone. “People expect artistes to smile and be happy all the time. After a while, I felt tired having to keep that energy up. I realised it wasn’t me,” he says. “These days I’ll just keep to myself if I want to be quiet. People have accepted that image of me as well.”