"My sons are teaching me more about life than I pretend to be teaching them" -- Adrian Pang on Father's Day
We spoke with celebrated Singaporean actor Adrian Pang about his relationship with his sons, Zack and Xander. And came away impressed with his parenting philosophy!
Growing up, you went to some of the best schools in Singapore and then went on to study law in Britain. When and how did you decide to not to go down a corporate route and follow a more ‘alternative’ career in the arts?
In my final year at university, I finally faced up to the fact that I never wanted to be a lawyer, and that being an actor was all I ever loved to do.
What did your parents think of this decision?
Like any self-respecting Asian parents, they freaked out!
Do you think parents in Singapore are more accommodating of their children’s career and life choices today, than they were a generation ago?
I think that in dribs and drabs more parents are becoming more “enlightened” to the fact that their measure of “success” might be different from what their kids’ ideas are.
You are married to a non-Singaporean, how has it been bringing up children who belong to what we now call “third culture”?
As far as my two boys are concerned — they are lucky to be growing up in Singapore and being exposed to as many different ways of life as possible. I want them to become “citizens of the world”.
You often talk about your favourite role being that of a dad to your two sons, Zack and Xander. Tell us what a typical day with your boys is like?
At the boys’ age now (they are both in their mid-teens), they spend most of their day in school, and Tracie and I are at work most of our day, so it is important that we agree to try to at least have a meal together. At this meal no mobile devices are allowed in the vicinity, and we genuinely TALK with one another about our day, about how we are feeling, what we’re thinking, and generally have a laugh and enjoying one another’s company.
Communication is a major pillar of our family structure.
How has the fatherhood experience changed for you over the years – what has been the one consistent thing through this all?
The fact that my sons are teaching me more about life than I pretend to be teaching them.
How does being a celebrity impact your family life?
I don’t buy into any of that nonsense.
What are the top 5 pieces of advice that you would give to your sons?
Right & Wrong
If you constantly try to fit these into your life, you’re going to do ok.
Click on the next page to find out about how Adrian Pang is preparing to play the role of Singapore’s founding father in The LKY Musical…
What was your biggest challenge in playing LKY ?
The biggest challenge is probably showing the private side of this very private man.
How did you prepare yourself to play this particular role?
There is a wealth of material at my disposal as research, but the trick is to distill the most valuable aspects of an incredible life into two hours on stage.
Do you feel an extra degree of nervousness in playing such a well-known real life personality?
What lessons in parenting would you take from LKY?
Lead by example.
How has fatherhood changed you? We would like to know. Comment below to share your experiences with us.