In Episode 246, AJ catches us up on his shoot and some career strategy talk, then Trev sits down with actor Chin Han (Independence Day: Resurgence, The Dark Night, Contagion, Marco Polo) to round out their discussion about his journey—including the eight years of doing what he thought would be the rest of his career, and the fortuitous chance he took, at the urging of his family and friends, that changed everything for him.
He also shares how he built his own personal support community (and why it’s important to keep it diverse), why type-casting and limitations are something to be celebrated, and why all life is practice.
“To have the community is almost as important as doing the work itself. Because the community is what’s going to keep you sane.”
After a successful few years in TV, Chin Han did the unexpected—he stopped. It was a challenging lifestyle, for a host of reasons, and he found himself yearning for something else.
He returned to theatre, this time as a director (and out of necessity, a producer, as well). For eight years, Chin Han happily directed and produced regional theatre in Singapore. He figured this was it. He was happy. Life was good.
The Universe had other plans. When confronted with the choice to jump back into acting, Chin Han turned to his immediate support community—his friends and family—for advice. He had just 3 hours to make a choice that would change everything for him, and the offer was loud and clear: if you’re game for the ride, show up. In person.
At the urging of his support circle, he stepped back into the game in a BIG way. And he’s been a working actor with some of the biggest names in film and TV ever since.
Perhaps the coolest part of this whole journey—the one we’re all on—is the ambiguity wrapped around the opportunities life so consistently hands us. To think that the smallest yes or no choices can have such a profound impact down the line is sobering… and exciting.
It comes down to awareness, clarity, and guts. Taking risks takes taking a risk.
The lessons and success principles Chin Han shares in this interview are timeless: wish others well, celebrate your uniqueness, practice, practice, practice, seek diversity when building your own circle of personal support, have faith, stop waiting for the perfect the “happiness conditions,” and more.
Stepping out onto the skinny branches of life doesn’t always yield the kind of fruit we’re hoping for. But as Part 2 of my conversation with Chin Han demonstrates, it’s gratitude, humility, wisdom, and generosity that makes big things possible. That, and the willingness to seek advice, and making habitually saying “yes” a core part of our life philosophy.
Connect with Chin:
Also Mentioned in Episode 245:
Picks of the Week for Episode 246:
Support for this episode of Inside Acting comes from: