Feature Story – Kevin Lo

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A quiet charming smile greeted me, but as we talked more about his life and acting career he spoke with a sense of sincerity and intense passion. He revealed that his ultimate goal “Is to use the art form of acting to give hope to others.”

Meet Kevin Lo, a young man who exudes confidence and a strong sense of purpose. Whether he’s playing the serious role of John Proctor or entertaining us as the witty Professor Higgins, it is clear that as an actor Kevin works indefatigably to bring his characters to life so that the audience can experience the reality of what is presented on stage. Undoubtedly, it is Kevin’s positive attitude, passion and perseverance that enabled him to win four gold medals plus three Division World Champion titles for Dramatic Comedy and Classic Categories at this year’s World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood, Los Angeles. He sees these accomplishments as just the beginning, as his aim “is to learn more about acting through education”. Kevin was very honest in this interview as he admitted that his journey towards discovering acting as his chosen career has neither been easy nor straightforward – but with the advice and support of his parents, family and friends he’s been able to turn his dream into a reality. Kevin hopes that his experience will help to motivate and inspire other young local actors who are thinking about making acting a career. He wants them to know that it is possible to become and actor if you work hard, follow your heart, but most of all – never give up.

“It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success.”
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011 David Thewlis

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Photos by Ridho Sunjoyo

Kevin’s initial ambition was to become a lawyer, a career choice which his family fully supported. However, he’s the first to admit that he didn’t study as hard as he should for his A’ Level exams and hence his grades were not as he’d expected. But Kevin was determined to pursue this career and also did not want to disappoint his family, so he courageously decided to speak to the Director at the Law School at INTI. He convinced the Director that if given a place on the law program he would do his very best to succeed. The Director saw Kevin’s conviction and sincerity and admitted him into the program. By the end of his first year at law school, Kevin had achieved top grades in every exam and would go on to become President of the Law society in charge of student welfare. Kevin had managed to prove to both his family and the Director that he was a man of his word and that he had a determination of steel. Unbeknown to Kevin at this point, this unwavering conviction would take him far in the future.

“Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy.”
– The Weather Man 2005 Michael Caine

After completing his law degree in the UK, Kevin returned to Brunei to work with a local law firm. However, the burning passion for acting which he’d discovered while with the acting group “College Players” could not be extinguished. It took Kevin many gruelling months to decide which career path to choose. In the end, he chose to follow his heart. But I had to ask Kevin how did he leave a profession that is associated with justice and morality to opt for one that’s associated with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood? Kevin firmly replied, “It was an excruciatingly difficult decision for me, but I believe that acting is my vocation. My focus is to work with scripts that deliver inspirational messages so that as an actor I can use this art form to give hope to the people who watch me perform.”

“If there’s one thing family does, it is to believe, against all odds, in the best of each other.”
– Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 2009 Breckin Meyer

kevin4Family is the single most important factor in Kevin’s life. It was the support of his family that gave him the courage to pursue his acting career. As he explained, “I am close to both of my parents. I can always rely on my Mum to give me her honest opinion and I know that whether I agree with it or not, she’s coming from a place of love and complete care. My Dad is a very humble person, he stands in the background and is my best friend. He’s always there quietly supporting and guiding me. He is my role model and keeps me on track. My grandparents have also played a significant role in my life. Before she passed away I was extremely close to my maternal grandmother – she was a great inspiration to me as she taught me about patience and tolerance and was always there to listen to me and to give advice.”

“Anyone can memorise facts and figures. The real way to learn anything is to go out and experience it. Let your curiosity lead you.”
– Curious George 2006 Will Ferrell

As an extensive traveller, Kevin has visited places such as Iran and Kenya. He’s seen the sophistication of Persian architecture and culture; and has experienced both the beauty and reality of life in Nairobi. Kevin believes that when you travel and meet different people you have to be focused, you have to live in the moment, in order to reap the full benefit of the experience. He says that his travel adventures have helped him with his acting because when he’s on stage he also has to be completely in the moment – acting and reacting, so that the audience is moved emotionally by the power of what he delivers.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw

Fully charged with positive energy and the will to succeed, Kevin Lo acknowledges that pursuing his dream will be tough at times. He understands and accepts that there will be obstacles to overcome and that he must be brave enough to take risks – but he has an unwavering faith in himself and his abilities – and he believes that with the support of his family and friends he can make it. Kevin has been offered two scholarships in the USA and no doubt will seize these opportunities to learn as much as he can. As Kevin continues on his journey we believe that he has what it takes to achieve his goal – passion and grit!

This article was published in the Jan-Mar 2014 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!