Tue, Apr 13, 2010
The Straits Times
Model child

By Eunice Quek, Relatively Speaking

When actress Selena Tan was a child, her mother, Madam Daisy Lim, would send her and her four siblings for modelling classes and photo shoots.

'My mum used to 'sell' us and we would be in advertisements or performing at runway shows,' says Tan, 38, the eldest child. When she was a baby, she was already in the spotlight, modelling for a brand of chocolates called Duplo.

So it was ironic that her mother cried when in 1997 she quit her job as a litigation lawyer to pursue acting full time.

Madam Lim explains: 'Selena called me when I was at the market to tell me the news, so I couldn't cry there. When I went home, I cried.'

Tan's father, Mr Charles Tan, 62, a retired lieutenant-colonel, was concerned that the 'theatre industry was a tough market to break into'.

All that is now water under the bridge.

In 1999, when Tan staged her first solo stand-up comedy show, Selena Exposed, her whole family, who are very close to one another, showed up and even helped to sell tickets for the show.

'I know that if no one comes to my shows, my mother would definitely be there,' says Tan, who is married to a lawyer and has no children.

Madam Lim remembers watching the musical, Little Shop Of Horrors, seven times. The 2006 production was staged by Dream Academy, the theatre company Tan set up in 2000.

Everyone in the family is honest when giving feedback to Tan.

She says: 'My parents will tell me if my jokes are funny or stale. Or they will tell me what the audience say during the intermission. My mum is a 007 spy.'

Next: Growing up, how was Selena as the eldest child? >>

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