People didn't recognise me - Desmond Tan

For the last four years, Desmond Tan has had a "constant fear" that he would be forgotten.

Until about a month ago, this 25-year-old could walk around hawker centres without being recognised as one of the young upstarts of Star Search 2007.

While his cohorts Andie Chen, Jerry Yeo and Koh Yah Hwee from the talent competition were making headway in their showbiz careers, Tan was in school getting a university degree.

He told The New Paper in a recent interview: "I had no big roles and didn't appear much on TV. People didn't recognise me.

"I was scared I would fail in my showbiz career before I could even start trying."

Although Tan was one of the top four male finalists in Star Search 2007, he enrolled into National University of Singapore's School of Design And Environment soon after the competition ended.

He completed the four-year course and graduated in July this year with a second upper honours degree in Bachelor of Science (Real Estate).

While in school, he filmed the variety show Fly Me To Beijing, and had forgettable roles in Channel 8 dramas like Beach.Ball.Babes and The Ultimatum.

He had a more memorable role as Jeanette Aw's evil cousin in the 2009 Channel 8 blockbuster Together. But that, too, didn't put him on the list of stars to watch out for.

Tan said his parts were so small, he didn't even consider them as supporting roles.

Though he was concerned about losing foothold in the industry, Tan insisted on finishing his studies first.

"My boss and co-stars at MediaCorp encouraged me to focus on my studies. Jerry took half a year off school to act, but I didn't want to take that road," said Tan.

"So I bit the bullet and soldiered on for four years... I'm very thankful that I got the role in A Song To Remember soon after I graduated."

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