What's in... George Young's backpack

What's in... George Young's backpack

You probably have seen British actor George Young on TV in Singapore dramas and game shows, such as The Pupil and Million Dollar Money Drop. And you will be seeing him soon in an HBO Asia Original mini-series.

This Singapore-based 34-year-old, who hails from London, has a techie and gamer side to him.

"I am a huge video-game fan," said the self-proclaimed geek, as he reminisced about his old Atari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System gaming consoles.

"I thought I would grow out of it but I didn't. I realised the games grew up with me," he said.

He plays a wide spectrum of games, from casual titles to hardcore first-person shooters, and also loves role-playing games such as Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.

He likes to tweak his gadgets and smartphones. For example, he would install custom ROMs in his smartphone and tweak the settings if he does not like certain functions.

Using the Twitter hashtag #geekyg, he shares tech tips and tricks.

Helping people is what he has always wanted to do, he said, adding that he had considered becoming a psychologist.

The eldest of four sons of a Malaysian-Chinese father and Greek-Cypriot mother, Young said he wanted to do something relevant to his family and to himself.

He thought he could better understand his two youngest brothers, who have severe autism, and help others who have mental illness if he were a clinical psychologist.

That is despite his desire to be an actor since he was young. He even went to New York for acting classes before he entered university. He said of acting: "I just did not see it as a viable profession at that time."

Towards the end of his psychology studies, he began to have doubts.

"I still did not know what I wanted to do," he said.

His then girlfriend, a law student, persuaded him to switch to law.

"She told me I just needed to do a conversion course and I could get a law degree." And so he did.

But the acting bug would not go away.

While working as a corporate lawyer, he would take leave for auditions and go for acting classes after work or on weekends.

Two years later, at 27, he finally decided acting was his calling and started to work in productions for the BBC.

His pan-Asian good looks ensured he was in demand in places such as Thailand and Taiwan for music videos and commercials. While he was in Taiwan, a Singaporean photographer encouraged him to work in Singapore.

"My Mandarin was non-existent back then. As English is spoken predominantly in Singapore, I thought I should give it a go," he recalled.

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