Following his first talk where he shared his best advice for those looking to become successful in the entertainment industry, Mew Suppasit has returned for a deep conversation with Fahsai Paweensuda. In his second appearance for CI Talks, we’re proud to share the inside story of Mew’s successful career as an actor and performer. Here, you can learn from Mew’s journey, and find out more about his process of achieving the success he enjoys today.
An introverted child
Far from being the confident, energetic person he is today, Mew was quiet and introverted in his childhood and teenage years.
“I had a complex when I was a child that I was not confident in myself, I lost my self-confidence,” he tells Fahsai. “Everyone around me thought that I had it all covered. But there was a time that my GPA dropped because I had no motivation. I hardly studied, to be very honest, I was just lazy. Everyone always had high expectations of me, and whenever family gatherings took place, my parents would say I was good at this and that. But I felt I was the opposite,” Mew says.
Mew wasn’t able to meet the expectations his family and society had for him, which caused him to withdraw into himself.
“Afterwards, I became more introverted. I started to drop out of class activities, I didn’t want to be a class representative or involved in any events. I kept to myself until I was in early secondary school. It was like I was in my own world. A world where no one had any expectations of me,” he tells Faisah.
In conversation with Fahsai, Mew shared how he was transformed from an introverted child to a more confident, extroverted person.
“What was your turning point that got you out of the situation?” Fahsai asks.
“In my high school years, I met an underclassman who was so talented and I wanted to be like him. I started to change, gradually building my confidence. I felt like I became a new person. I began doing what the teachers asked me to do, even though I was so nervous as I was a timid person and I hadn't been involved in anything for ages,” Mew says.
Being inspired by the talented classmate he looked up to, Mew started to make changes in his life. His aspirations within the entertainment industry became clear to him, and he started working towards his goal – but it wasn’t easy to get there.
“I got into the entertainment industry when I was in Grade 11 or 12. It's been roughly 11 years. I used to attend after-school tutorial classes in Siam and a modelling agent spotted me. I started casting for commercials; out of 100 auditions, I only got about 10 jobs though,” Mew tells Faisah.
Mew was going to castings every day, but wasn’t selected for many roles. He was trying to make it, but he didn’t look back and ask himself whether he was actually good enough or a good fit for those roles.
“How did you feel at that time?” Faisah asks.
“I felt that I was failing, I really did. I kept wondering why I went to castings everyday, but was never selected. No one ever gave me feedback from my auditions; what I didn’t do right, what went wrong. No one said anything. I never looked back and reflected whether I was talented enough or right to be part of those roles,” Mew says.
It was then that Mew realised he needed to change his perspective.
“After personal reflection, I realized that it was pointless blaming others, and what I needed to do was to focus on my skill levels. I started all over again. I took up acting classes, going right back to basics. I attended the academy every week for over 2 years. I immersed myself in acting. After 2 years of practice and training, I started getting every audition. I was also cast for a commercial and a role in a series which I am still doing today,” Mew tells Fahsai.
A new direction in life
After achieving incredible success after years of hard work, Mew is now looking ahead to the future. He’s an ambitious and driven actor who isn’t afraid of hard work, and he has lots of goals for the future.
“I think being a performer is amazing. Winning an award for Best Actor would be so cool. So I set up the goal, that if I become a professional actor, I have to achieve the award, the award from my dedication to the acting career and I am known for the role I played. So the Best Lead Actor Award is now my goal to accomplish,” he says.
“What do your parents think? Do they support your enthusiasm for acting?” Faisah asks.
“My Mom is quite supportive but my Dad isn’t. My Dad has always insisted on me studying hard at school as I’m still a student, telling me, “you can follow the acting career when you graduate”. And I feel like – I can balance work and study; I can study well whilst also working in showbiz. This is what I need to prove to him, that doing both can work,” Mew explains.
Self-development and observation
With her background in the industry, Fahsai knows how many hurdles can get in the way for anyone working to achieve success – and she’s asking Mew to share his own advice.
“How do you deal with problems and challenges?” Faisah asks.
“In the end, provided we have given our best effort, the outcome is immaterial. I think this is about the process and errors due to factors beyond our control,” Mew says. “What we can control is what arises in our head. No matter how disappointed or dissatisfied I had been, I’ve learnt to let it go as I did my best. As long as I give it my all and I am fulfilled with my work, that’s all it matters.”
“Can you summarize the take-home messages for our audience?” Faisah asks.
Mew’s wise advice is: “You may need to observe yourself instead of blaming other people.”
“Have you ever thought about how you can develop or refine your abilities?“ Faisah asks.
“I would encourage you to recheck yourself,” Mew says, referring to anyone wondering how they can work on their self-development and improvement. “What is the root cause of the problem? What are the effects of our own actions, and how can we improve and make them better?” Mew believes these questions will help you look at yourself and your situation in a better way, and help you to see the path ahead more clearly.
“Speaking of comparison, I have compared myself to other people and I know others who do too. But, one thing I’ve realized is that, if you take a look back, comparing where you are today with where you were before, you will find that you have progressed and developed,” Mew says. “Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Once in a while look back and review your old self. For example, are your acting skills better today than they were then? If you wish to do better at school, are you more knowledgable than before? It’s good to take stock every now and again,” he says.
Let go of expectations to avoid disappointment
Beyond self-development and self-reflection, Mew also has sound advice with regards to the expectations we have of ourselves and the expectations others have of us.
Drawing inspiration from Buddhist beliefs, Mew believes that by not having too many expectations in life, you’ll have less disappointment. He feels that as long as you always do your best, there is no need to set high expectations of yourself and avoid disappointment.
“We are always concerned about how our friends and teachers see us, but we never ask ourselves if we really enjoy what we’re doing,” Mew says. “Sometimes, being content with what we’re doing is enough. In the end, if we’ve done the best we can and we're happy with the results, it doesn’t matter what others think.”
Generally, we feel disappointed when our hopes and expectations aren’t met. But life isn’t predictable, and there’s always a risk that things won’t happen the way we had hoped.
If you set too many expectations for yourself, for others or for life in general, you run the risk of being disappointed – and you’re also not living in the moment and enjoying life as it is, because you’re too busy looking ahead to planning an ideal future.
“Everyone has expectations and others may have expectations of you as well. By not having any expectations, there will be no disappointment,” Mew says.
When you compare yourself to other people, you’re setting unnecessary expectations for yourself. We all do things and achieve things in our own time, in our own way. There is no point in comparing ourselves and our achievements with others, because we all have our own unique path in life.
In the same way, if someone else is expecting certain things from you, you should not let those expectations become your own expectations of yourself. You can’t control how other people feel and what they want. For example, if your parents are unsatisfied with the work you’re doing and the direction your life is taking, that is not your fault. It’s the expectations they’ve placed on you that are making them unhappy and causing disappointment.
Keep in mind that disappointment is a normal, natural part of the life cycle. We can’t always get exactly what we want, and navigating that disappointment is an important experience for personal growth.
“My advice is to always do your best in what you do. Then expectations are irrelevant because you have done your best,” Mew says.
Releasing your stagnant expectations for yourself will lead to you being a happier person. Having no expectations in life isn’t the same as accepting a less meaningful or impactful life, or giving up our goals. On the contrary, it’ll give you the freedom to live life in the present, focused on the natural progression your life is taking. Without having to navigate the high expectations you have for yourself or that others have for you, you’re able to stop fighting what isn’t within our control, and focus on what truly matters: living a happy, fulfilled life.
Focus on self-appreciation
Another key point Mew touches on during the talk is about appreciating yourself and the hard work you’re putting in to improve yourself and achieve success in your chosen field.
“Let's talk about self appreciation,” Mew says. “Be grateful for yourself and I can tell you that you will sleep better. Applaud yourself for what you have accomplished and how far you have come. Give yourself thanks!”
Mew had had a truly remarkable journey from his childhood shrouded in shyness and low self-confidence, to a huge star with plenty of confidence and goals for the future. His sage advice for anyone hoping to achieve similar success in the acting industry is valuable, and can hopefully inspire many others to be brave and follow their dreams!