Elizabeth Lazan – Elizabethan Journey
From Down Under to the Big Apple, Elizabeth Lazan Stays as Singaporean as her favourite Char Kway Teow
Elizabeth Tan has come a long way from a doe-eyed seven-year-old girl doing ballet recitals at the Singapore Dance Theater or monologues with the Act 3 Theater Company. Aside from being a household name in prime-time TV, Elizabeth also became one of the country’s sought after event hosts and television presenters. Except for her stage name, which she has now changed to Elizabeth Lazan, our favourite personality –
who is now taking a bite of the Big Apple – remains as Singaporean as a sizzling hot Char Kway Teow.
“Tan is a very common last name, and I needed to separate myself from another actress!,” Elizabeth is quick to explain the change in her name. “Basically, no two actors can share the same name if you want to work in the Actor’s Union here,” she adds. So she decided to combine her Italian and Chinese last names, ‘Lazzari’ and ‘Tan’ to come up with the unique, very Eurasian sounding ‘Lazan’. “Initially I felt bizzare, but I’m very used to it now. It’s like getting married, but in my instance, to my job!,” she laughs.
Elizabeth grew up in bustling Singapore, but always looked forward to spending some quiet time in Australia, her home away from home, where her other side of the family is from and where she finished her degree in Media and Film Studies. Upon her return to Singapore, she has ventured into acting – film, TV and stage – hosting and modeling. Her work has taken her across Europe and Asia. She was in the prime time TV series “DejaVu, Saise 2″ for France Deux (Paris); in the movie “煮持人 (The Chef)” for Singapore and Shanghai; and the stage production of “The King Lear” Project for Kunsten Arts (Brussels), to name a few. With striking looks and talent like hers, it wasn’t long before Elizabeth would spread her wings and go on with her journey to nurture her craft. And just like the many artists that have come before her, the call of the Big Apple was just so hard to resist.
In between wrapping up her first stage production in New York called “Commencing”, filming, doing photo shoots, auditioning, and co-producing shows, Elizabeth managed to spare some time to chat with Ezyhealth & Beauty to update us with her life in the Big Apple.
Ezyhealth & Beauty (EHB): What brought you to New York, and how is the Big Apple treating you?
Elizabeth: At some point in my life, I knew I wanted to go back to training and expand my understanding of the craft. I was undecided where to go and after spending some time interviewing and auditioning between London and New York, I felt most at home at the Studio (where I graduated from) in New York. With a wonderful arts grant from NAC, I packed up and left in two months! Munching into the apple initially wasn’t easy. A completely different environment, I was overwhelmed. It was like sensory overload in this very dynamic city. But I knew why I moved here and I focused on that. Slowly but very surely, I grew to love the smelly subways, the beautiful people and the wonderful energy of NYC.
EHB: What do you miss the most about living in Singapore?
Elizabeth: Family, more than anything! Food. Food. Did I mention food? Also, the growth of the arts in the city. Singapore is always exploring and bringing in new ideas. Being a part of that exciting shift in the city is missed. Oh, and sitting in the coffee shop at 3:00 am with my friends and teh tarik.
EHB: Having lived all over the world, do you still consider yourself Singaporean? What are the things you still do that are considered very Singaporean?
Elizabeth: Of course! I’m teaching all my friends here the wonderful world of ‘Singlish’. I think living in Singapore in a way, is like living all over the world with the vast cultures around you. I don’t know what is very “Singaporean” because we are made up of so many different individuals, that word could mean so many things. I guess the idea of family, and the values of always being close and respecting my parents still holds true to me no matter how far away I am.
EHB: Any upcoming projects you want to share with your Singaporean fans?
Elizabeth: I recently finished my first stage production in New York, entitled “Commencing”! It was a wonderful experience. It was a two-woman show, and we sold out all nights. I have also been cast as the lead female character in an independent film “Between Here & There”. It’s a beautiful script where I play a woman torn between her traditional family and wayward husband. I’m in the works talking with a director for a role in another film, and I’m just here auditioning, auditioning, auditioning with the vast amount of projects and talent all around.
EHB: Coming from a tropical country, have you had any health/beauty issues upon moving to New York?
Elizabeth: I wasn’t used to the change in air and type of foods here. When on the run in Singapore, I used to get a quick rojak or dumpling fix, now I have a muffin or croissant. I initially noticed my skin becoming more sensitive and felt bloated from the food here a lot of the time.
It’s just really high in sugar content and those massive portions! I then started adjusting the way I eat and cooked at home a lot more. Because the air can get really dry, I am also very adamant about drinking lots of water everyday. I noticed changes immediately from those minor but significant adjustments.
EHB: Amidst your busy schedule, how do manage to keep fit and take care of your skin?
Elizabeth: I picked up Muay Thai boxing a couple years ago in Singapore and brought my gloves when I moved to New York! Taking advantage of the beautiful parks here, I try and run at least three times a week. I have also picked up Pilates and try basic meditation. It’s really helped my overall health, skin and life in general.
EHB: Any health and beauty tips for our readers?
Elizabeth: A friend once told me that drops of apple vinegar mixed with a glass of water in the morning help cleanse your system and keep you feeling light! Also, one thing I learned from living in this crazy, bustling city is that health and beauty come from within. Cliche, but so true! I follow a mantra, thanks to a lovely book I read. When I find myself feeling tired or stressed, I say this to myself, “Just look at the world through your heart, moment to moment,” and a sense of relaxation comes over me. It doesn’t take more than a minute to get that natural glow!