Joel Choo bade farewell to The Celebrity Agency (TCA), Mediacorp's talent management arm, on May 2, 2021.
As the son of veteran artiste Zhu Houren, 66, Choo's exit from the agency sparked some amount of interest among audiences, with most applauding his decision to venture outside the broadcasting giant.
Exploring his options
When asked by Mothership about his decision to leave TCA, Choo said it was prompted by the fact that his contract was coming to an end.
Outside of TCA, the actor intends to "freelance for a bit and explore [his] options".
Choo revealed that he's had a prior discussion with his family, who were "supportive throughout."
If you've read the touching Instagram post that Zhu wrote to mark the occasion, Choo said that his father had actually told him about it beforehand.
This will also be Zhu's only input for Choo's departure, according to the latter.
However, the 26-year-old did not tell anyone in the industry that he was leaving the agency — they only found out through his social media, like most of us.
It was not a deliberate decision on Choo's part to keep it a "secret", though.
He had originally planned to inform his colleagues, but didn't manage to find the right moment — hence the delay until the publication of his Instagram post.
Following the announcement, a couple of colleagues have sent Choo their well wishes, while others — such as Jeffrey Xu, Ben Yeo, Chen Xiuhuan, and Zheng Geping — commented on his post.
Zheng, in particular, had left a rather endearing message:
"Dear Joel, new drama series 'Key Witness关键证人' came the first & last project we work together in Mediacorp. 能演 '父子' 是一种缘分。(Translation: To be able to act as father and son requires a certain amount of fate too.)
Hope to work with u again soon in the near future. I wish u all the very best in your new endeavours🌈. God bless u always ! 儿子加油！(Translation: Do your best son!) 💪😃"
As for who he will miss the most, Choo did not drop any names, but left things on an optimistic note.
"In general I think I will miss everyone from artiste to production crew to makeup and wardrobe etc. But I'm sure I'll be able to work with them again in the future."
So far, Choo has received "a few auditions here and there", but if you're looking for more concrete output from him, keep a lookout on his TikTok account, which Choo says he will be focusing more on.
Choo currently has 28,500 followers on the platform, where he produces bite-sized comedy.
Another thing to check off his list is to release an an EP with his indie rock band, Maxime.
"We've been procrastinating for years," Choo told us.
In any case, you'll still be seeing Choo on TV, seeing that he has some shows that have yet to be released.
Top image via Zhu Houren and Joel Choo's Instagram