This post will always remain at the top as a sticky to inform new readers about My ASDS Fund and what it’s all about. Please scroll below for the latest blog post.

*Update 18 Aug 2011: Thanks to a combination of scholarships I have received since setting up this site, my 2011/2012 tuition fees (as well as MOST of my tuition for the other 2 years) are now sorted! This page will therefore focus on trying to raise the little extra I may still require fees-wise, as well as living expenses for the duration of the course.

Thank you for visiting my ASDS  fundraising page!

My name is Samantha Tan, and I recently became the first Malaysian ever to be accepted into the 3-year MFA Acting programme at the prestigious Actors Studio Drama School in New York. I’m THRILLED of course, but now comes the hard part: paying for it. This website has been created as one of many avenues I am using to raise the tuition fees I need, and as a means of  presenting all the information that interested parties have been requesting into one easily accessible organised page. Read the rest of this entry »


And so, the journey concludes. Thank you and goodnight!


The ASDS graduation rose ceremony on 10 May 2014. L-R: with our dedicated stage manager Joe Onorato, listening to a speech by the Dean of Dyson College Dr. Nira Herrmann (and the woman responsible for one of my largest scholarships) and lastly with James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and founder of the programme (and famed creator and host of “Inside the Actors Studio”)

Dearest friends,

It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that I share with you my final post on My ASDS Fund.

With our industry showcase and graduation ceremonies now concluded, my life-changing three years at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University has officially come to a close. I am now a holder of a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting, and with that everything this website was started for way back in 2011 has come to fruition. If I haven’t said it enough before, THANK YOU ALL; the part you have played in this incredible fundraising adventure is a remarkable testament to the generosity and kindness of the human spirit, and you have surprised, delighted, inspired and deeply touched not just me personally, but my loved ones who care about me, my fellow actors who dream the same dreams, and in fact every single acquaintance, reporter or general listener I have ever told this story to.

The morning I arrived at ASDS for the first time on 12 September 2011, the late Steve Nicholas, our beloved and much-missed student coordinator handed me this to read out loud. The point was to assess my accent and whether I would need Neutral American speech classes, but they were words that struck a deep chord and somehow perfectly encapsulated everything that had brought me to that moment in time. Today, at the end of this chapter and the precipice of the unknown next, they are again seemingly tailor-made to draw on as I look back at you, this website and the tremendous impact you have all had on my life:

“There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help on that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

-W. H. Murray, Leader of Mt Everest Climbing Expedition


2 April 2014: Opening night of Blackbird, with one of my most consistent supporters of My ASDS Fund over the years. The lovely Wolfgang started donating before he had even met me; I was beyond touched and amazed that he was here to witness the culmination of my training.



The graduating class of 2014, with James Lipton, our wonderful Chair Andreas Manolikakis, Oscar-winner and Co-President of the Actors Studio Ellen Burstyn, Dean Nira Herrmann and our esteemed faculty including the holy trinity of acting teachers Susan Aston, Jacqueline Knapp and Elizabeth Kemp, Dr. Bill Coco (Theatre History), Edward Allan Baker (playwriting) and Brian Rhinehart (directing).

Of course, now begins the REAL work of getting a job and building a career as an actor. I don’t know what the future holds, but I invite you all to keep an eye on www.samantha-tan.com if you would like to continue this journey with me 🙂


Signing off with love,

Samantha Tan

ASDS Repertory Season 2014 Photo Released

ASDS Repertory Season 2014 Photo Released

From the 2011 fundraising campaign to this. Thank you all for making it possible!

5 semesters down, 1 to go… Merry Christmas and THANK YOU!

ASDS collageDear My ASDS Fund supporters,

And so, the beginning of the end begins. Last Friday marked the end of the Fall 2013 term and the start of our 5-week winter break, which means come January 2014 I will begin MY FINAL SEMESTER at the Actors Studio Drama School towards graduation in May!

What an incredible ride this has been, and how terrific to have your support along with me this entire journey. The holiday season and the approach of a new year is always a time for reflection, and as I scroll through my old entries on this blog and relive everything that has added up to my being here in NYC, I am humbled all over again by the openness, generosity and in many cases blind faith that I have been shown by so many good people across the globe.

I am heartened to say that year on year, every scholarship and grant I was awarded has renewed without a hitch and ensured my smooth progress tuition-wise through this programme. With one semester left to go, it is with great relief that I now disable the Paypal contribution button as I no longer need public assistance to see me through the end of the course. So once more, though you’ve heard it many times before and will continue to hear indefinitely, THANK YOU!

With Chinese New Year coming early next year and my first catering engagement of 2014 secured, this holiday I will likely have my hands full (of food) in the kitchen. Rehearsals will hit full intensity when school restarts, as I prepare to play the incredibly complex role of Froggy in Adam Rapp’s Blackbird and a supporting role in Jose Rivera’s Marisol for our Repertory Season. Show week for both pieces has been confirmed as April 2nd-April 6th, so if you are in NYC at that time and would like to watch do let me know!

For now, wishing you all a joyous Christmas full of joy and laughter and  an exciting 2014 ahead!

With love and gratitude,


6 Sept 2013: BFM 89.9 interview podcast with Meera Sivasothy

BFM23 Aug 2013: BFM 89.9 interview podcast with Meera Sivasothy

An in-depth 33 minute chat on BFM 89.9’s The Bigger Picture.

2 Aug 2013: Australia Network News article

Australia2 Aug 2013: Australia Network News article

2 Aug 2013: Radio Australia audio interview with Sen Lam

Radio Australia2 Aug 2013: Radio Australia audio interview with Sen Lam

1 Aug 2013: FZ.com Interview with Kristina Mariswamy

FZFZ.com Interview with Kristina Mariswamy