The last we spoke to Richie Koh earlier this month, the 25-year-old hinted that he might be expanding his career to the mainland, although at the time, he stopped short from divulging details as it wasn’t confirmed, and he didn’t want to raise expectations “only to let everyone down if it falls through”.
Looks like he needn’t have worried, as it has been confirmed that The Celebrity Agency (TCA) has signed a co-management contract with China’s LongAllStar Entertainment Group, and that Richie will officially be on his way to take on the Chinese market.
This contract has been under discussion since January this year, and Richie revealed that he originally had two other companies that were keen on signing him on as well. “One is based in Hong Kong, while the other is based in the mainland as well,” he let on. “What I like a lot about (LongAllStar) is that they take the initiative, and they also treat me like family. They looked after me really well when I was in Beijing for my dance training previously.”
Yang Hao, founder of LongAllStar, shared through a press release, “China is entering an era with a proliferation of young artistes and it is imperative for the company to constantly inject fresh blood to stay competitive, which makes Richie a perfect fit for us.”
Toggle spoke to Richie shortly after the news was confirmed, and the actor had plenty to share with us.
Calling the opportunity serendipitous, Richie chuckled, “It’s like all the stars aligned. The opportunity came, and since both companies were willing, and I’ve thought about expanding my career overseas for some time, I mulled over the decision for some time but decided to seize the opportunity. If I were to say no now, another chance might not come for the rest of my life.”
After filming Toggle Original Playground from early to mid-October, he will likely be heading back to Beijing. However, plans are yet to be confirmed as they might need him to fly over earlier if there are any projects lined up for him.
“I’m not sure when I’ll come back to Singapore after that, but hopefully I’ll be back home for Chinese New Year. I think I’ll be okay going overseas on my own because it isn’t my first time, and my family is also very supportive of my decision, but I hope I can come home for special occasions, or I might miss home a little more during those periods of time,” the actor said.
Richie will be also be undergoing training while he’s there – be it acting classes, dancing, singing or hosting, he will be trained to be an all-rounded artiste. “There seem to be action scenes in most of their shows, so I’ll have to work on my martial arts as well. The actors there learn wushu from a young age, so I’ll have to work doubly hard to catch up,” he grinned.
For those worried about Richie disappearing off the local drama scene for good, fear not, as the actor assured us that he will film at least one local production a year. “Being busy while I’m there will definitely be a good thing, but I won’t be giving up on my career back home as well. Both Mediacorp and LongAllStar also agree that I should be working in both countries, so I’m very grateful for that,” he expressed.
In terms of the projects that he takes on, Richie shared that he will leave the final decision to the company. He said, “I believe they will make the best arrangements for me, and regardless of where the opportunity lies, I’ll be thankful for it.”
In addition, Georgina Chang, Head of TCA, said, “I know artistes want the opportunity to grow and improve their craft, and gain exposure in other territories. We can build that bridge for them by collaborating with management agencies to venture overseas. In this instance, Richie will continue to act in our Mediacorp projects, so his local fans will not be disappointed. He is enthusiastic, talented and very likeable, so I’m confident that Richie will go far.”