TENGKU Iedildzuhrie Putra Tengku Alaudin, 28, never outgrew his pre-teen love of the performing arts. Iedil Putra, as he is better known as, was introduced to Tunas Budaya at 9 as one of the pioneer members by his parents. At Tunas Budaya, he learnt traditional music and gamelan, and about theatre.
He acted in his first theatre production The Rest House directed by the late Datuk Syed Alwi Syed Hassan at that tender age. It was the start of his involvement in children's theatre such as Siti Di Alam Fantasi (featuring Amy Mastura) and Dewi Bunga, which is written by his mother Shamsiah Mohamad.
Iedil's parents are steeped in the arts. In addition to writing, his mother recites poetry at home; his father Tengku Alaudin Tengku Abdul Majid is a well-known poet and painter.
Iedil's interest in the performing arts grew when he studied Medicine in London, England. There were weekend forays to Leicester Square for its theatre shows and Iedil volunteered to perform on Malaysian Night at his friends' colleges.
"But three years into the medical programme, I quit," says Iedil. "My parents understood my decision. However, my uncles and aunts were more disappointed," he adds.
But as a safety net, Iedil studied for a degree in Medical Science at Management and Science University in Shah Alam when he returned to Malaysia in 2007.
The full-time actor's career spans the stage, film and television. He has appeared in Rahim Razali's Eiman Alone, various local commercials and has done voice-over work for Kampung Boy -- The Animated Series. Recent stage experiences include Wacky Bar, Terima Kasih Cinta The Musical and The Secret Life Of Nora.
He starred in a recent 8TV series, Projek Pop, where he played band manager Amad. The programme went behind the scenes of staging a concert. In July, watch out for Iedil in Ngorat which also stars Aaron Aziz and Erra Fazira.
Apart from acting, Iedil is one of the founders of KNUKE, an event management company which facilitates local independent music acts such as Hujan, Estrella, Seven Collar T-Shirt, Couple, MonoloQue and Altimet to perform in the United Kingdom. He is also business development director of Playground Productions, which he set up with six friends with a background in theatre, to produce TV shows, stage performances and films.
He answers questions on his schooldays:
Yaqin: Which primary and secondary schools did you attend?
Iedil: SK Bukit Bandaraya (Standards One to Four), Kuala Lumpur; SK Bukit Damansara (Standards Five and Six), KL; Kolej Yayasan Saad Malacca (Form One);
SMK Seri Hartamas (Form Two), KL; Victoria Institution (Form Three), KL; and Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Langkawi (Forms Four and Five).
Yaqin: Did you have a favourite teacher and why did you like him/her?
Iedil: Mr Hassan a.k.a Pak Hassan Misai. He was my Physical Education and disciplinary teacher and also hostel warden in Langkawi. It was a love-hate relationship. He was strict, you really don't want to get into trouble in school such as late to class or prayers, as he would punish you but he was really cool with his jokes and funny remarks.
He let the senior students go to his place to watch football live on cable TV and that was cool.
Yaqin: What subject(s) did you like at school?
Iedil: History, Mathematics and Physical Education.
Yaqin: Were you rewarded for good performance by your parents? If yes, in what way.
Iedil: Sometimes we went out to dinner to celebrate, especially after major exams.
Yaqin: What was your best school holiday?
Iedil: It was not really a holiday but I enjoyed every school break in Langkawi when my friends and I would travel to KL by train.
That meant taking the ferry to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis, then the bus to Butterworth and train to KL. Sometimes we stayed in Penang for a day or two before heading for KL.
I liked the journey. It was good to travel with friends.
Yaqin: What hobbies did you have while at school?
Iedil: I was really into sport and drama. I played all kinds of sport and my theatre and performing arts bug started when I was in school.
Yaqin: What was your ambition while schooling?
Iedil: I wanted to become a cool doctor, do a bit of acting on the side and be in a band, making it big around the world! Ha! ha!
Yaqin: If you were to live your schooldays all over again, is there anything you would like to change?
Iedil: Don't get into silly fights or arguments and make more friends.
Really live my childhood to the fullest. Listen to my heart. I should have considered studying the arts rather than a medical degree.