8TV Quickie host and Hitz.fm DJ Ryan Matjeraie has a tried-and-tested recipe.
“1. Take the island of Borneo.
“2. Melt Malay upbringings that soar above Irish heritage.
“3. Whip the land of Peninsular Malaysia up into a frenzy with an unrelenting journey of adolescence.
“4. Marinate this in public speaking awards and strong acting roles.
“5. Bring to boil with incendiary music and independent film performances on full heat.
“6. Serve hot with garnishes of genuine passion and hard work.”
Self-described as “the rarest of flavours”, Matjeraie, 26, was steeped in step 4 while still in his teens. While schooling in Penang, he won a public speaking and elocution contest for two consecutive years.
He has also played the part of Chino in West Side Story (in 2003), Knuckles in Bugsy Malone (2000), the titular role in MacBeth (1998) and the son of the King in The King and I (1993), among others.
The Bachelor of Creative Industries and Mass Communication graduate from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia thrives on “experiencing the familiar and unfamiliar”.
The highlights of his career were interviewing actors Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Mark Strong, and touring Western Australia with the bands Karnivool, Birds of Tokyo and Dead Letter Circus.
Matjeraie answers questions on his schooldays:
Yaqin: Which primary and secondary schools did you attend?
Matjeraie: Lodge International School in Kuching, Sarawak and Uplands International School in Penang.
Yaqin: Did you have a favourite teacher and why did you like him/her?
Matjeraie: One of my favourite teachers was a bloke called Mr John Cadman (still at Uplands). From what I remember, he is one of the few teachers who talks to his students like adults, almost like friends. He has the best stories and isn‘t afraid to be brutally honest. Champion!
Yaqin: What subject(s) did you like at school?
Matjeraie: Geography, History, Drama, Physical Education and Design Technology.
Yaqin: Were you rewarded for good performance by your parents? If yes, in what way.
Matjeraie: I was rewarded with the rich platonic love of my parents on a weekly basis (cue epic music). My dad bought me a pair of roller blades when I was 10 for doing well in school. I was chuffed!
Yaqin: What was your best (and worst) school holiday?
Matjeraie: Any holiday with good company is a good one. And as for bad holidays... I don‘t remember any, so I mustn‘t have had any to date (knock on wood)!
Yaqin: What hobbies did you have while at school?
Matjeraie: Music, sports and an unhealthy dose of adolescent mischief. You know the drill!
Yaqin: What was your ambition while schooling?
Matjeraie: I was really keen on music. Still am actually. To play music for a living and get paid for it would be rad.
Yaqin: If you were to live your schooldays all over again, is there anything you would like to change?
Matjeraie: I got caught wiggling naked to the sounds of Michael Learns to Rock in my dorm room once. If I could take that moment back, I‘d do it in a heartbeat.