By: Dean Joannou, Staff Writer
Professor of film and acting at Post Robbie Tan played Billie Ross, a character in the HBO miniseries “Mare of Easttown”. The series was nominated for 16 Emmys this year and won four.
“To see the show was a part of the Emmys, it was very surreal,” Tann said.
Tann started his fourth year of teaching at Post this September, and wasn’t quite sure how students and viewers would react to his part in the show.
“The fact that people did get into it was incredible and to see those actors be commended for their performance, it was really special,” Tann said.
Senior musical theatre major Ricky Dobbs was surprised to see his professor on television.
“It’s really interesting to pull up a TV show on HBO Max, and then turn around and take a class from someone we just saw on TV,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs values Tann’s knowledge and experience working on a TV production, and says that it gives him a unique perspective as a professor.
“He speaks from first-hand experience most of the time and provides us with scenarios from his own journey in class. He blows our mind constantly revealing industry tricks in the filmmaking process,” Dobbs said.
The actor and professor takes pride in preparing his students for their careers in the constantly evolving field of acting.
“I do a lot to transition students from having a theater focus for the majority of their time at the school into this whole new territory of TV and film,” Tann said.
Students appreciate Tann’s incorporation of television and film directing into his teaching. Senior acting major Steele Whitney is grateful for the opportunity to learn from someone who is so knowledgeable.
“He is teaching us a lot about the art of film acting, and it is really great that it all comes from his first-hand experience,” said Whitney. “It is really exciting to be so close to someone who deserves all the positive attention.”
Dobbs echoed Whitney’s feelings and has been very receptive to Tann’s approach to teaching.
“Every class he is putting us behind the camera to help give us a look into how a film set may be run and to help us learn the craft of TV acting because it differs so much from the theatre training a lot of us have been focusing on for the last three or so years,” Dobbs said.
Tann emphasizes that he is hoping to savor this moment while also looking to the future as an actor. As he reflects on his journey as an actor, he stresses the importance of perseverance.
“When people graduate there’s thousands and thousands and thousands of actors; if you can just hang in for 10 years, your odds are going to be significantly better because lots of people are going to quit, lots of people are going to give up,” he said.