What his heart loves

MUHAMAD ZICKRY MOHD YUSOFF is a man of many talents. He is an actor, singer, dancer, trumpet player and a professional dodgeball player and trainer.

Twenty-five-year-old Zickry was born and raised in Penang. At age 18, he came to Kuala Lumpur to pursue a Diploma in Performing Arts.

Since his graduation, he made Kuala Lumpur his second home, where he is set on carving a name for himself as a musical theatre artiste.


You may have already seen him in a handful of musical theatre shows such as Almost Maine, Fame the Musical, Avenue Q and Malaya Relived: The Fall of Singapore.

Tell us more about yourself.

“My father is a businessman and my mother is into multilevel marketing. My mother is Chinese, while my father is a mixture of Japanese, Arab and possibly Malay.

“They have two sons, and I am the youngest.”

What was your first musical experience like?

“During my school days, I was forced to join a school band and learn how to play the trumpet. I was only eight years old.

“Initially, I hated the idea. Slowly, I began to love the experience.

“I could not express my feelings eloquently through words. But I found music helped me to be expressive.

“I could tell my feelings better through music.”

When was your first experience watching musical theatre?

“My all-time favourite television show is Glee, and my favourite song from the show is Defying Gravity.

“My best friend persuaded me to see the musical theatre production Wicked [when it came to] Singapore, and said that the musical would feature my favourite song.

“I never knew Defying Gravity originated from this musical. I was blown away by the way the Wicked cast performed the song, and by what I saw on stage.

“Because of this play, I wanted to be a musical theatre artiste. I was only 17.”

What is the biggest challenge you faced as a musical theatre artiste?

“I would love to focus on my musical theatre artiste career on a full time basis. I want to put all my energy into it. But I can’t. There are not enough jobs for one to be a full time artiste in this field.

“I have to take a second job. I teach speech and drama to children and young adults from the ages of eight to 13 in an international school.

“But I do not hate teaching. I love the kids and sharing my knowledge.”

How did your parents react to your decision to be a musical theatre artist?

“My father did not raise any objections. But it was a different story with my mother. She was worried I could not make enough money to survive.

“She wanted me to be a lawyer, doctor, or a dentist.

“But I have shown her that I can stand on my two feet. Now, she is a little more accepting of my career choice.”

How do you keep your singing voice good and steady? Do you sing everyday?

“Yes, I do. I will sing in the shower every morning.

“I stay with my older brother. He gets irritated with my singing in the shower, because he will be sleeping at that time and I will be singing at the top of my voice. He used to tick me off.

“Now, I sing less in the shower, and more in the car while driving to work.”

How did you get into dodgeball?

“I was indoors most of the time and constantly playing computer games. My mother wanted me to break this habit of mine. My brother is a sporty person and was involved in dodgeball. My mother forced my brother to take me out of the house to play sports, and he got me involved in dodgeball.

“I hated the sport initially, but slowly began to love it.

“I love the bonding and togetherness among team members in dodgeball. I have even participated in a few international tournaments in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

“When I was there, I took the opportunity to watch international musical theatre shows such as Aladdin, Frozen, The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera. I had a good time watching these shows.”

Some Malaysian musical theatre artists have ventured outside of Malaysia to try their luck on Broadway and the West End. Do you harbour the same dreams?

“Not really. At the moment, I want to focus on establishing myself in Malaysia first.”

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