Last year, I was attending a Lacoste event stuck in the middle of the atrium at Orchard Central. Though we were in an enclosed space inside a mall, this little cozy spot was a playground for extroverts like myself to meet people. Tabitha Nauser performed that night, my best friend and I took photos with her, then we both of met an unexpected character whom none of us ever heard of. With jet black hair, a warm smile and dressed in a black tee, the man who caught our attention was Shaun Tupaz, a radio host/actor/stand up comedian. From that night, we swapped Instas.
Fast forward to fall 2019, I attended two Tupaz stand up shows and realized what it was that drew me to feature him: his sense of humor and friendliness. There was zero artifice. Born and raised in Singapore, the 33-year-old Scorpio is also – his own words – S.I.N.G.L.E – Strong, Independent, Noticeable, Generous, Loving, Enlightened. Though he’s “not so” single, the self-described “raised on Netflix and Spotify” comedian is also a spinning instructor.
We chat about comedy, why having a sense of humor is sexy, body shaming, being a “fatness influencer”, why we shouldn’t go back to toxic people.
How did you get into comedy?
ST: I always thought I had an opinion and I would make myself laugh, but didn’t have enough friends to try it on, so the best platform I found was stand up comedy. Its just you and the mic and a crowd that listens to your every word, perfect for attention seekers like me. (Attention seekers, get into comedy fast, but don’t stay in comedy long, its a tough industry that requires loads of heart, hard work and highbrow)
Who are your favorite comedians and how have they influenced your style?
ST: When I first started, I was very influenced by a lot of the bigger named comics that I grew up watching, which is very dangerous for me. I am an innovator and its easy for me to get influenced in an industry that’s all about originality.
Some names that really impacted me back in the day (5 years ago) – Whitney Cummings, Chris D’Elia, Bo Burnham, Chris Rock, Rodney Dangerfield and many more.
A sense of humor is always one of the sexiest traits that a woman values/looks for in a man. Since you are a comedian, do you think that having a sense of humor has helped you in your dating life?
ST: YES!!! I have nothing else to give, I’m poor, not that sharpest tool in the shed and getting any modelling contracts anytime soon. All I have is my worldview, my twisted sense of humour and my hard work.
I feel that as a woman, I was conditioned that to get a guy, I have to be pretty, have no sense of humor and have a hot body, then I’ll get a hottie. That’s honestly toxic garbage right here. Even in the comedy movies I grew up to like Knocked Up or Superbad, that’s unfortunately something I’ve noticed in one too many movies as I felt that so many female leads are being represented as such: humorless. As a man, where do you stand on this?
ST: That’s totally the opposite: I feel like a sense of humour on a woman is the sexiest thing in the world. That means, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, she’s always up for fun and always sees the bright side to life. We all need that as humans. Of course being “hot” is subjective, and to each his own. But you can’t fake a great sense of humour. That will determine your outlook on life.
Nowadays, there are so many young comedians who are using social media as an asset to build their brand. When you first started out, what are mistakes you’ve encountered? What are some dos and don’ts for aspiring comedians who want to use social media?
ST: Personally I don’t have the confidence to put out all my content on social media. I understand the game and I know its a great platform for getting discovered, (Justin Bieber, 5SOS, Carly Rae Jepsen). I just don’t take rejection so well so for my mental health[‘s] sake, [so] I don’t put it out there. The golden rule for social media is to keep putting out content, it’s about putting in the work and trying your luck. Unfortunately for me, luck doesn’t pay the bills, so I got a job.
Apart from comedy, I like that you have a different approach to fitness where you call yourself a “fatness influencer”. How would you describe it?
ST: FITNESS is EVERYWHERE! It’s popular to be fit and everyone wants in on the game. Everyone that has a nice looking body and knows how to take a decent video is already a fitness influencer. I know that my body isn’t at its best yet and I’m working towards it. And like so many people out there, we don’t have the luxury of time and money to be fit 24/7, some of us have jobs, and stress and relationships – so being a “FATNESS INFLUENCER”, it’s me helping the underdog, it’s for the people who are TRYING, who know that you don’t have to be perfect because not all of us have the genes but we are willing to put in the work. I’m fat, and I am putting in the work. So if you’re not that the fitness level that you want but want to start, then slide in my DM and let’s hook you up.
Body shaming is such a huge part of our society and unfortunately, being told about your weight out in the open is considered normal out here (in Asia). Have you always felt comfortable with your body growing up? If not, what were some ways you blocked out the negative comments?
ST: I don’t! I cry myself to sleep many nights – And I get it, it’s part of our cut throat society, being an aspiring actor, I get told NO more often than not and weight has a huge part to do with it. On the other hand, being a director[,] I understand what casting needs, and what people want, sex sells and unless the people at the top change their views (which is slowly happening because of some larger influencers speaking out) it’s also important that we teach our younger generation about it, so that they grow up, understanding the difference between perfection and beauty, between unhealthy and hot and between nice and kind.
So many male models, reality TV contestants (who appear on dating shows like Too Hot To Handle, Love Island or The Bachelor) and personal trainers on Instagram have this one body type: ripped. Given that you’re also a spinning instructor, have you felt this pressure to be jacked?
ST: I do, and I want to be the fittest I can be for my clients and myself. Because fitness is health! I love working out and I love the feeling I get when I do. But I also love FOOD and BEER! My goal is to find a balance to life. A lot of these people we see on TV and on Instagram have great genes and the moment we start COMPARING ourselves or other people than we lose KINDNESS and we become JUDGY. And what kind of world will that be…oh yeah the one we are already in.
For men who wish to get in shape/build muscle, what’s your go-to workout routine?
ST: I don’t have a GO TO routine, but I love SPIN CLASSES and its a great low impact workout that you can do to burn fat and build muscular endurance. (So, come for mine!) I also love the intensity of CROSS FIT and the burn of HIIT workouts. I have a few of my favorite workouts on my IGTV and my Youtube channel.
Music is so fundamental to fitness. Which songs do you always like to play whenever you work out?
I am a pop princess and a Hip-Hop hipster, I love anything from our queens Britney, Ariana, Carly – and our street kings, Kanye, Jay Z, DMX, Fat Joe, LL Cool J,[and] Nelly. You can always jump on my Spotify account to see what I listen to. 🙂 @Shaun Anthonio Tupaz
What’s your guiltiest pleasure on Spotify?
ST: “Cut To The Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepson
“3” – Britney Spears
“Tearing Up My Heart” – NSYNC
“Larger Than Life”/ “I Want it That Way” – Backstreet Boys
“Girl on TV” – LFO
As a woman, I’ve been watching dating shows like Love Is Blind and learned that there is a lot I need to unlearn, like focusing on chasing after a man for his looks or project a stupid fantasy on a dream partner, but not seeing the reality of who the person really is. Ditto with men. Which dating patterns do you want to unlearn this year?
ST: Thats a great way to put it. Yeah, I do think we as a society have a lot of unlearn. If I had to pick one, it would be to NOT SEEK HAPPINESS from my partner, growing up watching ROM COMs I always thought that when you found someone that “made you happy” then you found happiness. But I have come to discover that YOU MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY, only you can come to an understanding with yourself and likewise for your partner, YOU both come together to SHARE IN EACH OTHERS HAPPINESS. And also, to put that kind of pressure on your partner is not fair. You can’t expect some to MAKE YOU HAPPY ALL THE TIME.
I feel that with this pandemic, it’s making us more desperate for connection. However, it’s so tempting to go back to the people who hurt us while dating. What’s your advice to men who are conflicted about getting in touch with their exes?
ST: I guess it depends on the person. For some of us, its about loneliness, for others its about solitude. I am loving this period. It’s like a holiday for me. But for my fellow brothers who are longing for connections, I say, first turn to friends that you trust, people that have your best interest at heart. Next[,] make new friends. And much as possible, try not to go back to anything toxic.
Lastly, what goals do you wish to accomplish before you turn 35?
ST: The goal for me is to own a house, get fitter, make more people laugh and bring smiles to more faces!