When it comes to local celebrity IG accounts, there are few as interesting and funny as Thomas Ong's. Remember when the 52-year-old recounted how his Gen Z classmates didn’t know he was famous?

Well, yesterday (Oct 4), Thomas took to his Instagram to reveal why he chose not to break into China’s lucrative showbiz industry back when he was still active as an actor.

He started off by sharing that in recent years, he would usually reply with a laugh that he was “too old” and that it was “too late” for him to try and break into the market there whenever someone brought it up.

But of course, the matter wasn’t just as simple as Thomas made it out to be.

As it turns out, when Thomas was running his business selling corporate gifts over 20 years ago, he often travelled all over China for business.

“At the very least, I’d say I travelled there 10 times a year. In the process, I also had the chance to get to know some friends from production teams, investors, and those who are involved in showbiz,” he wrote.

"I witnessed many Hong Kong and Taiwan celebs who were ‘stationed’ in Shanghai, Beijing, and [the other cities], waiting for the chance to shoot a show. If they didn’t have filming obligations, they’d have to attend dinner parties to network and build relationships and to search for their next opportunity. When the chance arises, they’d have to drum up something, to create buzz so as to get coverage in the entertainment section of news outlets,” Thomas went on to recount.

And of course, attending these dinner parties and social engagements meant that you had to understand the nature of these events too.

“First of all, you have to understand that being invited to attend these dinners or karaoke [parties], was akin to an opportunity that you have to know how to make use of. Either you’re a great drinker with a super high tolerance that eclipses everyone. Or you’re really good at singing and dancing to showcase yourself. [Or] if you know how to share some showbiz-related gossip that leaves everyone cracking up with laughter, then congrats to you, you’ll have a promising future,” wrote Thomas.

“There are many unspoken rules that you have to understand, accept and participate in. In comparison, local [showbiz] is too innocent. If you wish to survive in a world where good and evil mix about freely, where there’s an abundance of talented people, you have to have the guts to go all in. Luck, benefactors, strength, your attitude and innate skill. You need all of these [to succeed],” he wrote.