An Interview with Max Tiu: Following Your Passion

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by EntrepNegosyo, December 2013

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Max Tiu has been in the events industry for over 16 years, beginning his career in hosting and singing way back in the late nineties. Who would have thought that performing in events could be enterprising? In fact, he left his stable job in Makati to go full time in this endeavor, which wasn’t even particularly high in demand around that time.

“I started singing and hosting in weddings, debuts and birthday events in the Filipino-Chinese community”, says the trilingual host who is known for his good command of the English, Mandarin (including Fukien- a Chinese dialect) and Filipino languages.

“The experience I gained in the corporate world helped a lot in developing my professionalism. In fact, I was the very first Filipino-Chinese emcee to come up with contracts for my services, at a time when verbal agreements were all that was needed to close a deal”.

Over the years, Max Tiu has successfully crossed over to social events for Filipinos both local and overseas, foreign nationals, even corporate events landing him jobs with the likes of Reader’s Digest Asia, Globe Telecom, and various special events for five star hotels like the Edsa Shangri-La Manila, Mandarin Oriental Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino, Resort’s World Manila, amongst others.

“I never thought that emceeing and singing would bring me this far. All I wanted was to perform, as I cannot imagine life without music”. As most Filipino-Chinese emcees are required to sing, Max Tiu is one of the very few who can really sing and deliver an impactful performance. Having been blessed with a rich and vibrant singing voice, his can easily transition from light pop, R&B and standards, to challenging Broadway pieces. It also doesn’t hurt that he possesses a deep speaking voice and impeccable diction in both English and Mandarin.

As in any business, delivering high quality of service is one of his keys to success. “I do not believe in overpricing, as clients should get what they paid for… if not even more”. According to his clients and peers, apart from being a dynamic host and vocal powerhouse, Max Tiu is also known in the social events industry as a creative game master. He develops tailor fitted game concepts appropriate for the events he handles, and comes up with personalized programs for his clients.

When asked about his strength, he says “I think it would be my passion for my craft and dedication to perfection. Though I understand that no one can be perfect, I believe there is absolutely no harm in striving for it”. When asked what his weaknesses are, he replied “That would be not knowing how to ‘sell’ myself… I know that marketing is of utmost importance in any business, but it is just weird for me to go around telling people how skilled I am in what I do… so I’d rather let my work speak for itself”.

No doubt, Max Tiu is one of the few who is big on repeat clients because they are assured of the same, if not even better quality of service and fresher ideas each time. “I do this all the time, and I don’t want to get tired of myself… I remind myself that every event is unique and I treat each one of them as so”.

This may come as a surprise to most people who have seen him work his magic on stage. “It doesn’t matter if I am faced with a crowd of fifty, a hundred or a thousand. Up to this day, I suffer from a great deal of stage fright… I don’t want to mess up”. One just can’t help notice the perfectionist in him and his genuine concern on the quality of his craft. His enthusiasm and passion say it all. “The fulfillment is in knowing that you have made people very happy and their events the best ones possible”.

Despite the attention he gets due to the nature of his job, Max says he never considers himself as the star of his events. To him, the clients always are. No wonder more and more are seeking his services.

“For me, being entrepreneurial means being a risk-taker. It takes courage to leave a stable job and to choose the uncertain. But now that I have been in this industry for quite some time, I can safely say that if you pursue your passion, put in your best effort and hard work, the money will follow”.

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