Fascinated by the first character he played in the musical West Side Story, Choi Hon-yick adopted the name BabyJohn and has kept it for four years. Now 17, and about to study drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), he continues to make a name for himself. BabyJohn's latest triumph was as Joseph in the drama school's version of a famous musical which dates back some 40 years. Students from the HKAPA's 2004 summer school staged three shows of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat earlier this month. The musical is based on a biblical tale which tells the story of Joseph, the spoiled son of Jacob, his brothers' jealousy and how he overcomes many obstacles including being sold into slavery. But this wasn't BabyJohn's first brush with the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice hit. As a youngster, he saw the colourful and energetic musical performed by an Australian troupe in Hong Kong. Along with 90 other budding actors, he auditioned for the part of Joseph even though he was not confident about his singing and dancing skills. He was surprised to be chosen. BabyJohn still remembers the dancing coach laughing at him at the first rehearsal because he was so stiff. 'We trained every day from 10am to 5pm for three weeks. But I had to do extra training because I had to improve my singing and dancing. 'After all, I had to sing 16 songs,' he says. But it was all worth it, he adds, because the audience was impressed by his performance. BabyJohn began to show an interest in drama in secondary school. Going on stage always excited him and he made his first foray into acting in school plays. 'I like acting, especially in dramas. The feeling is fantastic. I feel great about being able to share the character with the audience,' says BabyJohn, whose decision to join the HKAPA has the full backing of his parents. He says he learnt a lot from playing Joseph. 'Joseph had a lot of setbacks in his life, but always managed to see the bright side of things. I didn't understand this until I played the part. Rather than sitting around feeling sad, I now know how to cheer myself up.' He says he played different characters in school productions, which gave him a better understanding of life. He realises there are many people, like Joseph, who become successful after setbacks. 'It's more likely that people will succeed after hard work, although not everyone is lucky enough to achieve what he or she wants in their lifetime,' he says. Although BabyJohn doesn't see himself as a Christian, he believes in God. He also believes there is always a way out of trouble, and that God helps those who help themselves. As for the future, he is determined to enjoy every minute of his life as an actor. 'I'm passionate about acting. I want to be the best I can,' BabyJohn says.