Things aren’t all as they seem and this is something that is widely understood and experienced yet people always tend to take the surface value of most things and never stop to think that there could be more than meets the eye. Let’s face it. More often than not, there IS more than meets the eye.
In the case of my current endeavour towards “stardom”, there’s a good lot who are familiar with the industry constantly reminding me how tough the industry is. Then, there are those seem to think being a celebrity is all about talent and luck.
The first lot; reminding me how tough it is, are not wrong. In fact, they are completely spot on. This industry is tough. But then again, when you want to truly succeed in life and achieve life-changing goals, what isn’t tough?
Tell me something I don’t know! No really… tell me something I don’t know. I am always a willing listener and I would take any insightful advice in this industry. I have been in the entertainment industry for over a year now and I’ve certainly learned a lot but I am certain there is much more to learn.
But truly, success… REAL success… won’t just fall on your lap. Frankly speaking, if that happens to you, it just simply would not feel like success. Henceforth, the more challenging it is, the more satisfaction you get in earning your winnings.
As for the other lot that seem to think everything gets handed to me or successful celebrities on a silver platter, let’s just say they’re pretty off tangent. It is true that you need talent and luck to survive in this industry but without passion and hard-work to go along with that, there is only so far you can go.
In my case, I wouldn’t say that I’ve been particularly lucky or unlucky thus far. I am appreciative of all the people who have helped me get as far as I have and all the support along the way and without all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am. But where I am is not where I want to stay.
I am on a mission to challenge myself in ways that I can only imagine in my head. Once, I was afraid to dream too big. I mean, I was always a dreamer… But never in my life did I ever think I could be this close to materializing my dreams. Okay, so maybe I’m not that close. But at least I’m on my way!
So I dreamt! And I put my dreams into paper. And I am currently materializing bits and pieces of it to the best of my abilities.
Just to be clear, my dream isn’t to just be a pop-star or just be a celebrity. Firstly, not only do I aim to achieve the goal of being an established artiste in pop music (a.k.a pop star)… being a celebrity means much more to me than being recognized on the streets and living the glitz and glam lifestyle.
All those things are definitely all fine and dandy plus I wouldn’t say no to glitz and glam, I’ll have you know!
But what’s really important to me is being celebrated for a reason. I don’t want to just be a pretty face with a ga-billion followers on Instagram posting distorted selfies, designer handbags, and exotic getaways. Not that I’m dissing those who do post those things… by all means, I’m not! I mean, I post those kinda stuff too at times! Perhaps not distorted selfies but selfies no less… and I don’t exactly own that many designer handbags to snap a different one every other day. But seriously, if that’s all there is to you and those postings are the majority reason why you have followers/fans… then… great for you. But that’s not for me.
I want to write stories… of real life experiences that can change people’s lives even if it’s at a minuscule level.
I want to write lyrics… of my thoughts and emotions (because I’m emo like that :p) and I want to be able to touch people’s hearts the way some lyrics have touched mine.
I want to make sweet, sweet music… like real music, haha! No pun intended whatsoever. Seriously though, I want to compose great music and be able to perform and be able to signify messages; be it motivational or even the I know how you feel kinds; and move people the way performers have moved me.
Ultimately, if I’m going to be a “celebrity” (a term coined far too frivolously especially in Malaysia), I want to be celebrated for the right reasons.
Another thing I cannot stress enough is that although my close friends and family know how seriously un-glam it is climbing the ladder to stardom (common misconception…), a lot of other people seem to not realize that stardom really does not happen overnight!
If you know the kind of crap I have to go through every single day, and you were for a second either thinking one of these two things:
– I want to be a celebrity
– Man, being a celebrity is awesome! Seems pretty easy. If Justin Bieber can do it, so can I
….Really, really sit down and have a good think through about it. Perhaps there were some people who truly came to stardom by utter luck, like whats-her-face that sang that stupid Friday song for instance, but if you’re just like the rest of the world… it’s a whole lot of hard work and repetitive crap you have to go through every single day. So if you are in it for reals, the number one thing you gotta have that will bring you all the way is PASSION.
Without passion, there is no chance I can get through the day taking in all the shit the industry spits at you.
Here’s a breakdown of the challenges I face on a regular basis pursuing my dreams in this industry:
- Harsh criticism and scrutiny
This is not the same as constructive criticism. Constructive criticism I can take. Some people just want to bring you down because that’s what brings them up. When you think about it this way, it makes those really harsh yet not constructive criticisms less of a hit. But I have you know, criticism hurts. No one likes being criticized. Constructive or not constructive… it WILL strike a nerve. But I get over it. And I do my best to take it all in and use the good ones to improve myself (there are some criticism that attempt to be constructive but fail miserably…).
- The nowhere stage
Being in the stage where you’re trying to make it is seriously, seriously tough. Especially when you’re hit with undesirable questions such as, “So, what do you do?” It is not easy to define and summarize my current status because it is pretty unique. I mean, I did a bunch of stuff in this industry as is, so it’s hard to say I’m just a TV host… or a model… or a singer… or an actor… But I HAVE done TV hosting, modeled, sang, acted… And to say I’m a public figure at this time? I just don’t think I’ve reached that point yet (hence, my earlier comment on how Malaysians use the word “celebrity” far too frivolously). I can’t wait to get out of this nowhere stage and get to the stage where when people meet me, they won’t have to ask what I do. They’ll just know 😉
- Then comes the feeling of uncertainty of what the future holds
This is always a scary thing. As much as I want to chase my dreams and am willing to take necessary risks to do so, for someone as risk adverse as I am… this is a pretty major challenge for me. I like safety nets and plan Bs and back-ups and just-in-cases… but this time around, I feel like I’ve gone all in. I mean, sure, there’s a bunch of stuff I can do if I don’t make it. But I’ve come to a point where I just simply would not be able to live with myself if I decided to give up and not give it my best. If things don’t work out, let it be because I cannot overcome a particular hurdle in my path because it is not within my capabilities or my willingness (like having to sleep your way up to the top kinda thing… not my style).
- If you think criticism or uncertainty is bad… trying having to go through mini failures over… and over… and over again
In this industry, you are constantly pitching yourself as a talent to get jobs (castings). On average, for every 10-20ish castings you go, you may only get ONE job. That’s a potential of 19 or more rejections to get that one mini success. Of course, when you’re big enough, you get sought after and you don’t need to attend castings. But even big names up-to-date still go in to cast for roles or pitch for jobs. It’s the nature of the business. Only the top tier celebrities won’t do it as often or don’t actually need to… but in order to get there, you gotta plough through this on a regular basis.
- And the mother of all challenges that is putting a serious halt in my career advancement… Having to learn a new language that should’ve been my mother tongue
Now this is the cherry on top of my cake of challenges. My incapability of speaking Mandarin is now biting me in the ass really, really hard. I have turned down far too many roles and opportunities due to this and well… better late than never I say! So now, day in day out… I try to immerse myself in studying Mandarin. Even if things don’t work out in the Chinese industry, at least I would have gained a skill, which is always handy.
So there it is. A little more insight to what I’m really all about and what I have to face currently.
I will continue to monument my journey because if I really do make it, all of this would be a pretty epic read. If I don’t… well, marketing can somehow turn it into an epic read nonetheless, HAHA. Kidding. If I don’t then, well, I’ll be extremely curious as to why. And perhaps, someone else can learn from my mistakes and use my methods that actually did work? In that case, at least I’ve made some sort of difference 🙂
Ultimately, I just want people to know that…
All that glitters is not gold.
There is more than meets the eye.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Looks can be deceiving.
The cowl does not make the monk.
You get the point.