In terms of arts (music, dance, drawing, acting)
A term only less than 1% of the world really understands.
One has to take so much courage to give up and fight for everything they are passionate for.
Unless you're extremely close to this person(maybe even not) or the person himself, you'll never know how much this person is going through...
99% of my entertainer friends out there DO NOT seek to become someone famous.
All we dream for is for our passion and talent to be recognised and feel appreciated; just like any other job out there (I'm sure you like to complimented and recognised in your trade as well). Also, they would like to express and share their love in a more... I would say, unconventional way.
I chose freelance singing and hosting because I realise I really love doing these more than selling clothes at Bugis Street, more than giving tuition everyday, more than an office job and doors are open for me; Even if these doors are very small ones, I was willing to give it a shot. It really feels good that there are friends out there who are supportive of what I'm doing and credit me for it.
"Mint, your facebook timeline seems like you're doing so many fun things, enjoying your life out there."
"You no need to work de hor, everyday like doing nothing but playing."
"Get a life. Please go get a PROPER JOB..."
Aren't doing hosting and singing gigs proper jobs?
So what is considered a 'proper job' to you?
Who says I'm playing all the time?
I simply choose to share all the happy moments more than the struggling ones.
My Singing Journey
I started my singing/hosting CAREER at a relatively later age, 26.
Till now I can't believe that I threw myself in without any prior knowledge in music NOR hosting but after I heard true stories from seniors regretting not chasing their dreams, I decided to give it a shot anyway.
From the day I remember, whenever I knew a friend or a neighbour was moody, I'd sing a song I learnt from listening to the radio/casette tape to cheer him/her up.
Even as a kid, I was already humming my own tunes in the bathroom, at the kitchen window, on my bed, on my way home from school... It's more like turning my thoughts and feelings into a catchy tune. When I realise I can easily churn out lyrics and new melodies, I wrote my first 'official' song in my first diary book. I was 11 then and I haven't stop since. My family couldn't afford any music classes for me so I joined my primary school choir to learn how to sing.
I joined my first singing competitions at the age of 10 and 12, recommended by my choir teacher and mum's best friend respectively. Both times, I got into the finals but didn't win anything. I was disheartened and thought that my singing wasn't good enough. Family members would then nagged at me, saying that it was a waste of their money buying tickets to come support my singing contest. When I first entered secondary school, my new peers commented that my singing was very 'opera' and that singing wasn't my forte. I suffered even more heartbreaks when I couldn't pass extra-curriculum-activity singing auditions.
My confidence in singing was shattered and I decided to give up entirely even though I saw singing as a crucial part of my life.
It wasn't until when I was 20 years old that I plucked up enough courage to join another singing competition. My buddy, who died in a tragic bike accident that same year (I wrote about our friendship here). He had been persuading me for the longest time to pick up singing again.
I kept trying but never made it pass the 2nd round.
I still felt lousy and those bad encounters in the past continued to haunt me.
I was truly impressed by the F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 4 Crews who danced so confidently and shone on the dance floor at the prelims and finals even when they are faced with 1000+++ audience and international judges (whom they know are judging and grading them)!
I kept screaming and cheering for every single one of the dancers because they have my FULL respect for the courage and for doing their best.
Here's a video showing the highlights of all 22 FNNSDD4 finalists who shone that night, done by MinutemanSG:
How did they do it?
Aren't they scared?
How did they overcome this?
After interviewing 2 of the teams, Roosevelt and Decada, I found my answer and inspiration:
It's the DREAM that they possess to dance with one another, to be recognised and feel appreciated, to love and do something they really love to and share the passion.
I knew this answer all along...
Along my singing journey, in the year 2009, I met 2 very good friends through a friend name Wenwei. These 2 very good friends are Evan from Flutter Music and Desmond Wong. They continued to help me grow in music with jamming sessions. Thank you very much, Nave and Silly Big Guy!
Evan also introduced me to All About Eve Bar in 2010, where I met the bar owner, Won, who allowed me to perform at his bar weekly even though I had ZERO performing experience. He even gave me pointers on how I can further improve my vocals.
"Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't worry so much and just enjoy yourself here."
Won (Long Papa) is my very first music instructor, so to say, he still is. :)
Struggling between work and music, very few people believed I could come this far except for a few closest friends of mine and my mum.
One day, a friend on Facebook saw my Youtube covers and approach me to sing for his wedding. He urged me to give it a try since it's a simple affair and that I knew most of his guests. KENDI, I am really thankful to you for inviting me to sing at your wedding.
THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN MY SINGING, BRO.
Year 2011 and 2012 was a great year for me where more doors were tapped.
Thanks to Gim, I was invited to co-host a LIVE mandarin talkshow online with him: Liveomusic. My first hosting experience and it was very encouraging. He gave me A LOT OF courage to speak up in front of the camera. Thanks Gim, for always remembering me and give me chances to grow with you.
A few months later, I was invited to host my very first public event, Crocs Fashion Show. Thank you Kaye, for giving me this golden opportunity!
So you see, I really wouldn't be where I am without these friends and kind souls who gave me a chance. My experience couldn't have widen without them.
As the opportunities grew, I couldn't cope with my full tuition assignments and gigs at the same time. I have to focus on one and decided on doing purely gigs to gain more exposure.
V-Singer Singing Contest
Finally last year, I took part in the V-Singer singing contest organised and held by Ocean Butterflies.
Imagine how elated I was when I was one of the lucky selected candidates to go through their intensive V-singer music course after failing so many so many times!
A performance with my V singer classmate + V singer bestie, Soki Goh.
My eyes hurt for the next 2 days from crying too much when I received my graduation certificate -- My first vocal course in a music school and AT THE AGE OF 26.
Never too late!
At this point, I miss my classmates so badly!!!
From there, I was opened to even more opportunities strongly supported by Ocean Butterflies Music Forest and this very wonderful girl name Ginny.
I was invited to join the V-singer Elite Shiseido make-up class where I learnt how to do BASIC stage makeup. Honestly, I'm not a very make-up person. Even to date, I don't know how to apply my eyeshadow and whether I am applying it right.
The instructor did half of my face and I'm supposed to follow what she did with my other half.
Guys need to look groom too!
The final product, here:
Practice makes perfect:
Then on another day, they got me into the BASIC Hairstyling class where I learnt how to do up some BASIC styles for show:
I recently joined their OB Vocal Ambassador pProgramme and Hanrey was one of them too.
Purple top: Hanrey Low from Ah Boys To Men
Very sadako here because my hair was too thick to apply the hair spray!
The curls were so bouncy they look delicious!
There, the final product:
Left: Stella Fang, Me, Ting Lin, Sellyne
Tis was me on my 26th birthday:
This is me in April 2013:
There's still so much to work on.
I'm saving up to get my teeth done: Braces or Invisalign I haven't decide.
To further improve myself,
I'm still taking vocal classes with Ocean Butterflies under their Vocal Ambassador 2013 Programme.
In addition, I've signed up for their song writing course (WDA Music Career Programme) as well as keyboard classes.
EVERY SINGLE THING is new to me, from reading a note to using a music software.
As I'm writing this post, I'm crying because I feel too fortunate; I'm able to to do what I love to do.
I'm crying also because at entry level, I am struggling with my music assignments, keyboard class assignments, vocal class assignments and blog assignments in between my preparation for my host scripts and upcoming artiste campaign.
I know it is but I'm enjoying every bit of it and I've never felt that I want to learn so much in my life.
But isn't that how it is supposed to be like at entry level?
Whatever doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.
I'm going to overcome these challenges.
I have to work harder and catch up!
To all entertainers out there: