After 7 years in the industry I still have much to learn. I believe it is an ongoing process whereby one should never stop no matter what age or experience they’ve obtained. What is written below are my humble nuggets of wisdom accumulated over the years from the entertainment industry, and I hope this article may help the reader one way or another.
As Shu in Netflix’s Marco Polo
I shall start with this – The glamorous aspect of the creative indsutry of showbiz, music or being infront of the camera may attract some to take the route in the entertainment line. What people often forget is that the entertainment industry – Be it modelling, acting, singing or hosting etc. is like any other industry and has it’s pros and cons in it’s own right.
When I began my career as a teen, there were no guidebooks. This piece is written from a little part of my knowledge over 7 years of experience in the industry and the points below have been battle tested – Because unfortunately for me, I acquired most of them by making mistakes and correcting them, usually realising after the fact that there was a better way to affect a better outcome.
Will try to keep this article as truthful as possible without sugar coating anything, hence I’m sorry in advance if I may sound negative or offend anyone.
Passion is not Enough
Behind the scenes of “Gantung”- A film for Astro First to be released on 2017. I played the character Janice.
Often times we hear about how “Passion” brings “Effort” which therefore brings “ Success”.
Hence the formula : Passion > Effort > Success
Let me tell you now that the formula above is not true and more often than not it is a sure way for disappointments.
Here is why, honestly ask yourself if you have ever lost a passion before because it was not successful? Was it because it made you poor or did you look for gratifications that never came true?
Thing is, when something goes out of plan or is not successful you might and will suddenly find yourself losing passion.
It is hard to love or feel passionate about something that does more harm than good. Passion is ever fleeting as you mature and are exposed to more things in life.
That is because passion alone is a feeling, and like love – it sometimes does not last.
That is when you make a choice – A choice to be loyal – A choice to stay and be persistent.
If you do choose the entertainment industry, my advice is to put your focus at something you can be good at. Chances are, when you are good at something you will enjoy what you are doing and when you enjoy it, you can be passionate about it and therefore increase the chances of success.
Hence a more sustainable and practical formula would be:
“Success” brings “Effort” which therefore becomes “Passion”
However Effort and Passion are not enough to succeed. In a nutshell the complete equation to success is:
Strategy + Talent + Faith + Relationships + Luck + Tenacity
These are key to sustainable success in the entertainment industry and dare I say, any other industry you choose.
Understand it is a Shallow Industry
That is why depending on the shoot or project, a big chunk of time and even hours could be spent on the make-up table to achieve a certain look.
While what is on the outside is not the only thing – Looks are still undeniably the first impression for anyone and everything.
With that said, understand that it is not the entire package, just part of it.
However, putting yourself in the industry is giving other people allowance to constantly compare you and critcise the way sing, act, talk , behave, dress, and yes – The way you look. The public has the right and you cannot do anything about it.
Let me reiterate – Looks are not everything. This holds true in acting especially, whereby there are projects and roles where there are specific look requirements to play a certain character.
However, on a general note, it is still no doubt an industry that puts quite a lot of emphasis on looks.
I’ve personally been told numerous times throughout my acting and hosting career that I have to lose weight. I’ve heard it so many times that I am almost immune to the scrutiny of my weight.
But you know what? If they say I’m chubbier than I might have been previously – They are probably right. But how I react after that is completely my choice.
Understand that what people say about us is beyond our control but we hold the power to either do something about it ( in my case, I lost weight through exercise) or embrace it ( And be all about the base, no treble ).
Which brings me to the next point…..
Accept and Understand your Capability and Limitations
Because we are talents and not doctors, here we are learning how to hold operating utensils properly using paintbrushes, which they will then use special effects and technology to make it look like we’re holding operating utensils.
This point actually applies in any industry. Like all humans are, we all have our limitations.
We cannot do all and be all otherwise we might end up being jacks-of-all-trades and masters-of-none.
My advice is just to make sure you put in your entire focus and your very best in the area of your choice and capability but do not be afraid to test your limitations.
The world is ever changing and is more acepting of different concepts of ideas or preference that might be absolutely different back in the days. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and simply be the first person to start something new.
Just remember that whatever you do has to be sustainable in order to be successful.
Read back point number 1.
To be Continued
I shall conclude here as my first part of this article. These are some nuggets of wisdom I have accumulated over the years and I shall continue in the next article.