Monday, January 26, 2009

How to be a Fear-Proof Artiste

In Malaysia, expect the most trivial thing to be a huge HUGE phenomena for others to poke you on. We are supposedly very cultural. So there must be NO revealing clothing for local artistes for the fear of being banned. But really, I started being famous for that one revealing part, even without me knowing it to be such a big deal! But I am thankful for it anyway. I suppose our entertainment industry aren't professional in many ways, and especially in the way of thinking, being NOT that "cultural". One painful incident encouraged me to write this article on the topic above. I just completed a shoot for a Singapore commercial, and was packing my stuff to go home. The casting agent was interestingly irritable, for he asked me all sorts of incriminating questions like sex and other questions in that vein. Excuse me, when does that has to do how well I can perform as a talent? Besides, it's not the talent agent who selected me for the job, it's the client. So talents, bear that in mind, and remember you don't owe this agent a thing or even have to justify yourself for them. After that, that silly casting agent "threatened" me that he will reduce my talent fees (as if I give a farthing, after his questionable attitude), so as to impose some form of "fear". After the shoot was completed, I walked down through some steps, which was strewn all over with camera and lighting wires, and got my angle twisted in the most painful way imaginable. And that was 2 days before Chinese New Year! So you see guys, our entertainment industry is very much revolved in this fear factor, inducing fear and extracting results from fear. And believe me, NO results extracted from fear and punishment is ever good.

I'm compelled again to write this article as a form of salutation to all working artistes in Malaysia who have to endure so many types of unnecessary "fear" and trouble. We have to be constantly fearful of our attitude and behavior offscreen for the producers can translate that as what will be onscreen. Can they tell the difference between onscreen and offscreen? I'm afraid not. They will see a talent and typecast him or her as being attitude A, and will treat the talent as such. So how to be a fear-proof artiste? As you know this article is meant to HELP, not to condemn other people. And hopefully below are some tips that could help:

* Be NEUTRAL in all circumstances. That means if a casting agent or producer expressed they are excited to have you, try to be cordial and at the same time give them a benefit of a doubt that they might not see you the way you want them to. Or promised you the job at the end. It also means you need to delete any preconceived ideas or judgements, prejudices you might have on the other party.
* Take your TIME to grow as an artiste, and don't rush to be one. It takes more than just good looks and talents to secure a job. Take one small job at a time, and grow from there. A beautiful tree doesn't just happen over a day.
* Be GOOD to yourself and other people. It is not about getting ahead in the industry. There is NO such thing. It is about being absolutely professional in your way of thinking and attitude. If you say bad things about other artistes, the words eventually comes back to haunt you. If you're good to yourself and other people, why should you be fearful of how others may treat you? Being good to yourself here means believing in your own capabilities, the willingness to learn and have an open-mind, staying positive and energised.

The opposite of fear is COURAGE. Therefore, when there is courage, nothing is impossible to achieve. Let your mind be expanded to the possibilities, even your current state as an artiste is left much to be desired. Hey, it's your attitude that will take you far. I am only speaking from experience and sharing these tips. I've seen so much fear in my fellow colleagues, and feel they are fearing for nothing. Please be brave in whatever your endeavour. Others may spit at your effort and condemn you for being who you are. But that's who you are! And who you are is what makes you stand out from the rest. Sometimes we need some form of lesson or artiste training course to lead us in the right courageous direction. If got the chance to learn, take it. Your learning further solidifies your courage and fear-proof your artiste potential.