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Underneath the glitz and the glamour of the entertainment industry, there’s a lot of hard work, struggles, and failure that most do not see. Understandably, making it to stardom is incredibly difficult, and some may even say it’s harsh and brutal. Regardless, it’s no walk in the park even for the most talented of stars.
For those of you aspiring to make it in Singapore – or even Hollywood – one day, here are 5 tips and advice on how to survive the entertainment industry.
1. Embrace failure
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If you’ve studied Chinese at any point of your life, you’ve probably heard the saying “failure is the mother of success”. The entertainment industry is harsh and challenging, and the reality of it is that most people fail numerous times before making it big.
You may have heard of Shaun Chen, a popular Malaysian actor based in Singapore who starred in the drama series Holland V. Before finding success, Chen worked a myriad of jobs from a car painter to cable technician, and even failed numerous auditions. After trying and trying again, he was finally called to film a few dramas, and that was how his acting gig started.
So don’t be discouraged if you’ve been failing several auditions or getting zero callbacks. Keep working hard to improve on your skills and try again. You’ll make it slowly, but steadily.
2. Persevere on
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“You should not give up and be happy with whatever chances given to you,” is a quote by Singapore veteran actress Zoe Tay. You may find yourself in a difficult situation during your career, but it’s always important to press on and persevere! Even if you don’t get the best roles or the jobs you want to do, Tay advices that the process is what makes one become a better version of themselves. So if you’ve been assigned the role of a tree during your school play, just remember – persevere on, keep branching out (pun intended), and it will make you a better you!
3. Be thirsty – to learn
Photo Credit: Cho Jun Ming
Before film maker Cho Jun Ming successfully started creating films, he started off as a small part-time actor with limited film-making knowledge and skillsets. While his grades couldn’t get him into a film-making school, Cho taught himself by watching YouTube tutorials and visiting film sets to gain more experience. If you want to thrive in the entertainment sector, it’s important to keep learning and honing your skills to stay relevant with the times!
4. Network and use your connections
Photo Credit: Angeline Chung
There is truth in the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” On your way to the top, it’s important to make as many friends as possible and maintain these connections. You may need some help from people you know to build a successful career!
According to Angeline Chung – a New York based actress born and raised in Singapore, industry referrals are incredibly important and you should use the strong networks you build to protect yourself.
5. Get proper training!
Photo Credit: Yahoo News Singapore
Even Singaporean heartthrob Pierre Png needed professional training when he first started out in the entertainment industry. When the Crazy Rich Asians actor found himself in his first movie role, he found himself untrained and overwhelmed by the harsh reality of actual film production. Knowing that he lacked proper training, he decided to sign up for basic acting workshops. The moral of the story? Baby steps first. Register for some classes before sending out those audition tapes!
If you don’t know where to start, check out these online Zoom performing arts workshops.