POSSE with love


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When I was much younger, I had no idea what getais were about. I would go along if my parents brought me. This one time was memorable. The stage was set up just under my block, and I vaguely remembered it didn’t have a huge set-up, or singers with elaborate costumes like those I saw in the movie “881”. Maybe it wasn’t that profitable in my area. Whatever it was, they ran out of gigs for the night and the emcee decided to open the stage to the public for anyone who would like to go up and sing. My parents egged me on. Partly because they’d heard me sing karaoke at home regularly to the oldies they bought, and partly because I think my dad wanted to have fun with me. In retrospect, he said he didn’t think I would do it. I must have been about 10, 11 or 12 years old.

I’m no stranger to performing on stage, because I’ve always been part of school acts since kindergarten. In primary school, I even came up with cheesy choreography to Disney theme songs and performed with my classmates to the entire school on special occasions. But I’ve never sung on stage before. Still it didn’t bother me and I didn’t think it was going to be any different from what I’d done before. I bravely asked the music guy if he had my favourite song, and he did. Oblivious to how I would sound, or what people would think, I went on stage, dressed in T-shirt and shorts and slippers, and sang 《我这样爱你到底对不对》(Is it right for me to love you?). Come to think of it, it must have looked quite funny, a little girl singing an adult love song!  But there was absolutely no pressure, and thankfully also no boos that night.

Thinking back to those days, it seems like growing up somehow destroyed that part of me that would just go ahead and do something without worrying about other people’s judgements. I never really had stage fright, but now as an adult the stakes are higher. Every public performance is fraught with concerns from everyone involved and inevitable stress arises. So much so that it can take away the fun of entertaining.

It’s been many years since that maiden stage singing experience, so naturally I was scared out of my wits for last weekend’s performance for POSSE at Plaza Singapura. You might think that after so many years of being in this industry, such performances are nothing unusual, I’m telling you, experience doesn’t make it any less unnerving. For many years, I’ve had more people discourage me from public singing than prod me supportively like my parents did back then. Discouragement breeds fear and insecurity. Maybe it’s in our Asian culture not to “lose face”, but the obsession with preserving “face” comes at the expense of shattering personal confidence.

When I went to see my teacher, my cracked confidence showed in my performance. I was too afraid and couldn’t simply let go and trust my own voice. She had to tell me not to beat myself up based on demoralising comments given to me by people who weren’t necessarily in a better position to comment. It sounded a bit harsh when I first heard it, but that’s the kind of person she is. She won’t leave me any mercy if it is the truth. I was reminded once again to be discerning to what others say. The odds will always be against us, but it is what we make of it.

Last Saturday, I went up on stage and sang “Love Story”, in spite of much deterrence. I am almost relieved to have gone ahead with it. I want to be true to the people who were there to support me and it doesn’t matter that I wasn’t pitch perfect (I’m not trying to sell albums here), because I know I gave my best.

Sure, there will always be room for improvement. That way, we all have something to look forward to next time. 🙂

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Jolliteers with the lighted board while I was on stage with Freaky Z, Young and Daniel Ong. Thank you all for coming so early. And Suet for flying all the way from KL.

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With the first prize winners of the BFF Picture contest.

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Singing "Love Story"

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22 responses to “POSSE with love

  1. This sounds like a story for a feature. Someone should write it!

  2. Hi Joanne,
    This is my first comment on your blog.
    I love the way you elaborate in your entries..
    Perfectly done! I’ll never grew sick and tired of dropping by to read your latest entries.

    Honestly, I had a great time reading your current entry on the POSSE event. The way you tried reminiscing about your olden days.. Well, it’s great to know that you had the bravery and courage to do something which people think you shouldn’t have. It’s amazing on how you managed to overcome all odds by at least trying to go up on stage to sing eventhough it’s not your forte.

    It’s good to know the other side of you. 😀

    Yes, you’re right! There’s definitely room for improvements. Sometimes we do receive negative critics or were made a laughing stock of ourselves on our first attempt, but it does help to improvise a certain factor that is lacking in us so that we can perform better in future.

    But whatever it is.. as your Malay fan, I do support you and I hope you’ll never stop trying something new and impress us with a memorable and remarkable performance.

    Go Joanne Peh!!! 😉

    • Thanks Ridhwan,

      I appreciate the time and effort you took to read my entry and compose the comment. Your encouragement will continue to fuel better work from me. 🙂

      Love,
      Joanne

  3. haha…1st to ‘grab’ my board was pierre, at plaza sing, Daniel ‘grab’ my L.E.D board…hv u tot of having your very own album ? hehe

    • Hi Rina,

      Yes, I’ve toyed with the idea and sounded some people out, but met with more discouragement than encouragement. I’ve been told the stakes are much higher and in this era of Internet, albums don’t sell as well, and the sales of albums become an indication of your popularity, so there is the stress of raking in figures, which is pressure I was told I don’t need to have. I’m not going to lose focus on my craft, that is acting, but will continue to hone other skills, and we never know what might happen down the road. That thought keeps me excited!

      Love,
      Joanne

  4. I always found Getais very confusing when I was a child. Ghosts & loud blaring songs?

    I thought they didn’t mix. Heh

  5. you ROCKS that night @ POSSE(:

    people there holding on those pretty boardsss & of course me standing @ the side watching, was there as your confident! your perfomance that night was simply awesome:D

  6. You know you gave your best and we know you gave your best. & that is sufficient 🙂
    Randomly thought of this.
    Sometimes the most beautiful things may not be the most perfect ;
    sometimes the most perfect things may not be the most beautiful.

  7. Got The Video Of Euu Singing?

  8. Joanne!
    you have a great voice you should really consider coming out with album!

    support you always!

  9. Tan Hwee Ying Hazel

    u r hot, joanne! plz add me 2 facebook thru my email…u r my idol

  10. I enjoyed ur singing on that day, you sang with feeling and love ur smile also.
    just can’t understand why ppl discourage u from public singing…
    if experience can’t make perfect I think more practises would be.
    yeah, 2 months from now for YHIM… waiting for it…


  11. Hey ,
    you rocked the whole thing ,
    i’ll look forward to your new drama ,
    (:
    & Stay fantabulous

  12. hey, that’s awesome. learning to conquer your fears of stage fright and all.

    Keep updating. =)

  13. You are as pretty as a princess. ^^

    Keep it up!
    hehehehe

  14. i’ve never been to getais… (even when there’s one near my house) …

    i am afraid i’ll be rather awkward there if i go there alone since i dont know how the getai works =/

  15. Nice photos u got there!! cooL!!

  16. hi
    did you sang ‘love story’ by Taylor Swift?
    anyway,I really love that song…

  17. hi Joanne,
    Have not been tagging ur blog for a long time. Just wanted to ask you if you are filming a show would you have to go back and film during sundays??:) Take cares k bye!!

  18. Love story by you??
    Oh! tat’s might be great!
    Unfortunately i cant enjoy it live….T.T

    Support u oways!

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