Monday, September 26, 2011

excerpt memoir 2002

A fellow forumer asked me why I like Steven, I gave the stock answer below:
Why I like Steven Ma. Because of “眼缘” (eyes affinity) and idol-fan fate(缘分). I think Steven is good looking and multi-talented. He acts,sings,and writes well. I also appreciate his intelligent and articulated responses during his interviews. He is a public figure I can really admire and look up to as a role model from what I know of him. Also I absolutely enjoy reading his thought-provoking,sometimes profound,writings in his book and blog.
Year 1993
But that is only part of the reason why I became such a big fan of Steven, what truly captured my heart is Steven's memoir whereby he shared the innermost of himself through his words in his 2002 column he wrote for a Guangzhou Daily. Steven said newbies started at ground zero but his starting in the entertainment was at a negative point because of this slogan: "He is not Lai Ming...".  His eloquence with words and his willingness to expose his vulnerability touched my heart and made me see him not just as an artist but a person I can admire and appreciate as role model. 

When an almost healed wound was suddenly ripped open, the pain and the despondency felt couldn't be imagined. Although, I knew Ms. MC’s use of “.. resembles Lai Ming…” to present me was not ill-intentioned, nevertheless, when I heard it I was transfixed with terror. My mind went blank. Backstage, I heard the riotous heckling and the male emcee, Uncle Jim saying: “What’s the matter? This singer sings very well. He sings with his heart. Listen to him…….” Uncle Jim’s terse remarks swiftly quieted down the crowd. It was precisely because of this esteemed veteran’s encouraging remarks that I was able to re-assemble whatever shredded confidence still left in me to actually find the courage to walk out onto the stage. Perhaps, unknowingly during the past year I had gotten use to performing amidst boos, for that night, I was able to present an outwardly calm and collected demeanor as I cast aside my trepidation for the moment. I got my wits together, enough to pep talk myself: To be a professional singer, one must be able to perform professionally under any circumstances.

With that in mind, I grasped the mike, closed my eyes, and sang with all my might and all the emotion I could muster. For the next three minutes, my only thought was to sing this song well, nothing else matter. Not until the last note faded away, and I heard the resounding applause did I ascertain my effort did not go to waste. From booing to warm applause, the time interval was exceedingly short, and its turnabout, incredibly abrupt. Caught up in the swing of mood, emotion welled up inside me. Standing on the stage, vaguely discerning an undulating sea of friendly faces, I was so touched I almost cried. I thought: although the crowd’s booing was tough to bear, but to finally receive their acceptance and approval; did it not make this all the more meaningful? I held back my tears, thanked the audience and went backstage. The smile that was moments ago hanging on my face fell off instantly. No need to look at a mirror, I could feel the numbing of my senses on a face void of emotion. The backstage was crowded with people, but I did not utter a word. I withdrew straight into my shell from the past; a very familiar, very private world…


Faced with these two options, I felt re-energized. Delirious aside, I wondered at fate’s timely intervention; its timing was impeccable, right on when I was all set to leave entertainment and move on to a different circle. Why pull me back again? Did it mean I should stay? I had already put in three years in this circle, and was fully cognizant of the vagaries of an entertainment career; a gamble if ever there was one. If I stay, does it mean I would have to gamble one more time? Put in another three more years? How many three years could I bet on? Stay or leave? I was torn; indeed the decision was not an easy one to make.

read the whole memoir here

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