Shit, I wasn’t born to act

I had started writing about my weekend filming experience in MediaCorp but, after about 1000 words, I decided that it was too wordy. There is too much to tell and I don’t have any pictures to illustrate my story. And I wasn’t even halfway done yet.

So, I scrapped it.

Some things are better told over a cup of coffee. Except that I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like to tell verbal stories. I took part in storytelling competitions when I was in primary school and never won any. Haha. But I did win essay-writing competitions.

Speaking of which, I recently had my fortune read and was told that writing is the best career for me. I was advised not to be an actress because, to put it very simply, the elements surrounding my birth inhibit my ability to express myself. Which makes me appear stiff and awkward in performances and makes me lousy at interacting with people. All of which are very true.

But I refuse to go back to a wriitng career because quitting showbiz will kill me (metaphorically). So I was told to keep practising and to depend on hard work to overcome the lack of natural ability.

You may not believe in fortune readings but it is very interesting. I went with three other friends and we all sat around listening to each other’s readings. It was freaking funny because the master was able to tell the strengths and weaknesses of all of us very accurately and we got to laugh knowingly at each other’s shortcomings.

Anyway, after that session, I was depressed for a week. Of all the careers in the world, I had apparently set my mind on one for which I’m least suited. You’d have to agree it’s just totally fucked up.

But then, the more I thought about it, the more I felt a huge load lift off my heart. And then I felt refreshed, invigorated and optimistic.

Because, finally, all my frustrations over my own abilities have been explained away.

I have always felt that there was something wrong with me. I feel constipated constantly by a lack of ability to express my emotions and energies, physically and vocally.

When performing, I often cannot make my body respond to my internal commands. I can visualise perfectly how to do a certain action, say, for instance, a striptease. But when I actually try to do it, the actions don’t come out the way I visualise and all my limbs would be sticking out in all the wrong places, or I might trip over myself and fall flat on my face or something.

When I dance, I’m like William Hung. I’m like a puppet controlled by strings.

It was a huge shock to hear a stranger tell me these things which I have tried to explain all my life but have never been able to get anyone to understand. People give me stock comments like, “It’s all in the mind. You just need to let go. You need to have confidence.”

But these words don’t help because it’s like forcing a retarded child to pass a calculus test.

The most frustrating part is people telling me it’s all about confidence when it’s not.

“Why don’t you join Singapore Idol?”

“I can’t sing.”

“Oh, come on, have more confidence in yourself.” 

Well, that’s just crazy. Having all the confidence in the world is not going to make you get off your wheelchair and walk if you’re a paraplegic.

I have never claimed that I can’t be good at singing. But I know I’m not good now because I don’t have the natural ability and I haven’t been trained yet. And we’re talking about a national singing competition here, not your friendly neighbourhood karaoke contest.

But people just conveniently assume that I am either being modest or I lack confidence. And they neglect to consider the fact that if I really lacked confidence, I wouldn’t even be relentlessly pursuing an acting career in the first place. So, bollocks to that.

Anyway, the fortune reading made me feel more optimistic about my future because I can finally put a name to my enemy. I can fight it better now that I know what it is and where it’s coming from.

I can stop beating myself up over failed attempts to perform to my own satisfaction because I have something else to blame. Something which is beyond my control, therefore not my fault. Haha.

I accept the fact that I am not a natural born actress but I can still achieve a certain standard through hard work.

It’s sad to think that I can never be as good as people who are talented AND motivated AND totally gorgeous, since the only innate quality I have in my favour is a motivation powered by an inexplicable hunger to perform. But I still look forward to achieving the level of success I can achieve on my own terms.

Well, what else can I do? =P