Dream-chasers in Taiwan

Dream-chasers in Taiwan

Could they be the next Stefanie Sun or Christopher Lee? A new batch of Singaporeans is trying to break into Taiwan's competitive show business.

Actresses Cheryl Wee and Dawn Yeoh signed with Taiwanese talent agencies earlier this year, while singer Nat Ho released his latest album in Taiwan in October.

They follow in the footsteps of Singapore's golden couple Fann Wong and Christopher Lee, who are signed with Taiwan artist agency Catwalk.

Singaporean singer-host Huang Jing Lun, who got his break on Taiwan's popular singing TV contest, One Million Star 3, has carved a niche for himself on variety shows with his slow-paced way of talking. He is signed to Taiwan agency, Gin Star Entertainment. What does it take to make it in Taiwan?

Mr Clean Hsieh, Gin Star's director of artist management, says the key to Huang's success is his can-do attitude. He says: "Huang is one of our rookies who is doing not too badly. He doesn't restrict himself to being a singer and is willing to try all sorts of performances, be it acting or hosting."

Of course, being talented is a surefire way of getting recognition, for instance, Lee with his recent Best Actor win at the Taiwan Golden Bell award - Taiwan's version of the Emmys - for his role in TV drama, A Good Wife (2013).

Ms Sammy Fan, Catwalk Shanghai's general manager, says of Lee: "He is a very professional actor with a good work ethic. He is never late for work. He is humble and friendly, and has substance. His natural acting has been acknowledged by the Taiwanese audience."

Singapore singer Kelly Poon, who was based in Taiwan from 2007 to 2011, had a taste of the tough competition for screen-time on variety shows with motor-mouthed artists.

To perfect her round Mandarin tones, she bit a wine cork while reading out Chinese newspaper articles daily.

Poon, who is now in China to promote her latest EP, Miss Kelly, recommends that reserved Singaporeans come out of their shell and broaden their social network in Taiwan, which could lead to more exposure.

She says: "You never know, an artist may need to bring along a friend for a guest appearance at a variety show and she may just ask you to go along."

But no matter what country the artist is from, he must possess one quality to make it big in show business - individuality.

Miss Maggie Yang, director of Artist Management at Taiwan-based Veloce Entertainment, says: "Individuality is most important, so that an artist doesn't get buried and lost among the sea of talent out there."

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