Dare to dream

HE FIRST started out singing at friends’ and relatives’ weddings, before taking a chance and leaving a corporate 9-to-5 job to pursue his passion for acting and singing.

Today Daniel Fong is performing onstage in front of large crowds, and made his acting debut late last year in a Chinese-language web-drama series titled May I Love You.

The 24-year-old former TV commercial talent and model said: “I wouldn’t consider it my big break yet, but the web-drama was pretty much how I kickstarted my journey.

“It certainly appears to be a really good portfolio, and because of the drama, I’ve received opportunities to be involved in a lot more [roles].”

On the music front, Fong already has one EP under his belt, and is scheduled to release a second EP this coming September.

He recently sat down to discuss his achievements so far, and where he plans to head next.

When did you first decide that you wanted to be in the entertainment industry?

I’ve always liked the idea, but it [was just] an idea and a dream. But later in high-school, I was exposed to speech and drama classes, and that was how it kickstarted everything.

Acting-wise, it’s not how I pictured it to be when I first started, because when you’re actually doing it, it’s not as glamorous as it appears on the screen.

How do you juggle between modelling, singing and acting, while trying to have some time for yourself?

It comes and goes, either I am really busy, or really free. I have the freedom to have a say in scheduling a job. Pretty much every two weeks I’ll have a day or two free, that’s when I catch up with my friends and all, I also make sure that I go back home for dinner every night.

In terms of how I juggle everything else, and working out to maintain a good physique, honestly, it’s pretty tough, because I don’t get a lot of time off to hit the gym. So what I do is a 15-minute run, up and down the stairs, to keep the heart pumping.

When it comes to writing new songs, where do you get your inspiration from?

The inspirations come from daily experiences. It’s like if you were to write a love song, you’ve to be fond of someone, that feeling is pretty much magical.
I hum it, I play with the compositions and then record it on my phone.

[However] I don’t think I’m talented in terms of musical instruments, though I do play the guitar and piano, I just have to practise extra hard compared to other people.

Have you ever experience stage-fright?

I’ve only started performing [in public] last December during Christmas at a mall. I wasn’t paid for that, since I volunteered to do it. I wanted to [gain] experience, and see how I would fair in a public setting.

Obviously, I was scared, but I try not to think about the crowd. At the time, I was worried that I might forget the lyrics, [be unable to] hear the music, run out of tempo, or come in at a wrong pitch.

So what I did was, I closed my eyes.Some people may think I [get emotional] when I’m performing, but no, I just simply didn’t want to look at them.

Ever since then, it has been good. I’ve also been [doing] a lot of performances, forcing myself to take the first step. Constantly telling myself that if I don’t perform now, I might not get the chance to do it again.

What are your aspirations in life?

I always believe it’s now or never, and to just live the moment. I was actually enlightened by someone saying that we tend to live and think a lot about the past and future. Questions like: ‘What’s the plan for the next five years?’, ‘Am I going to be successful?’.

If you think too much about the past, you’ll get depressed, and if you think too much about the future, you’ll be stressed. So it’s better to think about now.

What is one advice you could give to someone who wishes to make their break in the industry?

Do it, if it is really what you want. Do it smartly, but not blindly. Don’t just go hitting the blocks, wishing you’ll get noticed. Instead of waiting for a job, take the initiative to get one by sending e-mails to directors and producers.

[Talent is] very subjective. What really separates the ‘good’ and the ‘not-so-good’, is actually [someone’s] personality, and how easy it is to work with each other.