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Beauty with brains

24 Feb 2020 / 11:10 H.

HER love for performing started from a very young age, when she would stand on the table at home, pretending that it was a stage where she sang and danced to her heart’s content.

Twenty-five-year-old singer/actress Joey Leong started her career in the entertainment industry at the tender age of five, with the support of her amazing parents.

Joey shares: “They would send me to some singing and dancing classes, and that was it. I started to participate in a lot of contests, and that is how I started.

“To me, I really love singing because I watched a lot of concerts on VCDs, and I enjoy watching people perform on stage, the crowd, and everything.

“What’s funny is that a lot of kids tend to be a little shy when there’s a lot of people. For me, I was the opposite. If there is only three or four people, I don’t wanna sing. Not enough crowd!

“When I am on the stage and there are a lot of people, it gives me more confidence to perform. That’s how I was when I was a kid.”

At first, Joey was more focused on singing, but she soon began acting at the age of 10. Despite not attending formal acting classes, she was cast in her first film at the age of 15, a horror movie titled Blood Ties.

Joey also starred in the Singaporean film Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen, Amazing Spring, and Supermum.

Joey managed to maintain good grades in school while juggling a part-time career in the entertainment industry.

“When I was younger, I prioritised my studies because I knew it [was] important for [my future]. I was also a good student in school and I knew [what] I wanted to achieve.

“I did not want to give up on what I liked so I tried to balance both (education and career). It was quite tough, especially during high school, due to important exams and assignments.”

After completing high school, Joey furthered her studies in Global Business. Despite pursuing a full-time career in the entertainment industry at the time, she believed that having some business knowledge is essential.

Joey also took some time off work to attend Coventry University London, with a full scholarship, for a one-year top-up course and gained a BA Honours degree in Global Business. Along with that, she was also named the International Ambassador for Coventry University London.

“[One year after I graduated], the school wanted to start a scholarship programme for Malaysian students. They wanted to give more opportunities to Malaysian students to come study in their university.

“They actually named the scholarship after me (Joey Leong Coventry University London Scholarship)!”

Besides that, Joey also shared her thoughts regarding competition in the entertainment industry.

“The good thing is that I started at a very young age, so I was already in the industry when everyone else wanted to come in. Of course when you enter this industry, you’ve got to maintain [your position].

“You have to keep growing to a higher level, you’ve got to really put in a lot of effort.

“For me, I know there is a lot of competition, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. I love working in an environment where we trust people and support each other.

“We are all in the same industry, when we unite we can only go further. But sometimes, it’s a bad thing because people might take advantage [of us]. To live happier, I don’t like to be involved in any drama.

“I prefer to see the beauty in people, and that is what helps me [find] really good friends in the industry.”

Having experienced working with producers and directors in different countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and China, Joey does not have any plans at the moment to further her career in other countries.

“I know sometimes we have to take risks and just go, but I am a family girl.”

She adds that she does not want to leave behind her three beloved dogs.

When asked what she would be doing if she was not in the entertainment industry, Joey shared that she would be doing a job related to writing, but does want to not limit the possibilities for where her career path takes her.

She shared: “I could even be an entrepreneur creating my own brand, teaching, [or] directing films. I could be doing anything I learned before.”

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