Sarah Cheng-De Winne
演员, 主持人, 歌手
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What exactly is this thing they call "star quality" aka X-Factor?

I have had small conversations here and there with people asking for feedback on my music and performance - and, apart olI find it difficult, at the moment to reconcile myself with the idea of "star quality" aka X-Factor?

Can "star quality" be something that is cultivated? Well, if you believe in the Pygmallion story, you would say yes. Star quality is something that can be cultivated from anyone. But, my evolutionary psych textbook (yes, i'm doing PL4214 Evo Psych in my last sem in school!) says that we are very much an interaction of both genes (the given) and their constant and cumulative interaction with the environment.

So does this mean that I have something innate about myself that I could cultivate into something more? This is something I believe that I should believe.

I am thinking about other artists that I admire and look up to, and I have come up with a list of things that I feel makes them command your attention.

  1. Confidence. Confident people tend to attract others with their confidence. But you can't be overconfident. It is possible to be confident, yet humble. This is a key quality to have. Being confident of what you already have, but being always humble and open enough to learn from others and take critical feedback. This is something that I think I have a problem with, because many of us Singaporean Chinese grow up in a "paiseh" culture - we always put ourselves down and downplay our talents - a number of people have seperately mentioned that I tend to do that. It's no wonder that so many frontliners are non-Chinese! It's really a cultural knock-off that I have to overcome.

  2. Personality. Personality is something that can hardly be altered, but I think personality can be shaped and refined. While everyone has something unique about them, I think there are some specific general qualities that can be emphasized:

2a. Sense of Humour- I could work on making my unique sense of humour into witty stage banter.

2b. Positive Attitude - to always have a genuinely positive outlook on things. I naturally do this already, but it's probably not enough. I have to work on it more.

2c. Graciousness - the artists i respect most always have a graciousness towards others, be it their fellow musicians or audience. Being gracious is something I definitely have to work on, sometimes I only realise in retrospect that I wasn't sensitive enough or careful enough with in my communication with others.

2d. Fun. It's not easy to say what makes someone "FUN" to be around. But i think artists must be fun people in order for others to like being around them, right! FUN immediately takes boring and routine out of the equation too! :D

  1. A Clear and Unique Image - now this is not easy for my to verbalise. I think it's something to do with positioning yourself and having a group of clearly associated stereotypes so that people can easily categorize you in their minds (it is a natural human tendency, so my psych profs say :P) . This has to do with the PRODUCT of the artist too. The Artist's image and his or her product must be coherence and mutually enriching. The artist is in a way the product, the product defines the artist. This is definitely something I'm still working on.

  2. Presentable Appearance - haha.

Makeup, yes, possible, and I do try to at least put on concealer and eyeliner when I leave the house. I have friends who take them time to always do "the full works" even though they were/are still students - i mean, they always have their primer, foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, eye shadow, eyelashes, eyeliner, lip liner, lip gloss on their face when they're out! Like one of these friends (a close one) only does NOT wear makeup when we meet at ghim moh for breakfast or I barge into her bedroom early in the morning for some reason :P. I usually only do the full works when I'm going out at NIGHT rather than in the day...

Clothes a sticking point for me at the moment. For my recent performances I've basically had to scrounge around for clothes to fit my "IMAGE" (as in point 3) because my own wardrobe is overly varied!

On a HIGH NOTE. Thank goodness I have a jewelry sponsor till the end of the yearSIMONE JEWELShas very kindly agreed to be my OFFICIAL JEWELRY and I am so fortunate to have their support. They've provided earrings, necklaces and bracelets for my public performances throughout August :)

Looks like "Presentable Appearance" is the most easily achievable so far. haha.

Any thoughts? Any other things you think make up "star quality"? Leave me a comment :)

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July 3, 2008

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