A Marathon, Not a Sprint

15 years. That’s quite something. To me at least.

I remember the time when I was still in my final year in NUS. Fresh from the Theatre Studies program and excited to go into stage. I was going for auditions and somehow ended up with a Television Station’s audition without knowing what my friend signed me up for. I went for the audition and was stumped by the language. I went through all the rounds of auditions and was then offered the contract out of 5000 hopefuls, together with an offer from NUS for the Honours Degree program for Theatre Studies. I took on both, fought with the monsters Sleep Deficit and Stress, and somehow came out of it alive and unscathed.

I remember growing up under the glare of the media. I was first of all straight-forward in all my answers, coming across as arrogant and confident. Then a phase of trepidation and apprehension took over, always trying to second guess what people were trying to dig out of me. I was all nerves and yet still fiercely protective over what I deemed as private and personal. I then evolved and grew up, knowing what to say and how to communicate my thoughts and to actually be respected for it.

I remember always being criticized for certain things. I was always hard on myself to begin with, I was a perfectionist by nature, so I never gave myself an easy time anyway.  From reports and reviews that served to tear me down to a point in time where the media and audiences supported me and believed in me, even to have reporters cry for me, I think that is an achievement I have never imagined possible.

I remember when I first started, an unknown. I was given the opportunities that all newbies can only hope for. I started off with lead roles, I was entrusted with a heavy responsibility, but it was the trust the company had in me that made me strong. I started to have my own fanclub, Jeanius. This is something I will be eternally grateful for. I know what you all have done for me. The unwavering support, the hard work all of you have put in to give me this award. All Time Favourite is only possible because you have been by my side all these years.

This has been a process of growing up and getting in tune with myself.

15 years. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Thank you for allowing me time to grow. Thank you for illuminating my life as an actress.