Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Meet Judge Queen Bea
When I first heard that she was going to be a guest judge on the show, I was really excited. I had heard so much about this talented woman - award-winning director, actor and producer - I wanted to see how she would tackle the role of Judge. And of course, the groupie in me just wanted to see her in person - so talented, tall and beautiful - cannot be so good in real life right? Wrong.
In person Beatrice is elegant, well-spoken and oh-so-polite. Wearing a simple tank top, ripped jeans and no make-up, she still manages to look regal. I managed to finally catch up with her this morning while she sat down for hair and make-up before an interview on Channel News Asia's Primetime Morning.
What do you think you bring to the judges' table?
Well, I'm a director. I do this for a living. I'm always in search of new talent, I'm always thinking of ways of how I can make them better. What I hope I'm doing is giving them constructive feedback, by telling them how they can be better at what they're doing, even if they don't make it to the next round. Hopefully I can give them something that will make them better for the next time they perform, wherever that may be.
I direct plays, musicals, shows, even parades, so I'm always on the lookout for new talent, its an occupational hazard!
Now that you've started on this show, do you think Singapore has a lot of talent?
Oh definitely. There are a lot of talented people out there, its just whether they decide to put it to professional use or not. I mean, I can't tell a doctor who's a really good singer that he should give up being a doctor and be a singer instead. Its their choice.
Do you think there's a market for all this talent in Singapore?
Well, that depends on what they are looking for as the end result of their talent. If the direction you are aiming for is to be a big star and earn lots of money; if you're looking at celebrity as your necessary result, this would be the wrong market.
If your aim is to just enjoy performing because you love performing, you could be in Zimbabwe and there would be a market for you.
Asia is a large market. We should look at it that way. But having said that, to be recognised in your own country is already a feat. Today, everything is just a Youtube video away. Lives don't just start and end in Singapore only. If you can make it at that first step, make your mark in Singapore, you can make it on a bigger scale.
Using the American Idol-judge stereotype, please describe the kind of judge you are.
Hopefully I will have a little bit of each Idol Judge in me. I would have Randy's enthusiasm. Paula's encouragement and hopefully, Simon's astuteness. Haha, I'm a 3in1 Judge. *Suresh brings in coffee* Like the 3in1 Coffee Mix! (at this point we all burst out laughing at the because Suresh, the Ch5 marketing manager has just brought in his cup of coffee, and one for Beatrice too).
How will you judge the talents? I mean, its pretty much apples vs oranges out there.
Definitely can't compare them genre versus genre. As a judge, we shouldn't be looking out for technical proficiency (summerr says : not on this show anyway). Those that don't have real audience rapport, no real showmansip, probably wouldn't cut it for me.
Its important that the performers enjoy themselves. Be it a fire-eater, nose-picker, beat boxer, you have to love performing. That comes across and really translates to the audience. That and confidence, is a winning combination in itself. Of course a certain amount of skill and showmanship is required too. Oh and honesty. Honesty is important in anything that you are trying to showcase. And that also really comes through.
What kind of acts are at an advantage or disadvantage?
Singers are at a slight advantage. Singing is a very immediate way of connecting with the audience because you sing to them. You also have words to communicate directly to the audience.
I think people who play an instrument are at a slight disadvantage because they have to express themselves through something else. Its not as direct.
What do you think could be a hurdle for the show?
A lot of acts, when seen live, translates very well. How it translates on tv, through the camera, I don't know. I worry about that. Because in the studio, I'm watching it live, I just want to hug every contestant and put them through.
Have you got any hidden talents? OMG-worthy ones?
I can parallel park in under 2 minutes, no make that 30 seconds, *thinks for a while* no, I can do it in 15 seconds. In fact, I can parallel park anything - car, truck,...auto, manual, all also can!
How about a Hummer?
Hummer? Caaan.... bus also can....but er, have to put disclaimer on the timing for that one. Bus maybe under 2 minutes.
*Beatrice quite farnee hor?*
Any advice for the contestants?
I would say, and this is my general motto in life, ... Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously.
(summerr says : Omg that's such a great motto, must adopt this and learn to laugh more at myself - really need to start summerrfailblog soon :))
You've taped 3 episodes so far, have you spotted a possible winner already?
Because of the format of the show, because of the 'Challenger' element, you never know who's going to stay on the show from week to week, which is what makes it really exciting. You never know who's going to come in next to knock your socks off.
But so far, seen anyone you think is worth the $50k?
*can't tell you who she said though, its a secret ssssh!*
What else have we not seen that you would hope to see in future episodes?
I know that there are a lot of amazing dancers out there. Group dancers. So I would like to see them come on the show.
Do you think Stand-up comedians would have a chance?
Oh for sure! Laughter is another very immediate connection! If you can make people laugh and make people like you, people will vote for you.
Apart from her judging duties, Beatrice is also working on the Vlee Conference (fellow Judge and BFF Irene Ang's stand-up show with Chua En Lai - tix are going fast, click here for more info), producing the Retrolicious concert in October (with Class 95) and some other secret/embargoed project for which she's heading to China this weekend!
Catch Judge Bea every Wednesday night at 8pm on One Moment Of Glory and see if you share the same opinions on the contestants.
ps. If you want to get on the show and perform for the Queen Bea herself, email email@example.com now!
pps. She really is very very tall in person - so cute she called herself a giant.