Saturday, September 4, 2010
I was told that there was a lady coming in to do sandpainting and that she was from China. But from the moment I met Erika (and she opened her mouth to speak), she sounded pretty much local. 26-year old Erika Chen has been in Singapore since she was 15, so instead of sounding Chinese, she sounded more like any other NUS grad. And graduate from NUS she did, with a degree in Quantitative Finance. Phwoar - brainy and beautiful!
What do you do in real life?
I was an asset manager, managing mutual funds, but I've given that up now and am performing full time since June this year. I want to pursue performing. I play the guitar, I compose songs, and I actually use to write songs for a Chinese pop star -
(Don't pray pray ah, Erika even has a manager who hovers right beside me while I interview her - but not in an ominous way like some other managers :) - this guy's nice)
So why'd you join OMG!?
Its a chance to perform to more people. To tell my story in the sand and to touch people with it. 90 seconds is actually a big challenge. You have to develop the story and plan the images and its transitions. So in such a short a time, its difficult to develop the story.
Where do you normally perform?
I was performing for my church and recently, I just came back from Shanghai where I performed in Singapore Day, with Tanya and other Singaporean artistes and it was so very meaningful. There I was in China, my first home, presenting my second home, Singapore.
What would you do with the $50k if you won?
I haven't actually thought about it. And I don't think I'll ever really think about it. I'm here more for the experience of performing on this stage and the exposure. To be honest, when we signed up, we didn't know about the $50k.
Actually, Cirque du Soleil asked for sandpainters to audition for a new production for next year and I have auditioned and gotten the part. So I'll be travelling to Montreal, New York, Moscow etc in 2011. (OMG that is SO amazing! I LURVE Cirque!!)
So, I'm doing this show for the memories, the experience.
Who do you think you'll be challenging?
I'll make an impromptu decision when I get to the stage. But not the dancers. Probably the singers/composers. And probably a one-to-one fight, so maybe David or Jill.
What do you think of our judges?
They are very encouraging! There is no Simon Cowell thank goodness! Their criticisms are all helpful. I want everyone's approval. I think the most difficult part is to have a connection with them.
Bet you guys were wondering why Erika is choosing to challenge the singer-songwriters? Well, Erika's not just gonna be sandpainting, she's gonna be singing while she paints her sand story. She'll be singing "Heaven" by Bryan Adams.
Catch Erika perform, this Wednesday on OMG!, 8pm only on Channel 5.
Have you got a talent as interesting and unique as Erika's? Go join Cirque du Soleil! Oh but before you do, come join OMG! - producers are on the look out for more Challengers, so if you think you have what it takes to knock any of the contenders off their podiums, send producers a note at email@example.com NOW!
:: Pics courtesy of Shawn Pang, Channel 5 Marketing team ::