Did you know that Yvonne Lim was a finalist in the Star Search competition back in 1997? Well, that almost didn’t happen as the then 20-year-old, who decided to join the talent competition on a whim, didn’t know she had passed the first round of auditions.
“I got into the second round, but I didn’t know about it until a producer called me and asked me why I didn’t turn up for it,” Yvonne shared with Toggle during an interview shortly before she was due to head back to Taiwan last week.
“They mailed the letter to the wrong address, so I didn’t know about the second audition. After I explained it, they arranged for another session for me. It was nerve-wracking, but I told myself that I shouldn’t give myself pressure. It's because of this producer who happened to see my application, wondered why I didn't turn up and decided to give me a call that I honestly think I was fated to join showbiz.”
Yvonne vividly remembers other contestants, many from neighbouring countries, arriving with props for their respective auditions, she shared that she entered the waiting room with one goal in mind: not forgetting any of her lines.
The most memorable part of the auditions, she recalled with a smile, was the question and answer session, where she was told about some of the realities of showbiz: frequent overnight shoots, having to drive to various locations for work, and so on. She said with a laugh, “I don’t know how I was so garang (brave) at the time, but I said, ‘’I am young, which young person hasn’t stayed up all night?’ I can vividly remember their shocked expressions at my question.”
Back then, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 20-year-old was waiting to enrol for further studies in the UK after completing her diploma at Singapore Polytechnic. She shared, “At the time, I had nothing to do and I suggested this to my parents and they said sure, why not just give it a try? I don’t think any of us had any expectations.”
Though she wasn’t placed in the talent competition, Yvonne was offered an acting contract, and the rest, as they say, is history.
With Star Search returning for the first time in nine years, the 42-year-old is excited at the prospect of welcoming new faces to the industry, and had some advice to share to those who are still sitting on the fence about whether they should give the auditions a try.
“You don’t have to go to the auditions thinking that you have to get through, and plan your entire life around it,” she explained. “You can give yourself a deadline and tell yourself you want to achieve certain goals within a set number of years. If you don’t get there or something better comes along, you can just move on to the next stage of your life. The path that you walk on changes according to your choices.”
Even if you don’t make it this time around but still have a passion for acting, Yvonne’s words of advice is to not give up. “Don’t say that you’re a failure, just try and you never know what will happen,” she mused.
“Never let winning or losing affect you. I might not have finished at the top in the finals but look where I am today,” Yvonne continued.
“If you really want to be in this line, don’t give up and keep trying. Improve yourself and hone your craft. Learn and practise more. There are lots of ups and downs in showbiz, you might feel dejected and wonder why you’re not getting as many jobs as your peers. A lot of mental adjustment is required and that’s when you grow as a person and learn to see things differently.”
Given all this talk about showbiz, we couldn’t help but to ask Yvonne if she’d say yes to her little ones, AJ, 4, and Alexa, 2, trying out for Star Search when they are all grown up.
She paused to consider this for a moment before bursting out in laughter. “I’ll let them join the competition if they have what it takes to be an actor. Objectively, Alexa has shown a number of times that she definitely has that ‘it’.”
Star Search open auditions will be held this Sunday, April 12, 10am-7pm at Bugis+ Atrium. Interested contestants between the ages of 17-35 and who can speak Mandarin fluently may either download and submit their applications online or walk in on the day of the auditions.
Check out Star Search’s microsite for more information.