I was fortunate to briefly meet and interview both Evonne Hsu and Vanness Wu at the 2010 Asian Pacific American Heritage Tour Concert in New York. When it comes to Asian pop, both Evonne and Vanness Wu are a jack and jane of all trades. Both are adept singers, dancers and actors. Although their time with the press before the concert was very brief, I managed to get in a few questions regarding what it’s like to be a celebrity.
SL: What are some of your favorite songs and do they mean anything special to you?
EH: I’m doing a mix of old and new songs during this concert and there’s actually a medley of three of my old dance songs that has been re-choreographed. I have two dancers from Taiwan here with me and two dancers from the States, so it’s like a mix of Asia and America [like the concert itself]. I’m also going to be doing a mix of my Chinese songs and some American songs. There’s this song that I really like–now I know it’s a little silly, but I’ve always loved this song, so I’m actually going to sing A Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid.
SL: Do you ever get tired of people always taking pictures of you?
EH: Yes, I definitely get tired of that. Especially in Taiwan, I don’t get much privacy. Like once, I actually had people following me when I went to the store to buy cotton swabs. There’s also press that try to get bad pictures of artists. Like sometimes when I’m eating, they’ll try to get a picture of me with my mouth open and say in the newspaper, “Oh, look at her pigging out!” So yeah, I think the media need to find a balance.
SL: How did you originally get into music?
EH: I’ve liked music since I was very young. My parents were like the traditional Asian parents and they were also like, “The right kind of job is like a doctor or a lawyer.” So they were fine with me singing and dancing, but only as a hobby. So when I set out on my own and went to Taiwan, my parents were hesitant about letting me go and were really against it for the first two or three years. But they eventually listened to some of my recordings and now they’re completely supportive of me.
SL: Are you nervous?
EH: Well, not really because I already preformed in Seattle, so I’ve already been through this already and the sound check went well. There are different stage dimensions here though, but guess I’m kind of nervous-excited, because this is actually my first time performing in New York.
Due to time restraints, I had to finish the interview with her here. (As an interesting side note, I was the only one who spoke English–everyone else used Mandarin. Maybe I should work on that…) But I wasn’t left with nothing to do for long, as Evonne soon left to get ready for the upcoming concert and Vanness came in to take her place. Again, the room was filled with the cacophony of camera clicks and flashing lights, before the second round of interviews began.
VW: It’s kind of like a love and hate relationship. I love part of it, you know, but it’s also very tiring at times, but you know, you get used to it.
SL: Did you ever get mad at the media for reporting something that wasn’t true?
VW: Of course. I’m only human. And it’s, I mean, with the press, it’s like you give them honesty and the truth and then at times you’ll say, “Well…entertainers and artists have to be responsible for what they say, but then yet again, the press are not as responsible for what they write.”
SL: I know that you’re also acting in Autumn’s Concerto. Do you think you prefer acting or singing?
VW: Well, they both have their enjoyment out of it. With singing, the response is right there– immediate, but when you’re acting, it’s when you get into the character and you’re able to go deep into the scene and bring out the character…like things that you’re not even sure you can do. Like, it’s what the director wants, but you go to that distance and it’s a different reaction.
SL: Did you plan on doing this since you were a little kid?
VW: I’ve always had that dream.
SL: Really? For acting or singing?
VW: Both. I’ve loved dancing since I was thirteen so…
SL: Oh, thirteen…that’s actually pretty old actually. Most people start at a younger age.
VW: Yeah, well I mean, I remember first watching MJ (Michael Jackson), but I didn’t get to practice until then.
SL: Okay, thank you!
VW: Thank you.
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully, this helps everyone understand the two celebrities a little bit more, even though the interviews were quite brief. Definitely look out for these two in the future, because they are both definitely incredibly talented. Unfortunately, New York was Vanness’s last stop with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Concert Tour, but you can check his drama, Autumn’s Concerto. But keep an eye out for Evonne! She’s going to be touring with the for the rest of the stops, so it’s sure to be a wild ride!
No reactions to display.