Off Stage

Meditation gets her in the zone

Chriz Tong says the worst comment she received is that she should lose some weight.
Chriz Tong says the worst comment she received is that she should lose some weight.PHOTO: THE RED PLANET MUSIC

Singer-actress Chriz Tong, 31, started out singing theme songs for television dramas, but has ventured into musical theatre in recent years, taking on roles in productions such as Getai: The Musical, produced by Resorts World Sentosa, and Dream Academy's Broadway Beng 10th anniversary concert.

Tong, who is single, plays Ai Mei Li, a character who tends a barter shop, in Innamorati Two, an upcoming musical by Toy Factory Productions that explores the lives of seven characters, each with their personal struggles.

How do you keep your voice in tip-top condition?

I don't do anything special, really. Just refrain from eating spicy and fried foods as much as possible.

  • BOOK IT / INNAMORATI TWO

  • WHERE: Drama Centre Theatre, 100 Victoria Street, National Library Building

    WHEN: Sept 22 to Oct 2; 8pm (Tuesday), 3 and 8pm (Wednesday to Saturday), 3pm (Sunday), no shows on Monday

    ADMISSION: $52 to $72 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to sistic.com.sg)

    INFO: www.toy factory.com.sg

What kind of pre-show rituals do you have?

I try to meditate about 30 minutes before a show. This helps to calm my nerves, regulate my breathing and centre my focus. I find that this moment of peace really gets me in the zone before I step on stage.

What is the funniest or most memorable thing that has happened while you were onstage?

Once, I had a wardrobe malfunction and my costume almost came undone in the middle of a song. Luckily, I did not flash the audience, but, oh my, was I panicking.

What is the harshest criticism or review you have received of your work and how did you deal with it?

So far, I have been blessed in that I have been involved in great productions that have received positive reviews. The people whom I have worked with are too nice to say anything nasty. Even when I am not doing something right, they guide me, instead of criticise. The worst comment I have received is that I should lose some weight, which I agree with, so I take that as positive motivation.

You wear many hats as a singer, songwriter and actress. Which do you enjoy the most and why?

I love performing and being able to entertain. If I had to pick, music would be my first love. Being a singer was my childhood dream. But musical theatre offered me an avenue to extend and expand my craft, which I am very excited to explore further.

As someone who sings for a living, do you sing for leisure or go for karaoke?

Yes I do, sometimes. I usually go for the crowd favourites - Stefanie Sun, A-mei, Jay Chou or JJ Lin songs.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Meditation gets her in the zone'. Print Edition | Subscribe