By DENIELLE LEONG
JOSHUA Gui was allowed to pursue music only if he studied it abroad and here’s the catch, under a scholarship.
Those were the two conditions set by his parents. Reasonable, but perhaps a little out of reach for the Penangite.
“I thought ‘tak jadi already lah’,” the 23-year-old recalled.
Gui was brought up in a rather conventional Chinese setting. Like most parents, his were concerned if he could build a proper career in the local performing arts scene.
As a backup, he studied A-Levels in Disted Stamford College, Penang and then ventured into food science.
Just when his hopes and dreams to study music seemed to slowly slip away, a friend told him about the Australia International Conservatorium of Music (AICM).
He attended the audition for AICM in Kuala Lumpur and received good news within two months.
“They told me that I got accepted into AICM with a scholarship. So, there, I fulfilled both conditions,” he said.
For the next three years, Gui got to learn fromeet andm extheperts in Sydney, Australia, focusing on musical theatre style and classical techniques. Unexpectedly, he also discovered a new interest.
“I realised that I wanted to do オンライン カジノ more besides singing after watching musicals in Sydney.”
He decided to take dance classes to build his repertoire, starting with theatre jazz and then contemporary. Gui joked: “To pay for classes, I worked as a waiter, like any performer would.”
In 2008, he landed his first ensemble role in an amateur production of The Sound Of Music. To the newbie’s surprise, he was the only Chinese actor in the bunch! “It was a major culture shock for me.
Everybody else was Caucasian and had real experience. I, on the other hand, was a jakun trying to fit in,” he added.
Nonetheless, it was a good start for the aspiring performer.
Upon graduatinggraduation, he returned home to Penang in early 2011 and got straight to business.
“I spent my first two months travelling between Penang and KL for auditions and, you know, rub shoulders with people. I even considered tryouts in Singapore.”
Determined to kickstart a sustainable career in Kuala Lumpur, he took up teaching and has since been conducting vocal lessons.
Not long after that, he was casted for Dreamgirls and, voila, that did the trick.
“It gradually snowballed after that.”
The dynamic performer has been featured in several productions since Dreamgirls, including In Perfect Harmony – A Malaysian Musical Journey (Star Publication’s own musical) and most recently, The Producers. Next up is Youth Excellence On Stage (YES) Academy’s Kuala Lumpur debut.
His participation in the American-based performing group happened out of pure coincidence.
“I was looking for ticket prices for Empress Wu (inthat which I was involved) on the KLPac website when I came across the announcement for Yes Academy’s auditions,” Gui stated.
And luck seemed to be on heis side yet again when he discovered that the last audition session was, in fact, happening thone next day. Needless to say, he got in and attended the workshop in Bangkok, Thailand. Later in 2012, YES Academy made its first Malaysian appearance in Penang.
Along with 17 other performers, Gui will bring Broadway to Kuala Lumpur on June 15 and 16.
“Now that my career is more settled, my parents aren’t as worried, although they do check on me occasionally. Being the only performer (Gui’s brother is an engineer and sister is studying medicine), my mother calls me the only apple in an orange tree.”