Hong Huifang's daughter cried for three months straight while in Shanghai
But it's not quite what you think!
Living alone in a foreign country is a tough experience and it can be mentally and emotionally trying.
So when local actress Tay Ying, 23, told Toggle that she cried almost every day while attending acting school in China, most would assume that she had trouble adapting.
However, the reason couldn’t be further from that.
The starlet, who has finished her three-month acting course and was back to promote her upcoming Channel 8 drama The Good Fight, revealed that it was all part of her acting training.
The scion of celebrity couple Zheng Geping and Hong Huifang moved to Shanghai in June to attend Motown (an acting school) after she aced her auditions and came in seventh out of 700 applicants.
She said: “My teachers were great, and they really taught me how to improve my language skills and show my emotions. I could cry and scream every day without harming my throat because they taught me the proper techniques for it.”
She was paired with a different male partner every day, and took on the bulk of the emotional scenes.
“I was the only female in my age range there, which was a little scary at first, but it really forced me out of my comfort zone and I was able to improve a lot from there,” she explained.
“I was paired with a different guy every day during the classes, which enabled me to work with different partners easily. But that also meant that I had to do all the emotional scenes.”
You would think she retired to her loft for some personal wellness when her day ended. Instead, she assigned herself daily ‘homework’ where she recorded an audio clip of her reading a news article and submitted them to her teachers so they could correct her on her pronunciation.
Guess her mama and papa would be very proud of this overachiever.
Tay Ying added she had no qualms about living abroad or alone because she’s always had an independent spirit.
That was also why Hong wasn’t worried about her leaving the proverbial nest, but it didn’t stop her parents from tagging along for the first few days to help her settle in Shanghai.
Tay Ying said: “I fitted right in after about a week. I’ve always been independent so living alone wasn’t that intimidating of a prospect to me.”
What stumped her was the culture of cashless payments which China seems to have wholly adopted. She confessed to have brought “a whole month’s worth of cash to pay for food and groceries” only to have people regard her in disbelief.
She recounted: “When I took out my wallet to pay my bill, the staff would give me a ‘Is she for real?’ expression. Sometimes, they even had to check if they have change for me. Everyone there goes out with just their phones, because payments can be done so easily that way!”
Worry not, though, because Tay Ying has assimilated into the local culture and set up her virtual wallets so everything’s hunky-dory.
It’s a good thing, though, considering that she will be returning to China next month to ply her trade and develop her craft.
However, she is still looking around for an acting project.
“Just like everyone else who’s trying to start out in the industry there, I’ve only landed commercial deals so far. Of course, I’d be happy if I get offered any projects but I don’t have anything on hand that I can reveal or confirm right now,” she admitted.