Christine Kuo (苟芸慧) interview in "The Green Room"
Wednesday March 4, 2009 Hong Kong
Fully Translated by chloe.x3 @ http://www.christinekuo.net
Broadcast Date: February 25, 2009
Translation date: March 4, 2009
Give full credit if reposted
T - Tracy Ip (Interviewer)
C - Christine Kuo
T: Welcome everyone watching The Green Room. At the set today, it is full of bursting light.
Don't misunderstand everyone, I'm not describing myself. I'm describing the Miss Chinese International winner beside me, Christine Kuo.
Say hello to everybody first.
C: Hi everyone, I'm the winner of Miss Chinese International 2009, Christine Kuo.
T: Using the words "burst of light" to describe you is pretty fit, because that night, I watched the whole process and I really thought you were very outstanding and very beautiful...(C:Thank you)
That night, when you were performing and answering questions, you were pretty still and stable. Were you actually really that still or were you just pretending?
C: Um...actually, I was a bit nervous. But I think if I do my best and be myself, and use my normal way to to do things is already pretty good.
T: Were you only thinking about "doing your best" the whole night?
T: That's true. Because in this competition, when you start appearing on the news or when you first appear, you already had a name for you "Popular (大熱門)".
Would it bring you a lot of pressure?
C: I feel very happy that the reporters call me the "popular one". As for pressure...there is a little, but having pressure, I can push myself to do better.
T: Would the other girls, seeing you as the popular topic....there is about 20 girls...would they maybe not really like to become friends with you because they feel that it would be really pressuring having a "popular 大熱門" beside them?
C: I don't really think so. I think those girls are all pretty nice, easy to get along with. So I'm pretty happy to have met them.
T: Okay, so because you're the popular one, would reporters want to purposely try and film you being criticized, having a wardrobe malfunction....
Is there some pressure there?
C: No. I don't really think that much. I only think of how to do the best I can and how to show my own character.
T: So you keep with this attitude.
C: Keep with this attitude, yes.
T: Because when I was competing myself, I'll be honest, I won't lie, I was very very nervous. There was huge pressure. Because when I was competing, it was for a month. At the beginning, I thought I was okay, but a lot of like...choreographers, photographers, they would say, "Are you that nervous?" I said, "No." "You look really nervous". I say, "No." So I didn't know myself. But until the last few days before I really had to compete, I was so nervous I couldn't even eat. I lost almost ten pounds because there was too much pressure! Those questions I asked you just now, were actually kind of like something I experienced before.
Because newspapers outside may write about me as well and some girls there may say "This is the Hong Kong's favourite (大熱門)..." and people would talk less, so I had that type of feeling then. So I think you're really lucky, not having this feeling.
C: I think...because yeah, I don't really think that much. I think I don't really care how people see me. I just do what I have to do, so I'm not that nervous.
T: So hearing you say this, I can tell you're a person who just does their best and doesn't care about others' negative comments...
C: Sometimes, the things they say will really affect your thoughts. So when it's not necessary, I wouldn't want to see them.
T: Because of this, do you think people may misunderstand you and think that your competitiveness is very strong?
C: I think so. Sometimes when I do something, I think of how to do the best of it, but I don't really think of some things that people may have different views of it, so these things I should be more careful in the future.
T: Hahaha, That's also true. And on the night of the pageant, there were hosts saying that your competitiveness is very strong because they were saying the few days before the competition, you were on a drip. What actually happened?
C: I think the weather was a bit cold, so I got sick. So I was on the hospital drip for 2 days. It happened two days before the show day, so I was a bit worried if I would be able to get better because the show would be happening in 2 days. So I was a bit nervous then.
T: So were you in the hopsital or resting at home?
C: The hospital.
T: So the rehearsals on those few days, you couldn't participate at all?
C: No I didn't attend any of them, so at that time, I had some pressure because the others were actually doing something while I wasn't doing a thing. So my mood wasn't very bright either.
T: I really have to say congratulations....because you didn't participate in the rehearsals but you still performed so well, so you really deserved to win.
C: Thank you.
T: So during this process, did you experience any memorable things?
C: Other than getting sick...um....I think becoming friends with the other girls and the coachers there were a bit different so I learned a lot and I saw that the workers were also very hardworking along with us.
T: So who in what country are you more "friends" with?
C: Um....they're all about the same, but with Skye, she was my roommate before with um...Momo, these two I am the best out of the rest of the contestants.
T: So you were pretty happy?
C: Yes, pretty happy. I learnt a lot.
T: So on the night of the pageant, you chose a talent performance and you played the flute. So why did you choose that instrument?
C: I saw that the other girls chose more of dancing, but for me, I think the flute is more matching with my personality, a bit more quiet and gentle.
T: We can see it now! So when you finished playing, Eric Tsang said something funny, "Hm, very relaxed, sleep!" Like a lullaby. Hearing this, would you think, "Oh no!" Did you have that feeling?
C: I actually found it pretty funny. But I knew that at that time, Eric had to do a show, he is the host, he has to control the timing and stuff like that. So I understand. He told us before about this side of things. So okay, no problem.
T: And that night, you really played a long time! Why did you play for so long? When I was watching, I was like "Why did no one tell her to stop?" but you were really into the feeling of playing the flute.
C: Haha, I think I was probably too enjoyed. And I was still sick, so I didn't have much strength to play...so I just played a bit more...
T: So you just played a bit and didn't pay attention to the time.
C: Yeah, I forgot to play faster.
T: So during this process, what did you learn, what did you get from this?
C: I got to see a lot of things. It was very different from things in school and at work. I think I have to try everything myself before I can understand the meanings and reasonings. Also, to maintain a high EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient).
T: Why EQ?
T: Quarrelling with the girls?
C: Not really quarelling but more like talking to them...because they are from different cultures so their views may not always be the same as you. So learning how to get along with them is a big study.
T: So what you learned....was having a higher EQ? Or...?
C: Like learned how to get along with people from different cultures and the differences in the entertainment industry.
T: Beside me, there is still Christine Kuo here. I want to ask you, why did you choose to participate in the first pageant?
C: In Toronto, it was actually my mom that got the form for me. She filled in the information herself. She thought that I should go learn more things and experience things that other people haven't. So I thought that I should try it too and there's nothing about it right? So I tried it.
T: So was that your mom thought that her daughter is really pretty, so she wanted you to try it and learn proper behaviour?
C: She basically wanted me to go out and see more things and different people and have different experiences.
T: When you joined the pageant, was it with a friend or anything? No?
C: No. Because my friends, they actually don't like to watch these things.
T: Oh, so no interest in it?
C: Not much interest.
T: So when you joined, you were 25 years old. So before that, what were you doing? Why did you wait till the last year and then join?
C: Before, my office was for design and packaging and I was in project management, so I would have to talk to clients about how they would like to package their products.
T: So is it like part of the designing career or...?
C: Um, kind of. Because you have to try and design products as well, but there's packaging too, so there's parts on both sides.
T: So how long did you work there for?
C: Around three years.
T: In Canada?
C: Yes, in Canada.
T: So you didn't try any other jobs? (C: No) So when you graduated, you immediately went to this job.
C: This job was really similar to what I studied, so I figured I could get more experience doing this.
T: So now that you won first place, what will you do? Are you going back into your previous employment or is 3 years enough, you can try something new?
C: I think I learned a lot from this industry, so I'm planning to challenge myself more in this side.
T: So you mean the entertainment industry?
C: Yes, the entertainment industry. So I will give myself some time to work in this industry.
T: So for right now, do you think you are fit to be in this industry? Because even if you don't do anything or say anything, people will still yell at you. So thankfully, your reports are pretty good. They say you're like Kelly Lin, Sonija Kwok, Vivian Chow, Song Hye Kyo...etc. All of them are big beauties, all of them are very beautiful. When you see this, are you happy? Are you used to it?
C: I'm very happy. They're all beautiful girls so I'm very happy they wrote me like this. But I think I don't have to give myself a lot of pressure and to just do my own work and I don't think I have to look like them. I should still have my own character.
T: So just be yourself.
T: So you've come to Hong Kong for a while already, are you used to Hong Kong being so busy and fast compared to your life in Canada? Would there be a big difference.
C: There really is a big difference because things aren't so fast paced in Toronto and here, everything's so efficient and a lot of things are really fast and the culture is really different.
T: So how long were you in Canada?
C: Almost 13 years.
T: 13 years, so how old were you when you went to Canada?
C: 12 years old. I immigrated from Taiwan there.
T: You are Taiwanese? Oh, so Taiwanese....so you lived in Taiwan and when you were 12, you moved to Canada.
T: So why did you have to immigrate?
C: My dad had some business to do there and he thought we should learn from international education, so he had us immigrate there.
T: So were you used to it, moving from Taiwan to Canada?
C: I thought it was okay. Since I was still so young then, I could adjust faster and there wasn't much pressure or anything.
T: So now that you're in Hong Kong....so are your parents in Hong Kong too or where are they?
C: I think they will still stay in Canada, in Toronto.
T: So you'll stay here alone to progress in Hong Kong.
C: Yeah, if I have to, I will be alone here.
T: Will you be uncomfortable? Were you with your family since you were young?
C: Um, not really. My parents fly back and forth, like to Taiwan and to Canada. So I have to take care of myself and my younger brother and sister.
T: Oh, so you're the oldest? But will you feel lonely because you're in Hong Kong?
C: I can meet new friends here.
T: So you're not really scared?
C: No. Not really.
T: So you don't think there's really a problem? The most important is just to make some progress in your career. So you want to work in the entertainment business? Have you thought of what you are planning to do? Do you like to film series, or host...or...?
C: I really like to challenge things, so anything that the company arranges, I think I will have to try and see which I am more strong at. So I don't really mind.
T: So the most important is to be able to participate.
C: Yeah, I can try and see what I can do good in.
T: So in your life, you've went to at least 3 places already. So maybe you might stay in Hong Kong for the next ten years too. So out of the three places, which place do you like the most?
C: I think...right now, I am more used to Toronto more. But right now, I've only came to Hong Kong for not even 2 months, so I need time to try. But Hong Kong and Taiwan is pretty similar, many things are the same...., so if I really had to choose, I probably like Taiwan more. Because I think it is really convenient over there.
T: So you were pretty happy there.
C: Yeah, I was happier when I was younger.
T: So you just came back from vacation in Taiwan right?
T: Did you see your old friends and what did you do there?
C: Friends...when I was there I was still very young, so I don't have many friends there. But my relatives are still over there, so I did talk to them and eat with them.
T: You mean your relatives?
T: So where did you go when you were in Taiwan?
C: Not much. When I was younger in Taiwan, I basically did all I could there.
T: Oh! So you mean, when you were in Canada the whole time, you never went back?
C: No, I never went back.
T: Oh, then there should've been many changes.
C: But I think everything seems the same from what I remember. Like, I seem pretty used to everything and nothing's changed.
T: So it should be pretty convenient. If you live in Hong Kong and if you go to Taiwan....I think it's one hour? You'll get there in like an hour!
C: Yeah, very fast.
T: The time is just like if you're stuck in a traffic jam for more than an hour in Hong Kong, haha and you're already in Taiwan!
C: Yeah, it really is very fast.
T: So your parents are in Canada, but many of your relatives are in Taiwan. So when you go back, you can live in their homes? So it's very convenient?
C: Yeah, very convenient, I don't have to live in hotels.
T: So will your parents come back and accompany you sometimes?
C: Yeah, my mom is actually here right now.
T: Oh, your mom is here now?
C: Yeah, and my uncle lives in Hong Kong too. So when I was in Miss Chinese International, he came to see me too.
T: So it seems like that you have a lot of family members that support you. So right now, we'll just take a rest and when we come back we'll continue chatting with you.
T: So right here, we still have winner of Miss Chinese International, Christine Kuo!
So I want to ask, the Gau/Kuo in Kuo Wen Wai...it's the first time I've heard of this.
C: When I was younger, I asked my dad why my last name was "Gau/Kuo" because I think it's quite special. My dad told me our last name is actually the word "Ging(敬)".
T: Oh, as in respect? (尊敬)
C: Yeah, Ging 敬, but before there was a king that had this word and you can't have the same name as the king, so they took the right side of the word (敬) which is the word "Gau/Kuo苟"
T: So you've always believed in this reason?
T: Because we have a writer over there, it's actually quite similar, he said that to avoid having the same name as the King, they had to cut off one side of the word. That's pretty cool.
Anyways, I've also competed in Miss Chinese International, and most of the girls either speak English or Mandarin. But how come your Cantonese is so good?
C: Actually, when I was younger in Canada, I went to church. So in church, half the people were Hong Kong people and half were Taiwanese. Hong Kong speak Cantonese, Taiwanese speak Mandarin so they thought that children learn things pretty quickly so we learn Cantonese so we can translate. So they talk to us in Cantonese.
T: So they talk to you in Cantonese. Oh...no wonder. Because when I first saw you, I thought "I probably need to speak Mandarin or English."
C: I still have many things I need to learn so even though I can't speak Cantonese, I still have to push myself to speak.
T: Well if you stay in Hong Kong, you don't have to worry, because all the people here speak Cantonese so I'm sure you'll get the hand of it.
So I've talked to you for two parts already, and I've seen that you've had a good posture/deportment. I need to learn from you!
Were you taught like this since young at home and really strict?
C: Yeah, my parents are actually pretty strict. Since young till now, I've always had a curfew. Wherever I go, they have to know where I am.
T: So you have to keep the family rule and you cannot break it even once?
C: Yeah, not even once. Because they care for their children, so even though we're considered pretty old now, but they're still looking after us.
T: Haha, so can you tell us some of your family rules?
C: Um, when I go shopping or go out, I have to go with girls and they have to know who you're going with and where and when you're coming back. And you can't wear revealing clothes.
T: Many parents are like that. But lucky for me, I don't have any of these rules. Since I went to England for studies, I have no rules like that. But you're pretty good, now that you're in Hong Kong, you don't need to follow those rules anymore.
C: Yeah, but I've actually gotten used to it already.
C: What time I wake up, what time I sleep, I've gotten used to it all ready. So even if I'm alone now, I think I'll probably still be doing the same.
T: So you mentioned that your rules are pretty strict, so I have a pretty nosy question. If you meet guys, how do you bring guys home? Like eating with your family or something like that when you have a relationship?
Is it like the boy sits here and the parents sit across, and ask "How old are you, what do you do, are you good to my daughter?"
C: It's pretty much like that. They will be like that. If I have to go out, they will make me bring my sister or my brother.
T: So you have to bring like a witness. How old are your brother and sister?
C: My sister is 23 and my brother is a bit younger, he is 19.
T: Oh, so not that far apart. So do you think that you joined the pageant too late? Because when I entered the pageant, I was 23. It's been a few years already. Would you think that you started off too late?
C: I think many people can live up to 100. So 25... is a quarter, so 25 isn't too late. If you really have the heart to learn something, you can do it anytime.
T: So it doesn't matter much. So I hear you say that you care about your profession a lot. So when you're so strong on this side, how about other sides, like love life, fate...would it be because of this that those things will be unbalanced. Have you thought about when you would get married and what your boyfriend will be like?
C: When I was younger, I wished to get married at 28, but right now, I guess it's up to fate. If there is, it will happen.
T: So now, you're already part of the entertainment industry. So if you meet someone, and people find out, people will all be like "making a big deal out of it". Would you be like, "If I like them, I will reveal it. I will share my happiness with you."
C: I think if you don't want to say it, people will know. So I don't think you don't need purposely hide anything. So if I do find someone, I will tell someone...people around me. Like my mom and dad definitely.
T: So how about marriage? From 28, it's now to any time?
C: Yes, just up to fate, go with the flow.
T: So first, I want to thank you for accepting my interview and I hope your star luck will become greater and smooth. Thank you very much. So let me preview a bit, tomorrow's The Green Room guest will be Niki Chow.
So it's about time, so let's say bye to everyone.