Note from LTYM Founder Ann Imig: I feel very fortunate to have the assistance and company of the very bright and talented LTYM Intern Susan Yong for the duration of our 2016 season. LTYM continues an annual tradition of mentoring one college student per season as a production intern who becomes an important part of the Madison team, and also an administrative/creative/editorial assistant for the national project. As LTYM benefits from the assistance and insights of these dedicated individuals, our interns also benefit from the LTYM experience through skills-strengthening and making connections with local directors and friends of the project that often lead to continued professional work and development. Challenge: Guess which comment of Susan’s brought tears to my eyes.
Hi, my name is Susan Yong and I’m the new intern for Listen To Your Mother. I’m so happy to join the family and really excited for our upcoming shows in 2016! In case you’re wondering what I look like…
This is my face.
Lovely Ann was trying to get me to do some interview questions, so if you’re curious about me being a Southeast-Asian studying here, do read up!
- Susan, tell us a bit about your childhood in Malaysia. What were your hobbies and interests? What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you pursuing those same interests?
Now that I think of it, my childhood was pretty uneventful but in a good way. I grew up in a very loving family living in a small town called Kajang. I would do what normal kids do: go to school, do homework, study, hang around with friends, eat, sleep, and repeat the same routine all over again. Compared to my friends, I think I am the least dramatic person I know.
I have always had strong interest in performing. I remember at the age of seven, I was being selected to participate in the school’s singing competition and I ended up landing a consolation prize. Although there was really nothing to brag about and I absolutely had no idea what I was doing at that time, I fell in love with the stage. Since then, I know I want to be performer when I grow up because it makes me happy and it makes me feel invincible. I cannot imagine pursuing other career other than this. So yes, I am pursuing the same interest but at the same time, I am keeping my options open because life is a ride that is full of possibilities and you will never know until the opportunity comes.
- What inspires you now? What dreams do you hope to pursue?
Every little thing inspires me! It sounds really silly but seriously, I can be inspired by a toothbrush and write a song about it. I think part of the reason is because I love stories and I like listening. And that consciously makes me want to be a storyteller. Someday, I hope to be able to inspire people through the story I share. May it be in the form of music, art, or poetry.
- Do you have any favorite books, films, artists, or musicians?
Lately, I have been really obsessed with a band called Kodaline. They write really deep and romantic songs, the kind songs that will make you weep in your bed and think about life. *laughs* I had been to their gig twice and I do not mind going for the third. That is how crazy a fan I am.
p.s. Their Irish accent makes me swoon.
- How’s life in Madison and at the UW? What drew you to LTYM?
Life has been great in Madison (except the fact that I have to go through almost six months of winter every year)! I am living the way that I have always wanted and doing the things that I really like. Juggling between college and work has been a real challenge for me but I cannot ask for more. A lot of people simply do not have the kind of opportunity that I have. I am really grateful for everything that has happened to me. Thank you, mom and dad for so willingly to splurge for my education here. They are awesome! <3
Motherhood empowerment is what really drew me to LTYM. I like that it provides a platform for mothers to inspire each other by simply sharing their experiences. Trivial as it seems, I know that bringing up a child requires more than just feeding milk and rocking baby chair. There are a lot of things that go behind the curtain that we do not usually see. That is why I find LTYM so inspiring. It brings people together by storytelling: from a blog to a stage production, from an online sphere to an offline community. It is a beautiful movement. It is elegant.
- What’s something people might not guess about you? What’s your superpower(s)?
If telepathy is a thing, mind reading is definitely my forte. I can mentally communicate with others without uttering a word. And that freaks me out sometimes.
Thank you, Susan. I feel very fortunate to work alongside such a creative, intuitive, and fun-loving student. I’ll try to keep only good stuff in my mind for you to read instead of my typical obsession–my next meal.
Quiz answer: It is a beautiful movement. It is elegant. That got me, Susan. Thank you.