Kevin N. is a Singaporean make-up artist and hairstylist.
He has worked with Vietnamese showbiz people for quite a long time.
In this article, he writes about the dark side of the industry in Vietnam from his own point of view.
Engaging in the make-up industry for quite a long time, I have worked with showbiz people in some Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.
Through what I have seen and heard (I spent four years learning Vietnamese), I think Vietnamese showbiz is so complicated and the following problems currently confront local celebrities:
Vietnamese celebrities often bad-mouth their colleagues.
Unlike Thai, Singaporean, or South Korean artists who tend to support each other to make progress in their career, many singers and actors/actresses in Vietnam usually find ways to ‘sink’ their co-workers.
In particular, some Vietnamese artists offered to pay my staff so that they applied ugly make-up or a hideous hairstyle on their ‘rivals.’
I myself received similar requests in return for a huge amount of money together with other benefits.
Some even give their colleagues unpleasant nicknames.
I am also surprised at how hypocritical a number of Vietnamese celebrities are.
They would be willing to give harsh comments right after sweetly greeting and hugging each other.
I still remember one pretty famous male singer turned to others and said:
“She would be there as a kept woman rather than a singer”
Just moments after he congratulated a female singer on an invitation to perform in the U.S.
One particular thing that keeps confusing me is why Vietnam has so many singers?
Some young Vietnamese who are my customers have become singers thanks to a good appearance although they have a really bad voice.
Honestly speaking, I cannot ‘absorb’ any bit of what they call ‘the best’ in the CDs they gave me.
I know many sad stories that resulted from the fact that so many Vietnamese people want to become singers.
Many young Vietnamese who once participated in small and big model competitions have become the preys for immoral artists and showmen.
It is now a common sight in which senior artists and showmen walk hand in hand with beautiful young boys and girls.
They freely make affectionate gestures even though they may meet each other for several days only.
I once asked a 20-year-old male model if he was in a relationship with the showman X. and he ignored me.
It was not until the showman publicly announced his new ‘lover’ that the model admitted to having a sexual relationship with him before.
The young man explained that he was both lured by the showman’s sweet promise to make him a star, and scared by his warning of rendering him impossible to work in the entertainment industry if he refused to have an intimate relationship.
Innocence, greed for fame, and an improper education have all driven many young people to lose themselves.
I am sure that there are many cases like the model’s in Vietnamese showbiz, as I have witnessed such eyesores at my shop, behind the curtains, and in bars and night clubs.
And how on earth would one explain the reason for young artists buying houses, cars, and expensive handbags after joining showbiz for a short time, although they had to rent an apartment and borrow a motorbike not long ago?
I also know of some good-looking singers who have good voices but agree to sing in small cafés, and of models walking off the runway simply because they are afraid to encounter senior tough people in the industry.
Insiders are already familiar with singers and models hiring people to beat one another for ‘warning.’
Some want to become bad guys with shocking statements and actions since all this is considered a good way of publicity in Vietnam.
Instead of regular training, they spend time creating scandals to be covered in the press.
Recently, I have heard many ugly things about Vietnamese showbiz, but I think it is just part of the chaos out there.
Of course, what I have just spoken out does not provide a comprehensive picture of the local entertainment industry, as every sector has its own bright and dark sides.
All I want by telling the above stories is to remind parents to be careful and not to let their children enter the industry so early because traps are always set up there.