When it comes to New Year resolutions for the Year of the Snake, Tavia Yeung (楊怡) did not wish for a million-dollar home, hope for more critical acting accolades, or dream for a married life. What Tavia wanted was simple – a happy and relaxing life.
“I wish for a smooth-sailing career that is free from gossip. I wish for good health and happiness to all my loved ones!” exclaimed Tavia under the wishing tree.
The Iron Yeung
For many entertainers, success means more work, less sleep, and higher goals. For Tavia, success means just the opposite –a lesser workload, more sleep, and more time to relax.
After all, the simple-minded Tavia already has everything she was looking to achieve as an actress. Four years after her debut, Tavia won the TVB Anniversary Award for Most Improved Actress. Five years after that, she won Best Supporting Actress. In 2009, Tavia won the My Favorite Female Character award. In 2012, Tavia became the TV Queen. All missions completed.
“I have not missed a single award season in the past thirteen years. My television career is complete. Now, I can relaxingly prepare for my upcoming roles and nominations. Maybe in the future I will only be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award instead of a Best Actress award, but that will not disappoint me. I’ve already been through every step. Now, I just want to relax and have fun.”
Tavia has goals to look forward to reaching in 2013, but are they big ones? Tavia shook her head. “I am not the kind of person who will set my goals unattainably high. I shoot for smaller, everyday goals in life. Now, I will handle my issues with a relaxed mindset so I will not put too much strain on myself. If I set high goals – like purchasing a million-dollar estate, for example – I know in my heart that this would be temporarily unachievable. Why should I be that stupid? Why should I do things that would make me unhappy and stressful? Why not lower my expectations and lower my goals? Once I achieve the smaller ones, I will then be able to take one smaller step further.”
It took Tavia thirteen years to finally grasp the concept of what it means to relax. “I used to be anxious and nervous all the time. I was quite stubborn when it comes to my work, and everything had to be done perfectly and flawlessly. I was constantly on the edge. Because of my long working hours, I tend to overwork myself, and I would get physical pains because of it. Even now, I would occasionally feel muscle pains. Think of it like stretching a rubber band. The band becomes so tight, it is near impossible to put the band back to its original shape. That was how I felt.”
Tavia is a punctual actress. She may be living off with just one hour of sleep or an entire week of non-stop work, but no matter how exhausting her state of mind is, Tavia would never be late. That is a rule she must follow. “I think I’m a very responsible actress!” Tavia laughed, “I always tell myself to never be late to work. If I am late, I will impact the entire filming schedule. I make sure I am always on time. I’ll feel really guilty if I’m late, so I would rather wait for others instead of having others wait for me!”
TVB is known for being a slave house, and Tavia amusingly agreed with this term. She has once tried working nonstop for four days with back-to-back schedules. Tavia laughed. “I was young at the time, and I was physically capable. I also had my acting class classmates working together with me, so we would all encourage each other. The time would go by pretty fast, so I didn’t think it was laborious at all.
“I also like to reward myself! Whenever I finish a job, I will congratulate myself for my hard work. If I knew I would have a long day today, I would tell myself that tomorrow would be a shorter day. After I finish a drama, I will give myself one week off and plan my vacation. It is these small things that help me to go on with my life and continue my career.”
The struggles of being a struggling artist are now over. Tavia can finally afford the time to relax.
“Right now, I am trying to find as many possible ways as I can to spend the time to nurse my health. I will also maintain a healthy mind by telling myself to relax more, to enjoy life, and to cherish my family and friends! I want to happily finish a meal, happily savor the taste of delicious food. I want to spend time to hang out with kids, with dogs – just anything that will make me happy! I have become a much happier and open-minded person. I quite like my life now.”
Tavia may not set very high goals for herself, but there are certain smaller goals that she would like to achieve in her acting career.
“I want to film more mainland Chinese dramas in the future. I want to meet more talented and stronger actors,” said Tavia. “When I filmed the mainland drama The Emperor’s Harem <后宫>, in 2011, I met many, many talented actors, including lead actors, supporting actors, and even extra actors. They are very informed of their own characters. Not only are they competent actors; they also inspire and enlighten me with their work. Mainland China has many hidden talents. I really want to be able to work with more of them in the future!”
Aside from filming more mainland dramas, Tavia also expressed that she wants to work in more comedies in the future, “I am tired of filming tragic dramas. I don’t want to look sad and angry all the time. It just gives me more stress!”
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