With her calm presence and beautiful harp playing, 23-year-old Celina Harto (陳楨怡) won first runner-up in the Miss Hong Kong 2020 pageant. In an interview with Celina, she shared her journey of how she got to where she is today and her hopes of spending at least eight years in the entertainment industry to develop her career.
Although Celina was a hot favorite from the very beginning of the competition, she only got first runner-up in the end. Rather than viewing it as a loss, she believes that she won a lot in return. She said, “Through this pageant, I learned so much and became more confident. I used to be very soft-spoken and lacked confidence, but now everyone could see that I am a better public speaker. I am very happy to see these improvements. I think I didn’t win because I was nervous and not natural enough.”
Even so, Celina received praise from Nancy Wu (胡定欣), Pakho Chau (周柏豪), and Crystal Fung (馮盈盈) for her outstanding harp performance in the pageant’s talent portion. However, Celina only began learning the harp one month before the competition, and picking up a new instrument at the last minute caused her to struggle a lot.
Although she wanted to challenge herself and play the familiar song of “River Flows In You” on such a unique instrument, Celina began feeling the pressure two days before the pageant. She recalled that she couldn’t even play a single note even after three tries when it was her turn to practice because her hands kept sweating. She then went home crying and pushed herself to practice until three in the morning. She said, “I usually practice alone, but there were a lot of dancers and other people looking during rehearsal. The dancers beside gave me a lot of encouragement, so I was able to perform successfully on the actual day.”
Celina Studied Architecture at University
Mastering a song on a novel instrument within one month is not an easy feat, but luckily, Celina has always been very artistic from a young age and even won an art scholarship. In high school, she studied fashion but knew that she might not be able to make a living with art. So she chose to pursue architecture instead of the arts at university because the occupation would still allow her to draw while providing more stability.
When she started competing for Miss Hong Kong, many of her classmates at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL began messaging her. She said, “They kept asking me why I was competing and that I would be the school’s first architecture student to participate in Miss Hong Kong.”
Her Parents’ Reaction to Celina Joining the Industry
Even though Celina’s father really wanted her to become an architect, she wanted to experience being on camera. In the end, he supported her decision since she had a plan – she would stay in the entertainment industry for the next eight years to see if the path is for her. While her older brother is supportive, her older sister, who she calls her second mother, is very nervous for her and would always be the first one to find her news. Whenever Celina’s mother and sister read negative press about Celina, they would be so worried that they’d have trouble falling asleep.
Meanwhile, Celina has been reacting to the negative news calmly since she understands that criticism would follow with entering the pageant. She usually reads it and moves on without letting it affect her mood. On the other hand, Celina usually has to calm her family instead. When asked if her boyfriend is concerned, she said, “He is half worried and half happy. He is worried that I won’t have as much time to spend with him, and happy that I can do what I want.”
Celina Knows How to Take Care of Herself
Many noticed that Celina has a very Western mentality, and it turns out it is because she and her younger sister spent eight years in England for their studies. She shared that studying abroad built her independence as she had to take care of herself and her younger sister since her parents and older siblings were not by their side anymore.
Sharing a scary experience from being abroad, she said, “One time when I was getting my computer fixed, a stranger tried to talk to me, but I ignored him and continued home. Then, I realized he was following me. I didn’t dare to open the door to my building. When he asked for my number, I immediately turned onto the bigger street filled with people to escape from him.”
Keeping the same wit and poise that she carried in that situation, Celina will undoubtedly navigate future obstacles as an artiste with ease.
Source: MingPao Weekly
This article is written by Hailey for JayneStars.com.