Why Singapore Social's Sukki Singapora Hasn't Watched The Netflix Reality Series
Since the launch of Netflix reality show Singapore Social late last year, a lot of attention has been focused on its six stars.
Three of the cast members—fashion influencer Mae Tan, singer Tabitha Nauser and burlesque performer Sukki Singapora—are Gen.T honourees. They are joined on the show by Nicole Ong, Singapore chapter lead of Gen.T honouree Pocket Sun's VC firm SoGal Ventures; YouTuber Vinny Sharp; and actor Paul Foster.
Offering viewers a behind-the-curtain glimpse into the lives of Singapore's creative set, the eight-episode series follows each individual as they navigate family, career, love and friendship in front of the cameras.
Burlesque artist Sukki Singapora is seen jetting off to Los Angeles in the name of love and fusing hip-hop and burlesque to push her own creative boundaries. We catch up with Singapora to find out what it was like behind the scenes, and what she thinks about Singapore Social.
What did you do on the day that Singapore Social premiered?
I was working! I made the decision not to watch the show, and enjoy the reactions and feedback from people instead, so the day the show debuted I was actually at a photoshoot. I remember peeking over at my Instagram that evening as new followers started to appear and thinking, “Wow… this is happening. I’m actually on Netflix.” It was surreal.
How have the past few weeks been?
The past few weeks have been bonkers! It feels so bizarre to have people from around the world know exactly what you did on a Tuesday in January, for example. I can’t even remember that far back myself, and there they are telling you exactly what you wore or sharing their favourite moments of you. It has also been really busy, as a result of the attention the show has had here in Singapore.
The biggest thing for me though has just been hearing stories from fans who can relate to my personal journey. It’s the first time I’ve shared so much of myself with the public, and knowing that I’ve perhaps inspired others by putting myself out there means everything to me. It’s why I do what I do.
How did you get involved in the show?
I had been thinking about moving to television for a year or two when one of the producers of Singapore Social reached out to me from Los Angeles. I remember thinking that if I were going to do TV, it couldn’t get much better than Netflix. A few Skype conversations later, I felt reasonably confident that this was the team I could trust my story with. And the rest is history!
Do you think the show portrayed you accurately?
Of course, it’s impossible to condense any human into eight episodes on a reality TV show. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not you think it’s an accurate snapshot of me!
Were you friends with everyone before this?
I knew of some of the cast more than others, but definitely, at the end of filming, we gained a mutual closeness from just going through something for so long together. We’ve definitely developed a bond as a result. I think it’s hard to explain just what filming something like that feels like unless you’ve been through it.
Do you think there will be a season two?
That’s for you, the viewers to decide! After all, this was a piece of work for you more than us. So if enough people want it, I’m sure it’ll happen.
As a burlesque performer, you’re used to expressing yourself on the stage—how was this experience different?
This was a completely different experience! I actually found it rather intense. I’m used to being quite solitary when it comes to preparing for my shows—I guess I’m an introverted extrovert in many ways—and I like to focus and dedicate all my time into rehearsals.
It’s extremely hard to do that when you’re surrounded by so many people in and out of dressing rooms, in your house, in your bedroom, talking to your friends… It definitely amplifies the senses. I found it challenging, but also at times exciting. They really do take you on a rollercoaster journey, and you kind of have to just strap in for the ride.
How have you found the reaction to the show so far?
I think with any unscripted series there’ll always be mixed reviews. But like with any piece of entertainment, if it opens a dialogue then it has done something right! Personally I’m blown away by the support and love people have shown me. I really did wear my heart on my sleeve, and in a way, I’m glad I did because the reaction to my personal story has been so incredible.
I’m extraordinarily grateful to have been a part of this, and I hope that it encourages more aspiring artists to just push themselves without being afraid of looking silly or messing up. That’s the thing about life: it’s perfect in its imperfection.
What have you been doing in the six months since filming wrapped?
The last six months have been a mixture of shows, rehearsals, filming, creating more routines and travelling. Recently, I also made a trip to Kerala, India, for the first time—where my grandparents were born and where my extended family resides.
I wanted to connect to my roots, but also meet local school-children there to hear their stories and struggles and see the ways in which I could possibly help make a difference and give back to my community. I’ve always been a firm believer of the saying: “There’s no point in success if you have no one to share it with,” which is why wherever I can, I try to use my platform to help others in need.
I think my 2020 will definitely be a lot more focused on giving back, my charity work, and also on a new project in Los Angeles that I’m super excited about. I hope to continue to create and inspire everyone who has taken the time to follow me and support my journey so far. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to be the best for them as much as for myself, so I hope I can continue to bring positivity, kindness and creativity to the spaces, places and people that need it the most.