Singapore, SINGAPORE - Content Producer
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in August 2017
Clarisse is a young 30-year-old Singaporean. She recently created a content production company with two other partners. As she puts it, "it is not easy to have a creative job in a country like Singapore." This does not prevent her from being full of hope and humor.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a vet.
I used to bring home cats that I found in the streets, then washing them in the bathroom. That drove my mum crazy. I would also rescue birds.
But now I have 3 cats so that’s the closest I could be to be a vet, I guess.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
I have never thought of that before! It would be with Donald Trump. I would have a lot of things to say to him. Firstly, I would fix his hair which does not give him any credits.
Talking of a more positive choice, I would go for an old person who was born in the early 20th century. I think it would be interesting to learn about their lifestyle and how life was at that time. I really like to meet new people.
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
I would have a compulsory pet-sitting class, where they must take care of different pets. I have friends that are scared about cats or rats. When exposing young children to animals and taking care of small and vulnerable creatures, they learn a lot of important values. Teaching values is very difficult but even more needed nowadays. Many people are focused on reckless things: consuming goods, technologies while values are what make a human being better.
To you, what’s the main characteristic that all human being has in common?
Cruelty, and it is increasing. It might not have always been so, but with social media, one tends to see more bad stuff online. Therefore, Twenty Questions for the World is a very good project because it shares positive content on the web. Unfortunately, people would rather share negative things and I hope it will change for the better.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
My cat, but she is not a person.
Everyone can be happy, I can be the happiest one. I wish everyone can be the happiest person on earth, rather than one only person getting that great title. Everyone should be happy and should do what makes him happy, like quitting a job that you don’t like.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
LGBT rights, love is universal.
What do you need?
I feel like I am happy and in a good position. Of course, there are a lot of things I want; but none that I need.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I would buy you a meal and buy myself tickets to the furthest place on earth from where I am now and spend holidays there.
I would also eliminate squat toilets, it is a uniquely Asian thing. There are so many bad things that can happen with squat toilets. I would spend my one-million eradicating and replacing them with toilet bowls
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
Teleportation, or at least something to bring me from my bed to my office. It takes me too much time to wake up and I sleep too much.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
I do not want to go into politics or transports, but those topics are breaking the news.
LGBT rights again. Recently, two men were arrested in Dubai for cross-dressing, saying looking feminine. They were sentenced to one year in prison, which is pure non-sense to me. What defines dressing and looking feminine? A lot of countries are becoming more LGBT friendly but there is still a lot that needs to be done. Anyone can live his life the way he wants and try to be happy, as soon as he is contributing to society. We should not have opinion about others.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
My life is easier. We have much more than what they had, even if life can be more complicated. We have choices, freedom and financial stability, whereas their life was more about survival. Take my grandmother who had 13 kids, she only had time for them during the day. I wish they were living my generation because they would be happier.
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
I have already created my own company with two co-founders: a film production house. But if I could create something else, it would be a library. Not a government-style, it would be my library with only things I like: books, magazines, comics. Everything that is sensitive, wrong, non-stereotypical.
Can you draw something beautiful?
I am not sure about this, but I used to draw it everywhere. I even put it into stickers and would stick them everywhere. The drawing is a lovely cat. If you want to copyright this, I will not charge you a lot. It’s art!
Can you sing something beautiful?
I know a song I used to sing every day, like anyone born in the 80’s.
“I love you, you love me. We are happy family with a great big heart and a kiss from me to you. Why don’t you say you love me too?”
What are you afraid of?
Not existing, meaning what is there after I die. I am not a religious person, so I am questioning myself about it. Where do I go?
What is your dream?
I do not have a fancy dream. I only want to be a productive and good person, it is simple. I want to live a meaningful life for myself, and the people around me as well.
When you are young, unsecure and finding yourself, you surround yourself with many people. That is the way you define who you are and which kind of persons you get along with. As you get older and more mature, you reduce that number of people to the only positive ones, those that really matter. My dream is to be in that circle with people that matters.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
I see a multicultural country, or city, or nation. I believe there is no more segregation.
I have a positive view of the future.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
What inspires me is details in nature. Urban people like me are living in cluttered environment, so one should make a pause and look at details. I am talking about the design on a tree bark or the veins on a leaf for example. Once, I missed my bus because I was so fascinated by a bug trying to catch a fly.
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would be the title?
“Get you shit together”
Who is God for you?
God is whoever you make it to be. My mum is Christian, my dad is Buddhist. I do not have a religion because I would have to choose a side. To me, God is my own destiny. If there is one God, he or she would want one to be independent and self-reliant, not blaming anyone or thing for what happens to him.
Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of?
The young people. We are brought in a safe and rich environment which enables us to pursue our own interests. I am surrounded with very interesting and funny people.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
I would be an unemployed person, that is a job too! Why do you ask me questions with so many answers? I would be a cat café owner, playing with cats every day and get paid.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?
Do they even talk English? I would give him food and alcohol and would see what happens from there.
And you, which question would you like to ask the world?
What did you do today that makes someone else’s day? I think you made my day!