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Unveil The Richness of Life With Grace Wong

Who is Grace Wong? Who is G.Racie? She’s a beauty pageant winner, acclaimed actress, TV host, singer, dancer, music video director, wife, daughter, devout Christian, and friend. The multifaceted diva unveils stories from her  14-year journey of entertaining, her relationships, and her definition of a luxurious life.

October 5, 2021

Thank you for gracing the cover of our first anniversary issue! You’ve enjoyed a very successful entertainment career. Did you always want to be an actress?

I like the entertainment industry and I really like roles that are very different from me in real life. If I look in the mirror and I don’t recognise myself, I start to imagine what that character would be like – and that really fascinates me. I also enjoy singing and stage performance. I’m someone who grew up watching music videos, learning the choreography, and learning the lyrics to the music that I liked. Many performers are trained in their craft, but for me, I always thought that if I studied the things that I liked to do, I might hate them in the end. I’m just one of those people who, if you force me to do something, I just don’t want to do it – I’m very rebellious! After all, I do like the performing arts. From a young age, I always saw myself on a concert stage, performing.

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

But I wouldn’t describe myself as successful and I don’t see myself as having the ability to pick and choose whatever projects I want yet – it’d be a luxury I’d like to have one day! But I have more choices than before. As a singer, I’d like to have songs that can connect me to my fans and audiences. It’s interesting, because I never really thought I was going to be an actress and didn’t really take acting classes. I was much more into singing, dancing, and performing.

At the beginning, acting for me was rough – I’m not used to having a camera in my face and I also have a very bad memory in terms of lines. When it comes to memorising a script, it was so nightmare-ish for me. I felt like I was memorising sounds instead of words. It’s hard to enjoy acting when the script is such a blockage. The first few years, I was constantly memorising stuff. It wasn’t until six or seven years in, when my language skills had improved, that I could focus more on my emotions and working with my co-stars, discussing scenes, and thinking about the possibility of different ways to approach the scene. Also, the first few years [after returning to Hong Kong from New York] were just getting used to the Hong Kong culture, which is very fast-paced. I’m proud of myself that I’ve been in this industry for 14 years now!

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

What are the highlights and lowlights of your career so far? And how did you overcome your lowest moments?

The low part was towards the very beginning. I did very well in the [Miss Hong Kong 2007] pageant, and then I won an international dance competition between China and Hong Kong. Shortly after that, I did a food show and the director said I did really well. But when the programme aired, there was so much feedback saying “She’s so exaggerated” or “Her voice is so pitchy” – everyone seemed to be coming at me. That was the time I was reaching a level of depression and I started having an eating disorder, simply because I was so scared to eat in front of people. I thought the world was judging me on how I would react to food after I ate it. It was very stressful.

Because of that experience, I was so scared of people, especially the evil side of media. I was grateful because that was also the time when I gave my life to Jesus. That was a spiritual awakening. I feel like if I didn’t have my Christian community, I probably would have left the industry one or two years after that. I was very thankful that I found my faith. Through that, I started learning more about myself, about my self-worth, about my identity. When you start knowing who you are and when people say you’re something else, you know that’s not true.

I had a few highlights when I finally got my Cantonese more solidified. The drama A Fist Within Four Walls was also one of my highlights, set in the 1950s and ’60s. It was a challenge back then, but I welcome challenges. In scenes when I had to fight, that’s me using my skill as a performing artist, as a dancer, and being in a character that really doesn’t resemble me. I just like the transformation to become someone else. That character was well received and I feel like I’ve found my niche as an actress.

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

How do you celebrate success?

I love to invite people who have gone through ups and downs with you, and have a little party or a little dinner. I’m not a very big party girl. I think just having good friends and family get together for a nice meal to celebrate how far you’ve come is such a blessing. Part of the celebration is in the work you get because of the recognition you’ve gotten. We’re just happy when we get more work! I’m a simple person when it comes to celebrating.

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

As you’ve said, love and support aren’t given to just anyone. How do you maintain the relationships with your loved ones?

Genuinely care for people around you. Be there for them when they aren’t doing very well and celebrate their successes when they are. Just treat people the way you want to be treated! It’s a huge investment, with all your love and energy. I remember one of my friends was out of work for almost a year, so for her birthday, we went shopping with her. We bought outfits that she would look beautiful and confident in during interviews, and helped prepare for her new job before she got the job. That’s the thing I really like to do for people around me. If you know that they’re really stressed, we can pamper them – bring them for a nice spa treatment. I wouldn’t spend that money on myself, but I’d spend it on my friend if they needed it.

There’s one couple I know who have been married for many years and haven’t had a honeymoon. So a few friends and I chipped in to treat them to a vacation. To them, that would be a lifetime memory and they’ll feel loved. I’m always trying to find ways to bless people. Whether through money, gifts, quality time, or just affirmation. When I bless people, I get a lot of satisfaction. I feel like there’s a reason I’m on Earth. When you’re able to bless people, that’s such a luxury!

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

Recently you’ve expanded your horizons to become a producer for your own music and dancing under the name G.Racie. Tell us about this new chapter. What motivates you for this new venture?

Two years ago, which was 12 years into my career, I still had this dream of singing and dancing. I was talking to my husband one day and he said, “What’s stopping you from chasing your dream? Now that you’re in a position to be able to make your dream come true, don’t give it up now.” He reminded me that at the very beginning of my career, I was willing to give up everything, such as my life and friends in New York, to stay here in Hong Kong. I risked it all. Now I’ve built my connections and have a good network. So two years ago, I invested some money to do a few songs that really represent me – building my own profile as a singer and dancer. I hit many walls, but slowly I created my first project, Casada.

I want my first three songs to be about my relationship with my husband, as that was a part of my journey that I wanted to share. The name G.Racie then came along when singers Janice and Jill [Vidal] came over to my house one day – we thought that Grace is such a hard name to scream at a concert! I’m known as Grace the actress, but I’m called Gracie by my close friends, so we put a period in it to create this character G.Racie. The spelling is the same and that represents a stage-performing side of me. I was really thankful that I found this other character, and when people call me G.Racie on the street, I know that they’ve heard my music! Sometimes I feel like I have an identity crisis – am I G.Racie the performer, or Grace the actress, or just me myself? But I kind of enjoy it.

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

Between acting, singing, and dancing, which one is your favourite and why?

I think singing is the toughest one. It’s very non-visual, although I would like to visualise my singing – and I’m learning how to do that. Singing is the one that I find the most difficult to express myself. In acting, you aren’t really expressing yourself – you’re expressing the character, which I find fun. And I think dancing comes very close to my heart, since I started dancing very young. Dancing to me is more innate and less learned. Singing and acting are more about learning how to do it and do it well, but dancing comes naturally for me. I wouldn’t know which one is my favourite, but I couldn’t see my life without dancing – that’s the hardest to completely detach my life from. Dancing, to me, is sharing joy.

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

What’s next for you? Is there a next thing you want to achieve in life?

I’m working on my music, and the dramas I did for the past two to three years are all starting to come out. I’m also trying new projects for my acting, which I’m quite excited about – they aren’t the usual dramas that I’ve done before. I’m also working on my own business, but I’d like to keep it a secret for now. For my next achievement, I would love to have a mini-concert. When more and more people get to know who G.Racie is, and when she gets more songs in her portfolio, that would be a dream come true. I would like to have a concert with at least two to three shows. I really want to celebrate dance, and with everyone having a good time, that’s what a concert is all about!

Grace Wong | Photo: Ricky Lo

Can you share three tips to our readers on how to celebrate and improve the richness of life?

First, invest your time wisely on people that you love and really care for. Have a few close individuals that you know you can go to when you’re down in your life. Supporting each other and celebrating together really enhances the richness of your life. Second, spend money where it needs to be spent. If you really have a passion for something, invest in learning a new craft or improving on that skill. I keep my lifestyle pretty simple so I can spend my money on things I’m passionate about. When opportunity comes your way, you’ll feel like you’re prepared for it. Third, spend enough time to rest and to know yourself better, do the things that you enjoy.

ECHELON is a luxury lifestyle magazine, and luxury to us is having the freedom to create and enjoy the finer things in life. What does the word “luxury” mean to you?

To me, luxury is having the freedom to choose to do what you like to do. Choices are such a luxury!

PHOTOGRAPHY:
RICKY LO

VIDEOGRAPHY:
JARVIS WAN & JASON TO @BLACK CAT IMAGE

ART DIRECTION:
VIVIEN WONG

STYLING:
BIRD TSE

HAIR:
JAMIELEEHAIR

MAKE-UP:
KARRIE YUM

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