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Here are a number of things that @milotruckdreams was prepared to inform me about herself:
1. She’s Singaporean.
2. She’s Chinese.
3. She was born in Singapore, and she or he grew up in Singapore.
4. She’s lived abroad for “quite a while”.
5. She’s aged 18 to 35 years previous.
6. She’s unemployed and searching for a full-time job.
7. She used to do stand-up comedy within the U.Okay., the place she lived for a interval of her life. She refuses to expose what she was within the U.Okay. for, how lengthy she was there for, and when she got here again to Singapore (“Secret.”)
All fairly obscure and evasive, you might assume.
And listed below are a number of visible observations from seeing her in individual:
1. She was sporting a pastel tie-dye shirt with a denim miniskirt, seeking to be in her mid-twenties.
2. Her face was nearly utterly obscured by a masks, a cap, and a pair of shiny yellow, reflective visor sun shades. This was the case for the whole thing of our interview, till our photoshoot, the place her id was much more resolutely hid by a Carousell buy:
3. She has tattoos, though a few of them are faux. Specifically those on her fingers, she informed me.
Beyond this, I’ll not recognise her the following time I stroll previous her on the road. Or I would, from her none-faux, everlasting tattoo(s). I sensed gentle alarm from @milotruckdreams (henceforth MTD) after I conveyed as a lot.
Here’s one other frivolous crumb about herself that MTD fed me with: once upon a time, whereas nonetheless a teen, she got fired from her job at a bubble tea store.
Nothing too stunning; an informal abuse of the membership system to redeem free bubble tea for herself day by day.
“And then the boss found out. Actually, technically, I quit just before they fired me, but ehhh, in most definitions I got fired.”
I adopted up: “Did you regret it?”
She added: “Yeah but also like it’s not like I was drinking 100 cups a day. How many can I drink?”
Although she supplied meagre particulars about her private life and experiences, MTD unfurled her interior world for us with little reservations.
On being mildly well-known
One of the things we focus on, in fact, is her rise to social media fame.
In simply three months, MTD has satisfied about 25,000 customers to observe her account.
“My [Instagram] engagement is damn good,” she says matter-of-factly, with no hint of bashfulness, after I deliver up the numbers.
For one thing that started off of boredom and out of spite for the native comedic scene (scoffing at what brings within the views), amongst other causes, the account’s progress is principally the stuff of moist goals for PR and advertising and marketing businesses.
But as oxymoronic because it sounds, MTD stays a (comparatively) well-known anonym.
She’s beforehand spoken about doing a “face reveal” on the 100,000-follower mark, however she shortly clarifies that she mentioned it as a joke, as that milestone appeared unbelievable then.
“If I hit 100,000, I’m still not going to do anything I don’t want to do ah.”
MTD lists a number of causes for staying nameless.
“One, I want the content to speak for itself. Two, I don’t want to like, get all insecure about like, people leaving comments about how I look. I don’t even want that to be a thing. And then, I think it’s good that people’s notions of MTD [are] purely through IG.
“It permits them to venture no matter they need onto me. So like, lots of people assume like, they’ve a conception that I look good, which is, I believe, only a human factor.”
She’s also worried that MTD would affect her career, or that being a public figure would limit what she can say.
If you know, you know
But that’s not to say that her identity is a complete secret.
A few of her friends—constituting a “minority” of her social circle—are aware that she’s behind the Instagram account.
There are also a few others, whom she is not as close with, who possess this piece of knowledge.
“[…] In the start, I did not assume it might be something. So I anyhow inform individuals [that I’m MTD]. Then I remorse now. So there are a number of—like three, 4 individuals—who know however I do not need them to know however no alternative already.”
As for whether she’s afraid if these people will leak her identity, MTD says, “Short of asking them to signal a NDA (non-disclosure settlement), I am unable to do something.”
It’s not completely out of the question that the unveiling will take place some day in the hazy future, however.
But for now, she reasons, there’s just more pros to staying anonymous than being known.
I ask what some may deem a harsh question—if she’s afraid of disappointing followers if she does reveal her face—but MTD answers it readily, with a healthy dose of pragmatism:
“Yeah, I believe there will likely be like, some individuals who will likely be like, ‘Omg that is not what I anticipated you to appear to be.'”
Somewhat nice expectations
Although her gentle diploma of fame was not “premeditated”, as she places it, MTD has no false modesty about her expectations relating to going viral.
“I think it’s a lie if people who put content publicly, to a public audience, don’t think that they can get readers. If not then why are you posting it?
“I imply for me I wished to seek out out if individuals would discover my stuff humorous. I assume I’m humorous.”
Like many content creators out there, MTD does “take into consideration” the number of likes on her posts, but she consciously chooses not to be obsessed over it.
Underperforming posts are taken in stride, and approached from an almost scientific/methodical point of view.
“If a publish would not get quite a lot of likes, it would not make me really feel dangerous. I’ll simply be like, ‘Oh, okay, that is attention-grabbing.’ Because normally the publish that I believe will do nicely do not do nicely, then the publish that I believe will not do nicely do nicely.”
But anonymous or not, MTD is not spared from the necessary cliché of being an online personality: being authentic.
It’s something that she places heavy emphasis on, being able to write what she likes.
“I believe the second I begin writing stuff for other individuals, it will likely be very apparent, and… and… it will destroy every part that is gratifying about MTD. For me, and possibly for them.”
Sponsored content is not entirely out of the question, however, but the same principle holds: only with brands or events that she likes or finds meaningful.
In fact, an opportunity has already come knocking at her door, although it didn’t go through in the end.
After her diatribe on clubbing went viral, an event planner/promoter had approached her, apparently to promote ticket sales.
“So then I used to be like, clearly not, your occasion sucks.”
When I ask if they at least offered anything in return, MTD lets on: “The dialog did not actually progress, like I simply got the vibe from them that this isn’t collaboration, and this was like, for gross sales.”
Source of inspiration, or lack thereof
I hit MTD with another run-of-the-mill interview question: does she follow any local comedians?
“No,” she cuts in real quick.
But she is somewhat acquainted with them, having started off her social media career by parodying them on an account called milodumptruck.
I try to get her views on some of these personalities, but came away with little success:
Me: I’m going to list maybe a few more prominent [names], let’s say Annette, Annette Lee, she’s getting quite popular these days-
MTD: I don’t know who she is.
Me: You don’t know who she is. Damnnnn. Ok let me show you-
MTD: I don’t want to know.
I prod further as to why not, and MTD replies, “It’s crucial to curate (lengthy pause) what you are uncovered to.”
To put this in a clearer context, MTD refrains from closely following other comedians as she foresees two potential outcomes from it, both negative:
1) It might limit her belief on what content creation can be, as a result of having a well-defined realm in which “content material appears to be taking place”.
2) She could end up comparing herself with them, and then trying too hard to be different.
No, she doesn’t read Mothership either, or the news in general. The little content that she does consume centres around books, YouTube videos, and movies.
Right now, she’s spending too much time on Instagram, she admits. Way too much.
On the afternoon of Aug. 7, however, you’ll find MTD at Merely Ice Cream in Sunshine Plaza, serving up milo sundaes to protect street cats.
But she will not be displaying her face simply but—we’ve requested.
Top picture by Olivia Lin