Life of Artists: Making a Living During Pandemic

Doing honest work to put food on the table, like the rest of us.

Experts really meant it when they said Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate. 

If there’s a bigger picture to learn from the pandemic, it’s that life is fragile and everybody is equal - in a society, people and industries will fail to function without one another. 

The pandemic has also taught us that even the best and most talented of us will find a hard time escaping the wrathful effects of the coronavirus towards our economy. 

With unemployment rates projected to rise, some of our beloved veteran artists in the entertainment scene are also struggling to find work just like the rest of us. 

While their new-found side hustles are not as glamorous as being under the spotlight, a few artists have highlighted the importance of being resourceful and creative to earn an alternative income. 

From tapping into their hidden culinary talents to providing e-hailing services, let’s have a look at how some of our favourite celebrities are putting food on the table (literally!).

‘Joanne Kam Poh Poh’ - Malaysia’s Queen of Comedy

Image via Malay Mail

In a recent interview with Malay Mail, comedienne Joanne Kam lamented that the Covid-19 pandemic and MCO had caused many art practitioners to lose their source of income. 

She is most-known for her parody songs, hilarious skits and stand-up comedy that make her audience burst into laughter. 

While the 47-year-old is still performing for online shows, most of them are free of charge. 

Hence, to find an alternative income, she started making her signature roast pork and selling them to customers that consist mainly of her fans and Facebook friends, with many complimenting her “superb and perfect” ‘siew yok’ (roast pork). 

Maya Karin - Actress, TV Host & Singer

Image via Maya Karin

Joanne Kam is not the only one putting her culinary skills to good use. 

During the MCO period, local actress Maya Karin impressed her neighbors and fans with her burger-flipping skills, so much that she decided to turn it into a grilled burger business. 

What started out as an act of kindness for her lucky neighbors escalated quickly into a business opportunity when customers kept coming back for more.

As her burger business continued to thrive, more customers had requested her to expand her business to other places like Putrajaya and Penang. 

Thomas Kok - Singer, Member of ‘Thomas Jack’ (东于哲)

Image via Oriental Daily 

Thomas Kok is a member of the Malaysia homegrown pop-duo band, ‘Thomas Jack’. As a talented singer, he has also always been interested in the fields of health and wellness. 

During the MCO, Kok decided to launch May & Zymes, an active enzyme drink product. To his surprise, the product was immediately sold out. 

Considering that it was a completely new product launched during a period when people would be more frugal with their spending, the success of his product came as a wonder. 

However, it made him realize that during the epidemic, people would be more concerned about health more than before, which he found was an important business realization.

Mohamad Izwan Mohamad Nor - Singer / Champion of Mentor Season 4

Image via Mstar

Mohamad Izwan is the champion of a local singing competition show Mentor in 2010. 

Despite his success in the entertainment industry, he doesn’t feel embarrassed to share that apart from singing at events, Mohd enjoys being a driver for e-hailing service providers to supplement his income. 

In a report by New Straits Times, Mohd said he strives to work hard for an honest living to support his family. He also enjoys entertaining his passengers and never refuses when they request for a song. 

As demonstrated by the artists above, it is important to adapt and overcome challenging situations when they arise. 

The show must go on. And if we were to take a closer look at how these artists soared through the pandemic, there’s a pattern of quality to be found:


Image via New York Times 

Those without it often misconstrue humility as a sign of weakness and lack of confidence. 

It is far from that. 

As proven by the artists above, who have all tasted victory and fame, the quality of being humble is one of the main keys to success.

We’re not saying that doing “normal” jobs is less important than being under the limelight, but the examples above have shown that if one could truly humble themselves and adapt, there are greater things waiting to be achieved.


Image via High Desert Counseling

Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, as everyone will experience their own highs and lows. 

From minor everyday challenges to taking on an arduous journey, every phase in life is meant to teach you lessons that will help you grow and improve along the way. 

Evidently, COVID-19 has taken a toll on many of us. But are you going to keep using it as an excuse or  bounce back with a smile?

Leverage on Your Connections

Image via Mark Rubin’s Research 

Let’s face it, most of the artists above already have established branding and platforms to reach out to their audience, giving them a huge head start in their businesses.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, they’ve taught us the importance of building and leveraging on your connections, and how building a strong brand around your name can garner loyal fans who would be beneficial in the long run. 

That said, it doesn’t take a superstar to build a strong brand. Regardless of who you are, everyone can benefit from having an admirable reputation and strong connections with those in the industry. 

We’ve helped many industry leaders, CEOs, founders, brands and companies build up their personal brand. Needless to say, PR and personal branding are some of the best investment strategies that would help you connect with your target audience and secure loyal customers.

If you’re ready to take on a challenging but rewarding journey, hit us up at!


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