She doesn’t fly around on an invisible jet, and no, she doesn’t use a Lasso Of Truth. She may have played the Amazon superheroine once (on the popular Epic Rap Battles Of History video series) but Canadian YouTube sensation and actress Lilly Singh is not Wonder Woman.
As her YouTube username suggests, she’s Superwoman instead. But unlike her comic superhero counterparts, she doesn’t need superpowers to bring positive change to the world: all she needs is her voice, a platform and the lessons she’s learnt from her life.
The well-known YouTuber was in Malaysia recently as part of her How To Be A Bawse – A Guide To Conquering Life book tour, and performed for her fans at a packed show at the Plenary Hall in KLCC. A combination of comedy show and motivational rally, the showcase was certainly memorable, thanks to Lilly’s electric personality and the exuberance of her fans.
“Malaysia! Are you ready?! Thank you for having me, it’s my first time here in this beautiful country!” enthused Lilly as she emerged on stage to riotous cheers, dressed in a blue jacket and slacks.
“The last tour I had, I didn’t come here, and all of you did not like that. So when I went on this tour, I emailed my team, and told them, don’t you DARE forget about Malaysia!”
If you haven’t heard of Lilly Singh before, then what are you doing? Get yourself to YouTube, pronto.
Her channel, Superwoman, has over 11 million subscribers, and her videos have received over 1.8 billion views. Last year, she was ranked third on the Forbes list of highest earning YouTube stars, and has received a slew of digital awards, including an MTV Fandom Award, two Teen Choice Awards and a People’s Choice Award.
Lilly’s videos are mostly comedic (watch her My Parents React series: They are hilarious!) so it was no surprise that the actress also proved pretty funny in person, cracking jokes and doing impressions all throughout her roughly one-and-a-half hour performance at the Plenary Hall.
Her show mostly comprised lessons from her How To Be A Bawse book, which labels itself as the definitive guide to being a BAWSE: “a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side.”
“You cannot be a bawse if you are a slave to your mind. Your mind must be aligned with your goals,” mused Lilly.
“You have to understand that when it comes to success, there are no shortcuts. There’s no escalators, no get-rich quick schemes, there are no piggyback rides. The only way to success is through hard work,” she said at another point of the show.
Other topics covered were the value of investing in yourself, how to make heeds turn, and of course, “being a unicorn”.
While the show was mostly catered to a teenage audience, much of her lessons were very practical (this writer is definitely stealing her advice about “scheduling inspiration”) and it was quite heartwarming to see a teenage audience so supportive of her empowering messages.
Some lessons were delivered in a rather amusing way. For example, she explained why you should go about life like playing a Nintendo game; and why you should be like Santa when you enter a room.
(Because he’s always got presents! Get it? PRESENCE? Okay, it was a lot funnier when Lilly said it.)
This description of the event may make it sound like a lecture; hearing the crowd’s cheers and applause during Lilly’s show, however, you would have thought you were at a rock concert. Some really big fans had even come in unicorn onesies, a reference to Lilly’s debut film A Trip To Unicorn Island.
During the show, the audience hung on to the star’s every word, gamely volunteering for every activity she asked them to do. One young fan was even moved to tears as she was invited on stage to participate in an activity with her idol.
And it’s one thing to make an audience cheer: it’s another to be able to make them go completely silent, as Lilly did when asking her fans to take a moment of silence to be grateful for everything that had happened in their lives so far.
Being able to create pin-drop silence, in a room full of rambunctious, mostly teenage fans psyched from seeing their idol for the first time … if that’s not the sign of a true bawse, then what is?