Since the Covid-19 pandemic, getai host Wang Lei has been forced to adopt a different approach to earning a living.
Large gatherings (including getai performances) were banned during the circuit breaker, so the 59-year-old was left with zero income.
Selling seafood online
In a stroke of ingenuity, Wang turned to selling seafood. Online.
Since Apr. 18, he has been selling the products via live stream on his Facebook page, and has accumulated quite a following by cracking inappropriate jokes and crude remarks during his videos.
"The more I scolded them, the more they want to come and watch," he said in a previous interview with Sure Boh Singapore (SBS).
To make the videos more entertaining, Wang has taken to dressing up and even donning wigs on some occasions.
He has since adopted the moniker Mai Yu Ge (Fish-selling Brother in Mandarin).
His most recent live stream on June 15, which was over an hour long, attracted over 400,000 views and 3,600 shares.
And it seems this newfound livelihood is more lucrative too.
According to 8 World News, Wang admitted during a press conference hosted by actor and director Jack Neo that he is able to earn two to three times more from one hour of selling seafood online, than he does for a getai show.
Neo claimed during the press conference that after three months of selling seafood online, Wang was able to purchase a new condominium apartment. Wang, however, quickly denied this.
Even though live streaming might be more profitable than performing at getai shows, Wang said that he would not give up on the latter.
"Getai is my roots and though it doesn't earn much, I won't ever forget my roots."
In the previous interview with SBS, Wang got teary-eyed when asked how he would juggle live streaming and getai performances in the future.
"I'll be honest: Getai fed me, educated me, and gave me everything that I have today. You can even say it helped me to raise my children. I don't think I can lose it."
"I am from getai, I love getai. If one day, the getai needs me, I'll even do it for free."
He also explained that the live streaming process isn't as simple as some might believe.
Before filming each session, Wang would require days of preparation. Live streaming doesn't bring one "easy money," he added.
Top photo from Wang Lei / FB