@milotruckdreams once got fired from her bubble tea job & other things we learned from meeting her – Mothership.SG

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Here are a few things that @milotruckdreams was willing to tell me about herself:

1. She’s Singaporean.

2. She’s Chinese.

3. She was born in Singapore, and she grew up in Singapore.

4. She’s lived overseas for “quite a while”.

5. She’s aged 18 to 35 years old.

6. She’s unemployed and looking for a full-time job.

7. She used to do stand-up comedy in the UK, where she lived for a period of her life. She refuses to divulge what she was in the UK for, how long she was there for, and when she came back to Singapore (“Secret.”)

All quite vague and evasive, you may think.

And here are a few visual observations from seeing her in person:

1. She was wearing a pastel tie-dye shirt with a denim miniskirt, looking to be in her mid-twenties.

2. Her face was almost completely obscured by a mask, a cap, and a pair of bright yellow, reflective visor sunglasses. This was the case for the entirety of our interview, until our photoshoot, where her identity was even more resolutely concealed by a Carousell purchase:

Photo by Olivia Lin

3. She has tattoos, although some of them are fake. Specifically the ones on her fingers, she told me.

Beyond this, I may not recognize her the next time I walk past her on the street. Or I might, from her none-fake, permanent tattoo (s). I sensed mild alarm from @milotruckdreams (henceforth MTD) when I conveyed as much.

Here’s another frivolous crumb about herself that MTD fed me with: once upon a time, while still a teenager, she got fired from her job at a bubble tea shop.

Nothing too shocking; a casual abuse of the membership system to redeem free bubble tea for herself every 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 followed up: “Did you regret it?”

“No.”

She added: “Yeah but also like it’s not like I was drinking 100 cups a day. How many can I drink?”

Although she provided meagre details about her personal life and experiences, MTD unfurled her inner world for us with little reservations.

On being mildly famous

One of the things we discuss, of course, is her rise to social media fame.

In just three months, MTD has convinced about 25,000 users to follow her account.

“My [Instagram] engagement is damn good, “she says matter-of-factly, with no trace of bashfulness, when I bring up the numbers.

For something that started out of boredom and out of spite for the local comedic scene (scoffing at what brings in the views), among other reasons, the account’s growth is basically the stuff of wet dreams for PR and marketing agencies.

But as oxymoronic as it sounds, MTD remains a (relatively) famous anonym.

She’s previously spoken about doing a “face reveal” at the 100,000-follower mark, but she quickly clarifies that she said it as a joke, as that milestone seemed improbable then.

“If I hit 100,000, I’m still not going to do anything I do not want to do ah.”

MTD lists several reasons for staying anonymous.

“One, I want the content to speak for itself. Two, I do not want to like, get all insecure about like, people leaving comments about how I look. I do not 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 allows them to project whatever they want onto me. So like, a lot of people think like, they have a conception that I look good, which is, I think, just a human thing.”

She’s also worried that MTD would affect her career, or that being a public figure would limit what she could 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 beginning, I did not think it’d be anything. So I anyhow tell people [that I’m MTD]. Then I regret now. So there are a few — like three, four people — who know but I do not want them to know but no choice already. “

As for whether she’s afraid if these people will leak her identity, MTD says, “Short of asking them to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement), I can not do anything.”

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 think there will be like, some people who will be like, ‘Omg that’s not what I expected you to look like.'”

Photo by Olivia Lin

Somewhat great expectations

Although her mild degree of fame was not “premeditated”, as she puts it, MTD has no false modesty about her expectations when it comes to going viral.

“I think it’s a lie if people who put content publicly, to a public audience, do not think that they can get readers. If not then why are you posting it?

[…]

“I mean for me I wanted to find out if people would find my stuff funny. I think I’m funny. “

Like many content creators out there, MTD does “think about” 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 post doesn’t get a lot of likes, it doesn’t make me feel bad. I’ll just be like, ‘Oh, okay, that’s interesting.’ Because usually the post that I think will do well don’t do well, then the post that I think won’t do well do well. “

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 think the moment I start writing stuff for other people, it will be very obvious, and … and … it’ll ruin everything that’s enjoyable about MTD. For me, and probably 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 did not 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 was like, obviously not, your event sucks.”

When I ask if they at least offered anything in return, MTD lets on: “The conversation did not really progress, like I just got the vibe from them that this is not collaboration, and this was like, for 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 do not know who she is.

Me: You do not know who she is. Damnnnn. Ok let me show you-

MTD: I do not want to know.

I prod further as to why not, and MTD replies, “It’s very important to curate (long pause) what you’re exposed 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 seems to be happening”.

2) She could end up comparing herself with them, and then trying too hard to be different.

No, she does not read Mothership either, or the news in general. The little content that she does consume centers 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 won’t be showing her face just yet — we’ve asked.

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of the article (whether by speed-scrolling or otherwise). This alone qualifies you to apply for the role of a Lifestyle & Entertainment writer at Mothership. Click here to find out more.

Top image by Olivia Lin

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