Celebs champion front-liners in upcoming AXN All-Stars digital show
They would prefer to perform in front of a crowd, but these stars welcome online showcaseAXN All-Stars that honours front-liners
As the son of doctors, award-winning Indonesian singer-songwriter Afgansyah Reza was raised to not turn a blind eye to those in need - especially during a global pandemic that is devastating his home country.
The popular 31-year-old heart-throb, better known as Afgan, told The New Paper during a Zoom interview: "My parents are really soldiers during this time. Despite being in their 60s, they insist on carrying on to help people."
It is no wonder that Afgan, who has 4.5 million followers on Instagram, has been using his platform to do good as well.
He said his parents have instilled in him strong values of wanting to give back to the community and a sense of admiration for front-liners.
He raised money through donations from his birthday concert earlier this year to buy ventilators for several hospitals across Indonesia.
He said: "The government is doing its best to help the people in Indonesia, but we should have more awareness about the pandemic. As long as we are more disciplined, I believe we will be able to flatten the curve."
Afgan and other personalities from around the world such as Anggun, David Foster, Cosentino, Cyril Takayama, Michael Bolton and Mel C will be entertaining audiences in AXN All-Stars, a digital showcase and tribute to front-liners that will be livestreamed on Nov 28 at 8pm through AXN Asia's YouTube and Facebook pages.
Indonesian pop star and Asia's Got Talent judge Anggun, 46, said in a separate interview: "(Honestly), I don't want people to get used to these (online) performances because I believe this is only temporary.
"It is definitely not optimal to perform online (instead of on a stage in front of a physical audience), but I welcome AXN All-Stars... These events remind us that we are not really isolated, and we are ready to move on."
Australian magician, illusionist and escapologist Cosentino, 37, is also feeling the impact of cancelled live shows, especially as his craft relies heavily on audience interaction.
From doing up to 100 performances a year to nothing, he was frustrated during Australia's lockdown.
He said: "(But) I found different ways to channel my energy properly. I started learning to adapt by doing and teaching magic online and embracing the new normal. Now I have to do all the production myself, like videography and photography, and learn to innovate and create on a new platform."
Said 47-year-old US magician Takayama: "We all need a little bit of magic (in our lives now).
"We have to evolve with the times and I am proud of what we have come up with, despite not being able to interact with and involve our audiences in our acts."
He revealed he fell sick in March and thought he had Covid-19. He isolated himself for 45 days in his home in Japan as he could not get into a hospital.
He used the time to focus on his mental health and picked up new skills such as playing the guitar.
"Find something to take your mind off (the pandemic). Break out of your comfort zone and remember to always take care of yourself," he said.