The inspiration of and appreciation for Walt Disney knows no boundaries. The membership at The Walt Disney Family Museum certainly reflects this diversity. Each month, we’ll introduce you to one of our Members, so you can see the varied and frequently fascinating people who have come together to learn and experience more about the life, work, philosophies, and ideals of Walt Disney.
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Paulway Chew is a renowned vocalist with more that 16 years of experience in TV and radio, and a decade of musical theater experience performing for a Chinese Malaysian theater group in Kuala Lumpur. She received the nomination for the Best Leading Role for her performance in Jewel of Tibet: The Musical at the 2009 Boh Cameronian Art Awards, and in 2010, was nominated for the Best Supporting Role in Siddhartha: The Musical.
As a vocal instructor, she worked with pop singers from Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and as a back-up vocalist for Malay and Chinese concerts, award shows, and recordings. She represented Malaysia as a performer for the 2003 The Sound of Humans World Concert in Taipei and Kaohsiong, Taiwan. In 2006, she received the Award of Excellence in Pop Vocals from the Trinity (London) Examination Board, and in 2007, Paulway had the honor of being the lead vocalist for the Chinese version of the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 theme song, “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”
Paulway’s passion for art came at the age of six, when her parents introduced her to Disney animation. WDFM Membership Coordinator Pam Spedus recently sat down for a short conversation with Paulway.
PAM: Why did you become a member of the Walt Disney Family Museum?
PAULWAY: Because it’s Disney! And I’m a big Disney fan. Yes, it’s that simple.
What do you find the most enjoyable about your membership?
Being able to attend special (and fun) Member Events like the recent Mad Hatter’s Tea Party—and more! Oh, I also like to shop at the Museum Store, because there are so many unique items that I can’t find elsewhere. This is one place I can go to build up my Disney collection.
What do you enjoy most about the Museum?
I think it’s the way the Museum presents Walt Disney. It gives us an intimate look at his life, and reveals the stories behind his successes. It also educates us on how animation was created, the time and process it takes to complete a full-length animated film. I also love the special screenings each month—being able to see my favorite Disney classics on the big screen is such a treat.
How does Walt Disney inspire you?
I always thought that Walt Disney was a great storyteller, and I learned a lot of important life lessons through watching Disney animation. They are meaningful, and also promote encouragement. I have been a Disney fan since I was a young child. I wanted to become a cartoonist, and I was also fascinated by the Disney musicals, so I started to draw Disney characters, and also pretended to portray the princesses by singing and acting. Well, singing and acting was of more interest to me, and this eventually led me to fall in love with musical theater.
What was your first Disney inspiration or memory?
When I was six years old, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to draw Disney animations in Disneyland. I would draw up a few Disney drawings and ask my parents to send them to Disneyland. They told me that they did (but of course, they’re all saved in their ever-growing collection). With their simple answer, I was always satisfied and I continued to draw more.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
During my high school years, my friends called me “Disney Girl”, because everything I did was related to Disney, from drawing Disney characters, to singing Disney songs. But since I was in Malaysia, I always dreamt of going to Disneyland and even wanted to work there, but the distance made it just a dream.
And today, I am honored and grateful to The Walt Disney Family Museum for allowing me to share my stories.
On Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 PM The San Francisco Conservatory of Music will present a recital by Paulway Chew. A Tribute to Disney is the debut performance of a special musical program created to honor Walt Disney. Come dressed as your favorite Disney character for a night of fun and surprises, and remember to practice your Disney songs...