Anna Ong

Anna Ong

Singapore (former Filipino)
Year of Arrival in Singapore
2008 / 2019
Relocated from (Country)
Philippines / United States

What do you do for a living? 

I am the founder of WYSH – What’s Your Story Huh, a professional development company that offers communications training using storytelling and improvisation. I work with people and teams to be better communicators. 
I am the host and producer of What’s Your Story Slam, a storytelling show in Singapore. I teach various courses and workshops on the art and craft of storytelling, applied theatre and improvisation. 
I am also a professional storyteller, speaker and coach. 

How did your business come about?

It was through a networking session in Washington DC. I was performing as an improviser and storyteller at that time, and I was killing time at a startup meet up waiting for a friend to finish work. I am not the biggest fan of networking, but I decided to have fun with it saw each interaction as an improv scene, building up on each other’s ideas. So one guy I met asked me what I do, I told him I was a storyteller. He asked me what I was doing at the startup meetup and I thought about what kind of person would go to a start up meeting up, so I told him I work with founders in helping them craft their story. As he asked me more about my “work” I thought this is such a cool job, someone really should do it…and then another thought came into my head that night … why not me?

What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?

I think I’m proudest of creating What’s Your Story Slam, it’s a live storytelling show where people share personal stories on stage. I direct and host the show. I love the community we are building and I love that I get to give a stage to people to share their stories.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I am able to provide a platform for people to craft and share their stories, to help them be seen, heard and appreciated for who they are now.

What challenges have you given yourself?

• How to be more comfortable being vulnerable with friends & strangers both on and off stage.
• Come up with a story for each What’s Your Story Slam Show
• Learn how to swim in open water

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

I always wanted to time travel

What’s the biggest risk you have taken?

Leaving my 15+ career in banking to go to South America to learn Spanish and dance without a fall back plan or an idea on what to do next.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

“Don’t get into anything you can’t get out of.” This advice was given to me by a cousin of mine who’s in politics.

What makes you feel at peace?

When I’m out running at the botanical gardens, I feel at peace.
When I’m dancing to tango, I feel at peace.

What is one of your favourite quotes?

“The shortest distance between two people is a story”