Singer-actress Karen Mok Man-wai is looking forward to her concert in Taiwan later this month because it gives her a chance to escape the more restrictive world of life in front of the camera. 'I enjoy performing on stage; it offers me something more than acting,' said Mok, 37. 'As an actress, I feel limited to the script or the character I play, but a live show on stage gives me endless possibilities.' For the December 15 show, Mok will perform her album Life Is, released this week. The CD consists of 10 new Putonghua singles by Mok and the songs will be performed in the same order. 'There is an opening, middle part and ending in this album, the last song is called Encore,' she said. Mok (above) spent six months writing and recording the album, which was inspired by the idea of a live performance. 'The live show in Taiwan is what the concept is really about and hopefully it will bring the album alive,' she said. Life Is proved to be an exhausting undertaking for Mok, who managed the project at every step. 'I wrote nine of the 10 songs and stepped up to act as executive producer, checking studio schedules, chasing the lyricists for their work, finding sponsors for the cover shoot and production of the music videos,' she said. Finding somewhere to record the album tested her patience. 'Many of the good studios in Hong Kong have either closed down or moved to mainland cities such as Shanghai,' she said. 'There are maybe two that are left and they're shared by many local artists. I had to fight for the studio booking.' The experience got her thinking about the future. 'Music doesn't have to be made by record company or with expensive studio recording equipment any more. It can be a one-man band,' she said. 'All you need is a computer and a microphone really; you can write your own songs, record and upload them on the internet and market them yourself.' Mok's singing career has come a long way since her 1993 debut, Karen, met with a lukewarm reception. She spent the next two years concentrating on her acting and that paid dividends. 'That was the time when I seriously started to be an actress, opposite [Stephen] Chow Sing-chi in A Chinese Odyssey series and Out of the Dark,' she said. Her success in the acting world was cemented when she was named best supporting actress in 1996 at both the Golden Bauhinia Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards for Wong Kar-wai's Fallen Angels (1995).