I am The Shai.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Be With Me, Them and Everyone else!

Fresh from the oven!
Pictures from the launch party of Erick Khoo's Be With Me!!!

I'll let the pictures do the talking for now. Will update more about this soon!

Me and Eric Khoo

I was wondering what he was saying too...

Stefan interviewing the ladies while I succumb to them

The ladies and the MovieXclusive team

Eric Khoo spilled this onto Stefan

Samantha Tan, Me, Ezann Lee Posted by Picasa

And with the final picture, that if I die tonight, I'd go a happy man.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A New Era Dawns...

Miles to go... Posted by Picasa

Just take a look at the picture. A few weeks before 19th August, I told my cast about Robert Frost's poem.
Its last verse from Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening goes something like this:
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Now that the Ides of March is over, sleep isn't particularly on the most wanted list anymore. I was telling some cast members that the end of the Ides is the beginning of something new for most if not all of us.
What lies beyond that hill or hump cannot be seen but talk of auditions and other offers are signs that the Ides of March has opened doors and hopefully, will continue to do so.

If anyone ever says that dreams don't come true, tell them they're wrong. Call me a dreamer, call me ambitious but I have absolute faith in my dreams. And dammit, we're all living proof that dreams do come true after all.

In all honesty, I never thought 19th August would come. Somehow, it seemed a far cry away. At times, I felt that it all wasn't really happening and that I had become Rip Van Winkle.
But the truth is, it did happen. A part of me was jumping in joy that it was nearing, most parts of me were in turmoil.
As the days drew nearer, the routine that replaced my initial one for the last 8 months would culminate. The people I've grown to love and see many times in a week would now be seen lesser but never loved less.

As the playwright and director of the musical, I am over the moon at seeing my baby being born. Having had to battle my demons in the form of scepticism and emotional stress, I've come out feeling more inspired than ever.
However, my feelings for my personal achievement is by far overshadowed my utmost pride in my cast and crew. Yes, everyone of them regardless the ups and downs we've encountered.
I've seen them improve tremendously from when they first came in. I've seen them bond, let it be a full 4 months of 3 weeks worth of participation.
Ultimately, for most, we've all become family.

On 19th August, I was so overwhelmed I broke down many times.
Moments before the show, during the show, interval and at the end.
Never in my life had I imagined that I'll have the people I've grown to love over the last 19 years to be there in the audience supporting this musical.
I have a long list of people to thank and I can't stop saying thank you to each one of you.

I could've remained backstage to prepare for my scenes but I stood at the wings throughout. And I was beaming, I was doing mini dances and celebrations as I saw my vision unfold in all its splendour.
And as I stood there, I was in awe. In awe of the commitment my cast and crew members have put in. I cried and wiped my tears silently at the progress all of them have made.
I cried because here I was living a dream and I had these wonderful people sharing it with me and to my cast and crew, this baby is as much mine as it yours.

Somehow, the long night ended. The smoke cleared and the dust settled, somehow.
Days have passed and the "reviews" have been coming in from different sources and with every production, of course there are good ones and there are the bad ones.
But, I'm putting all that aside because as I type this, I see myself looking back at 19th August.

I see myself standing with the rest of the audience watching my cast and crew on stage at the end of the night and feeling that these people truly deserved it; an ovation, a standing one.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


One moment you could be on the highest crest of a wave and the next grovelling in a damp and dirty pit.
How fast my feelings have changed from being overwhelmed to that of utter guilt.

I have failed you, you, you, you, you, you, you and you.
And I am truly sorry for that.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Downfall Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NDP @ Tampines 2005!

As promised, here is the report from the celebrations at Tampines!
There are lots of pics here, so it may take a while to load, so hang in there!

I seriously though I'd be watching the celebrations from home as I've done every year prior to this. Armed with a tub of Rocky Road ice-cream in hand, I'd sing and dance along in the comfort of my room. But all that has changed this year!
When the CC asked if we were interested in becoming community drummers for the event, we jumped at the chance (Iskandar and I). And thus, began our journey...

I had to report at Tampines Sunrise RC at 2:15pm and by 2:30pm, I realised Tampines Central had quite a number of community drummers. And then we made our way over to the celebration grounds and saw the motivators teaching the audience the Dance No. 40.

NDP@Tampines 2005!

The back was still empty at around 240-ish when we took this picture.

Still full of energy...

But look what happened 15 minutes later!

Crowd at 3pm

And soon enough, we were armed with our "drums", which in truth, are rebanas. Honestly, no complains on our side. We saw others with far worse instruments!

Youths of the Tampines Central YEC

That guy in the middle was the conductor of our community druming spectacle.

Community Drumming Conductor

This guy's like Sheikh Haikel minus the voice! He seemed quite happy to be there but not in motivating us!

Our Section Leader

And we used the rebanas

The crowd rehearsing for the Singapore Wave, which was done very nicely the first few times until the actual live transmission!!!!!
It appeared as if Tampines screwed it up on TV but we didn't! The moment Yishun was done with theirs, our hosts got word and immediately got us to do it. By the time the cameras were back on us, we were halfway through already!

The Singapore Wave

Our hosts for the evening. They did a good job but it could've been better! Mingle with crowd more! We were that close to the stage luckily enough...

Hosts: (From L-R)Guo Liang, Michelle Chia, Aaron Aziz

And do we spot then? This Auntie having her lunch, using the base of the rebana as a support!

The Ingenious Auntie

Lokman took this picture. So nice right!

Tampines Central!!!

And I took this one, not at nice, but might look good on the next issue of Tampines Central's newsletter!! Hehehe...The flags were strategically placed and the sun was just perfect lah at that moment. And the Tampines Central contingent kept shouting and screaming! Woohoo!

Where We Belong

And when night fell, Fiona Xie bhangra-ed her way on stage with members of the Singapore Soka Association. Ooh boy! She's the one in red on the left. This was as good an angle that I could get! But boy can she dance!

Fiona Xie dancing!!!!!!

Before the night was over, we all had a chance to do the community dance again.

Everyone doing Dance No. 40

And then, for the first time ever in Tampines and the other heartlands of course, the celebrations culminated with a fantastic fireworks display! Damn it, these fireworks were very very close that everyone was cheering while in awe!

It started small...

Tiu Tiu Tiu anyone?

Many stars arising...

More stars arising...


Piece De' Resistance! Posted by Picasa

Of course I missed out on snapping the final fireworks which were just gorgeous! We were dancing along and suddenly, the encore just happend and by the time I took out my camera again, it was gone! Grrrr!

Anyhow, the celebrations continued with more performances as everyone awaited the mobile column. A number of roads were blocked off for the mobile column display. Sadly, I don't have the pictures as I didn't stay to watch them. I was already too tired by then and reeling in hunger that I went home. And when I got home it was already 915pm!

My thoughts on the celebrations?

I had major fun! I've never been to Kallang or the Padang to celebrate before and I did mention last year, that I would love to celebrate the nation's 40th. Nice number mah!
And I must say that the organisers have really outdone themselves this year.
I'm impressed by the actual scale of the event.
Padang, Marina, Jurong East, Yishun and Tampines celebrating the event simultaneously and sharing moments together via satellite. How cool was that?

While everyone has their grievances or a vendetta against the government, this was a day to celebrate the nation's birthday. People should learn to put aside their unhappiness and differences for this day at least. I was proud to be there, to be drumming away and celebrating with everyone else. I'm sure those who were at the actual celebration grounds truly enjoyed themselves, while others may just want to lament at how boring it was for them sitting at home and stuff. I made a whole lot of new friends with people sitting around me and what made it great was that we were all from the same vicinty!

The highlights of my evening were the fireworks display, Fiona Xie dancing (oops!), the F-16s roaring over us, drumming away and most importantly, belting out the National Anthem to my heart's content!

Would I join in the celebrations again next year?

Till then....

Majulah Singapura!

Happy 40th Birthday Singapore!

Tampines GRC National Day Observance Ceremony

After watching the fireworks festival over at Marina at midnight, I had to wake up early for the Tampines GRC National Day Observance Ceremony at Central Park. With Mr. Sin Boon Ann leading us, we had a mass walk to the celebration grounds.

Here are pictures from the start off point...

The crowd gathers...

Residents all set to go

Mr. Sin flagging us off...

We reached the celebration grounds at about 9am. This is the same one that'll be used later in the evening. And golly gees, the crowd had already swelled up. The ceremony was graced by all the 5 MP's of the Tampines GRC. Had a bit of singing, flag-waving and smiling. Hahaha.
And then we headed for home to rest briefly before proceeding with the evening's events.

The morning crowd

Daphne, Johnny, Me and Is

Jimmy flying the Tampines Central flag Posted by Picasa

Wells, this one lasted for a short while. I was home by about 10am.
Will update with the actual NDP@Tampines celebrations later!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Journey's End?

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
(Mark Twain)

And yeah, I shouldn't complain about it aye? Afterall, 'tis all my choice.

And speaking of disappointments, people can be just that during the times when they're needed the most.

Wells, we're 13 days away from opening night. And, I thought why not revisit the times spent for a bit. What began as a passing remark back in December 2004 has now culminated into this. August 2005 and it won't just be a dream anymore...

The road has been a long one filled with bumps, humps, rocks, at times nails and somewhere in the mix, roadkill. Still, for most, we've fought the battle and for some they're just waiting for it to end. It'll be crazy to work on such a project again, at least after the way we did it lah.

I really wish I could share a pictorial journey but we don't have that many pictures. What you'll see below are pics from the production camp we had back in April.
Anyhoo, here's the visual feast.

An Insight...

One of the things we did during the camp was having to endure a 2 hr long lecture by me on The Ides of March. Felt a bit like literature lesson.

Caesar, Audrey, Decius

Still Not Sleeping

And of course there was the bonding aspect of it, these lot of people not sleeping, yakking the night away and stuff.


Calphurnia and Artemidorus

Other random pictures of the cast and crew...

Heaven and Earth are not at peace tonight

Hahakz...and of course, what's drama camp without the crazy stuff right?

Ahh...Wells, though some have dropped during the course of the journey, we're all friends sharing this momentous occassion together.
No secret that I'm feeling scared and excited at the same time.
But feeling sad is the worse bit.
Heard of the quote,
"To complete a work is like being present at the funeral of someone you love..."

And indeed, it'll be just like that. We won't see each other as often. Heck, for most, we won't be working together again.
But I do know that I have 12 more legs of the journey to go and we shall continue the walk.

So, to the cast and crew of The Ides of March,
let us fight against the storm, fight it such that the wind cannot make change but us, only us.

Almost there guys & gals... Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

HIV/AIDS Youth Convention 2005

World Vision is organising this event with the School of Film and Media Studies of Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Targeted at youths, the convention aims to educate youths about the consequences of unprotected casual sex...The theme? "Death by Casual Sex"

Register now! Support this event!
To learn more about the event...Visit the World Vision website at http://www.worldvision.org.sg/HIV_AIDS_Convention/index.htm

The following are two of the posters from the event...

Poster 1

Poster 2 Posted by Picasa

Come lah! Come support! Some of my friends are helping to organise this event!

And besides, Poly Stage Factor will be performing a skit entitled "Broken Wings", which has been written specifically for this convention!

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