I am The Shai.

Monday, January 02, 2006

2005 – Year in Review

If any, 2005 was a much better year than 2004. I wouldn’t really call it monumental but there were some big things that happened. The defining moment of the year has got to be the night The Ides of March was staged.

What could be described as the biggest event of my nineteenth year culminated in an evening filled with joy and tears. Eight months in the making, the musical brought a lot of people together and it also made some part ways. As a student and as a youth, to have staged something that big a scale was truly overwhelming.

The events leading up to the actual staging taught me many things about people. Thanks to a conversation with a beloved teacher of mine, I received an epiphany (if that’s the word to describe it) that sometimes, not all friends can be happy for you. To think I had shared my joys with some would have made them happy but no, in turn, I received flak.

On the same front, 2005 also marked the start of a new beginning. Zul, Iskandar and I started Yellow Chair Productions. We never expected to have a production at so early a stage knowing the pitfalls and all. But, the opportunity arose and there was no chance in hell we could decline. Taking our baby steps, we have performed a skit or two at shows. 2006 is the year to look out for as we take a bigger step forward with productions in the pipeline.

After the Ides of March, I swore to not write another musical, let alone be involved in one. Then came along Dr. Kenneth Lyen and by November, I had written a new musical for Beat-by-Beat/Five Foot Broadway. Working with professionals who have been in the field for many years opened my eyes to a bigger world outside and from the constant support and feedback given, I’ve seen myself mature as a playwright. Again, this project will also take flight in 2006.

While we’re on a productive note, 2005 marked the year I made my first film. So what if it was five minutes long? We all have to start somewhere and we make the change we want to see in ourselves. Joining Fly-By-Night 2005 forced the film to be made and the team was made out of wonderful people, colleagues from MovieXclusive.com. Lokman, Richard, Stefan and I spent a day and a half traveling around the island filming scenes for our short film. The other teams didn’t do that leh! It has spurred us to make a longer short film and yet again, it has been scheduled for filming in 2006.

Having mentioned MovieXclusive.com, 2005 was the year I became a writer. Okay, in this instance, a movie columnist. Who would’ve thought all these years of movie watching and recommending to friends would end up in me doing in as a part-time job? Ten months on, I’ve attended gala premieres, press conferences, interviewed people and preview screenings. The celebrities I met and talked to include Eric Khoo, the ladies of Be With Me, Priscelia Chan, French actress Salome Stevenin and director Anthony Cordier. Stars I came up close with include Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen to name a few. The experience has been truly incredible and I’m looking forward to continuing this. I’ve added another website to the resume as I became a writer/critic for FunkyGrad.com in November.

2005 was also the year of community. I attended my first ever National Day Parade! To mark the nation’s birthday, celebrations happened concurrently at four separate heartlands but came together as one, doing one big Kallang Wave. I attended the event as a community drummer with the rest of the people from my community centre. Who ever imagined seeing fireworks blazing from an open field in Tampines?

I garnered a portfolio at my community centre in 2005. I became the Performing Arts Secretary of the CC’s Youth Executive Committee (YEC). Sure, Iskandar and I were initially representatives of Yellow Chair Productions, which was adopted by the YEC. But, working with the YEC, definitely got me all geared up to work the residents and grassroots of Tampines Central. Bigger things await the YEC come 2006.

In school, I received lesser warning letters as compared to my previous year. It also made me realize that teaching in a childcare or kindergarten isn’t really what I want to do as a career. Having grades that are nothing to shout about never dampened me from having the most fruitful time in school. I’ve made wonderful friends over the three years and an enriching school life.

I also failed my field practicum supervision on the first attempt during both my second and third year. But, I bounced back and made a learning corner for dramatic play that was beyond my wildest imagination. I also taught a motley crew of Kindergarten 2 children who gave me hell and heaven at the same time. I miss them wonderful children. I also celebrated Teachers’ Day for the first time officially as a teacher. Receiving presents and gifts totally caught me off guard. On the other hand, I went back to my secondary school only to discover that a number of teachers will be leaving the school at end 2005. The exodus of teachers from Junyuan Secondary School can only be attributed to the new principal who is introducing changes too quickly without knowing the ground first.

While I felt that some friends were never there for me, I discovered friends who I could keep very close to my heart. People, who I trust wholeheartedly, people who I share about anything with. I don’t care how much younger or older they may be but you people know who you are and I needn’t mention names. Forging friendships with people I never deemed imaginable, growing closer to some of my teachers.

I’ll round my year in review off with family. My busy schedule has never affected my family that much. In fact, we’re still very much close. We don’t usually get to eat dinner together but we have late night tea sessions to talk about things. This year also marked the first time since 2001 that we went out of Asia. We escaped to New Zealand for a week and I spent most of the time there admiring Middle Earth forgoing the lure of adventure with skydiving and hot-air ballooning. But, all in all, it was memorable!

One important lesson I also learnt is that it’s not what is said that can change people. Sometimes, it’s what’s not said that can cause it.

I have a feeling I’ve omitted a number of other events that have happened. But that’s only because I cannot remember them at this very moment.

In short, 2005 was the build-up year as Stefan has put it. It laid the foundations to a couple of events that are set to happen come 2006. This year can only get better than ever starting right off with my turning twenty and graduation!

Other things that happened:

- I hosted for the first time, in Malay.
- I was interviewed together with Keagan Kang for a TV Prod Project
- I met Neil Gaiman and he signed my notebook.
- I finally hosted at Victoria Concert Hall after a three year wait.
- I went to watch the fantastic Siti Nurhaliza in concert.
- I watched the 3 million dollars bomb, Phua Chu Kang the Musical.
- I wrote two original skits Broken Wings and Dysfunctional (with Iskandar)
- Mei Ren Yu kissed Dayang much to my dismay.
- Ramadan and Hari Raya came and went with the blink of an eye.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

mei ren yu kissed dayang. muahahahaha.

2005 was where someone gets bullied
every wednesday.heh.and it will continue on ...till end of sch, right?


Monday, January 02, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

its the age where one should stop bullying k!
Happy Birthday!


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Anonymous syaf said...

shaiful.tabik sama lu. n also proud of u. i could have done wadever u did..congratz bro.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


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