I am The Shai.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

About Ambition

I know some of y'all are really interested in knowing what exactly I'm gonna do after I graduate, I'm still unsure. I mean, I've got directions but it's like a crossroad with many paths to turn to. While I ponder what I'll be doing, let's talk a little about ambition.

If it's one thing I recall vividly from my childhood days, it'll be reading, lots of it. Sure, my parents told me bedtime stories from various books but my Dad got me started on reading by myself through Enid Blyton, and get this, Archie Comics.
Imagine, at four or five years old thereabouts, I was already reading about Archie and hhis troubles with Betty & Veronica, Reggie and his contstant pranks and who can forget Jughead and his high metabolic rate.

When I was about nine, I got real hooked on R. L. Stine's Goosebumps series of horror books.
Now, having started reading at a very tender age, it was only natural for me to venture into writing. And believe me you, back then, I started writing horror stories of my own. It was only two Hari Raya's ago that I found the file in which I kept these stories and plans for a whole series of them. The stories give me a chuckle. To think that at nine I had wanted to become an author.

My Dad, never discouraged me from wanting to do that.
But in any case, from memory, he kept telling me that he would love it if I were to become a journalist.

And lo and behold, ten years on, I started writing for two websites. Dream job? In a way, yeah. I mean, I never thought I'd be doing it for real you know. Like seriously. And I'm not even in a course of study related to such. Sure, I'm not getting paid yet but am I complaining? No.

My parents are extremely proud of the opportunity I've been given to venture into writing. Although somewhere along the way, my Dad did say he wouldn't mind seeing me as a teacher. Heh. He said it didn't have to be in a kindergarten/primary/secondary setting. Rather, he can just picture me standing in front of people and imparting knowledge. Weirdly enough.

The biggest non-secret of mine is the fact that I'm a major film buff. The first ever film that captivated me was Jurassic Park when I was seven. Now, the love for films didn't really get to me till I was twelve. Back then already I think I was averaging more films than a twelve year old could handle and by the time I was thirteen, I knew I wanted to direct. Granted, Singapore's film industry has yet to take off fully since I had that intent but the passion still burns greatly inside the heart.

When I went to the polytechnic, I must admit that a part of me developed the desire to want to teach. The belief that "those who can't, teach" is pure bollocks! I must say that the myth has been debunked after being in my current course of study. Although I may view education as a second career option, I am serious about it. No secret yet again that I would love to teach literature in a secondary school.

Funnily enough, I've been dabbling with the stage for about two to three years now in a writing, directing and acting capacity, all at the same time. For someone who feared theatre (because it's like, LIVE!), it's funny that I'm doing it more than anything else at the moment. It seems probable that I'll be doing this in the long run what's more with the different doors that have opened.

In fact, it seems probable that everything else that I'm doing right now might be what I'll continue to do in the long run.

Both my parents have never held me back from doing what I love. They've never tried forcing me to live their dreams. As long as I will be happy, as long as I can provide, that, should suffice.

So, let it be if I'm making films, writing the great Singapore novel, directing for the stage, teaching in a classroom, opening up my own tiny bookshop with cafe, a community man or anything else that I may come to be.

The most important thing is to love doing what one loves to do.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Just 4 more weeks...

As sad as the fact may be, I have been counting down since 3 weeks ago.
And now, I'm left with 4 more.
And then, it will be time to rest from academics. Yippeekaiyay!

It is unclear at this moment when exactly I'll be called upon to serve the nation.

In any case, the schedule for the next few months looks exciting, especially March.

The auditions for Beat-by-Beat was quite the eye opener. It showed me that there is an abundant amount of talent in Singapore. But where have they been hiding?
They have yet to find a place to showcase their talent where it can be fully appreciated.
The outlook is promising for the performing arts, but we need the support people! SUPPORT!

And oh, this also happens to be the cue for you to start asking me,
"So, what are you going to do after you graduate?"

Monday, January 16, 2006

Beat-By-Beat Casting Call!!

Helping to promote this brilliant initiative that's going on at the moment and one that I'm proud to be a part of...There are three new musicals that are open for audtions out of the six that will be staged in March. Read on!

Casting call people!!!!

Can you sing and act? If so, you may be the one we're looking for. You are invited to audition for 3 exciting original musicals to be staged on 24-26 March 2006. A small honorarium will be given.

Interested parties may walk in for an audition. If you would like to confirm your schedule, please contact Tamara at 81134292 or email tns@uanworld.com

DATE: Saturday 21 Jan 2006
Sunday 22 Jan 2006
TIME : 3:00 to 6:00 pm
PLACE: The Next Stage Academy, 420 Clemenceau Avenue North, adjacent to the carpark at Newton Food Centre. It's opposite Cairnhill CC , 5 mins walk from Newton MRT.

Please prepare TWO SONGS (One slow/ One Fast) to be sung acapella or accompanied by your own minus one. Bring along a photograph (any photo will do) and your bio-data/resume if possible.


A psychedelic comedy about an American astronaut from the 60s who crashes on a mountain in a failed attempt to reach the moon, and meets an Indian swami and his talking cow. Cultures collide, and the world turns upside down.

Characters :

(i) Swami (m) 40+
A hermit and religious ascetic who lives on the mountain and enjoys milk and chapattis; Actor should either be Indian, or can do an Indian accent.

(ii) Cow (f) –
A sassy, young talking cow, dressed in the bright flower power dresses from the 60s, and Swami's companion. (Role taken)

(iii) Spaceman (m) 20-30
An American astronaut (born and raised in Texas) on his way to the moon; Actor should either be American, or can do an American (Southern/Texan) accent.


A coming-of-age story about a Singapore Indian girl who faces issues of cultural and personal identity during a visit to India. 10 Days ofMourning features modern song structures and lyrical styles using Indian scales.

Character List

(i) Veena: 20
Veena is wilful. Her relationship with her mother is tense, as Veena tries constantly to assert her independence. In the early scenes, she practices disengagement from the family, in rebellion for having to leave the comforts of home and her life in Singapore, to visit her grandparents in India. She eventually comes around, due largely to her Grandfather's gentle persuasions and some eye-openers from a young musician (Raj). When the musical closes, she understands herself, her family and her culture better than when she reluctantly arrived in India.

(ii) Mother: 40
Veena's mother, having married and had Veena at an early age. She is the sort of person who accepts her fate calmly and makes the best of any situation, believing it better to live happily in the moment. Partly, she has learnt this the hard way, after the death of her husband, early in their marriage, and since she has had to raise her child alone. She is also a musician (she played the Veena) who gave up that passion when she took on the roles of wife and mother. Veena's mother, in her gentle way, teaches Veena about respect, selflessness and that regret is something we should avoid incurring at all cost.

(iii) Grandfather 60s
Veena's grandfather is a dignified man with a gentle, wizened air about him. He is responsible for much of Veena's transformation because he is the only one who does it in a kind, loving way. He often communicates in metaphors, but always makes a strong point. He is the one to first break through Veena's icy exterior.

(iv) Grandmother 60s
Veena's grandmother is playful and humorous. She teases Veena relentlessly and is not averse to colluding with Veena's mother to makes jokes at Veena's expense. She doesn't do this to be mean but rather to counteract Veena's iciness and sulkiness. Whereas Veena's Grandfather gently coaxes Veena out of her shell, Veena's Grandmother playfully heckles her out of it.

(v) Raj: Late 20s
A young, celebrated and widely-travelled musician whose father (also a musician) used to play with Veena's mother. Veena is instantly drawn to him (but not in an overtly romantic way), because of his youth and because of his exposure to other lands and cultures. Veena quizzes him about why he keeps returning to India when he could choose to liveanywhere else, and in replying, Raj opens Veena's eyes to the beauty of her motherland.
EnsembleThree or four people are required for the first scene, in which a beggar-woman and a drinks seller harass Veena and her mother.


A spunky flower shop owner fights the acquisition of her property by a law tycoon, whose son falls in love with her.

Main Cast: All singing parts

(i). Chris Wee (Male lead) Mid/late 20s
An up-and-coming lawyer in the law firm Wee, Bill & Soo LLC. Son of the firm's senior partner, but also capable, competent, and charming. However, also youthfully naive and has yet to face real challenges in his life.

(ii). Penny Lee (Female lead) Mid/late 20s
Penny inherits a flower shop, "roses & hello", from her mother. Spunky and determined to succeed, she commits herself to keeping the business afloat, against the advice of those around her. One of Chris' love interests in the play.

(iii). Mr William Wee Late 50s
Senior partner in Wee, Bill & Soo LLC. Chris' father. Fights to maintain the firm's reputation. Wee finds himself slowing down with age, and hopes that Chris will take over the reins in the firm.

(iv). Mr Richard Sooreej (tentatively a character of Indian ethnicity, but may be flexible) Late 40s
Senior partner in Wee, Bill & Soo LLC. A driven, self-made man who will let nothing stand in the way of his success. Has a dubious relationship with Stella.

(v). Stella Mid/late 20s
Rising star in Wee, Bill & Soo, and also a bombshell of a woman. Intelligent and witty, but also as cold as ice. Chris is shamelessly infatuated with her.

(vi). Annie Ting 50s
Secretary to William Wee. They have a deep friendship that has spanned decades - a relationship that might or might not be amorous in nature.

Also casting for a chorus of 4-6 characters.
Chorus members must sing and dance (although dancing is optional for the upcoming "highlights" showcase)
Chorus will play different characters in the course of the play, but most of the time assume the character of a lawyer in the firm. Parts have been written for individual chorus members (tentatively 4 female and 2 male)
Chorus will also be required to rehearse as intensively as the leads.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Movies Watched in 2005

Well well, I'm sure y'all know how big of a movie buff I am.
I'm finally going to reveal the whole list of movies I watched in 2005.

But before that, over at MovieXclusive.com, our administrators have placed this article over the new year. It's MovieXclusive.com's columnists Top 10 Movies of 2005 list!
And I'm one of the columnists involved!


Top 10! Posted by Picasa

Moving on, in 2005, I watched a total of 191 films.
The list is only for movies I've watched for the first time.
Repeat viewings are not included.

The figures stand at a staggering 101 films at the cinema alone. And that would include film festivals and special screenings.
I haven't figured out yet how many of them I paid for. But will do so in the near future.

Meanwhile, here's the complete list.

Movies Watched in 2005


1.Meet The Fockers
2.Phantom of the Opera
3.The Sea Inside
4.The Aviator
5.Hotel Rwanda
6.Finding Neverland
8.Shall We Dansu?
9.12 Storeys


10.To Sir, With Love
12.Training Day
13.Million Dollar Baby
14.A Very Long Engagement
15.Rain Man
16.Rabbit-Proof Fence
18.Rice Rhapsody


21.In Good Company
23.Assault on Precinct 13
25.Fahrenheit 9/11
26.Before Sunset
27.The Notebook
28.White Chicks
29.Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
30.Be Cool
32.Cold Moutain
33.Spongebob Squarepants Movie


35.Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights
36.Guess Who
37.The Pacifier
38.Wet Dreams
40.Of Love and Eggs
41.Land of Plenty
42.Samaritan Girl
44.The Interpreter
45.Coach Carter
46.La Peau Blanche (White Skin)
47.Tropical Malady
48.I Want To Be Famous


49.Kingdom of Heaven
50.House of Wax
51.Sin City
52.Dear Frankie
53.House of D
54.O Brother, Where Art Thou?
55.The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
56.Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


59.Der Untergang (Downfall)
60.The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
61.Friday Night Lights
62.A Moment to Remember
63.My Big Fat Greek Wedding
65.From Hell
66.Empire of the Sun
67.To Kill A Mockingbird
68.The Shawshank Redemption
69.Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
71.Mr. & Mrs. Smith
72.Batman Begins
74.Stuck on You
75.Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi
76.A Ton Image
77.The Odd Couple
78.The Usual Suspects
79.The Laramie Project
80.A Lot Like Love
81.The Pianist
82.In My Father's Den
83.Initial D
84.War of the Worlds


85.Monsieur N
86.Forever Fever
88.Fantastic Four
89.Kramer Vs. Kramer
91.Blade Trinity
92.My Tutor Friend
93.Flight of the Phoenix
94.My Boyfriend is Type B
95.Grave of the Fireflies
96.Unarmed Combat
97.The Island


99.Wedding Crashers
100.Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
101.Plots with a View
102.Red Eye
103.The Perfect Catch
104.Land of the Dead
105.Infernal Affairs
107.Perth - The Geylang Massacre
109.The Dukes of Hazzard
110.Mambo Girl


111.The Maid
112.A Bittersweet Life
113.Be With Me
116.Fight Club
117.The Bow
118.Brothers Grimm
119.The Longest Yard
120.The Myth
121.The Cave
122.Gol and Gincu
123.West Side Story
124.Citizen Kane
125.The Birds
126.It's Always Spring
127.One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
128.Cinderella Man
129.Bowling For Columbine
130.On The Waterfront
132.Bonnie and Clyde
133.Corpse Bride


134.Malcolm X
135.Into the Blue
136.Spirited Away
137.April Snow
138.Mississippi Burning
139.Ordinary People
140.Interview With the Vampire
141.Liberty Heights
142.Skeleton Key
143.Mad City
144.The Wig
145.The Last of the Mohicans
146.The Graduate
148.The 40 Year Old Virgin
149.Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo
150.Donnie Darko
152.One Day in September
153.Live in Baghdad
154.Just Like Heaven
155.Tom-Yum Goong
156.Brothers McMullen
157.The Rainmaker
158.Transporter 2
159.Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
160.The Majestic
161.American Splendor
164.Douches Froides (Cold Showers)
165.The Legend of 1900
166.Ghosts of Mississippi
167.The Exorcism of Emily Rose
170.American Pie Band Camp


171.Oliver Twist
174.Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
175.Saw II
176.The Descent
177.A History of Violence


178.Pride and Prejudice
179.Chicken Little
180.Perhaps Love
182.Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)
183.King Kong
184.The Family Stone
185.The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
186.A Love Song for Bobby Long
188.Courage Under Fire
189.The Dark
190.Whale Rider
191.Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Heya everyoneeee!

The new year's going by us quickly already and there's a show slated for the coming weekend!

Bottled Dreams, the play by yours truly, which was previously performed in June and September 2004, returns to the stage for the final time.

If you've seen the first two, you've seen nothing yet.

The latest one discusses similar themes as its predecessors but has a script that's tighter and more robust. Not to mention a cast that's even smaller. Hahaha.

Part of the 3 day Inter-Poly Drama Festival which also features SP and TP, as well as Poly Stage Factor's "Hide It" and "The Office", Bottled Dreams will be staged on Friday, January 13th at 7pm.

More details are in the poster below.
To obtain tickets (going at $5, for season pass, $12) you can contact Rahman or book through me.

Genesis Posted by Picasa

See y'all on Friday the 13th!

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.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

LSRS Productions

Having made our first film, The Undecided, for Fly-By-Night 2005, the four of us are raring to make another film. Yet to be titled, filming is scheduled to start soon.

Below are the teaser posters for the movie!

And oh, to find out more about LSRS Productions,
visit our blog at http://lsrsproductions.blogspot.com


Bullies Posted by Picasa

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