I am The Shai.

Monday, May 29, 2006

That KL Trip & the Lad Named Mukhsin

Hello darlings.
I forgot to mention in my previous entry that I would be disappearing for the weekend to head up north to KL. I'm back now and here are some pictures to tease you with.

In any case, spotted at respective monorail stations around the city of KL.

As you can see, this was going to be a journey of self-discovery and more!

And if you haven't heard, the primary reason why Stefan and I had the trip to KL was because we were going to visit the set of Yasmin Ahmad's upcoming film, "Mukhsin".

The following are some pictures from the production and like Stefan, am not willing to give too much away that would spoil your movie-going experience.

So, we'll just show you who was on set and whether you think they were acting or not, I'll leave that up to you.

Here, on the right, you're looking at the Mukhsin, the titular character about to go through his script while on a break in between scenes.

Maybe if you were to try zooming in a little, you might see what's on the page there!

And here's one more shot that I can show from the production. This was taken while a scene was being shot. In the picture are various crew members with the two lead actors of Mukhsin at the forefront of the picture. If you'd read about the film, you'd learn that this film is about a younger Orked.

And then of course, you could spot Sharifah Amani who was also on set to witness the filming. The little one is her sister afterall what. And the boss herself with an excited look on her face, happy with the scene perhaps? Who was acting? Won't tell!

That should be enough to whet your appetite a lil aye? Check back soon for a full update on my trip and more pictures when I get them from Stefan!

Meanwhile, one last picture for y'all then!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Partings, unfortunately, are never the easiest things in the world to handle.

That was the case earlier today. I had to say my goodbyes to people whom I've grown accustomed to and love over the past two months or so.

Early in the morning, while I was enjoying a drink at the canteen, I thought to myself, "This is a repeat of my last day of Secondary 4". But as fate would have it, the roles have been reversed and I'm leaving as a teacher.

Somehow, I managed to work out a deal to see the 2 classes I had previously taught when their actual teacher was away for the longest time. And by the time the upper sec had their recess, my emotions started to kick in.

And this, after a colleague asked, "How emotional are you gonna get?"

Not knowing that I would be seeing them one last time, my Sec 3's presented me with a boarded cut-out of a helmet, painted in shades of green and black (thanks hor for reminding me about the army!). On the front was a wonderful little poem, which by the way, was totally unexpected. All these years, I was the one presenting poems to teachers alike and here I was receiving one. On the overleaf, there were encouraging messages from the rest of the class.

And then, I met them in class about an hour later. While I knew at some point I would break down, I never thought the same would happen for my students. We shared a mere 25 minutes and as the minutes ticked away, it came to a breaking point for some of them and tears were shared. I was genuinely moved by their sincere and heartfelt pleas to not leave the class. Somehow though, I managed to hold on to my tears, though it was obvious I could've broken anytime too.

I then went to my 2N class and was presented with a lovely surprise (sorry for the delay and had to keep y'all hiding under the sun). They had organised a mini party, stocked with some pizza, Coke, titbits and cakes! It was obvious everyone was both hungry and thirsty and everything was clean by the end of the first period. They spent the rest of the lesson watching the first part of The Maid. And oh, before I left, I was also presented with two cards, one from the boys and the other from the girls. Sweet and touching messages inside.

And as I was leaving, I got a note from another 2N student from the class which I had never taught but had invigilated for a week. By some weird force of nature, I grew fond of the class overtime and to get the note, thanking me and having kind words was again, truly unexpected.

The flood gates only opened when I went back to the office after school was officially out. What the teachers said and shared was the tip of the iceberg, and eventually, the catalyst to my tears. Mdm Fauziah summed it up beautifully as did Mrs Shankar when they said that I had made an impact in my students' lives despite the short time I had spent with them.

When I first stepped in as their teacher, I felt that I was there to prepare them for their exams. Never in my wildest imagination would I have predicted that I could make an impact on them. And I still find it hard to believe if I actually did.

And oh, to have a most encouraging and warm working environment with magnificent teachers who dedicate themselves to their work is truly inspiring.

To my dearest students and colleagues, should any of you chance upon this,

THANK YOU for a most enriching and enthralling experience all wrapped into one and in such a short span of time too. While it remains to be seen, I am encouraged to continue with this path when the next few chapters of my life open. Each and everyone of you have opened a world of feelings and emotions I never knew existed.

My parting thought will be the same as I had with my Sec 3s.

"Remember me the way I remember you"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

To Play & Write: Putting Pen to Paper

I have decided to postpone my sleep for about another half hour because I felt like blogging about writing. Thus, this will be my second entry in a day, which is uberly miraculous as I've been updating my blog sporadically. In any case, here goes.

I suppose my love for writing has been stemmed from young when I first started reading. As a child, I had loved listening to my parents telling me bedtime stories. Soon enough, I started reading at an early age and I grew up with Archie and gang. Sure, there were the Enid Blytons.

Then, when I was in primary school, I started reading R.L. Stine and his Goosebumps series. I was so into them that by Primary 3, I was writing a series of horror books of my own. Sure I never did get the chance to complete but I actually managed to write out at least 5 short stories, all of which are still with me today.

At Primary 5, I had also started off my own newsletter, which didn't go beyond 3 issues or so but still, to think that I had thought of that at that age. Come to think of it, it did appear to be a bit of a tabloid as I was writing about stuff that had to do with the people in my class or around us. Oh what fun it was.

And then when I went into secondary school, I was given the opportunity to write a skit for the stage. That I did with Iskandar but strangely enough, the desire to write for the stage never returned until much later. There wasn't much writing except for my compositions as I had ventured into public speaking, hosting and performing.

However, it was in Secondary 3 that I discovered that I had a knack for writing poetry and at that moment I also knew that this was the form of writing that I was most at ease with, the happiest with. And for the next few years I continued writing and as of today, I've written close to 50 poems.

While I felt most at ease with poetry, it wasn't until I had reached the tertiary level that I found the form of writing that opened doors for me. The form of writing that has been the root of my current endeavours. Writing for the stage. And despite my sudden shift towards the world of scriptwriting, I managed to squeeze in a period where I wrote poems vigorously churning out one after another and when the scriptwriting finally kicked, the poetry had to take a back seat.

Given the opportunity in 2004 by my then-seniors, JY and Fadhil, I wrote a 30 minute script called "Bottled Dreams" that opened the show alongside their work, "Hide It. "Bottled Dreams" also happened to be re-written on two other occassions over a period that stretched the next 1 1/2 years. The success of my second staging of "Bottled Dreams" drove me to greater heights and soon enough I embarked on my biggest show to date, "The Ides of March - A Musical".

I tackled a literary great, kept to most of his work but also changing and adding certain scenes in at the same time and the next thing I knew, I was developing the script over a period of 4 months. The musical was staged to an audience of a 1000 and as fate would have it that night, it turned out to be a more magical one as I was then introduced to the Musical Theatre Society but more on that later.

While the scale of "The Ides of March" was extremely large, in June of 2005, I also started up Yellow Chair Productions with Zul and Iskandar. The first ever writing responsibilities fell onto Iskandar and I, reliving the partnership we shared in late 1999. The result was "DysFUNctional", a funny and campy skit staged at 2 different community clubs.

During the production of "The Ides of March", I also happened to write "Broken Wings" for a HIV/AIDS Youth Convention by World Vision and Ngee Ann Poly's School of FMS. Although it was a skit, I decided to go with a more serious and dramatic approach at discussing AIDS. Fortunately, the result was a success and it was staged over the next 2 days that followed "The Ides of March". I had also felt that it was my best work to date.

To round off the year, I assisted my friends from Temasek Polytechnic in writing a piece for them to perform at Magus Luna, a night of self-expression, which was done by the drama club. And to kick start 2006, I re-wrote "Bottled Dreams" in a frantic rush against time as well as squeezing in co-writing duties with Stefan and Lokman on "Basket!", a script we have yet to film till today.

In March 2006, a script that I wrote and was semi-devised by our actors, "Tainted Flower" was staged to an almost sold out audience. It also happened to be Yellow Chair Productions' Inaugural Play and thankfully, the reviews were positive. It also marked the most complex script I had written and don't think that I could do something like that anytime soon.

Ironically enough, at the end of August 2005, I had sworn that I would never write a musical again. The resolution was short-lived thanks to Dr. Kenneth Lyen and the Musical Theatre Society who encouraged me to write a 90 minute musical which was then compressed into a 45 minute one. The process was arduous and taxing but by late March 2006, "Closer to Your Heart" was staged as part of a double bill show at the Arts House to a sold out audience.

The success of "Closer to Your Heart" has spurred me to write another musical in conjunction with next year's Musical Theatre Society programme. Similarly, I am also developing a script for Yellow Chair Productions' next annual performance in 2007. There is the possibility of squeezing a skit or maybe even a play depending on the progress of the offers this year. Otherwise, I would have to step off the wave to serve the nation intesively for the next 4 months or so. Once I have settled in, it would gear me up to write again and hopefully in 2007, if things go to plan, 3 scripts of mine would be staged as part of 3 major events.

Till then, while I take this temporary and forced sabbatical from writing, do keep on reading what I have. I promise to come back with more.

Feverishly Idolistic!

The idol season is in full swing again having just seen the first episode of this season's Singapore Idol and tomorrow morning, the first ever Junyuan Superstar will also be held.

But most importantly, next week's the American Idol Finale.


As much as I have loved from Day One, I am rooting for Katharine!!!!!

I want Katharine McPhee to be MY American Idol! :P

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Ticking Grows Louder

Wells, I suppose I haven't mentioned this yet but in any case, the dreaded date or D-Day or whatchamacallit will be on 2nd June.

While some people I know will be headed for Pulau Ubin on the same day, I would be ferried to Pulau Tekong. Sigh. It is what it is.

In any case, it appears there are people who are much more excited about my enlistment as opposed to myself. Two weeks away and my schedule's not changing much. It's still as busy as is.

My last day of work culminates in a week's time. If 2 months at Junyuan went by in a blink, I'm sure the 3 1/2 months of BMT should be a breeze too right? Well, I suppose breeze isn't an apt word use but still...

And oh, to top things off, I'll actually be sneaking away for a quick trip up north to meet some friends and perhaps get to visit the set of a film in progress. Will update acoordingly.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Summer Blockbusters!

It's that time again for the box office to heat up with the slew of upcoming blockbusters.
Click on the banner below to read up on the 10 Must Watch Summer Blockbusters of 2006, an article which I contributed to. Enjoy!

Summer Blockbusters! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

So Flattered

I went to watch a performance and it first made me laugh, it riled me up, then left me baffled, followed by a chuckle or two and topped off with a dash of disgust.

No need to point fingers one and no disrespect to everyone involved. I know what happened lah. Not blaming it on any of you, should you read this that is.

While I had many summaries, I'd best leave it with this,

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

I'll take that.

eXTReMe Tracker