89 | 볼쌍한 오이디푸스

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Going into the theatre started with a surprise at the entrance, when the ushers told us the seats were up on stage.

“Huh?”

But that was the tiniest of surprises compared to what Korean theatre company 죽달 Juk-Dal (name derived from their first show 죽도록 달린다 Running to the Death) had in store for me at their production of The Chorus: Oedipus.

Forceful and visceral, this production of Oedipus holds you tightly by the collar and socks you squarely in the gut. You know that it’s coming, you know the answer to all the questions Oedipus has about his birth, but you keep hoping and hoping it’s not true. Director Seo Jae-Hyung did an amazing job with the staging. From the choice of having seating on the stage, creating physical intimacy between the audience and the cast, to having Oedipus scale the proscenium steps alone at the end, all these choices seemed to have been meticulously thought out, and to good effect. The proximity of the audience to the stage (I was in the first row) meant that when the ravens descended on Oedipus, I felt like the ravens were assaulting me. When the combat scene ensued, I felt like I was physically hit. This was part of what made Oedipus such a spectacle – the intimacy you felt with the entire production.

Other than searing images, like that of Jocasta falling into Oedipus’ arms, or her pleading with Oedipus not to look at her with that light in his eyes, or Oedipus ascending the steps towards the light and exiting to live a lonely existence where no one could speak to him, there were also the haunting sounds which the actors created – sounds of ravens cawing, and a sinister swoosh that to me, signalled destiny chasing after Oedipus. The use of four pianos, tight choreography and amazing harmony among the chorus made for an almost tactile experience. They evoked despair, hope and deep sympathy in me as the play went along. The emotions are the things that linger long after I leave my seat. And so.. these were the images and sounds that I will be hard-pressed to forget. I was glad to be a citizen of Thebes, just for a night.

Oedipus refused to let me go, long after I left the theatre.

Poor Oedipus, poor, poor Oedipus.
오이디푸스, 불쌍한 오이디푸스.

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“난 오이디푸스, 난 신이 아니다
고통 많은 다 테베를 위해
신게 버려진 백성을 위해”
I, Oedipus, I am no god
For Thebes, that suffers greatly,
For the people that the gods have abandoned..

“그 삼거리.. 나도 지나왔지.. 그 삼거리.”
That intersection.. I’ve also passed it, haven’t I.. that intersection.”

“신이 이렇게까지 미워 할 수 밖에 없었나 탄식이다.”
There is no one that the gods detest more than me.

“나는 신이 아니다.
나는 살았고,
그들을 사랑했고,
그래서 고통스러웠다.”
I am no god.
I have lived, and
I have loved them,
And so I suffer.

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The Boy Inside

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Once in a while, a friend achieves something and I, as a bystander, end up feeling immensely proud despite having done nothing. This is especially so when it’s a creative pursuit. I guess it’s the fact that you see growth, you see improvement, and whether small or big, these things take a lot of courage, wisdom, and aptitude. For this very reason, artists are people I admire endlessly for their gumption in taking something personal and putting it on stage, subject to criticism, and also for their relentless hard work – all the sleepless nights and mental/physical stress the audience doesn’t see. Congratulations, Liansheng! Another tick off your bucket list before moving on to the next endeavour. Thank you for writing this play, for the unique insights only you could have provided.  I’ll be looking forward to your next piece, and I do so hope this gets a proper staging!

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Such an exciting year for all my friends who are literary artists! Plays being put up here and there, translations being worked on and poems being composed. What better motivation than them to write, write, write?

Waging war with the pen.

83 | Lost in Fort Canning

 

 

 

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Three years of going for Shakespeare in the Park hasn’t changed a thing. Four shows later, I still get lost in Fort Canning, in the hot weather and uncomfy shoes.

 

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雨季中百花掉落过后的沉默 – 蘇打绿

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And when I got to the Park, boyyy was I surprised. I was here on VIP tickets given to me by a business associate, and I knew there’d be a buffet.. but I didn’t know there would be such good food, wine, personal mat, backed cushion and even a fan (which as we all know is the most important thing). Ah, this is the life!

After that stint in oppressive heat, all I wanted to do was to have my food, sip wine, and talk to the good people at SRT. Spoke to Gaurav, whom I haven’t seen since the first SRT showcase. For some reason, I was really amused when he warned people not to venture to the right of the park (because it’s a graveyard) and then sat back to enjoy the rest of the show.

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Shakespeare in the Park is almost like an annual affair now, and although I am not much of a Shakespeare girl, I think watching a play under the stars is amazing. Oh, and SRT really does do its actors right. 😉

Ah, I wish I could live like this all the damn time.

80 | Redoing It


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A new semester began two weeks ago and since then I have been severely sleep-deprived. Nevertheless, it was good to see 02 again, with all their silly antics. It feels like home. We have a new batch of freshmen now and it’s so odd to be the seniors but I feel like 02 has toned down and we’re growing into our roles.

The biggest things on my mind have been our annual Dinner & Dance, schoolwork (which I should really be used to by now) and other writing-related commitments like work, theatre, poetry. Dinner & Dance was splendid and although the weeks leading up to it were mad, the moment I saw HR all gathered in the same hall and enjoying themselves, it was all worth it. 🙂

Another reason why I’ve enjoyed April was because it was National Poetry Month and we had SingPoWriMo! The challenge was to write one poem for all 30 days of April and I did it even though I didn’t post it on the group daily! Poems like <temujin>, <stolen sunlight>, <modern day mulan>, <breaking into graveyards> were poems I never thought I would write. Sometimes the first step to getting a poem down is actually writing it no matter how bad the first drafts are. I also edited old poems, easing them into new forms, such as <translating iv>. Writing poetry became my asylum and it is becoming a happy habit! 🙂

Days that I feel like I’m being bogged down, I go for shows and enjoy some time at a bar w/ a good drink afterward. If not, cafe-hopping is always welcome! Heavy on the expenses but for the load it relieves.. 🙂 It’s worth it.

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Here’s a cup of Shirley Temple on the house to get you through May! 

74 | White Rabbit Red Rabbit

 

I am a little stunned, and to a large extent impressed by how tight-lipped people are after coming out of White Rabbit Red Rabbit.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t know what the show was about when I went in. After all, I’m the sort to buy tickets blindly. But when I came out, I had already had my perspectives changed a few times. Should I be proud to say I’m the first person to step into the black box for the entire run of White Rabbit Red Rabbit? Nothing to be proud of, but still. The program booklet states that this play is a cold reading, meaning actors have never seen the script before, and will read it for the first time as they perform this play. The originality of this is apparent right from the beginning. Fangda and I were just discussing TV Tropes over dinner (it ruins your life) and when we walked out he was saying with a tinge of awe, “.. and we were just discussing originality just now.. this is it. This is the stuff.”

In other words, go and catch it. It’s a play that defies all theatrical conventions and goes straight for the jugular of your perspectives and soul.

73 | Buoy

It’s been a very long while, hasn’t it?

I’m usually quite punctual with my posts, at least once a week or in the busiest of periods, once a month. But I’ve not been here for close to 1.5 months! Mainly because I’m trying to find new direction, both for the blog and for my life. I’m actually trawling through the photo roll for the past month and a half right now and I can assure you that you didn’t miss much, really.

The following four pictures are going to be a quick recap of the past 1.5 months so.. keep up!

IMG_4184140214 Operation Valentines’ with Chapter + 02’s Valentine’s Day celebration

IMG_4295140220 Concluding the last of our presentations for Year 1 w/ ITB group

IMG_4556140307 Lunch before ASEAN Connect w/ Cynthia

IMG_4563140307 Dinner at 18Chefs w/ Cynthia, Russ & Weiyong

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That was a quick run through, but basically, I’ve completed Year 1!

If you ask me to summarize what it’s been like these 6 weeks in a word, it would, without doubt, be burdensome.

Very honestly, I have not been happy all this while. Ever since the Rebecca Minkoff card case incident it’s almost like I’ve been jinxed. I know I’ve always been happy doing juggling 101 things at a go but I think I’ve reached a point where I finally realize: I may be busy, not productive. What then is the point? I’m basically tiring myself out with things that mean a lot to me but I do not truly work for. Because of bad time management and perhaps even bad workload management, I’m going through the motions but not truly achieving anything. This left me sad, disoriented and increasingly fed up with myself. It’s a vicious cycle, you can see. I was truly beginning to lose steam all the way towards exams, like an airplane falling out of the sky (if I ever did cruise that high) and I felt dejected. When the holidays came, I basically lapsed into a slump. For once I felt really alone and vulnerable but at the same time it was exhilarating to not have to account to anyone for once.

My current status is still as per stated above ie. dejected, but there are definitely some things that have changed about me. I have become increasingly certain about specific things, such as the people who truly mean the world to me, people like my family, Jean, Liansheng, Buddy, etc. I guess it’s the toughest times that show you who will hang around you still.

Secondly, I’ve still been lurking around in the literary scene. Or should I say, lurking as an audience of the literary/arts scene. I’ve still been watching shows (as you’ll notice the Been There Done That page is still constantly being updated) and so far I’ve covered two very wonderful plays, a Yue opera piece called the Good Person of Szechwan, and coincidentally my translation lecturer sat beside me and explained a lot of what I didn’t know to me. Of course, I came out grinning like a bobcat, and when my parents come to pick me they have to endure an endless tirade of how marvellous the show was. This then repeated itself when I went to watch a Cantonese opera piece titled The Mad Phoenix. Clearly I have inherited Mummy’s penchant for opera shows! On the writing end, I really haven’t been writing as much, because I’m busy with life, but there have been moments when I felt like I would have an actual unsavoury physical reactions to words not being put on a page (like vomiting) so I had to pen them down.

Lastly, the one thing that kept me sane through this madness: sodagreen.
You may or may not have heard of this Chinese folk/rock/pop/indie band called 蘇打绿 Sodagreen but when I really felt like I was going to have a mental breakdown, it was their songs that sustained me through the day. It came to a point where I was just desperately looking forward to breaks just to have their music in my ears. Their songs are all either curative or invigorating in nature, with a range of toned-down songs like 独处的时候 When I’m Alone that heals you when you’re at your weakest (and ends with a message to look forward) to upbeat ones like 小宇宙 Little Universe which invigorates the self and encourages being considerate for society. For the first time I found myself thinking, Ah, this is what music should sound like. It doesn’t hurt that Sodagreen is very down-to-earth and lead singer QingFeng is especially witty and charming. I mean, this is the kind of character I could fall for. Their songs are not gender-specific, which is a feat in itself, and add that to the powerful lyrics (all self-written and self-composed) that touch on Chinese history, use a range of euphuistic Chinese phrases and words (some of which I didn’t even recognize, shame on me), are spot-on when it comes to hitting you in the heart with raw emotion and you have got, arguably, the most prolific band in Chinese history.

I guess from here, the rest of the holidays will be spent sorting my room (and my life) out, but this definitely won’t be the last post for March. I’ll be back, I’m not sure with what material though, possibly with beauty reviews – I’ve been deliberating for so long already – or even just non-beauty favourites.. I’m not sure yet! We’ll see.

Ending off with a list of dramas I’m chasing: Emergency Couple, Three Days & Ugly Alert! They (sort-of) fill in the gaps between theatre shows and whet my appetite for the big stage. 😉

72 | élan

(n.) distinctive and stylish elegance; impulsive, confident ardor

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I can’t actually remember the last time I posted here at a time other than the twilight hours.

It’s still a rather busy period for me but I’ll keep this a little more concise. Just wanted to drop an update because of Chinese New Year and the dozens of other things going on (at the same time). It’s driving me mad.

The week of my birthday I was down with laryngitis and hated it so bad. I don’t know if it’s because I came to poly or something else, because even now when I’m working my ass off, I still feel absolutely happy to be here, so it was painful for me to miss school because of an illness. It’s the environment perhaps, for someone who cannot stand mundane, routine things, poly is basically a dynamic, energy-filled bubble to be in. Of course with 02 around.. there’s never even a quiet moment.

Shortly after my birthday, I went to TANGS and treated myself with the birthday voucher they gave. Wanted to get a Minkoff which I’ve been eyeing for the longest time but Doorstep Luxury only stocks it at Robinsons Heeren. Will be going there to check it out soon enough though!

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Mushroom Superga!

I’d initially had my sights set on the Cotu 2750 in Black but I decided that it was too mainstream and opted for something else. I’m happy with this colour: it’s cute, and I’ve been comfortable trotting around in this pair because of the excellent arch support. In other news I am also kicking myself and tripping more often because my old Rockports used to feel like air but this pair’s heavy. Then again some close friends reassured me that I’d trip even if I were barefoot so.. I guess.

Celebrated Claudia’s and Janice’s birthday with the class on 30 Jan, and here are the photos –

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Janice looks the same height as us.. ahem.

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Pretty Claudia! 🙂

And as always, a mad camwhoring session always ensues:

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We took it even further and had a private birthday celebration (with candles) for the December baby Micaela, Jan babies Iffah & myself as well as the soon-to-be 18-year old Eunice!

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We celebrated Chinese New Year at home that evening with a comfortable dinner but it wasn’t absolutely fantastic because my mom refused to cook dark sauce chicken – her best dish – on the account of it being black. Frankly though, I don’t care if I have bad luck for a year if I have dark sauce chicken every morning. That stuff is dope.

Second day, we headed to Grandma’s place, and here’s my FOTD, very shamelessly.

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Lipstick: YSL 12 Corail Incandescence

Got to see my always beloved grandma and torture her by taking one thousand and one photos insisting that she pose nicely. She gives me this long-suffering sigh every time I do it, as if to say, “This girl has tortured me for 18 years and she’s not even close to stopping? Damn..” Well no, Grandmama, I’m going to continue it. 😉

Also got to see my little furkid! Always a furkid even if she’s close to 7x my age in dog years now.

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She was excited because so many people were around!

She was so happy that we were all in the house and got a bit mad excited. Bought her some cookies and she showed me the wait command that I’ve been trying to teach her – you know, the one that requires imba self-control on their part. She’s such a good girl :’)

Not much went on except that I had my cousins come over on Saturday and well, although we’re not close it was good to see them! Nothing beats having so many people you know. Of course, I’m an ambivert so this is just the extrovert speaking.

Thereafter we headed to Godma’s house for lo hei which is like the highlight of this year’s CNY. So much good food, company and.. gambling. Had a mahjong session where I struck it lucky and even better – banluck in a big group! I think it’s much more fun like that, even if almost every time I got banluck, the banker ran off with 15 points. 😉

On Monday the others came over to my place for erm, financial recreation. Mahjong the whole day, then banluck, KFC and brain games. I really don’t know what I’d do without my friends from school. Life would be disconcertingly quiet. Mic also made splendid cheese muffins which had pearls on them (they nearly broke a tooth) and they were so delicious.

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Introducing the people who always itch to meet and play!

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Fraser, bc she’s one of the closest seniors and she’s so lovable.

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Cynthia, and even I find how close we are now a pseudo-miracle. 

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Micaela with her pretty puppy eyes. I know what gets you now, Eunice.

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We look very similar I think, everyone gets us mixed up.

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The guys – Ben and Yuanchen! 🙂

This concludes all the merry-making that went on during the new year. Once I began school, things went awry.

On Wednesday, I went to collect a Rebecca Minkoff Bailey Card Case that was a splurge for my birthday. Guess what? The next day, I lost it on the way to the MRT. I don’t even know how. The second best part was that even the temporary card dropped out of my pocket on the MRT. Sigh. That was one dreadful day. Practically $100 flew with my ez-link and cardcase so if anyone finds it please return it to me!

Other than strange misplacings such as these, schoolwork has been picking up. We’re nearing project submission and final week, which is never a really good time. I stayed up till 5AM just this Thursday to finish up DBE and Gen Ed, and concussed for 15 hours till this morning. That’s because I have way too many things going on at any one point of time – schoolwork, Korean, translation, writing, driving, friends. Last year, I used to plan dozens of days in advance but now I’m reduced to taking it one day at a time. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying that it’s hard, you know? Even when I know why I chose to bring all these into my life there are nights that I can never really justify the pressure placed on me. It’s not fun waking up feeling like emotional crap knowing that you can’t take it out on anybody, there’s going to be even more shit heaped on you throughout the day and then coming home knowing it begins again a few hours later. Or, you could adopt my mindset and tell yourself that however shitty a day is a new one dawns in a matter of hours, so don’t fret. That’s been my cure lately. Oh and also, more hugging than is necessary.

The one thing that has been keeping me sane are my theatre dates. I am living from one theatre production to the other because that’s the way I stay motivated. Just this Friday I -ahem- left class early to go for a theatre production – Art by Yasmina Reza, produced by Nine Years Theatre. After watching Enemy of the People and now Art, I really feel like Nine Years Theatre is the company to watch out for, the one company I would love to work for. I’m really very thankful to Nelson, the director, who patiently answered my questions after shows.

One thing before I start telling you why Art is an awesome show though, a quick note to all students watching shows: can you guys please keep quiet? I know your school subsidized these tickets, it’s probably even free, but for us we are paying audience members. Please at the very least display some theatre etiquette. I don’t want to name schools but it was highly annoying when audiences are shifting in their seats throughout the whole show, and when it’s at the Recital Studio, one person moves, the whole row moves. I rocked back and forth basically the entire show! Also, is there a need to laugh whenever the actors cuss even mildly? When they stand, when they sit, you laugh. When they talk, you laugh. They stumble over their lines you laugh. Someone even shouted a response extremely loudly to a rhethorical question during the play. HELLO?! Have some sense! I am very supportive of schools bringing their children to the theatre but hey, this is not the right way to watch a show.

Now that that’s done with, Art is a splendid show. If I had to pinpoint a success factor I’d say it’s the actors. The feel that they gave me was, in Chinese, 游刃有余, I felt like they never even hit the depths of their acting prowesses. Their acting transformed a potentially tiresome play into a riveting one. I am not a huge fan of Yasmina Reza’s writing style, but the way she writes conflict is definitely, non-negotiably skillful. The difference between this and God of Carnage (which I hated) was that the conflict was much less contrived. I felt like in God of Carnage they could bloody well have walked out at any point of time and ended the conflict (realism, right?) but in this one I felt that it was less contrived – the conflicts stemmed from the character’s personality and was thus more organic. I’m guessing wildly here, but it worked. It threw me a variety of emotions – I felt my heartstrings tugged when Yvan was caught in the middle of a rapidly digressing friendship, Marc’s obnoxious self was completely unbearable, and respect for Serge grew the more he stayed calm in this conflict. It was also pretty comical and I’m guessing that making audience members laugh when the characters portray fury, anguish and deep betrayal is no mean feat. See what I mean, these actors are at the top of their game!

More than all of these, Art pulled the rug out from under me with regards to my notions of friendship. What are the foundations of which our friendship is built on? Why do we continue to see each other? What did you see in me, and I in you, that made us become friends? What do you do that I object to? What would I do if you bought a grand white painting for 200, 000 francs? What would I do with you in a conflict? Are there any things that I wanted to say but never got around to saying? Also, with regards to Art, I’ve begun to come to the conclusion that yes, art is always subjective. Art is what the viewer interprets of it. If I say a blank white canvas has a million rainbow lines and thus is touching, then so it is (to me). That’s my insight for now, I’m sure it’ll be challenged soon enough.

I have only watched two productions of Nine Years Theatre but they are fast becoming a season-ticket company, meaning, a company that I will buy season tickets for. Simply because the work they produce is of such high quality. I think Nelson as a director is very sensitive to character, in the sense that he understands a character well and can portray it to the audience in a way that is both simple to see while the layers and complexities of the characters are not compromised. The production team seems to be the same one at Enemy of the People and they are a force to be reckoned with. I loved the simple set (don’t I always) because they seem to create magic out of the simplest of props. Oh, what I would give to be able to volunteer with this company. 😦 Thank goodness I managed to get tickets for this!

On a more personal note, after having been out of theatre for some time, I thought the passion might have died off. After all when I first started in SRT’s Young Co, many people thought it was one of my newest fads, and there were also moments of insecurity, but then again, it was because I wanted so badly to do well. But now I realize that there never is a “do well” in theatre. It’s all about the process of creating a work from scratch, collaborating with a bunch of other talented people who are just as delighted as you are to be in a creative space, and working through kinks, problems and having fun together. If I may say so I used to be arrogant when it came to theatre, but I’ve resolved to take a humbler attitude. Just being able to participate in theatre is a joy in itself – I don’t need to be the one working on it or writing it. Just partaking in an art people spend hours pursuing, being part of a message to be conveyed, to be touched and connected in soul with is beautiful. This is what I am in theatre for isn’t it, not to have my work on the stage but to be connected with and to connect with. I am starting over, and this time I am doing it different.

My next show is on Saturday, after the Nine Years Theatre dialogue in the afternoon. I’m going to watch Yue Opera and I’m not sure how I’ll find it, but I’ll let you know. Also, my theatre budget is projected to exceed $1k this year, and I’m not surprised. Ah, the joys of going to the theatre – it always feels so much like home.

70 | Appentence

(n.) an eager desire, an instinctive inclination; an attraction or natural bond

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Clearly, 2014 started off with a bang. The first cohesive activity I had was chalet with (of course, who else?) DHRMP02, and I can proudly say that we are really extremely bonded. The entire class has this class spirit I’d never experienced with other classes before and though we clique, we’re close even between cliques. This chalet simply brought us all closer together!

Headed to the chalet at Pasir Ris Park after collecting my Longchamp Planetes (which, by the way, I am obsessed with) and proceeded to enjoy the night barbecuing, sticking flowers in our hair and having heart to heart talks. First round of heart to hearts came over drinks from 10PM closing in on midnight, and round 2 came after we stormed Mac at 2AM in the morning. We basically sat in a circle and talked about our future, our lives, our dating preferences, all the way till 6AM, and thereon we were very kindly disturbed by Kaiyang till 7AM.

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Headed home after chalet only to (no surprise here) receive texts from Fraser and Tongwai for a mahjong session. This is where the miracle begins. Having slept 3 hours, I showered and headed all the way down to the north-east to play. Gave myself the very convenient excuse that since I’d been “deprived of proper playtime” during holidays, I should indulge. Came back after 1/2 a round and proceeded to eat and concuss my way to morning.

School began, and things went absolutely crazy from there on. The first week has been so intense, I don’t even know where these activities came up from. Monday started off on a rather hectic note, which I should really have taken as a warning, because once Tuesday came all the big bombs were dropped without warning.

Scooted off after school with Kimtat to Queensway to collect chapter tees & have dinner before heading to SCCCI for translation lessons. By the time the end of the lesson came round I was so completely bushed (but happy). Wednesday was a trifle more tiring as I had lunch with Eunice and Micaela before rushing off to National Museum to do front-of-house for Nine Years Theatre’s Enemy of the People, as part of the M1 Fringe Festival. I was definitely tired, but you can bet I was happy. Had the immense good luck of watching the show, considering that all tickets were sold out. Best part? The post-show dialogue went on for an hour, and I was inspired by how they said they do Chinese theatre simply because they can. Yes, exactly because I can. 🙂

Thursday was spent welcoming my grandaunt and uncle from Malaysia with dinner at grandma’s place after a long day of catching up on work. Apparently didn’t get to do much, because I got stuck on accounts for a mighty long time. Slept early that day because Friday was simply a piece of hell (or heaven, depending on your perspective). Woke up at 8AM for the earliest lesson I have in my timetable, and when that ended at 10AM, Russell & I hauled ourselves to SPCC for course counselling till 1PM. Which I must say was a great experience. Surprisingly this year, nobody really asked about psychology. Most enquired about the HR component of our course. Splendid indeed. I hope to see you all in DHRMP’s freshman orientation next year!

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Had a short break and a cup of coffee at home before going down to National Museum for my second night at the front-of-house. This time was even more enjoyable. There’s something about going back to the theatre that makes me feel like I’m heading right back home. Handled some admin work while the show went on and facilitated the post-show dialogue. I think I did front-of-house 3 times out of 4 shows they had simply so I could hear the post-show dialogue go on. Boy, it’s always interesting to hear what the audience has to say. If you missed Nine Years Theatre and their production Enemy of the People this time, you’ve definitely lost your opportunity, but catch their production of Art by Yasmina Reza in February in conjunction with Huayi 2014!

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Helping out at Fringe 2014 has given me a bunch of new friends from across the theatre industry, people who saw me day after day and began discussing theatre with me. I’ve also been given insights on how to do front-of-house, how things work behind the scenes, and it’s still a dream I hold one day that I can finally be in the theatre not as an audience but as someone who’s played a part in production. Best case scenario, I’m the surtitlist or even better, the playwright, but if not – I could be stage hands and be just as happy! That’s the joy theatre gives 🙂

Had my last Korean exam at ezSAM before heading off for dinner with my Korean classmates, and later SRT playwrights. What a hectic week! And just when I thought it was over, Monday came around.

This week will mostly be filled with catching up on project work and academics. Oh, and booking shows. I’ve got all my shows penned down in my planner and by the looks of it I will exceed the SGD 820 I spent on 2013’s theatre season. Just Huayi alone is enough to dry my wallet, what with shows like 《如梦之梦》,《南海十三郎》,《江南好人》,and the one I can’t miss, 《艺术》. Maybe these shows will displace some of the guilt and misery I feel for missing The Necessary Stage’s restaging of “The Best Of..” why Chelsea when everyone’s raved to you about the show why do you do this to yourself?

I shall be busting some money on Amanda Lee Koe’s Ministry of Moral Panic tomorrow. Decided to give it special mention because all my esteemed reviewers have given this book the thumbs-thumbs-up and after Sam’s very successful marketing pitch, I am now on a craze to get the book.

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Before signing off for the week, I must share this with you, if only for the boasting rights. Hahaha, things like that aren’t daily occurences.

Some may know that recently, I’ve been increasingly addicted to Korean rappers such as Beenzino, Verbal Jint, Tablo, Dok2, YMGA, Paloalto, Drunken Tiger, etc. I’m new to the hip-hop fandom so I’m not going into all the fan battles or disses, but this is cool stuff.

Masta Wu is a rapper who very quickly ascended to the top of my favourites list because of his drawn, slang-filled rapping. His smooth tone, delayed beats and flow just draw you in before you can say “Rap it.” I unwittingly tweeted and tagged him that day while raving about his songs and bingo! Here he goes, favouriting my tweet.

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I suspected that he favourites all fan tweets but hey, I was in for a glorious surprise when I found myself on the same list as Lydia Paek, GD, CL, Dara and Peter Chun. Talk about a highlight in my week.

Pardon the small-time fangirling, will you? It’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in it. 🙂

67 | Yuletide

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It’s been a long while, hasn’t it?

These four weeks have been chockful of fun that doesn’t feel like it. I have no either why either, I’m just really lethargic most of the time. I renege on my appointments and push off actual work, which is really not like me. /sigh I need to get my head back in the game once more!

We had our final session of SRT writing classes on 7 December, less than a year after we began on 26 Jan 2013. The only thing left now will be a short presentation of our pieces in the later half of January which I’m really not quite looking forward to. I think my piece is really lacklustre compared to the rest of my classmates’. What can I say, it’s my hard work and my improvement over the past year.

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After our last lesson with Bill we headed to Saizeriya for our last meal. I’ve had so many meals here in the past year because of SRT TYC and it only felt right to have our ‘last meal’ there! I always enjoy their company a great deal and spent the afternoon whiling time away at Esplanade with Liansheng. That place really feels like my refuge, it’s usually where I go after classes to indulge in books. :’) Funniest moment of the day would be when Liansheng and I were at Starbucks and we left our bags on the seat unattended. He asked me if it’d be safe and we simultaneously looked at each other and said, “But you can run fast right?” :’D

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Headed to the airport on Monday morning to finish our marketing assignments. Jan and I stayed on after that and we spent the afternoon at KFC doing odd things. My darling girl tried to draw a caricature of me and she decided to take the photo before drawing the rest of my face because she was so sure she’d spoil it. Now that I look at it, Jan, the proportions aren’t slightly off, they’re completely crooked! 😦

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Stayed in the airport till late evening to send my uncle off to Edinburgh and we enjoyed a good meal at TCC. Strangely, I don’t really fancy the food there. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been craving kimbap too much (daily for 8 weeks and counting..) or that I have an obsession with the dark-sauce chicken that my mom cooks. It’s the best, really. It finally outran my addiction to her sesame-oil chicken with a good score of 11 months. It’s still going strong so.. keep ’em coming, Mom!

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I don’t know much about visual/fine arts, but this art piece is certainly a very riveting one. It caught my attention every time we walked past it and the aviation symbols it formed were really meaningful. I recognized those symbols from watching Triumph in the Skies 2 so if you’re one of those drama detractors, hey, it’s educational!

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Went to watch Tempest with Elainn at the end of that week. I’ve seen this girl the most number of times this entire holiday and I can’t say I dislike that. We started by spazzing about Heirs together and it soon grew to envelop us sharing a lot of our lives. I can safely say we’ve never been this close before. :’) You go girl!

Celebrated Jiatyan’s birthday at her place on Sunday with the Alpacas and it was pretty poignant. I mean, imagine 9 girls (full strength, finally!) talking at a table (rather rowdily) and the entire conversation stopping once someone so much as said, “Satay!” My girls are irreplaceable :’D We all went into a food coma cos we couldn’t stop eating – there was handmade pizza, salad, lasagna, apple cider, wagyu beef.. wagyu beef. I don’t know how much rare wagyu beef I ate but damn was it good! Oh, and she had a really pretty handmade lavender rose cake. You’re a blessed girl, aren’t you, Jiatyan? :’)

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Finally had the opportunity to meet up with this woman! Went on a shopping trip after visiting Chinese Chambers to register for my second diploma in translation and we started at City Hall. For some reason neither of us shopped a lot that day, in fact, I don’t remember buying anything (which is, really, a borderline miracle) but we had some really good Korean food at bibigo. 🙂 I’ve been really addicted to Korean food recently, don’t ask me why either. Headed to Ion after that, but we still didn’t get anything. Now that I think of it it’s really pretty ridiculous..

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Thomas gor tied the knot at Marina Mandarin just this weekend and attending his wedding felt surreal. Thomas gor, along with Vincent gor (above) have known me since they were NSmen and I was in primary school. They’ve known me for a mighty long time (witnessed numerous embarrassing incidents) and now both are married and Vincent gor even has a really cute boy! Time does fly by and meetings like these remind me to cherish every single moment, lest I regret anything at all.

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Spent Christmas with my Godpa’s family at the annual Christmas party and had loads of fun! Seeing the entire extended family and watching the kids grow up year after year (as well as feeling all self-satisfied that I’m no longer in the children category) makes for a really good time. Also, the food is all homecooked and that melon float I’m holding above is also homemade, so you won’t find it for retail anywhere. Be very jealous, because that stuff was dope. I wish I could cook even half as well as they can! We ended up playing mahjong till 4.30AM in the morning and I was stoned. Literally playing mahjong without knowing what I was doing (which is never a good strategy to adopt) but at least I won back everything!

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These holidays have mostly been spent at home lazing around. Very uncharacteristic of me, indeed. Probably have to find some way to get myself up and kicking but in any case, I still enjoyed the holidays because of my dramas and reality/variety shows 😉 This is a prelude to my next post, so stay tuned!

I have been focusing a lot more on languages instead of creative writing ever since I left SRT, so I’ve been brushing up on my Korean the entire holiday. I think I’ve improved a fair bit, but every time I feel like patting myself on the back I realize how much more there is to learn. It’s never ending, I guess, and not a quantifiable amount. I do really intend to master this language though. I can foresee myself becoming increasingly confused between my four languages, especially when I have to put more emphasis on Chinese with my second diploma next year. I often catch myself speaking in Korean to my grandma by accident, or lapse into Cantonese when talking to my friends all of a sudden. It’s strange, but it just goes to show how some ideas are better expressed in certain languages, more so than others. 😉 It’s just me learning to appreciate the nuances of languages more and more.

Merry Christmas, y’all! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

66 | Augenblick

German (n.) lit. “in the blink of an eye”; a ‘decisive moment’ in time that is fleeting, yet momentously eventful and incredibly significant.

I’m finally back here after the hell that was presentation week. I finally feel like all my previous “hells” finally culminated into one blowup week, and I’m not even sure how 5/7 weeks of hell even occurred, but the important thing is, it’s over, and I am pretty much free to do whatever I want. Nah just kidding, I still have term papers.

I actually drafted this post something like 2 weeks ago, but because WordPress and iPhone photos don’t like each other, I couldn’t flip images. I tried everything, rotating on iPhone, rotating on my computer, rotating on WordPress, and nothing worked, until the idea hit me to try the iPhone WordPress app. Ya right? Slow. All these pictures here could date way back, but they’re here now, so enjoy!

Hit Cake Spade with Janice during HBL Week, and I had a really embarrassing moment there. Janice will give me grief for a lifetime with this one scene. All this hubbub started with that transparent cup you see. Usually in cafes they serve cappuccinos or coffees in general with white cups and or large glasses but I swear I’d never seen a cappuccino in a transparent teacup with a transparent saucer to match. Apparently I said “WOW!?” really loudly and Janice didn’t even dare to look at the server. Talk about shame hahaha.

Exciting incidents aside, I finally tried the tofu cheesecakes which were highly raved about. Was it up to the hype? Let’s just say I had 3 slices of cake that day. Just can’t get enough of that stuff. I mean, the fruits are fresh, the cheesecake is not too thick and it’s not very sweet either. Really appreciated the digestive biscuit base and it tasted delicious too! Bought more cakes to share with the family and busted about $80 on cakes alone. Now no one will believe me when I said I never used to be a dessert girl. In my defence, I am still not one, I’m just a cake kinda girl. 🙂

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Janice also ordered a ramekin which was way too sweet for me. This will tickle all you chocolate lovers out there, but I like dark chocolate and this was just sweet. Cloyingly sweet. Didn’t finish this but it was so pretty I had to take a photo of it!

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In most exciting news this week, my Daniel Wellington watch arrived! I’d been eyeing the watch from Justtangy for a few weeks and when Kwerkee had a preorder, I just couldn’t resist. I thought the Classy watches would be too small for me, although the Swarovski crystals were pretty, so I ordered the Classic with two straps – the Oxford strap was from Justtangy and the original Bristol strap. Changing the strap was the first thing I did – I mean, I see no sense in wearing leather to school everyday. Maybe for functions. I really enjoy the Oxford strap though, fall colours like navy blue, royal red and emerald green are my absolute favourites and I really can’t stop looking at the time now. 🙂

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Another event that nearly drove me crazy with happiness was when my little girl Charis came back from Beijing for a few days. She’s really got my me wrapped round her pinky finger. She is really good at manja-ing me, by the way. I can never resist her. Anyway I hope my little one enjoyed her stay. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and I suppose that’s true. 🙂

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Outside matters aside, every day has been really enjoyable with 02. One thing about 02 is that we are all friends. If we bitch about someone, we’ll go and tell that person in their face, sooner or later. We trust each other, and we’re basically classroom hooligans. Asked Ms Juliana during PTN what her impression of 02 was and she said “dynamic”. ORLY? Just dynamic? Nah, we’re basically energy on legs. Whether it’s having class lunch or having unglams posted (cough, Micaela, cough) I really enjoy their company and they make me miss school on the days I decide to, er, call in sick. I hope we preserve this camaraderie until we’re in Year 3 and beyond, because God knows this is hard to come by.

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Also celebrated birthdays with my family this month. 🙂 Here are all the kids in a rare family shot (and probably one of the few that were actually successful) that a family girl like me would cherish for life. Stuffed myself at the Crystal Jade steamboat.. but then again I’ve not been watching my diet these few days.

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If I didn’t get my information wrong, I believe we’re the first and the earliest class in HR to take both presentations and boy, was it a rush. I basically slept all of 3 hours before DBE presentation, and slept 15 minutes for FOM presentation, and mind you these were on Tuesday and Wednesday, not to mention they came after a week in which I only slept 20 hours in total. That will explain the eyebags and the bad complexion. I have no idea why they choose to stuff a project with such a wide scope within one term, but we did it anyway. I mean, we’re used to this right? Business students are used to making miracles with presentations anyway. /sigh/

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More recent shots after our last presentation. I completely have no mood to study for my written papers now that I’m done with my presentations and that’s a really ominous sign. That also says that the picture above is me step studying. On the same day, Claudia and I both turned up in nautical-themed tops, and I discovered how many people in class were into Heirs.. basically about 1/4 of the class is hooked on this drama and we’re basically just catching up to each other’s speeds and trying not to spoil it for the rest.

Having said that, Heirs is a really good show. I mean, it’s rare for me to like a Korean drama because they’re so melodramatic, and truth be told I really go for actors/actresses – if there’s a few people I like you can be sure I’ll be watching it. All these are rather chanced upon because I don’t naturally start watching on my own. I watched Heirs because Eunice recommended it and I was bored after FOM presentation on Wednesday – and boy did I regret not heeding her advice to start after exams. With Chanyoung, Kim Tan and later Hyo Shin, they got me hook, line and sinker. I thought my heart would shatter for Cha Eun Sung’s plight but no, it shattered for Kim Tan’s predicament. 😦 I am now stuck at Ep 16 trying to wait patiently and not buy a ticket to Korea and rob the SBS studio for the remaining 4 eps. Worse still it’s broadcasted twice a week (and I thought waiting for On Call 2 was bad!) and I am not the most patient of people. Which you might have gathered already, from the way I’m speaking like a drug addict would.

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The past few weeks have been tough on me and the people around me. I’ve been easily irritable, although I don’t get angry easily. I keep babbling when I’m tired (because I just can’t shut up, can I?) and that must have irritated the people around me to no end. School wasn’t the only thing to hit, there were a few other things and deadlines going on at the same time as well, but despite being relieved that it’s over, I realized that I don’t really lament my busy days. I lament the days when I’m stuck at home feeling shitty with nothing to do but I don’t complain about the days in which I only have 3 hours to sleep. This amount of activity scares me because I’m never sure how much more my body can take, but the thought of having nothing to do scares me even more. In fact, it frightens me stiff. My time with SRT’s The Young Co. ends next January and other than some personal reasons why I’d be quite heartbroken to leave, I’m terrified that I’ll have nothing to while away my time. I’m currently tossing around the idea of going for another mentorship programme, or taking a second diploma in translation. Let’s see how much I can save, I guess. I quite like the idea of leaving my writing alone for a while and relaxing myself by indulging in languages.

SRT-TYC has been an amazing journey thus far. We concluded our last external workshop with Rikki, touring director of Peter Brook’s The Suit and have one last workshop with Bill on 7 Dec. Our short pieces will be going into production after that and the trepidation and insecurities are doing me no good. Next year on, we’ll part ways and though the industry is small, I’ll have no reason to meet my other lovely playwrights again. Over this year we’ve met almost every week. We’ve exchanged works, talked about insecurities, caught amazing shows together, and I’ll miss them dearly. I’ve grown close to a few of them and they’re all people I don’t think I could be here without. At this point of time I guess I’ll just have to reiterate my own point that every moment is fleeting and every meeting, transient. These are people I’ll continue loving and memories I won’t quickly forget. They’ve started me on a journey that I hope won’t see completion anytime soon, and where it goes from here is my own call. 🙂 It’s always nice to know I have buddies around though. It makes me feel like this is less of a steep cliff, but rather, just an uphill climb.

Exams will be over in a week, and then it’s partying all the way till New Year’s Day. Till the next time, then! x