Wednesday, 30th April '03

Brother's Birthday

Heh, I'm going to be lazy and refer you to Limin's journal on this subject. It's just too long to type out all the details, and since she *quotes Tzo* "blogs like a madwoman", it's pretty darn accurate. So here I am musing on certain issues that struck me then.

I'm just going to start by saying that this is the first birthday party (since my own kiddy ones) that I have put this much effort into. Going shopping, carrying shopping bags back on the MRT, chopping one mother-of-all-onions (I just cut it into two and started sniffling immediately. And I can't get the onion stench off my hands... not even perfumed soap works). But I do think it was well worth it, not just because Bert seemed really pleased, but because it gave me this nice sense of family. Haha, Babs and I aren't the Erjie and Dajie for nothing... and even little Strawberry 2 helped. The food was an optional thing, more important was the idea of us all working together to make something for people we cared about, and knowing that that all these people would appreciate our efforts even if the Cabonara was tasteless of the chicken tough as leather (neither of which happened). And all the preperation seemed so WORTH IT when I stood back and looked at the family all sitting there laughing and chatting and fighting and diaoing and just being... well... family.

And so here I am trying to fix some memories in my mind... of Gnet and her marinade and discovering the shortage of soya sauce... of the little blue scoops she painstakingly used (I would never do that, way too lazy)... of Lucas' furrowed brow as he HACKED the salmon into pieces... of Limin fighting to cut the salmon and ending up palming the job off to Luk... of Babs' face when I wiped her "clean" pot with a tissue and discovered EXACTLY how clean it was (the tissue turned the same as one used to wipe the CCAD room shelves might)... of my darling pasta sauces... of us watching the Bachelor and having to constantly remind Andre that Brooke and Helene were two different people... of Lucas' monster blueberry cake... of the fun I had with those soccer figures... of Gnet's plonking Happy Birthday on the piano... of Gnet's WHINGING that no one was eating her chicken... of Luk's and Dre's TREACHERY... of the multiple heart attacks we had sitting in the living room and hearing Andre and Lucas clanking bowls around... of not going to watch Xmen and trooping off to Gnet's.

Speaking of which, it's surprising how knowing someone can change your perception of their family members. Still remember how shocked Limin and Heng were when they were finally given a lift from Sun Yanzi... hah... they were talking about it for days. But after hearing our dear Strawberry grumble and grouch, we were like "what superstar... she's just Gnet's big sis...". So much so that when I wound up staying the night at Gnet's and Sun Yanzi kept popping into the room to search for clothes / bang things around, I couldn't offer anything more than an unenthusiastic "Hi...". Maybe I was just too sleepy lah, but Yaoch sure was excited to hear of this encounter. Oh well, I can say I slept in a big singer's bed... not too bad... =) Still feel mildly guilty for robbing her of her room, though.

I can't quite think of a better way to end this, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Bert and all the other April babies... I can't help but note that no presents were given this year ('cept for Ben's... Thanks) but we all shared so much more in just giving each other a portion of our time and love - which is, needless to say, the greatest gift of all! And I loved the way we all expected nothing but just that... and we each knew it. No one even considered traditional gifts, right? *is happy*

Now for one of En Ying's typical pop song quotations for all the family:

You are incredible
You are amazing
That's what I meant to say...
-Darius Danesh-

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:37 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Saturday, 26th April '03

Serious Acting

After two sessions of "getting to know you" *hums song from the King and I* games and activites, serious acting started today. Exploring physical expression seemed to be the key focus of the exercises and we started by warming up and using emotional expressions.

The first exercise went like this. Serena gave us an emotion (say, anger) and we had to build it up from level 1 (just a teechy bit angry) to level 10 (murderous rage a la Bill Sykes) and bring it back down again. Boy, did I have love-hate relationship with this activity! On one hand it was the most emotionally draining drama activity I have every done and everyone was literally panting after each round. But on the other hand, this is the closest I have felt to real acting in a long while. I really apprciated this activity for reaccquainting me with the driving force of sincere acting - feeling. I think over the years (and because of Holy Child Speech and Drama) I have come to rely on choreography as a means of expression. Like what does an angry person do? Clench fists? Hit a wall? Grit teeth? All effectively able to tell the audience of the intended emotion, but not enough to draw them in or make them empathise. I was lucky, and I had this relvelation very early in the exercise and IMHO benefited a lot. Essentially, don't turn acting into a science and there isn't a step by step guide to it. One way of tackling the problem that I tried was to stop thinking of steretyped expressions of the emotion, and not use what I saw on tv or in the movies to depict it. Instead I relied on assigning an experience in my life to each level, recalling exactly how I felt and what I wanted to do when I was THAT intense. And I was immensely gratified when I did manage to call up shoulder-shaking rage and gut-wrenching anguish when I needed to. This method just fails if no experience is available, but that's a common problem I have highlighted before.

I have to also say I couldn't have has such a great session without the rest of the ensemble. It's gosh-awful enough to portray emotions as personal as these, but observing everyone around me completely letting go as well gave such a feeling of security and comfort that I could let loose as well. Heh, I was still sniffling when we finished with "sadness"...

Thank goodness the next activity was easy. Any four of us would make a human sculpture and in the centre of the room and everyone else would come up with relevant (and not so relevant) sounding titles. I guess this exercise helped to stretch my mind in interpreting actions beyond the norm, and exploring how a single position - not even moving - could be twisted to show a range of ideas, and how things look different angles.

We also did this detective game where the whole group had to act the part of a single person undergoing the third degree from a "detective". As the "detective" went round the group asking each of us one question, a story and a picture of the person being questioned would form based on our body language and what we said. It was a little tricky to keep builing up something like that without any idea of what the person before had in mind or what the person after you would say next, but it was one of those teamwork and chemistry exercises that can only get better with practice.

The rest of the day was devoted to pair improvisation and I think I'm getting a little (not a lot) more comfortable with doing things on the fly and adapting quickly to verbal and physical cues from a partner. Don't get me wrong, I STILL hate improv work. It's just getting slightly more bearable. Anyways, we practiced one person starting a conversation with the other, and the dialogue going back and forth until a clear relationship was established. Sometimes it was pretty evident from the beginning ("Mum's not going to like this...") and sometimes the directon was obvious ("did you bring the money?"). Other times it just had to be played out more. I particularly enjoyed Siti's and Krystal's portrayal of two people making small talk... Siti is just damn good at physial comedy and Krystal's strange comments had us all in stitches. Their body language was something I liked, like how Krystal siddled up to Siti and went "I like your hair" and Siti's face just CHANGED...

On my part, I first responded as a nervous druggie to Errol's rookie dope pusher. One thing I can say about this boy is he has very "alternative" ideas and he keeps the lesson fun. You could say he gives a very youthful perspective. I was very amused by the balance of power in this interaction (Serena reminded us to look for the character in greater control...) and it really seemed to start belonging to him. The drug lord had control because the druggie needed the drugs. But when he tried to push me something stronger, the tables were turned to a "customer and salesperson" situation. And when a policeman appeared, we both just disintegrated... haha, it was fun, I haven't played "Police and Theif" in a while. For the next interaction, I have to thank Dage Henghwa for inspiration. I approach Errol with "Hey! You're making paper flowers for Sarah! Don't bluff, I know you like her..." Very deja vu-ic and reminisent of a certain day at Downtown East. His resulting "shy boy but Sarah is pretty, isn't she?" character couldn't fend of my "kaypo jiemei" character for long. Basically I behaved like Huiyu and treated Errol like Heng. I think the relationship came across clearly and there IS truth in that "act what you know" mantra

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 06:36 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Friday, 25th April '03


Ahh... the perks of being affliated with a nice busy company like the TNS. Free tickets, free tickets and more free tickets! *grin* Ok, so in this case what we got to see wasn't a real show yet, but a preview is still something to crow about...

Today's preview was "Revelations", a play written by Haresh Sharma, Chong Tze Chien (the usual) and performed by Serena (our instructor), Sean (our art director) and other semi-celebrities like Kumar, Natelie Hennedige, Rodney Olivero and Nick Shen.

I don't want to spoil the show for anyone who is intending to watch it in June. but it isn't for the faint hearted or homophobic. Several scenes has me squirming in my seat, hair standing on end, and still others made me just want to stick my fingers in my ears and close my eyes *assumes the "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" stance*. Still, the aim of the play was to cause some discomfort and the cast did so with much panache... Serena was really great, child-like and heart-rending and FOCUSED (haha... private joke. We're always diaoing her about nagging us to stay focused. And we're TERRIBLE at it.) Nick Shen and Goh Guat Kian (I think) were completely believable as a boy and his grandmother and although their entire conversation was conducted in Teochew and lasted all of forty minutes, I was impressed by how much emotion they could convey on cue (the conversation had this artistic sorta spanning of 30 years... and showed special scenes in their lives). They had to go from gay jokes to topics like cancer in the twinkilng of an eye and the crying just came so nautrally. I just pitied the poor ang moh guy in the audience who said all he could understand were "boy, Ma, New York, *tear trickle* and cancer".

What I did find lacking in this show was a lack of a clear link between each scene and the intended theme of "salvation amidst chaos". What the audience got instead was a overwhelming sense of isolation and dreariness and personally, I was - and still am - at a loss as to how the gender-bender issues, abandonment and quoting from Biblical scripture tied up together. I appreciated the fact that it has encouraged me to think and did not "baby" me by making everything ridiculously expository (as Channel 8 dramas have a tendency to do) but as that same ang moh commented, a play shouldn't be an ordeal. If it's SO cheem as to be only understandable by a few elite members of the audience, I hardly think it has fulfilled its purpose of educating and enlightening the masses.

So I emerged feeling pretty small and inadequate. At least, everyone around me claimed to have understood the play, but I am still feeling like I'm scrabbling away at the surface of it. And no one I asked could tell me what SORT of revelations they got from the play. Oh well, will think somemore and maybe that feedback form I have to fill in will help.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:34 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Thursday, 24th April '03

Pepsi: Ask for More

The scene is a sepia-toned western, ladies in long dresses and cowboys in breeches saunter by. The street clears as a posse of horsemen ride up to a tavern in a pile of dust. The horsemen, each clad in a muddy-brown trenchcoat and hat (and a disturbingly red undershirt) dismount, and we see a familiar insignia stamped on their saddles. The camera zooms in on the bottom of the swinging tavern doors and we wait, with bated breath, to see the silouhette of booted feet and hear the chink of spurs on the grubby wooden platform. Instead we hear the dull click of... soccer boot studs.

BWAAHAHAHA... this is shaping up to be once of THE most interesting advertisements I have ever seen and our darling Manchester United and Real Madrid stars do not disappoint. The posse of muddy-brown trenchcoats swagger in, and the tavern's clientel (all suspiciously dressed in dusty-cream trenchcoats and black hats) stop and stare, hostility written all over their faces. Someone is evidently trespassing on someone's territory. The leader of the muddy-brown posse strides over to the bartender, and the eyes of the dusty-creams follow his every move. As he raises his head so that light falls beneath the brim of his hat, we recognise the pointed stubble-covered chin and immaculately styled blonde hair. Becks leans on the bar counter and in a valient effort to make his only line sound cool, goes "Pepsi." *this is where both Dad and I collapse in a helpless giggling heap*

The bartender obediently slides a bottle of the coveted beverage towards Becks, but it's journey is abruptly halted by a gloved hand. It is the champion of the dusty-creams! It's Casillas! Obviously, Casillas takes a big swig of Pepsi and Beckham's face darkens (you'd think Casillas was trying to get fresh with Posh or something). There is only one way to settle this dispute. It is the way of all westerns. It is the ultimate showdown and only one can live to tell the tale. It is... *good grief*... a FREE KICK?

They set up in front of the Barber shop's window and do the mandatory staring at each other. Outside the Barber shop a sign is tacked. "Wanted. Rivaldo." And who emerges to watch the action but - you guessed it - Rivaldo himself. The camera view shifts and a shadow of a rather irregular bald head is being shaved in the Barber shop, apparently oblivious to the drama outside. Casillas readies himself to pounce and Becks concentrates.Who will survive? Will we see Beckham, well, Bend It Like Beckham? Or will Casillas win the day? Becks sheds the ugly trenchcoat and reveals his full battle order. So does his opponent. The sudden flash of red and blue is blinding. Beckham sticks his fingers in his mouth (Oi! Watch it! You could get SARS!) and whistles. Becks' horse backs up and blasts the ball past the confuddled Casillas' head, shattering the Barber's window.

It is over! Man U wins! Cheers and high-fives from the muddy-brown coats, grumpy snorts from the dusty-creams. The bartender rushes out of the tavern bearing the spoils of the war... bottles of Pepsi in an ice bucket. Heaven on Earth. The Man U players celebrate. That is, until a short, stocky figure emerges from the Barber shop, a little mohawk of shaving cream still smeared on his shining dome. Dad and I collapse again as the figure reveals itself to be one very pissed off Roberto Carlos. The Man U players scatter and Becks is left alone to face the music. (This is to be continued, I hope.)

Wow. I never knew a commercial synopsis could be THAT long! But this is the best commercial I have seen since the Nike Scorpion knockout last year and that nice "So the pit-plucker picks the pits from the premium plump prunes Sunraisia picked to produce its Premium Plum Prune Juice and paddles the pile of pits to the Prune Pit Palace on Prune Pit Peak?" advert. This has to be the most expensive advert ever, considering the players' fees and the fact that it lasts all of two minutes! But who cares, lately advertisements have been boring as anything and it is high time we had a good one like this. I love this commericial and have a new goal in life. One day I will direct a commercial with big football stars. They seem to be wonderful physical comedians (in other words, clowns). No two ways about it, I WANT MORE!

Watch the ad here.All images here from

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:20 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Saturday, 19th April '03

I Have Aching Sides

Second day at the TNS today and I recovered from my sneezing fits / woolly-headedness enough to drag myself out for some activity. On arrival there was the mandatory pre-session mucking about... if you've attended any sort of class before you'll know what this means. Swapping phone numbers, oogling new phones - Huipeng's colour Nokia and Errol's Panasonic that raps out Eminem as a ringtone make my 8310 look like a dinosaur - slapping round high-fives... and I'm thinking how important pre-session bonding is to any group. That's how classmates turn into friends... through those little five or ten minute intervals that you spend sharing the little inane things in life.

But on to the session proper. We started out today with one of those "everyone support each other" exercises. After a little jogging warmup we all had to squash into a circle, face sideways and sit on each other's laps. As in just sit, smack there in the middle of the studio, no supports of any kind or anything. By some miracle of physics, we would all just be suspended in mid-air, an interlocking circle of ninety-degree bent legs. Heh. It was quite a lot of fun, and we collapsed lots of times, but eventually managed to get it done and walk a few steps too! At and excruciatingly slow speed, of course. Thighs felt a bit wobbly after that, but I think we learnt communication (sharing information, not being afraid to tell others of you problems, watching out for people less disposed to handling a certain situation and if you can, doing extra to help them) and had quite a bit of fun.

Hypnosis: Pair work where each pair takes turns at playing the role of hypnotiser and hypnotisee (apologies for my taking liberties with the English language). I partnered Rebecca in this one and it simply requires the hypnotisee to position his/her face a couple of inches from the hypnotisers hand and then follow it wherever it goes. Like an extended, self-inflicted "talk to the hand". The poor hypnotisee is most often reduced to contortionist positions on the floor, just to follow that hand all over the place. I took this as just lossening up fun, having to be alert and building a chemistry with my partner.

Mirror: new partner, Weiling. One starts some movements and the other mimics them like a mirror image. This one needs concentration to make it smooth and so that people watching can't tell leader from follower. And observation skills, of course. After a couple of practice runs and we had to reach a stage where the flow of command was smooth enough so that we could lose track of who the leader and follower was and we were just moving together somehow. It's not as impressive as it sounds, jerkiness does occur, and sometimes we lose focus and a slip immediately reveals the leader. Seems to be a more intense working of the same aims as the previous exercise.

This last activity I shall call "Fairy Tale" and the one we chose today was the three little pig story. If I ever become a drama teacher all my little kids will have to try this becuase it's just so funny! Most of us were just rolling on the floor like how I was when Heng did his Leann Rimes impression. What happens is each pair has a conversation, one telling the other about the story of choice, and everytime Serena shouts "stop", a new style (of the audience's choice) is adopted. It moves so fast you have to just go with the flow and change the character on the fly - something which calls for a pretty huge archive of experience. Krystal and I had to do stuff we had absolutely no experience with and I will have to go do some research and (again!) observe people more. Telling the story like a five-year-old would or like I'm apologetic was ok, but doing it like a retard or like we hated each other's guts was hard. I'm not an angry sort of person. The most fun to watch were the kinds based on sterotypical characters and situations. Siti and Fit did a side-splitting Ah Beng turn, and Weiling and Sufian just fed off each other, acting like two shy toots majorly in mutual like, eyelids aflutter. Geraldine and Ave had a Broadway musical reproduction of "huffing and puffing and blowing the house down" *bwahahaha*, Jo and Rebecca were on the deathbed, breathless panting and dying before the story was complete, just like in Chinese wu3 xia2 shows. I haven't had such a good laugh since... well... lessons with the Holy Child group and watching Eda, Wenz and co.

And that was more or less it for the day, and we sat together and shared a few discoveries. All in all, the theme for the day was removing inhibitions and building rapport with different people in the group. On Friday we'll all be going to watch (again for free! Haha!) Revelations, a play involving our instructor Serena, Kumar (my parents will probably freak out and think I'm going to the Boom Boom Room.. *sigh* People like Kumar are why my parents will NEVER want me to do drama seriously. Think I'm going to be influenced by these "not three not four" types), art director of the TNS Sean Tobin, Rodney Olivero and Nick Shen. And I will attend my first ever REAL, PROFESSIONAL feedback session (the mini ones in RGS and RJC don't count) - how exciting! Though I don't quite know how all these biggish names hope to benefit from my feedback.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 10:10 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Friday, 18th April '03

Puddle, Puddle And Puddle Somemore

Today the whole Smub Club plus a very minor shareholder, Luk, trooped off to Limin's house for a day of R&R. And boy, did we really R&R. But I'll come to that later.

First impression of Limin's place: it's a very nice, cosy house! It's the kind of lived-in house that (yes, Babs) makes you feel very heart-warmed. You can feel the presence of the family in there, and the schizophrenia of a place with a stable Chinese culture (zodiac animals on the walls, koi in the fountain) mixed with Singpore's pseudo-western paraphenalia (Blue CDs, McDonald's toys, tiramisu), and technology (LCD screens and Cable) with tradition (sweet-potatoe porridge). No pretentiousness of showroom-shined table tops or anything like that. Just a good, happy home.

Babs' room is the ultimate puddle ground. Low bed in the corner, dim yellow lighting, stacks of dog-eared romance novels, dusty softtoys (and everything else. AAAACCCHHOOOO!), Fukoo Masu something-or-other music tinkling in the background - the works. But before we really made a complete waste of the afternoon, we had B&B. Breakfast and Basketball.

I think continental family breakfasts are becoming a staple in the Smub lifestyle. Thanks to Limin's shopping, we had scrambled eggs, pancakes, ham, bacon and tea (or coffee for Bert). Yup, we made lots of noise and tore up the kitchen again (cf "The Big 19") and thankfully Limin doesn't have any observant cousins living above. No major accidents this time, probably becuase Dage sat out in the living soom studying and Lucas isn't half bad a pancake mixer / fryer. Two words: HENGHWA, LEARN. When it was time to eat, who walks in but the late-as-usual Strawberry, we take photos just to remember this cheerful little occasion and eat. Just like a real family, we talk, insult each other, ask "how was your day?" and fight over the TV program to watch. First we watched the Boitano skating special and I explain axels to the guys (who actually understand!) and then Gnet insists on watching Gepetto. Bert later mucks around with the remote control and pisses of Gnet and Limz who are watching some Jap singing show. Meanwhile I give up trying to pay attention to the Roswell rerun on cable.

On to the ultimate Smub sporting event - basketball at the community centre. Today is the day I feel much less suaku than usual. Dear ol' Babs has no idea when the community centre opens... forgets the shortest way there... and after a roundabout walk we have to squeeze though broken bars to get in. After we shimmy in through a pretty tight fit for everyone except Gnet, we see a huge gaping hole that we could have simply waltzed though. *beepity beep* The bball game is as per normal, good shots, fluke shots, guys trying to act cool and failing miserably.

Then it's back to the house for a bath, G and H run off to meet M and J (both fronts are very well, haha) and Luk gets into quite an embarrassing situation involving a lack of toilet paper in Limin's bro's loo. Everyone is laughing so hard I can hear them from Limin's toilet, where I am safely shielded from the mounting insanity outside. I have a strange feeling of deja vu, and realize the exact same thing happened to Eugene at Swensons. *chuckle*

After that we have a wonderful lunch courtesy of Limin's parents, and proceed to break world records in puddlehood. We loaf around Lim's bed, dripping into unrecognizable amorphous forms... we have a great time redefining the name "Brandon". (which, by the way, can now be used wherever you place a noun. Like: "Brandon! Stop lying on the Brandon! Do you want Brandon to come in here and turn you into a Brandon?") This is ALL Babs' fault, for she insists on calling her computers, boombox and diaries Brandon. We just helped her take it to a whole new level. We play bridge and I keep winding up paired with Bert who makes ridiculous bids, calls me as a partner and leaves me to do all the thinking.

We chomp down a huge pan of Limin's delicious tiramisu and then we have to go home for dinner (which we have probably spolit with that tiramisu). It has been a good day, if totally unproductive. Thus the musing for today is as follows: it's amazing, isn't it, how doing absolutely nothing with a bunch of people who mean everything can make you feel like you've really gained something!

Just in the interest of telling the whole truth, I go home and fall ill. I sneeze and sneeze the night away and Mum bans me from dance tomorrow. Head feels kinda swollen and wolly and I worry about SARS. Once I'm done putting together the package for the MOE, I fall into bed and... well... evaporate.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:07 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Saturday, 12th April '03

In the Black Box

Writer's Note: A week of so from this entry I realized that we weren't even in the Black Box at all. Ha, see, En Ying has no sense of direction. We were in the Rehearsal Room. I think. *crosses fingers*

Ok, here I am, dutifully working on my Theatre 4 Youth Ensemble homework. I'm writing a journal on what I did today. Will probably edit a bit more later, but let's just say this is "uncut" version.

We started out today in the black box. Honestly, it's not black and it's not a box, so I haven't the foggiest why the TNS (The Necessary Stage) folks call it that. It's a pure rectangle shaped room, with a couple of tables, black cloth screen (with lots of junk hidden behind it), a couple of chairs and lots of nice parquet space. It's rather like a dance studio sans mirrors and barre. And it's BLUE. So...

A bit of administrative work put aside, we set to work on improvisational exercises. Gosh, I thought the stuff they made us do for the audtions was hard, but today's work was worse. Apparently it's just going to get worse. Oh well. =) And it went on for almost three hours. Bert thinks these are like orientation games, but for some reason when they go on for quite a long time and your brain has to work furiously throughout, you do get drained. And focusing so much at one go (I have never done this for so long before... maximum in the past about 10 minutes) made my brain feel distinctly fried.

The first exercise was a name game, where a player (A) starts by walking towards another player (B). B must then look at yet another player (C) and C will call B's name and B walks to C and A takes B's place. Sounds simple till you try it, upon which it is terrible. Eye contact gets mixed up and when speed increases, it's havoc. We did a lot of exercises like that, one involving pairs that clap together just by establishing eye contact and one where the group must collectively count to 20, one person at a time, at random, just by sensing the mood. Hah, we got up to forty even with our eyes shut. Serena was surprised. =)

Best activity had to be silent whacko. It's like blind man's buff in a restricted area, the blindfolded fella carrying the whacko stick and one person running. No clues from people around, nothing. I liked this one, probably because it combined the physical and mental, and possibly because I caught my target pretty fast. =) Strategy: I used the draft from the aircon to determine my position in the room so that I wouldn't get completely dizzy. From observation, the escapee tends to stay on the opposite side of the circle to the whacker, so all I did was saunter to one end and then lunge back right across. It worked. I wasn't too good at escaping though, and I tried to stay behind my whacker the whole time. I think she felt me breathing down her neck when I got a bit too close, and then it was Game Over. Other interesting notes about people: Weiling kepts close to the ground, so the one chasing her usually just swiped over her head. This works well until you get trapped. A more extreme form of this was shown by Errol, who just lay down and went to sleep. Same problem, not mobile enough, eventually got cornered. Ava nearly whacked him to bits (revenge for him coshing her on the back of her neck). Suffian had a good idea of passing the stick behind his back too. It would have had me killed right out.

Worst game: Yes Let's. Someone shouts something like "Let's sell fish!", everyone shouts back "Yes, let's!" and then proceed to act out selling-fish scenes. I hate this game, possibly because it went on so long, and probably because miming scenes on the spot is terrible to do. Themes like "let's go the zoo!" are frightfully ambiguous to perform. I can never decide if I'm supposed to be an animal or a kid or an adult or a trainer and how the heck I'm going to depict that all by myself. I hate being reduced to pointing at a cage and going "hey... monkey...". It's just *urgh*. Things like "let's go swimming" or "let's do kungfu" are a little more bearable, but there's only so much time that a group of 12 can splash around in the air doing freestyle and breast stroke / doing Bruce Lee imitations without looking like total cornballs. I like themes like "let's watch a scary movie", where it's relevent and I have experience with it (unlike "let's go to war" where bad jokes like "Argh! It's Saddam!" surface because no one really has much of an idea what else to do). I will need to work on thinking faster (when new characters pop into my scene), getting less embarrassed ("let's all be supermodels") and breaking away from stereotypes ("let's be policemen" - I could only think of Triple Nine type bursting-into-criminal-hideouts-guns-clasped-close-to-the-face type scenarios).

What I think I have discovered I'm relatively good at are attention to details and sensing. I think after a bit of warming up I could pick up the mood, tone and speed of the group quite quickly and after a while I stopped clashing with the rest at number counting. Details have really not been a problem today, even in the "follow the leader" game, where someone does a repeat action and everyone else follows EXACTLY. I think there was good training from a certain CC activity that no one else in the ensemble had been through.

This group I'm working with seems to be a great group! I got a sense of a little less professionalism than I did during the audition, but at that point everyone was trying to make a good impression, and because there were almost three times the number of people, it was much easier to lose focus or just take longer to recover from mistakes. Still they're all wonderfully nice, even if we hardly know each another yet. And we really _are_ diverse. There are folks like Jo and Rebecca who are my age or older and studying to make a living in the arts (arts administration and film and media studies *I think* respectively). Then there are your basic JC drama people like Weiling and Ava, younger folks like Geraldine, Huipeng and Errol, focused, serious people like Siti, funky people like Fit (who breakdances, raps, agressive skates), onz people like Sufian, chio-girl types like Krystal... in essence I have a lot of new friends to make and to learn from!

All of which, is very cool by me.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 07:04 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Wednesday, 9th April '03

What Do Footballers and Psycho Killers Have In Common?

Nothing much, really. Just that I watched the Real Madrid vs Manchester United match and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho on the same day. Haha, gotcha there.

I can't really comment on the soccer match... because I know zilch about soccer. Actually I just watched it because Dad decided to take a day's leave today (the match was at 2.45am Singapore Time) to watch and I thought it'd be fun to have another father-daughter bonding session. Read: this usually entails sitting on the couch in the middle of the night / morning, chomping chips, deliberately mispronouncing players' names (like "Beck-HAM", "skoh-LEES"), complaining that Barthez was a loser, laughing at Ronaldo's superb acting skills (he should go to Hollywood! The whole Brazillian team should), yelling "GOAL" loud enough to wake the neighbours (but not my poor deaf doggie) and commeting on the "wooden state" / kayu-ness of the referee. It was fun, but it totally ruined what was left of my biological clock.

And I finally found the Psycho DVD!!! *dances in joy* Best Denki in Parkway Parade... one stop centre for old classics... =) I guess I can't rave or rant much about Psycho. It was exactly what I expected. Not too much kick, since I read the script a year ago and the whole point of the show was the twist at the end. I knew exactly what would happen. *sigh* The infamous shower -scene was still macabre, of course, but I could hardly expect to be terrified out of my wits, having watched Scream, Freddy Kreuger etc.. Still I can appreciate that the audiences of that day must have had a real treat, and the film's use of sound / silence and it's acting is still plenty to learn from.

What else? Broadband starts tomorrow! *swoon* And I got a free wireless mouse! Starbucks called too. Life is getting slightly better.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:01 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Saturday, 5th April '03

Smub Dinner

Today was a good day for my palate. After a prawn noodle and ngoh hiang lunch with Mom and Dad, I met up with Smub and we went for dinner at Coffee Club Takashimaya.

It was actually pretty darn amazing that we all managed to make it. It's been so hard lately, what with the guys at NS and the girls working. I suppose the only good thing about the Sars incident is that Limin got to stop working of a while and Gnet got laid off from Tan Tock Seng, right at the same time as the boys got they block leave. We had a really great time talking about our lives so far, the various guys' postings, and updating each other on our plans for uni. Gnet was mad about people who suddenly put in medicine as top choice without having any real feeling for the profession and the committment. I have to agree, especially since Mom works at TTSH and her talk of nurses who take MC and try to avoid going to work because of Sars really makes me feel sick. If you get into a profession as noble as this one, you have to stick it out. If not, make way for others who want to give it their all.

Coffee Club food is good! I had my usual iced passion tea and that was good (though I prefer smaller ice cubes like at Coffee Club Changi). Main course for me was a pesto walnut chicken salad. I'm not usually a salad sort, but this was yum. *satisfied* I even ate the capsicum! I'm so proud of me. Later we left and had the coffee cake Bert bought on my birthday - thanks bro! It was good, a little thick on cream, but that's what makes it look neat on the outside.

I think the best part of the evening was Limin's present for us. I'm devoting a whole paragraph to it so she knows just how much I appreciate it. She made us each a plate in our Smub colour: green for Bert, pink for Strawberry, orange for Heng and blue for me. Each was painted in speckled paint, two different shades around the rim and in the middle. The part separating the rim and the middle had another band of the Smub colour, and each of us had a unique smurf handpainted on. Mine was an energetic blond smurf (she wanted to match my hair of old, but it's brown now) wearing skates with two yellow stars on them.It's darling. Bert had a sleeping smuf in a green baby jumpsuit and it said "miss me 'coz I'll be late". Perfect. Heng had a little Tarzan-like smurf, leaves covering his smurfy turban and clad only in a green loincloth. He's pounding his chest and looks very... Dage-ish. Only Heng thinks he looks like he's wearing a diaper. *rotfl* The cutest one of all went to Gnet. It has this little ACBC (act cute buay cute, for the ill informed) smurf standing arms akimbo and wearing a little pink sun dress. It has a strawberry motif on its shoes and it's smurf turban says "I love Strawberry". It is just too cute for words. The only problem with the set of plates is that silly Babs forgot to make one for herself. Which means Strawberry and I have to go down to Tanglin Mall one day and paint it for her. If Dage pays, that is. =)

Poor Heng was sick and for the first time since I have known him, he had to listen to him Mom and go home early. The rest of us had to help satisfy Gnet and Babs MSing. Erm, MSing means it's a girl's time of the month and therefore the world turns upside down. Today this meant that both of them were eating like bottomless pits. Even Gnet. Wonders will never cease. Between the two of them, they ate:

* 1 pasta bolognaise
* 1 country pot pie
* 1 ceasar's salad
* 4 slices of coffee cake (ok, 3.5, Bert ate one half)
* 2 seven dollar plates of salmon sashimi
* 1 bowl of salted green pea pods
* 1 plate of sake (salmon sashimi sushi)
* 1 miso soup
* 1 chawan mushi

Boy, oh boy. The power of girls in period.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:55 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Thursday, 3rd April '03

Cheap Seafood!

First time out with 3C since Hari Raya. Pity that sars has made it such that lots of people are under parental-enforced house arrest. That includes yours truly, although I am sometimes able to do a little wheedling... *grin*

So we all trooped off to "Gold Coast Seafood Restaurant" (I think that was it's name) and ordered very sparingly. Haha, I think we were all terrified of having to pay by doing the dishes. We got pretty good value for money, sweet and sour pork, pepper crab, eefu noodles, fried rice, kangkong, chicken... a lot of dishes lah. By the end of the day, Jack, Keith and I were speculating on the amount we'd each have to pay... turns out it was only $12.60. Happiness. =)

Other than the food we had some fun updating each other on our lives... especially the folks working at TTSH who now had some time off. And that accounts for about half the Singaporean girls. Other interesting updates: Jack's working with top-secret classified army stuff (fwaahh), Joo passed driving (yay, can take me for a spin one day!), Binbin's teaching kidnergarden (is it stressful?). Boon and Kim are taking their driving tests soon - good! Lots of people to catch lifts from. Heh heh...

We should have another outing soon. AFTER SARS. *sigh*

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:39 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Wednesday, 2nd April '03

The Big 19

It was my 19th birthday today, and Ben, Babs, Heng and Bert came over for breakfast. It was quite funny, really, coz all I had over were four people but my cousin Michelle smsed to comment on the "commotion" she heard coming from the kitchen. Haha... testimony to the loudness of councillors. So I told her it was probably just our horror at Dage's preposterous pancake batter stirring skills. The funniest part was when she came back with "Yeah, I distinctly heard someone go 'Henghwa!' very loudly..." *rotfl*

Wow, I love cooking for 21st... they always make me feel like I did a good job. Even if my pancakes didn't quite look the right colour. Limin ate three eggs... and Heng ate like four... everyone else had the normal two. Then we bummed around my room... dicussing everything from the effects of subliminal messages to the evils of ripping Wang Li Hong CDs.

Must also thank Ben for the present! Stayed up to 3 am for it somemore! *schniffle* That's my cheer squad. It was one of those Einstein pillow cases that had "tomorrow will be too late" printed on it. Perfect for a procrastinator like me. I also got a "Chickee" cushion case. *sigh* Thanks, huh...

After that we went to Swenson's at parkway for lunch. And traumatized the poor waitress by asking to choose our ice cream flavours. Strange, isn't that normal practice? And Bert had to go and ask her why she looked so surprised. Let it be lah, bro.

And since Babs, Bert and I had nothing better to do, we went to Pacific Coffee Club to bum. Yeah, Limin than satisfied her tiramisu craving, but had the nerve to complain there wasn't enough alcohol. Note to self: that girl is an alcoholic. Must get her some help. Oh, wait, she resents the term "alcoholic". She prefers "bloody drunkard".

When we finally left, Limin had to get to work and I brought my littlest bro on his first trip to the library. Heh. Marine Parade Library is so much fun, and the children's section is wonderfully interactive. I had such a good time. =P

Oh one last thing... thanks to all those who remembered my special day, namely Qiong, Tzo, Ningz, Zhihui, Kai, Alex, Jov and Mich. *hug*

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 04:49 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]