Never Forget

Today I was reminded of a lot of good things in life.  A lot of things that have happened over the past couple of months, as I began my journey in ACJC, and continue it till now, and beyond.

Errr… I’m not sure where to begin, but I suppose the start is a good place.

Early 2015, just before the GCE O Level results came out, and I was still happy-go-lucky, running around and all, I went for the ACJC Open House.  And well, everyone was nice, but not in a warm way – in a very… crazy way… and I’m trying to put this nicely, but allow me to place it crudely – I didn’t like it one bit.  It all seemed to artificial and fake to me.  And so my friends and I all said the same thing, “Nah, I don’t think I want to come here.  Not at all.”

The results came out a little later.

And so I decided I wanted to do the IB Programme, and I knew I wouldn’t get into ACS Independent, so I set my heart on SJI Independent, where the system of IB appealed to me so much, I delved into it, and I set my life around it, dreaming about it.

And I didn’t get it.

When I wrote my options for JAE, I wrote SJI, ACSI (because I was hooked on IB), ACJC, NYJC, and some other JCs around my mark range.  I was surprised at myself – not a single Polytechnic Course in sight.  But anyway, when I got into ACJC, I have to say, I was unbelievably happy.  I never wanted to get into ACJ, but when I did I was so glad… because I really didn’t like any of the other JCs I put down, and before I checked which school I got into, I already had a feeling I wouldn’t be doing the IB Programme.

I didn’t really know anything about the school, to be honest.  But I knew what CCAs I would be interested in – Photography, Film, Writing… maybe I’d even pick up a sport.  Student Council, if they would have me.  Theatre was never an option… until I went for the Drama Elective Programme introductory lecture.

So I went for the audition.  But even now, I think it’s just because I wanted to prove myself for some reason.  I was this close to skipping my audition.  And I guess… fate had it that my legs brought me to the Black Studio (which, by the way, was the wrong studio – but that’s another story).  And I was really into it when I performed again, even if just during the audition.

And so I got in, and I took DEP as a subject.

And I never expected to join ACSian Theatre.  I didn’t know if that was what I wanted.

But I discovered it was more than what I wanted when I went for that audition.  On the audition day, I had intended to just be a crew member.  I was ready for that.  To be backstage all the time.  I wanted that.  And then we walked past the studio, and Raj was dancing to Uptown Funk, which was to be our audition song, and well, I was into it.  It was so infectious – the rhythm, the dancing, so I said, “Can I try out?”

I just wanted to open my options.  I never dreamed I’d get in – I never dreamed I’d want to get in.

And I’ve been in a lot of stuff so far.  And I regret nothing.

I don’t regret going into the tech box for Amadeus and Day I Met the Prince.  I don’t regret it at all.  I loved doing the sound.  Even if I was just pressing buttons and shifting sliders to adjust the volume.  It was satisfying to see the cast calm and collected by remaining so myself – when the music hit right.  on.  cue.  They know it’s coming.  They don’t need to wait.  They hit it right on mark.  It’s beautiful.  It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.

But I love performing.  It makes me happy to perform for others – for the audience.  I smile because I love it.  It’s so… light-hearted.  I can’t help but smile.

The Theatre is where my heart lies.  I love being in Students’ Council (which is another story), but Theatre is where my heart is.  I love every aspect of it.  I love the people here.  Everything just welcomes me warmly here.  It’s where I want to stay.

written 21 July 2015, completed 25 July 2015


a long time

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything that wasn’t for school, and I don’t know… seems a little sad.

I wanted to be a writer.

But how can I be a writer if I don’t write? If all I write are essays for school, or short captions on Instagram?

I haven’t even read a good old book that wasn’t for school in a long time…

I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to write about how my life is right now.

I don’t know… my life has been building itself up slowly but surely. I don’t really feel much pressure, or anything… that’s what I tell myself, anyway. Why should I feel pressure? I hold two ExCo positions in school now. People are trusting me to do things. Important things. Things important to them – things that will affect others if I don’t do well.

Sometimes all I want is to go run around again, around Singapore, around our islands, and if I could I would always be running around the world. Running around again. Running again. To make good literature. To read good literature. To do some good photography. To hear and tell good stories. To experience new things.  To live a full life.

But let’s talk about today.  Today we had a storytelling workshop.

And well, what she said hit me, of course.  Storytelling is a dying craft – people read aloud from books thinking it’s storytelling but it isn’t.  The engagement with the audience is gone – the establishment of a relationship between you and your audience.  The passing down of stories through purely oral means have vanished… there always has to be a visual companion.  Something written.  That sucks, I suppose.  She pointed out that now when you read, yes, the experience is amazing, but you lose a connection with others.  When you read a book, it’s a solitary experience.  When we hear stories, we are given the responsibility to pass them down.

Today the trainer made us tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood.  And I’m going to tell it to you.  This written version is going to be a far cry from how I would tell it to you if I saw you in person, but just try to imagine it.  Try to imagine someone telling it to you.

The only reason I’m writing it down, is because it’s the first fictional tale I’ve concocted in my own words in a long time (even if it’s a re-telling of another’s story)

Once upon a time, deep in the woods in West Germany, there was a small cottage hidden in a large tree, there lived an old woman.  But she rarely left the house, because dangerous things lurked about those woods.  But they never came in.  She had visitors, though – the old woman was visited by her children and grandchildren often – always on the weekends.  They loved the visits as much as she did.  They loved the same things she did – the smell of morning dew, of fresh bluebells in the day, the soothing cricket noises in the evening when it was time to sleep.

But they all lived back in the village nearer to town where the school was. And one day from the town school emerged a little girl, wearing a little red riding hood.

She skipped from school to home to pick up a basket of bread for Granny.  Don’t come home too late! Her mother waved from the door as the girl left the house into the woods.  She sang as she pranced her way to Granny’s – “the way is clear, the light is good… lalalalalala dadadadadadada”.

Little did she know that earlier that morning, something had happened in the little cottage hidden in the large tree.  So she went on her way, picking bluebells for Granny on her way to the little cottage.  They smelled fragrant – just how Granny liked them.  Little Red Riding Hood liked them too.  She took a few extras.

Back in the cottage, there was a loud snore echoing through the corridors, and Granny’s room.  But Granny was not to be found.

Little Red Riding Hood knocked on the door of Granny’s.  The light outside was good.  The morning smelled fresh – light shone through the cracks in leaves towering above.

Little Red Riding Hood let herself in.  She smelled hot foul breath.  The door closed behind her.  There was a loud growl behind her left ear.  There was a shiver down her spine, and the basket of bread dropped to the floor, the bread rolling out of place.  She never got the chance to scream.

And she was never seen again.

Sorry for the abrupt end, but I hadn’t thought through the whole thing, and I wanted to keep it as I had told it back in the workshop this morning.  And this was it.

And after the workshop we cleaned up the Prop store.  But maybe that’s a story for another day.