Strip When Acting

We must never put on a façade.

We must strip away.

We must strip down to the core of our beings.

We must expose ourselves.

 

Feel no judgement when you perform.  It is you speaking.  You can be anybody.  It is you.  Expose yourself.  Feel no shame, feel no inhibitions when you perform or when you act.  If people think you weird then let them think what they will.  You’re doing a good job.

Be real.

Expose.

Strip down.

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Retreat! (of the Company) & Trainings

When we train others, we have a responsibility to them – you owe it to them to be firm, to cut-throat and to punish when you need to.  It’s not about you, not your image or leaving them as friends – it’s about helping them.  And sometimes, the hard truth is that they need you to be merciless when you teach them.

Does it hurt you when they turn their back on you and talk about you?  Yes.  But if you teach them well enough some day they will realise why you did it, and even if they don’t – if they carry these lessons and pass them on, then to me, at least, it would have been worth it.

But in the end, even if you don’t, then the next best thing you can do is to help them afterwards.  Teach them.  Don’t let go.  Don’t throw them into the deep end.  Guide them.  If you want to be a mentor instead of a trainer then mentor them throughout.  Do not let them wander off into the wayward road where it’s hard to come back from.  Guide them dutifully.  Do your part.

 

In other scenario, you torture them for no reason – that isn’t good either.  You barely know what you’re doing  -that’s the worst.  You must know and you must  have a reason for all that you do to help them and teach them.

 

We must all learn in the end.  We are not perfect – there is no one who is.  But we can improve.  We can always improve.  It’s not about becoming another person, but rather becoming a better version of yourself and in that, helping others to do the same as well.

Things I’m not proud of

I’m not proud when I think of things that pose judgement on other people.

It may be a natural human instinct, but I’m not proud of it.  I don’t like to think of people unfavourably.  But yet I can’t help that they give me no choice.  But who are we to judge if a person possesses a “character flaw”?  What the heck does that mean for the other guy?  What does that mean for you?  Placing yourself above on some pedestal like you’re so much better.  But you’re not.  You’re imposing judgement, you’re labelling someone else.  And you may know your own flaws, but… maybe I don’t make sense.  I don’t know.

Today I thought of a quote by George Bernard Shaw found in Mrs Warren’s Profession.  “I should not have lived one life and believed in another”.  And well – that applied to two people I knew today.  Three, if you count myself.  But I can’t help it – no human can help judgement. It is a matter of whether or not we choose to vocalise it.  Someone once told me that by not vocalising I became decent.  More decent than others.  But somehow that places me at unease – why should it make me better?

Does everyone really have these thoughts?  Or it is something we tell ourselves so we can sleep at night?

I don’t like to judge people – it makes me treat them differently.  But I like to treat everyone the same.  Yet I can’t.  I try.  I really do.  Sometimes… sometimes it’s hard.

The Adventures of Odyssesus

ACSian Theatre’s Class of 2016 brought home the Distinction Award for the 2016 Singapore Youth Festival.  A great honour that I’m lucky enough to have been awarded.  I  can’t believe how blessed I am to have been able to share the stage with such amazing people – to have been a part of ACSian Theatre at all, really.

They have become my family – people that I can always count on to be there for some good cheer and to spend long nights in studios or theatres with.  People to cry with, and people to laugh with.  To get annoyed at and yet still love as deeply as you do your own kin.

Today was our last performance of our SYF piece – The Adventures of Odysseus.  And well, all adventures have an end, but that doesn’t mean that our lives stop rolling from here on out.  I must say, however, that I am rather upset that I’ll never dawn that same costume again for the same reasons.

We didn’t cry today like we did for Lady Windermere’s Fan and perhaps it is because today we performed in a foreign place – no longer the stage we call home, but a place we rented and moved into just for a day.  The feeling is very different, though people still felt a little melancholic knowing that this was our last time performing together as ACSian Theatre.

I suppose it is also because we were expected to be doing this until July.  We were going to fly off to Europe and have fun, create great memories, and bring something back for the school and the country.  But it was cancelled by the brutal forces of life and the economy.  The stark end shocked us all into numbness.  It’s possible.

However, I did enjoy today.  With all my heart and sincerity, and I can say that today was an unforgettable day.  Not because of the performance per se but because of how it made me feel.  I felt happy being with the cast mates – performing as an ensemble for the last time.  To warm-up together for the last time and to sweat together profusely on the dance mat together.  It made me feel good inside.  Like these were memories I could hold onto forever.  The last edition of those memories.

There really isn’t much of anything else to say except that this journey has made me a better person in every way possible.

 

I have ACSian Theatre to thank for half my JC life, and the lessons I’ve learnt since I stepped into ACJC in January last year.

 

I don’t want to say it’s over yet – but it seems like our days performing together, at least, are.

 

 

we are going home.

Fun-O-Rama XXIII

2/4/2016 was the day of Fun-O-Rama XXIII, in other words, the best carnival experience I’ve ever had in my life.

Yesterday was absolutely and completely insane.  I was tasked to do five things, essentially: being a VIP escort before FOR started, class duty, corporate gifts duty, theatre duty, and to get dunked.  I enjoyed every second of duty – each and every one.

Escorting was a good gig, even though I had to sacrifice some time helping my class out – because I got to hear a lot of good stories about the old ACJC and how it’s come to today from all the old boys, and from Mr Lenn.  It was absolutely wonderful to get to listen to them and talk to them about the College and what it meant to them.  It really makes me feel like ACS is a family that spans across generations.  It makes me feel like I’m part of the family when they share their stories with me too 🙂  And it was so sweet when their kids looked around, saw the games and picked out the ones they wanted to play, because they were just so excited to get started – like we were doing a good job even before the day began.  It was great too – because the game one girl picked out was my class’! 😀

Class duty – oh my class’ stall was good.  Looked good, and the game was good, too.  I didn’t get to spend too much time there, regretfully, for I was prancing about the compound advertising – which I did for theatre as well (I guess it’s my speciality)IMGP8816My class’s store was completely crazy – we had a line forming.  That’s right there was a line for a game stall in the middle of the carpark lane.  No one else had that.  I have to say, I was really, really proud of us.  I went around in an army uniform coaxing people and whenever I came back – there were more people than when I left.  And that made me so, so happy to see our stall being so successful.  Meanwhile at the theatre booth, things were going really well too!  I saw everyone walking around with paints of red, blue, and gold or elaborate designs that only ACSian Theatre kids can pull off.  It warmed my heart to see everyone working so hard at my class and at theatre.  It made advertising a lot easier, I have to say.

Then there was corporate gifts.  Oh dear.  Oddly enough,  that was extremely invigorating – because the stuff was so easy to sell.  Were they over-priced?  Ridiculously so.  BUT PEOPLE STILL BOUGHT IT.  They are all suckers for ACS-brand items – and so am I but whatever.  I kept selling and selling and selling and it really felt great.  I convinced one person from purchase $8 notebooks to three for $20 so many times, and to top off with $10 for three files to get rid of the items that we were selling.  It was satisfying.  And it was great to get to see all my seniors from the 39ths’ Students’ Council again – the air is so different from what it had been last year 🙂  The conversation was real and everything felt so much warmer – even in the midst of selling inflated-priced merchandise.

Now it’s time for the other fun part of my FOR experience.

 

PLAYING GAMES.

THE ESCAPE ROOM WAS SO FUN.  It was very, very well done!!  I loved it so much I wish I could’ve gone in again – if only it didn’t cost me a full $10.  But seriously, it was very well done despite the fact that it was a carnival set-up.  In fact, it was ingenious.  It was wonderful – it was intriguing!!

The haunted house was traumatic – and I absolutely loved it too!!!! AHHHHHHHHH.  So my class had a special offer to go in altogether and we walked into the LT and literally we all just screamed and went mental.  I was clinging to Dominic the entire time because I was scared witless and used him as a crutch to get myself through the Haunted House.  There were a billion of us inside, but it was a good experience anyway despite the large crowd (maybe because I stood at the front so I could see everything that traumatised me so).

GETTING DUNKED WAS AMAZING.  It was thrilling.  Some people are scared, but I was just… well—– thrilled!! it was a hot day, and I seriously wanted a dip in.  And I got it – twice. IMGP8954  Anyway, I did love it a lot.  Seeing my teacher (the one in the water in the photo) getting dunked was hilarious.  It’s well, not what I can explain easily because it’s a inside joke type-of thing that made it that funny.  🙂  But yes, getting dunked myself was pretty good too – I loved the thrill of staying on the seat and just waiting for someone to hit the target.  Sigh.  Good times.  My teacher must’ve spent at least $20 on me trying to hit the target HAHAHA.  I love it.

 

To be honest, though, I can’t really put my finger on the good things that happened, because it was really just a collective of the spirit that Fun-O-Rama XXIII had.  I can’t describe it with the same justice as I felt it with.  Fun-O-Rama XXIII was built upon the sweat and the love and passion of ACSians now and then.  It was beautiful.  It made everything more beautiful.  🙂  I can’t wait for Fun-O-Rama XXIV – to come back and feel it all over again.  To come have a different experience that makes me feel good all again.  🙂

Lucy Prebble’s The Effect

Pangdemonium presents

Lucy Prebble’s The Effect

I think this one really hit close to home.  Perhaps not in a bad way – but it did it close to home.  As the story progressed, as they delved into the depths of the human mind through the means of the heart, I really felt a tug at my own heart.

I’m going to be pretty open – I nearly cried.  But of course I didn’t – how could I?  If I did would that send red lights flashing up – that I connected with this personally and that therefore something was wrong?  But why the shame.  Why am I ashamed of it?  Why am I so scared of being what I am?  Is it biological or is it the thought that forms it… I don’t think I want to know.  Why didn’t I cry?

Enough of that – I think that this was a really important play.  I think it speaks volumes – it raises crucial debates.  It’s not just about the ethics of science or the matters of the heart because it fuses both seamlessly.  It moves flawlessly from humour to drama that you cry before you even finish laughing.

Can depression be cured?  Do depressed people really have a more accurate view of the world?  Sometimes I wonder what that even means.  Is having a more accurate view really better?  Ignorance is bliss, after all.

Sigh… it even questions our existence – are we biologically controlled by the chemicals in our brain and pumping in our veins or is there a larger force – a spirit that controls us.  If we took our brain out and put another into the same body – are we a different person?

In the end, all I really have to say is that this play touched me.  It understood us all in the abyss of our minds.  It yanked me from my stupor of denial and made me cry – if I should have let myself.  Are we just science or is there a wider meaning to us – our passions and our desires can’t just be chemical, can they?  There needs to be a soul – a spirit holding us together.

So then what causes depression?  Why can’t I make things better for other people?  If I gave my friend love, is it better than if I gave them a pill?  Is my love useless?  Are effects of the pill just psychological?  Is my love a side effect of the depression?  Is it better to believe that they can be cured with medication… then at least there is a definite answer to this.

This play has really given me a lot to think about and I don’t think I’ll ever have the courage to articulate my thoughts coherently.  I don’t dare to.  I don’t really want to.

I’m so grateful for having been able to watch this show.  It’s been a pleasure.

The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day is a brilliant book by Kazuo Ishiguro about an English butler on a road trip.  Stevens takes himself on a ride of a lifetime, delving into his memories that he recalls with fondness and that is flaked with inaccuracy.

The narrator is Stevens, and in the first few chapters, you’d think him just an insufferable, long-winded and cold man, but yet as I read further into the novel, I grew to like Stevens.  He was a man insufferable because of his inability to express himself, and yet I was able to glean what he wanted to say from everything he didn’t.

The book spoke to me about memory and most importantly – about regret.  All his needless exposition about dignity – and all that really mattered to me was about how much he missed out on – the turning points in his life that he identifies for himself, and how he wished they had gone differently, and how he cannot change what was, and yet how he crafts them to be.

Towards the end of the novel, he admits it – and why should he not – “[his] heart was breaking”.  And that sentence, though stark and direct, broke my heart.  This man, who fought so hard so keep up his professionalism, finally breaks down in a small way, and admits to having his heart broken.  The missed opportunities – all for work.

Do I ever feel that way?  Perhaps.  Is it worth it?  I think it is.  For myself, anyway.
For Stevens?  Maybe not.

But of course, no matter which life we choose, no matter what balance we create for ourselves – what really matters is what we choose to make of what we have done, and to choose what we will do next.

Perception, after all, is what determines what is, what was and what will be.

What we can do, despite regret of the past, is to make the best of the remains of the day.  Of our days.