Saturday, January 02, 2016

Resolutions; A Revolution Against Routine

I know most people think that resolutions are pointless, but I believe that we should set targets not just for work but for our personal lives too. If we do not, the busyness of life will just push us around like a fierce river current to whatever direction it goes. Not having a target will not give us the motivation and discipline to swim purposefully with all our might against the current to reach your target. Often times, it is not as hard as we think. A few strokes later, you could find yourself reaching a riverbank of your aim. Take control of your life and do not let life take control of you.

This year, it will be about making connections and enriching myself. I shall set my SMART goals for each item. Deadline is 31st Dec 2016.

  1. More often than not, we only spend time with the people we have daily contact with out of busyness or necessity: colleagues, church-mates, nucleus family, etc. This year, I am making it a point to have face-to-face catch-ups with friends who have drifted to become acquaintances or merely FB friends because I no longer have daily contact with. Target: One friend per month. One caveat is that I cannot do it at the expense of time with the people closest to my life.
  2. Esya: The Musical, was a heart-wrenching story of a young rural girl tricked into prostitution and was trapped. Performing in it has got me thinking about the people who fall into the path of social ills: prostitution, drugs-abuse, crime, etc. Instead of shunning them and judging them, I want to look deeper and try to understand. Usually, it is their circumstances, their desperation that drives them to the path of being the predators or victims of these social ills. Nobody is born evil. There is a background story to each and every one of them. I picked up an co-written autobiography or memoir of a Thai prostitute when I was there for a holiday: Miss Bangkok by Bua Boonmee & Nicola Pierce. Reading it, she had so much in common with Esya! This year I aim to do two things out of the Esya experience: First Target: Read 1 book per month, autobiography books of people involved in social ills either as the predator or the victim. No fiction allowed. Second Target: Volunteer at 1 NGO this year, one that rehabilitates people who made the brave decision to get out of a social ill.
  3. Start writing again, to share about the things I read, my life, my work, my experiences or observations, or anything else that strikes me, I have stopped writing and my blog has been reduced to a cheap and ineffective medium to promote my art. I need to revive it and really write again. No rants or complaints allowed. Target: One post per month.
  4. The last time I seriously studied was for my MBA. This year, I aim to study again. I would love to attend a class or workshop in person but I could not find any in this region on the topics I seek. There is nothing like peer-to-peer face-to-face learning. However, I shall make a realistic demand of myself and allow self-study courses online. I have already found one that I will begin later this month: Health In Numbers. Target: Complete 2 courses this year.

I too, will continue what I started last year be it in personal health and fitness, or going eco-friendlier.

That is a lot to do in one year. So, I better get started swimming against the current!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hungry

Whenever my husband and I collaborate, amazing things happen. True story. "The Geongxi Is A Vamp", "300 million: The Reconceptualization of a Conception" and now, "Hungry".

We've always been regulars in the Short + Sweet Musical Category. But this year, we teamed up again in Short + Sweet Song instead. We wrote somewhat of a one-song-musical about 2 ghosts, disgruntled about the food they are being served during the hungry ghost festival that did not match their tastes when they were alive. After all, the Short + Sweet Song festival coincide with the actual Hungry Ghost Festival month!

We never thought we'd win anything in a singer-songwriter competition because let's face it, we're not actually singer-songwriters. We are musical actors, who happens to be very experimental. We love the Short + Sweet Festival as it is our playground platform to experiment. We wanted a very traditional Chinese feel for the song but we both don't play a single Chinese instrument, nor could we find a Chinese instrument band in time. Instead we got help from a super talented musician singer friend, Jee Yan to arrange the backing track for us, which he did beautifully with the full glory of guzheng, pipa, dizi and all!!!

As typical actors, we were super excited about creating our characters Hu Ah Yew and Soo Fah Nee. We really went all out to look like actual Chinese ghosts for the performance and stayed in character during prize-giving and even backstage once our full costumes were on.

From left: Soo Fah Nee and Hu Ah Yew
As it turned out, we won 1st Runner's Up in the Short + Sweet Song competition this year. On top of that, we won the Glitz & Glamour Award too (that one was a no brainer, just look at our costume!).

A double award!
Other than the performance itself, we met many awesome people back-stage... newbies and oldies, comedians and other singer-songwriters. Oooooh, just think of all the possible collaborations!!! We also accidentally scared the shit out of an intern who thought she really had a paranormal encounter backstage. Sorry!

For all of you who missed the show, here's a video of Hu Ah Yew and Soo Fah Nee's performance!

Hungry (2015)
Lyricist: Alvin Looi
Composer: Karynn Tan
Musical Arranger: Choong Jee Yan

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Watch us haunt klpac!!



Come and watch us haunt klpac this week at the Short + Sweet Song and Short + Sweet Comedy festival. 9th - 12th September, 8,30pm daily.

Or we will come and haunt you at home...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Catch us in The Dollmaker's Daughter

We open tomorrow!!!!



Other than supporting a friend who's involved, why should you come and watch this show??

  1. It is a great STORY; a perfect mix of love, hope, tragedy, mystery and plot-twists.
  2. The MUSIC is pure genius, how all the melodies can standalone or be intertwined to weave the story forward. Nick Choo is an amazing composer, and Mervyn L. Peters, our musical director has really helped us bring the songs to life.
  3. Stunning VISUALS, with 1910 period costumes, props and sets, and of course, the real carved wooden puppets! Puppets have had their reputation ruined due to the many horror movies... here, they can finally get the place they deserve as toys or works of art that bring people joy. 
  4. It is for the whole FAMILY, with clean language and scenes, and it even involves children in the ensemble. People of any age can enjoy this together!

Do get your tickets from Ticketpro online, from any of their outlets or even at the entrance of the theatre itself. See you and your family there!!!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Ironwoman

Not quite what I had in mind
Just read the story of Choo Ling Er, and I feel super inspired to train for a triathlon now. It's so going onto my Wishlist or Resolution or something along those lines! I haven't even completed a full marathon yet and I wanna do a  Triathlon. Hhmmm... deathwish? But, sometimes we should just allow ourselves to be inspired to do stupid crazy things. Being cynical and skeptical in the name of pragmatism may prevent any down moments of disappointments, but it will also prevent the high moments of achieving the crazy stuff. A straight line is not living k, you need both the ups and the downs... just like the ECG of a living person.

I've checked it out. The Malaysian event is too soon and clashes with my rehearsals and my show in early May, plus I don't know how to lug my bicycle all the way to Terengganu. But, the Singapore one... is in July. And, unlike the Malaysian competition, they provide bike rentals. And, they have the Sprint Distance competition to cater for beginners. And, that gives me 6 solid months to train. 

Should I?? 


25-26 July, Singapore


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Belated New Year's Resolution

I did not make a new year's resolution this year. It's not my normal practice to list it during the transition between year but rather, I list it here on my "Poco a Poco" section by the side whenever a new resolution pops into my head. So it adds on or drops out once I no longer have that desire.


This year, I had several resolutions that popped into my head for no reason. Write a song a month for 12 months. The next year I'd have a whole album! But I didn't want to put this in my resolution list... as I want to enjoy the process of song-writing rather than a deadline stricken stressful process. So I put it in?? But but I need to write 2 songs in the next 2 weeks for a musical project anyways... at the very least I will comply first two months. But but but... I am performing this year, with crazy rehearsals I won't have the time. Let's just park aside this first.

Secondly. I want to revamp my home!! This is the wish list:
1. Get pest control services - I have some minor bugs problems.
2. Get a regular part time maid - my home is dirty and I am lazy, nuff said.
3. Get the peeling ceiling in the guestroom repaired and repainted... in case ever I have guests.
4. Get some nice potted plants, orchids perhaps? Or some practical herbs? Live green and contribute some O2.
Orchids or herbs? Whichever is easier to maintain of course!
5. Buy new curtains. Because the old one is... erm, old.
6. Repaint my bedroom turquoise and ivory... because I like turquoise a lot a lot.
something like this!
7. Redo my wet-kitchen... get those induction/electric stoves. Motivate myself to cook more & eat clean!

Lastly, I want to seriously put some thought, analysis and action into my entrepreneurial dream. I have absolutely no idea where to start but I must start somewhere. At the very least, think of what I want to sell? A physical product? A service? Or the ever so popular business model in the i-generation; middle-person or connector app/website?

So, 2015 seems kinda scarily full now. Maybe a month down the road I will drop off 70% of these resolutions. As long as I am happy, kan??

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thank yous for 2014

I have adopted this habit from my younger sister to count blessings at the end of every year. I did it on FB only to realize some of the people I want to thank are not there, hence here.

I think it is a very good habit. We always read inspirational quotes that tell us to count our blessings but literally listing it out on cyberspace, is far more practical than just thinking about it after reading the inspirational quotes. That way, we can always revisit the post and bring in the silver linings whenever we face the daily challenges, stresses and annoyances throughout our lives as we always do as human beings. A little dose of gratitude, goes a long loooong way. 
  1. I thank God for healing me of dengue after a horrible episode of prolonged decline in platelets, endless vomiting, high fever and chills. I thought that I would never pull out of it because I could not nourish myself to fight it. As those who know me would know, I am always over-confident of my strong immunity. Never in my life have I ever been admitted to a hospital for anything! Yet this time, I felt so helpless and weak. I thank all the people who cared for me while I was at my worst; my parents, my husband Alvin, my sister Yee Wean, my bestfriend Hazel, my cell-leader Elizabeth, my pastor Pr Lee Choo, my MTAS gang Mei Wei, Cindee, Vinsky, etc, my cellgroup Ee Vonn, Wendy & Patrick, my new colleague Christine, ... for being there for me in person. Every little bit of care and concern means the world to me! And thank you to those who couldn't be there but sent forth your wishes and prayers too! Nothing in modern medicine or technology could've healed me more than the cares of the people close to me. There is afterall no cure for dengue. I have never been more thankful to be alive, or to be able to sleep in my own bed, or to be able to eat without vomiting after.
  2. I thank God for the Short + Sweet journey this year with my hubby Alvin. It seems that whenever we collaborate, amazing things happen. We are better together than apart as S+S proves it. ;) I thank Ross for taking our "baby" to great heights and putting our vision into action!! Thanks to Shen for making the music sound superb!! Love it!! I thank the entire team from 300 Million: A Reconceptualization of Conception and A Woman At War for a memorable journey and for the endless commitment put in.
  3. I thank God for saving my dad's life after the horrifying heart-attack in April while both my sister and myself were abroad. It was a shock to us seeing how healthy and fit he is for his age. He's fitter than some 30year-olds I know! It really taught us how temporary our lives are in this world and nobody is immune to sickness or death and not take health for granted. It taught us to appreciate what truly matters in life and not just the passing distractions. I am just super glad and thankful I still have time to spend with both my parents and my entire family is still whole.
  4. I thank God for my husband Alvin, who stands by me through thick and thin... and walks all my crazy journeys with me; be it in the arts, in ministry, in life, this year... in sickness and in health. Thank you for making me laugh even when I can't manage a smile. Thank you for walking all our journeys together that deepens our understanding of each other's lives; we can talk about the stuff we go through to each other and really really relate!!
  5. I thank God for the privilege to produce More Than A Show for SIBKL. Thanks for your faith in my Pr Lee Choo and Ronny. Although, I kinda failed you guys at the very last lap when I got dengue, you guys took over the baton so readily and willingly. I could never have done it without you. Thanks to Mei Wei, Zara, Alvin, Janet, Charmine, Cindee, and the entire cast and crew of MTAS for your endless commitment to make the show work. You guys are so awesome!!! I love you and miss you all... post-production syndrome. :( :( I am so ready and looking forward to 2015's Christmas Production!!
  6. I thank God for opening up an opportunity for me in my career to venture out of my comfort zone in the world of the sick, into the big wide world of healthy people. It opened up my mind and my perspective of the way business or marketing is done. It gave me the opportunity to learn the true art of influencing people through mass-communications, touching emotions from afar and a lot of room for creativity exploration. I can clearly see how this wider experience in creativity will add so much value back to the emotionally compelling world of niche chronic diseases, which is ultimately still my first love and I miss it!
  7. I thank God for my sister, Yee Wean who shares my love for travelling... not-in-style. Whilst there are many people who crave luxuries while travelling, we share the same objective in travelling, just experiencing regular life in that place, eat their food, watch their people, see things and walk, a lot. Don't over-plan, and go with the flow... tripadvisor and googlemaps have not failed us. We don't need a tourguide. Our Italy trip was perfect that way!
  8. I thank God for my best friend in the whole wide world, Hazel who is always there for me through everything and supports me in everything I do. And makes the time to spend with me even with her crazy travelling schedule. This year, we managed to make a trip together to Krabi and it was the most relaxing, agenda-less trip ever. It was super wonderful!! In the world of so much busy-ness, it is a luxury to be agenda-less. I hope to take more trips with you!
  9. I thank God for the opportunity to serve in the SIBKL Creative Ministry as a Video Editor. I want to thank Wai Yan, Shu-Ling, Desmond and Mei Lee for being such patient and wonderful teachers that have unlocked a new skill in me as a video editor which gives me new perspectives to add on to my passion in the performing arts. Videos gives me a whole new basket of toys to play with in the performing arts and storytelling! Joining CM-Production team was initally just a trial as I had always been in the worship ministry all my life. But I am definitely here to stay. I love it here!!
  10. For the new colleagues I meet in my new job in this new industry; I have never met someone so remarkable as you, Christine; super objective minded, responsible and genuine. I am thankful and honoured to be your peer. You have my utmost respect as a person and I hope to see you go way further in your career. I am thankful to have a well-united team; Jocelyn and Jeslyn; both whom I can always rely on and have a high sense of team-unity even in challenging times. I really appreciate the sisterhood feeling that you girls give me and make me look forward to come to work. I am also thankful for my boss, David whom has a wealth of experience and is never selfish to share and mentor. On of being a nice empathetic person, he still holds high standards, principles and work ethics in his leadership... usually a very difficult balance to strike. I also appreciate his immense respect for our work-life balance.

See, you don't even need to look very hard, there is just too many things to be thankful for. Cheers to 2015, and bring on more of life to be thankful for!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Back on stage!

Finally, one fruitful audition!! I will be back on stage come May after more than a year's break from performing. For the whole of 2014, been backstage instead; as writer, composer and producer. It was fun but my first love will always be a musical theatre performer.

I cannot wait!!! :D

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reliving the glory

Every time I re-watch this, I still laugh ... hehehe. I suppose it's normal to appreciate your own art. Enjoy! I do. ;-)


Monday, November 24, 2014

Reflections

Rain, solitude and free-time: A perfect recipe for reflections. 

Picture credit: The Darkroom - The Baltimore Sun
I just had a wonderful albeit stressful event over the weekend and I am relieved it is successful and it is over. I am thankful to have a united team that made it work although I still feel a bit like an outsider, like I don't belong. My boss and clients are happy and appreciative. So, I am having a nice quiet Monday-off today. No Monday blues can touch me today.
I have just celebrated my dad's 65th birthday over lunch with the whole family. He's recovering well after the cardiac fiasco in April, and he seems happier and less grumpy these days after the incident. I'm happy that he's happy. I'm glad my parents support and even help me prepare for my upcoming "I have a date with spring" callback auditions. It means the world when pragmatic Chinese parents support your artsy passion.
I just had my husband surprise-visit me at my event last Saturday night. And last night, we were discussing on how fragile love is and we both agree to continuously work to make our marriage as wonderful and magical as it is yesterday, today and forever during our family devotion time.

Everything in my life is wonderful at the moment. So, what is this poignant feeling I'm having? I suppose... artists emote, somehow it is part of our DNA. Oh, and of course, blame it on the rain.