Transitions 2- The Intan

28 01 2013

On 26 January 2013, I went to see a performance done by my juniors from Tampines Junior College(TPJC) at The Intan- a local Peranakan Museum. The piece was crafted, written and performed by the students (well, now alumni) of TPJC’s Theatre Studies and Drama elective programme (TSD). They collaborated with the staff at The Intan to devise a piece of 3 interweaved stories about Peranakan culture and heritage.

The Intan first started 10 years ago with the owner of The Intan, Alvin Yapp started becoming interested in Peranakan culture and began collecting antique Peranakan furniture, decorations and other unique pieces that would have be in a traditional Peranakan house. 2 years ago, with the extensive collection, The Intan was invited to join the circle of museums here in Singapore and the staff are extremely grateful.

TPJC’s involvement with The Intan began in 2011 when the JC1 batch at the time devised and performed a piece they called Transitions. After getting good reviews, the same batch was invited back slightly over a year later, allowing the students enough prep work for their A-levels in 2012. Transitions II came alive immediate at the end of their exams and the students took the opportunity to explore the Peranakan culture as well as the chance to demonstrate their skills to a public audience seriously, dedicating their weekends to rehearsals. Some even put off having a job in order to put on the best show they could.

The piece they presented clearly outlined the different aspects of Peranakan culture and they audience interaction simply made it better. The atmosphere was light and welcoming, as if a Peranakan household was inviting guess into their home and share their stories and their relationships, their way of life. The small house made the setting more intimate with the characters offering food, ‘ buying drinks for guest’ and generally just making them feel welcome. These talented students ( this may be biased because I’m quite close to them) truly wowed the audience that night, bringing in different elements of theatre, from physical theatre, to singing to puppetry to changes in space and time. Alvin’s home became their home and the level of comfort they had with the space was exceptional and translated well into their performance.

The piece clearly emphasis the aim of having the event, which was to promote awareness of the Peranakan culture. This performance “for the community, by the community” ( Alvin Yapp’s words) did inspire me to look more into the local cultures and be supportive where I can.

I hope The Intan continues it’s collaboration with my Alma mater in promoting the Peranakan culture.

The teams from The Intan and TPJC


Does Complex equal simple?

24 11 2010

Dear World,

Watch this video first please!

Complex does not equal to complicated.

Interesting concept. I also liked how he explained everything in three minutes and 28 seconds.

I, personally like complex ideas and situations because then I can take the time to solve them and have some fun, (yeah…I know I might be weird!). But you need to understand. Complex situations just means there is a lot of mess behind the actual problem.  Everything is just very simple. People just make a mess of simple things, making them complicated and visually complex.

Note: VISUALLY COMPLEX! Re-watch the video if you must. He had this mind map stuff or atom like stuff and he made them smaller or more condense and precise. You could understand how to solve the problem.

It makes very good sense if you think about it. I just thought I share it with you. 🙂

Those who can’t teach review

21 05 2010

Originally staged in 1990, Director Alvin Tan and Playwirght Haresh Sharma returned to reinvent and revamp the play into a comtemporary classic. The Play revloves around a particular teacher’s experiences and branches out to her fellow educators, her students her personal life and the personal lives of those around her. Various Themes were explored such as Teacher-Parent relationships, self-discovery, the need to fit in and the idea of elitism among both teachers, students and the entire education system.
The orriginal set was of a staff room. There were elevated platforms from centre stage right all the way to center stage left and down stage left which elevated the tables and chairs in the respective areas. Down stage centre there was a long table as well. Along the cyclorama, lifted about 2 meters of the ground were white sign boards with a few of them suggesting what the education system is all about. Along the play, there were several set changes, platforms were rolled out and replaced with other platforms with other types of furniture like sofa’s or louge chair to suggest a change in scene. Most scene changes were shown through these set changes. Lighting and sound played more major parts when required, for example a purple light was used to indicated that Mrs Phua was dreaming about teaching in an elite school and having perfect students or when prom came about or Ms Hana’s wedding was being performed.

As for acting, there is no way to really compare anything. Everyone had strong characterisation considering 4 out of the 5 cast members played multiple roles, everyone had a strong pressence on stage and each showed how their respective characters transitioned. It is something I think I can take back, having a strong transition and showing how my character develops over time. The one person who had suffient amount of ‘airtime’ to show this was Ian Tan’s character, Tek Liang. His character transitioned from a smart bad boy to a smart boy without his original girlfriend and feeling empty inside. His greatest transition was in Act 2 where the signboards along the cyclorama suggested how the education system may not be suitable or there was a lack of education for some students.

If there was a lesson- a life lesson- that I learnt by watching this performance was when Jali got his O level results in Act 1 and his teacher, Mrs Phua says that he should resit the O levels after failing and one day her will return and thank her and all his teacher and later in Act 2 about 15 years later, he comes back to see his teacher, Mrs Phua and explains that he did take the O levels again and failed…again and he went on to to several jobs that fit his qualifications, showing how the education system and exams may not be the way to be considered successful. And it is sad that there are people no matter how much they believe in themselves and work hard.

Adam Lambert Performance: For your entertainment.

7 02 2010

Dear World!

HAHA. Actually I had a discussion about this video with 2 of my JC friends and I had told them that I havent seen the video. They described it to me and I thought ‘ OMG ADAM HOW COULD YOU!” ( I am a FAN!)

Then I saw the video and I began to laugh. Several Reasons why. Firstly, the song he sang was ” For your entertainment”. Ladies and gentlemen of the world, Adam Lambert is an artistic genius trapped in a world of non-believers. I know I am making it sound like I have joined the ADAM LAMBERT CULT but listen. There is not such cult. Ok I can explain his performance, just people of the world, listen to me.

For your entertainment is a song which Lambert Genius-ly picked out and the dancing, lighting, staging and the whole theme behind it was genius! He did it all for your entertainment. Now you might say you are not entertained. REALLY? You all seem to be going on about how bad an influence he is. How long ago was his performance anyways? Last week?

If anything 4 minute performance that keeps people talking for about a week is not entertainment then I don’t know what is.

I saw everything from start to finish. I watched it again. I listened to the lyrics. Here are the lyrics that struck me the most. ( Oh yeah! I don’t think everything in this world is wrong. In fact I believe people are innocent until proven guilty)

I bet you thought that I was soft and sweet
You thought an angel swept you off your feet
Well I’m about to turn up the heat
I’m here For Your Entertainment

Hey! This is hard to explain. Society believes his actions were…not appropreate. I believe it fits in perfectly which the song, the lyrics and his overall image. Ladies and Gentlemen, sex sells! It is a fact! Even if it is gay sex, it does sell if use well to sell.

You want to know how sex sells? Notice how much publicity Lambert’s performance got over the past week? The number of exclusives? The number of magazines that interviewed him. The number of sites that disagree with his artistic talents and the sites that do agree? The number of views on that video on youtube?

Sex sells ladies and gentlemen. It was a genius performance, admit it. Well thought out, genius theme. I think it was the best thing I have ever seen the entire year and I have seen a lot of new movies recently. Trust me. Adam’s performance was way more appealing than some of the movies I just saw. It had high energy, there was many things happening which was appealing to the eyes, the flashing lights, the flexible dancers, Adam’s  “bold”  moves. It will definitely be a performance that you will not forget.

It does not even matter if you agree of disagree with it. You know you will never forget it.



Nothing in life is free.

14 01 2010

And this doesn’t even apply to money!

Seriously. This post is free. The only thing you will get free from me. But remember, you had to buy the laptop,pay for the internet access ( unless you are in a free hotspot) and you have to pay the electrical bill at the end of the month for charging your laptop. If you ask me where did I get this silly explanation above, I would like to thank my class 4/9 of 2009. I remember this answer and I know which girl said it ( all girls school remember?) but I can’t remember the question…hmmm

Anyways I hope you don’t mind the above wackiness. I am getting to my point.

Last Monday at 2pm, the GCE O level results were released. All my friends and schoolmates went back to school to collect our results. Some had tears of happiness, some had tears of sorrow and some ( like me) just could not believe their results.

Before I go on, I would just like to express my reason to why this post is so late. It is because, if I posted it any earlier it might come off as a bragging post rather than an inspirational one. I will not post the actual results like how many As and Bs I got but I will tell you that I am a 12 pointer. It is not a perfect score but it comes pretty close.

Anyways, to all those who got great results, congrats and I believe all of you will agree with me that we worked our butts off for those results. We either worked unbelievably hard or studied using mind maps, audio tapes or other methods of studying and revising that we know will work for us.

However, I do not wish to discourage those who did not do so well. Exams are not for everyone. This is why school does not work well.

If you were present at any Singaporean school ( I don’t know about the rest of the world), you could hear people tell the top students that they are so smart. “GENIUS AH YOU!” is the slang version or “You are VERY SMART LA!”. I had people tell me what too. Well not really. I am not really smart. In fact I entered secondary school with a low Primary School Leaving examination grade. I worked my butt of for this exam because I had a goal. Some didn’t do well because they were unsure of their goals, others just did not have any and sometimes it is external reasons why one does not do well.

However, work your butt 0ff. Take it from me. I squeezed my brain during the examinations and worked my butt of months before.

I have a friend, Herman. A few months he asked me for my goal grade. I told him 6 which is all As. He said it was impossible. I am from a convent school. A neighbourhood school. I should not dream big.

I might not have reached that goal but I did pretty well, well enough to enter the school which will offer me drama.

A few days ago Herman asked me for my secrets.

I don’t have secrets. I just tried my best and left the rest to God.

Ok. I do have secrets. But when I tell you them, you will think they aren’t really secrets cause you already heard of it. You just haven’t tried it yet.

I use colourful notes, check my work, revise according to how well my brain can cope and use loads of helpful and inspiring phrases. I visualise my results why before hand. You must be a dreamer and you must have courage

Dreams are like stars you may never touch them but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny ( Anonymous)

Courage is not the absence of fear but the acquired ability to move beyond fear. ( Matthew Kelly)

We are just Ordinary People

1 01 2010

Before I begin, let me just ask you all something. Did 2009 seem to past by fast? Through out 2009 I felt the earth spinning faster. Everything just seemed to go really fast and there was no time to stop.

A couple of days ago I bought the soundtrack of FAME with my Christmas money. I saved the soundtrack on my laptop and into my Ipod nano. There is one song that I can’t help but constantly listen to. Ordinary people by Asher Book.

We’re just ordinary people
We don’t know which way to go
’cause we’re ordinary people
Maybe we should take it slow (Take it slow oh oh ohh)
This time we’ll take it slow (Take it slow oh oh ohh)
This time we’ll take it slow

Above is the lyrics from the chorus. It is actually a love song. But the chorus is amasing.We are Ordinary people. We need to take it slow. Think about 2009 for a little bit please. Did it not go by fast for you? Did you rush through anything?WHY? We are people. Not robots. There is nothing to rush. We humans rush like crazy to save time and with all the saved up time we have, we just waste it on TV or something really lame. We need to slow down.

To all the working folk, calm down. Settle deals slowly this year. A rushed brain lowers productivity. Do things slowly and well and be done with it. Not do it fast and then it ends up to be crappy.

To students, including those in Polys, Universities, Pre-U or other standards, in exams take your time. Don’t rush. You miss stuff out when you rush through everything then you don’t do well. What is the point?

To everyone, let 2010 be meaningful. Let it have a slow pace so that you get the job done and can smell the wonderful roses at the same time. We have to enjoy 2010 and yet we do not understand why.

I dare each and every person here to slow down for 2010. Take time to breathe. You have to let your brain think for a little while and slow down. You are an Ordinary person. NOT A SUPER COMPUTER

We are Ordinary People. To my fellow Ordinary People, ‘this time we will take it slow’

With my regards

Cheyenne Phillips

Should Ms Singapore World 2009 represent Singapore?

25 09 2009

Singapore crowned Miss Ris Low Ms Singapore World 2009. She can’t speak proper English. She is pretty yeah but she just was convicted of credit card fraud.

I personally hate these shows. Pretty girls wishing for WORLD PEACE.

To future pageant  contestants, DON”T SAY YOU WANT WORLD PEACE.  Make it interesting! Say you want world destruction. THEN I MIGHT JUST WATCH!


Sorry about Ris Low. I don’t like her. If I knew her personally, I still wouldn’t like her. Give her a chance people say, let her represent Singapore. NO WAY! NOT OVER MY GRADUATION DAY ARE WE LETTING HER REPRESENT US. People say, but we are giving ex-convicts a second chance. Oh I don’t mind she being an ex-convict. I am not happy that I have to strain my ears to understand what she is trying to say. I don’t mind if we get a male ex-convict in a dress representing us, as along as he speaks proper English.

I am sorry but Singapore is a modern trading hub. A first class county. I swear I am Singaporean and when I hear that girl talk, I wonder if Singapore decided to change the education standards and we decreased our development so bad we all did not go to school.

Sorry dear, but I don’t like you. I first heard you on the radio and I said, did we really pick this girl? Or did April fools come late again.

If you haven’t heard her speak GO TO YOUTUBE. I am appalled at her speech. I can’t believe it.

I just can’t…