Home.

Maybe this time, it might just be something worth fighting for.

Because when I look into his eyes, it feels so much like home.

So warm, so tender and so forgiving.

And I feel like I need not hide.

I can be naked, and still feel safe.

Protected.

Secure.

Myself.

And I just hope that, when he looks into my eyes,

He will feel at home too.

Advertisements

Death and Dancing (2014).

editThought-provoking, interesting and engaging.

Those are the words I will pick if anyone asked me to describe the show I caught at The Playtent on Thursday night.

Written back in 1992 by Claire Dowie, Death and Dancing is about two characters – Max and max – that are trying to be themselves while figuring out who they are, instead of simply just doing what everyone else is doing and subscribing to society’s standards.

Even though the play itself was written so many years back, it is still especially relevant today. With the constant need to seek a sense of belonging and to make sense of the world and ourselves, many of us have been labeled one thing or another throughout our lives. Sometimes, we may even try to change ourselves just so we would fit a label just to seem “normal” instead of “weird”.

But the truth is, we are all individuals that are made up of so many qualities, quirks, wants and needs that a simple category does not do us justice at all. We are so many things with so many roles to play, stories to share and dreams to live.

So what is “normal”? Does “normal” exist? What makes someone more “normal” than somebody else?

The text was great and raw. The dialogues between the two characters brought out so many questions that go unasked every day of our lives that should be thought and talked about. Together with dynamic acting from the cast, a good mix of loud and quiet moments and the presentation of the piece (costumes, set and use of space), I must say that this definitely engaged me thoroughly from beginning to end.

The characters were very alive on stage and there were so many sides to them that words are simply not enough to paint a complete picture of them. You just have to be present in the space and feel their energy, their words and their experiences. To get to know the characters within the intimate space and be open to making eye contact and interaction. Because, I think, there is a bit of Max in all of us and we just have to find it or embrace it somehow.

For me, the whole performance touched me to the core of my being – making me laugh, feel and think together with the two characters that are different and yet so similar at the same time.

My favourite moment was watching the both of them deliver same lines in the same spot and position. Because even though everything seemed to be the same, they were two entirely different moments with different meanings and emotions altogether. It was really beautiful.

This experience reminded me why I love theatre and why I am so drawn to this craft, so thank you so much to Buds Theatre Company for putting up something so meaningful and challenging.

Thank you so much.

The Unearthed Dinners #2.

2014-05-28 22.44.10Answering two questions, I earned myself a place for The Unearthed Dinners series organised by Food For Thought and Singapore Art Museum. It is a collaborative effort to get strangers together to just have conversations about art, culture and our various perspectives on the things around us over dinner.

Here are the two questions:

  1. Nurture ________ Nature (Fill in the blank)
  2. If you were given the plot of land at the Singapore Art Museum front courtyard for one year, what would you do with it?

I attended something similar last year as part of the Singapore Biennale 2013.

Anyway, I dined at a table full of strangers for two hours and just like the last time, it was a refreshing and wonderful experience for me. I had fun and I felt at ease at the table. No intimidation or awkwardness.

Here were some answers from the first question that left an impression on me:

  • Nurture with Nature.
  • Nurture and Nature.

Nurture ____ Nature (With a circle drawn encompassing both words)

The people were all different but I am glad that I sat opposite a lady that was approachable and easy to talk to. We laughed at  each other’s responses and took turns to take the first bite out of the dishes. There were two rounds of card games involved to get each other talking about how we viewed ourselves, nature and The Arts in Singapore. We completed them pretty quick so we went on to come up with our own questions to share more with the other person.

At my side of the table, I was closer to one of the invited artist as well as a curator.

Conversations were easy to start and the thought processes we each had were different, so many things were brought to the table to discuss, listen and take in other questions and answers. It was an honor to be listening to great theories and ideas and concepts these individuals have about certain things.

And the best surprise will be the food served.

Being the chef’s personal answers to the same two questions we had to answer, the dishes were unexpected and done up with much thought. The taste, texture and ingredients used were a total surprise and entirely unexpected.

For example, the first dish served was a slice of cooked watermelon. Yup. And it was delicious by the way. Oh, and the dessert served that looked like a hard boiled egg? That was actually milk agar with peach.

You get the point. Hahaha.

Anyway, I am super glad I went since I admire and really appreciate the works both artists did for the Unearthed exhibition going on at the Singapore Art Museum. Happy that I visited the entire exhibition way before attending this dinner.

It was a wonderful Wednesday night.

ButterScotch Cafe.

2014-04-10 10.08.12The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this place would be the drink I got.

Nutella – not too sweet or thick but interesting.

It kind of reflects the space for me. It does not stand out in terms of appearances and chances are, you might have walked past it many times while you were walking through Bukit Merah Central.

But when you enter and you look around at the things, people and objects that greet you… A sense of homeliness overwhelms you and it makes you feel comfortable. A small space but filled with a quality that is unique and something I cannot exactly pinpoint.

The staff there are all lovely people. Ready to serve, help and smile at you. I really liked how everyone seemed happy working there and that made me feel happy to hang out there.

Anyway, there is quite a variety of food, snacks and drinks to choose from. Be it classics or local favourites, ButterScotch has a good mix and when I was there, it took me quite a while to actually decide what I want.

Well, I definitely will go back. Now, all I need is the motivation to travel to the other side of Singapore. I will do it for friends and another sweet drink. Hahaha.

Gentle reminder: Portions are pretty huge so if you have a small appetite or you appreciate variety, go in a group and share so you get to try more without wasting food. Also, go early if you can because seats are pretty limited.

 

Music Matters 2014.

music-matters-live-sgxclusive(Yes, this is very late. Yes, I know. Why am I writing about this now right? I do not really know. Just felt like it maybe? I did spend three nights there – Thursday to Saturday. Maybe I felt it is a good break from the rest of my writings and personal stuff. Probably.)

(Well, this is my blog so I guess I can just type whatever I want. So there. Hahaha.)

(Text in brackets look secretive. Probably just me.)

I spent Thursday to Saturday night at Music Matters Live. Walking to different spaces and stages for the various acts I was interested in catching and just having a good time. Live music is something to be appreciated since it usually feels different and better than recorded stuff.

There were bands I totally enjoyed and would have loved to catch them a second time, while there were bands that I personally regret experiencing but well, it is just a case of personal preference and what I was looking out for. But overall, I had fun on all three nights with or without alcohol and the atmosphere was pretty nice throughout the music festival. So yay to the team for organising another successful run!

I must say that it would have been nice if there was some sort of air cooler or more hand fans or electronic fans at the fountain stage because it was incredibly hot and stuffy. Not a must, of course, but it would be nice.

Anyway, a list of the bands I managed to catch:

  1. Cream (Japan Night)
  2. The Oral Cigarettes (Japan Night)
  3. Bec Laughton
  4. David Choi
  5. MC HotDog
  6. Slapshock (Ft. Kevin Lester and Apl de Ap)
  7. Sultan of The Disco (K-pop Night Out)
  8. Lim Kim (K-pop Night Out)
  9. Mark Bonafide (Made in Singapore)
  10. Wyd:Syd
  11. Sub : Shaman
  12. Buffalo Sunn
  13. Dune rats
  14. The Stonewolf Band
  15. Ash Grunwald
  16. Quarterback
  17. Art of Fresh
  18. Dualist Inquiry
  19. Love x Stereo

I enjoyed how every band was really different and they presented themselves on stage in a way that they are comfortable with. Non-pretentious, confident and real. I really like that. When people are sincere with their music and when they believe in it, I think you can really feel it and it changes how we experience, listen and move. That’s what I think, anyway.

My favourite acts were definitely Bec Laughton, The Stonewolf Band and Ash Grunwald.

Laughton’s voice is amazing. And she was very confident when she presented her pieces. Her energy totally filled the entire of China One. It was intimate and impressive. For The Stonewolf Band, I liked their presence on stage. They did not jump around or move a lot but their occasional smiles while playing and the slight rhythm in their bodies to the music left an impression on me. As for Grunwald, he was a natural performer on stage and I really liked his playing and his voice. And his dreadlocks – awesome.

But of course, I enjoyed myself for every band I caught and I was moving to the music, laughing at jokes and clapping along. It was really relaxed and easy to ease myself into the crowd because everyone was simply into the music. It felt good, somehow. Hahaha.

I hope next year will be even greater. Whoo!

1.47am.

I vaguely remember someone telling me that

Words

At 1.47am,

Will always be soaked in alcohol.

Drunk and nonsensical.

With an honesty that I cannot trust.

Because all will be forgotten

After the hangover

And all that is left will be a

Splitting headache and a sick gut.

I also overheard a few kids talking at the void deck of my block that

Words

At 1.47am,

Will always be like cigarette smoke.

Visible but never felt.

Said as a passing remark and nothing more.

Because they are just to fill the air and

After there is nothing to burn,

All that is left will be a

Smell that softly lingers on and a few burnt sticks on the ground.

But no one ever whispered into my ear that

Words

At 1.47am,

Will always be like dirty sex.

Intimate and too close for comfort.

Voiced out on impulse and hitting it right where it hurts.

Because they are too tired to lie and sugarcoat

After the tears and sweat and

And all that is left will be a

Stained sheets and caresses that will haunt your memory on end.

But I Will Never Be.

I can try.

I can try to think the way she does.

Find out the reasons behind all her decisions and maybe, do the same. Tick the boxes she would tick and laugh at the kind of jokes she will find funny. Take a walk in her pretty Haji Lane bought sandals. Fill her shoes.

I can try to dress the way she does.

Put on a tank top when it is hot even though I am insecure about my own arms. Swap my leggings for skirts all cut the same way. Ankle socks and never knee high ones. Look the part.

I can try to talk the way she does.

Softer and quieter. Always hinting but never really direct. Express but in moderation. In small and proper doses of emotions. Never too much. Never too little. Sound convincing.

But I will never be her.

I can try to hold your hand the way she does, but my hand will always be my hand. It cannot change its skin to be as smooth as hers or as fair as hers or as gentle as hers. My hand will always be sweaty and small with random small paper cuts here and there. I can try to listen to you the way she does, but my ears are used to picking up what I am used to. Sensitive to your words, your pauses, your tone of voice and your delivery. And not just myself. I can try to look at you the way she does, but what I see will always belong to me. It will always be stained with my personal bias and values and love.

Because I can try.

But I will never be.

And cannot be.

Her.

Because I will always be me.