By , 29th April 2012 in Blog, Press | 0 comments

The following is lifted from The Star.


Fight fair


When the best man wins, be it an award or a girl, there is reason to celebrate healthy competition.I WONDER what the first record of competitiveness was. Well, that read a bit silly – seeing as humans are highly competitive creatures. OK, so Neanderthals may have just needed to thump each other and swing a club to win a female over, dragging her by the hair, but sometimes I wonder if it’s our inherent survival instincts that at times result in the animal instincts surfacing. Or is it discontent and greed?You know, like when you were a teen and it seemed like there was always this one boy or girl who had it all. Super-good grades, good at sports, good in religious studies, good cook, budding photographer and rather sensible (even if seemingly a bit spoilt to some) for a young teen because of a good, open relationship with the parents and, oh man, very cute too. You know, as the Malay saying goes, “Pijak semut tak mati”. A total all-rounder.

No, I wasn’t that kid, but I know a few people who fit that bill. More specifically now.

It shocked me horribly when I heard that his so-called “friends” from a particular “institution” in the city had beaten up this boy a few weeks ago. They cornered him in a dark area, much like your typical Malay or Hindi drama. He couldn’t even open his jaw to eat, or his left eye for a couple of weeks!

How many boys do you think it takes to attack one boy? Ten. Eight to surround and two to do the dirty. Yes, one boy pushed him to the ground and another did the actual punching and kicking. The others watched, like hungry lionesses waiting to pounce on the leftovers of their prey. Shame on all of you boys. Cowards!

What would your natural animal instinct direct you to do if you were him? Give as good as you get, right? But I applaud this boy for having the wits to “not fight back”, seeing as there were so many of them, probably just waiting for an excuse to join in this disgusting attack.

What IS it about humans that makes you feel that by attacking someone “you don’t like”, you actually gain something? Verbally or physically. What gives you the right to gang up and attack someone like that? And all because you think it’s a popularity contest for the attention of a girl?

Hmm … I’m seeing the parallel with certain “adults” of our current climate. The boys involved have since apologised but the deed is done; the scars may not show but it doesn’t mean they’re not there. Shame on their parents!

OK, I digress a little. Actually, I am talking about competitiveness. I think I’ve got competition on my mind because tonight is the 9th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards. After a lapse of two years, yes, Kakiseni is back, thanks to the indomitable Low Ngai Yuen and Ee Lai Cheng. These awards honour those in dance, music, theatre and musicals. Yes, our version of the Tonys, if you will.

You know, when I was acting and received nominations I used to say, “Oh please! I act for the love of it, not for the awards.” Very true – well, most of it. After (ahem) six awards under my belt I can say it’s actually really lovely to be recognised for having done something that was a labour of love. Because at the back of your mind and deep in your heart, you can’t help but feel the warmth rush over you because of this recognition.

You may remember Susan Lankester and I produced, and I directedWhat’ll Break You and Apocalips last November. Well, guess what? We received five nominations in four categories! Lighting Design, Set Design, Group Performance and Original Script (for both plays), so there. I am so excited for my cast and my amazing playwright, Ivan Yeo – yes, he’s competing with himself for Best Script. Oh, I don’t know who the other nominees are.

Some neither approve nor think much of such awards but I think it’s all in good fun and, really, not to be taken too seriously.

To be honest with you, I’m kind of more jittery about the Awards show itself. Guess who was asked to direct it? (Teeth clamping down on four fingers!) I’ve often wondered what it would be like to direct our film awards. I guess going back to theatre to do it for the performing arts is really the way to go. Safe to say, I’m having a blast! Ahem. It’s me – so expect some “competitive” farcical silliness, fun, frivolity and laughter.

These past few weeks I’ve just been having a ball with the likes of Pat Ibrahim over the dance and Nish Tham on music, super sound, lights, styling, set design and my diligent stage managers – facilitated by Cathy of Kakiseni and their fab team. It’s a crazy rush of conceptualising, collaborations and spreading our love for the arts for this evening that hopefully will transport us to the madness of the Roaring Twenties.

I can’t mention the performers here because it’ll be a spoiler for the show. But they are all FANTABULOUS! Yes, I am very blessed to be working with wonderful, dedicated people in our industry.

Thank goodness for the strong faith this young boy has in You that he has taken the unnecessary incident in his stride and is healing well. We should also remember to give thanks for all the “healthy” competition in various fields that have developed. I think it gives us mortals a change of focus and an outlet for celebrating each other, as opposed to being downright badly behaved.

My take? Awards shows are fun – if you win. I say that in jest because there were a few times I was clapping madly and loudly for all the nominees in the same category as I … and I kept clapping madly with a HUGE smile (through gritted teeth) fixed on my face when my name wasn’t called. Hahahahaa! That memory still makes me laugh. Maybe I should have sent 10 cowards to trip the winner up. May the best man win.

Having put it off for far too long, Ida Nerina has finally surrendered to diversifying herself creatively. She continues to be grateful for life’s small mercies. And short people. You can follow her innocuous ramblings on fakebook and other rampant psycho babbling with that blue bird, as she seems to have become a twit too.