Monday, May 31, 2010

Charlotte and the Music-Maker

Charlotte was a little girl. But she was no ordinary little girl.

She didn't have eyes that sparkled blue like the sea.
She didn't have hair that was as silky as a newborn's bottom.
If you looked at her closely enough, she looked like any other little girl, anywhere.

But what was so special about little Charlotte was not her appearance, or her disposition. Rather it was something that happened on the very day that little Charlotte came into our world.

Her mother went into labour on an ordinary day, in an ordinary hospital. The doctor was there, right on schedule, and the entire process of delivering baby Charlotte into the world went smoothly without any problems at all.

But a tiny frown appeared on the good doctor's brow when, after snipping off baby Charlotte's umbilical cord, there was only silence in the delivery room.

Hmmm, the good doctor said.

What's wrong? Charlotte's parents asked.

The baby, he replied. The doctor reflected on all his previous successful baby deliveries. All babies cry. Why didn't this one? he wondered to himself.

The eyes of the good doctor and both Charlotte's parents were anxiously fixed on the little bundle of cloth in the bassinet beside the bed. Charlotte's eyes were opened wide, staring back at the good doctor and her parents as if she were wondering what the fuss was all about.

They waited for baby Charlotte to open her sweet red mouth wide and howl and cry like any ordinary baby would.

But, Charlotte was not an ordinary little girl, was she now?

Baby Charlotte blinked twice. She crinkled her little button nose. She stretched forth her tiny little hands with her tiny delicate fingers forward. Then, her tiny mouth widened ever so slowly, and the good doctor and Charlotte's parents held their breath...

Here it comes, the good doctor thinks.
Here it comes, Charlotte's parents think.

But instead of crying, Charlotte opens her sweet red mouth wide and says:

Bap-bap-dee-do-bap-bap bap-bap-dee-do-bap-bap

The good doctor and baby Charlotte's parents look at each other and frown.

Now that was anything but ordinary, wasn't it?

And that is why little Charlotte was no ordinary little girl.

************

That was the beginning of the story for the concert put on by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) that I went to watch on the 8th of May 2010 (Saturday) at KLCC :)

The story instantly drew me in. The narrator/storyteller Peter Duschenes, was also extremely talented. His facial expressions made me curious, interested, even amused. His speaking in rhymes as he told the story was an interesting detail to take note of as well. :)

And as our little protagonist explored her musical abilities and discovered the beauty of orchestra, we the audience, went along with her.

The orchestra made for the background music and performed pieces within the story itself. They were good, the music dipping and soaring in tandem with the progression of the story. The strings especially were heartwarming to listen to.

At one point of the story, a particularly emotional one, the violins had come in and somehow, their music brought tears to my eyes. It is amazing how these instruments hold the power to tug and pull your heart strings and bring forth emotions within you in ways you never thought possible in their body of wood and steel strings.

When little Charlotte had sulked and stormed out of the house all by herself only to be caught in a wicked snow storm, and she was hopelessly lost in the heavy snow and terrified of losing her way home for good, my eyes flitted close. The music, the orchestra...I could sense her fear, the evil in the menacing winds as they tugged her in all directions, the blinding snow. I could actually feel it in the chord progressions, the melody, the hum of the instruments.

It was a strange but exhilarating experience !

When the hour was up and the final chord was struck, I wished it would not come to an end. The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra was good (although, based on the program book, majority of them were foreigners) conducted by Matthew Coorey. I was completely impressed with Peter Duschenes (who is also the Artistic Director and Writer) and Alain Trudel, the composer. The narration was wonderful (I know writing words in rhyme is not as easy as it seems !) and the storyline was great !

This was definitely a valuable experience. Thanks to Ms. Chen (or Mrs. Tee now :P) who invited my family and I to go along with her and the kids of Melody Music School to go watch the MPO perform in KLCC.

(Oh, Ms. Chen's daughter was oh-so-adorable ! She's four. And a smart little thing !)

(Ms. Chen told my mum this, who told Kit, who told me. Her daughter was in one of the classes and she was being very talkative and naughty. So Ms. Chen reprimanded her see, like any good mum would. Told her that she must be quiet and listen to the teacher. If the teacher tells her to keep quiet, she must keep quiet. If the teacher tells her to sit down she must sit down. Do you know what her daughter's response was? "So, if teacher asked me to climb a tree, I must climb la?" OMG. So cute ! Well, to that, Ms. Chen replied, "Well, if there's a tree nearby, then yes.")

(Isn't her daughter such a darling? Wow. And her logic is hilarious. Oh, she's a smart one, you can tell. She's gonna be a smart one :P)

Although the performance was sort of a kids' show, it was interesting to say the least. And for me, there was hardly a dull moment !

Oh, I wish there were more performances like these ! :)

Petronas Twin Towers
With my 2mp phone, not bad wei :P

I kinda like the chandelier :)
Pwetty, kan?

Kit in his uniform and me with my dog tag
I looked like some facilitator >.<

Ahaha. This was actually a candid picture.
But it gave me an idea :D



Kit looks blur ! *haha*

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From French to Swiss


French men are hot. :)

When you say French men, I always have an image of a man (topless of course) with rippling muscles and washboard abs, long wavy sexy hair, a short stubble that could rub your skin raw where it touches...
Oh, and aren't all French men great kissers? (Somehow reminds me of the movie French Kiss starring Meg Ryan) XD

But. I've switched over to Swiss men. Hotter? Cuter? More insane ripples of muscles? Better kissers?

I have no idea. Cos that's not what I really mean when I say "From French to Swiss."

Sigh. I really do like to talk crap nowadays, don't I? =.=

Well, if you know me, you'd know that I'm crazy over French manicures ! :D

(I didn't realize it myself until I read through my old blog posts. Quite a number of posts dedicated to the latest shades of colour on me cuticles >.<>here, here, here, here, here, here and here)

(I know, I know. How can someone blog about nails so much?? =.=)

Anyways, I had this craze for the Frenchies (nails), see?

And now, I've moved on to the Swiss.

What do I mean?

Swiss rolls, of course. Aheh.

(OMG, That's lame! you must be yelling. Ahah. I guess it is ! But I'm just starting out a revival of my blog after so long; forgive me if I can't think of good titles to go with my posts. >.<)

(Okay, I'm sorry. Won't do it again. Read on. It'll be interesting, I promise !)

(It's about me cooking !)

(A-hah. Got your attention now, didn't I? Scroll down. :P)













For Mother's Day, my best friend Yen invited me over to her house via Facebook (no more SMS or calls when you're on FB 24/7) to bake Swiss rolls as a surprise ! :)

I don't bake. And there's a perfectly valid reason for that.

I'm no good at it. >.<

However, being the stubborn person I am, and also having nothing else to do at home besides eat, sleep, watch movies/drama/anime, eat, sleep *repeated 100x* I thought, Why not?
Oh, and also because I wanted to do something special for my mum and dad as well. (They'd never expect me to bake, so it'd be a real surprise, don't you see? :D)

I just prayed fervently the couple of days before D-Day that I would not burn poor Yen's house to the ground. I would feel awfully guilty. >.<

Nana was around for that particular weekend so she came over with me to Yen's place on that fine, unsuspecting Friday before Mother's Day Sunday.

We planned to bake TWO Swiss rolls; one for my parents, and another for Yen's mum.

Yen was the sifu of the day, seeing as how she'd actually done this before, successfully (not burning down the house, or anything for that matter, is a success !) albeit with the guidance of her mum.

That day, we were on our own. *plays Star Wars theme song* (Why Star Wars? I don't know, really. Just popped in my mind >.<)

Nana was busy greasing the pan with butter

Doesn't she look super-determined?

In the meantime, we added the eggs, castor sugar, self-raising flour and vanilla essence into a bowl and whipped them until it became "white and fluffy". Well, those were the instructions given. *shrugs*

Phew, it was not easy to beat those darn eggs ! >.<

Can you see the sweat off my brow?
Hard work, people !

The mixture had to be beaten and whipped till it left a trail when the beater is lifted out of the bowl. We were whipping it for a while and yet, nothing of the sort was happening. The mixture still looked egg yellow to me (and smelled like them too !)

For the first few minutes, my hand would be in a blur - I was moving so fast, beating the mixture until there were bits of yellow flying all over, hitting me in the face.

Okay, well, maybe not that fast, but it was fast alright? Believe you, me.

BUT, as I mentioned earlier, only for the first few minutes. You cannot maintain such speed for longer than that >.<>aching horribly.

The three of us had to take turns beating the mixture and all of us were complaining by the end of it. We started off well though. Silent beating, with a look of complete determination. After a while: Eh, take over la wei. Painful la!

Whoa, this baking stuff is tough. =.=

Anyways, when it's "white and fluffy" it should look like this:


Then it was just pouring the pretty "white and fluffy" mixture into the pan and placing it into the pre-heated oven at 220 degrees Celcius for ten minutes - no more, no less.

Alarm rang and out it came, smelling heavenly ! :D

We laid it out on the grease paper, excited cos it smelled really good and was a beautiful golden ! Well, I, at least was excited. *jumps up and down crying "Let me see! Let me see!"*

Unfortunately, we forgot to grease the sides of the pan with butter as well as the grease paper itself. We spent several minutes peeling, no, more like scraping the roll off the grease paper with a knife. It was sticking to the paper ! We were horrified ! Our beautiful baby, ruined ! :(

What we ended up with, was this:


A naked roll.

It looked....well, naked. >.<

Since it was such a disaster for the first one, we knew better for the second one. We made sure we greased the sides of the pan and the grease paper we laid it on. But, we still had problems removing it from the paper. Susahnya. >.<

Anyway, it turned out better than the first for sure. At least it had its skin on !


We spread blueberry jam onto it, and rolled it up, nice and tight....


Ta-daaaaa !!! *beams*

Doesn't it look simply heavenly?
And I assure you, it tasted as such too !

Finished and gobbled up within half an hour of bringing it home !

SUCCESS ! :D
whoohooooo~

(I didn't burn Yen's house down ! *sighs with relief* :P)

Since there were no pyro-related incidences for my first baking experience, I just might try again :)

Fate


It was a simple date. He was a very busy person, he had told her. He had many things to do, many things to take care of.
But he could possibly spare an hour for her today.
She was self-conscious as she sat quietly at the table, sipping from her sweating cold glass of Coke. Was her hair in place? Did she look nice? She wanted him to smile when he saw her. Would he?
She was not hungry yet. She would wait for him to arrive. Yes, she had arrived there before him. Not because he was late. No, it was because she had been nervous and was fidgety with anticipation before their meeting. She ended up leaving the house an hour before their proposed meeting time. Never mind, she thought, I can see his expression as he walks in and sees me.
She places her elbows on the table and holds her chin in her hands. She lets out a quiet sigh. She has been waiting for this moment for so long, she cannot believe it is actually happening right now.
She first saw him in school, two months after the new academic year had started. At that time, he had just transferred over from the all-boys school near town. Why he had chosen to continue his Upper Secondary studies in a co-education school all of a sudden was unclear. But whatever the reason, she thanked her lucky stars that he did, and her school at that. It is fate, she thinks wistfully.
That afternoon, she was on her way to the teacher’s room to collect her class’s English exercise books from Mrs. Lim. She chatted excitedly with her friend Hui Yen about the new cineplex that had opened in Terminal Two. As they walked past the school field, she heard a yell from her friend, and suddenly everything turned black.
When she came to, she stared up into the sweaty face of a boy who was holding her head up. Hui Yen was frantically fanning her face with a makeshift paper fan. “…you alright? Swee Lin?” His face looked concerned, and rather guilty too. She was suddenly aware that she was lying flat out on the ground, her head throbbing painfully. And the boy’s arms were around her back and shoulders.
She sat up abruptly, much to the astonishment of the group of boys who had gathered around them, and the boy who was holding her. It seemed to be a mistake as her head began to swim and she closed her eyes to stop the dizziness. Hui Yen continued to fan her face with even more enthusiasm.
A small tap on her shoulder, but the hand remained there. “Swee Lin, are you feeling alright?”
She turned to look at the boy and, even with his sweaty face and messy hair after a game, she noticed his eyes were a lighter brown than most people and she thought to herself, Wow, he’s really cute.
Her face grew hot with embarrassment at that thought. She tried to stand up, but could only do so leaning on his broad shoulders and so she flushed red even harder. “Oh, I’m fine really. I-I-I’m perfectly fine,” she stammered as she dusted her pinafore which was stained with muddy prints all over. Hui Yen rushed over to help. She focused her entire attention on dusting her uniform, avoiding the gaze of the handsome boy.
“I’m really very sorry. I did not mean to hit you on the head with the ball,” the boy replied.
Oh, that explains the throbbing pain in her head.
She looked up, feeling slightly annoyed. But as she looked at his apologetic face, she knew she would not be able to say anything more. She nodded and fled with Hui Yen trying to catch up behind her.
She heard him call after her, saying something like he wanted to make it up to her, but she ran off before her beating heart could burst out of her chest.
She found out later that his name was Timothy and she could not wait to see him again. This time, I will not look so pathetic, she grimaced as she remembered how awful she must have looked to him during their first meeting, with her dirty, muddy pinafore and swollen forehead. She certainly did not look her best.
She bumped into him in the library a few days later and she knew then, that it was fate. What else could have brought them together twice in a week? Just when she was hoping so badly to see him. That initial two meetings led to lengthy online conversations and then handphone chats.
He seemed absolutely perfect. He was sweet and kind, attentive and flattering. Every day she fell asleep with his voice ringing in her ears, smiling.
And now, they were here. Their first date. She had blurted out her intention without thinking one day, and surprised, he had said yes. Finally, she thought.Finally.
Hui Yen had expressed her doubt, questioning how much Swee Lin really knew about Timothy. They got into a huge fight just the other day, she accusing Hui Yen of simply being jealous of her relationship with Timothy. They were not on talking terms now.
She pushed that unpleasant thought from her mind. Why should she care about that girl? She was going on a date with the boy of her dreams. She does not need Hui Yen.
She sipped her Coke and realized that she had just drunk the last drop. Confused, she looked at her watch. It was already ten minutes past their meeting time ! Yet, Timothy had not yet arrived. She ordered another drink despite the fact that her stomach had begun growling. She will continue to wait.
She stared at the ceiling and counted the number of tiles from left to right. When she had finished, she drummed her fingers on the table, anxiously waiting. She listened to music on her handphone. The music was not able to soothe her, so she stared out the window of the KFC establishment and counted the number of people who passed by.
An hour and fifteen minutes passed. Timothy was nowhere to be seen. Where could he be? Was he on his way? Is he alright? A terrifying thought gripped her. Was he hurt? Did he get into an accident?
Hesitant, she finally picked up her phone and dialed his number. After six rings, The number you have dialed cannot be reached at the…it went into voice mail. Her heart beat hard against her chest. She was worried now. He could be in trouble, or worse. Finally, she texted him: 

Wher r u? R u alright?? -SL-

She bit her lip. She had no idea what else she could do. Just as she was imagining the worst, her phone tinkled. She grabbed for her phone with amazing speed and read the text message: 

Wil x b able 2 make it. -T-

She slumped into her seat, all her energy seemed to drain out of her body like air from a balloon. She read the text again and again. No reason given, no apology, no regard for her waiting for him for the past one hour.
It was a half hour later before she realized that she was foolish for still waiting, that he was really not coming. Her feet felt like lead as she walked out of KFC into the sweltering heat. She stared up at the blinding light of the sun until her eyes hurt. They hurt to the point that she did not realize that she was actually crying.
Wiping away hot tears, she turned towards home. She looked forward and saw a couple, their arms wrapped around one another and she felt a pang of jealousy. She had hoped for a perfect date, a wonderful meeting, one that she could think back to and get butterflies in her stomach. But he had not even shown up. She was disappointed, no, devastated. She wanted to talk to him immediately, demand an explanation. But her heart felt too numb to bother at the moment.
She walked a little faster for she suddenly felt extremely tired. She caught up to the couple in front of her and she stared at the guy’s hand around the girl’s shoulder. She studied the guy from the back, He must be a sweet person to take time to take his girl out on a date, she thought sadly.
The guy seems awfully familiar though. Maybe someone from school? She stared harder at him. She stopped walking when she spied something on his left wrist. Could it be? No, it is not possible. She shook her head. It is only coincidence that the guy who had his arm around the girl owned the exact same wrist band as the one that she had given Timothy just two days before. The exact same shade of colour, the exact same pattern, the exact same one. She looked up at the guy again, hoping she would not see it there. No, there it was – a scar shaped like an L on his left wrist, exactly like Timothy did.

“Why do you have a scar on your wrist?” I asked him, curious. “Did you have a bad fall?” “No,” he said smiling down at me, and my heart melted right there and then. So much so that I did not really care about the scar anymore. “It’s a birth mark,” he replied. “Well, it looks like an L,” I said. He looked down at it, and chuckled. “So it does.” He suddenly looked at me, serious. “Maybe it was fated that I meet and fall in love with you, Lin.”

She watched as Timothy pulled the girl that was not her closer to him and they burst into secret giggles. She watched as the boy of her dreams walked away with someone else and she hated fate with a vicious fury for bringing him into her life. She burned with anger as she saw the boy of her dreams for who he really was.
Silently, she stood there and cried.




© LISA KWAN 2011 ; All rights reserved.

Broken


Today was going to be different from other days. Today – he was going to be there.
As she ran a brush through her hair, she worried if she will be disappointed again. Just as she has been in the past. Always disappointed. He never turns to look, never holds her gaze for more than a second. Every time that happens, her heart breaks just a little bit more. There must be nothing left of her heart then.
She debated over what to wear. A dress? With three-quarter pants. Yes. The blue-green colour would complement her fair complexion. She finished dressing and glanced at her watch. Oh, she was going to be late if she did not leave now.
Finally, she arrived at the place where she knew he would be too. She looked up at the pristine white building. Was he there yet? Was he on his way?
She walked up the stairs, took her seat silently in the second row. She knew that he would take a seat few rows behind her. When he was away, she always felt an emptiness in her heart, like something was just not quite right. However, today, he was back; she knew she would be feeling differently.
The service started and she did not have the courage to look behind her to see if he was there, if he was watching, if he cared at all that she was sitting right in front of him. She struggled to stare directly in front of her instead of whirling around to catch a glimpse of him, after waiting patiently for so long, when her heart was practically aching with longing. She counted the minutes to the end of service. Maybe she would approach him then – and express what was contained in her heart.
          Service ended, and she trudged down the stairs with the rest of the congregation. Her eyes were completely focused on her next step in a desperate effort to distract herself from her heart thumping against her chest as if it were about to burst out of it.
Quietly, she stood by a table, oblivious to the chattering of the crowd around her. To her ears, everything was silent but for the throbbing of blood in her eardrums. She lifted her chin, looked between the figures of people she had known all her life, searching eagerly for the sight of the person she had grown up with, and eventually fallen in love with.
And there he was, standing barely two feet away from her. She gasped and held her breath. Her eyes grew round and big, as if she could hardly believe he was actually here.
What do I do now? What do I do? she asked herself. She has waited for months, waited for his return. And now that he has, she is at a loss for words, what to do.
Just go over and say Hello. At least that’s a start.
It seems stupid that after all this time, after what they have been through, all she had to say was Hello. Even for that, she could feel her legs going weak in the knees. But she had to go talk to him; she just had to.
She braced herself, took a deep breath. Staring straight at him, she took a step forward, drawing courage from the fact that he was within her reach, that he was this close to her.
As she walked towards him, she saw his eyes dart in her direction, then widen as if in surprise. Then, unexpectedly, a frown appeared and, like a flash, it disappeared. Nevertheless, she was so thrown off by his reaction that she stopped dead in her tracks.
Her heart turned cold when, fairly quickly, the person she was dying to speak to turned and walked away. Her lower lip quivered as she watched his slowly disappearing back make his way to his car.
Did he just leave me alone? Is he trying to avoid me?
He seemed to be making slow, slow steps towards his car. She felt desperate. Was he really leaving? After being away for so long, he was leaving without saying anything? Will he be back? When would be the next time she could see him again?
A flash of his frown, his indifference to her presence. Why does he not want to talk to me? What have I done wrong?
A flash of a long-ago memory, of better times – him smiling at her, laughing with her, talking in earnest. A memory of a broken bench, of a park, of children flying kites. The same memory where he looks shyly at her, mouths the three words she has waited and hoped for him to say. That memory where her eyes grew round in surprise again, where she smiles, her heart full, and they both burst out laughing. Where has that person gone? Who is this person who completely ignores me, who refuses to talk to me?
In her mind, she hears a silent crack, and she knows that it can be nothing else but her breaking heart.
Unconsciously, her hand covers her mouth as the tears welled up and flowed from her eyes down to her chin.
She watches silently as he got into his car, as the engine purred to life, and as he drove away, leaving her and her heart in pieces on the floor.





© LISA KWAN 2011 ; All rights reserved.

Laziness

Like I said in my first post of this month, there were actually a lot of events that I had been involved in this past semester.

One of the MAIN reasons why I am so darn lazy to blog about them is because.......

I already have.

See, there's this other blog that I had set up because of my SPKG (Generic Skills Evaluation System) mentor - who believes that using a blog as an online portfolio would lessen the burden for us when documenting activities that would earn us good points in the soft skill department of which she is to evaluate.

So, since those activities that I were involved in were also activities that she could evaluate me in terms of leadership and teamwork, I had to do a report or a write up of what I had to do for those events.

So, if you are interested in the other activities I was involved in during my past sem, you can read them here, here and here.

I guess this just proves how LAZY I am kan?
Oh well, it is the holidays ! :D

Revival?

I have spent the past few days going through all my past blog posts. I felt that I needed something, anything to motivate me, inspire me, to write again.

Strangely, I impressed myself with my past writing ! When I started this blog, it was just after Young Writers' Camp, and consequently, that put me on a fervor for writing and blogging. The ideas were literally flowing and every day I would blog; blog about simple things, silly things, random things, significant things. I enjoyed reading all the comments as well. Funny and witty responses between my lovely readers *blush* and me.

I was so proud of the fact that I had written 30 posts in as many days during my blog's first month of existence ! I know, right? How did I do it?

Now look at this sad space on the World Wide Web that I call my blog - 2 posts in 4 months? I guess you can call that an achievement as well ! >.< Pathetic.

Anyhow, from here on out, I am going to do my best and make up for all that time of silence ! I'm sure you guys (now non-existent readers I suppose) were just dying for my profound words of wisdom, pictures of my utter flawless beauty (camwhoring photos) and my charm and wit !

I shall now satisfy you !

Yikes. That sounded wrong. >.<

Anyways.

Like I said, I'm gonna give you guys what you really want (don't deny it !):

ME ! :)

To start off, here's one of my most recent photos (I know you're dying to seeeee :P):


And here's a bonus for you, cos you deserve itttt :D


Mwah !
xoxoxo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

After a Long Hiatus

It has seriously been aaaggeesss since I last wrote here.
Which is evident in the date of my last post. (February? OMG, what have I been doing? >.<)

What is my reason for the long leave of absence? Certainly not for lack of things to write.
Three months is certainly not a short time. A lot of things have happened in that time.

I had so many major events during my second semester of my second year of undergraduate studies. Strange that I got myself involved in so many things at the same time.
Some were even back to back, week after week, there was practically no rest at all ! I could not go home for weeks at a time, sometimes a month, because I was busy with events, preparing for events.

I was tired, exhausted.

But all the events, regardless of all the "pain-in-the-butt" incidences, was an experience in itself. This semester was all about trying something new, challenging myself to go beyond what I knew, and what I was comfortable with.


The biggest event was the New Tune Live Performance XIII : Sparks of Melody.

New Tune is actually a body of students, an association (Persatuan Tiong Hua UKM) under the Chinese of UKM that composes, writes, arranges and performs original, never-before-heard songs.

New Tune acts as a platform for students; a creative outlet, to showcase their talents - in composing songs, writing lyrics, arranging the music, singing, playing the electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, percussion, background singing, dancing etc.

Me with my back-up dancers :)

All the songs chosen are then performed live, on stage, with live music.

I was drawn to New Tune. It struck me that all these people, they must be unbelievably talented. And I was proven right.

After going through several rounds of auditions, I was selected to be one of the vocalists for the performance. I was elated, to tell you the truth. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. I wanted to know that I was good enough, to be given some sort of acknowledgement for my vocals. But at the same time, I was terrified of performing live as a solo, in front of a large audience.

My past experiences as a solo was only once when I was in Form 5, and I won the title of "Mewah Idol" (our school's version of American Idol >.<). That was the one and only time I sung as a solo. And even then, it was with a minus-one CD, not a live band of musicians.

Many times over the course of the practices and preparation, I went back and forth between "Let's get this onnnnnnn!!" and "OMG, I can't do this!"

The pressure was immense. We had several intense practices a week, with full rehearsals a full MONTH before the actual event. By then we were expected to be ready with the song, the arrangement, the performance.

I knew I could sing. Not exceptionally well, but good enough.
But I had problems with the performing aspect of it.
I guess everyone knows, and I too knew, that singing a song and performing a song were two different things altogether.

I lacked experience in the performing part. Hello, I came from a choir background. "Performing" to me, meant standing straight with hands clasped to your sides and to articulate your words with exaggerated expressions and smiles.

Not the same with performing live. >.<

And to add to the challenge was the fact that I was singing a song.......................in Chinese.

Yes. A Chinese song. Me, a banana. Non-Chinese-educated, non-Chinese-speaking. Singing a song in Mandarin.

What was the world coming to?

As you can guess, my most critical comments were:

"Your Chinese got slang la. Like ang moh lang."
"Singing is good....Just need to work on your pronunciation."
"Can you sing 'xian' instead of 'xieeeennnnn'?"

This particular song I was supposed to sing, was a cutesy song with a lot of energy and made me think of hyperactive bunnies prancing about on stage. >.<>

Me in "Alice in Wonderland" garb
looking wistful :)

As the vocalist, I had to reflect the mood of the song as well when I perform. So, as someone who really lacked experience:

"You're not cute enough la."
"Hm, a little bit too sweet liao. Can change it up a bit?"

And, now, to add to the pressure?

My song was the finale of the night.

My song was going to be the last impression on the audience. It had to have that special oomph, that makes you go ooh la la ! and really WOW the audience if our night was going to be a success. It just would not do for everyone to do just awesome and when it came to the last song of the night, for me to screw it up and ruin everyone's hard work !

Pressure. Pressure. Pressure.

It was horrible. >.<

But the intense practices helped me a lot. Gradually, I gained confidence. There were some kind souls who saw my watery eyes after every rehearsal and offered to help me with my pronunciation and gave ideas for dance moves. :)

The night itself was not really a bundle of nerves for me. That's the advantage of going last I guess. By the time it was my turn to go onstage, I was already rearing for action ! :P

I did everything I had practiced before, praying and praying that my twirling around would not make me too dizzy, that my skirt and dress would flare out nicely, that I would do justice to the song and make the songwriter proud, that my voice would not crack, that my moves were cute enough, sexy enough, playful enough to engage the audience and end the entire live concert performance with a BIG BANG.

I did the best I could, I knew. And it went really well. Thank God !

With all my friends and my family (who came all the way to Bangi to watch my debut live solo performance - as well as my first time singing in Chinese in public *gasp*) in the crowd shouting my name, supporting me with "WE LOVE YOU, LISA !" I had the courage to get out there and do my thing :P

New Tune XIII 2010 ! whoohooo~

Then, when it was all over, the rest of them came onto the stage and everyone was cheering and clapping and the smoke from the smoke machine was blowing all around us enveloping us in a cloud and I couldn't see much for a moment then I saw my friends and my family coming forward to the stage from the audience and I felt wonderful and so happy and touched and they were waving at me yelling "Lisa ! Lisa !" and I felt so proud of myself and I felt like crying but was suddenly worried that it will ruin my eye make-up and that won't do since we haven't taken any photos yet and I also felt relieved that everything was over but at the end of all our hard work and intense practices after losing our voices and mental tiredness and physical fatigue and the lack of sleep, THIS was the ultimate climax. And it felt.....freakin' AWESOME !!! :P

It was certainly a momentous night, a moment in history, a wonderful experience.

I have learnt so much and made a whole bunch of new friends who are talented and share that same love for music, so much so that they inspire me ! :)

I will never forget it :)

My close up with full-on make-up and dress!