Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Arts in Singapore

It's saddening, really. The arts is very much unexplored in Singapore. You would think that as we reach a relatively comfortable level of standard of living, we would be able to finally turn our attention to the arts.

STEM fields still very much dominate Singapore, and I am rather happy about how smart our nation is collectively, like a hive of brilliant minds in this small country.

Yet the arts is tossed to one side. History? Who cares? Dance? Maybe as a hobby.

It could be due to my high exposure to Western pop culture, especially having watched and enjoyed immensely the very many musicals that Broadway has to offer. And of course, the hit show Glee. And when I explore more into what forms of entertainment I have consumed when I was younger, it was always either theatre or comedy.

I was very fascinated with theatre and writing early on. Even shows like Saturday Night Live, I greatly appreciate the work of the backstage crew and I read a lot about everyone coming and working together to create such a successful show.

Maybe I'm a bit of a hypocrite for picking the Science stream to study for the 'A' Levels for. I sometimes get a bit mad at myself when I never picked a subject like Literature instead of my current subject combination, I was obviously more inclined to pick up a fictitious story rather than a factual one.

But then I think again and again. "Follow your passion" is mighty dangerous advice. My parents would constantly lament on picking roads that lead to more choices. While I am (actually) satisfied that I love what I choose to study in the end, I know that subconsciously, I have also picked my subject combination for security.

I'm not big on visual arts per se. I have never had the experience of a visual arts education, and I don't know how to fully appreciate visual works. But writing, comedy, and theatre? That's where I am at.

I study Chemistry, Biology and Economics at the H2 level, with Mathematics at the H1 level. Despite studying Economics at a H2 level, my subject combination as a whole is still very much science-based.

I must admit that I do love the sciences, just as much. I appreciate the study of everyday objects and how they come into play. How everything has a reason, how everything is questionable.

But they never appear to be able to account for emotions. I don't mean this in a romantic sense. I mean this where everyone is a galaxy. Where the brains of everyone mimics that of the cosmos. Where we are infinite, a string of universes colliding with one another, rippling new ecosystems (hey, science!) into each other's worlds. Creating new colour.

The world is so diverse, and science manages to account for so much. But there's a whole another level that science is unable to explain.

To me, the arts is about expression and appreciation. Through the arts, we are vulnerable and offer a peek of our vast mind.

It is so clear that the Sciences and the Arts can co-exist. That we don't have to pick a specialisation. That we don't have to pick the Sciences over the Arts in the hope of securing the future.

As an individual, I know there's not much I can do to shake things up in this industry. Cultural change is slow, and may not happen at all. But I have hopes for Singapore.

I've looked up so many theatre-based volunteering events. There aren't many and most of them are on an ad hoc basis due to the nature of theatre, and I think that's one of the reasons people aren't so big on it here.

I hope to one day be able to be a champion for the arts. I hope I can start come 2017.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

XPharm + Let's Code

I think I have a problem with signing up for stuff -- I very clearly overcommit.

Anyway, XPharm Camp is over and done with. I guess I can safely say that I won't be going into Pharmacy for my University studies. My OG wasn't that cool (our og colour is orange and our animal is a cat, I mean come on) but oh well.

Kinda missed quite a large portion of the camp cause I wasn't exactly feeling well. But whatever the other lab session I managed to go to was quite cool I guess. Also, the people were alright and really sweet tbh. They mostly were innocent little children who chuckled a 'lil too hard whenever someone shared sexual jokes. 




But in all honesty, it was a rather awkward camp with varying personalities that didn't seem to have sufficient time to evolve into proper friendships I guess. Sigh.

I must admit that during the practical sessions, it sparked reminiscence of my time in Chemical Engineering hahaha.

And on that note, I really miss all my poly friends. ChE kids, Hyron Weirdos, and my fellows at PACE, plus a couple of others. I should really arrange meetups with y'all pretty soon. And maybe some of my secondary school friends as well. 

The holidays so far seem to be suffocating. I also (stupidly) signed up for another programme called "Let's Code" which is basically several coding over the course of 3 weeks or so. I'm lagging really behind compared to the rest of the cohort due to my commitments. 

But coding is really really fun and challenging I'm still really excited and I really wanna study it in uni heh. 

I am so tired I still haven't had time to study anything and I'm worried about how horrendous and stressful the following year will be.

I also hope need to blog more it's the only time I am 100% sane to blog more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

identity in writing

I'm no witty Colin Mochrie, neither do I possess the energy of furball Aziz Ansari. But heck, I know I'm hilarious.

I know that I'm actually really funny and that comedy is an important part of my life. While people around me fangirl over musicians and actors (not that I don't), I find myself focusing more on the likes of the cast members of Saturday Night Live, and am very interested in comedy.

Comedy has been my driving force since young. My first exposure to comedy (thankfully) was "Whose Line Is It Anyway", and I've been addicted ever since.

And truth is, I know nothing will ever satisfy me as much as comedy. And I do really want to become an established comedian in the future. I have dreams of working as a cast member on Saturday Night Live or being a writer.

But I know I have a lot of gaps to reaching that point. I appear to have problems when I am expected to be funny. I find myself not being able to make people laugh (or at least chuckle) when they wait for a joke.

Now that's a huge problem. I can't deliver when people expect me to.

I also have stage fright. *welp* I can't seem to let loose when attention is focused on me.

Another problem would be the act of writing itself. I seem to employ a formal tone whenever I begin writing, and I can't seem to translate the thoughts in my head into writing.

And it really pains me because I know I am hella funny and I love making people laugh more than anything. I guess I'm supposed to have an action plan so here it is:

Confidence: I've actually done a ton of emceeing but I still am not comfortable with large crowds and I don't really know how to present myself. I find that whenever I'm asked to emcee I'll do really great during rehearsals but then become a tad too formal during the real deal. I don't actually know how to handle this but I guess I gotta find more opportunities to speak more (when expected to). I'll be signing up for Toastmasters, which I hope helps.

Taking myself more seriously: I know this goes against the essence of comedy but I do find myself shying from a lot of confidence-related roles in council. I have to get rid of the cringe-y feeling when saying ridiculously cringe-y things. Only then can I actually have the opportunity to speak up more (i hope).

Finding my identity in writing: This one concerns me the most. I want to get rid of my awfully formally writing tone. I don't know how to do that but I gotta try with more practice.

I wish I could be funny when people expect me to. I love comedy and I want to give back.