Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dramafest 2004 - The End for Sec Fours?

Introduction

Finally, another work up. Sorry to those who have been checking back ever so often for new stuff, but hey you didn't pester me on my cBoard.

Actually the
Evening of Music and Drama 2003 was much much better than this. I always nicknamed it 'the height of my career'. Which it was, if you look at it in that perspective. But I never did pen my memories down, and all I have in remembrance now is a couple of lousy low-res photos to try to relive the magic once more.

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It is with a certain reluctance that I close the programme booklet each time I read it, sighing, unwilling to put it in my little drawer of memories. A couple of times I found myself embracing the booklet, staring into blankness (I quickly put it away. I don’t want to give the impression I like inanimate objects. That would be utterly disastrous).

This feeling exists in various degrees, I’m sure (at least, I hope), in all the Secondary Four students who participated in the production. It is, after all, our last year. We will not only bid the exciting job of working in Dramafest goodbye, we also say adieu to the magnificent palace of a school we have studied, lived, and cried in.

I must confess, with regret, that I had not played as big a role as I should have in the planning and execution of Dramafest. I left the job, instead, to Wai Kin and the new committee of Sec Threes, among others, to do it (Why do you think I got the laughable post of wardrobe manager?) I did not have much to do, really. Apparently the various directors felt safer lugging their costumes around, instead of handing it in for safekeeping as I had instructed. As my younger brother had commented after he saw my stage pass, ‘Wardrobe manager? Later all of them get wardrobe malfunction! Ah ha! ~snort~ Ah ha ha!’ (-_-")

Since I had nothing much to do, I spent the whole of Friday snapping at people who happily frolicked about when their faces were coated with half-an-inch of make up, sitting them down and dabbing sweat and oil off their faces, while imperiously lecturing them on the dangers of going onstage with running mascara. I mean, Victorians are a dangerous audience, and besides, there was Mr Seow to contend with (Hey, it’s true...). The Sec One ushers, though they obeyed my gentle admonishments, played Nascar the moment I stepped out of the holding room. I honestly have no idea whether to gleefully or shamefully announce that Sagar happily joined in the fun. He was just about the only one, if not the only one, to receive my most venomous stare.

I stayed out of backstage until I was called for during the night show, seeing how I wasn’t too agile in the dark during the matinee. Only careful consideration of my next few steps saved me from making a dreadful racket in the wings. I must commend the actors, though, for portraying their characters in full force during the night show. Even the plays of Dramafest ’02 did not possess such a high standard of acting.

I pen my thoughts down partly because Mrs Poon said we would be doing our reflections, and also because, once again, I wish to preserve the memories of that night, which are, as I write, fast slipping into oblivion, never to surface again (at least for the next five years or so). We all went home that night, exhausted, some of us struck down with tonsillitis, but hoping for more, hoping to continue the legacy of Victoria School’s Drama Festivals.

2006? Anyone?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Last Day

Introduction
This piece was written very shortly after the memorable flag-lowering ceremony at Geylang Bahru. That was one of the most emotionally charged moments of my life, and I decided to preserve the memory forever, before the details slip out of my mind. So here we are. I made some minor changes so that it wouldn't sound so cheesy, as I often find my works when I look back a couple of years later. And it is quite normal for me to start padding along the way, adding some spices and more and more and more flavour along the way. That would serve also as an 'update' to my latest style of writing.

So here we go. Any problems with comments tell me via cBoard on Fortisssimo. Enjoy.


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There was a distinct air of gloom, as class after class shuffled into the parade square, most, for once, letting their bags fall to the ground with a depressing thud. Few spoke, just stared, not quite knowing what to say. Not quite knowing what to expect.

It was about an hour before, when the Principal had announced his presence over the PA system with the usual ding-dong-dong chime.

'Good afternoon boys. This is Mr. Ang speaking.'

Most of the boys he was addressing merely shot mild enquiring glances to their friends or to their teachers, who were as usual equally clueless.

'It is the proposition of your student leaders that we hold a flag lowering ceremony.' He paused, probably knowing that in almost forty different classes students were exchanging wild confused looks, eyes and mouths wide open in disbelief.

'We shall,' he said loudly, again knowing that there would be a great murmuring around the school then. 'We shall assemble at the parade square at 1:05pm, immediately after your lessons end, where the Head Prefect, Monitors' Council chairman, and... myself will address the schools with short speeches, and then we shall conduct the flag lowering.' The PA went silent for awhile, as if the principal suddenly fell into a pensive trance. Then there was a quiet, hoarse 'thank you', followed by the telling crackle which meant that the system had been turned off. Immediately there was a great buzz around the school, and the teachers needed a full minute to calm everyone down and resume the lesson.

Everyone sat impatiently through the prefect's speech. But just as the chairman of the Monitor's Council started his speech, drops of rain started to fall for the first time in weeks. The hot ground absorbed each splatter, only to be hit with five more. Those who had been muttering curses under their breaths fell deathly silent. Everyone turned in all directions, meeting glances in pure wonder, astonishment, and brave resignation. By the time the principal ascended the podium to address the school, the heavy drizzle had turned into a light shower. When the prefect greeted the school for the second time that day, the students half-heartedly stood up. Attention was called for. Attention was given. For once.

The conductor took a deep breath, then raised his hands. One last time. Make it good. His hands swung into action, enchanting with their hypnotic rhythm his fellow bandmates to do his bidding, as a sorcerer his minions.

The snares struck first, crackling through the damp air with its crisp buzzing hiss. The kettle drum soon made its sonorous entry, on cue to the very millisecond, rising to a magnificent rumble, before the rest of the instruments joined in and drowned the percussion to a faint yet distinct beat.

Ah yes, the school song. Anthem, they call it. Everyone sang it with unusual gusto, with lusty emotion, not quite ready to believe that they were seeing the school flag descend. They sang as if the better they sang it, the slower the flag would fall. By this time, the rain poured full scale, drenching the already wet students. They responded by raising their voices.

The final bars of the school song saw the triumphant notes of the trumpet, piercing in a nice, satisfying way, and the kettle drummer beating the hell out of his poor instrument.

The boys had never in their life been so emotionally charged. But what could they do? Cry? Oh well, if anyone did let the furtive tear or two escape, the others wouldn't have noticed. Thank God for the rain.

A cacophony of wild yells and screams sounded to one side. Cheers! Laughing with relief the others dashed over to join in, the hell if they were yelling senseless words. An air of satisfaction descended over them like a fog of heady alcohol fumes. Picking up their bags, swinging it cheerfully over their shoulders, they strode out, through the narrow gate, smiling, never to return.

We do not return to you, Mother, because we never really left.

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Footnotes
OK, I know this is turning into a documentary of my writing style, but I couldn't care. I just think it'd be nice for you to know what I'm actually thinking instead of using those Literature shit to come up with inferences I wouldn't have thought of in a million years.

About 1/5 of the volume of the version you have just read were new, fresh out of the oven. I told you, it's a not-too-good habit of mine, adding stuff in. But there were more cheesy parts than I had expected, and I had changed that (duh). Also some descriptive parts I thought were too shallow, so I padded. Overall I did not endeavour to even change details, just to make it juicier. Rather like not directing you to a different stream of water from the one I had promised, but digging the waterbed deeper so you have more water to drink.

So. Comments. Pull no punches. But hey I wasn't born yesterday. I will delete immediately any comment that stinks of malice and intention to hurt. Go on now. And thanks for taking time to read and comment.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Under Construction

Hello people.

Thanks for getting curious enough to pop by this site. I am presently working on a story right now, and depending on how long I think my drafting and re-writing will run, I might just wait till I'm done with that story, or post and older one to keep you folks happy for awhile.

Meanwhile do notice that this blog as compared to Fortissimo and basically most other blogs in general is as sparse as possible. I've only included one link to Fortissimo, and set an open-view comments setting instead of a tagboard. Partly also because tagboards might not be able to handle your 500 word discursive about my story.

And I hope you actively comment on and discuss about my stories, because you people are the best judges. So feel free to comment. Just don't flame.

Hope you enjoy my stories.