Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
To be honest, we weren't all that prepared for the task even though we'd agreed to it months ago. The scripting mostly comprised a flurry of hasty email back-and-forths based on a rough guideline of the programme and coordinating MC patter in English and Mandarin. We were still scripting lines right up to our sequence run -- I wouldn't call it a rehearsal 'cos we were only running lines and not working out movement, traffic patterns, transitions and technical coordination.
Adding to the nerve-wracking situation were the many dynamic changes in programe, including a formal toast by the VIPs that was not previously scheduled. And although the programme was going faster than expected we were instructed to hurry up even faster. We ended up saying goodbye to everybody before dessert! I think that was win-win for all of us. Heh.
But this is the job of the MC. It's not theatre where there's time to figure things out and plan for contingencies (and even then things still do screw up). For us MCs, we ran lines for the formal bits of programme -- it's the formal bits that are the most scary 'cos it's unseemly to mess up people's names and titles --and here, reading off cuecards became an absolute necessity for me. My runs without cuecards were disastrous.
But rehearsals apart, most of our air-time was ad lib, going with the flow and trying our best to converse coherently between Fen and myself in two separate languages. Oddly enough, I felt more relaxed with the ad libs than the formal bits. It was fun to run the games and introduce the performances 'cos then I could focus on what was necessary rather than fret over not getting it wrong.
Fen and I had a great table to retreat to in between stage appearances. Thanks for keeping food for us, encouraging us with chatter, playing our games, impromptu rehearsing the formal toast with me, and doing some behind-the-scenes running that was necessary to keep the programme flowing smoothly. My on-stage tribute to you guys was sincere, if inadvertently cut short by an over-enthu Fen.
MC'ing for a combined three schools needed more prep time. There were many niggling mechanical problems, gaffed lines, moments of awkward tongue-tiedness, nervous voices cracking, for a functional but unpolished product. Nevertheless, we had excellent tech support in Events Architects who improv'ed effortlessly with us yet were very understated and nearly invisible the whole time. Their presence covered up a lot of sins.
Overall, I think we did ok. Not great, but a serviceable job despite our nerves and inexperience. It helped a lot that the audience was as generous as it was.
And now, I'm going to take a whole weekend off. Zzzzz...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Whoever designed the survey for Ipos may have arranged it such that our local intellectual property watchdog got only the feedback it wanted to hear. TNP summarises:"IN THE real world, almost all of the 100 Singaporeans polled by The New Paper believe that stealing goodies from a store is wrong.
But they feel it's okay to illegally download copyrighted material from the Internet. In another survey of 1,011 Singaporeans done by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos), released this April, about 44 per cent of Singaporeans think that illegal downloads of copyrighted material is not considered theft."
The more people appear to have unlightened views about respecting intellectual property, the more justification Ipos has for continuing its crusade. And the more reason it has to consider punitive measures, like the new 'three strikes' law, against these all these unrepentant criminal scumbags.
But take a look at the two survey questions given to the respondents:
1) Is it wrong to illegally download music, movies and shows?
40% of total said NO which shows how hardcore recalcitrant they are to willfully commit an illegal act.
If it's illegal, then of course it's wrong, hence 60% said YES. But the answer might have been more interesting if the question had been, "Is it wrong to download music, movies and shows?" Chances are, remove the word "illegal" and 100% will say NO. And since they aren't admitting to committing an illegal act, 100% of them won't think they are criminals.
2) Is it wrong to buy pirated CDs, VCDs and DVDs?
Only 26% of total said NO, which means most people DO think buying such stuff is wrong.
Of course buying pirated CDs, VCDs, and DVDs is wrong. Why waste money on pirated goods when you can download the same thing for free (see Q1)? Duh!
Ipos needs better, less confused, less ambiguous data if it really wants to act in the best interests of society. As it is, they see criminals everywhere, though the people don't quite see themselves as such. Getting all litigious isn't the solution. Enforcement doesn't make a law right, not if the people aren't convinced it is in the first place.