Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Presentation 2009

And so I celebrated Christmas 2009 in KL, my very first Christmas away from Penang. Even when I was away studying in Australia, I've always managed to be in Penang for Christmas. But this year was a bit different.

Also diferrent was this year marked my first time back onto stage play after a long hiatus.

Initially I was supposed to be in this 3-parter on 6, 13 & 20 Dec, but because of the Les Mills Quarterly Workshop with Dan & Rachel Cohen, I was only in for 13 & 20 Dec. The role I played? My favourite... muahahahaha!

Below are some of the pictures taken on 20 Dec, the finale:)

the final rehearsal in the morning

Make up for the devils

Believe it or not, this guy is actually quite good looking in person

Putting on the red face....

Wifey helped to make me look bad

Almost done...

It is finished!

A lovely hubby/wifey moment

mucking around

The cast

I reckon this can be a good ad for some jeans company

Gabe showing off his wings

The temptation recap

The Father

The angelic hosts

The Son

Overall, it sure brought back sweet memories of my previous involvement in Penang Christian Centre. I'm looking forward to a new challenge next year.

Next year, I hope that we would be able to put up a full-length drama that will run for a few days. In fact, I'm currently working on something to be submitted to the church leadership. God willing, it will be a good one:)

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Adam the Musical's Final Call

And so, 22 of us were chosen to be part of Adam The Musical!

Basically it was a short brieing session by Joe Hasham OAM, our director. He took some time to explain to us what we are going to commit to and how this would require a lot of hard work from everyone.

Among the things he mentioned:

"No one is bigger than the production"

"There's only 1 director, not 22 directors"

"People First, Performance Now"

Mark Beau also shared a bit a his experience on collecting information before writing the story to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. The last thing, he said, people with HIV need is our sympathy. The more important thing to do is to create awareness so that people with HIV/AIDS will not be rejected by the community.

We were given the practice schedule and we'll kick start the practice on Tue 26 Jan 2010 Tuesday.

Before we left the place, we went around hugging one another and wish one another well.

I still don't know most of the people in the musical. but I'm probably the only first-timer in the group... which is why I felt priviledged to be part of this production. I look forward to the practices, even though I will have to give up my classes and drive from Puchong to Jalan Ipoh at least 3 times a week. I believe this will be a worthwhile effort.

I am thankful that my boss has given her blessings for me to pursue this. Otherwise, I may have to resign to do this:)

Anyhow, I will be sharing my experience in this production, from the first day of practice on 26 Jan 2010 to the actual show starting on 12 May 2010 at The Actors Studio in Lot 10.

I finally have something interesting to blog about besides gym- Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Auditioning for Adam the Musical

Though I have been involved in church performance arts, I have never done anything outside the church. This is quite an odd thing and it is even odder that I'm venturing to the open at this age.

Anyhow, followed wifey to attend an audition last month. She got in, I didn't. Was so disappointed that I was very down emotionally. The funny part was I even dreamt about the director changing his mind and called me back because one of the boys turns out could not commit to the show dates. Alas, it didn't happen.

But I sure wasn't going to sit around and do nothing while my wife has her spot in the limelight. Just as I was looking around for something to do, Joe Hasham OAM called for an audtion for his musical "Adam: The Musical" which is slotted for May 2010.

And so, last Saturday I went to KLPAC to attend the audition. All the people in the production team were there- Director Joe Hasham OAM, Executive Producer Dato' Faridah Merican, Music Director Tracy Wong, Choreographer Lex, Writer Mark Beau De Silva & Song Writer Lim Chuang Yik.

The vocal warm up with Tracy

Me singing "This Is The Moment" from Jekyll & Hyde

Trying the dance choreography by Lex

Finally, my monologue which is a localised version of Rowan Atkinson's "The Devil"

It was quite a smooth audition. I was nervous but the previous audition experience sort of helped me a lot to control my nerves. I thought I did well enough to be called back for Tuesday's second round.

I eventually got an SMS from Dato' informing that I have been selected and I made my way to KLPAC again yesterday. When I went there, I saw that there were so many people(about 35 people I think) who were called back too & looking at the way they chatted with one another, it looks like I'm the greenhorn among veterans. Suddenly I didn't feel that confident anymore.

For the second round selection, things were even more challenging. After the vocal warm ups, we were required to learn this song:

fascinating rhythm
I'm always on the go
Fascinating rhythm
I'm all a-quiver

What a mess you're making
The neighbors want to know
Why I'm always shaking
Just like a flivver

Oh how I long to be the one I used to be
Fascinating rhythm
O won't you
Stop picking on me

After learning the song by heart, Lex took over and showed us a 32-count dance choreography. I sort of lost my confidence when I realised I had to learn the choreography, but I lost even more when told to do the singing and dancing together!

First all of us hummed the song and danced together. Later we had to do it in groups of 5. I had some difficulty learning the moves, no thanks to 5 years of Les Mills training. Lex wasn't doing the moves in the mirror image method and I felt that I was going to screw up this one. Imagine the horror when we had to present 1 by 1!

Fortunate for me, the ladies had to do first before the guys, all done alphabetically. So I had to time to see how the rest did and it helped me to remember the words and moves. When it was my turn, I thought I did okay. As I was one of the first guys to present, I got to see those who present after me and I realised that everyone was struggling as well.

Just what I needed! I got my confidence back and knew that I had a fighting chance to make it to the ensemble. We got a 10 minute break while the production team had their discussion.

It was good to have wifey around. She dropped by to bring me dinner(silly me forgetting to eat my dinner!), was there to see the whole process, and it helped me to put on my best to impress her:)

Finally we returned back for 2 more group performances and I made sure that I got the singing, the beat and the choreography as accurate as I could. Finally, Joe spoke to us about the audition and thanked us for coming. He said that Dato' Faridah would sms us by end of the night if we were chosen.

Going back, again I thought I did a good job and I stood a very good chance to get a part. Eventually I reached home around 1040pm and started waiting for the SMS to come.

11.00pm. Nothing.

11.30pm. Checked the phone again. Nothing.

11.45pm. Checked to see Maxis line is good. Nothing.

By 12am, I still didn't get any SMS. Sure, there was 1 sms and 3 phone calls but they were not Dato'. It was then I thought that again, I wasn't chosen - surely Dato' would be sleeping by 12am!

Anyhow, wasn't feeling too happy about it so I stayed up to watch Astro for a while.

Then at 12.21am, I received an SMS from Dato' Faridah...

"Congrats again! You are in Adam ensemble! See you tomoro night at 7.30 will not be a long night. Faridah"

What was my reply?

"and finally I get to sleep:) TQ for this fantastic opportunity!"

Was I happy? Of course! But I would've been happier if I get to be in the same musical as wifey. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the 2 auditions I attended and I'm pleased to get to work with Dato' Faridah and Joe.

Tonight I'm going to KLPAC again to see what I'll be doing for the musical. Hopefully I don't have to do too much dancing:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I've been up to lately

Even though I've not been blogging lately, it doesn't mean I have been doing nothing. In fact, I have been busy with a couple of stuffs lately:)


I still recall when I completed my BODYCOMBAT training in March 2004, Tracy asked us to write down what we would do to become a better BODYCOMBAT instructor. One of the things I told her was I would sign up with a kickboxing gym in Penang and start training in the MMA so that I would understand the move and the feel of the punches/kicks better.

Sad to say, I didn't do it due to the busy-ness of my work and after moving to KL in 2005, my time was even more limited.

In early Sept, after delaying for so long, I finally decided that it was about time I stop giving excuses for not doing this. If I was really THAT busy, then I'd better work out my schedule to put this training if I were to continue to be the Head Teacher of BODYCOMBAT. So I search online for kickboxing gyms in KL/PJ. Instead of finding a kickboxing gym, I somehow dropped into this:

KDT Academy offers a wide range of trainings and one of the things they have was:

And since Oct, I've been attending CMD every Wednesday evening at 9pm. Physically it's now a little more challenging as this quarter I now have 2 classes on Wednesday (9.35am BODYCOMBAT, 7.00pm RPM Challenge). By the time I reach the place for CMD, I'm more or less around 50% of my physical best, but still I'm enjoying myself making new friends and learning new things.

My next step for this is to make it to the Sat afternoon open mat training which will allow me to hone my skills in boxing and grappling.

2 Teaching Freestyle Step

Fitness First Asia has just launched our 2 freestyle programmes and now I am teaching:

So far it's been a great experiene doing a class other than Les Mills programmes. As it's a entry-level class, the work demands are relatively lower compare to what I'm used to. After teaching it with a heart rate monitor, I realised that I am doing an average of 70% of my maximum heart rate and the highest I've achieve in a class was about 85%. Compare that to BODYCOMBAT or RPM which can reach average of 85-87% and sometimes I can hit beyond 90% in a class, this is a good option for beginner to try. Besides being easy on the heart, I notice that it burns around 520-530 calories per class, with 45-50% of it is fat.

Feedbacks from members have been positive. Sure there are those who find it too easy for them, but I taught a free class on Monday for my afternoon members to try and now they are asking for more! Will be looking to learn up more blocks so that I can teach more variety of blocks:)

3 Performing Arts

Back in my school days, I used to participate in a lot of church Christmas or Easter events. I've done acting, dancing, singing, script writing and -believe it or not- directing. Doing all those acting and dancing actually helped me in my development as an instructor. I have never had stage fright issues teaching my classes and I don't recall feeling anxious teaching my first BODYCOMBAT class- to me, it was just "Showtime!" The stage is something I'm so used to that it's just second nature to me.

I do miss doing those things but again, just like the MMA training, I've been busy with other things to do it again. Anyhow, I managed to do a bit of that for my wedding(musical theme) but something is still missing. So when the wife heard of this audition for a musical spoof that will be staged at the KLPac, she asked me to take part with her as well and I gladly obliged.

And so, Mon 12 Oct we went to KLPac and did our "thang" in front of the director. It was nerve wrecking as it's my first audition- usually in church shows, it's like "OK, you play the Devil... maybe you can try this role...etc" Anyhow it was a very good experience for the both of us and we were shortlisted for the second round. I was actually looking forward to it and I would be very happy just to be an extra for the show. Unfortunately, only the wife was selected this time.

Nevertheless, I am not giving up yet. There's another audition coming up next Sat for a musical and I'm going to try again. Even if I don't get selected again, I would still continue to try again and again, and again.

On another positive note, my church in Ampang has decided to do a couple of short skit for Christmas and, for the fourth time in my acting career, I will be playing the Devil. So no matter what, I still have something to do:)

Life is never boring!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hard Rock Hotel Penang

In case you haven't heard, Hard Rock Hotel is in Penang!

I was back home for 2 friends' wedding(they married each other) and took the opportunity to see the place since it was their soft opening(19 Sept 2009).

The Beatles at the entrance

As typical Penangites would do, we all decided to storm into the place see how it is. The Hotel used be Casuarina Hotel.

Hotel Lounge

Display at the lobby

Wife with the Beatles

Can't really say much about the place, coz there are just too many walking around.

The Hard Rock Cafe is on the left side of the building. If I'm not mistaken, that place used to be a disco back in the 90's. Think it was my first visit to the disco:)

Hard Rock Cafe Penang

some dude with the King Of Pop right outside the Cafe

At the hotel entrance

Hopefully business here would last. Maybe I can go back for the dining experience in Dec:)

Monday, August 24, 2009


Haven't been blogging... totally forgot I have a blog!

Just some updates, in case anyone is following.

Fitness First Malaysia will be launching the new BODYSTEP, BODYJAM, & BODYCOMBAT from 8-11 Sept for First Club members. If your membership with FF is more than 1 year, then you are a Firct Club member and you can register for the classes in the Klang Valley.

Anyway, Selamat Berpuasa to all Muslims!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


One thing I hear a lot since started working is the word "TEAMBUILDING". It may sound like a positive thing where the department spend some time to do some activity to improve on the teamwork amongst the staff, but sometimes I feel that if a company/department needs teambuilding to this be function better, then perhaps there's something wrong in the group.

Over the last few years, I have my fair share of teambuilding experience. Some were just so-so, while a few were real great time together. One thing I notice, however, that will ultimately make the teambuilding activity a success... the attitude of the participants. Because only if everyone can start to think less of themselves and more of the team, the teambuilding activity would not do much good at all. So what if you tried to play some games to build the highest tower, the longer line when after that, things never change at the workplace?

Honestly, sometimes I feel those pre-planned teambuilding activities are over-rated. If each member of the team shows more concerns about the whole team than what he/she is going to get out of the work, the whole organization would function better already.

Doing those ad-hoc thing like going for lunch together, watching movie, go karaoke may sometimes be better teambuilding activities:)

Friday, June 26, 2009


Don't you hate to be misled?

I suddenly thought of a childhood experience with this teacher. One day we were asked to do some homework during the school break.And so i did the homework to my best ability and submitted on time as requested. Then after marking the homework I was asked to come up to the front of the class. Right up to that moment, i was given the impression that I was going to get some reward for doing my work.

Mana tahu, i got a scolding in front of the class for not doing the work correctly.

To the teacher, I only have this to say...

You wanna whack me for the mistakes i made, fine. Just don't misled me the whole day. Don't ask me to wash my mouth if you were not handing out candies. I wouldn't have been that upset with you.

Sometimes when people don't do the right thing at the right time, they end up making things worse.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Miracle 2009

And so, last week was another fantastic MIRACLE event at the Curve.

Anyhow, in case you weren't there, here's one tribe performance... Introducing the tribe from Klang- The Klang Bah Kut Teh- led by motor mouth Eugene Lim.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009



我所做所为, 永远公私分明,问心无愧,心安理得、理直气壮。

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The greatest pleasure

Mon morning I had an appointment to see a BODYCOMBAT trainee in his clearance class. Honestly I did not put much expectation in the trainee coz the last time he team taught with me 2 weeks ago, he had a very big issue with timing. And I was very honest with him, and I told him that he would really need to work on the timing if he were to stand any chance of clearing.

Spoke with his mentor as well and she also said the same thing about his track presentations. So today I was sort of expecting at best, an average presentation in the class. However, 2 weeks' of hard work sure did wonders for this guy. He taught a very energetic class!

The morning ladies in IOI Mall were certainly pleased with him and I was excited as well. Halfway passed the class, I text his mentor that if he continued his form, he will surely cleared the assessment.

Sure, there were a few spots where he lost the beat, but somehow he managed to get back on the beat without losing control of the class. And at the end of the class, after the feedback time, I gave him the good news.

I think the happiest person to hear the news of his clearance(besides him) is probably his mentor, because if I had a trainee under me who excels, I would be too. And based of the SMS between us, I can feel her joy and pride in seeing this new trainee succeed.

To think about it, when I first started teaching, the greatest joy was definitely being able to stand in front of the members and teach one heck of a class. Seeing another instructor teaching an awesome class would spur me to try to outdo the instructor, in a positive manner. Then, something happened: I became the headteacher.

Suddenly the focus was shifted. Instead of thinking of myself and my ego, I began to think about the whole team. When launch time, it's no longer about showcasing my ability. If the members prefer certain insturctors, then that's what they'll get. I will be equally happy to teach in a smaller clubs, as long as I get to contribute to the experience of the members.

Even in huge events like our annual Miracle charity event, there were times that I consciously chose to step aside and let the other instructors teach the tracks. As long as the launch was successful, it doesn't matter whether I teach or not. The team is more important than any individual instructor.

But today, after exchanging SMSes with the trainee's mentor, it just dawned upon me why the great pleasure for any instructor should be the success/grooming of another new instructor. As instructors, the joy of teaching an awesome class lasts only 1 class, even for a new release. After that, it's gone and you'll have to start all over again with another class. But when you successfully groomed a new instructor, the joy lasts so much longer... Seeing the person when he/she first started, how insecure and lost on stage teaching a track for the very first time.... till the day he/she can finally conduct the class alone.

Yup, nothing beats grooming new instructors!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr... and Zambry?

Have you read Zambry's latest blog entry?

Menegakkan kebenaran bukanlah satu tanggungjawab yang mudah. Ia memerlukan pengorbanan dan kegigihan.

Nelson Mandela misalnya mengorbankan kebebasannya selama 27 tahun demi membebaskan rakyat Afrika Selatan dari cengkaman “apartheid”.

Mahatma Ghandi pula mengorbankan nyawanya untuk memastikan kemerdekaan India serta rakyatnya dapat hidup aman tanpa sempadan kasta dan agama. Perjuangan menegakkan keberanian ini memerlukan “keberanian”.

Mandela pernah berkata : “Saya mempelajari bahawa keberanian bukanlah bermakna tidak punya perasaan takut, tetapi Berjaya mengatasinya. Mereka yang berani bukanlah mereka yang tidak punya perasaan takut tetapi mereka yang mampu menakluki rasa takut itu. (I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. )....

....Memetik kata Martin Luther King Jr, kegelapan tidak akan mengatasi kegelapan. Kebencian tidak akan menghapuskan kebencian, hanya kasih sayang mampu mengubahnya. (Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.)

OK, so the guy's identifying with Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Let's see what these guys' struggles were, according to Wikipedia:

-a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, who held office from 1994–99.

-an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of the African National Congress's armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe.

-convicted of sabotage, as well as other crimes committed and spent 27 years in prison.

-a celebrated elder statesman who continues to voice his opinion on topical issues.

-1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

- pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement.

- pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

- Honoured in India as the Father of the Nation

- Birthday on 2 October, is commemorated worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

- led Indians in the Non-cooperation movement in 1922 and in protesting the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (249 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930,

- imprisoned for many years, on numerous occasions, in both South Africa and India.

- sworn to speak the truth, and advocated that others do the same.

- killed on 30 January 1948 while having his nightly public walk on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan(Birla House) in New Delhi.

- an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement.

- led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president.

- famous "I Have a Dream" speech raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement.

- 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner for work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.

- assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Very impressive achievements and legacies. Now, let's look at our boy's struggle:

- Did not follow proper procedure to be appointed Menteri Besar of Perak on 6 Feb 2009.

- Caused constitutional crisis in Perak.

- Giving BN a public relations nightmare to clean up BN's battered image.

- Desperately tries to stay in power in Perak by all means neccessary, except through a snap election.

- Dare not face the people of Perak in a snap election to obtain the mandate to lead a new government.

Somehow I don't see any similarity between him and any of the three people he mentioned.

Which leads to my question....

"What have you been smoking, Zambry?"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dedicated to Dr Zambry and his illegitmate excos...

Everybody sing now!!!!

OK, please pack your things and leave the office for the legitimate Menteri Besar, Thank you!

Wedding Dinner - Take 2!

After our wedding in March, we went back recently to Penang to have another dinner for our relatives there.

Of course, I also extended the invitation to my friends from Church and FF Island Plaza.

With PCC friends

If not mistaken, mom-in-law's friends

We actually wore back our wedding clothes in March, as we bought them instead of renting- one of those things I learned from a show on E! channel.... Buy instead of rent for the most important day of your life.

Somehow I was distracted

At the entrance

With FF Island Plaza friends

Guess what? I'm now related to Dato' Lee Kar Choon!

Picture with my new uncle :)

Time on the invitation card stated dinner at 7pm but we only started at 8pm- not that bad, considering that the next day we attended my cousin's wedding dinner which started at 8.30pm.

We did the same opening in KL, with the video and singing. This time, the sound system was definitely better as we had rented the sound system.

Singing "A Whole New World"

Opening prayer by Pastor Lydia, one of the pastors from my home church Penang Christian Centre

At the table

The wedding in Penang was kinda packed with the traditional tea ceremony.

As I had about 20 tables of relatives, wife actually had quite a lot of people to serve tea to.

exhausting time!

On the other hand, she only had 4 tables so it was quite a breeze for me. I think it took me less than 10 minutes to settle her side while she around 45 minutes.

I was quite glad to have the ceremony done.

Daryl, the brother I never had

The first performance of the night, not counting our entrance song, was from my parents-in-law. Being professionals, they actually brought their own DVD to dinner for singing.

Grinning while I was introducing them

Singing 爱的路上只有我和你(old song, not that recent one)

Based on their singing, you can probably guess where wife got her talents from.

My 17-yr-old niece, Janine

After singing, it was the cake cutting and wine pouring time.

Deja vu


After which, I gave my "Part of my world" speech. Wife opted out as her "Finally" speech was not applicable in the Penang wedding.

All I'm saying... Thank you for being... Part of our world....

Finally came the long awaited first dance in Penang.

Started slow with Rod Stewart's "Till There Was You"

Just like in KL, there was a slight change of tempo halfway through.

"And I'm losing control..."

"Coz the power you're supplying...

"You're the one that I want... ooh, ooh, ooh.. Honey!"

That was the last performance from us. We didn't do the finale in KL as our dance crew were not with us.

As substitute, first I had my eldest bro singing.

The interesting thing about this wedding is I really had a difficult time addressing my relatives. Most of them I hardly see them at all, not even during CNY but are my mom and dad's cousins and uncles-aunties.
I honestly dunno who these people are

Anyway, we went back to the tea ceremony again but this time we were being served.

We missed our my sis-in-law in KL's tea ceremony

Finally, the highlight of the night was my mom singing 夜来香. Truth be told, my mom used to have a very good voice, but that was way before she had 4 children.


See my reaction.

Anyhow, mom did her thing and bro and niece decided to have a impromptu dance.

Doing the cha-cha

Mom still has her fans in the form of her cousins

Timing and pitch was good, just the quality of voice is not what it used to be

There was another last min performance from an uncle, at mom's request but timing was a bit out. Fortunately by then, we had reach the end of the dinner.

Overall if felt more like a wedding for us as we were in our wedding clothes the whole night, as opposed to KL where we changed to smart casual for our finale performance.

I think that was a kiss of relief