The first time I got Aids was in the year 2004. (Technically HIV, but Aids is easier to say.) I was cast in a student short film as a wilful teenager who runs away from home to be with a bad boy who gives her Aids.
The shoot was cool because it was my first time getting Aids. And the first time, they say, is always the best.
The second time, I gave myself Aids.
In May 2004, I was conned into taking part in the Channel U reality TV show, The Next Big Thing.
During the qualifying round, I had to perform a three-minute gig of my choice. I wrote my own monologue and performed my own song. I guess I was inspired by the work I did in that student short film, so I devised a performance about a girl who gets Aids.
That performance was very well-received.
After that, I had to wait a whole year before getting Aids again. My third time was for an educational video commissioned by the Health Promotion Board.
I played this girl who gets picked up by a handsome bloke at a party. After some idle talk, we proceed to make out in a quiet room but, before we can get too deep into it, I get a vision in my head of myself getting Aids and crying hysterically. That, of course, puts a damper on the festives so I ask Mr Handsome to get lost or else.
By this time, the novelty had worn off. I was sick and tired of getting Aids.
But, last month, I was offered a leading role in yet another educational Aids video by the HPB. I couldn’t reject this one because the production house had done some high profile work and I thought it would be a good idea to work with them. Besides, the video was to be made like a TV drama so that’s cool.
Of course, the fact that I was asked to play an 18-year-old made the decision easier. We don’t often get cast as 18-year-olds, do we?
May, the stylist, gave me curly hair for some of the scenes (at the director’s request) without making me look older, like how curly hair always does to me. She’s wonderful, and I enjoyed playing the role very much.
I had the pleasure of acting opposite Louis, an actor whom I met last year at a very intensive acting workshop. During the shoot, we were able to connect and understand each other very well as we applied what we had learned together.
It was an amazing experience and I don’t regret doing it, never mind being typecast as The Aids Girl or whatever. Who cares.
But I think that’s about enough times. People are going to start wondering why I keep getting Aids but I’m not dead yet.
No, wait. You know what?
Cast me in a feature film as the Aids girl next. I’ve gotten it before and I’m really good at it.