Call me the Aids girl

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.

Cast in the auntie mould

I am the TV commercial queen this month.

Okay, so mine aren’t big brand award winning commercials, but we all have to start somewhere.

It seems, though, that I am doomed to be typecast as a pregnant woman, young mother or teacher — I’ve done so many of those in the past year.

I don’t get it. Directors and producers keep complaining that I look too young, but they continue to cast me in older roles, and then go on to complain that I look too young.

Why aren’t I cast in younger roles more, then?

Not that I’m upset. A role is a role and I’m happy as hell. Like I was telling Vamp the other day, it’s okay if I get typecast as an auntie as long as I get many good jobs. There are popular aunties in Singapore wat.

Yesterday, I filmed my third commercial this month. I’m on a commercial roll!

I hope the roll rolls on into 2006.

So, yesterday, I was teacher to a bunch of pre-teens for this product called Toyo Klic Correction Pen.

According to the storyboard, I was supposed to be this stern-looking teacher with short hair and specs (a bit like my “I Not Stupid Too” look) but I don’t know why they changed their minds and made me look like this, instead:

Not much different from my regular self.

The kids complained to the producer that I don’t look like a teacher. I look more like their elder sister.

But I don’t think they really minded.

I think I have a look that says to kids: “Please climb all over my head.” Because they always do just that.

Yesterday’s bunch was no different. They just wouldn’t quit making fun of me.

“Teacher! Your handwriting very “nice” hor?!”

“Teacher! How come you don’t know how to write the maths formula?!”

“Teacher! Why you don’t look like teacher one?!”

One of the girls kept calling me a barbie doll.

But, you know, I think they love me because I play along with them and I don’t scold them. And I can make them laugh without even doing a thing.

I can be standing still and soundless in front of them, but with my back towards them so I’m facing the whiteboard, and they can still find it funny.

Kids are really weird people. Honestly, I don’t remember ever being that weird. But I do remember making fun of my teachers. Poor teachers. Thou art noble!

Yes. It was very bright yesterday. Fake sunlight.

Heatless, fake sunlight, which didn’t help much when we were freezing our butts off from the morgue-temperature central airconditioning.

By the way, we filmed that at NAFA Campus 3 and my car park ticket was almost $17.

Major ouch. I should have taken the MRT.