Now appearing where I never appeared

I feel fortunate to have so many pairs of eyes watching for me.

My blog readers (yes, you) always spot my ads way before I do.

Which is jolly good because I seldom watch TV or read the papers so it’s virtually impossible for me to catch myself in action.

Anyway, I’ve just been informed through several channels that my Kao commercial is being aired on TV right now. The Kao Magiclean one. Yah lah, I’m an auntie again lah. What of it? Just go watch it. It’s in both English and Chinese.

Remember in my last blog I mentioned that three separate people have told me they’ve seen me in three different ads (in which I never appeared)? Two days ago, I had a fourth person telling me she saw me in yet another, totally different ad (in which I also never appeared).

Well, like, WOW. Are there really so many people in Singapore who look like me? Hmm.

It’s getting very surreal on my end. Being recognised for people whom I’m not. It’s really, really weird.

Anyway, Thank you all who enjoyed my Kao commercial and told me so. Now go buy the product! :P

How old should I be?

I feel blessed. I keep getting pretty daughters.

For free.

The fact that these daughters are only my daughters for the duration of a shoot doesn’t change the fact that I keep getting them. Nor that they’re pretty. Nor that I’m now thinking it’s a sign that I should permanently market myself as an actress in the auntie/mother category.

Here’s my latest daughter:

Isn’t she a sweetie? Like all the rest of my screen daughters, awww.

I also get cute (screen) pets:

Oh, and cute (screen) husbands. Except I forgot to take a photo of my latest husband. But you’ll get to see him maybe in a month or so when the commercial goes on air.

Yes, my commercial roll has indeed rolled on into 2006, although it could have stopped rolling now, I don’t know. You can never tell with them rolly things.

Anyhow, this time, I’m endorsing a Kao household product as a mother. Eek.

The good news is that I’m supposed to act cute. Hahaha, can you beat that? Act cute mother.

I bet there are thousands of people out there who want to beat me up for acting cute, but I AM PAID TO ACT CUTE, so there.

For this commercial, the idea was for me to be a siao char bor anime-cute type housewife. It was a real challenge because, honestly, how cute can I act when I have my hair pinned up with auntie hair pins and I have a mop in my hand 80% of the time?

The dog is much cuter.

The clients initially didn’t want me because, looking at the audition tape, they thought I was a teenager.

I didn’t act cute in the audition, ok. I was wearing the most mature clothes I own and I had my hair tied up.

The production team thought I was perfect for the role so they fought very long and hard to convince the clients that I could be made to look like a mother.

So, thanks to them, I got the job. Yay.

But I feel a severe identity crisis.

Just a week ago, I was offered the leading role of a 19-year-old in a short film.

I honestly don’t know how to market myself anymore.

Recently, I was rejected for a Pizza Hut commercial for the same reason I was almost rejected for the Kao commercial.

I arrived at the Pizza Hut audition wearing a mickey mouse blouse and short denim skirt because I wasn’t told beforehand what I was auditioning for, and also because I went there directly after another audition for an 18-year-old lead (which I got but had to turn down.)

In the casting room, I found out that Pizza Hut was looking for a young mother. I was, like, “Eeks! But I’m wearing this!” which made me look even more juvenile.

I can be such a dodo sometimes.

But I think I did well because the director called me to say he really wanted to cast me, but the Pizza Hut people thought I was a teenager and totally couldn’t visualise me as a mother, what with mickey mouse and all. I suppose I can’t blame them.

You see the pattern.

I am constantly having to change my image to suit different clients (sometimes many times in a day), which is fun, no doubt, but it really wreaks havoc on my psyche.

But I don’t want to limit myself since the acting job market in Singapore is already so lean it’s 100% fat free.

I guess I’ll have to carry on not having a real age to call my own.

Anyway, switching age is much easier than switching gender, as Vincent will tell you (if you ask him).

Heheh.

The Kao shoot was an impressively huge production. It was shot at someone’s house, which looks more like a resort than a private residence. Lunch and dinner were catered, buffet style, but I couldn’t eat much because we were kept very busy all day, filming non stop.

Oh, to be so rich that your poolside patio is bigger than the average Singaporean’s living room.

Wait. What am I saying?

Oh, to be so rich that you even have a swimming pool in your house. Never mind the patio.

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.

The one where I get roasted alive

The powers-that-be must think that I’m not tanned enough.

Actually, tanned is an understatement.

Hot on the heels of this heat-stroke-inducing four-day-shoot for a short film…

Production still for independent short film

…comes this shoot that effectively burnt the entire cast and crew to a delicious crisp.

Production still for Changi Beach Club TV commerical

It was so hot yesterday the top of our heads got melted away. Now, I’m waiting for my brains to grow back. Which means that, today, I’m a blonde. (With the wrong hair colour.)

So you’ll pardon me if I start cracking corny jokes.

A man walks into a bar…

Ouch.

Now, all jokes aside, my mission today is to regale you with beautifully shot photographs taken on the Changi Beach Club boardwalk. We were there to shoot a TV commercial for (yes!) Changi Beach Club.

You must ignore the blurry, dull quality of the photos because the shots were taken with my crap phone camera.

But you must at the same time marvel at the beauty of the shots. Credit goes to my friend, Vamp, who was part of the crew, and who got loaded with the unpleasant task of taking pictures for me with my crap phone camera.

We weren’t even posing for her. She got all these while we were in motion, acting for the video camera.

Unfortunately for you, my curious reader, I didn’t give Vamp the phone while we were shooting the pool scene. So you won’t get to see me in a swimsuit until the commercial airs on TV.

That will give you the incentive to watch TV 24/7 to try and catch a glimpse of my bikini clad self (just so you can point and laugh), won’t it?

But I did take one picture at the pool.

You know this one was taken by me instead of by Stef because it’s a thoughtless shot captured randomly with nary a thought for photographic aesthetry. (I just made that last word up because it sounds kind of right in this circumstance. Don’t try it at home, kids.)

And a self-portrait.

Anyway, we caught the morning to noon sun at the pool. My scenes mostly had me lying on the lounge chair and getting baked alive.

Literally, mind you. You could fry an egg off the heat, I swear.

We then caught the noon to early afternoon sun at the beach. By that time, my brains were so addled that I forgot to take pictures.

After a whole day of being fried at various locations of the club, the sun went down.

That was when the crew decided to fry us with filming lights.

Yes, we were all burnt toast by the time they were finished with us.

But that’s okay because, for the sake of my art (and TV exposure and a fat cheque), I will happily endure the harshest conditions.

It was a great shoot, anyway. The crew was friendly and funny, the club hosts were very welcoming and the food was soooo good.

Nevertheless, I’m going to stay indoors until I grow some new brain cells and a new set of skin.

Drinking beer on the big screen

My blog is starting to get wordy, so it’s time for some blurry pictures taken by my handy i-mode phone.

This is MIA Bar at UE Square Shopping Mall. The MIA is short for Made In Ansfield, not Missing In Action, as most people tend to think at first.

But never mind the bar, because the more important thing is that I was there for a shoot.

It’s a Chinese New Year Carlsberg commercial that will be aired on TV and in cinemas (in both languages) during the coming CNY period.

See the Christmas snowflakes in the picture and how they’re kind of pinned up towards the ceiling so that the camera won’t catch them? Haha.

Adrian Pang is the lead actor and I play one of his ex-classmates, at the bar, having a few drinks together. I have a couple of lines and some screen time but I think I’m going to cringe when I see myself.

I look weird. As usual.

These two pics aren’t so bad, that’s why they’re here. The rest are career damning so I’m burning them.

It’s the makeup. The brown eyeshadow below my eyes makes me look like an insomniac. Which I am, truth be told, but the point is not to make me look like an insomniac. The point is to make me look glam, isn’t it?

Well, at least I think the hair is kind of cute.

But the problem is that the cute flyaways went limp after a while so I ended up looking like an insomniac who just woke up.

I didn’t get a pic of Adrian Pang because he was inside the bar the whole time and it was too dark inside to take pictures with my flashless phone. So I got a picture with another co-actor, instead.

Simon is from Denmark and he’s cool because he can speak Chinese. Kind of, at least. He just started learning at NUS, where he’s doing an exchange program.

He was supposed to say a Chinese phrase in the commercial and he can actually say it really well, sounding very Chinese. But the script called for him to do it with a typical ang moh accent, so he had to pretend he couldn’t speak Chinese well. Hah.

I wish I could do a bah kua commercial so I get to eat free bah kua during the shoot. Free beer is nice… but only for people who drink beer.

The Carlsberg tasted quite good, actually, but I have low beer tolerance. The first five sips or so are usually nice but after that, it will start to taste sour and then taking anymore will just gross me out. Come to think of it, wine is that way for me, too.

I prefer bah kua.

So, I’m going to start sending out psychic rays of subliminal suggestion to all the bah kua people in Singapore to cast me in their bah kua commerical.

Zzzzzzngggg…..

Okay, start planning to watch some movies during CNY so you can catch this commercial!