Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Lost & Found

I'd like to say that the plan to rob a bank and move to the Dominican Republic after my pupillage was a great success, but that is not the reason why I haven't updated this blog. The truth is far less palatable. My dear friends, if you have not figured out already from my mentions of "rehearsals", I ACTOR (cue dramatic voice and hand gestures). I can hear the gasps already.

I am currently on a short break from work after my pupillage and I've been busy with rehearsals and so have not really given much time or attention to this space, but for the most part I am enjoying the process of putting up a play. It's called "Lost & Found", and I hope you can come watch; tickets are ridiculously cheap anyway.  It's running over the Deepavali weekend at the Actor's Studio Lot 10 (on the rooftop yo!).

I have very few lines in it, but I am proud to say I wrote a huge chunk of the script with the rest of the team (I did originally join as a writer anyway.) It really is gratifying as a writer to see others perform your words. It is also a privilege to work under Joe Hasham and Gavin Yap, both of whom have been in theatre for many years.

You can click on the promo poster below to enlarge it.

If you notice that I have long, curly hair from the back, no, it is not my new hairstyle, nor a wig. That's another guy's body with my head photoshopped on the front; I was not there during the shoot. Yeah, a pretty funny boo-boo.

On another note, I will also be officially called to the Bar as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya this Friday, 26th November at the KL High Court, Jalan Duta, at 10am. If you happen to be nearby and free, do come celebrate with me. (But if you had to choose only one, come for my play instead!)

After nine months of working in a law firm's litigation department, I can say I'm very happy to be have completed my pupillage and I've learnt much.

For example, I've learnt that many lawyers really are dicks. Not all of them by any means, but a large enough percentage to justify the stereotype.

I've also learnt that all lawyers are sadistic, masochistic or sadomasochistic to some degree. No, really, all of them are: why else would they stay in the profession.

I've learnt that a "work-life balance" is not realistically attainable within the first few years in this profession, and by "work-life balance", I mean career advancement, development of technical skills, preservation of health (adequate sleep, exercise, good nutrition), time for friends, time for family, time for spouses/partners, time for personal pursuits (spiritual, artistic, athletic, etc).

Let's be realistic. Few professional careers allow for such balance, and you can bet my arse legal practice isn't one of them. Even during my pupillage I've hurt a lot of people and have at times struggled to keep my life in balance. But you should still try, because letting work consume you, become you, is a very bad idea, unless your work happens to be saving poor kids or turtles or something. You don't want to wake up 5 years down the road and realise it's too late to even try by then, and all that's defining you as a person is how much you can bill your client.

As for my next career step, I'm staying with my firm, and we'll see how it goes from there. Honestly, now is not the time I want to think too much about my future. I'm far more looking forward to enjoying and utilising my break to fullest.

Until next time, take care out there.

P.S. Yesterday was my birthday! It was crap, but better than last year's. Actually, it's hard to beat last year's in terms of crappiness. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Day 186: THE END

As I drove home earlier, cruising on the Federal Highway, my tummy filled with unhealthy post-rehearsal mamak food, my car clock showed midnight, and I thought, "Oh my gosh, I'm no longer a pupil-in-chambers. I've actually survived 9 months of working in a law firm!" And you know what? I felt really, really good.

More updates tomorrow, I'm tired now. I think I'll sleep very, very well tonight.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

It's the Final Countdown

My very, very last batch of daily notes from my pupillage. Tomorrow's my last day and yes, I can smell it: the air of freedom.

D175 (27th September): Honesty>Breakthrough>Catharsis>Unexpected Lightness of Being.

D176: Petition hearing for grant of Letter of Administration.

D177: Teaching anything to an older lawyer feels weird.

D178: Bar Council Secretariat, I am deeply, deeply disappointed in you.

D179: Sayonara Betty & Veronika!

D176 (4th October): The answer's "Yes".

D177: Life's a musical. What songs are you choosing?

D178: And then it hit me like a brick wall.

D179: This moving business is extremely disruptive.

D180: Dinner, with entertainment.

D181 (11th October): The day I lost my phone. :(

D182: The day I got upset I lost my phone. :'(

D183: The day night we got our final scripts, and debated at the mamak. :S

D184: The day I remembered I have plenty to be happy about. :)

D185: The day off. :D

Friday, 15 October 2010


Too good not to share.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Pour Tu

Do you feel like running? No, not resuming your jogging plan. No, not rushing to catch the train.  Not rushing at all. Just running. Away. Now. Fast. Not stopping. Until you reach somewhere. Until you reach into somewhere.

A place where you can exhale and lie on the grass and release, where you can forget the person you've become and meet again the person you were.

Where you can speak openly with your past and your present because no one there will make you doubt or fear or shy away. A place where you can swim in the river and let the fish tickle your toes. A place where you can cry and scratch and scream and laugh and jump and tumble and fall.

A place where you can scrub off the layers and layers of dirt and grime and pain and hate and grief and fear that's surrounded your heart, where you can just look at it for what it is, let it be and wear it on your sleeve without being afraid.

A place where you can fly. A place where you can hide. A place where you can rest. A place where you can be. A dream. A state of mind. A lake by a valley by a hill with a river. A free place. A place for us. Come, run with me, and we'll find that place together.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Guardian Critics Give Advice

To those who think they make good critics (which is to say, almost everyone), please click on the post title above to read some advice from people who actually do it for a living, written in 2008.

My two cents: if you know the difference between reviewing, criticizing and critiquing, you're on your way