Friday, July 6, 2007

Chapter : The Communist and the Beauty Pageant

So many things have happened these past few days. First off I should begin my story on Tuesday where I was asked to act in this movie called “Pahlawan”. Yuki was the one who called me and asked me whether I am interested and I was thinking that since I am free and have nothing to do and sides, it is what I call easy money so I agreed to it. The place of shoot is located at Hulu Langat which was like; somewhere in the jungle and when we reached there Yuki and I felt as though we have stepped into a whole new world. It is because that the shooting site itself was surrounded my Malay men and we were the only Chinese girls there. It felt so out of place though.

At first I felt really afraid being surrounded by all these people but eventually it became better because they meant no harm to us and also they treated us really nicely though they were really flirty and kept asking us for our phone numbers and such. I have never spoken so much Malay in my life and I was pretty astounded with myself because I still managed to be to really fluent in my Bahasa Melayu. Yuki and I were asked to become the villagers. I didn’t know how to act because I never acted in my life in front of a camera so Yuki went first and I just observed her and see what she was doing. Yuki’s part was walking down the pathway and was stopped by a soldier and he was asking her some questions. Yuki was told that she supposed to pretend not to understand Malay and thus replying in Chinese. I did that too later in my role. Yuki was a great actress for that part. Even the crew said so; I heard them because I was hanging around them observing Yuki’s acting.

When it came for my turn, I panicked a little but I managed to remain calm and acted my part without any problems. My part was to act as a villager too and I was staying in this little hut in the jungle. At first the director asked me whether I can do an act bathing which freaked me out because HELL no that I am going to show off my shoulders in front of the entire male clan. So instead I was just standing at some place and a soldier is asking me questions. I was trying hard not to laugh because the person who was asking me questions was the person who picked up a plant and said to me, “Will you marry me?” It was so amusing! But I managed to maintain cool and acted my part without any troubles.

Then we act our lunch and such, then I was asked to change into a communist uniform which startled me because Yuki didn’t have too but I was the only one who was asked too. Yuki did another part where she was held as hostage and what not. As I proceeded to change my costume, Yuki was doing her part. Then after I was already suited up I walked towards the place where they were filming. Yuki saw me in the communist uniform and she was liked, “Jessie! You look so cute in it!” I didn’t know how I looked like because there wasn’t any mirror to begin with. But some of the crew did say that I looked really adorable in it. Pity I didn’t have any camera with me so I could have a snapshot of myself in the communist uniform. But if I do recall, one of the crew did have a camera and Yuki did managed to get a snapshot of me in it with my face all blacken up.

My part was really amusing because I am supposed to be shot and die in the end. I really didn’t know how am I supposed to die so I just shut my eyes and pretended to faint which I thought it would looked as close as though I was dying but it didn’t seem to work quite well because the rest of the crew were asking what was I doing and I just smiled and just said I don’t know. It was pretty cool due to the fact that they put some fireworks into my clothes and they lit it up to make it blow up to show that I got shot kind of feeling. I thought as first it would be extremely painful but I was surprised that it didn’t hurt at all. Furthermore, I was happy that everything has come to an end. I was still harassed by the actors for my phone number but I didn’t give it to them because I didn’t want them to know my phone number. Yuki did give hers to the person who had the camera because she wanted the pictures and they promised to meet up for a drink after the film is done. That pretty wraps up the day for my shot. Yuki told me that I was the first female communist soldier who just appeared for four to five seconds and died and I replied to her saying. “Man, why can’t I be the first female communist to fight for the country and win?”

Then on Wednesday, another thing happened. Remember the time when I said I was “shipped” off to Hulu Langat to act in a movie? Well the person saw me, which was an agent for these sorts of things spotted me and asked me to join for this Sugar Pageant contest which was held in Crowne Plaza Hotel. I agreed to join because it would be once in a lifetime experience and also I will get some exposure. I felt bad because I dragged Joey and Kyoru to join me in the quest to search for the hotel because I didn’t know where it was located. But surprisingly it was pretty easy to find the hotel because it was so nearby the place where I used to have my internship there. As I walked into the hotel with them, I called Estelle (the agent’s name) that I have arrived and asked her where to meet her. We waited for a bit and then I decided to walk around and managed to find Estelle and she guided me to the place where I am supposed to wait. So I told Joey and Kyoru to gather their things and follow me to the Sugar Club.

Upon entering the club, I felt as though I given the “Manhattan look-over” because I felt as though their eyes were scanning me from head to toe. Thankfully I was with them so I can just sit down and chat with them for a bit. After a long wait, Estelle rounded us up because the make-up artists have arrived. For the first time in my entire life, I had heavy make-up on. With the tons of foundation and lipstick plus eye shadow, I looked like a different person. Even I looked myself in the mirror I can stare at it for a long time and asked myself, “Who are you?”

Then when my make-up and hair was done I was asked to proceed to the floor because the choreographer was going to tell us where we are supposed to walk and what not. To make matters worse, we are required to pose and do the cat walk which gave me a heart attack because for a person who doesn’t know how to pose yet alone hunches most of her life and was asked to cat walk is like asking a toddler to start running on its own two legs. It was pretty hard for me to pose sexily because I felt so expose showing off my legs and forced to smile and show off my assets to the camera or audience. Joey and Kyoru left later on taking a cab because they were bored out of their mind and were hungry.

At the event itself, I was pretty nervous about everything. I kept telling myself that everything will be fine and I don’t have to worry so much about everything and be myself. Unfortunately, it didn’t work quite well because I didn’t know how to catwalk nor how to pose so those were a major drawbacks for me. Then later on I am supposed to stand and introduced myself, which nervousness took over me and I spoke with rapid speed until the MC herself couldn’t understand what I was saying. Then after everything, they mention the winners for Miss Photogenic, Miss Body Fit, Miss Beautiful Legs and Miss Beautiful Smile. I didn’t win any of those titles but Estelle told me not to be sad or anything because this was just the first round and I have to be used to the environment. It was pretty amusing because those people who won have done modeling or cat walking before as in runway so it was a major plus for them.

As for me I was just a random picked out from nowhere and was asked to do these sort of things which I don’t mind because I feel that it would be a change of settings and would find out the life of being in a pageant or modeling. At least one thing I can tell, beauty pageant isn’t my thing because I am not used to cat walking, not standing for hours in one particular position where I have to thrust my chest out and butt out. All in all, the contest isn’t over yet because after two weeks, I am supposed to perform a talent which now I am worrying about because I don’t know what I am supposed to do! I can’t sing nor dance. Even acting I am not so sure about it, playing the piano is also out of the question because I haven’t touched it in years. So technically I have to figure something out before my two weeks are up. Hope that I will find it soon.

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