S.M.E Roadshow (complete account of the event, plus Full Interview)

Yes, so most of you know about the Small Mission Enterprise (S.M.E ) roadshow event that I went to about a week and a half ago. My mum eagerly followed to the event, wanting to snap a photo with Douglas Lim. Unfortunately, he didn’t come. Only Baki Zainal (I had been eager to meet him as well, because I’m a fan… Well, ever since I saw his interview with 2AM when they were in Malaysia the first time xD) and Alvin Wong came for the meet and greet. Apparently Ash Nair was supposed to come too, but he was sick.

 

Well, that makes the two of us, as I got sick the day after my birthday, which started with the sickly body aches. 

What a way to let me know I’ve officially become ‘old’, eh?    Anyways… I still wasn’t feeling too good that day too. But I made myself go because I was eager to see Baki and Alvin in person too (and Douglas, but that was before I knew he wasn’t coming).   I was expecting some sort of entrance, but there were none. All I know was that I was sitting on one of the chairs provided by Mitsubishi (who had displayed cars; I fell in love with the Attrage, by the way), then next thing I knew, I saw them walking to the stage. In that split second, I was starstruck. … or maybe just slow.    Anyhow, for a moment I couldn’t believe that THE Baki Zainal and Alvin Wong had just walked past. And then my senses kicked in and I walked right up to the front of the stage.

 

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They were hilarious throughout. They had the audience in stitches, though I wasn’t too happy about 2 things: that there weren’t many audiences (probably due to the lack of advertising though, and that more people flocked ECM rather than Megamall), and that I was the only media there. THAT, I felt a little incredulous. Come on; local stars are making an appearance and no one comes to cover the event? What happened to ‘supporting your local artistes’?    But then it didn’t take long for me to feel glad; I could have free reign of the front of the stage without having to worry about getting squished between photographers.

 

Anyway, there were a lot of teasing, running, and subtle hints. ;) Subtle enough that the kids won’t get it, but the adults will, if you get my drift.  xD

 

The highlight was probably the Bubble Tea making competition. Catch is, they can only use one hand, and the ingredients may be any kind of combination from the displayed items.

 

 

Yeah. You get what it means. xD

 

After that, they had to pick random unlucky audiences to try their concoction. Baki took the liberty to come down from the stage, and handpick the audiences himself.

 

 

When he got 5 random audiences (including their PR Executive, Pam, whom Baki dragged up), they were each given both Baki and Alvin’s drinks one by one, and then told to vote for which one they preferred.

 

Tasting Alvin’s bubble tea. I think even without announcing the results, this lady’s face is a dead giveaway. 

 

The meet and greet ended shortly after, and Pam asked me if I’d like to ask them (Baki and Alvin) a few questions. Right then, I just felt so many different emotions at once: surprise, nervousness, excitedness, disbelief, panic, the list goes on.

But the answer was obvious (durr). Why on earth would I pass up a chance to interview our local stars??

When it was over, Pam directed me to a couch near the roadshow entrance. She then explained that that particular area is a prop scene from the sitcom itself. As I was waiting for both of them to arrive, I started getting nervous. My heart thumped in my chest, and I noticed that my palms were getting a little clammy.

The part that made me nervous was that this was gonna be an impromptu interview. I had only began going through possible questions in my head the moment Pam had asked me if I wanted to speak with them. Worse still, I hadn’t seen the sitcom before. Heck, I hardly watch TV to begin with! I knew then that I couldn’t ask just general questions about them, as the reason they’re there in the first place was to promote their sitcom. So I had to make sure I asked them questions about the show, but since I haven’t watched it before, it had to be general, safe questions. I was mentally beating myself up for not looking up the sitcom beforehand and find out a little background about it.

But I didn’t have much time to dwell on that, as they appeared right then.

I put on my ‘professional mode’ right away. That is to say, to be chatty and relaxed with them, and try my best not to let my cover slip that I’ve never watched an episode of their show at all, and that I had made up all the questions on the spot.

They approached the couch, and I knew then that I had to turn off my fangirl mode. (Yes, even stringers/reporters fangirl, okay? We’re human after all… And it’s not just me…. right? )

As Baki made to sit beside me, he said, “Lemme guess…” he sat down, feigning thinking, “Krystle?”

And let me tell you, I was surprised that I picked it up faster than I normally would. I covered the name tag clipped to my jeans, and said, “No cheating!”

Baki laughed, and that tiny fangirl part of me felt smug that I made the Baki Zainal laugh. 

 

The interview didn’t start right away too. Both Baki and Alvin were still playfully arguing to themself about what happened on stage earlier, and I had to wait till they’ve quietened down before I started asking my questions.

Baki also mentioned that the couch was the actual prop from the set, and that during breaks, some of them would go to the couch and sleep. =p

 

My questions were:

(Alvin = A, Baki = B.)

 

1. You both have been in this industry for a long time. What has been your best and worst experiences?

 

After asking that, I felt like slapping myself and taking it back. What kind of a question was that??! And an opening one too? Thankfully, they took it in stride, and if they felt weirded out by my question, they didn’t show it. (I realised later that they were actors after all.   )

 

A: My best experience was a kissing scene with a girl. It was when I did theater. Unfortunately there was no tongue lah. Just a peck, you know? *mock disappointed face* Worst experience was also a kissing scene. With a guy. *shudders* I mean, we didn’t like, actually kiss lah, because we realised the audience wouldn’t be able to see from the angle, so we just… touched cheeks, you know? But unfortunately… his lips got touch mine also… *gags* I had to gargle with Dettol and all the other disinfectants afterwards….

B: For me… I think best experience, I think would be being able to work with your idols, go to all the places around the world to film, and all that stuff. I’m gonna give the boring answers lah ya, you can get the funny ones from Alvin.. (A/N: to which I reply was no problem at all, of course. I wanted honest answers too, not just humorous ones.) Worst experience, I think.. seeing what your idols are really like, in person. *guilty laugh*

 

2. What is the most common misconception that people have about you as actors, other than the glamour?

To this, Alvin almost immediately piped up, his answer ready.

 

A: That we’re loaded! People think we’re really rich and have a lot of money, but we don’t. Because it’s not a walk in the park. They don’t see the things we have to go through to be where we are NOW. I say, if you’re rich and you just feel like acting as a hobby, then go for it. But if the main reason you wanna act is for the fame and glamour, you won’t go far.

 

3. What advice do you have for people who aspire to be actors, but don’t have the connections to start the dream?

 

B: I’ve seen a few people who really do have the potential, but they don’t have the connections to branch out into the performing world. To start acting , it actually takes a very long while before you can start acting in series, and sitcoms and all that. You need to be patient and sincere about it.

A: People don’t see the blood and sweat that we put into a show. They only see the finished product, and the ‘fame and glamour’ that comes with it. But it’s not all fun and games. It’s very hard work.

B: First of all, you need to set your mind on your goal. Like Alvin said, if you’re only in it for the fame, then it’s not for you. You need to respect and love the arts, first of all. If you’re in it for the wrong reasons, you might like it in the beginning, but in the long run, you will dread waking up for work. If you really have the passion for it, then work won’t feel like work. It’s like, you’re going to meet your good friends, and do what you love to do.

 

(A/N: At this point I was glad that they seemed really enthusiastically answering the questions, which could only mean that my questions were at least decent… right?)

 

4. What is the best part about working on S.M.E?

At this, I felt pretty happy with myself, because they seemed really excited to answer that. And it was probably because it was the only S.M.E-related question that came into my mind then too. 

 

B: Working with Douglas. *Alvin nods his head, agreeing completely*

A: There’s just something about the way he does things that only he can do. He is just so intuitive and has a sharp sense, and he understands how actors work. It’s like the script is written based on how the actors think.

B: Like, after Season 1, we all have our own ideas on how our characters might progress on in the next season, and when we get the script, our characters behave exactly like how we thought they would! Also, when we were filming during puasa, Douglas had bottles of water ready for the Malay cast and crew, and when it came time to break fast, he said, “Ok, stop filming! Let those guys buka puasa (break fast) first!” and let us finish eating and everything before we continued filming. I mean, come on, how many directors would do that for the actors? Like in Season 2, there’s one part… *he suddenly realised that he was about to dish spoilers in the upcoming episodes* Ehh, cannot, cannot…

A: Cannot…. Cannot bocor (spill)

 

At the end of the interview, I couldn’t help thinking how… normal they were. It was so easy to talk to them, and although I wouldn’t say that they treated me as if they’ve known me for years,  they treated me like a friend. After I let them know that that was all I had to ask and thanked them, Pam asked if I wanted to have a picture with them. I answered, “Yeah, sure.” casually and with a straight face, but in my heart, I was whooping, saying “OHMYGOD YES, YES, YES!” (p/s: I just realised how wrong that sounds.. >< )

I debated which to use: my DSLR or my phone, but then I decided on my phone, so I could upload the pictures in Facebook after.  I could put my phone’s camera mode to HDR anyways. 

 

 

When they scooted close for the picture, my heartbeat accelerated a bit. It felt surreal that I was sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with two famous local actors, both whom I’ve only ever seen on TV/movies. But as I have done throughout the whole encounter, I tried to keep professional.

I was darn happy enough as it is to have this picture, but then Alvin, I think, (I can’t really remember! ) suggested, “Eh, let’s pretend that we’re flirting with her!”

 

My heartbeat went up another notch. 

 

And then they scooted even closer, both inching their faces towards mine.

 

 

You may not see it, but my heart was literally hammering against my ribcage as that was happening. And I never even felt/noticed Alvin’s hand until I saw the picture! (And yes, the little tag sticking out of my jeans was the one Baki sneaked a peek at. xD )

Even after it was all over, I felt stunned the whole day; like in a cloud. It was hard to believe, even with the pictures.

I kept replaying the entire thing in my head, as if afraid that I might forget if I don’t. Almost 2 weeks after, I still have a hard time believing that I actually met these awesome two and had the chance to speak to them.

Which is why I love my job. ;)

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