Every two years, I’ll draft up a short FAQ about myself, and I was quite fortunate to have a friend who did the drafting out this time round.
Long story short, I was supposed to have an interview for a feature, but before they could hit “publish”, I pulled the plug and recommended someone more worthy of that interview. (Before some one calls me half-baked and run-of-the-mill trash.)
It is not my first time meeting people who’d want to write about other people (namely me and this other bunch of people Jin (my friend) called weird; but I decided to not go through with the interview because I think that it is unnecessary for me to go back into the light myself – especially when I have so much to do already.
In reality, what is on FaceBook/Twitter/Path is just a very small part of the bigger picture, and maybe one day I might find the means to talk about it publicly like I did with my depression.
But yes, the questionnaire I got, and edited with permission; awesome people, and I hope to work with you guys in the near future.
Before you go off (and skip the entire section), shave a happy (though belated) Chinese New Year!
1. Tell us briefly about yourself – what you do, interests and beliefs.
My name is (obviously) Derrick, and I enjoy a wide variety of things that get me thinking and moving – like performing, chilling out with friends and reading. I am a Christian (be surprised!) since I was very young, so it lays the foundation of things that I believe in – but in this age and time we are very much liberalized by what we see and do with life.
2. You’ve been behind the scenes for many performances by a cappella groups while working within the scene, tell us about it.
It is very humbling and electrifying, to meet some of these awesome performers and really talk to them. Sometimes we exchange per-show tips, or just joke around. I’m usually working front-of-house, so my time is limited to during sound check, unless I’m also stage-managing for the production.
Highlight of my work includes being part of the Asia A Cappella Festival in Hong Kong in 2010 and 2011. I was there with two groups that differs vastly with stage presence, style and also how they operate. It helps me see people through less-tinted glasses, as well as look at things positively.
3. You have a portfolio that includes designing, acting, directing, conducting, teaching and you are currently working on a little research. What is it that you want out of life?
Our lives are akin to houses, we fill things in to create a deeper sense of meaning in our lives. Like the song, “A House is not a Home”, I strongly believe that we have to move boldly to do the things we want to do and get to know ourselves.
With everything I do, I always strive to learn something new, meet people that expands my thinking by challenging me to think out of the box, because I lived through days of very limited expanses where what I want to do is hampered because of a regulation, a code, or a policy is in place – nobody deserves that. Rules are in place to set the pace, doesn’t mean you get stuck in too slow a pace, or too small a limit to work with.
To answer your question (Haha!), my passion is in teaching, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m going to slowly make my way there. The journey of realisation and working towards it has been so fun, and I feel that I’m coming to full circle to it, and I worry because I don’t know what else I can do from there on. Hahaha!!
4. Able to share a time of disappointment that put you down for a long time? How did you get out of it.
Not going to be specific, I was stuck in a rut, between passion and practicality; and it bled into the other aspects of my life. Friends really encouraged me, and the most unlikeliest of individual actually were the push factors to get up and walk away from feeling that sense of disappointment.
I learnt since then, to have down time, and that’s when I just draft writings – on my iPad, to my blog or just random sketches and layouts. I have one major chill off day a week minimum – where I go exercise, physically and mentally to keep myself sharp.
5. You have performed in musical theatre (Songs for a New World, Believe), experimental theatre (Fight Club A Chorus), and as an individual with various a cappella groups (Acappuccino, The Dotz, Urban Harmony), how do you preempt yourself before each show.
I tell myself to have fun, and whatever it is has to be authentic and not just a mere move of improvisation. Every swish, lick or step has to be deliberate and it must add to the show.
It was intensive when both The Dotz and Acappuccino was featured on the same night at the International A Cappella Festival – costumes aside, I thank God my team mates were a great bunch of people who helped me through.
6. You work with youths in general, how does that affect you and does it help you deal with others?
My close friends think I have a very teenager-ish disposition, and colleagues were surprised when I told them I am in my mid-to-late twenties already.
I’m glad these things do help bridge the gap between the people I meet, plus it helps further that working with youths that I learn a bit of sensitivity that really helps. Also, it comes as an added challenge that when people share with you, you have to do a double take and see where they’re coming from and offer what is needed.
7. You are working on a research and a writing project, tell us about it.
I’m working with some collaborators at InSignia MusicWorks (a non-registered collaborative team that I’ve set up in 2004) to bridge Shakespeare with the modern music audience, be it through original pop songs based off the texts, or finding similar parallels to inform and educate people that certain plot lines could have possibly originated from the writings of Shakespeare. The prospects of coming up with a jukebox musical (a life-long dream of mine) based off The Tempest sounds interesting so far.
Writing wise, I’m somewhat devoted to updating my blog on a regular basis, with mostly thoughts and ideas. I tend to dawdle on an idea for very long before settling down to write, so I’ve not been meeting my own “quota”, but the blogs has often been mainly for rants and for me to just push nagging ideas/beliefs off my cranium – whether or not its politically correct, I don’t care.
8. That pretty sums up what you do. Anymore you want to add?
I’m thankful for all that I have and done. Maybe the next time I have something like this again,mi might not be in the arts and humanities field anymore. My good friend from Hong Kong often encourages me to take the leap and learn new things, and I often tell my friends to do that.
Derrick Kam is a Singaporean by birth and sings with local a cappella group Acappuccino while working as a Librarian in a private club and handling other arts projects freelance. He is known to speak his mind, enjoying life while also seeks a fascination with the subjectivity of what is “normal”. He blogs at derrickwrites.com.
Life was never a bed of roses, and I always come to this point where I feel like I’m being kept within four walls and no way out.
When I started the year out, I really believe I am destined for greater things. Like I shared, and I still feel the same way and that the year will be awesome (keyword of the year); and I will be unstoppable, crashing through every hurdle in my way.
But friends, learn that as you “crash” through every hurdle in life, you’re bound to get injured – depends on how big these “hurdles” are. I must admit, I’ve been hitting the asphalt (I.e. the road) more than hurdles, which were more of solid lead and concrete walls than being just hurdles.
I believe in God, I believe He loves me, as well as believe in the things I do. Being a Christian when you’re going into adulthood can be harder when you decide to run on your own time, instead of seeing how God has charted for you.
I admit, I feel a rush of adrenalin to want to complete my entire line up of further studies before I turn 32, have a nice apartment (current squeeze is The Rochester) and drive a nice dirty-red SUV (unseen in Singapore yet).
As a reminder, I am 27, but I act like I’m 17 on days I don’t teach. (Maybe forever-17 should be my new age, as 14 is far too off.)
Also, I have plans for Acappuccino to do big things with me, showing that a close-harmony vocal group consisting of good friends can do big things than just sip coffee and talk about the exploding Taipei 101, as witnessed by a friend on New Year’s Day.
This is an open letter to all my friends, continue to believe in me and that I will surf out of this funk.
Enough of water puns (considering that I can’t swim)? Fine.
Keep me in your prayers, and that I will stand as testimony one day and it will be because you guys put me in your prayers, to whoever you believe in, while also believing that I will be fine. This is not an altar call, I promise.
But do continue to keep watch and pray on, as much as I (still) do keep my friends in prayers in my quiet space and time at night.
Lets really get a move on and make 2013 the yea of the awesome and ride into 2014 wishing the year never ended because it was just so fun.
I will continue to write and document how I feel, and how things are working out (or not), but I pray for a positive change.
So, till the next post
I’m tired. Like seriously – of everything.
I met Alan up for chills around the island and ended up at Changi Airport, talking about what might have been.
I have just started new work this year, and possibly can only see fruition in about another year’s time – and I might be able to move on from my current frame of mind in a few months, instead of immediate.
You see, I’m starting a few things to get myself busy.
Yes, it seems that Acappuccino’s tour isn’t making me busy enough.
I’m not at liberty to reveal anything much at the moment, but the tribal council has been notified (LOL).
But if things goes well – it would be the greatest thing in life.
I know, no pictures and ambiguous posting again – but trust me. It’s worth it.
2013 – another year for waiting, but for awesome.
Sit with me, peeps. Enjoy the journey with me.
*cranks up some ACDC and other 80′s rock legends*
I know this might come as a shock to many, and especially to the closer friends.
No worries. I’ve not been hacked, neither am I considering to close the blog down. I just felt the need to rehash things a bit to let new thoughts run in – like the mandarin idiom, 旧的不去，新的进不来 – and seriously it has clogged up and reach the point of cramping myself.
I use to just stare at my blog, and tell myself that I need to do something about it, talk more about myself and how I feel without dwelling too much on the negative. Recently, I had this brilliant idea, and I had it down on paper (because the iPad wasn’t within reach), and I was disappointed when I went into my list of posts and feel the need to adhere to the style that I used to mould myself in, and thus-mentioned blog post didn’t materialize.
How does that feel, if you should ask, and what are its effects on me?
Very simply, I feel RAW, LONELY and TORN. Before you go on, let me continue to elaborate:
I’m posing this towards everybody who has ever felt like:
- You’re so close to getting the prize/reward at a fair stall, but despite the immaculate and fervent efforts you made that one miss;
- You think you’d work things out with this person whom you really wish can be the one, but the Nth date turned out so cold;
- You just got your car hit by an errant driver.
I’d describe that feeling as being raw. Like a fresh wound, a knee scrape. It doesn’t hurt until you touch it, or when the wind blows on it. It doesn’t hurt as much, but it stings like shit.
Physically, it might look something like this, not much while hurting like mad.
And you know what else? It’s so raw, it feels like it’ll never heal, literally a thorn in your flesh.
It’s akin to the time I had rope burn when I was in Scouts, and it hurt like mad when I put my hands together, but otherwise I was fine. Was it okay? Not for a very long time that day. I can’t wash my hands without grinding my teeth in pain and writhing from it. It leaves a sour feeling in the mouth/emotionally, and man, it sucks.
I feel emotionally distant from myself. I’ve never said that by being “lonely”, I’m alone.
Writing used to be the highlight of my life – technically because I’ll take effort to write, do grammar and spelling checks while ensuring that I’m properly expressing how I feel.
They say that anger is the most expressive emotion in the spectrum. I believe so because it expunges how you really feel in one gigantic swing – but at the end, you feel like you’re not by yourself even.
Ever felt like just screaming and realizing that all you need is a response, which a computer can’t give?
Truth be told, never have I felt that being by myself can be so… empty. Nothing in my life seems to be there to look forward to whenever I go to “that place”.
I can’t help at most times but to pray that I have someone who can pull me back and put me back in my place whenever I feel it swelling up – preferably someone who can “take the bullcrap” and really be there.
Half the time, I pour out how I feel about things from my mum being cheated, to a downright silly act by my cousin, and I feel even less by myself – it’s like this subconscious voice that goes against how I feel. Warring states within a country, some call it.
When you’re at this state, once again, it sucks.
I’ve reached a state in life that is slightly comatose, yet fully aware of what is happening.
“Hello, are you there?” “I’m here actually.”
We all have our limitations to the things we do, and reasons why we don’t do it – be it a conscious effort or not.
I’m afraid of doing something, but I’ll never know how it’ll be if I never try. That’s a conflict I can never understand and get over, especially if I’m still feeling raw.
They say “Once bitten, twice shy”, and that is very true to someone who is raw.
Earlier just now, I was seated down with a friend and I asked myself, “What am I really doing with my life?”
I quote from Pitch Perfect, the scene where Fat Amy went, “I guess I’m not really living if I’m not being honest”.
I didn’t just realize that I’m not totally honest with myself, about how I feel and what I should do; but I really just felt the impact of it, looking at various friends who are doing above and beyond, but I know that we all look at each other with envy at times.
I’ve friends who are envious that I’m working in my line of passion, while I tell them that I’m envious of them because they have really stable careers that they can invest on houses with. I’m 27, and soon enough, I’ll turn 28, and eventually 30. I’m glad I grounded myself in a new place.
I will not forget the lessons I’ve learnt from Angie, one of them being persistence and performance. You have to want it so bad that you’ll burn hours on ends to excel in it, and push through. I know this is dumb to put it here, but Angie, I won’t disappoint myself, because I know in doing so puts to waste what you’ve shared and invested in me.
I’ll also put myself on a higher level – I know I can’t compare to some of you grumbling fools, but I’m sure I’ll be able to reach the same level and eventually hit this level where I can finally feel it. I want it so bad, I know it and I need to admit that I want it.
It’s not going to be easy, but I pray for strength to keep close to it; and I hope that God will really push me towards people and events that can really help me get a grip on what I’m doing and mould me to be someone better. I know He will do thing sin mysterious ways, but I pray for further wisdom to understand what is going on.
Right now, I’m at the most crucial junction of my life; and I really hope to make THE right move. Not just settling for second best.
You know what they said about the tortoise – he was victorious in the end.