Sunday, September 06, 2015

concert emcee

Every year the kid’s school organizes a Teacher’s Day concert. I help to write the emcee script and get the emcees ready.

Last year, Day says – I’m sure I can be an emcee too. It’s so easy. Just stand on stage and talk what.

Fine. This year, since he’s in Primary 5 – the emcees are selected from amongst the 11-year-olds – he gets his chance. He will be emcee together with a good friend, Adrian.


The duo prepare, they memorize, they write their scripts on cue cards, they take to the stage on the Big Day. I tell him and Adrian – the both of you are performers just like everyone else on that stage.

* Day 'performs'

Well! Day gets a rude shock!

One. He cannot believe how noisy the audience is. Two peaceful afternoons of after-school rehearsal in a near-empty hall, doesn’t provide the psychological preparation for an audience of nearly two thousand kids, most with high-pitched voices which even in the softest of murmurs can be heard a mile off; and most are not whispering.

Day who struggles to be heard over the mic hisses savagely backstage through clenched teeth – “Why are they so NOISY? Why won’t they just pay attention?” To which I sagely say, now you know how the teachers feel when they go up on stage to shut you all up. To which he shut up.

Two. He cannot believe how many last-minute changes there are. Alumni performers who don’t turn up, others who change item, programme shifts. He simply cannot take it and implodes by – again – hissing savagely: What is WRONG with this concert?

Oh he did fine. Looked at his audience (he couldn't bring himself to smile though), memorized his script, not a word out of place, well-enunciated (three not tree), well-modulated, expressive and all. 

But at the end of it all, he clenches his fist and states - I will never emcee again. Aiyoh.

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