My last Edge TV

“Hi church! Welcome to HTV!”

That was how it was 11 years ago. Now, it’s known as “Edge TV”. I’ve been hosting and serving in this Edge TV ministry for 11 years. I still remember when my church first started this, it was a ‘according to flow’ thing. It would just be me and the camerawoman, and we would ask the church staff what announcements they wanted to be featured. Then I just had to plan my script as I went along.

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Fourth Mother’s Day

This year’s my fourth Mother’s Day celebration as a mummy.

The first year was an awkward and sad one, as I had just lost Alexa. I was between wanting to be recognized as a mother and not be recognized as a mother. It was a very confusing and angry moment.

The next year onwards, I had Amy, and this year, I have Alistair too.

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One More Day

Pictures from City Harvest Church KL 

I always feel that it’s a privilege to be able to be part of my church’s drama productions.

My passion for acting has grown over the years. I get very excited every time I learn something new or when I get a new “revelation” about acting. Acting, to me, is now more than just being on stage and getting the limelight. Acting is now about being committed to telling someone else’s story, and conveying the message to the audience.

Recently, more than just acting, I got to be more involved in terms of conceptualizing, planning, scripting and training. And I love it. If acting is about one character’s story, being involved in the entire process is about telling the entire story as a whole. How do I even begin to explain the excitement that it gives me?

“One More Day” was the Easter drama at my church last month. The story carried a certain heaviness as it centred around a man who was approaching death. It was inspired by Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie”.

Being entrusted to train my drama ministry members is a great pleasure as well. Even though they see me as the one teaching them, I find myself learning more every time I teach. As I try to share with them whatever I have learned through training workshops and books and observation, my own understanding about the craft and art of acting becomes clearer and stronger.

I am extremely proud of how far the actors have come, from the crazy rehearsals to the actual performance. They had a lot of pressure and a lack of time, but still they delivered beautifully.

We are now working on another upcoming drama production, and this time, we have a lot of new and young cast. I am excited to get another chance to teach and be involved in this whole process of storytelling, and I will definitely miss it when it ends.

 

Love,

Natalie

Currently inspired by: Writers

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All photos in this post by CHCKL

Last weekend, my church had its year-end drama production entitled ‘The Grand Federal Hotel’.

I was not involved as an actor this time (because my belly is huge and we had no characters who were pregnant haha). However, I had a bigger privilege of being involved not just as the acting coach, but also in the team that came out with the storyline, script and overall production.

One of the reasons I love acting so much is because I get to play a character and bring her story out. But what I am discovering more these days, is that there is so much more fulfilment in conceptualising the story itself.

This was the first time we attempted a detective/investigative/mystery drama a la Sherlock Holmes, and it was a challenge! The brainstorming for a good intelligent script took a few weeks with a few heads. And the entire story really only came together properly after we added the choreography, music and multiple rehearsals.

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Through this experience, I became fixated on writers. How on earth do they come out with such great story ideas? More than that… how do they singlehandedly write out the entire story, and successfully relay their world and messages to the readers?

Think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His Sherlock Holmes character simply has no rival, up till today.

Or J.K. Rowling. She created an entire realm of wizardry and magical creatures.

Or J.R.R. Tolkien. He birthed forth a totally different world, complete with its own history and language!

I once read an article that said, while non-fiction is good for reads, nothing compares to fiction. Because fictitious stories encourage creativity and imagination, not just from the writers, but also from the readers. And it is through utilising your creativity and imagination that you truly explore your own potential and not be limited by, well, the limits of what seems to be reality.

So yes, I am very inspired by writers. I hope I would be able to continue coming out with good storytelling ideas, and it is my dream that one day I would be able to write a storybook.

Side note: Incidentally, being a novelist was one of my (many) ambitions when I was much younger. Sometimes I feel that God is bringing me back to my original dreams, that I made as a child with childlike faith, with no inhibitions and no limits (and some might even say no practicality…).

What’s your story?

 

Love,

Nat

All The Saints Of Our Lives

Last weekend was the celebration of my church’s 15th anniversary.

The organising team spent one month planning and preparing for the two events – the main one being our gala dinner slash awards night to appreciate our leaders and ministry members on Saturday, and then our actual Sunday service. The bigger focus went to the gala dinner, and it was the hardest, because the goal was that the staff team would do everything, so that our volunteers and church members could just sit back and enjoy.

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Picture from CHCKL 

This was the first project I embarked on since joining the church staff team as a part-timer, and also the first time I was part of a organising committee actually. It was really stretching. Not only was I doing this on top of my news reading schedule, I also had to take on things that I wasn’t even sure if I could handle.

I had to help with the conceptualising, planning and supervising of all the videos for the weekend, which probably amounted to about seven or eight. At times I felt that this was so out of my league, but I just had to rely on my guts, instinct, and feels.

I also oversaw the performances for the gala night, although most of my focus went to the drama skit. I wrote the script, did the casting, went through practices with the team, and made sure everything would be OK. It was way more stressful than just acting a role I tell you.

I also decided to appoint different presenters for every award given out. Which meant I had to script their lines a la Oscars style. And we had 11 awards. By the end of it, my brain was fried.

During rehearsals, I had to ensure that everybody knew what to do, especially the stage managers, so that everything would flow well that night.

I also appointed myself as the emcee of the night, because I thought, since I pretty much arranged the flow of the night, I might as well just do it, rather than having to brief and ensure another emcee knew what was going on. (But I am glad I did it, because I really had a lot of fun. Emceeing for church is always a joy!)

In the midst of all this, I was also in my first trimester. So it was a little challenging. My morning/evening sickness was quite bad, that sometimes I struggled to go for rehearsals and even work. And by the end of the day, I would be flat out.

Sometimes late at night, I would suddenly panic, wondering if I over-exerted myself, wondering if baby was OK.

But seeing how the gala night turned out, and how the Sunday service went well, it was all worth it. The team I worked with was more than fabulous, and so very excellent.

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Picture from CHCKL

It was truly an honour and my privilege to be able to be part of this big celebration. Thank you CHCKL for believing in me more than I believe in myself. Thank you for helping me discover so much about myself. Thank you for journeying through life with me for the past 11 years. Happy 15th anniversary!

And big love to all the saints of our lives, for all the days of our lives!

 

Love,

Nat

Moms Connect Hi-Tea

Last weekend, the mothers in my church met up for a Moms Connect Hi-Tea event at HOPP Cafe, Sunway. This was probably the third or fourth event organised by my church for mothers, and I enjoyed every one of them, including this.

There is something special about mothers meeting up together, especially when we share the same values and goals. Some of us were new mothers, some were mothers of grown children, and some were expecting moms. All from different walks and seasons, but it was a beautiful time of connecting and sharing (and complaining haha) about our motherhood experiences.

I also appreciate the candid and honest sharing by Diana, wife of one of our pastors. She talked about how when she first became a mom, it was all about survival. She rushed from one state to another, and by the end of the day, she was more than exhausted. Then the next day, the whole cycle repeats itself. After awhile, you really could lose yourself. That really resonated with us all.

So she reminded us to not just survive, but to truly live through and enjoy each moment. Also, do not underestimate the power and influence we have over our family as mothers. Intentionally set out to build a good culture in our family. Instil the five core values in our family – excellence, generosity, honour, attitude and gratefulness.

Mothers, let’s keep doing our best and not grow weary in doing good!

 

Love,

Nat