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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 16 June 2013 00:00

Feel Free to Correct My Mistakes

Written by  By Kok Mei Lin, Sia Chee Chai & Lim Beng Cin, Selangor / Translated by Peggy Lee

The all-girl sign language team has improved very much after many practice sessions.【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】

A total of 225 Collegiate Youth (Tzu Ching) members, divided into 5 groups, gathered at Taipan Activity Centre for their first rehearsal of the "Sutra of Filial Piety" musical sign language performance scheduled for June 15 & 16, 2013.


"We don't have a letter box here! Your action in delivering letters is like knocking at every door," said Chief Instructor, Lin Chia Hua.

Everyone had a good laugh with the hilarious comments from Chia Hua. The innocent students portrayed the postmen in the film, but had forgotten to adjust the actions according to the props they had. Thus, their act was different to that in the film.

For the convenience of the students who are taking part in the performance, the Programme Planner had specifically divided the performance into five parts to be adopted by students from universities and colleges located in five areas, namely, Subang and Cyber Jaya; Setapak, Serdang and Sri Petaling; Kajang and Taman Putra; and Petaling Jaya.

A month prior to this rehearsal, 19 practice sessions were carried out at various venues, such as Tzu Chi KL & Selangor Office (Kelana Jaya), Community Activity Centres, homes of students or volunteers, Campus canteen, and even at a condominium hall rented just for the purpose.

The participants had shown great improvement compared to their last meeting in May. They also did not have to depend on the video and sign language charts to perform fairly well.

Twenty six Collegiate Youth members were selected as Instructors-cum-Coordinators for the practice sessions. Besides scheduling the time and venue for rehearsals, they also guided the performers. As all of them are non-professionals, they had to learn by watching the film many times, and memorising every single action and sequence. They would then perfect their actions through the guidance and teaching from the director and sign language teachers.

Mindfulness makes one an expert

With their accumulated past experiences in various performances, the instructors of the stage play, Guo Mei Jun and Shi Jia Yen, have shown more confidence now in guiding the performers. Mei Jun, who took charge of planning the plot details, specially separated the segments of the play and added in diagrams. For those performers who are not computer literate, like the ‘fathers and mothers' from Tzu Yi Association, the diagrams were printed out on the screen for them to refer to when practising.

According to Mei Jun, the diagrams served as a very convenient tool to use when practising. The performers only had to refer to the diagrams for the first few times before they were on their own. Her aim in preparing the diagrams is to get the performers to master their acting skills at the shortest possible time.

Jia Yen, who was in charge of guiding the details of the actions, patiently shared the meaning of each action with the performers, making it easier for them to master all the actions. To make it realistic, they have specially collected some props, like toys and microphone, from the recycling centre for the rehearsals.

A steadfast mind makes one a role model

Chen Ying Zhi, a student from Putra University, was initially registered as one of the performers but was later on invited by a senior to be a sign language instructor. Feeling the pressure and agonizing over the sudden change of task, she could not concentrate or get herself organized to study and understand the text. However, with assistance and guidance from the seniors, she slowly learnt to settle down and eventually managed to carry out the task.

Ying Zhi said she must constantly remind herself to be very committed so that she can use this opportunity to bring in more of her college mates to the Association.

Learn through experience

On the day of rehearsal, the instructors were seen noting down all the proposed modified actions from the director. Senior Tzu Ching, Li Xin Yi, who accompanied the performers from Subang and Cyber Jaya, recalled that two months ago when she first took up the role as instructor, she was unaware that one of the responsibilities was to teach the performers. It was a great challenge for her.

Xin Yi informed that she did not like the sign language initially as she was not good at it. Despite feeling so, she did not decline the task. On the contrary, she worked hard to analyze every action according to the text and diagrams for the performers to fully understand the roles portrayed. In order to overcome her barrier in learning the sign language, she repeatedly watched the play numerous times to familiarize herself with all the actions.

She thought that to be a good instructor, one has to be an all-rounder. Besides accompanying her fellow classmates, she also had to handle other matters, like arranging the venue and time for rehearsals, transport arrangements, preparing refreshments and so on, all of which were very time consuming. It is a good thing that she could manage her assignment, which is also a very valuable learning experience for her.

I need to be strong

Lin Wen Xin's commitment to be a Programme Planning Leader was made through just a simple phone call. She later realized that this was not a simple job! She humbly revealed that she lacked confidence initially as she did not know what to do and needed confirmation in many aspects.

Also, due to her busy work schedules and other Tzu Chi's activities, Wen Xin had wanted to give up her assignment; but her sense of responsibility prevailed and she carried on. The support from her fellow partners also played a very important role in motivating her to solve problems one after another. From other members, she has learnt to be careful, mindful and patient.

Wen Xin vowed, "I need to be strong, not only for myself but for the whole team. I need to stand alone in the team as only then will I be helpful to others."



As this rehearsal coincided with Father's Day, a Thanksgiving ceremony was held at the finale of this rehearsal to show gratitude to Tzu Yi volunteers for treating the youngsters as their own children. A simple blessing had touched the hearts of these "parents" and marked an extraordinary Father's Day for them as well.

 

Director Lee Yee Han (in purple shirt at the back) personally demonstrated for the performers.【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】   The show of elegance in presentation from sign language teacher, Lin Chia Hua (front). 【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】

Director Lee Yee Han (in purple shirt at the back) personally demonstrated for the performers.【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】
 
The show of elegance in presentation from sign language teacher, Lin Chia Hua (front). 【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】
 
The performers trying to figure out their roles through watching the film and with guidance from Director Lee.【Photograph by Leong Kwai Seng】   Guo Mei Jun (left) guiding a performer with her acting.【Photograph by Pang Yi Xiang】

The performers trying to figure out their roles through watching the film and with guidance from Director Lee.【Photograph by Leong Kwai Seng】
 
 
Guo Mei Jun (left) guiding a performer with her acting.【Photograph by Pang Yi Xiang】
 
Chen Ying Zhi (middle) has to replace an absentee during the practice.【Photograph by Ho Wen Yee】   Lin Wen Xin takes the opportunity to learn as a leader in Programme Planning.【Photograph by Pang Yi Xiang】

Chen Ying Zhi (middle) has to replace an absentee during the practice.【Photograph by Ho Wen Yee】
 
 
Lin Wen Xin takes the opportunity to learn as a leader in Programme Planning.【Photograph by Pang Yi Xiang】
 
Thanksgiving ceremony at the finale to show gratitude to all Tzu Yi volunteers. 【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】  

Thanksgiving ceremony at the finale to show gratitude to all Tzu Yi volunteers. 【Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan】
 

 

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