Monday, April 19, 2010

Tales from the Drunk Side: The Final Boh Cameroonian Arts Awards

It's actually Cameronian. Whatever.

Anyway, I just got back from a party in the underground levels of Mandarin Oriental. It was the final party, the last hurrah for the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards.

Read that in the papers. In The Malay Mail. Either this week or next.

Anyway, I met some old friends, like Ee-Tan, who was a colleague at the old The Malay Mail.

Zedeck was in a dress, for some reason. Sunder would have been happy. Also met the 'luminaries', the who's who in performing arts. I covered them for around five years, even after I left The Malay Mail the first time, during the time of the Exodus.

Old faces, some old friends, and some new ones I made over the past few years. It was nice to see them again after all these years.

I remember going to a few performances, interviewing a few of them every week. Kakiseni was a rallying point to this small, small industry. A bit nostalgic to see it go, but I think they did a good job of ending it properly. I hate stories with no endings.

The performing arts is a funny industry, and if you really look at our entertainment industry in general, they are basically the same. Just a bunch of people hoping, hanging on to a few tossed copper ases from passers-by.

We entertainment journalists serve a function. We are an aspect of the industry. No more, no less.

I have always seen the performing arts to do and say things that more mainstream, and bigger industries or sections of the industry, could not cover or express. You need an outlet for the people, or there will be explosions. Given the variety of people there are out there, a non-homogenous, myriad expression points system is vital to contain malcontent. To deal with our insanity.

Too much, and we ape the closing days of the Roman empire. Always, a delicate balance.

I was happy enough to spend some time with people I know. Rodek, Zedeck, Megat, Yusman, Tapai and the rest. Good drinking buddies, even though most of them don't drink.

A good thing is that I will get invites to some more productions happening in May, and I also have some story leads which hopefully grow into something substantial.

For now, we drink a toast to Kakiseni, which closes its doors, perhaps forever. To Kakiseni.