It’s Thursday night and I’m finally home! I touched down in the early evening from my gig in KL and on the plane home, I saw a RAINBOW and that made me very, very happy Rainbows are just so beautiful and this one was spectacular because usually we see them when you’re on land… this time, we were flying in the air and the illusion made the colorful curve look like it gradually melted away as we passed through it. It was pretty darn awesome *grin* It really gladdened my heart because I was awake during the entire flight with no one to talk to because I had the window seat & exhausted J C was sleeping like a log (I didn’t dare to wake him up because the first and only time I did, when the drinks cart rumbled by, he snorted like a grouchy bear and whined for me to leave him alone so that was that) and practically read all the magazines, brouchures, etc I could lay my hands on.
You might have already checked out J C’s blog because the workaholic (and you thought I was bad!!!!) brought his laptop to KL and was still poking at the keypad when I was trying to sleep. We flew up to KL together because I was booked for a huge event by L’oreal called REDKEN CREATES, their annual hair show. They did something different and it was an impressive event really – I was hired to open the show with a big bang & that we did, with J C playing magic producer & my assistant for the launch. I officiated the ending as well, and it was really cool because everyone there treated me like a celebrity. LOL. More on that in a bit.
We left Singapore on Tuesday afternoon, right after my photo shoot and interview at The Arena. The SPH journalist and photographer were tremendously professional & really nice people and the interview felt like an informal chat session… almost like a tete-a-tete with a friend. Turns out, the reporter was also from Methodist Girls School, but she’s my senior and we wouldn’t have met but it was interesting anyway. She seemed tickled that an MGS girl would break so many glass ceilings and traditional stereotypes (as well as get a tatt), but it was really awesome that she said that everything that happened, like with the recent Shin Min Daily escapade, practically cemented ‘Magic Babe’ Ning as a celebrity magician because I’m officially the first magician to have their own gossip news splashed across paper. How sweet Well, it’s always best to look on the bright side of life!
Right after the interview sessions were over, it was a mad rush to the airport for J C & I with our things. The guys had previously already shipped out all the props and illusions needed for my Redken Creates show in KL for L’oreal. It was a pity that J C’s initial plans for the illusion sequence didn’t go through because of last minute issues the event organizer in Malaysia had, but the magic genius came up with alternatives quickly so there were no hiccups, despite the short leadtime we were given with the change of plans!
I’m glad we were given comfy SQ seats to KL because I cannot imagine having to take a bumpy coach ride up, with such a big day ahead in line with all the set-up, rehearsals with dancers we’ve never met, blocking, besides the actual performance for the grand event. The flight took only 40 minutes & I slept while J C scribbled in the spiral notebook I always carry around with me (yes, old habits die hard). BFF was really sweet to SMS if we reached the Kuala Lumpur International Airport okay… Ade’s my angel really really The taxi ride to our hotel however, was pretty long and it was actually almost midnight when we reached the Westin!
Exhausted me managing a rueful grin when we hopped into the cab from KLIA to The Westin!
J C kept yawning and yawning and yawning and yawning and yawning and…
Heh heh heh. I was contemplating on the 101 evil ways to rudely wake him up and act all innocent and surprised.
Anyway, we got our hotel room and I immediately hogged the shower (the bathroom was very nice and roomy… you could probably fit a healthy baby elephant very comfortably inside, if you could first get it to come into the room on The Westin’s 21st floor!). We had to start early the next day because there’s just so much to do! Just before I slept however, J C waved me over to his side of the room to check this out:
…It’s finally up! That’s just a tiny screen capture on Lifestyle Singapore‘s website but you can read the entire interview of yours truly, ‘Magic Mabe’ Ning on Lifestyle.SG in their 2 minute phone call section, which touches on my upcoming Mega Escape – The Impalement Cage & Ultimate Magic at The Arena. Both South East Asia’s first Mega Escape & Singapore’s first permanent illusion show are endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board and we’re having more interested parties keen on coming on board as partners, so that’s simply awesome *grin* Anyways!
When J C & I reached the venue the next morning, we were informed that there was a slight delay in the delivery of our things unfortunately, but I wasn’t too worried because something I’ve learnt was that truly, there will always be hiccups along the way for ANYTHING so it’d be unrealistic to expect perfection. J C & I got acquainted with various people involved in the event and they were all extremely nice to me. We zipped out for a quick brunch and I’d just finished my yummy bowl of muesli with fresh fruits and a glass of cucumber juice when J C got the phone call that our stuff had arrived. Woohoo!!
We were really blessed (thank you, thank you) that the 2 guys specially assigned to us by our event partner were superbly efficient handymen who knew how to handle nuts and bolts and screws and things. I never heard them complain about lifting heavy things and they’re the best ad-hoc show crew we ever had. J C was very fond of them too, because they respected the art. The Malaysian dancers were 2 very sweet young things who were easy-going and great to work with. Everyone (from the stylists, to the make-up people, to the staff) all somehow seemed to know me by face as "The Magician!", so I guess they’d been talking!
The show was slated to start at 8pm so after settling the illusions and nailing down the technical bits, blocking & rehearsals with everyone for our segment, J C & I allowed ourselves a quick bite so we could last till the end of the event. I never eat anything heavy before a show because I feel it makes me sluggish. After having a juice and some chocolate cake (YUM!), I changed out into my costume and had barely stepped out when a frantic Kenny came running towards me. He’s from Redken and was assigned to look after me for my make-up & hair, so he got worked up when he couldn’t find me. He’s a real sweetie! So I stepped into the bustling make-up area, which was crammed with gorgeous models (an international mix really) and Kenny placed me in the good hands of the various professionals who prettied me up.
Showtime came soon enough after that and I was actually L’oreal’s very first act for the night at their Redken Creates event! Just before Magic Babe took the stage however, one of the professionals who did my hair magically sprung out from nowhere with a can of hairspray and a comb to work on my mane. He quickly did his magic to make sure my crowning glory looked like a million bucks, just in time before the show host announced my name and the music started. Gawd, I felt like such a diva It was a huge international crowd made up of media, trade partners and more who witnessed me turn 2 female mannequins into live animated girls right before their eyes in the dynamic opening illusion sequence. The first bit had male dancers come on stage to hand me various bits of a female mannequin which I placed inside a box that was show to be clearly empty, with no trap doors or anything around it. Magically however, the mannequin comes to life and she springs out into a dynamic dance on their New York fashion styled catwalk platform.
An empty crystal casket is rolled over and clearly shown to be vacant before I put a sexy white dress and an electric blue wig inside it. A twist around and magically, a girl appears inside wearing the same dress and wig! It then ended with me being flanked by the 2 girls. However, the 2nd dancer wasn’t feeling well so she stumbled on stage and had to hold on to me for support at the end. I honestly didn’t blame her because I knew she really must have been unwell and wouldn’t have sabotaged the act since she did so well during the rehearsals, but the upset girl kept apologizing about making the show look bad. I was genuinely more concerned about her!
The entire show carried on with the models parading their funky hairstyles and outfits from different eras, and much more. While J C & our 2 helpers were dismantling our show props and equipment backstage, I was getting ready for my 2nd segment – to close the event. On cue, I came back on stage with a flower and did my Sakura snowstorm as the grand finale, with the entire beautiful troop of models and everybody else coming in just on cue only right after I was done with the magically storm of confetti.
It was truly a blast and a great success, kudos to everyone who made it a SMASHING HIT really I’ll post the official photos once I get it from them from the source. The above was from a mobile phone camera. I was personally invited by Amanda (L’oreal’s Marketing Manager, who gave the very first speech of the evening) to join them at their after show party. J C was done with the props and our guys had left, so I dragged him with me to drink, mingle and parrrrtaaaay!
I rubbed shoulders with so many people – top fashion designers, the big guns from L’oreal, folks from the media, salon chain owners, creative folks from different businesses, and more! There was a free flow of drinks (Cosmopolitan… Baileys… YUM!!!) and a professional DJ spinning funky music in the nicely dressed party area, while there was a generous butler pass going around. Many different groups stopped me as I made my way around, asking me to take photos with them… they were really sweet, with their generous heaps of compliments on my brand of magic & everything *GRIN* It makes me SO HAPPY to know that they enjoyed my brand of magic and illusions.
Here are some photos from the night…
These ladies own the popular hair salon chain of Michael & Guys and were in Singapore recently for the Fashion Festival! The lady in black was saying something halfway when J C snapped the picture… they’re both really sweet!
Me and some happy fans who pulled more of their friends over…
More happy fans… Gosh, the gorgeous girl next to me is such a hottie!
So after two drinks, I managed to stagger my way out of the party area, clinging on to J C (who doesn’t have such a crappy alcohol tolerance like me) and that’s when I saw Kenny! I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to him since I’d be catching the flight back to Singapore in a few short hours. I swear, if he was in Singapore, we’d probably become really close friends. He is such a dear!!!
I distinctly remember trying to hail a cab back to The Westin but no taxis were stopping so J C & I crossed the road to try our luck, when we bumped into some fans of mine who’d taken photos with me and they were such SWEET angels because they gave us their cab, even though they came first and were waiting for one too! I was glad to see them hop into one a few seconds later. Malaysians are such warm and hospitable people really! Sure, I got a few "So was it you who made Mas Selamat disappear!" jokes during the party, but the best was when the suave Marketing Manager of Tan Chong Motors (Nissan) joked that the reason why Singapore won Malaysia over the recent Pedra Branca/ Pulau Batu Puteh tussle, was because Singapore’s Only Professional Female Magician did her magic!!!
Anyway, I slept like a baby but woke up in the middle of the night feeling reeeeeeeally hungry because I realized we skipped dinner, so it was room service to the rescue! J C was still at his laptop working on the finishing touches on a top secret thingy thing you’ll see soon on TV… yep, this is for the filming of ILUSI 2.0 in Bali next week. As you probably already know, J C’s the magic consultant for this new magic series & our very own ‘Iron’ Will is starring in it, alongside Mr. Bow Vernon from Indonesia!
We checked out at about noon (sleepy sleepy!) a few hours later and that’s when I noticed that the hotel’s official teddy bear mascot actually looks like J C… who pointed the stuffed toy out to me. Seriously, right down to the tuffy hair, big eyes and er… nose of prosperity *wink* Don’t you think?
I guess if I were to be a stuff toy, I’d be a pretty warped looking one…
Anyway! A taxi pulled up for us after we checked out with our luggages (the rest of our props and illusions had to be shipped back to Singapore) and we left The Westin for the KL International Airport. J C was tired so he slept while I was kept wide awake for some reason. After the driver paid the final toll, I noticed he made a blatant left turn AWAY from KLIA when the signs obviously pointed for cars to go right. That’s when I poked J C awake and told him the driver was certainly ‘taking us for a ride’. J C managed the situtation very well by calmly pointing out to him that we’re well aware on what he was doing. The driver tried to act dumb but we knew he understood English because he very well asked us where we were headed to at the start of the ride. When I firmly rose my voice, he spluttered that this longer route was ‘safer’ and I told him to stop talking rubbish and J C chided him that this wasn’t our first time in KL. That’s when the driver gave a nervous laugh and the meter ticked away. No apologies, nothing. Was I upset? You bet. I let J C play good cop as I sat back and watched the meter tick way past the RM120 mark.
If you pay RM90, it’s already considered expensive, especially with such good traffic. The con man tried to fleece us of 50% more. I usually tip people when I’m overseas and I’m more than happy to, but this slimeball of a cab driver really pissed me off. When we finally reached KLIM much later than we should have, we just gave him RM90 and he didn’t dare make a fuss thought the meter had a crazy bill to it. J C handled the douchebag while I went over to the front of his car and blatantly took a snapshot of his license plate for your benefit.
I swear, he’s the only guy who sullied this KL trip. So this is just another reminder to be careful when you’re overseas, and to always keep your eyes open. I hate it when locals try to scam tourists or visitors this way, it simply disgusts me. I’ve no regrets being coldly firm when talking to him because I hope he doesn’t try to do this again to some other unsuspecting prey. I’m not sure what other Singaporean girls might do, but I’m most definitely the kind you would not want to meet if you attempt to cut in and steal my taxi in the morning.
Simply because… I. WILL. YANK. YOU. OUT. And will have no qualms doing so
Anyway, we got to KLIA otherwise okay and after checking in our luggage, it was time to look for food! We found an Italian fast food joint that looked pretty decent so we ordered some pizzas. The slices were huge and their cheese pizza was great *grin* I had no problem polishing off my plate quickly, much to J C’s amusement. The man always says that he’s impressed with my appetite. Heh. I wanted to pop by the bookstore but we had no time… we were one of the last few to reach the gate (thanks to Mr. "I think these ignorant Singaporeans do not know how to read road signs" Cabbie) but before that, the security actually made me remove my shoes to have them scanned as they body-searched me That was certainly weird. Did they actually think I had stuff hidden in my boots? I actually had my stick of lip balm in my front left pocket and the lady patting me down completely missed that because it was wedged verically. Ah, well.
Up on the plane, I got the window seat again and yep, as I mentioned, I witnessed the beautiful rainbow on the way back and it was a very magical moment. It’s great to be back really, HOME SWEET HOME *grin* I think tomorrow’s going to be crazy since J C & I been gone for almost 3 days and there’s just so much to do! To be honest, I can’t wait for the weekend to finally come… the Queenies have something totally smashing for our darling Nat’s… it’s her Hen’s Nite!!!
Yeah baby, it’s gonna be wild……………………………………….
PS: It’s exactly 1 more month to my Mega Escape!!! Do swing by Clarke Quay’s fountain area at 9pm on 5 July to see me attempt The Impalement Cage!!! No other girl in this part of the world has been crazy enough to do this ‘LIVE’ so don’t miss this!