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by admin

 

It’s Good Friday.

Seems like time really flies.

Silver Lining, The Musical directed & written by Janice Yap

It was just last easter when I wrote, directed and starred in a musical.

I have to admit, it wasn’t willingly at first because musicals are a lot of work. And even after agreeing to write & direct it as result of much persuasion from others, I only agreed to act in it when we really couldn’t find anyone else who could fill the role. It’s ironic, because in the first place, I thought I could escape acting if I agreed to do the writing and directing.

The story was inspired by my time in Radio Announcing, my friend who was fighting brain cancer, Norman & my dog who passed away, Rogue.

Inspiration behind "Silver Lining" the Musical, written & directed by Janice Yap

It was during my time as a Radio DJ when together with my other colleagues, our station organised a lunch outing with seniors from an old folk’s home. And as we sat and had lunch with all of them, we had the opportunity to chat and get to know them better.

One of the aunties told me how she ended up at the old folk’s. She said she had no family (she didn’t explain how she lost her family), and that she didn’t have medical insurance. She explained that one day, when she suddenly had a stroke, she collapsed while at work. And when she woke up, she then realised she had lost her job as she was unable to work, and had no financial support to help her with her medical or living expenses. Because she had no family too, the old folk’s home came to her rescue. I was saddened to hear her story.

Then she started asking about me, she wanted to know what I did for a living. Which made me burst out laughing, because I suddenly realised that she and her friends from the old folk’s were having lunch with us but have no idea why or who we were – it seemed like they were just told to be there. I told her I was the DJ for the Breakfast Show on our CapitalFM, to which she beamed. And then she asked excitedly, “Oh! Then do you know, CF (I’m only using the initials here)?”. Of which I replied, “Yes! He’s a DJ in one of our sister radio stations”.

This painted a huge smile on her face – she was SO HAPPY. She then started to tell me how she would listen to CF all the time, and how sexy she thought his voice was and how she would look forward to his session in the nights. It was so endearing, how she truly admired him, and I couldn’t wait to tell CF what an impact he was making in her life when I see him next. I was honestly moved to see a lady who had gone through so much hardship and loneliness take joy in the littlest of things – it reminded me to be grateful and also to remember that wherever you’re placed, you and your work can make a difference in someone else’s life, even if you’ll never have the opportunity to meet that someone.

It was this feeling, along with the feeling of how precious life is itself, that inspired the script.

One of my dear friends was diagnosed with brain cancer about 4 months before last easter. It was quite a shock, and it broke my heart when the news was first broken to us. My friend was battling cancer, and he fought hard. We were praying for a miracle, a healing miracle. I wanted to see him more often, but I was afraid at the same time that I would get in the way of his treatments, family time and etc. We stayed in touch though, and made plans to see each other. The song, “Better” (from the musical) was written for him. I told him to come watch the musical, and told him one of the songs was inspired by and written for him. But I never told him which one.

Norman

Norman, seated on my right when he had a lil Christmas steamboat party.


He came. He turned up. Though he was often known to be tardy (something we’d always tease him about), he would always turn up.

After the musical, he texted me:

“Awesome play. His story really hits close to home. And God is so awesome! Thanks for reminding me.”

Looking back at his message, the musical and what the song was about now, I’m filled with sadness.

My dear friend is no longer with us. He left us just 10 days ago.

I  still have many questions as to why he had to go home so soon and find it hard to accept that he is no longer just a phone call away. I do not understand why my friend, who was a good man with so much potential and so much hope, had to be taken home, rather than be given more years with his family and friends here.

But that said, I also realise, that if we truly think that heaven’s the ultimate destination, a place far better than the world that we live in, we should be happy that he has gone ahead of us. Perhaps he got to go home first because he was truly a good man. After all, if heaven is supposed to be a place for good people, he was definitely a saint that would fit right in. And really, if he could be at a place way better than any place on earth, with no more suffering, stress or tears, shouldn’t we be happy?

We should.

But I guess it’s just easier said than done.

For some of our “clouds”, it’s just harder to see the silver lining.

All I know now is, our days are numbered, and it’s important to cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. Make every day count.

Courtesy of Daren Lee, below is a video recording of the musical we did.

When you do check it out, do note that the cast and production team are all unexperienced and not professionals in the industry. I personally thought they did quite an amazing job bringing this musical to life, despite being completely new to this then.

It starts at 0:55: and ends at 1:03:30.

It’s called “Silver Lining”, and despite however I may feel about it right now (now that my friend is gone), I hope the original intentions behind this musical will remain intact – may it inspire you to find the silver lining in your darkest moments.

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