Archive | September, 2010

Meet Your CLASS MAIDS

30 Sep

Meet your CLASS MAIDS
Cosplay maid cafe return to this year’s Anime Festival Asia with a school concept
By Germaine Lim
September 30, 2010
 
 

IF YOU dine at the Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe next month, be sure to observe its rules.

No touching of the eight waitresses who will be dressed in Japanese school uniforms.

No personal photography and videography.

Each meal session – tea-time snacks and desserts – is limited to 60 minutes.

Just like going back to school, right?

Which is exactly what Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe will be emulating this year – a classroom setting.

The cafe is part of this year’s Anime Festival Asia (AFA), which is into its third year and features Japanese animation and pop culture. The festival will be held from Nov 12 to 14 at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Tickets start from $8 (www.animefestival.asia).

But the rules are there for a reason – to protect the ‘schoolgirls’ from pranksters.

Mr Jim Khor, creator of the Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe, told The New Paper: ‘Pretty girls everywhere attract attention. We have these rules in place to make sure that our customers respect our girls and their modesty.’

For those not in the know, Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe is based on the popular cosplay restaurants in Japan.

‘Diners did stuff to get attention’

At such eateries, waitresses are dressed in maid costumes and act as servants. They address customers as goshujin-sama and ojou-sama (Japanese for ‘master’ and ‘mistress’ respectively).

There are similar themed cafes in Singapore such as Cosafe Maid Bar & Restaurant at Chijmes and A87 Cafe & Bar on Tanjong Pagar Road.

In its inaugural set-up last year, Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe had its waitresses dress as French maids.

This year, however, Mr Khor, 32, decided on a school theme because the humble school uniform has come to ‘symbolise Japanese pop culture’, he said.

Also, one of the most popular anime shows internationally right now is K-On! which is set in a school, Mr Khor added.

The New Paper had a preview of the school-themed Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe on Monday.

Mischievous diners

While most customers who visited the cafe last year observed the rules, three of the ‘maids’ whom The New Paper spoke to recalled an incident involving a group of four mischievous diners.

Polytechnic student Beryl Teo, who takes the name Hitomi-chan, said: ‘They weren’t disrespectful but they did stuff to get our attention.

‘One of them purposely dropped his utensils on the floor repeatedly to get us to pick them up.’

Added the 19-year-old: ‘Another complained that his tea was too bland and wanted me to sweeten it. I guess they were just teasing us.’

Last year, AFA drew 56,000 visitors aged between 18 and 35 years old. Mr Khor did not have figures for cafe patrons, though he said that men made up 60 per cent of his clients, in line with the profile of the festival’s attendees.

He explained: ‘The men who came to the cafe were usually anime lovers familiar with the concept of maid cafes.’

Mr Shawn Chin, festival director of AFA, said: ‘I believe that Japanese pop culture reaches out to the inner child in all of us.

‘It brings us into another world…where imagination takes flight.’

True enough. At the cafe, which seats up to 50, customers are treated like royalty.

The ‘maids’ welcome you in Japanese.

On taking your order, a ‘maid’ pours tea, puts in the required amount of sugar and milk and stirs it at the table before serving you.

She will also use sauces to decorate your food with drawings before serving.

During The New Paper’s experience, Beryl, Wong Qi Qi aka Miyake-chan and Joanne Leo aka Riiyo-chan also broke into a power-up chant.

‘It’s to boost your spirits and brighten your day,’ Qi Qi, a 20-year-old professional blogger, explained.

All three girls were also part of the cafe last year. The ‘maids’ – who will be provided with the costumes – will also interact with customers, though they will not sit with them.

Personal photography is prohibited but patrons can buy Polaroid shots taken with their favourite maids.

Last year, diners paid $25 for a three-course meal which included a soup, a main course and coffee or tea.

Dessert sets, at $15 each, included a cake or salad and a choice of coffee or tea.

Prices of meals for this year have not been confirmed, but the Polaroid shots are $5 each.

Mr Khor admitted that the perception of a maid cafe here is that it is ‘dodgy’.

He added: ‘It also takes two hands to clap. Our girls conduct themselves well. They treat men and women equally.’

The girls were not concerned about being judged.

Polytechnic student, Joanne, 19, said: ‘It’s a job. We’re making someone happy. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. There’s nothing sleazy about it.

‘When we talk to our customers (whom they will address as senpai, which means senior in Japanese). It’s like talking to friends.’

Qi Qi added: ‘You can really see on their faces that they’re very happy when they’re here. That makes our day too.’

Some of those who visited Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe last year told The New Paper that they went there because they hadn’t experienced such a concept cafe.

Polytechnic student Vince Ooi had to queue for two hours before getting a seat.

The 21-year-old said: ‘What can be better than having a group of cute girls serving you and calling you master? You really feel like you’ve returned home when they greet you at the door.’

He added: ‘The waitresses made an effort to make small talk and bond with you. Even though it was just for a minute, it made a huge difference.

‘Some restaurants here have been emphasising service. But they still can’t match the kind of attention you get at a maid cafe.’

For undergraduate Darrell Tan, 24, and polytechnic student Kitto Chia, 19, it was about experiencing the concept.

Though prices were higher here compared to other restaurants, ‘the food was nothing to shout about’, said Mr Tan.

Kitto said: ‘To me, having waitresses dressed up and the extra attentive service are just bonuses. They don’t matter to me.’

So will the schoolgirl concept be as warmly received? Vince is ambivalent but Kitto said he prefers the maid idea.

He joked: ‘I like the feeling of being treated like a master.’

 

The NewPaper

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New Faces Hit Airwaves

30 Sep

New Faces hit airwaves
New Face finalists make radio debut to garner votes
By Yeoh Wee Teck
September 30, 2010
 
 

THEIR radio debut wasn’t as scary as they thought.

VOTE FOR ME: The New Paper New Face 2010 finalists Nikki Tay, Arrian North and Michelle Theseira.
TNP PICTURE: JACINDA YEO

The New Paper New Face 2010 finalists made their way to the Radio 91.3 studios to record radio spots to garner votes for The New Paper Miss Popularity award.

These radio spots are played frequently throughout the day on Radio 91.3.

Said Raffles Institution (Junior College) student Nikki Tay, 17: ‘I was not nervous at all. I was just really excited because it was a novel experience for me!’

Only City College student Arrian North, 16, admitted to nerves.

But luckily, the producer recording her segment was pleasant.

‘They were very welcoming. So when I walked into the studio, it wasn’t as nerve-racking as I thought it would be.’

Recording wasn’t without incident though.

Nikki said: ‘It was really strange hearing my voice echo back at me during the recording and I kept giggling !’

Growling stomach

As for Arrian, her growling stomach was the problem.

She said: ‘During the recording, my stomach was growling. I thought they couldn’t hear it, but apparently they could because I noticed them laughing!’

That aside, Arrian said it was a ‘joyous experience’.

For one New Face girl, it was a mad rush.

Michelle Theseira, 19, had a test just before the recording.

She had to rush from that to the studio.

Michelle, a Communication and Information Design student at Republic Polytechnic, said: ‘It was stressful, definitely.’

Thank goodness then that the recording wasn’t a painful experience.

But listening to herself proved otherwise.

She said: ‘It’s the same as seeing yourself on video for the first time.

‘You think, ‘Oh gosh is that how I really sound like?’ and you tend to be very critical and self-conscious.’

Vote for your fave New Face

THE New Paper New Face is a modelling competition in its 18th year.

This year, it’s presented by Subaru MotorImage and is co-sponsored by Levi’s, InnerShine Berry Essence and Clinelle.

On Oct 7 at Takashimaya Square, one girl will be named The New Paper New Face 2010.

The panel of seven judges includes actress and New Face alumni Dawn Yeoh, celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee and top model Sheila Sim.

There is one category in which you can make a difference: The New Paper Miss Popularity subsidiary award.

To vote for your favourite New Face contestant, go to the official New Face website or get more details in tomorrow’s The New Paper.

As of Monday, the girls leading the poll are (in alphabetical order):

Arrian North
Cheryl de Mello
Noor Kamilah
Rachel Erasmus
Vivien Ong

Voting ends on Thursday, Oct 7, at 7.30pm.
 

The NewPaper

Amber Chia Selamat Lahirkan Bayi Lelaki

29 Sep

Ditulis oleh Nonie
  
  

ManggaOnline baru sahaja berjumpa Amber Chia Isnin lalu dan model popular ini mengesahkan bakal melahirkan anak pada Ahad ini. Alih-alih Selasa petang semalam, Amber telahpun selamat melahirkan seorang bayi lelaki seberat 2.8 kilogram.

Ketika ditemui kandungan Amber telahpun sarat dan dia menyatakan keterujaan untuk menerima kelahiran orang baru dalam hidupnya. Walau sarat mengandung, Amber masih lagi aktif bekerja dan sedang sibuk dengan majlis pelancaran Amber and Xavier (AX) Public Relations.

“Saya nak lahirkan baby secepat mungkin sebab perut semakin sarat dan berat. Namun saya dan suami masih belum memilih nama yang sesuai untuk baby kami.

“Dan pastinya saya akan berusaha turunkan berat dan kembali dengan bikini body menjelang November ini.

“Tak sabar rasanya nak mulakan kerja namun saya perlu berehat sebulan selepas melahirkannya. Mak yang akan menjaga saya semasa dalam pantang. Saya bernasib baik kerana tak banyak alahan dan sakit semasa mengandung cuma selera makan bertambah waktu itu,” ujarnya yang bertambah 19 kilogram berat badan semasa mengandung.

 

Amber and Xavier

Telahpun melancarkan syarikatnya sendiri baru-baru ini, Amber and Xavier (AX) Public Relations yang telah dirasmikan oleh Y.B. Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Amber yakin kemunculan syarikat ini bakal memberi saingan kepada pasaran yang sedia ada.

“Pengalaman saya sebagai model akan digunakan sepenuhnya untuk meningkatkan lagi industri fesyen di Malaysia dan salah satu caranya adalah dengan memberi khidmat nasihat kepada pelanggan kami. Buat permulaan, AX akan merangka perjalanan karier saya dan Daphne Iking.

“Syarikat kami akan menumpukan kepada produk tertentu seperti kecantikan, fesyen, gaya hidup dan produk pengguna,” ujarnya.

FOTO oleh FATAH SULAIMAN

Mangga Online

Sila Kritik Lakonan Dan Nyanyian Saya – Diana Danielle

29 Sep

Ditulis oleh Nonie
  
  

Buat pertama kalinya peminat dapat melihat kebolehan dan bakat sebenar selebriti jelita ini. Filem arahan Edry KRU, Magika membuka mata peminat sekaligus membuktikan Diana Daniella mampu berlakon dan menyanyi dalam filem muzikal ini.

Tidak dinafikan, watak yang dipegang itu amat sukar untuk direalisasikan, lebih-lebih lagi menuntut risiko besar apabila diminta menyumbangkan suara dalam filem tersebut.

“Saya bukannya penyanyi sebenar dan bakat saya hanyalah pada lakonan. Saya tak pernah masuk kelas vokal dan apa yang ditonjolkan pada watak Ayu, itulah yang terbaik mampu dilakukan.

 

“Ini merupakan filem muzikal saya yang pertama dan penglibatan bersama produksi ini benar-benar dapat mencabar keupayaan. Sangat sukar untuk berlakon sambil menyanyi dan takut jika saya tak dapat sampaikan mesej sebenar kepada penonton. Dan saya alu-alukan kritikan,” ujarnya.

Teruja Dengan Mawi

Satu pengalaman baru yang sukar dilupakan apabila digandingkan dengan Mawi. Baginya walaupun agak sukar untuk mencari keserasian, namun kedua-duanya berjaya membawakan watak dengan baik.

“Saya segan dengan Mawi dan tidak begitu selesa dengannya. Namun itulah yang harus ditonjolkan dalam Magika. Ayu dan Badang harus kelihatan janggal ketika bersama.

“Pada waktu itu, Mawi merupakan satu fenomena dalam industri dan membuatkan saya lebih gugup untuk berlakon dengannya,” katanya yang bakal muncul dalam filem Dalam Botol arahan Khir Rahman.

FOTO oleh NOOR ASREKUZAIREY SALIM

Mangga Online

Best Friends Forever?

28 Sep

Best friends forever?
Ex-MediaCorp artistes Felicia Chin and Nat Ho talk about how they came to be good friends
September 28, 2010
 
 

THEY are such good friends that when Felicia Chin and Nat Ho left MediaCorp after their contracts ended in June, people were speculating that they had planned their departures together.

Chin is pursuing her studies while Ho is set on a singing career.

How did you become friends?

CHIN: If you ask me about the details, I don’t know where to start. All I can say is that our friendship is a natural progression.

HO: What I remember most is that about two years ago, after filming the Chinese New Year’s Eve variety show, both of us, together with (fellow actors) Elvin Ng and Dawn Yeoh, went to Chinatown to join in the celebrations.

We partied till 2am. We then bought sparklers and continued partying in MediaCorp’s carpark.

CHIN: Our behaviour was childish yet we were reminded of our childhood.

HO: This is one of the memories that I treasure. It is very hard to find real friends in this line.

CHIN: Can you imagine four adults playing with sparklers in a big carpark? We even made videos of our playing around.

HO: Around that time, Edison Chen’s sex photo scandal broke. When Felicia told me the following afternoon that she lost her camera, I went: ‘Oh my God!’

CHIN: I was very worried because our behaviour was unbecoming for artistes. Then again, I also thought that if the videos were posted on YouTube, we would be famous!

Is it easy to make friends in showbiz?

HO: It’s tough. Many artistes look out only for themselves. That’s why people say artistes can only be colleagues but not friends. It’s sad.

CHIN: A lot depends on affinity. I think I have few friends from MediaCorp as I’m not an expressive person. That is why I treasure my friendships with Nat and a few other colleagues.

HO: Felicia is like an onion with many protective layers that must be peeled off for anyone to understand her well.

She is always sensitive to other people’s feelings and often ends up being easily influenced by others.

As her friend, I feel the need to protect her.

Is it possible for platonic friendships to exist between men and women?

CHIN: With Nat, it’s possible. Although, personally, I think it’s not possible with other men. I have male friends outside showbiz and sometimes, I have the feeling they’re looking to be more than just friends with me.

HO: I have close friendships with women outside showbiz.

How many relationships have you had after joining MediaCorp?

HO: I’ve been attracted to a few women but it’s difficult to start serious relationships because I don’t know if the women are interested in me or if they just fancy being with a celebrity.

CHIN: That person is definitely not me!

What are your best memories of life in MediaCorp?

HO: There are ups and downs in an artiste’s life. My career highpoint was winning Favourite Male Character at this year’s Star Awards.

My low point came when I left MediaCorp. Some people said I left because I wanted more money. I don’t like this sort of speculation.

CHIN: I was very touched when my mother, older sister and friends cheered me on when I took part in Star Search.

And when I left MediaCorp, my colleagues and even other staff who did not know me well came to wish me well.

I thought they were very warm-hearted.

This article was translated from the latest issue of U-Weekly.

For more news on Asian entertainment, get a copy of U-Weekly, for only $2, out on news-stands today.

 

The NewPaper

BAD RECEPTION

28 Sep

BAD RECEPTION
Actor Bayu Kusuma Negara, who plays baddie roles, gets attacked in public
By Syahirah Anwar
September 28, 2010
 
 

HE PLAYS the bad guy who manipulates and torments people. He even plots murder on screen.

And he must be doing a pretty good job because some viewers of Indonesian actor Bayu Kusuma Negara’s dramas have taken it upon themselves to exact revenge on him for his on-screen exploits.

Bayu, who was in Singapore over the weekend for a meet-and-greet and to promote his TV drama Tasbih Cinta, told The New Paper that he has even been attacked by angry women in Jakarta.

He recounted: ‘I was walking around in a mall and a group of 11 ladies came up to me. I thought they wanted to take pictures with me, so I was all ready with a smile on my face.

‘Instead, they started hitting me with their handbags and scolding me, saying I am a bad person!’

Bayu said the mall security staff eventually had to step in.

He added that he was in such a ‘daze’ from the incident that he couldn’t remember where he had parked his car.

The 26-year-old said with a laugh: ‘One of the ladies, who was pregnant, even told me that she hopes her child does not turn out like me.’

Animosity

Why such animosity towards him?

Bayu blames this ‘intense dislike’ towards him on the characters he plays on long-running Indonesian dramas Suci (2007), Cucu Menantu (2008) and the on-going Tasbih Cinta, which opened in 2008.

It stars Laudya Cynthia Bella (see report), Andrew Andika and Helsi Herlinda, and can be seen here on Sensasi (StarHub Channel 123) at 7.30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

It doesn’t help that in Suci, Bayu’s character – a good guy who becomes bad – is also named Bayu.

In Tasbih Cinta, he plays an evil, manipulative playboy named Rafi.

Such is the following for his TV characters that Bayu said he has noticed strangers becoming more hostile towards him as his character became more unlikable.

Two years ago, when Suci was showing on Indonesian TV, Bayu realised he was increasingly getting snubbed.

‘The servants and helpers within my housing area used to smile at me whenever I left for work.

Role turns bad

‘But when my role on Suci turned bad, they refused to even look at me or acknowledge me.’

Even children have said they are afraid of coming close to him because they ‘fear I will harm them’, he said.

Bayu, who has been acting since he was 19, admits that the response he gets for his bad guy roles has made him slightly fearful of playing the baddie all the time.

As to why he always gets cast in such roles, Bayu said he doesn’t know.

Perhaps it’s the charismatic lad’s boy-next-door looks – perfect for playing the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

‘I would like to play something else aside from the bad guy! I feel sad sometimes because people react so negatively to my character,’ he said. ‘Hopefully I’ll get to play the good guy next time around.’

But such is the fervour for TV dramas in Indonesia that viewers get engrossed in the on-screen lives of the actors.

Actress Shenny Andrea, who starred in another long-running Indonesian drama, Dia, which started in 2003, was once slapped by a viewer who was upset over her manipulative character.

Despite the negative responses he gets from viewers, Bayu does not shy away from his fans.

He mentioned one he often thinks of.

‘A few years ago, I got to know this lady who was paralysed. However, despite her disability, she worked really hard to make me a ring using an empty pen ink tube…(she also) engraved my name on it.

‘It was a really special ring to me and I wore it all the time. Unfortunately, the ring slipped off my finger when I went diving.

‘Till today, I feel very sad to have lost that very special ring,’ said the actor, who is currently single.

Most importantly, is Bayu anything like his on-screen role?

‘Not at all! I’m the opposite of the character I play,’ he said.

‘I’m actually a sensitive person and I definitely have no intention of killing or harming anyone at all. So for me, playing someone that evil is really not easy.’

Good reception: Laudya gets advice from viewers

WHILE Bayu has to deal with angry viewers, his co-star Laudya Cynthia Bella seems to be luckier.

She receives ‘words of advice’ from viewers of Tasbih Cinta.

Said the demure 22-year-old: ‘I have people, especially elderly women, coming up to me and telling me, ‘Bella, don’t be too patient. You can’t keep letting them (the other characters on Tasbih Cinta) hurt you. You should take revenge on these bad people.’

In the drama, Laudya plays Bella, who is often emotionally abused and ill-treated by her family and friends.

The soft-spoken girl, who used to be a model, has appeared in other Indonesian dramas like Cinta Bunga and movies like Kuntilanak 3.

Laudya said she can relate to her character as she is ‘patient and strong in real life’.

But she said that unlike Bella, who remains quiet no matter the emotional roller coaster she goes through, she has her limits.

‘I can get really moody’

‘I can get really moody if something goes wrong and my moody character can drag on the whole day. If I am provoked too much, I will definitely snap,’ she said.

But the biggest challenge about getting into character is having to turn on the waterworks once the cameras start rolling.

‘Personally, it’s very hard to make me cry. I’m quite tough so I don’t cry much,’ she explained.

But months of playing the role has taught her to cry on cue.

She said: ‘When I’m on the set, my tears just come on their own. I don’t (need to) think of anything to make myself cry.’
 

The NewPaper

Drama Mama’s No Shock Jock

28 Sep

Drama mama’s no shock jock
Singer Adam Lambert’s glammed up concert here not enough for fans
By Juliana June Rasul
September 28, 2010
 
 

PERHAPS the most shocking thing about Adam Lambert’s concert on Saturday night was that no one really batted an eyelid when he leaned in for a brief kiss with his bassist.

PICTURE: AP

‘Not shocking enough’, was the verdict of one 54-year-old fan who wanted to be known only as Bee.

Lambert was the headlining act at the Padang Stage on Saturday, as part of the weekend’s F1 festivities.

In line with the name of his tour, Glam Nation, Lambert, 28, pulled out all the stops, not compromising on drama, singing and costumes, even in the Singaporean humidity.

The almost-full Padang erupted into screams when the singer came on stage around 11.40pm on Saturday, wearing a purple coat with fur and feathers and a black top hat.

Clearly out to entertain, Lambert ploughed ahead with his setlist, not bantering much with his audience.

When he did speak, it was to tell the audience that the theme of the night’s show was ‘love’.

TNP PICTURE: JULIANA JUNE RASUL

The theme could have been ‘drama’, considering all the costume changes and the dance performances, that would not have looked out of place on a theatrical stage.

In addition to songs from his album, For Your Entertainment, Lambert threw in two of his most famous Idol performances – covers of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire and Tears for Fears’ Mad World.

Showing the versatility he was loved for on Idol, he moved effortlessly from Middle Eastern moods (Ring of Fire) to rock (Sleepwalker) and straight-up pop (Music Again).

Slow was best

But the pace sometimes felt almost frenetic.

Lambert was at his best when he slowed things down, and doing vocal theatrics during songs like the operatic Soaked, penned by Muse frontman Matt Bellamy.

Perhaps it was the sheer number of people, or perhaps it was because Lambert, while entertaining, doesn’t quite have the catchiest radio tunes, but the crowd really got to their feet only when he broke into his dance hit If I Had You at the end of the night.

And having already made a name for himself for being over-the-top, his attempts at titillating the audience – which included pants with a bejewelled crotch and suggestive dance moves – came across as quite tame.

The kiss – a stunt he first tried at the American Music Awards last November – now seems to be a part of the theatrics of Lambert’s Glam Nation concerts.

He has pulled it numerous times while touring over the past year.

There were some mouths agape in the audience, which was filled with fans of all ages.

But the die-hards said it wasn’t anything they hadn’t seen before.

‘This is not the longest kiss he’s had on stage,’ said fan Siti Fatimah, 35, who’s watched other Lambert performances through fan videos posted online.

‘I expected to see more, but who knows, maybe he tamed it down for the Singaporean audience,’ said MsRezehy Ramzan, 24.

She had turned up with two of her colleagues decked out in Lambert-wear. Taking their fashion cues from their idol, they wore leather jackets and had glitter in their hair.

Like many others, they had queued up for hours before the event to get a good spot in front of the stage.

Ms Siti, a die-hard fan said she’s definitely hoping to see more from Lambert when she travels to Kuala Lumpur for his concert there next month.

‘I don’t think we saw enough from him tonight,’ she said.

 

The NewPaper