City Night Songs

Nothing like well-meaning friends, right? "The Setup", with Joel Tan and Nessa Anwar.

When I attended the City Night Songs rehearsal on Mon night, I was reminded of something that Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, once wrote about finding success in life:

If you want an average successful life, it doesn’t take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like.

But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:

  1. Become the best at one specific thing.
  2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try.

The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort.

In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people.

The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare.

And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it…

— Scott Adams, “Career Advice”

Why was this suddenly so poignant?

Well, traditional theatre requires actors to be good at one thing and one thing alone: acting.

"Parallels and Tangents", with Gani Karim and Oon Shu An.

But the way the actors have to multi-task for City Night Songs is friggin’ amazing – they’re not only actors in the traditional theatrical sense, but they’re dancers and musicians too.

Rehearsing "Voices Call Me Home" from CITY NIGHT SONGS. Nishant Jalgaonkar on guitar and lead vocals, Joel Tan on keyboards, Ivan Surya Tjahyo on bass, Nessa Anwar and Gani Karim on percussion, Judy Au and Oon Shu An (and everyone else) on backing vocals. A great song that's a love letter to a great city -- Bombay. (Photo Credit: Ngiap Heng Tan)

Having to do all these things consecutively (and sometimes, concurrently) is no easy task, and that they were cast to star in their various roles also points to their versatility and talent.

Oon Shu An and Gani Karim in dance rehearsals for CITY NIGHT SONGS. (Photo Credit: Ngiap Heng Tan)

So if anything, you can be assured that these multi-talented actors are gonna put up a great show over the weekend.

(click here if you can’t see the embedded video)

And coupled with a fantastic script that has Huzir Sulaiman as both dramaturg and director, you can see why I’m looking forward to seeing the show in its full glory.

See you there!

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

View all posts