Pam Oei: The first time I …

Pam Oei: The first time I …

Actress Pam Oei talks about the first time she realized life was too short and the night she popped her buttons

Thespian Pam Oei is a familiar face and voice in the local theater and television scene. You've probably heard her too, as one third of the comedy/cabaret trio -- the Dim Sum Dollies -- Oei does her civil duty in a public service annoucement exhorting passengers to give up seats to the needy.

This month, catch Oei in a "Crazy Christmas 2010" (December 2-19; tickets cost S$29-S$69; get them from Sistic).


Assisi Hospice

… knew that life isn’t just “money, money, money”

“By my mother’s deathbed -- she'd been fighting breast cancer for six years. After her death, I decided to leave architecture and pursue acting full time. Life is too short. And I decided then that money wasn’t that important.”

Other reasons: Like most care-giving organisations, they’re on the lookout for volunteers to help with patients, to enquire after volunteer opportunities, go to

Where: Assisi Hospice (820 Thomson Road; Tel: +65 6347 6443).

Drama Centre

… made strangers laugh out loud

“My very first play, "A Night Out With Michael Chiang" in 1994. I played a teenage ah lian in a beauty contest. When the first wave of audience laughter hit me, I was hooked.”

Other reasons: They’ve moved the Drama Centre to National Library (100 Victoria Street). Now it’s a 615-seat proscenium theater with 120-seater black box, VIP and function rooms. It hosts arts performances, go to Sistic for the latest performances in that venue.

Where: The old Drama Centre at the bottom of Fort Canning Hill.

Beauty World

… went “WOW”

“The original run of 'Beauty World' in 1988. I was 16 years old and was completely blown away by the musical. Jacintha Abisheganaden was a goddess to me. It probably remains the only musical that I know all the songs from.”

What: "Beauty World" -- written by Michael Chiang with music composed by Dick Lee -- is an iconic Singaporean musical that pays tribute to black and white Chinese soap operas of the 1960s. Since 1988, it's been pulled out of retirement numerous times to be re-imagined by directors. The latest was in 2008 (pictured) when W!ld Rice's Ivan Heng produced and directed it.

W!ld Rice

… flubbed my lines in public

“I don’t remember ever flubbing my lines and I’m not being cheeky. However, during the 2005 run of 'Boeing Boeing,' a fellow actress flubbed her lines so badly that I couldn’t continue with my next line. I hung my head down and could not stop laughing.

I pretended I was crying which didn’t make any sense to the scene either. Laughing on stage is what we call ‘corpsing’ and I think that particular corpse lasted half a minute. It was the longest half a minute ever.”

Other reasons: "Boeing Boeing" staged by W!ld Rice, a drama company that focuses on giving theater classics a unique spin ie staging Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" with an all-male cast. They also run a young & W!LD training programme for new actors.

Where: W!ld Rice (3A Kerbau Road; Tel: +65 6292 2695)


… went wild

“It was just after my A-levels and we went to let our hair down at Xanadu. During the song 'Push It' by Salt N Pepa, I pushed so hard that all the front buttons of my blouse burst open and I had to run to a nearby classmate and use his body for cover. Wild is not my middle name.”

Other reasons: While Xanadu at the Shangri La Hotel has closed down. Our recommendations on what’s hot in today’s clubbing scene will get you pushing as hard as you can; remember to fasten your buttons.

Where else: Zouk (17 Jiak Kim Street), Butter Factory (1 Fullerton Road), Zirca Mega Club (The Cannery Clarke Quay, 3C River Valley Road).