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

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

Konsert Amal: Artis Dan Sedia

29 Sep

Ditulis oleh Rosli Manah
  
  

Penyanyi yang terlibat dalam Konsert Simfoni Amal Diraja: Harmoni Itu Indah sudah bersedia untuk menghiburkan pengunjung konsert di Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya (PICC) yang dijadualkan pada  2 Oktober ini.

Konsert yang dibawakan oleh Yayasan Diraja Sultan Mizan itu membariskan Yasin, Jay Jay, Fazli Zainal, Alyah dan Farhan. Sarimah Ibrahim akan mengacarakan majlis tersebut.

Konsert yang diuruskan oleh Hadgente Event Management dengan kerjasama Teroka Sdn. Bhd. milik komposert ternama Manan Ngah memuatkan lagu-lagu malar segar dan lagu-lagu terkini.

Yayasan tersebut ditubuhkan untuk masyarakat dan menyokong serta membantu usaha pengekalan identiti seni dan budaya bangsa dalam membela nasib anak-anak yatim, ibu tunggal, petani dan pihak yang memerlukan.

Manan menambah, bukan bersandarkan faktor populariti yang menjadi batu pengukur pihaknya memilih 4 penyanyi berkenaan, sebaliknya ia bersangkut paut dengan keupayaan mereka mendendangkan pelbagai jenis lagu dengan baik.

Tempahan boleh dibuat dengan menghubungi pihak urusetia Yayasan Diraja Sultan Mizan di talian 09-6251131 atau 09-6261131.

Antara segmen menarik yang dimuatkan dalam konsert tersebut ialah nostalgia lagu-lagu malar segar ciptaan Manan Ngah seperti Ku Keudara Lagi, Sekadar Di Pinggiran dan banyak lagi.

“Latihan bermula sejak kelmarin. Alhamdulillah segala-galanya berjalan lancar,” kata Alyah ketika ditemui di studio latihan di Keramat Permai, Kuala Lumpur malam tadi.

 

 

 

 

Mangga Online

CHELSEY ON TOP DOWN UNDER

29 Sep

CHELSEY ON TOP DOWN UNDER
S’pore-born Miss Transsexual Australia says her parents are proud of her
By Charlene Chua
September 29, 2010
 
 

HERE is a little-known fact – the winner of Miss Transsexual Australia 2010, Australia’s first transgender beauty pageant – used to live near Orchard Road.

Ms Chelsey Mikimoto was born in Singapore to a Malay-Dutch mother and a Chinese-Japanese father.

She migrated with her family to Australia in the mid-90s at age 10.

Now an Australian, the show producer, illusionist and cabaret performer – her productions include Divas Of Asia, Shanghai Follies and Tiger Lilies – resides in Melbourne.

Ms Mikimoto, who is in her 20s, told The New Paper: ‘I was born to a family of conservative, working professional parents.

‘However, they have since accepted me and are proud that I am a filial daughter and have a successful career.’

Humbling

Of her experience in the pageant, she said: ‘It was humbling…meeting beautiful and talented people who feel that there is a place in society for transsexuals.’

Ms Mikimoto, who speaks fluent English, Mandarin and Cantonese, added that it was the pageant’s organiser who had approached her to take part in the competition.

People she worked with in the entertainment sector also egged her on.

However, she admitted that she never thought she would win.

After all, that vision seemed so far away from the life she once led here.

‘I grew up in a middle-class suburb close to the city where Nintendo games, music videos and superbikes were all the rage.

‘Life then consisted of hot, balmy mornings listening to my neighbour’s piano recital a few doors away and watching my neighbours’ maids accompany their children to school.’

Although born biologically male, Ms Mikimoto said that she never identified with being one.

Growing up, she liked girlie things.

She dreamed of parading in beautiful gowns and experimented with her mother’s make-up and clothes.

One Christmas, she placed her name on the Barbie doll meant for a female cousin.

School, however, was an all-boys primary school here before the family moved to Australia.

Her fond memories of Singapore include sunny afternoons at Sentosa, watching uniform-clad national servicemen strolling with their girlfriends along Orchard Road and eating at Newton Hawker Centre.

But it wasn’t always a walk in the park where her parents were concerned.

When they first learnt that she had the desire to be a woman, her mother broke down.

Her father, she said, was more accepting of the news.

‘They did call me the next day and asked me what they could do for me. I told them not to worry.

‘All in all, it took them six months to come to terms with it. I finally went for a sex-change operation two years ago.’

She had visited a psychiatrist who diagnosed her with gender identity dysphoria – a condition in which individuals identify emotionally and psychologically with the other gender.

She moved to Australia at age 10

For five years before the surgery, she lived as a woman.

During that time, she underwent hormone replacement therapy to feminise her facial and bodily features.

Other than physical changes, she also took the time to ‘greatly reflect’ on what it meant to have the gender change.

Now, when Ms Mikimoto visits Singapore, she will proudly do so as a bona fide beauty queen.

She said that she no longer has any relatives living here.

She has also lost touch with her schoolmates here since she moved to Australia.

‘Each time I return to Singapore, I notice (there are) more skyscrapers and shopping centres.

‘Also, many of the stalls that I used to frequent at Newton Hawker Centre have all moved.’

S’porean to compete in Thai pageant

DO NOT call Cheryl Ng a transsexual.

Consider her a woman who wants to do Singapore proud in a transgender beauty pageant that will be held in Thailand in November.

Just last month, Ms Ng – better known to her local fans as Cheryl Isabella – was told via e-mail by the organisers of the Miss International Queen pageant that she has qualified as one of its 25 finalists.

The lone Singaporean in the group this year, she was chosen from a total of 1,000 international applicants.

Ms Ng, who is in her early 20s, said: ‘I want to make my views known on topics such as world peace, saving the environment, and age and gender discrimination.’

This is the sixth annual Miss International Queen pageant and Ms Ng is the fourth Singapore contestant to have taken part.

Fair skin

A model and illusionist, Ms Ng said that she was born a hermaphrodite and although she was classified as male at birth, she looked like a girl.

‘My face was a girl’s face and I had very fair skin. I also had very little hair on my arms and legs.’

The term hermaphrodite is used to describe a person who is born with ambiguous genitalia.

Ms Ng said that she dressed as a boy until she turned six and has ‘lived like a girl’ since then.

Because her birth certificate registered her as a boy, she wore the boy’s uniform when she attended a co-ed primary school.

The boys, she said, liked her because she looked like a girl even though she wore their uniform. She claimed that she’s had boyfriends since she was in Primary 5.

‘I have always lived my life as a normal girl and have many girl best friends. I don’t mix with transsexuals.

‘When I went for blood tests (before the sex-change operation), the doctors found that I had very high levels of female hormones. Also, my level of male hormones was one-tenth that found in a normal male’s body,’ she said.

Last April, Ms Ng completed her sex-change surgery which she said she had saved for since she was 15.

The operation, which included breast implants and was done in Thailand, cost ‘around $30,000’, she said.

Her supportive parents also helped her foot part of the cost.

Said Ms Ng, who’s currently single: ‘There are some ex-boyfriends whom I would rather forget about. And the truth is that I want to date a female-to-male transsexual.

‘They are very handsome and gentlemanly. There are also many guys chasing me at the moment. They message me on my Facebook account and say that they don’t mind that I’ve had a sex-change operation.’

She had met an ardent suitor some time back in her work as an illusionist here.

Some of the magic tricks that she has performed on stage include escaping from ropes and a strait jacket.

Ms Ng said the 21-year-old man comes from a wealthy family and has offered to buy her a house and a car.

But she said that she rejected his offer as she wants to take her time before jumping into another relationship.

‘For now, I want to focus on my dream of becoming a runway fashion director.

‘My life now is a far cry from when I dropped out of polytechnic as I was in depression.

‘Don’t call me a transsexual. Call me a girl.’
 

The NewPaper

Did The Diva Dive?

29 Sep

Did the diva dive?
Reportedly pregnant Mariah Carey, here for F1 concert, takes a tumble on stage
By Germaine Lim
September 29, 2010
 
 

WAS it her skinny stilettos that failed Her (hefty) Majesty?

LEGEND OF THE FALL: Mariah Carey falls but is quickly heaved up by her dancer. Despite this, she goes on to hit the right notes with her fans.

Or could it be that the stage was simply too slippery?

We could make excuses for US diva Mariah Carey all day.

But she did make it happen – as her hit single goes.

The 40-year-old pop star fell on stage while performing Make It Happen for thousands of spectators at the Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday night.

Barely 10 seconds into the song – her third for the night – Carey slipped on stage.

She was wearing a black mini skirt and what looked like five-inch heels.

In true Carey style, the melodramatic theatricality of the fall – which was more like a float – befits the bigger diva she has become.

According to the National Enquirer, she reportedly piled on 26kg in the last two years and now tips the scales at 87kg.

What made Carey’s tumble more worrying is that she’s said to be expecting after showing up with a fuller figure in Brazil mid-last month.

Online photos also showed her preference for loose-fitting clothes over her usual wardrobe of skin-tight dresses.

PICTURES: YOUTUBE, THE STRAITS TIMES

Carey has never officially addressed the pregnancy rumours.

But a reliable source told The New Paper that a member of Carey’s entourage confirmed that she’s indeed four months in the family way and that her crew was well-prepared in case she fainted or fell during her concert.

Indeed, the worst did happen.

However, it was as if the butterflies that she had once sung about caught her midway and guided her descent to the ground.

She didn’t show any sign of pain as an attentive dancer swiftly came to her rescue and heaved her up.

Clearly, her well-cushioned curves served her well and broke her fall.

Carey, who’s married to US host-rapper Nick Cannon, kept smiling and asked assistants to remove her shoes.

After the song, she joked: ‘You guys deserve a refund for that one. I’m going to do the whole show without shoes on.’

Carey’s avid fan, Ryan Ling, thinks the fall could have been staged.

The 14-year-old student told The New Paper: ‘I was shocked when she slipped and fell right in front of me. It seemed so dramatic. Maybe she fell on purpose to have fun with her fans because she was laughing about it.’

Carey tweeted yesterday: ‘Several hectic moments, (lol!) but I tried to swirl them into festive!’

Ms Camille Ho, a 34-year-old account manager, felt embarrassed for the singer.

She joked: ‘Maybe because she’s too fat and couldn’t balance on those heels.’

That’s not the only issue Carey’s recent weight gain seemed to have caused.

Throughout the 80-minute concert, she was often short of breath.

She was panting after the first song, Obsessed, and had to rest on a chaise longue on stage.

She then asked her assistant to remove her shoes which she called ‘a menace’, adding: ‘Having a diva moment. I’m keeping it real.’

‘Very breathy’

Mr Andy Tan, a 33-year-old researcher, admitted she sounded ‘very breathy’ in the first four songs.

He said: ‘No one likes the breaks in between. But from the reviews I’ve read, taking frequent breaks is typical of Carey during her concerts.

‘For fans, we’re just satisfied that she’s here to sing. Her voice is all I care about.’

Australian fan Karleigh Rodney, who flew in from Perth just for the performance, thinks those pregnancy rumours are real because of Carey’s fatigue.

The 26-year-old civil servant said: ‘She seemed very tired and uncomfortable, though she still gave her all. She also looked very exhausted from the heat.’

Student Ryan thinks that even if Carey was pregnant, she wouldn’t shy away from tottering in heels because ‘she’s a diva’.

Despite the less-than-ideal moments, Carey, whose last concert here was in 2000, still hit all the right notes with concert-goers, who gave positive reviews of her performance.

The songbird played up and poked fun at her diva status throughout the concert, during which she sang old favourites like Dream Lover, Always Be My Baby and the fitting encore song Hero.

When she couldn’t get an electric fan at the front of the stage to work, Carey said: ‘Can someone turn the fan on? It’s just more dramatic. Have you ever seen me in a video without my hair blowing?’

You tell ’em, honey.

 

The NewPaper