Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bringing the Teehee to Singapore!

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking and Financial Services
Fans of popular YouTube icon, Ryan Higa, also known as Nigahiga, were abuzz with excitement on 1 September 2012. The Youtube star was in town for the first time to meet-and-greet his fans, as well as to hold a Q&A session. I was thrilled to be at the first-ever Ryan Higa Asia Tour.
Ryan Higa hi-fiving the crowd. Image courtesy of Zaid's Photographic Journey.

Held at Wave House Sentosa, the event started off with screams and wild cheers of excitement for Ryan when he came on stage to receive the crowd and join the host for the night, Aarika Lee, from homegrown Hip Hop band Sixx. The crowd had simply gone bananas when he greeted fans standing nearest to the stage with high-fives.
Some of the female fans were daring enough to shout “I love you, Ryan!” They squealed with delight when Ryan responded that he loved them too.
Ryan Higa and host, Aarika Lee. Photo Credit: 
Aarika then kicked off the Q&A session and asked Ryan a number of questions every Higaholic was curious to know. These questions were selected from a pool of Twitter entries posted by the fans themselves. These ranged from his personal fears (“What are you afraid of?”) to quirky ones like “Out of the YTF gang, who is the best roommate and why?”

It was an interesting mix of responses from the man himself as different questions were posed to him. Ryan had the crowd roaring with laughter the first, and cheering in unison on the next.
Ryan answering fan questions. Image courtesy of Zaid's Photographic Journey.
Aarika then invited two Singaporean Youtubers - Noah Yap (waitformelah) and Tosh Rock (Tosh13) – up on stage to teach Ryan how to speak Singlish. Using huge placards, Ryan was taught typical Singlish words such as “Bo Jio”, “Shiok”, “Chio Bu” and “Sian” and then applied them to situations acted out by the trio. Although initially uneasy and awkward, Ryan was able to pronounce the words with the help of the audience, and in a unique way that made the crowd crack up.
Tosh (left), Noah and Ryan. Photo Credit:
Aarika then invited Ryan to play Charades, where he had to guess a word or phrase in which someone is acting out. Two teams were formed, and volunteers were selected to participate in the game. Enthusiastic fans as we were, all our hands shot up like a rocket hoping to be chosen. Everyone, including Ryan himself, was thoroughly entertained and amused as the YouTube star made hilarious guesses at each player’s gestures.
Fans raising their hands hoping to be chosen. Photo Credit:
The activities came to a close as the hour passed. Fans waved furiously and bade him goodbye as he exited the stage. Reluctant to see him go, hordes of unwavering Higaholics followed him in a bid to get an autograph or a picture with him, but the crowd dispersed when it was clear he had left the venue.

So, what’s good?

Almost everything! The atmosphere, the sandy beach, the super energetic crowd and most importantly, getting to see Ryan Higa IN PERSON! Albeit a little expensive for a one-hour Q&A session, the fact that we were the first ones in Singapore (and in Asia) to see Ryan Higa in person for the very first time was just exhilarating. I was not feeling well but still went to see Ryan and stayed on till the event was over. Does that make me a true fan yet?

What’s not?

One of my personal complaints was that I did not know how to get to Wave House Sentosa! Like many of the Higaholics, I followed the directions provided by Google Maps and ended up in a children’s carnival at Imbiah Station. What a country bumpkin! I had to ask around before I managed to head in the right direction by getting the Sentosa Express monorail AGAIN to head to Beach Station. At Beach Station, I had to ask the staff AGAIN to direct me to Wave House and constantly worried about whether I was walking in the right direction. What was worse was that it was already turning dark and I felt like a blind person. Sentosa should put up more visible signs on Higa’s event.

Other than that, the entire event was a major success and I went home rejoicing over the fact that I actually saw Ryan Higa live in person.

Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard

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