"A speech is like a woman's skirt: it needs to be long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to hold the audience's attention."
I have very little stage experience. The first that I could remember was in kindergarten where I was suppose to be a wind-up toy coming to life at night in a little girl's bedroom - I had Groucho glasses on for some reason and as it was a preschool production, porn did not ensue. When I was 15, I sang a song on stage during a Buddhist camp. I sang Miss You Like Crazy by The Moffatts (shut up, we all went through those years), beating an older guy who roped in a friend to play the guitar as he garroted Green Day's Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) with his vocal cords. My voice broke the following year, thus ending my budding musical career. When I was 16, I got roped into some kind of personality pageant in another Buddhist camp where I answered some Miss Universe-type questions and danced on stage with a really hot 13-year-old. I won that too, haha. And it's not creepy if the girl's age is my age divided by two plus sev... holy shit, it was creepy!
What I consider to be my best stage achievement was when I was 17 and was involved in organising a Buddhist meet. I was put in charge of coming up with games for the younger kids and designing the programme booklet. A buddy of mine was suppose to emcee and after he showed everyone how excruciatingly bad he is in the first few minutes, I simply stepped in, relieved him of the microphone, and took over the job for the next 8 hours, and the head organiser of the event came up to me and basically said, "This whole thing would have sucked without you". As you can see, I had an excess of confidence back in those days but I have lost most of it after my vampiric second ex-girlfriend siphoned all self-respect and dignity out of me between 2004 and 2006.
The freethinking and sceptical community of Malaysia does not have any official leaders and as I was the liaison for my side in the recent debate we had, I was automatically placed in one of the Very Important Poopyface seats.I later realise that I was expected to speak on behalf of perhaps one of the least understood demographic groups in our country. While I had appeared in front of crowds in the past doing many things, I have never given a speech in my life - so the fear of screwing it up was palpable.
Anyway, I just received the video recording of my speech in my mail, and for the first time, you, dear readers of my blog, will hear how I really sound like in real life. Prepare for disillusionment,
On my right was Le Fiancée™. Pastor Samuel, who gave us permission to use his church, was seated left to me.
You can read the original script of the speech here.
The podium was a bit low so I was compelled to hunch over it just so I can read my note. I didn't intend to achieve much. I just wanted to appear affable, relatable and human, which is how most atheists are really like in real life in an attempt to mirror the contents of my statement. That is also the reason why Willie, our debater, did not focus his arguments in attacking the worldview held by his Christian opponent (and half the audience) but instead, opted to simply explain where we are coming from. We did not seek to turn anyone to our side. We sought to be heard and understood.
Aaanyhow, there is now video evidence of my existence on the internet! Kok Sen Wai 1, Jesus 0. To all you faithful believers who kept your faith in me in spite of the lack of proof, unanswered
P.S. The last time I was seen on stage was in 2009 when I got accidentally cast as the lead in a sketch for my med school's Annual Night. You can read about that here, if you are one of my stalkers.
RELATED POSTS: The First Ever Atheist Versus Christian Debate in Malaysia, where you can watch the debate proper.
No Winston Churchill,
k0k s3n w4i