Helping hands for stars of the parade

First combined rehearsal for the SG50 NDP 2015 at The Padang.
First combined rehearsal for the SG50 NDP 2015 at The Padang.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Ms Angie Soon, 48, is a make-up artist, while Mr Muhammad Ridhwan Mohamed Hussain, 26, is a spotlight operator. Both have a similar mission: to make the performers of this year's National Day Parade (NDP) look good.

For Ms Soon, chief executive of make-up training provider Cosmoprof Academy, the challenge is to keep the make-up worn by performers bright enough for the audience at the Padang, but not overwhelming for TV viewers.

"The performers are so far away from the audience.

"The make-up has to be bright enough such that the audience can see it, yet not so exaggerated that it looks bad on TV."

The 120 make-up artists under Ms Soon started work from 1pm.

"Because the make-up goes on early, we have to ensure that we use strong products that won't melt in our hot and humid climate," said Ms Soon.

As for Mr Ridhwan, his job is to sit atop a 16m light tower and ensure that the spotlight is on the celebrities and special guests when they make their appearance.

While it is a stressful job, he gets the best seat in the house.

"I have a very good view of the entire parade from up there.

"I get to watch the show and be part of it.

"This makes the job enjoyable."

While some 9,000 people behind the show ensured that everything went on without a hitch, those who enjoyed last night's extravaganza also did their part to make this year's parade a clean one.

Students Tan Jie Ying, 17, and Ang Ye Xiang, 14, bagged their rubbish as they were leaving the Padang. Said Jie Ying: "We are just doing our part for a cleaner environment."

Accountant Chan Cheng Fei, 44, cleaned up to set an example for his 10-year-old daughter, Joey.

He said: "I have been brought up to always remember to pick up my rubbish."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2015, with the headline 'Helping hands for stars of the parade'. Subscribe