Sunday, March 30, 2008

Coming soon to a TV screen near you... we get naked!

While some of the Naked Hermit Crabs were out there risking life and limb, braving the elements and leading other folks around Chek Jawa, a few other crabs were all comfy and prim and proper inside a television studio on Caldecott Hill. The reason? Because we're going to be on TV! *girlish scream*

The Channel 5 talkshow Rouge, hosted by the lovely Eunice Olsen, decided to do a feature on the Naked Hermit Crabs in conjunction with their Earth Day episode, to be screened on April 20th. And so, November and I arrived at Mediacorp studios for the recording.

The location was a far cry from our usual native habitats, and we had to dress up for the event. It's like a hermit crab switching over to a prettier shell! We certainly looked very different from our usual unglamorous, sweaty, smelly, soggy selves out on the shores (though the audiences did get a glimpse of November in her usual field garb from the Semakau footage).

Eunice is an extremely nice and approachable lady, and she was fascinated with our name and the things we Naked Hermit Crabs do. She also shared with us how as a child, her father would bring her out to places like Seletar Island and the Malaysian coast and look for seashore life at low tide.

The recording went great, and we spoke on various topics, such as the rich biodiversity of our shores and the threats they face, stressed the importance of raising awareness, and what people can do to help. November brought up the Triple Acts: eXplore, eXpress, and ACT! We also mentioned how this year is the International Year of the Reef.

Eunice was very pleased when we conferred her the status of honorary Naked Hermit Crab and gave her a guide badge. She was even more pleasantly surprised when we presented her with a copy of Dr. Chua's Singapore Splendours and pointed out the photo of the Giant Reef Worm, whose genus name happens to be Eunice! I know, it was a nice coincidence that really worked. And all the members of the audience went home with their own copy of the Guidesheet to the Amazing Marine Life of the Southern Shores of Singapore.

We got a real behind-the-scenes look at how television programmes like Rouge are produced and filmed, with all the editing and re-recording and bloopers. It really takes a lot of time and effort just to film a single half-hour episode.

(L-R): Michael, Lois, Eunice, November, Ivan and Vernetta

Besides us, the show recorded segments featuring people from 2 other very different groups doing their own bit for the community at large; there was the very brave and dedicated Lois Ng, who founded Studio You, which employs and empowers people with disabilities.

As well as the passionate representatives from ONE (SINGAPORE), which helps raise awareness of the fight to eradicate poverty; President Vernetta Lopez and Co-founder Michael Switow came to talk about the work they have been doing, especially with homeless migrant workers in Singapore who have nowhere to turn to for assistance.

So in general, I think it will be a very eye-opening show for TV audiences on how we as individuals can act to literally save the world in various aspects.

Take-home message: Each of us has the potential to contribute and help make the world a brighter and better place in our own special way.

Lots of thanks go out to fellow crabs Ley Kun and Bian, and Hannah and Vyna from Team Seagrass for coming to lend us their support, the other members of the audience for their applause, Miss Eunice Olsen and the other guests for such a delightful afternoon of sharing, and of course to the hardworking crew at Mediacorp like Vivian, Rahmat and Clarabelle for such a fun and memorable experience and for making this all possible.

We're certainly looking forward to having Eunice (the person, not the worm) join us on our walks in future. Maybe we could be fortunate enough to have Eunice (the person/the worm) come face to face with Eunice (the person/the worm)...

(L-R): Ley Kun, Vyna, Bian and Hannah

So now, not only are there Naked Hermit Crabs running around on Sentosa and Chek Jawa, in the near future you'll also see some Naked Hermit Crabs running around on TV!

(Cross-posted to Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs)