Meeting The Breakup List & Up Close With Benjamin Kheng

by - February 28, 2017

I'm so happy I cannot breathe.

Yesterday, 'The Breakup List' had its exclusive preview screening at Singapore Polytechnic and I was one of the lucky attendees to cover the event under Space Radio. Not only did I get to to be one of the first people in Singapore to get a glimpse of episode 6 of the Toggle originals series, but I also got to personally meet the cast of The Breakup List - Benjamin Kheng, Janice Chiang, Elliot Tan and Jannassa Neo!

As most of you (already) know, Benjamin Kheng is 1/4 of The Sam Willows, while Elliot and Janice are 2/5 of Tree Potatoes. The host of the event was 987fm DJ Joakim Gomez who is also my biggest radio crush and eye-candy. Drooooools.

Being in the presence of Benjamin Kheng, Tree Potatoes and Joakim got my fangirl fees all over the place and I could hardly maintain myself.

I even got to take a picture with Ben and was featured on Joakim's Instagram story, and he even commented on my Instagram post. As Ben was wearing my glasses in the photo we took, I swore to myself that I would never wash the gem that Benjamin Kheng touched with his bare hands and left fingerprints on.

Omg please ignore my ugly face I wasn't ready.

For those of you who have not watched The Breakup List series, it's a story inspired by Elliot's own breakup. Here's a synopsis:

Luke Tan (Ben), a mid 20-year old-ish who gets cheated on by Judy Tan (Janice), his girlfriend of 6 years. After getting dumped, he joins his friend Joe Khoo (Elliot), who was also recently dumped on a journey to mend their broken hearts. The then come up with the single's version of a bucket list 'The Breakup List', which is a list of thing they want to do now that they are single.

You know the funny thing about Singaporean shows is that they always have to come up with a very typical Asian name, and pair it with a very typical sir name such as Wong and Tan - and that to me is cringeworthy at another level. I also don't understand one more thing.

Who in the world would cheat and dump on Luke Tan???

To be honest, I've never been a fan of local TV shows as I find their acting super cringy and the storyline so exaggerated and far from what we really experience in normal life. I wouldn't be able to sit though a local TV show without having goosebumps. Sometimes, the actors may actually have acceptable acting standards, but the accent just ruins everything.

Take a look at the Ministry of Education's 2011 advertisement, Mrs Chong for example. All is well in the first few seconds of the ad - the lighting, the mood, the music and everything is on point. There is no dialogue about 1 minute into the ad and we are all feeling it... until Mrs Chong asks "What happened, Edwin?" (everything still smooth at this point), and Edwin replies "I'm really very tired" with his full-on Singaporean accent.

Spoiler, right?

Anyway, the good things about The Breakup List is that the storyline is very relatable since most of us have experienced crushes and heartbreak at one point in our lives. The cast have pretty good acting skills, even Benjamin. Okay I admit, I'm biased towards him because obviously, it's Benjamin Kheng. But truth be told I was surprised at his natural acting skills and on-point punctuation. Talent and good looks, now thats the package deal.

After the screening, we had a meet and greet session with the cast where we got to ask them questions and play games.

The games were kinda lame because it was basically 'who can tell me what Luke and Sarah ate for dinner in the movie and you'll win $100 Topshop and TopMan vouchers' kind of thing. I would have participated but I have the memory of a goldfish.

There was also a photo-taking contest. In order to win, we had to take a picture at the Photo Booth right outside the event hall, which was set up like a bed. Not really sure what beds have to do with this, but if you consider the fact that I have to temporarily leave my bed every morning for school then I guess it makes sense.

I would say that Ben, Janice and Elliot are one of the most intellectual public figures I've ever met. On the topic of inspiration and passion, the cast gave really good advice.

Ben: If you're gonna wait everyday for inspiration before you write a song... wait for inspiration before you write a pitch... you're only gonna work 1/8 of the year. The difference between amateurs and professionals is that they're (professionals) routinely inspired every day. You get up, you get to work and you seek that inspiration out. It's the same like writing songs, you need to write a 100 songs. You write 99 songs and you have that 1 hit song that's ready to put out.

Elliot: When we write ideas for Tree Potatoes, which is what we've been doing for about 5 years now, and the amount of ideas we generate is really crazy. We've produced only less than a 100 videos, but we've had more than 400 ideas. The more ideas you have, the higher chance you have of actually hitting something good. It's really a numbers game.

On the topic of criticisms and hates, the cast also had a few words of advice for those entering Singapore's harsh entertainment industry.

Elliot: In the industry, you must be willing to disappoint someone. But what's important is that you know who you are and anchor yourself, and that will really help.

Janice: There are 2 types of criticisms, and there is something called constructive criticism which I take to heart. I don't take to heart means things that people say, because haters will be haters. But I will take to heart if someone close to me wants me to improve on something. But really, you can't please everyone.

Do check out The Breakup List every week as they have new episodes airing every Monday and Friday on Toggle!

Love this post? Feel free to share and comment below or check out my experience at Space Radio here.

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