Clowning around at Ocean Park

Clowning around at Ocean Park

Last month the Young Post's junior reporters had the opportunity to try their hands at becoming wandering entertainers at the popular venue. Here, they tell Joyee Chan what they learned that day

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Photo: Joyee Chan
On January 29, eight Young Post junior reporters underwent a wondrous makeover at Aqua City, Ocean Park's new marine-themed attraction area.

They transformed from ordinary theme- park goers to entertainers, working alongside Ocean Park's roving performers to bring laughter to the visitors. They also experienced life behind the scenes with technicians from the park's new Symbio! light and sound show.

This is what they thought about this extraordinary experience.

Leona Chen

Our day at Ocean Park began when, led by Eze, a roving performer dressed as the "Prince of the Ocean", eight of us sneaked backstage to the performers' area and looked around. After we put on our make-up in the dressing room, we stuck shark hats on our heads and went off to perform in the park.

At first, I was a little anxious about dancing around in a public area. However, it was rewarding when people smiled and replied to my greetings. Eze said this was exactly how he felt working at Ocean Park as a roving performer.

Taking his advice, I learned that presentation is one of the most important things in performing, so guests understand what they are seeing. Experience is also valuable; as the different reactions from guests can help you improve old tricks to entertain people better.

We also saw the park's new Symbio! show. It has a simple storyline about how the earth was created - two dragons chose to co-operate instead of being enemies forever. This made me think that humans should also strive to maintain peace in order to preserve our homeland. So from now on, let's forget selfishness, be sincere and create harmony in our world.

Natalie Fung

As a child, I always imagined being a roving performer in a theme park would be a piece of cake. But the visit to Ocean Park totally changed my view. We giggled all the way to the make-up room where, using colourful paints, I decorated myself as a compact clown. "Let's go!" yelled our entertainment guide. My heart was beating like a drum as I gazed at the thousands of visitors. We marched from one side of the park to the other, having fun with tourists. Rays of sunlight shone on my face and pride washed over my heart.

Our extraordinary expedition ended with the splendid performance of Symbio!. Under the pitch-black sky, sophisticated water graphics with sultry flames burst out of the surface of the lagoon. "Wow!" exclaimed everybody, in astonishment.

During my adventure, I discovered that Ocean Park is not just a place for roller coasters and lucrative souvenir shops, but a utopia filled with passion.

Natalie Chui

We had a fantastic time talking to performers and experiencing all the attractions of Ocean Park first-hand. For the first part of our visit, we had a chance to talk to one of the performers about his experience working there. He gave us a general tour of the artists' headquarters, the wardrobe department and the make-up room. Later on, much to our surprise, we "worked" as performers for half an hour, entertaining guests and making them feel welcome. At first, I was very nervous because I was worried about how we looked and how the audience might react. However, once we started performing, I felt excited and satisfied, especially when I saw their happy faces.

We also met the head technician of Aqua City's new extravaganza, Symbio!. This is an amazing technical show, featuring special water and fire effects that is shown every night. I was amazed to learn that the whole show was controlled using only five computers. What's more, the circular design of the lagoon means that you can view the show without any obstacles.

Minal Daswani

When we got to Ocean Park we were introduced to the "Prince of the Ocean". He took us backstage to put on make-up so we could perform in front of the guests dressed as sea creatures. While we were there we got to look at the costumes and experience what it was like to be a part of the Ocean Park entertainment team. It was an excellent experience.

When we were in our costumes (a shark's head hat) and had put on our make-up, we were ready to entertain. I was self-conscious because of all the people staring at us, but after a while I began to relax and enjoy myself. By performing I've gained some self-confidence.

Balwinder Singh

This visit to Ocean Park was unique compared with my past few visits. That is because, for the first time, I got the chance to go backstage and see how the performers prepare for their acts. We also got to put on make-up and perform. At first, I was quite nervous when I had to dance around, but then later I saw people smiling at the clowns, so I just did my best to show my talents. Through this process, I gained more experience and I was glad to make others feel happy.

The clown there was very funny and he taught me some techniques which I think I can apply in future. Being a clown is not easy as you must be confident in order to get along with others and perform well.

Before we left, we saw a dazzling extravaganza of water, fire, lights and sound. It was the new show called Symbio!. This is the story of a water and a fire dragon. The technical team responsible for all the special effects and animatronics used in the show told us that it was the world's first 360-degree water screen show.

Overall, I think that this workshop opened my eyes as I can now see how some people are really contributing to society. For example, the clown's main aim is to entertain people and bring happiness to them. However, they are also making themselves happy through this process. In another way, the technical team is also contributing to society by providing an exciting show for visitors to watch.

Janet Tam

It was a wonderful experience for me to go backstage and then perform in front of the visitors at Ocean Park. There were lots of colourful costumes for different occasions, such as Christmas and Lunar New Year. The wardrobe was really enormous.

Our tutor Eze, who has been working as a full-time roving performer since 2007, was humorous and fascinating. He taught us how to draw patterns on our faces, how to respond to guests and how to make them laugh.

We stepped slowly out from the backstage area, wearing shark hats. I was very excited and enjoyed playing with the guests in Aqua City. I found it very fulfilling, when I saw them laugh and smile broadly. Later we visited the Symbio! show control room, where we saw the five computers responsible for controlling the water jets, water cannons, fireworks, flames and projectors used in the show.

Sophie Cheung

As soon as we entered Ocean Park, entertainer Eze welcomed us and led us backstage. Here he began teaching us the essential techniques to being an excellent performer. He showed us how to apply make-up; how to stand out in the crowd; and how to make visitors feel happy.

Everybody was reluctant to go outside at first. However, as we gradually melted into our characters, all of our anxiety dissolved. It was absolutely astonishing; how easy and rewarding it was to make the park's visitors laugh. When we returned backstage, everybody had a big smile on their faces.

We asked Eze if he ever ran into somebody he knew, because the main reason we were all so inhibited at first was that we feared that we would see a friend while performing. He smiled, and replied that he would actually feel proud instead of embarrassed.

After saying goodbye, we visited the control room, which runs all the technical aspects of Aqua City. To my surprise, it was merely a small room with two workers and five computers. Apparently, all functions are programmed into the computers, and all the workers have to do is press several buttons at the correct moments.

Finally, we watched Symbio!. The story was conventional: the fire and water dragons fight, then the earth spirit urges them to be friends and, in the end, their friendship forms the earth and its animals. The 360-degree show was breathtaking - there were flame jets, fire on water and even pyrotechnics. After understanding what it took to build Aqua City and develop Symbio!, I can now fully appreciate the effort and work done behind the scenes.

Tacye Hong

This was my first workshop through the Young Post Reporter's Club. Before I became a roving performer, I first put on some make-up and also a funny-looking, shark-shaped hat. I then set off to greet the Ocean Park guests. At first I was really worried because I thought I looked rather strange in the outfit. However, after learning some skills from a professional roving performer, I finally managed to have enough courage to say "Hello" to the Ocean Park visitors. It was actually fun when I think of it now.

After testing ourselves as performers, our group visited the control room for the park's new show, Symbio!. The show uses advanced technology and just five projectors. The control centre was a really small room with only five computers controlling the water fountains, fireworks and fire jets used in the show.

I enjoyed the entire workshop very much, not just because I had a chance to visit Ocean Park, but also because the experience of being a roving performer was really unforgettable.


Junior Reporter Minal Daswani painted her 'clown' face before she went out to entertain the guests.
Photo: Joyee Chan


Junior Reporters said hi to everyone in the park.
Photo: Joyee Chan


Tourists took photos with our Junior Reporters.
Photo: Joyee Chan


Junior Reporters visited the control room of the Symbio! show.
Photo: Janet Tam


The Lagoon.
Photo: Janet Tam


The special effects of the Symbio! show.
Photo: Tacye Hong

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1 comment

Yip Chung Yin

16:37pm

Wow..
It seems reporters all have memorable experience in Ocean Park.
And the Symbio! show is attractive too!