Flower Power: an Interview with Jeremiah Choy

Ng Yi-Sheng

August 23, 2016

The Cast of Five Easy Pieces with Bouquets
[Source]

Over the weekend I recorded an interesting online exchange with Jeremiah Choy, the Front of House and Hospitality Manager, over the importance of artists looking after the flowers SIFA gives them.

Chatting with him at Solo Live Painting, I found out a little more about the work that goes behind the selection of the bouquets, and how he personally feels about flowers (not much, as it turns out).

NYS: Have you always been in charge of flowers for SIFA?

Jeremiah: I did it for the first year and this year, because last year I was doing SG50, and I didn’t have time for SIFA.

NYS: How do you choose the florist you want to work with each year?

Jeremiah: I go through quotations and all that and make them do presentations. Before I appointed them, I spoke to them about The OPEN and SIFA and told them what the programs were, and the florists presented to me what they proposed to do for different productions.

For example, for Hamlet, since Evgeny is the main actor, we will then design a bouquet of larger flowers, which is more masculine in nature. For Five Easy Pieces, we had gerberas, which are colorful flowers for children. So things like that. And of course there are different types of flowers that we present to the directors and the cast.

NYS: Is it difficult to justify this expense to the higher-ups?

Jeremiah: I don’t think we need to justify it. It’s not a huge expense. But I always feel that flowers are a token of appreciation from us, the Festival, to the performers and the creators. It’s really a small token compared to everything else.

Of course, different people react differently to the flowers. For me particularly I’d say I do not want to receive flowers, because for me, it is a waste of money. I love flowers, but for my personal productions, I’d rather bring people out for a good dinner. But then again flowers are beautiful to give and I’d definitely appreciate it if someone gave them to me.

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  • 2016