[Gearing up for NDP]
The mood is tense at gate G2. Some are eagerly waiting for their turn to perform while others zip through as they exit from the stage. Blasting music can be heard. It is far from being calm.
Some 50 students from Junyuan Secondary School and Bendeemer Secondary School dressed as Jellyfish and Merkids - wait patiently for their turn to go onstage. This is the scene at the Concourse of The Float@Marina Bay.
Being part of the NDP is a waiting game. But Aqilah Adawiah, a Secondary 3 student from Junyuan Secondary School is raring to go. She is dressed as a Jellyfish.
Soon the Primary 5 students at the National Education Show today - a yearly feature in the NDP calendar - will catch her in action.
Students waiting patiently for their turn at gate G2
According to 3SG Poh Guo Hao from 1st Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment the students have been at the holding area since noon.
But 3SG Poh is not complaining. The Section Commander used to lead five men for outfield training before he was roped in to help out for NDP.
"I'm excited. It's not all the time that you get to be involved in NDP. I'm priviliged to be here," he says.
And neither are the students. They find time to occupy themselves - some play card games while others wait for their turn at the make-up area.
3SG Poh and commanders from his unit have been working hard at this since May. Each week, they accompany the students from their schools to the rehearsals and back. And before the students arrive, they spend their time ensuring that the students' props are in good condition.
While the work is not tough, the responsiblilty is heavy as it involves the safety of the students.
By 6pm the commanders and students assemble outside the F1 Pit Building in an orderly manner.
Performers assembling outside the holding area
They spend the next 15 minutes taking a short stroll to their respective gates for entry onto the stage. There, the student performers await instructions from the cue master.
A performer waiting for his cue to go onstage
As the cue master at gate G2 puts down his red light stick, a green one is waved. Within seconds, the students transit into Act 3: Growing Up.
While 3SG Poh and his team stay behind, the end is not in sight. The students are scheduled to make an appearance during Act 5 - and the waiting begins again.