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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

AdilanClub: 'How I became a sexually harassed uncle'

Unknown | 5:54 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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He must be Singapore's hottest uncle.

The Hokkien-speaking dude gave up what most men would consider a dream job - massaging models - to take up an office job, only to find that he can't shake his past.

Realising who he is, the hot, young women in his office sexually harass him in blatant attempts to get him to massage them.

While the uncle is irritated by the women's attention, people can't seem to get enough of him.

In just a week, a YouTube video of him being "sexually harassed" has gone viral, receiving more than 1.8 million hits and being shared over 1,000 times on Facebook.

Mr Toh Kia Hing, 53, who plays the uncle in the video, tells The New Paper on Sunday that he is nothing like his onscreen persona.

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For one thing, he readily admits: "In real life, I'd be delighted to massage pretty girls all day."

He also speaks fluent English and sounds nothing like the Hokkien-spewing uncle in the two YouTube videos he has appeared in to advertise job portals.

In real life, Mr Toh is a Hainanese who works as a sound engineer for concerts and conferences.

In his more than 30 years operating soundboards, he has worked with famous singers like Shakira, James Ingram and Anastacia.

And despite netizens raving about his performance, he is an acting novice. This is his first, and perhaps only, acting role.

He says: "I just studied the character and imagined how I'd feel to be in that position. I could see why my character would be frustrated."

In the first video uploaded two months ago, Mr Toh plays a massage therapist to professional models.

He complains about his tough job and having to work long hours, including on weekends and public holidays. It got about 138,000 hits.

In the latest video uploaded last Sunday, he has switched to a desk job that offers regular hours.

But there's a catch - his new female colleagues try to "seduce" him into giving them free massages.

They slip off their jackets, smile sweetly, flirt and tug at his shirt, hoping he would lay his magic fingers on them.

Most netizens have raved about Mr Toh's acting and local accent.

One wrote on YouTube: "He should win the Best Actor Award at the next (Star Awards). I doubt anyone can stay in character that well."

Another wrote: "His awesome Singlish makes me put this on repeat."

Someone else said: "How on earth can he take it and act so cool? If it was me I'd probably be in seizures."

Mr Toh's co-stars were just as impressed.

One of them, an international model and club DJ who wanted to be known as Ms Tenashar, 25, says: "That irritated look on his face when we were seducing him was brilliant.

"He was very good at delivering his lines with a straight face, especially since the scene we were shooting was so funny."

Another co-star, Miss Clovie Peck, 21, adds: "His comic timing was excellent. He's really funny."

Miss Rachael Sia, 24, says: "He presented the 'heck care' attitude really well. I think it's because he's used to seeing pretty girls after working in the entertainment business for so long.

"Most uncles would have been too dumbstruck or awkward."

Sheepishly brushing aside the compliments, Mr Toh says: "It was just the right role for me. I'm an uncle, and just observed the way other uncles spoke and copied them.

"Anyway, I don't really like to be in the limelight. I don't need the fame."

But people now recognise him from the ads, he reveals. Strangers have approached him on the streets asking if he is the "sexually harassed uncle".

"I say yes, and it normally ends there," he says.

He is also not affected by the online comments, some of them by netizens who are envious of Mr Toh's character.

One said that it's "my dream job" , while another wrote: "Uncle you are so freaking lucky... still want (to) complain."

Says Mr Toh: "These people have too much time."

So has he ever been sexually harassed in real life?

"Of course not," he says. "Who'd want to harass an uncle like me? Young girls don't like old guys. That's the truth."

Mr Toh is single and lives with his parents in a four-room HDB flat in Whampoa.

Ms Tenashar also feels few women would seduce an uncle in real life.

"It'd feel so weird," she says.

Adds Miss Peck: "It's the age difference. It'd be like seducing your dad."

Miss Sia says: "But I'm sure there's someone out there for Uncle Toh.

"He's intelligent, cool and funny. I hope he finds that special someone soon."

WHO: Toh Kia Hing, 53, sound engineer

CLAIM TO FAME: No acting experience. He got involved because he has known Mr Nicholas Lee, whose company made the second video, for more than 20 years.

HE SAYS: "Nicholas asked me to audition. I was just trying to help a friend out.

"To get in character, I kept asking myself, 'How did I end up in this position? Why are so many girls trying to seduce me?'

"The situation was ridiculous, but I tried to be professional about it."

WHO: Hazel Low, 19, full-time model

CLAIM TO FAME: She has acted in the movie My Lucky Star and models frequently for car shows, trade shows and other events.

SHE SAYS: "Throughout the shoot, I tried to be sexy and confident, but not sleazy. And I had to show this in my body language.

"I was trying to 'channel' Miranda Kerr, an Australian model who is a Victoria's Secret Angel. She's smart, looks angelic and has a good figure."

WHO: Clovie Peck, 21, student at SMa School of Management

CLAIM TO FAME: She has a role in a Hong Kong movie, My Lucky Star, starring Zhang Ziyi and Wang Leehom which has not been released yet.

She has also appeared in several advertisements - both in print and on TV.

SHE SAYS: "I was very lucky because my 'seduction' scene was the easiest. I just needed to lie down on a table in front of Uncle Toh and there was no physical contact.

"During the shoot, Uncle Toh was prompting me when to lie down. He was really very easy to work with."

WHO: Ms Tenashar, 25, model and DJ

CLAIM TO FAME: This FHM cover girl is of Spanish and Chinese descent and has appeared in many fashion films.

As a club DJ, she has spun the consoles at nightspot Avalon and the Formula 1 podium lounge. She also has a strong social media presence, with over 90,000 "likes" on Facebook.

She says: "We needed several takes to shoot the scene where I licked Mr Toh's face because both of us couldn't stop laughing.

"There were many times when his gaze met mine and we both couldn't take it."

WHO: Rachael Sia, 24, personal assistant

CLAIM TO FAME: The former dating consultant used to act in student films and has also appeared in a Triumph TV advertisement.

She has modelled for FHM and Stuff magazines, and won last year's Miss Triumph Girl contest.

SHE SAYS: "During the audition, I did a few pole-dancing moves and some head rolls. I stroked my legs and gave smouldering looks.

"I think that to look sexy on camera, you have to lose yourself in the moment and not think about yourself.

"During the shoot, I twitched an eyebrow suggestively at Uncle Toh. It's just a natural reaction for me, so I didn't have to practise."


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