Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thank you for the music

Sepi and gown

A gaze for glory

Some of the world's best sounds I know come from people when they are doing group vocal warm up. Last night Roland led the vocal warm up before our performance and I thought the humming scale sounded like the most beautiful thing :)

And later as I looked on my reflection on the grand piano while Saidah and Roland discussed a few music cues, I admired the fine make-up I had on with my sexy hairdo and thought to myself, if not for Saidah and her vision and gift of music, none of these would be here...

the costumes, the cast, the words, the choreography, the hair stylists, stage managers, audience, front of house, musicians, TV crew....

It just touched me to be reminded that we are all here in the theatre everyday on a noble mission of bringing Saidah's pure genius to live audience. All the glamour that is seen on stage, in the hallway after a show, in the magazines, are results of disciplined rehearsals, studied music, endless hours of working together, activities that were far from glamorous...

This, I guess, it's what alluring about the performing arts, credits are due for all the backstage hard work, in exchange you get to bask in glory for job well done on stage and be showered with praises and respect for how you shine on stage.

It's harsh, but oh, so romantic.

Here's to M! The Opera...for it is a piece of work that has musical integrity and soul, it does not try to be all crowd pleasing, spirits lifting...keeping everyone happy with brain numbing tunes.

To Saidah who is the creator of the production who did not water down her writing for fear that people can't understand it or perform it. I thank her for not making compromises to the music and gave the cast the chance to challenge ourselves.

To us, who dare to be true to our souls and not conform.



Monday, March 27, 2006

Haven't you got a new job?

Before I start my ranting on the subject title, I would like to highlight to all what a babe sister I got (Fireangel said she gotta marry someone from the LEE family). SM said some people saw her (Yvonne Lee, The Sky Is Crazy author) at her last book talk didn't believe we are sisters.

"Wah, why...but Janet is so dark wor?"
" can this one be the elder one? I thought Janet is older."

Check out what Lydia Teh said about her other skill - PR.

OK so now my sister is her PR manager, an author of a bestseller, and a mother, music teacher, a wife.

Back to my subject of the day, since I quit my day job in September, I have been bombarded with annoying standard greetings from people, "Haven't you got a new job yet?"

Read this: THIS IS MY NEW JOB, freelancing, singing, starving, plus answering you lots on whether I have gotten a new job.


M! is closing in to its tail end for our first run in Malaysia. We have been getting mixed reviews but many feel that it's an incredible piece that can travel the world. It's thrilling to picture my obsession for the past one year to be touring round the world.

Time for the heartsick to start warming up for the ending. Some of us miss each other so much during break (today one cast member came online and told me how much she misses us TODAY, on our dark night), see, some of us spend more time with fellow cast members than meeting their parents.

I foresee some withdrawal problems after cast party, some people moving on fine and some will continue to meet for old times (mind you, we have been families since Jan 2005 ok!)...eventually we will run out of stories to share and old tales to reminisce upon. That's when we will truly move on to another chapter.

Sad right? I know I'm not the only sentimental fool here.

When money runs out I will need to figure out where my next cheque will come in from, what to do before my next gig comes along. It's romantic to be the real La Boheme character in reality, it's not that rosy but it's a life chosen.

I end with this....

outside 1919, end of 2004, with Jit's dog (someone told it's his)

She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight
She loves the theater, but doesn’t come late
She’d never bother, with people she’d hate
That’s why the lady is a tramp

Doesn’t like crap games, with barons and earls
Won’t go to harlem, in ermine and pearls
Won’t dish the dirt, with the rest of those girls
That’s why the lady is a tramp

She loves the free, fresh wind in her hair
Life without care
She’s broke, but it’s oke
She hates california, it’s cold and it’s damp
That’s why the lady is a tramp

Doesn’t like dice games, with sharpies and frauds
Won’t go to harlem, in lincolns or fords
Won’t dish the dirt, with the rest of those broads
That’s why the lady is a tramp


Saturday, March 25, 2006

M! The Opera...Extra show on March 28th


Wea re playing one extra show on Tuesday the March 28th (a no show night previously) due to the overwhelming response in the box office :)

Show details

M! The Opera

Date: March 23 - April 2, 2006

No show on March 27th -- EXTRA SHOW ON MARCH 28

For tickets..

Purchase at Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur


Buy tickets over the phone: 603 7726 2002

Online information -

Istana Budaya Box Office: 603 4026 5558

For more information: 603 2166 5946



Sunday, March 19, 2006

The beginning of the end of an era

This afternoon when I was getting ready for my make up check at Istana Budaya, it suddenly hit me that this is the beginning of the ending of my M! The Opera journey. I was saddened....

The show will open in three days, a year and three months after I auditioned at Istana Budaya. I think most cast members who have been on board since December 2004 could write a book on their experience with M! I don't think there will be another production like this in a long long time to come. The powerful time has created a special bond among cast members, the enthusiasm and passion for Saidah's music really do drive us together.

SM saw me today for a short time and said she felt like M! The Opera has eaten me up because she hardly get to see me. For months I have been telling her, "No I can't see you...I will be in rehearsal, till late."

All I ask of everyone is to come and see and listen to Saidah's music and the magic it has on you and the cast...and musicians.

It's a sad after M! -- missing it all already even before I start...

Read Kakiseni's story on Saidah Rastam & M! The Opera.



Friday, March 10, 2006


I'm so glad I attended the M! press conference yesterday, on Sri Endon award winners sponsoring some today's Star, nation news desk, page 16.

After sorting out my media clippings...I sneaked into the theatre and into Roland (conductor)'s rehearsal with the (western) orchestra.

Enchanted. Epostoflaunt.

They were rehearsing Sepi's first aria, Mr Wolf.

Too beautiful, I stood at the doorway and forgot to breathe...too moved to move away. When I recovered I took the nearest chair and sat there totally fixated on the music and I wish I didn't have to go home to work on some media papers.

Keeping this short, am finding it hard to translate the magic I experienced onto the screen, in words. Something, some magic you can't spell in words, you have to experience it.

Come experience the magic...

M! The Opera

March 23rd - April 2, 2006
Istana Budaya

No shows on 27th, 28th, 31st

blog - M! The Opera blog

tickets - Ticket2u



Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rain Dancers

I asked TV Smith what should I call this blog entry with the pictures he took earlier.

He said, "Rain dancers, taking KL by storm."

Taken towards the end of the shoot TV did on Michelle as part of media promo for M! The Opera. It was drizzling and there were leaves, sand and strong wind and Michell and I were having a ball dancing and jumping just outside Mandarin Oriental, on the way back to KLCC for refuge from the storm that was looming in the distance.

Watch out, this is part of a series of exclusive pictures and interviews by TV Smith, featuring some folks from M!



Saturday, March 04, 2006

Two and a half weeks....

Horray, M! is moving into Istana Budaya next week! It's exactly 17 days more before M! The Opera premieres. The conductor is dreaming music from the opera, the cast bursts into songs at any given time, the production team are falling in love with the music and our acting, and people throw lines from the opera in any conversations, make up artists talk enthusiastically about making our faces into stage creatures......we breathe, eat and sleep M! -- it can't get anymore exciting than this.

Finally did something about my arms, well, something actually happen to my arms yet but I took the first step -- after whining for months -- and bought this latex/rubber resistant band to use for work out. It's RM 26.90 and I can use it to tone not only triceps/biceps/etc, but also chest, thighs, back, ab, etc.

I hope to embrace this band with all diligence when we do technical runs at Istana Budaya. Imagine the number of times I get to work out between 9am (call time for cast on tech run days) and 12 midnight (if we have it good). It's that time of the year to really love the food at Istana Budaya...I think I can do with Malay canteen food for over two weeks. I wil slurp all that soya sauce with white rice and eggs, and imagine kangkung with chilies, tempeh for three meals (love it), tofu in kunyik soup...etc.

It's steady progress all the way in rehearsal room, with scene blocking and music marking done at the same time, with Roland's constant reminder on getting the singing right. I feel that the work is getting easier for me, especially when we have to run the same scene over and over again, marking singing and movement together -- the memory work is then half done.

Today's work was stressful and tiring, but the results were unbelievable and I think everyone left feeling justified.

I haven't been spending time planning my `life after M!' -- think void, lost. Haven't found my travelling mate for the Bangkok trip yet...go alone?