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

Monday, October 30, 2006

The party during "life after"...

Work aside (not much done from the to-do-list in my previous post but it's progressing all right), I have been quite busy on the social is good for the doctor.

I get to make some decent food for my man. Vegetarian...sauteed mushrooms with garlic, french beans and cherry tomatoes, top with leftover smashed (yes, smashed and not mashed) potatoes from my party the night before...
The night before, Friday...the birthday do of Cris at her pad. I took this picture but I got no clue what provoked this half-synchronised group pose...of showing the middle finger to...the camera. We were happy girls with Captain Morgen rum :) It was a carbo fest with Cristina's divine menu of red spinach lasagna, grilled Portobello mushrooms, home made pesto for pasta, Nic's hummus, my smashed potatoes...and more carbo...The night before the hell broke with the sing-song girls. I was at Tan Sin Sim's recital at No Black Tie. Sin Sim used to see my vocal coach in KL, based in Singapore now, she came home to KL for this one-night-only recital. She sang to full house on Thursday night.Met up with her on Raya first day to do some shopping in my wardrobe for the gig. I had fun dressing her in quirky combination such as this...but nah, she didn't attempt this funky diva look in the end.
...ok she did use my black feather boa for her flamboyant number of Bernstein's Glitter And Be Gay. Her repertoire that evening include Mozart,Rossini, Lizst, Quilter, Dvorak and Strauss.
Another October birthday...hung out till wee hours and got Zal to blow out that big ass candle outside Starbucks on Saturday. Nic (right) was the one who bought the big ass candle from seven-eleven.
The first party after the musical was of course, the cast party. We laughed ourselves silly in a hotel ballroom and yes, I took the chance to dressed up, this is my new heels bought some days before the party.
And they dressed up too, Nazmin, Sherry from wardrobe and Dominique the costume wizard.And believe it or not, I actually got roped into performing a dance duet (is that what people call a dance for two?) of the Butterfly Lovers at the party. Seng Kiong from the cast whose creative juices were flowing taught me the routine few hours before the party and besides having a good laugh at myself, I learned quite a bit about Chinese dance. Thank you Seng Kiong!!! Check out the costumes he designed for the two of us. Pic by Melissa ToehAfter the slightly stuffy party at the hotel we adjourned to Top Room to wind down and chill with Junji Gomez and legendary Salamiah Hassan on vocals (magnificent duo) with piano man David Gomez on the grand.and guess what!! We got to catch Edwin doing Funny Valentine with David. Edwin wore his chic couture to the party, white tee with sexy tube from his Five Letters From An Eastern Empire costumes, and a vintage long skirt from his mom's wardrobe. Brilliant...I should ask him to guest write in my shopping blog.

While it sure looks like a full social life, I sure feel lucky that I have been busy sending quotations to clients, planning my schedule with other rehearsals and travelling...can't say that I have been working hard in my classical repertoire...

The cheque from musical cleared, first thing I did was to transfer most of it to my savings before I could even touch it at the ATM machine. Plenty of spending this year end so I have to be wise enough to `pay' myself in savings. These days my lifestyle calls for a better balance between splurging disgustingly and investing in my career as an upstart singer, gig wear, makeup, music, theatre...books, dry cleaning.

I can't complain, it seems I'm taking in everything ahead of me and truly, having a wild time.



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My second "life after..." this year

I might as well remind myself here, things I have to pick up quickly after Butterfly closed in KLPAC...

But before I launch myself into this to-do-list, I want to showcase one of the gifts I received before our final performance on Oct 15.

Edwin was our unofficial backstage photographer during the run. This picture is one of the many he gave us, in a CD with the other pictures he edited and presented to the team.

Jason Lai and I, we were Sijiu & Yinxin. On Oct 12, dressing room

Withdrawal syndrome is probably suffered by some of us, some in silence whereas some prefer to express it chains of emails. As usual, my seizure of post-show depression, etc, comes in unexpected waves, sometimes it hits me even months after a production.

We will all meet again on Friday, cast party. Strange for me, another chance for closure four days after final performance. I feel like going to the party all dolled up, to think I spent the last 4 months in sweat pants and Japanese slippers...half of my glamorous dresses collected this year were forgotten.

According to reliable sources (Thank you, thank you to all who had faith in my participation and work), I have made quite a leap in this production. Thus, I would like to ride on the euphoria of this knowledge and make my next few months productive.

To do list

1. character development homework for my cameo role in Red Street Diner before shoot in Nov
2. Learn the song for the shoot
3. Stay home, new books are growing into big piles
4. Stay home, new classical repertoire needs work
5. Update portfolio
6. Add Chinese repertoire for January first Chinese gig!!!
7. Homework for Papagena's duet
8. Renew passport
9. File news clippings, make scrap books
10. De clutter flat
11. Make appointment with income tax office
12. Update master contact list

Back to the musical, the team was busy exchanging gifts by the last week. Butterfly accessories seemed to be the popular choice, for obvious reason.

Even the men couldn't resist wearing them for pose...

from left, Wei Han, Suan & Edwin (pic from Edwin's collection)

And thank you Edwin, for your note in the CD pack...


From your debut in shadow to this shining performance bathed in light, I've watched you bloom into a stunning little performer. I know you're a believer in dreams coming true. You wouldn't be here otherwise. With every show, another of my dreams came true. This time, I'm happy that yours did too. It has been wonderful knowing you again.

Love always, Edwin

Will feature more backstage pictures from the production in my next post...



Friday, October 13, 2006

Why be serious when you can be silly?

Most of u already know what we look like smiling to the why not try out other kind of faces for the camera?? I showcase these wonderfully, silly, gifted bunch in the musical.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dama Christmas tonight

pic by Edwin Sumun on my phone camera
Without planning, some of us turned up tonight at the theatre with gifts for each other...Karen and I wearing gifts from Kim Siong.

Some of the souvenirs I gave out tonight...I really had fun packing each one.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Life in dressing room

Soo Suan looking up...Mooncake festival had our dressing room looking festive too



Friday, October 06, 2006

My baby step to the thing called acting

Background info - I started rehearsing for the role of YinXin in Dama Orchestra's Butterfly Lovers The Musical in May. It is now running at Pentas 1 in KLPAC till Oct 15th (the run has just been extended from Oct 8 to Oct 15). During the rehearsal period, I received both group & private `coaching' sessions on acting from its director and I have been incredibly fascinated by acting, a skill I used to think secondary to the ability to sing well.


Maybe I'm beginning to know why many starve to stay in the whimsical world of acting. Someone fortunate enough (or unfortunately) like myself, am surrounded by endless stimuli each day in the theatre, tempting me to explore this thing beyond superficial stage craft....emotions on stage , real, raw emotions on display and yet each move a controlled one.

I revisited yet again this thing called `affective memory' in my hot shower earlier. I stood under hot water exploring more than just soapy water, I revisit each recent or distant awful memories...and waited for the real tears and the real crying to arrive, like a surgeon looking for a tear gland in my body.

It came and then for I think, about 15 min or so, I cried and stopped, cried again and stopped and sometimes it got more intense than the last cry...

Then my body (and mind) tingled with the most strange sensation of achieving something I can't put a finger on it.

I was happy and sad the same time.

Maybe actors are a little like brain scientists? They know the little switches in their brains...

For weeks I thought about, talked about, crying on stage for theatrical purpose...or do you just call it crying on stage, or do you call it crying on demand?

Nic introduced this thing called `affective memory' to me maybe a week ago.

I made a kinda list of experiences which made me cried in the wasn't hard making the list. The hard part part for me is making the memory the trigger to my tear gland to start working.

Under the shower of hot water earlier, it was the first time I started crying on my own call and couldn't stop. While I wasn't sure whether I did the right thing in evoking the emotions I'm enthusiastic to have a go again at it....sounds a little sadistic to me now but I think acting is about being to communicate all kinds of feelings, including the worst, no?

While I grow my `experimental crying list', I wonder about the worth of an actor with and without the `crying skill'. What makes a better actor? An actor who cries on demand earns more respect or is that a cheap trick or maybe there are degrees of `crying on demand' so there is no clear cut way to judge an actor based on his skills in crying on demand.

It has been....I'd say a little more exciting than learning a brand new aria now because I'm both intrigued and rewarded by the mere thing called `acting'. Now I can't wait for my next cue for actors' place.

After show at the foyer wit Jason Lai, the lovable SiJiu in the musical.



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Butterflies done for first week

On my adventure with Dama's Butterfly Lovers.

We had a rather wonderful first week at Pentas 1. Tonight we will begin performance week 2. Meanwhile, The Star has today's Star Two - New Life For Lovers

Previous write-up in the English press
(haven't gotten hold of the Chinese press links to their reviews)

New Age touch from Dama NST Sunday People, Rosalind See, Sep 10

Poignant Romance Star article by SL Wong, Sep 15

Old Wine, Repackaged SL Wong's 2nd feature story on the musical, Sep 24

New take on classic love tale Dennis Chua, NST, Sep 28

There was a feature by Chow Ee-Tan (NST, New Wings For `Butterfly Lovers') on Sep 9, but I couldn't find the link...

On the side, some cast member turned hyperactive infront of camera...

Our show day buzz doesn't stop right till the point we say `goodnight' at the mamak near KLPAC. The warmth of the cast/production-member-cum-new-family feeling pulls everyone together over hot milos and crispy thosai.

Like any other production, I know once the run is over, you can only dream about having a future happy-happy reunion of people you slaved through the months with. I try to collect as much memories as I could in my writing, on my camera and etc.

We run till this Sunday in Pentas 1. Be there or be square.