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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

diary of me, 30 n rocking

before I proceed on diary of bla bla bla, I would like to introduce this new hair, it's new but it doesn't at all dramatically different or new in these shots, but am sure if I meet'll see how it's A BIT different now :)

the AFTERs
fresh out of Ken's hair Lab in Desa Sri Hartamas, I quickly snapped a few `Just Done' snaps...
I had to go back to Ken for a `re-perm' a day later because the waves were simply, quite straight...anyway now I know how to get something more dramatic if I want to, after a wash - some styling product and don't brush that hair after styling.

the diary:

Living it out with week long celebration of being 30 with girlfriends, I also indulged in a small series of....activities that further endowed my already well-endowed wardrobe.

Some funky super-over-sized pants, another fabulous green dress and more earrings later, I still haven't found a new housemate and am therefore, paying for the whole rental myself...

My housemates have been moving out into their own flats since I moved in here. What does it mean? Young Chinese people all eventually get their own flats. I also want one, not because I love investing or in home deco but living out of a flat in my name means security to me.

Put up an ad in the Star classifieds...and of course then it started, the lesson or training of putting up with strangers who would asked me for direction to get here but then go the other way to get lost, strange people who are overly flamboyant, eccentric couple, makes me shudder to think what other people might judge me if I were the one looking for a room...though I think I have always managed to appear safe and normal to strangers renting out the room.

Anyway, the update is....

there have been lots of nice gatherings with birthday as the excuse, I haven't been out to nice and slightly fancy restaurants for a while now, thanks to wonderfully packed (am loving it) schedule. Went to Relish and Bijou in a week, two new restaurants to me!

No rehearsal yet till at least a week from now.

So besides getting treated to nice meals, I go to theatres n play the audience; pestered J into giving small sponsorship to friends' play; shopping and I READ!!!

Somehow I have collected about at least 20 new books in just three weeks, who knows some of these would probably again end up on my shelf unread but just the sight and the thought of having new books to read is a fact exciting enough for me to stay calm when there's no outing to attend to...

Am reading Dina Zaman's I Am Muslim now and am totally enjoying it. I still have half of The Science of Happiness (Stefan Klein) to go, and not forgetting I started a bit of The Beginner's Guide To Changing The World by Isabel Losada (on loan from the witty TP Lim)...

(that might sound bloody snotty to some of you but heck, I just happen to know well what makes me tick. Whatever we read is our business, right Zal?)

Oh, of course there was also the audition for The King And I!

I got roped into it the same week the producer of The King And I (Istana Budaya, KL, July 2007) auditioned for the children ensemble for the musical, they want OUR KL kids to play alongside the non Malaysian cast.

It was quite a refreshing experience meeting all those children, some of them, such strong personalities for their age, some you can't help but think angelic when you see them...

After auditioning some 200 kids from morning till afternoon and smiling too much, we posed for the The King And I audition memory...

Sam, Soon Yoon, Wong, myself, Sabrina, Tony & Wen Jin

So check your papers come July and go watch The King and I the musical at Istana Budaya.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Potraits of a surprise party

A very good reason to be alive is when you know that you are loved, for whatever you are.

pics by Justin Tan
This cake is simply, just glamorous...
Anyway I failed the surprise test, I was too surprise to look surprised. Serious.
I think, if my memory hasn't failed me, this is my first birthday cake in many many years. I usually cut any birthday cake when there's a group birthday the one last year, and the one before, and the one before that. I suck at cutting this one, no training makes you bad at it, am not hinting for more cakes either -- I was just overwhelmed by the effort, hiding people in a room, ordering a cake like that, gifts and all that. But I guess my friends are right, we only turn 30 once...enuf said.

J and I

Sim & SeeMing

Peter dressed up the dogs for the party, a tie for Otto and hair clips for Olivia (somewhere in the room)

we love a good story at a good party


I was made to sing for my party, I made fun of the dog to nurse my stage fright but SeeMing was faster, she said the dog (Otto) was falling asleep with my rendition of Mei Hwa (Teresa Teng).

Hamsup King (KM) of Klang Valley with Esme, both footing Olivia (in black fur n red hair clips)...Cris chose not to look..

Forever our Sepi (of M! The Opera), Doreen and Cristina

Peter Ong, conductor of the party

Mia Palencia needs no introduction

Zen and Meiling saying hi to Olivia...

TP Lim, he is not just funny, he is smart

Zalina Lee

early to rise this morning, I wrote an email to my friends -

dear friends,

there's simply no better way to turn 30 than the way i did :)

Thank you for the good time last night, and the many happy ones before yesterday.

ok ok i know it's early morning but that's when i get really philosophical too....

morning-after-thought, i realise that i've been collecting more and more material things as i age, i buy bags, dresses, jewellery, shoes, books,'s easy to fall into a cycle of an almost eternal-more-for-more state of mind. but at the party i was reminded that the gems that make a life great are the ones i find in friendships, laughter, music and more laughs.

that dont mean that you wont see me at any more jumble sales ;p

here's to growing up, music and friends!


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I am 30

Here's looking at you going 30...pic by Peter Ong (yes, that opera singer!)

SeeMing asked me to check my things-to-do-before-30 and see how many checks I have. I don't have a list like that la...

Maybe I make a list of things I'm happy about turning 30 and everything else that I'm happy about, so far, ok?

1. best of all is my ability now to assert some self-control over how I react to circumstances and people's behaviour on day-to-day basis. It started when I kept having J told me the simplest advise of everyday life, "Already happened, why not make best out of whatever already happened." The simplest things like not getting upset and ruin an outing when we turned up late at a movie, or when I'm not given the hotel room I requested for...

The power of letting things slide and not let misfortunes put me down, it is a big powerful skill to have. It can't be easy all the time but with practise and patience, it changes my life.

2. performing full time. People still gasp with amusement (some with amazement I hope) when they see my name cards that say `Singer' next to my name. It's a true to honest thing I do, I'm embracing with all my heart of the advise I got when I first started singing - fake it till you make it. Can't say that I've arrived but am happy today to say that I'm still performing full time, should anyone question, I'd say that that fact alone says enough about what I've achieved.

One of the coolest things for me so far, in singing for a living is that I'm sometimes hired to perform songs that I grew up listening to. Those songs left deep impression in me, when my elder siblings were in school and I was home alone with only my mom's cassettes and her cassette player as my playmates. Who would have thought that one day I would be paid to perform those songs from my childhood? Simply wonderful.

3. J. loving every bit of having him in my life now, hope it lasts forever and ever.

4. continued my savings. For someone who isn't a bit ambitious in making the bucks (comparing with people who actually make plans), it's a wonderful feeling knowing that I have a small savings and it's growing.

5. taken driving test and bought a car. I still can't stop bragging how I passed my driving test on first attempt without giving in to the norm-under-counter payment. Owning a car and being able to drive myself around is really, one of the best things to have. On my faithful Sunny Boy, I never regretted having chosen the old rag, it's been 4 years and it runs! The car has seen some of the most glamorous people in it, gone to the best places in town n out of, old rag or not, it's one happening vehicle in town!

6. friends!!! A healthy life's support system!!

7. having done one supporting role in my so-called 4 years in theatre. The experience of working on a role has led me to discovery and realisation about the importance of acting for singers.

I was once the kind of singers who shy away from wanting to improve my acting skill, thinking that is an actor's concern and I should just honing my singing skills. Now I see that there is no such thing as making a niche in just being able to sing very well, in the business of things I do, show business, theatre, whatever you call it -- an actor's skills are as important as having your wallet with you when you eat out.

So that's my list for today. My wish for the life ahead is

better discipline, it makes me happy when I can time keep better and read more books, clean my room more frequently, sleep more, watch more DVDs...

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The pleasure of finding things out

That is the title of a Richard Feynman book that I read about a year ago, such a good title.

If I can say that I'm a fashion directory and phone directory to some of my friends, J is most certainly my directory to greater knowledge.

and he reads

Just to name some of books that he has bought for me, or pass down to me after reading -

Recent ones are

The Perfect Monologue (How to find and perform the monologue that will get you the part) by Ginger Howard Friedman

An Inconvenient Truth (The Crisis of Global Warming) by Al Gore

The Science of Happiness by Stefan Klein, PhD

How I Became Stupid, a novel by Martin Page

The Blind Watch Maker by Richard Dawkins

Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit? The Encyclopedia of Modern Life by Steve Lowe & Alan McArthur

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon

A Pocket Guide to Opera by Rupert Christiansen

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman

The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a candle in the dark by Carl Sagan

I love my directory to knowledge!! Hugs!!!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More from my lense

Got this interesting composition on my Nokia phone camera two nights ago...

Sunday night, waiting to go dinner before we left Genting after our last technical rehearsal before the Genting opening of Butterfly Lovers The Musical this Friday. Tan Wei Han & Jason Lai, waiting for Melissa at the hotel entrance (Production Stage Manager of the musical) to return from her car.
The actors play master n servant (Liang Shan-Bo and Si-Jiu) on stage, both at 26, one is already a veteran actor (in my eye) and one a bright young tenor...learning ropes from his `servant'.

Downtown in Sentul Park, I arrived at rehearsal an hour before call time so I played around with the camera after I chowed down my vegetarian burger out in the calm cool air in the park. Funky effects done with HP Image Zone software.

The park

me n my hair



Thursday, April 05, 2007

Reviews, audition & rehearsals

Done with battle of good and evil in Magic Flute, I'm back in rehearsal for the story of the, what I call, The Tragic Butterflies -- Butterfly Lovers (The Musical) for its Genting run; and in between rehearsals, I squeezed in an overnight in Singapore for some cabaret action, audition for Wild Rice's Beauty World (Jan 2008).

Flute finale, pic by Calvin Goh

The Beauty World hopefuls...behind me - Sushee, Wei Ching, Doreen & Trev
the dance audition was...beyond me. I was thinking, "Give me a week and I will deliver a more convincing version of this...8/8 routine.." The dance audition routine include some pretty amazing (for me) jumps, pirovets, splits and more twirls -- the kind of stuff that would have been friendly to someone who's done some basic ballet n jazz. I had fun dancing but I doubt my moves were anything close to impressive...

I was right because after the dance audition, I was told I didn't have to wait round for the next audition - a song and a monolouge.

But what do you know...

Three Malaysian hopefuls took bus and taxis to this audition across, a few states, an ocean (?) and two immigration checks -- apparently that was good enough reason for the PERSON on the panel to decide that he would listen to the two of us who got dropped after dance routine.

Doreen was the only one in our of group of 6 who was told to stay for the song n monolouge audition/round. We got into self-consolation mood quickly while we wished Doreen kick ass in her next round. While I was half analysing the outcome of the audition and chatting with the rest, the assistant came round and informed that Ivan (Heng, director) would like to see the remaining two KLites.

Stirred by the good fortune of our second chance, S and I went in and did our best for the Singaporean who believed in the good effort of coming to audition from KL.

After another round of quick chat and exchange of email adds with our new friends from Singapore, we took a cab to our hotel for the night. We met two zany taxi drivers during our stay there, one of performed a few Elvis hits while driving and we chipped in as chorus girls.

We wind down after audition n dinner at Jazz At Southbridge, thanks Sushee for the wonderful introduction to great Singapore jazz scene. Jazz bird Don belting it....
So there, I have my first experience of audition outside Malaysia, not forgetting also it was my first monologue experience. Unnerving they were but I think I could do more of these...though now some dance basics would do me good.

Home front, we at the Buttefly Lovers had techical run at Genting International Showroom
Jason Lai (Sijiu & Asst Stage Manager) coaching me on a Star-Trek version of our show, that's his version of an alien character in Butterfly Lovers

"Further readings"

Reviews of Flute
The Star
Malay Mail

Previews of Butterfly Lovers
The Star, April 3
The Star, March 29

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