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

Monday, July 30, 2007

the good reminder...

Don't we all love it? A good night out with friends over dinner and silly drinking and non-stop laughter, jokes & entertainment (sometimes on others' expense if we couldn't help it)...let's face it, money can't buy the joy derived from genuine human friendship.

Anyway, I love coming home from one evening like that and having something useful to say to myself. A night such as this one.

Some thespians commented on a recent live performance they saw and started a discussion on singing and how a singer could kill a song. You can kill a song by singing just the right words, the perfect pitch and melody, but Merely the lyrics and the right pitch wouldn't give life to the song, not without your heart and soul pour into it.

Isn't that quite the simplest rule in performing? Do it with all your heart?

Quite the simplest and yet so easy that we performers ignore that from time to time. "You can't just say the words, all the right words, you have to mean all that you are saying...and singing." said M over some one's comment of some recent incident of rather, lack-lustre performance.

I came home fully alert even though it's bloody two in the morning, just chewing on those words in my head and thought to myself, what a great reminder for so many people, especially good for myself, particularly me, who's been putting too much time in worrying over stage fright and overcoming it.

I won't anymore, for as best as I can :) I shall spend my precious moments thinking about the music I'm bringing to the people I'm singing to, or maybe I do even that, I shall just focus more on the songs I'm presenting and what I am to mean, in those songs.

What a great reminder to start my week off, another great week in music-learning. Thank you M!

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Friday, July 27, 2007

how to photo-shop your pics - workshop by souldoctor, amateur

Been staying home looking at my music, preparing, practising, preparing, practising for performances in August. While I was putting together the flyer for my performance (details coming soon, very soon), I took a break by playing around with this fun thing call


hence the inspiration to two cents, very lay man indeed, two cents on how to flatter yourself :)

How to Photoshop-photoshop your photos
A short workshop by Soul Doctor, vain pot and amateur in photography (and photoshop-photoshopping)

most pics by TV Smith & Danny Lim
these pictures have been modified by myself, on HP Image Zone - it came with my printer/copier/scanner :)

why do you crop?

to focus on the subject -- in the case of a not-so-good composition, just cut away whatever that is distracting, or anything that isn't contributing to the photo.

to flatter -- cut away not-so-nice-hair, the bits of arms that you don't like in that shoot,

I give you an example of what I think, look more interesting after cropping, and of course, I also changed the exposure and the contrast.

Play around with Special Effects button
you never know what turns out, so why not?

to mask flaws such as skin imperfections, un-attractive colors, etc. To add character to the subject, etc.
in this case, you see how now even the crease on the dress (imperfection) don't look so bad now..
these next two shots I took on my own with my phone camera. For this one, I added this feature called 'soft-glow' under one of the special effects
and this one, another reason to photoshop your photo is to make low quality (low resolution) photos look more, interesting and fun, instead of just, bad quality. This was taken in my room and the lighting was bad and the phone camera didn't help so I decided to make one version like this...

one other example, I use special effects on this shot (with good friend Nell Ng) to mask the fact that part of this photo is not sharp...

Color me badd

playing around with the color plate toolkit, even the black and white ones are good to try. Changing the tone (temperature & saturation) and colors can make incredible change to a photo, giving it totally different tone/emotion to your original image. See this example...I think the images say it all.

an another example, a shot I took of group Fancy Poultry, changing it to black and white gives it a cool vintage look
more examples of use of new colors for your photos...this one I took of myself, on camera phone



For photos that are otherwise is too dark and unclear


another example -

ok, I think you should get an idea now (you better!), of what's all these about...have fun. Back to work for me!



Monday, July 23, 2007

Purrr of satisfaction

The one thing you can do to pamper yourself, in your bachelor flat, is to whip up a simple dinner for yourself, and the simple meal that you simply cannot go wrong, taste damn good, that, is living a good life for me.

I bought my first rice cooker, ever, today. Local brand, Faber, RM 108. It has a switch button for you to choose cooking porridge or rice, damn cool.

To go with the rice, I made my first Chinese lotus roots soup, with lots of ground peanuts and black beans, and flavoured mushroom roots.

And I fried two eggs with lots of chopped garlic.

Results? Heaven.

It's been grand, I'm a god-ma, half done with the 1 Utama Merdeka Fun Fair coordinator job (look for exciting details of the fun fair!!!), I got some equally exciting shows coming up.

And I've got food in the fridge!!!

Have been really, seriously undisciplined with proper diet. The only decent food I had at home for the past two weeks have been milk & cereal...then towards the end of last week I resort to instant noddles again.

Now that I have a rice cooker, I feel like a superwoman in my kitchen. For a die-hard carbo-addict or rice-lover, the possibilities of rice-cooker meals are endless...

Egg-rice - pour in seasoned beaten raw eggs into freshly cooked rice in the cooker, close lid and let it cooks for a few minutes and have a hearty meal! Variations - add raisins, cheese, butter, garlic, onions....mushrooms, hmmmmm.

Butter rice

Cheese rice

Vegetable rice, perfect with the steam-plate that comes with the cooker...

Raisins & butter rice


Here's to a good life head for me, with lots of home cook meals.

*Anti climax update*

Was looking to download the pictures taken of me with my godson Max on the 18th to blog here....not found in any of my memory cards, except for whole load of silly party pictures.

Grave thought came upon me, I must have accidentally deleted all of them from the card!

Also lost are the pictures taken of my sister and Nell with Max, and Max's parents.

If they found out I deleted their pictures with Max they'd probably want to kill me....they won't be the only ones.

Am taking a deeep breathe...gotta move on, gotta move on, gotta have more pictures taken with Max.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another very good book, for anyone

"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion."
- Robert M. Pirsig

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
- Richard Dawkins

The book is The God Delusion



Monday, July 16, 2007

The Class of July 2007...the people of Starmaker Music Theatre Bootcamp

the 1st
Starmaker Music Theatre Bootcamp

SOME of the campers

Amanda, stunner, under-aged siren
Ayu, quiet beauty
Chedd, bubbles...

Daniel, out go Jammie Cullum, in comes DANIEL!

Dima, little wonder

Gambit, cheeky bastard

Janet, soprano learns to dance

Keith, the beautiful body

Koay, passionate old school

Lina, lovely cat

Manuella, witty Belgian

Maya, already a comedian
Mazlina, alto of the house
Megat, the class hero
Muna, accidental comedian
Sandee, the thinking techy
Sofiera, cunning fox

Susheela, serendipity

Wai Hong, the actor
Zeghty, the class heroine

some of us campers are goin to sing the house down this Weds, July 18 at Attic. Come party?

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Three Little *itches and friends

There was music, friends and more Attic last night

all pics by Justin Tan unless stated

The performers
from left -
Zalila Lee, Zalina Lee, Janet Lee, Nicole Ann Thomas, Jason Geh & Justin Chan
pic by Amelia

Mama Zalina Lee, singing
Diamonds are a girl's best friend! Jazz mama of the night..

Nicole Ann Thomas, the actor, the pet rescuer, the Tori Amos, the Alicia Keys, the Kate Bush...rolled in one.

Janet Lee, Soprano learns to rock....learning, learning...

Jason Geh, the piano man

the incredible Zalila Lee, conga & vocals

Justin Chan, guitar & vocals, sexy both on and off stage

The Candyman action


Nell & Gavin

Juliet Jacobs

Veronica Shunmugam & Zalina

Llew Marsh & Mia Palencia

Fadzilah, Amanda, Manuella & Keith Yew (`graduates' of Starmaker Music Theatre Bootcamp, June 26 - July 8)

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