Wednesday, 30 November 2005

A Heartfelt (and Lengthy) Dedication

I can't believe it's been a week since opening night. Wow, time is certainly flying. Y'know what, given that I've not posted consistent updates on the process and progress of follow the light, I probably won't go over it all anymore (though I do have to write a retrospective thesis on the production, so maybe I'll post that up when it's done!)...but let me conclude by giving each of my cast/crewmates a personal message. This might bore non-Follow the Lighters, so you may choose to skip this next post. Incidentally (and just as a reminder), you can find out heaps more on the website linked in the previous entries below. So here we go:

My dearest darlingest Judi: Haiyoh! No need to say anythinglaaah! Everyone knows we're madly in love. Just with other people. :P I love you so much!! Thank you for being here for me!
Cat: Darling, what can I say? Despite our occasional creative differences, you took hold of the reins and steered us to the grand finale. Thank you so much for sticking with me and for making FTL what it was...you are a great director and a wonderful friend and I am so blessed to know you. xoxoxx
Brian: Mate, if there's one person I can say with full confidence that I'm glad to have met and got to know so closely, it's you. "Dude, you rock!" Your dedication to the project has been inspiring, and you're such a talented, versatile performer. You'll go far dude, I know you will. I love you heaps. Not in a gay way.

Dave: Trooper Dave! Buddy, don't you know, you can only go far. You've certainly taught us what it means to be a team player, and you've always been faithful to FTL thru the good times and the bad. Your talent is amazing, and I'm so glad to have been able to allow you to show off in the way you did, hahaha! Everyone says "Gabe rocked!" Gabe rocked. And rocks. God bless you with all the good things you deserve.
Anne-Marie: Oh my God, such talent. Sweetheart, "you came as a big surprise! You've come and opened up our eyes!" The moment you sang, we knew you were the one. And you were the one. You've got such a charismatic stage presence, such a strong vocal ability, and such a beautiful, beautiful personality. Darling I love you, thank you for bringing such strength and passion to Mary - characteristics which could've come only from yourself. You'll go far!! xoxox
James: Babe, what can I say? Nothing - because I've said it all already. :)) You're such a fabulous person, a multitalented performer, and I am so lucky to have got to know you much more closely thru FTL. Here's to more great collaborations in the future! Love ya...in a gay way. hahahahahaha! Oh dear.
Janelle: My darling, thank you so much for being part of this. Doesn't it spin you out that over a year ago I mentioned FTL and suggested you be part of it?? Hahaha! Sweetheart you're beautiful and with such an amazing voice and talent. I'm so proud of you, and I deeply appreciate your support and encouragement. God bless you!! xoxox
Rachel: Crazy, beautiful Rachel! You've been so much fun to work with, and you've done such a marvellous job even though I know you don't think so! Thank you so much for being part of the show and for injecting such cynical humour into Narrator II, hahaha! Love you heaps, and am definitely looking forward to working with you again in the future!
Mel: Your endless optimism and energy has been a constant encouragement for me to keep going even when the going was rough to the point of exhaustion! Thank you so much for believing in me & the project, and for your invaluable help and contribution to the show. Thank you also for bringing Shepa such sharp, wicked life! I can't wait to start on the next adventure with you and the gang. Lots of love! xoxox
Cameron: Aw dude, the one fella I wish I'd been able to know better than where we are now, it's a shame we didn't have as much rehearsing time, comparitively. Mate, you're such an awesome performer, and you brought such a whingey (heh!), nervous edge to Bob that I can't imagine anyone else doing. You certainly are a star, mate, and I'm certainly proud and happy to have been able to work with you on this show. Here's to more in the future. Best wishes, buddy!
Donna: Darling, you're another beautiful person who I wish I could've worked with more closely than we actually did. Your constant enthusiasm and passion for the project was an inspiration to us all, and your support and help - even now, when the show's over - is always deeply appreciated. You've got an amazing voice and are a very talented performer, and I know you, too, will go far!! All my love and best wishes. xox
Danny: Mate! You're a crazy man, absolutely crazy, but oh so absolutely fun to hang out with, and with a great talent. Your FTL solo just keeps on goin'! I wish you all the best for the future mate, and thank you for being part of this absolutely crazy, crazy journey. God bless ya.
Luke: Luke! Luke! Luuuuke!! Buddy, you rock! With that wild hair and the beanie! haha! Dude, it has been a blast working with you. You're, like, this totally crazy dude who's so much fun to be with and who injected such whackiness into your character. I'll never forget "Peace!":P Mate, I hope to be able to work with you again. All the best to you and Shell, look after yourselves, and keep on smirking. xox
Trinh: Beautiful, multitalented Trinh....God has blessed me with your friendship, and I'm so thankful to Him for you to have been a part of this show. Thank you for your support, your graceful presence, and for all your help inside and outside of the production. I'll see you around, I'm sure! Love, Nick :)
Emily: You certainly are a character, Em! But you're a fabulous one, and such an amazing person with such a talent for performing. Thank you for being part of FTL, and especially for helping with the dancing. I wish you all the best for the future, and hope to see you around soon! xxox
Zoe: Sweetie, you're another amazing performer who brought such vibrance to the show just by being part of the team. Thank you for your support, encouragement and involvement, and I know you're destined for greater things! God bless you, and all the best! Much love!
Sarah: Another year, another show, hey, Sarah?? You've always been a terrific friend and you're so talented, what with your singing and acting and oooh look! Costume designing! :) You certainly are a lifesaver, Saz, and I'm so grateful for your involvement in this show. We'll work together again, I'm sure of it!! All the best! xoxox

Alex: Mate. You. Are. The. Best. End of sentence. I can't believe what a blast it has been working with you. You. Rock. Words. Fail. Me. And. Yet. I'm. Still. Going. Okay. I'll. Stop. You know how I feel about ya. ;) Not in a gay way. HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, it's still funny. Love you heaps, mate.
Jules: Jules! Jules! JULES! Aaah! Mate, three years, three shows, and it just keeps getting better! Thank you so much for everything - the support, the patience, the talent! Dude, your talent! You're amazing hey, on the drums and the guitar and just by being there with your suggestions and crazy chat! Let's never stop working together. Just bring on the booze and the bong!!
Andrew: Andrew, you rock. I'm so glad we've managed to work together again (after a momentary lapse in communication, hahaaha), and your contribution to this show has been absolutely invaluable. I know there'll be more to come. This is only the beginning, you crazy man you!! God bless ya mate.
Alisha: Oh, darling, what can I say?? Another crazy show, aye?! Thanks for always being there for me when I gotta bitch and whinge and gripe and groan and moan (especially the moaning. Good Lord, the moaning). Let's get majoarly drunk very soon again! Love you heaps! xox
Kiera: Thank you so much for being part of this, sweetie - it's been absolutely fabulous working with you again after, what, two and a half years?? Let's hope this is the start of more fantastic musical moments together! You're gorgeous!! xxxox
Ben: Ben, mate, what a trooper! thanks for your constant encouragement and advice, very much appreciated. I know you'll make it big, dude! Here's to more collaborations in the near future!! :)
Jasmine: J, thanks for everything! I know we haven't spent much time together, but you're such a talented musician and you've made my violin sound more melodic than it's been for a long, long time! Hahaha! Keep up the musicmaking because you're definitely fabulous at it!
Ingrid: Ingrid, what can I say? You walked in, smiled, and the room stood still. :)) You're such a talented musician; thank you for contributing so beautifully to the show! xoxox
Emma: Crazy Emma! You're a strange one, but honey, you rock! Thanks, too, for being part of the show, and I know we will definitely work again together in the future! God bless ya! xox
Tim: Aw, bro, I'm so sorry things didn't work out the way we'd hoped, but I'm so grateful for your help and support mate. You absolutely are a star. Thank you for being part of the show, and for helping us and constantly encouraging us and cheering us up with your jokes. You rock!

Carol: Haiyoh! Darlingah, without you all the tickets will be all messed-up loh! Haiyoh! :)) Thank you thank you thank you for everything you've done, for Fall the laughs and comedies and your friendship. Love you! Weh! xxox

And last but by no means least, a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to the following wonderful people, without whom this show could'nt have been accomplished. In no particular order: my heartfelt gratitude and deepest warmth and affection - Beattie, Justin, Jade, Chris, Phil, Geri, Seanne, Arnold, Geoff, Jenny L., Jenny deR, Paul, Mel M, Matt L, Clare, Anita, Jason & Joe. You guys are the bomb, and I am eternally indebted to you for your help, love and support. xxox

Thus officially concludes this blog's series on Follow the Light. Until next time, keep on smiling, take care, and God bless you all! Sincerely, Nick.

Monday, 28 November 2005

A Retrospective Rambling

Contrary to the post I just posted, like, ten minutes ago below, I shall actually talk a bit more about the show. First of all: we were insane. Insane. Two months, my friends, to stage a show that would usually require at least six months of planning. I mean, think about it. Auditions. Casting. Rehearsals. Costumes. Lights. Sound. Props. Sets. Music. Publicity. Programmes. It was crazy! CRAZY! And in seven weeks! September to November... that's it! That's all we had -- and yet, somehow, we managed to piece it all together. The end result? A show that has been (in all humility) labelled (by audience members, not by ourselves): "Spectacular". "Fantastic". "Great music". "Uplifting!". "Moving". "Entertaining". "Vibrant". Among other positive adjectives.

We opened on Wednesday night to quite, I felt, an appalling performance, mainly because there were so many technical hiccups (the mics didn't work properly, the music was too loud, the lights were off-centre, etc)... and it was extra traumatising for me because my examiners were in the audience. Granted the technical stuff led to there being some negative feedback, but thru it all, the fun element was conveyed and as far as I've been told, people had a good time. Thursday night's performance was even better with fewer hiccups (the crowd cheered at the very end, loudly, too, which was very exciting!). Friday, even better... and then there was a slight lull for the Saturday matinee because of a limited (read: small) audience.... before a great performance Saturday night for the closing, which ended with impromptu speech-giving and gift-presentation in front of the crowd. Then it was off to the cast party!! -- but that's another story for another time.

Anyway... it just spins me out as to how we managed to do this in seven weeks. I mean, up until August (with the great Gout incident that delayed everything to hell!), I was still working on the script and the songs, fine-tuning, editing, re-editing, rewriting, discarding; and then September we had the auditions (including the great "Can't Find Enough Actors To Fill The Wise Men's Shoes Incident"), after which there was the great We Need To Somehow Work Out A Rehearsal Schedule incident..... and then late September rehearsals commenced.... and went through October... and intensified in November... and then before we knew it SHAZAM, we were in the theatre performing it. Good Lord. Jesus must've been pleased with us. Or perhaps just pitying.

There have been many many highlights, and unfortunately quite a number of lowlights too. I think the highlights are the friendships we've made, the laughter, the fun, the awkwardness of trying to learn how to dance, the sheer joy of hearing and seeing it all come together.... and among the lowlights? Lack of rehearsal space. Disorganisation and loss of commitment among key members of the exec team. Fights. Conflict. Clashes in vision. Actor tantrums. You name it, it occurred. Oh, and emotional entanglements. Don't even get me started. Affairs of the stage and affairs of the heart should not mix. Good heavens, what a trip. What a trip.

You know wot some religious people believe? If you do something for God, then God tests ya by seeing how faithful you truly are and how determined you really are to make something work. Kinda like, He goes, "so you're gonna stage this for me, hmmm??? Is that a fact now? Let's see what happens if we put a little stumbling block in the way...." (and cue us falling over). Otherwise, the belief goes, if you do something for God, then the Opposing Party goes, "hmm these guys are doing something for Good, we gotta stop 'em!" (and cue us falling over).

But still...somehow, thru it all, we persevered, despite (as previous posts will show) numerous temptings to pull the plug. And in the end? We made people laugh. We made people smile. We made people sing. We made people cry. We made Christians go "Jesus rocks!". We made non-believers go "Jesus rocks!". And we made each other proud of each other and of the gifts, talents and abilities we all have, not as individuals, but as a team. And I think that is the greatest thing we have to be thankful for...to whomever, whatever we believe in... that we have been given this opportunity to learn, grow, mature in life, and establish friendships, relationships, with some beautiful people: friendships that will last for a long, long time...

... and memories we will treasure forever.

I'm Back!!

Hi everyone! wow, i can't believe it's been so long since I've last updated, but at long last Follow the Light has come and gone! I'll talk more about it later because I've been sitting at this computer screen all day and the brain's pretty much dead, whatever few cells of gray matter that were remaining...but this is just a quick post to mention that I'll be back very soon, writing consistent updates and making sure that this blog is constantly... um... updated!

Yea, the show has been a hell of a journey which has taken up all my time and mental and physical energy, but things will resume shortly. Until later (which is likely to be tomorrow, assuming I can get to reconnect my phone line which was cut off due to the fact that I hadn't paid my bills) -- adios, sayonara, good nite and I LOVE YOU, BRIAN! Just something to cheer Brian up, God bless him. xoxx Nick

PS The FTL website has been updated, http://followthelight2005.tripod.com ... check it out for more info!

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Heheh!

Y'know, it's all going to be good. Blogspot is mostly a place to vent.

They don't call it 'drama' for nothing....

Come see the show!!

xxox NICK

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Before It Had Scarcely Begun

I'm sick and tired of not knowing my own script.

I'm sick and tired of not knowing my own music.

I'm sick and tired of making other people sick and tired by being so bloody disorganised and ignorant of what the hell I'm doing.

I suck as a director.

I suck as a conductor.

I suck at everything.

I give up. Leave me alone.

The Light fades. Darkness on a dismal stage.

You wanna know the truth? This is the truth. People said this was overambitious. Maybe the naysayers were right. I don't know. What I do know is, it's not working. And people are getting sick and tired. And I'm already sick and tired. But when other people get sick and tired, I feel like shit because fuck it, it's meant to be "my show". So my fucking inadequacies are pissing other people off, and it's pissing me off, and maybe I'm in way over my head here and maybe it's time to call it quits.

End scene.