Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Preparing to get Lost

Whoohoo! Tomorrow night (or tonight, rather, since it's already Wednesday!) marks the opening of the Short+Sweet Musical festival at KLPac, which also means, of course, the debut of my ten-minute musical Little Girl Lost. Yay! It's been quite an interesting process indeed - from the devising of the plot and the script last May right before and during my visit to Perth; developing it further when I got home; all the way to submission, and then acceptance into the festival, and then auditions, and then having to find a director and a suitable cast, and not to mention the limited time we've had for rehearsals... oy, what an exhilarating and exhausting journey!!

But I'm very, very proud of this piece despite its length (not to mention because of its length!). And truly, the people I've been working with - my very talented friend Llew Marsh, who's the director; as well as the cast: Elvira Arul, Janet Lee, Sandra Mannas Wolf and Fang - have been awesome. Everyone who's found out about our cast has described them as a "powerhouse cast". We've got the goods, babe! Now we have to deliver. And we will!

I'll leave you now with a couple of pics from Monday night's tech rehearsal and Tuesday night's full-dress run (click on 'em for fuller views). We open tonight (Wed) and run until Saturday night, so if you're in KL, please do come and support us! See the previous post for more info, k? And I've also updated my website (link on the right in the sidebar) with info on S+S. Okay, boys and girls - until later! Wish us all the best, and may we break legs! ;)

Nick, get out of the ladies' dressing room! Oy!


A view of the stage, complete with props/the set, from the vantage point of the keyboard


Haunting, isn't it?

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Like A Headless Chicken

Quick update - busy busy! Yesterday we had our first choreography workshop for FTL, and so I had to arrange for the multipurpose hall downstairs to be set up, while getting sidetracked with lending equipment to one of my former colleagues and returning Terry's GPS, all the while needing to get ready for a simultaneous rehearsal for Short+Sweet about 20 minutes away in KL. All in all, it was a little bit stressful, haha!! But it was all good, and I managed to get everything done without a hitch. Yay!

I'll write on the choreo session on the FTL blog shortly (or someone else might, since I wasn't actually there). Tonight there'll be one more FTL singing rehearsal, followed by another tomorrow, and then all this week I'll be spending nights at KLPac for tech runs and dress rehearsal of Little Girl Lost... not to mention the actual performances, which kick off on this Wednesday to Saturday! Whew, it's going to be an exciting week! On top of that, the music scoring for FTL is ongoing (and tediously time-consuming, arf), and I need to secure my musicians and plan band rehearsals very, very soon. Oy! What a life!

Anyway, here's the poster for Short + Sweet, for anyone in the vicinity who might be thinking of attending (click on it for bigger view). Please do come if you can - I'd love your support. And if you like my show, please vote us for an Audience Choice Award! ;))

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Dog and Toad

Hey everyone. Wow, tonight has been a little dramatic, pet-wise! Got a call from mum at half past midnight, which is, like, you know, highly unusual. She said Jodie had begun throwing up, and then hungrily drinking water only to spew further. And then she said she noticed Jodie's body being bumpy. And when I finally drove over, I realised that Jodie was listless and breathing very heavily, and that she was puffy, her body swollen. Oy vey!!

Between mum's call and my going over, I'd quickly got online and looked up the nearest 24-hour veterinary service just in case. Interesting factoid: there isn't one. However, there is an emergency vet service that charges a three-digit figure if you call to say you have to see the vet at an ungodly hour. I think this qualified as an emergency that required us to have to see the vet at an ungodly hour. So I called, and they said come over, and it was about a fifteen-minute drive, thanks to Terry's trusty GPS. (Interesting factoid #2: I called Terry, asked what he was doing, and before he could finish replying I cut him off with: "I need to borrow your GPS, it's an emergency!" Thankfully, he understood and was more than willing to loan it to us. Jodie's his favourite dog.)

So we managed to find our way to this Pet Hospital in PJ, and on the way, I noticed that Jodie had somehow grown less listless, more interested in the fact that we were taking a car ride, which I thought was a good sign. The spewing into my lap and on my shirt, on the other hand, wasn't. Oy.

We got to the vet's, and there we had to wait further for the doctor to show up, at least another 20 minutes. Not to sound unappreciative, but I wondered what would have happened if it had been a more life-or-death situation. Then again, I think the doc would've gauged the level of urgency through her assistant who runs the hospital after-hours, makes the necessary calls and lets the patients (both human and animal) in. Still, it was a tad frustrating having to wait. And when the doctor showed up, she initially seemed cranky, almost as if to say, "Why the heck are you bugging me at this hour?" To her credit, though, she was gentle and courteous enough when examining Jodie. I guess anyone would be less-than-jolly having to be on call at odd hours and having to leave the comfort of one's home for an emergency case. And let's face it, she did her job. She wasn't out and about to make friends at 2:30 in the morning, and neither were we. So it's all good.

So the doc gave Jodie an examination and gave her two shots, one to reduce the swelling, the other to reduce the urge to spew. In her professional judgment, it seemed like an allergic reaction. My first non-professional presumption was that she had been poisoned, perhaps unintentionally. (Interesting factoid #3: Just yesterday I saw a toad in the front yard where Jodie spends her time. Coincidence? Where's that toad now? Could it be that the slightly green throw-up that Jodie threw up was partially toad?) Doc reckoned toad poisoning could have been the culprit. I ventured that we had fed her some soup which had onions in it, onions, as it turns out, being deadly to dogs, right up there with chocolate and macadamias. Doc said not likely; a) the amount of onion would've had to be substantial to induce poisoning, and b) the symptoms didn't add up.

So allergic reaction it was decreed. Now if only we could know for sure what had triggered it off. I'd given Jodie a Vitamin B-complex doggy pill, for the first time, more than 12 hours before... could that have been it? Not likely. Should've asked the vet but I forgot. Then again, it's a multivitamin for dog (and puppies), manufactured by a reliable and established nutritional brand (for animals and humans), so... yeah. Unlikely, no? Earlier tonight Mum also fed Jodie a piece of cake. Again, not likely, unless there'd been something in the ingredients that Jodie not only had been allergic to, but which she'd never eaten before in other cakes. So... yeah. Unlikely, no? Oy. So what could it have been??

Anyway, long story short, Jodie's now back home; last I checked she was sleeping soundly, the excitement of visiting the vet (and sniffing and peeing and pooing to mark territory) having faded. We'll have to see how Jodie is in the morning, and if she's looking okay, great. We'll just keep on monitoring and hopefully she'll be in the clear. If not, the doc says we should bring her back for follow-up treatment. We're praying she'll be fine.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Walkies

Yesterday, after rehearsal, I came home and took my doggies Jodie and Chloe for long walks. We went separately: first with Chloe, and then Jodie, and took about 30 minutes each, which is longer than usual since the dogs usually have a routine of walking up to the nearby field and circling back home, which takes about 20 minutes.

The best part was when Chloe and I decided to break into a run, and we ran as long as we (read: I) could take it. It was after 9pm, the roads were empty, the night was cool and there was a breeze. When we stopped at the field, Chloe decided not to budge, which initially frustrated me. Then I realised that she was not immobile out of nervousness or fear, which she has demonstrated before; rather she was sitting on the cool grass, panting away, looking happy. So I decided to sit down on the embankment next to her, and she moved slightly so that her furry body was touching my back. We sat there for about five minutes, both of us panting, and finally I got up and said, "Let's go home", and we both trotted happily off home together.

It's moments like these that make me remember to look for joy in the little things.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Finding "Lost"

Hey everyone! Right now I'm in my folks' place, house- and doggy-sitting while they're away up north, watching reruns of Supernatural in preparation for the long-awaited premiere of Season 6! Whoohoo!! Heheh. Lately the musical-making has been getting more intense. Rehearsals for FTL as well as full music scoring for the band has commenced; and rehearsals for the ten-minute musical have intensified. We're about ten days away to the first performance of Little Girl Lost, and wouldn't you know it, as of this day we still haven't had a chance to rehearse with all four cast members, LOL! Yup, as I've previously blogged about, it's been a bit of a challenge finding the right person for the part. But we've finally got her, and this coming week is when she'll be incorporated into the existing ensemble to put together the full cast. Talk about last-minute, eh?? Wish us luck!

Earlier today we got to rehearse in a space provided by KLPac, who are hosting this festival of ten-minute performances. We managed to time our rehearsal with a stopwatch, and I'm glad to announce we're running at less than ten minutes at the moment, which is great. Yup, they're purportedly gonna be pretty firm about each performance not exceeding the time limit, so it's best to keep things as short and sweet (as is the name of the festival) as possible, heh!

Anyway, I'm gonna leave y'all with pics of Short+Sweet rehearsals, firstly at my apartment, and then in the rehearsal space at KLPac. Going to chill out now in front of the telly, and also take it easy for a little bit since I've been feeling a tad under the weather (again) lately. Methinks it's all the stress! Good times. ;) Okay, boys and girls - until next time... ciao!

Rehearsing by the warm light of the living room lamp

Director Llew directs two of the three cast members present

The third cast member, deep in thought


At KLPac, storming brains


All these little sketches and scribbles look sketchy and scribbly but are mighty significant!


In the rehearsal space. Can you see me?


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Just checkin' in!

Hi all! A quick note to say sorry for lack of updates. It's been round-the-clock working on FTL scores and rehearsing for that and the 10-minute show. Yeah, that's been pretty much my life. Except for last weekend, when I began to feel under the weather and didn't exactly get much done. But that's not terribly exciting news, is it? Heh. Consequently didn't get to meet up with Chris, Jade and Little Arielle again on Sunday, which really sucks. Oh well. Hope they had a wonderful time regardless. Anyway, promise to write again soon. In the meantime, check out the FTL blog for updates. Yeah, don't forget that the stuff I would usually have posted here are now being posted there. Heh. Till later!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Plottkes, Predicaments, Previews and Pics!

Hey all! Just a quick update: it's been a long day, and it's now almost 2am and I've got rehearsals commencing at 1030am (yikes) in the day, so this will just be a quick update. Oops I said that already. Yes, that's how bleary I am right now, arf. But it's been a productive day. It started with me preparing for solo rehearsals with members of the FTL cast (just one performer today; more on this on the new FTL blog soon!), and that pretty much took most of the late morning till the afternoon, prepping music scores and planning what and how we were going to rehearse. Then there was the actual rehearsal from about 4:15 till almost 8pm (yikes!), which was, all in all, exhausting but a really productive session!

Afterwards I hopped into my little Myvi and drove to the train station to meet up with Chris, Jade, Jade's sister Yolanda (did I spell that right?) and little Arielle, as they've been in town since the weekend but wouldn't you know it, time's been so tight that I've barely had any opportunity to see 'em! So it was good that I managed to meet them at the station before they hopped on the train to Singapore for a four-day visit; we managed to grab dinner together at a Secret Recipe outlet, and then coffee and tea at a Starbucks. We did as much catching up as one is able in a short couple of hours, and then they were off to Singypoo, and I was back in the car headed home, where more preparations for tomorrow morning's rehearsal (now this morning!) commenced!

Tomorrow night (tonight, rather!) will also see another rehearsal, our fourth, for Little Girl Lost, my 10-minute musical. Yup, I haven't been updating much on that because things haven't been going flawlessly, unfortunately. Try to keep track: our first rehearsal was two Wednesdays ago on 25 Aug, during which one out of four cast members couldn't attend. Between the first and second rehearsals, one of the cast members had to withdraw from the project for personal reasons. We managed to replace her with no hard feelings, but on the day of the second rehearsal, the first cast member who hadn't shown up also announced her withdrawal from the show. And on that same night, one of the existing cast members didn't make it. Are you still keeping up?? Arf!!

Last Saturday, our third rehearsal, saw three out of four cast members, including the one who had replaced the first cast member who withdrew, and the one who hadn't shown up the Wednesday before. The fourth cast member, to replace the original cast member who had never shown up before withdrawing, was at the time still undetermined. Lost yet? It would be apt, given the title of the show, arf!! Oy vey, I can't believe we're going over so many bumps for a four-person, ten-minute performance!! But never mind, fingers crossed: if all goes well, by tonight's rehearsal we'll have all four cast members here... though I still don't know who the fourth is. Heh. Not exactly the smoothest-sailing ship, is it?? But never mind, the director and I have our hands on our helms. Um. I might wanna rephrase that. Hmmm.

Anyway, here's a sneak-peek: a segment from last Saturday's rehearsal, which includes the performers' first attempt at improvising vocal harmonies to this song sung by a disgruntled charity worker. It can only get better from here, folks!! That's the theory, anyway! *winks!*



Finally, I shall leave you with some lovely pics of Chris, Jade and little Arielle from earlier tonight. I hope to meet up with them again on Sunday when they're back in KL for a few hours before departing for Perth. So fingers crossed my nutty schedule allows that to happen, heh. Till later... enjoy the pics, and don't forget to check back in on the FTL blog every now and then!! Bye!


Jade and Chris-laaah


Jade-laaah


Little Arielle-laaah

Monday, 6 September 2010

FTL Blog Alert!

Hey everyone! Just a quick note: I've decided to create a new blog for Follow The Light-related posts so that there's a better collection of updates available at-a-glance, as opposed to how I did it during the 2005 production, which had blog posts scattered here and there across a four-month period. I'll occasionally write some stuff related to FTL on this blog, of course, but the more "official" reflections and reports can be found here!! Bookmark the page today, boys and girls! Incidentally, I won't necessarily be the only author on that blog; I'm also opening it up to our director, Colin, and other key members of the production team. Yay!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

We All Look So Happy...

Here's a full team photo of former Nut Graphers, now retrenched and enjoying it. Like my dear colleague Lainie says, it's as if we'd been given millions of ringgit in retrenchment benefits. (For the record ... we haven't.) Arf.


Debbie, Pei Ling, Lainie, Jac, Jo-Ann and Neek

Theatrical updates coming soon! Watch this space! ;)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

All Systems... Go?

First Follow The Light 2010 cast/crew meeting and rehearsal tonight, after months (years?!) of pre-production and planning. Stay tuned for developments... ;)