Saturday, 18 May 2013

Resettling, Rebuilding and Re-Acting!

And so, ladies and gents, I am free. Free from Singapore, yippee!! For the most part, heh. Last Friday my dad and I did a day trip to the little island down south to retrieve the last of my things - a five-hour drive each way. It all went rather seamlessly, thank heavens; we left at about 715am, got there just after noon, had lunch, ran some errands, packed up the car with all my junk, drove back into Malaysia, cleared immigration with barely a hitch (immigration officer just asked what was up with all the stuff, feigned distress that I was choosing to leave Singapore, compared my passport with departure documents and waved us through), and got back home by 9pm that evening. A long but liberating day, haha!!

So what have I been up to since I got back? Heh, not a great deal. Settling back in. Setting up my workspace at home. I bought myself a new toy - a Lenovo laptop - with a bigger screen for ease of working. Got my keyboard and stuff set up in my room. Worked on more music for The Edge, since the clock's a ticking towards November when we're doing the staging. Speaking of The Edge, today I met up with Dom, Ben and director Sabrina for audition callbacks and further determining of the cast, which is always an exciting part of the process. We got the candidates together to act out scenes and interact with one another to gauge their chemistry. And I dare say that, by the end of it, we are 99% certain of our cast, woot wooot!!!! Here's a pic from today:

Acting in session!
I've also spent the past few days reconnecting virtually with my arty friends from Malaysia, all those whom I'd cut off ties with in the aftermath of the post-FTL negativity. I've yet to really meet up with any of them (apart from the few who were at auditions today), but I shall, when I get back from Perth (leaving tomorrow night, baby!! About 24 hours from now, wooo wooo!) ... In the meantime, I'd written a rather melodramatic note on Facebook aimed at my artist friends, and I would like, for the record, for it to be reflected here. It reads as follows:

Thank you to all my Malaysian artist friends who have added me back to their buddies list on FB! I'm very grateful! The past couple of years have been a very challenging time for me, from the period immediately after Dec 2010's FOLLOW THE LIGHT onwards that resulted in a rather self-destructive depression. There were various issues that I had to work through, but I think I've come out of it a little humbler, a little wiser, and a lot fatter (damn you, emo eating!!). ;))) 

For the past 15 months I've been working in Singapore (and not in the arts), but now I'm back. And while there were other factors that made me retreat and disappear, here's ONE major thread that I managed to untangle while I was on this mental-emotional-spiritual journey -- something that involves you all: My arrogance. I was foolish to think that I didn't need support and community in my journey as a creative person, and equally as foolish for withholding MY support to the community, which I'd been doing for years (when you consider that I only appeared on the arts scene in 2007, that's not good at all, no?). 

And for this folly, I am truly sorry, boys and girls; for getting resentful and even jealous when you wonderful people staged shows while I kept focusing on my selfish self, thinking "it should be MY show on that stage", or worse, "I CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS"; for expecting you to support me when I often didn't think it was important for me to support you; for thinking YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY SHOW; for thinking that one production from me was going to catapult me to the far reaches of success and fame (that's you, FTL!); for choosing to back away from the arts scene in bitterness when things didn't seem to work out in MY selfish favour, and foolishly attempting to pursue my selfish goals ON MY OWN, instead of realising how important it is to have SUPPORT and FRIENDSHIP. 

We can't do things in isolation. (Well, some people can, but I certainly can't). I sank even deeper into a depression in my time away, withdrawing further and further into myself... only to realise, at the end of the day, that I need you guys. I need friends again. I need a support system. I need safe spaces where I can be myself and express my thoughts freely, and SHARE and EXCHANGE ideas. And I need cheerleaders: people who will support me and my work, without me EXPECTING it of you because HEY LOOK AT ME, I'M NICK CHOO AND I'M BETTER THAN ALL OF YOU. If you can pardon my class, to myself I say: Fuck that shit. [EDITED TO ADD:] Cheerleaders, however, aren't there just to cheer - they're also the wake-up call, the reality bites, ready with a slap to the back of the head when I'm ready to throw in the towel; ready to say "Stop whining and just get on with it!" when I'm whining and ready to call it a day. 

I need community. I have no right to command your respect, support and attention as a given; I have to EARN it. And I should give you mine in return, which I've been failing to do. I'm really, really sorry, everyone. So I'm back in KL after 15 months away and would like to reestablish relationships, mend fences, fix broken bridges (ooo there's a joke in there somewhere) ;) To those I've hurt with my hubris, I sincerely apologise. (And yes, there are people I've hurt.) To those who have missed me, I've missed you too. And to those who never noticed I was gone... WHY, YOU LITTLE...! **shakes fists** Hehhh. Just kidding. 

I look forward to returning to the arts scene and working ALONGSIDE YOU, not ABOVE YOU as my pride used to make me think, to make our Malaysian arts scene betterer and betterer and ever the more vibranter. 

Thank you boys and girls. Love, Nick

And on that sobering note, let us move on to better and brighter things... :) I leave you now with pics of my new lappietop, my old bedroom (yaay, so happy to be back!) and my workspace. Till later... probably from Perth!

My new Lenovo Ideapad Z500 Touch
Workspace (and air cooler)
Mah dawggy's happy I'm back, too!!

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