Thursday, 26 June 2014

Nick Choo Music!

Hey all! I've been spending the past few days working on a new website and, in the interest of getting it up and running fairly quickly, I used Blogger to create it. So here it is, the brand-new, for your viewing and listening pleasure!

It's got all my musical projects on it, and I'll be using it to promote current and upcoming material too. The end game, of course, is to transition it into a website proper, and I'll be developing that over time; and I'm likely to change the current layout and template over the next few days and weeks anyway. But in the meantime, do enjoy what's there, and check back in regularly (to that page and this one), y'hear? Till next time!

Edited to add: I've changed the design to improve navigationability (yes, that's a word) on the website, so do check it out! :)

Friday, 20 June 2014

Welcome To My World, Indeed!

So I've been embarking on a new blog (more on this very soon!), and I came across this description of myself, under 'blogger profile', that I'd written probably a couple of years ago:

Jack of all trades, master of none. Battling depression, a broken heart, weight and body image issues, sexuality confusion, religious conflict and feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. Welcome to my world.

Today, I read that and go, "Wow, I sure was in a bad state, wasn't I?" Because I no longer relate to what I'd written – not entirely, at least. Sure, I still have body and weight issues, and I go through ups and downs much like everybody does; but do I consider myself, today, as a "jack of all trades, master of none"? Nope. Do I feel lonely and worthless? Lonely... sometimes (arf!). Worthless? Nope. Not at all. Amazing what a dark period does to you, huh? (And a lot of it is still in my blog archives, cough cough, oy!)

I'm so glad to have moved out of this phase (for the most part), and am on the way towards achieving some positive goals for myself in this journey called life. So bye-bye, old blogger profile! Be on thy way! It's a different Nick now... more like the Nick of old, except older and hopefully much wiser.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Perth 2014: A Walkin' We Will Go...

Here's Judi, Berni, Scotty, Caroly and meeee during our little bushwalk a few weeks ago!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Gout, Flu and Great Dictators!

Hey all! Sorry for the long silence... unfortunately, as I mentioned in my previous post, the moment I got back I was beset by fluey symptoms and an attack of gout, grr arrgh!! Yeah, so it's been a pretty cruddy week healthwise, which has resulted in some rather low productivity and less-than-heightened mood. On the brighter side, the ill-health seems to be subsiding now (thank heavens!), so fingers crossed I should be back to my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self not before long... :P

In the meantime, some creative endeavours are still ongoing, including composing for the musical Extra Ordinary People scheduled for November in Perth; as well as The Great Dictatorship, which opened this weekend for a three-day run at the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL). Tonight (Saturday) my mum and I attended the performance (yeah, I'm quite the momma's boy, aren't I!), after which there was a Q-n-A session for which I was invited to join the panel on stage, so that was pretty fun. Someone from the audience asked if I would continue to compose for ISKL productions, which I took to be a good sign; fingers crossed she was actually from the school and was inviting me to get more involved! ;)

Anyhoo, I'll come back with more updates soon, but in the meantime, here are pics from the show, taken from a dress rehearsal on Tuesday that I attended:

Lest it not be clear, the show has an Egyptian theme...
The programme has me in venerable company indeed!! #sonotworthy
...And here's a video clip I created of one of the cast members performing On to the Streets to the Light, one of the songs I composed for the show (not to be confused with the above-mentioned venerable Mr Glass's compositions, oy!). Enjoy!

Monday, 9 June 2014

The End of Perth 2014 (For Now); Back Home!

Hey all! A quick update to say I'm back home safe and sound in my bedroom, haha! Got in last night after a gruelling flight... which really wasn't too bad, except for the initial 1.5 hours during which there was quite a lot of turbulence. Thankfully I'd popped some of those anti-anxiety meds (I say 'some', because I took two whole halves – i.e. one entire pill – instead of the half that the doc had prescribed... and then I'd followed it with an alcoholic cider...). Despite the sedative-booze combo, I still didn't fall asleep, though I sure was groggy! And so I think that reduced some of the anxiety during the initial bumpiness of the entire ride, oy!

So the performances of Captain Quokka are clearly over, and it's been quite a fun ride indeed! We did the final two shows on Saturday, after which there were all the presentations and hugs and tears and stuff, and then it was time to bump out of the theatre and head to the cast party! Except poor old elderly Nicky decided to have a quiet one instead, and spent the evening at Sarah and Laughton's with our mutual dear friends Stephen and Ellin, sipping beers and teas (as you do) and just having a charmingly sedate evening.

The lovely farewell gift the CT group presented to me. Aww!!
The following morning with had brekky (pancakes!), after which I packed up and Laughton (and his three cute kiddies) gave me a ride to the airport, where I met Judi (yaaaay!!) for a nice lunch at Dome followed by the aforementioned alcoholic cider at a nearby bar, before waving and hugging goodbye and getting onto the flight. Five hours later I was back in KL... and it was another hour before I cleared immigration and baggage claims, oy vey! (Side note: KLIA2 is a nice airport but jeebuz, the walk from the plane to the baggage / immigration area would make you shed pounds, I kid you not!)

Judi and me at the airport, going wild. Wild, I tell you!!
Here's something significant that I became aware of on Saturday... I'll copy and paste it directly from my Facebook page:

Yaaaay to positivity!
Right now I'm lying in bed because, wouldn't you know it, I've come down with a blasted cold and fluey-type symptoms, oy! But hey, on the bright side, at least my body had the good sense to only give in after I'd returned from Perth, not during, arf arf! So I'm going to leave you now, but rest assured I'll definitely be back with more pics from this awesome trip, perhaps some videos (nothing like a good scandalous vid every now and then) and more goss and updates. Till then!!!

Best production photo evah.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Perth 2014: Show Week, Catch-Ups, New Abodes and Conchoota!

Hey everyone! Wow, it's approaching the end of my Perth visit – how time flies! Sorry I haven't been updating too much lately, but it's been pretty full on, with two performances a day since Tuesday, on top of continued work for projects in KL as well as plans for upcoming projects for the end of the year (more on this as it develops)!

The shows have been absolutely exhausting, but they've also been a tremendous amount of fun... though with more than a little bit of drama involved (in the theatre! Who would've thought!). These include numerous injury-related incidents involving a dude who got burnt by dry ice, a girl who sprained her wrist after tripping down the stairs during one of the scenes, and most recently a fellow female castmate who suffered a mini-stroke onstage, eeek! Luckily the poor dears are all okay (not forgetting the other cast member last week who suffered an anxiety attack, oy). We've got a couple more performances tomorrow (i.e. later today), and these will be for the paying public, which means kids and grown-ups, which should be fun! And then there'll be the cast party, though most likely I won't be going for that, choosing instead to have a quiet and civilised evening at 'home'.

Speaking of home, I'm now staying at my lovely mates' Sarah and Laughton's house, having decided rather early on to try something different this year and stay at other people's homes in addition to the usual Plottkes'. It's been pretty cool; they're both awesome peeps, and Sarah's family (with whom they live) are nice folks as well. It's been nice getting to know more people in Perth and solidifying friendships, which is something I've managed to do here. And along the way I've managed to spend more time with the older besties... in fact, we just hung out earlier this evening – Carol, Scott, Bernie, Judi and little ol' me! We had dinner at Il Ciao in Applecross, which happens to be the same place Judi and I had dinner at yesterday, hee hee!! Then it was dessert at Gelare, followed by coffee at Carol's lovely home, where this happened:

Introducing: CONCHOOTA!
Don't ask... sometimes it's just better not to know. :P

On Tuesday, one of our school performances included an on-site performance at Mandurah Catholic College, which was pretty fun if a tad complicated because it was only our second show and already we had to bring it outside of the theatre and into a non-familiar, limited-equipped space. But despite some minor hiccups I think we managed to pull it off quite nicely, and that's a testament to the hard work and professionalism demonstrated by (most, but not necessarily all, of) the students in the course. And the children in the audience did seem to enjoy themselves, so yay!!!

That night, I was picked up by my dear friends Andrew and Tiffany, and I visited their home (round the corner from Sarah and Laught's in Canning Vale) and joined them for dinner (cheesy steaks and mash cooked by Tiffany's son Tom) and waaay too much wine!! Here are a couple of pics from that blurry, blurry night:

From left: Andrew, Adam (whom I'd been chatting with on FB for about three years
but only met in person on Tuesday!); and Tiff's kids Tom and Bella
Tiffany and a furry friend!
Yesterday I also spent some time after the shows at uni recording a demo for one of the year-end projects, a musical that is slated for performance in late November here in Perth. That was fun, albeit a touch exhausting after the two shows and the lack of time we had to properly rehearse it and put it all together. I won't share any of the music just yet (plus, I promised the writer-director I wouldn't), but stay tuned for more updates as and when this develops!

Anyway I leave you now with more photos from the past few days, and I'll be putting up more pics and stuff from Captain Quokka 2014 shortly. I'm off to bed now as it's been 4.5-hour sleeps for the past few nights, and it would be nice to get a bit more shut-eye tonight, arf arf. Till next time!!

Yeaaa! Shake that booty, Jenny!
Feeling crabby! (I'm a prawn, actually. Heh!)
Dinner and dessert with Judi on Thursday night.
Me and Joo Joo! Aww!
All the pretty ladies!
Why you eating Bernie's head, Joodi?!?!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Perth 2014: We Will Stand Together in a Great Dictatorship

Hey all! Well! Rehearsals are well into full-swing, and I'm proud to say we have a show!! We're opening tomorrow with two schools performances, one in the theatre and one in an actual school down in Mandurah... so it's going to be exhausting fun, I reckon. Yesterday and today we had full runs of the show in full costume, and I even managed to get a video of our rehearsal at the end of Act One. Here are the cast performing the song, including a quirky cameo by yours truly (watch out for it!):

On Saturday I had a quiet day — mostly. You see, Judi, Bernie, Mikey, Scott, Carol, Chris, Jade and Arielle all went down south to Margaret River and beyond, to a purportedly lovely little abode called Tulip Cottage, for the long weekend. So I was all alone (awwwww!) in the Plottke home, where I did some light cleaning (it's the least I could do) and spent most of the day composing a song for my next project, The Great Dictatorship, which will be staged almost immediately after I get back. It's a play with some songs, and it's really an upgrade of Peace Land Bread, which was performed a couple of months ago. So my day was spent coming up with some menacing-sounding music for a song performed by a dictatorial queen who decides to unleash her vengeance upon the citizens of her kingdom whom she considers to be rebels. Nasty stuff. Here's a sneak preview of the music, if you're interested:

And here's the poster for the show:

(Hark: if you view the full version of the poster, you'll see Music composed by Nick Choo, winner of two 2014 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards!! Well!!!

Check back in soon for more updates!