Monday, 23 May 2016

The Big Move (And We Get Right Back Into the Swing of Theatrical Things)

Hey all! Welcome to cold, windy, rainy Perth, where I'm now sitting in my final night at an AirBnB in the city! Tomorrow onwards I'll be moving in to my new humble abode in Como, which I've already checked out and left luggage at. Not far from the train station, a nice little unit that's comfy and pleasant, so hopefully things work out OK in the long run.

So I arrived on Saturday afternoon after mum and dad accompanied me to the airport in the morning and saw me off. Boy did I choose a day to come in: it was apparently storming in Perth earlier in the day, and in fact was still raining when I came in, which led to a bumpy descent but thankfully we arrived safely! The flight itself was an oddity: apparently it was the one and only AirAsia flight that had been chosen to promote the latest X-Men movie, which resulted in staff members dressing up in cosplay(fail), with quizzes and prizes to be won broadcast over the intercom, including a segment where a passenger had to present an X-Men rap (also fail, though it was kinda amusing when they played back a recording of it after we'd landed); and free themed postcards and cupcakes.

All in all, rather amusing despite the fact that I was still clenching my arm rests due to turbulence; and, because of the hijinks involved and a carnival-esque atmosphere on board, a part of me thought that my seat hadn't been worth the "quiet zone" price this time around, arf arf!

Postcard and X-cake.
Themed flight!
So the first order of arrival in Perth was to warm meself up with a much-needed cuppa coffee!

And then it was off to my new place in Como (pics to come), before Ubering it to the AirBnB in the city:

The next day, Sunday, I hung out with Scott in the afternoon, where he took me to his favourite eating place. Yup, I moved to Perth only to be brought to a hot dog diner. Arf arf. Then we headed over to uni for me to meet-and-greet with some of the theatre folks there, which I further got to do today when I joined the participants of this year's children's theatre project, Lit By Limelight.

The height of Australian culinary delight.
Day 2 in Perth and already back in the theatre!! Wheee!!
Scott doing his best Popeye impression.
Sarah photobombs my selfie during today's CT production meeting.
Rehearsal in progress - that's a cool set!
Okay, that's all for now – gotta work on some music and recordings now (hopefully the neighbours here in this apartment block don't complain, heh. Will update every so often, so keep checking back in, k? Till then!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Here Goes Everythin'...

Hey all! Am at the airport waiting for my flight to Perth. Can't believe time has flown like this and it's already the day to go! Here's wishing me a safe and pleasant flight, and an... interesting... time ahead in Aussieland. In the meantime, here are some pics of me catching up with various peeps over the past couple of days! :)
With Karynn, Alvin and Hilda
With Elaine and Joanne, after scrumptious dinner at EuroDeli
Terry, Chrisse and me!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

In The Zone...

As published on FB today: When I was a kid, at least once a week was Comics Day, where dad would drop me off at Penang Plaza to collect my pre-reserved stash of UK comic magazines (Buster, Whizzer&Chips, etc). To this day, circa 18 years since the last time we carried out the routine, I still have recurring dreams that I'm being dropped off at the Plaza, and I'd hurry towards the escalator to the bookstore but the escalators would be out of order, or (as dreams go) they never led me to my destination. But sometimes I'd dream of being in the bookstore and lo and behold, there's my stash of comics!

I think I keep dreaming of this place because it was a happier, less complicated time (in contrast to the recurring bad dreams about the boarding house!), and somewhere in me I still wish I were back then when Comics Day was joy; and maybe I'm also wistful because I cancelled my subscription rather abruptly and unceremoniously in 1998 - after more than a decade of being a regular customer and British comic book aficionado - to head to Sydney (during which I was introduced to the source of the infamous boarding house dreams).

Anyway. This is the bookstore that has replaced the Times outlet that used to reside here. Whenever I come back to Penang I try to pay it a visit, not just  because it's nostalgically affecting, but also in the hope that, gradually, the recurring dreams about Comics Day will stop. Because no matter whether or not I get to the comics counter in the dreams, wistfulness can be saddening. And sadness isn't necessarily the way one wants to wake up.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Epic Journeys, Concerts & Cake!

Hey all! I'm currently blogging from a Starbucks in familiar ol' Penang, having hopped on a bus this morning and arrived four hours later (pretty quick, even though the bus driver didn't seem to be going particularly fast, heh!). We're t-minus eight days and counting till I relocate to Perth for my Phd, and I gotta say, I'm still very nervous and excited about it! So the Penang trip is pretty much a "say bye-for-now to relatives" kinda visit, with dinner planned tomorrow night with uncle, aunty and grandma. I'm hoping to catch up with some friends tonight, too, so fingers crossed.

Of more excitement was the concert that we performed last week, on Thursday, Friday and Sunday (May 5 to 8), which was The Epic Journey: The Nick Choo Concert, a "bon voyage" event to celebrate some of my works as well as to raise some funds to help me get re-settled Down Under. Unfortunately the end result of the fundraising wasn't terribly impressive mostly because things were done too last-minute and publicity was limited, which led to a turnout that wasn't terribly impressive.
Oh well!

At least we got a series of shows out of it, although they weren't without issues... nerves, tech issues, under-preparedness, a cocktail of messiness that got me pretty stressed on the first night. Thankfully, things got better after that, though there was some drama behind-the-scenes involving a purportedly disgruntled sound guy (though the less I say about that, the better, only because it's not worth my energy recapping it); as well as a moment where I had to storm out of the audience area into the adjacent waiting room to tell a bunch of people to shut up when a live performance is happening. Oy vey!!

But on a happier note, those who came to watch the show said they enjoyed it regardless, and all in all, it was pretty fun, and I'm grateful to all those who were willing to invest time, energy and talent into making it happen. That includes the three emcees who were surprise guests for each show, i.e. I didn't know who they would be. They turned out to be Freddy, Safia, and... Terry?! Oy vey!! That was the biggest surprise/shock of the first show: that Terry emceed, and, in true Terry/best friend fashion, it turned into a roast where he made fun of me more than he complimented me, arf arf! Ah well, I guess it's the thought that counts! *grin* But anyway, thank you, boys and girls!! Let's commemorate these awesome peeps with some pics and videos, shall we? Yes, I think we shall...!

Real-life hubby and wife Aaron and Adeline in 'Dreaming Outside The Box'
With Terry, Alisa and Alisa's fiance
Terry emceeing on the first night
Pic courtesy of, which did a write-up on me as well as a review! Links below.
Check out this extended feature on yours truly; the longest article thus far on me, my works and my process. And check out their review of the concert, based on the shaky first night (it really did get a lot smoother and tighter after that! Hehe. That sounded vaguely dirty.)

Speaking of the media, the NST did this nice summation/promo article.
Me and Vale, one of my most loyal supporters. Aw!
So at one point, Dominic declared that if we got 80 people or more a night,
I would have to get prettied up and wear a wig & a dress and sing a girl's song.
Long story short, 'Nicole' never made an appearance, which, you know, is kinda a bummer.
The programme. Pic courtesy of an audience member.
Sitzprobe on the Monday prior to our Thursday opening night.
So much talent on one little stage!
After the show on Sunday, a bunch of us headed to Monday Show's HQ in SS15 and had a little cast party with drinks, food and cake... especially the cake. Lots of cake.

Thank you so much, dear Coleen, for the awesome (huge) cake!
Party people after the last show!
Oh, Alisa, Terry and I also went out for a joint "bye-bye-for-now" and "Terry's birthday" lunch the day after the opening show (Friday):

Stuffing our faces.
More cake!
The rest of the week has been spent with me continuing work on Alice as well as 2084, which will see its premiere in Perth this August (eek!). Then there have been further health woes with my brother, including gearing up to fight his beeyotch of a supervisor who has reportedly been trying to coerce him to resign due to his troubled health. We won't stand for that, beetch!! I swear, if ever I hear her telling my brother that "you should resign" because "I only want healthy people working here", I will cause an effin' scene. Take my word... I'm a performing artiste. We know how to make scenes. GRR.

And on that jolly note, I'm heading off now... till my next update, as we inch ever closer to the Big Move!