Mini post of updates

Three things:

1. My cousin Fendi, my cousin who I have memories bugging him as a kid, running around my aunt’s place in SS14, Subang Jaya when my late grandmother was alive, playing with sparklers and me being a general brat, have finally gotten married to one of the sweetest girls I know. Congrats old man! But stop asking when will it be my turn.

2. I have found a venue! I have to look at it tomorrow but I am so keen on the venue already without even looking at that I’m tempted to kiss the person who offered me the venue all over.

Eizwan is approves of this statement since the person who offered is a woman, and he doesn’t mind things like that.

3. The season finale to Ashes to Ashes has made me completely enamoured with the team from Kudos. I loved, loved the ending and I loved the twist at the end. I love Gene Hunt and I love Alex Drake. This is a darn good show.

And finally, very importantly. DOCTOR WHO SERIES 4 BEGINS APRIL 5TH!

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Malaysia Night 2004 – Help me here!

God help me. I co-wrote something in 2004 for Malaysia Night, Warwick University but for the life of me, I can’t remember the title of the play! I know it wasn’t my best but dammit, for posterity and anal retentive sake, I need to remember the title of the play!!

Those who CAN remember the title of the play will be rewarded with cookies. Like seriously, for real cookies. I’ll bake them and post them, for goodness sakes. What was the title of the damned play?

The Art of Seduction

“Don’t you want me, baby? Don’t you want me, ooooooh!?”

I think Human League got it spot on when it comes to the theatre industry. We’re almost there with the venue end but so far, it’s been, well an, hmm, interesting journey to say the least.

Whilst you sell your soul in finance, in arts, it’s all about prostitution. Is there no noble career out there?

My little theatre company is obviously not the standard of Spitzer’s call girl from the Empress club. I’d like to think we’re slightly better than walking the streets type of prozzies but at times, I do feel that I might have to force our production crew to the real streets to get enough funding.

Our actors would get more money if they walked the streets but then we’d have nobody to act.

But anyway, so far we’ve been outright lied to: “Gosh! I’m so sorry, we don’t have a venue free that night,” (found out later, there’s plenty) to my personal favourite rejection: “I’m sorry. We don’t support newly independent theatre.” Read: I wouldn’t dare tarnish my shiny premises with you filthy ragamuffins. Now run along now, children, you’re in my breathing space.

My patience has increased tenfold since this entire escapade, and I find rejections far more amusing than I should. As I told a friend of mine, just you wait Mr. Shiny Premises. One day, when I’m rich and famous, I’m going to buy up your premises and make it into skanky and smarmy brothel. Just you wait, “Mwahahahahahahaha!”

Continuing the trend of prostitution, I’ve sent my director to schmooze to a Very Important Chairperson who could make life so much easier for all of us, even sent a very schmoozy letter for him to use. The director can be very charming if he wants to be so let’s see how his talents are put to use.

As the accountant suggested, perhaps it IS easier to just get funding and build our own premises. Presenting “Coming Out of the Closet” in our newly built, multi-purpose auditorium! Coming soon, in the year 2020.

***

Had to share it with you guys this one. Was talking to my friend Xav about my foray into the performing arts:

“I’m glad to hear that you’re doing creative things now.”

“Thanks, it took me a while. I was too scared at first to do creative things.”

“Well, it does take some time to develop that confidence. Being Francais, I already have that confidence. Or arrogant streak, rather.”

“See, I’m Asian. When I was growing up, I was told to do accounting. I rebelled and did economics instead.”

Venue, venue, wherefor art thou my venue?

So the trick about putting up your own play in KL is getting a venue. And to actually have the foresight of booking a venue about 6 months in advance. Because to suddenly go on a whim and feel, “Hey, what the heck! I’m gonna put on a play next month!” is just not a good idea. In fact, it’s heart-attack inducing.

No worries though. We’re almost there in booking a venue.

But, should you need a consultant for a venue in KL, you can always call on me. I know every single theatre, auditorium and lecture theatre in KL after this little sojourn of mine.

Production meeting today:

Our evil accountant Yazmin sat down with us and made the artsy types face to the realities of running a play. That meant number crunching, from phone bill claims to petrol to even pizza dinners for actors. After pulling TEH EVILZ CALCULATORZ out, the number came up to a whopping…well, a lot. It crossed the RM 10,000 boundary, a boundary that I hoped we’d never cross.

It was amazing that I didn’t faint really. But certainly the directors and producer turned white as sheet as the cliche goes. But it’s a bit like exam results. Best to get it out of the way.

On other unrelated but very important news:

‘The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ the TV Series will premier tonight in the UK! It’s directed by the recently late (I think this sounds like an Indian term, but I could be wrong) Anthony Minghella. It’s a shame none of my fandoms seem to enjoy the novels. Can’t squee about it with anyone cept my mom.  I hope I could download it tomorrow!

Growing up…sort of

Met up with a bunch of my uni mates in Porto Romano in Taman Tun tonight, to celebrate Jo and Fani’s last few moments of singledom before their tying the know in April 5th. Whilst the food ain’t that great, the company was as always fantastic.

One of my biggest fears when I first came back from the UK was that eventually, we’re just going to grow apart without our Warwick experiences holding us together. Tonight was the first time where I felt quite comfortable about who we’ve become. Warwick  dominated very little of the evening’s conversation, the conversation veered around our jobs, politics and then mostly topics that when I try to recall later, make absolutely no sense and could have only been made by people on substance abuse. Except we weren’t smoking up anything, since Dilla is pregnant and is a doctor, so that’s quite impressive.

The cracky insane conversation  assured me, that despite impending marriage and babydoms, my friends are just as silly and ridiculous as they were six years ago when I first entered university as a wee, naive child of 19. Despite their respectable jobs, their outwardly mature personas and their kind demeanour, lie people with wit and an insanity streak that give me so much hope for the future.

Their kids are lucky to have them as parents.

B**ches in Corp Malaysia

You know, Dick, when life gives you lemon, just shut up and eat the damn lemons.”

– Harry Solomon, “Third Rock from the Sun”

There are some days where I feel pretty darn miserable about working in Malaysia. And despite wanting to let it out, or write it out, I find it difficult to do so: I start wondering what others might think of my professional behaviour, especially since I work in a very small industry. I take utter care in my professional behaviour and I pride myself for being professional. 

And then yesterday happened.

My client is currently 2 1/2 months late for paying my invoice and despite various cajoling and emails and letters from my end and outright lies from the client end (“Yes, we’ve sent the cheque”), their rep, a bitch and a half with an engagement ring the size of a rock called up to verbally bitch slap me. I don’t take very kindly to being bitch-slapped, verbally or literally or metaphorically, so I proceeded to give one to her. I go into some sort of zone when people challenge me to a duel, I can actually feel the brain warming up and my eyes narrowing as I zone in to effectively destroy her.

She became hysterical. I became colder and louder. After her incessant whining of why my rep on my end didn’t have to be so rude, I had to interrupt with a very sharp: “Listen, WOMAN!” and she slammed the phone down.

Thing is, I always don’t get why it has to deteriorate to this. They have been two and a half months late on their first invoice, one month late on their second invoice and no doubt, they’re going to miss their third invoice this month. That means, I’ve been doing jobs for them for freaking three months without pay.

I don’t quite know which is making me feel worse, that it had to end up with a hysterical shouting match between two women, minus the mud-slinging and the sharp claws that usually make cat fights so entertaining to watch or the fact is, despite it all, I still haven’t been fucking paid yet for the work I did.

One advice that was given to me when I first started working here was that I have to be careful whose toes I step on. “Ooh, KL is a small place,” they warn me, usually with a nod of a sage. “Take care not to offend people.”

Err…yeah? What about these people who offend me? The ones who seem to sashay about town with a short skirt, a bit of Aussie accent from their 2+1 degrees (or worse! 3 + 0 degrees, gah, where on earth do those fucking accents come from if they’ve only studied in Malaysia ?) and who somehow still manage to be promoted over you? You know the types where after their promotion, most of their colleagues fantasise running them down in the carpark? 

As Sheila wisely pointed out: “You know why they get the where they are? Definitely the blow jobs.”

In KL, people can do unethical things and not only do they get away with it, they are fucking rewarded and promoted for it. And whilst someone like me is badgering for a 3 month late payment, I end up feeling that I’m the less than professional one. And then when people say, “Don’t burn bridges”, it suggests  that despite their less than professional, sane and humane treatment of myself and other human beings, I have to continue kissing their ass.

And I’m also tired of people saying, “It’s no better off in the UK,” for instance. Because in my three years there, I never had any ridiculous desire to ram sharp objects down people’s throats or better yet, twist their nipples off till they pop.

Gosh, writing the last line has certainly made me feel better. Now, back to the play.

Operation Pester Chinese Boys

So today was the first rounds of auditions. I say auditions with the plural tense because we’re still missing out on two Malay male characters and one Chinese male, a very big prominent part.

The title was said that way because it just sounds so much better that way. It’s like that infamous penguin forward that went around for a bit where you keep poking and poking and poking…

But I digress. Auditions today were very good. The energy around the room was fantastic and we found two very talented actors. We did raise our eyebrows a bit, wondering if people are willing to do this as a “labour of love” since well, these kids were really good and almost professional!

I love our script and I’m cracking up at the actor’s interpretation of the characters. Even as I’m giggling away, I can’t help thinking that it’s a bit narcissistic of me to be laughing away at our own script. Then again, you can’t be in show biz without being slightly narcissistic.

Oooh! Oooh! Guess what! We have our very own company logo now. Wanna see?

Livewire company logo

It’s beddy time for me. I’m hoping I’m going to dream about the 80s again. 80s stuff is making me very happy. And think about Gene Hunt. Whoa, can’t believe I said that but after Episode 6 of Ashes to Ashes, I can’t help thinking, phwoar! This man is a hero!