Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Auditioning for Adam the Musical

Though I have been involved in church performance arts, I have never done anything outside the church. This is quite an odd thing and it is even odder that I'm venturing to the open at this age.

Anyhow, followed wifey to attend an audition last month. She got in, I didn't. Was so disappointed that I was very down emotionally. The funny part was I even dreamt about the director changing his mind and called me back because one of the boys turns out could not commit to the show dates. Alas, it didn't happen.

But I sure wasn't going to sit around and do nothing while my wife has her spot in the limelight. Just as I was looking around for something to do, Joe Hasham OAM called for an audtion for his musical "Adam: The Musical" which is slotted for May 2010.

And so, last Saturday I went to KLPAC to attend the audition. All the people in the production team were there- Director Joe Hasham OAM, Executive Producer Dato' Faridah Merican, Music Director Tracy Wong, Choreographer Lex, Writer Mark Beau De Silva & Song Writer Lim Chuang Yik.

The vocal warm up with Tracy

Me singing "This Is The Moment" from Jekyll & Hyde

Trying the dance choreography by Lex

Finally, my monologue which is a localised version of Rowan Atkinson's "The Devil"

It was quite a smooth audition. I was nervous but the previous audition experience sort of helped me a lot to control my nerves. I thought I did well enough to be called back for Tuesday's second round.

I eventually got an SMS from Dato' informing that I have been selected and I made my way to KLPAC again yesterday. When I went there, I saw that there were so many people(about 35 people I think) who were called back too & looking at the way they chatted with one another, it looks like I'm the greenhorn among veterans. Suddenly I didn't feel that confident anymore.

For the second round selection, things were even more challenging. After the vocal warm ups, we were required to learn this song:

fascinating rhythm
I'm always on the go
Fascinating rhythm
I'm all a-quiver

What a mess you're making
The neighbors want to know
Why I'm always shaking
Just like a flivver

Oh how I long to be the one I used to be
Fascinating rhythm
O won't you
Stop picking on me

After learning the song by heart, Lex took over and showed us a 32-count dance choreography. I sort of lost my confidence when I realised I had to learn the choreography, but I lost even more when told to do the singing and dancing together!

First all of us hummed the song and danced together. Later we had to do it in groups of 5. I had some difficulty learning the moves, no thanks to 5 years of Les Mills training. Lex wasn't doing the moves in the mirror image method and I felt that I was going to screw up this one. Imagine the horror when we had to present 1 by 1!

Fortunate for me, the ladies had to do first before the guys, all done alphabetically. So I had to time to see how the rest did and it helped me to remember the words and moves. When it was my turn, I thought I did okay. As I was one of the first guys to present, I got to see those who present after me and I realised that everyone was struggling as well.

Just what I needed! I got my confidence back and knew that I had a fighting chance to make it to the ensemble. We got a 10 minute break while the production team had their discussion.

It was good to have wifey around. She dropped by to bring me dinner(silly me forgetting to eat my dinner!), was there to see the whole process, and it helped me to put on my best to impress her:)

Finally we returned back for 2 more group performances and I made sure that I got the singing, the beat and the choreography as accurate as I could. Finally, Joe spoke to us about the audition and thanked us for coming. He said that Dato' Faridah would sms us by end of the night if we were chosen.

Going back, again I thought I did a good job and I stood a very good chance to get a part. Eventually I reached home around 1040pm and started waiting for the SMS to come.

11.00pm. Nothing.

11.30pm. Checked the phone again. Nothing.

11.45pm. Checked to see Maxis line is good. Nothing.

By 12am, I still didn't get any SMS. Sure, there was 1 sms and 3 phone calls but they were not Dato'. It was then I thought that again, I wasn't chosen - surely Dato' would be sleeping by 12am!

Anyhow, wasn't feeling too happy about it so I stayed up to watch Astro for a while.

Then at 12.21am, I received an SMS from Dato' Faridah...

"Congrats again! You are in Adam ensemble! See you tomoro night at 7.30 will not be a long night. Faridah"

What was my reply?

"and finally I get to sleep:) TQ for this fantastic opportunity!"

Was I happy? Of course! But I would've been happier if I get to be in the same musical as wifey. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the 2 auditions I attended and I'm pleased to get to work with Dato' Faridah and Joe.

Tonight I'm going to KLPAC again to see what I'll be doing for the musical. Hopefully I don't have to do too much dancing:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I've been up to lately

Even though I've not been blogging lately, it doesn't mean I have been doing nothing. In fact, I have been busy with a couple of stuffs lately:)


I still recall when I completed my BODYCOMBAT training in March 2004, Tracy asked us to write down what we would do to become a better BODYCOMBAT instructor. One of the things I told her was I would sign up with a kickboxing gym in Penang and start training in the MMA so that I would understand the move and the feel of the punches/kicks better.

Sad to say, I didn't do it due to the busy-ness of my work and after moving to KL in 2005, my time was even more limited.

In early Sept, after delaying for so long, I finally decided that it was about time I stop giving excuses for not doing this. If I was really THAT busy, then I'd better work out my schedule to put this training if I were to continue to be the Head Teacher of BODYCOMBAT. So I search online for kickboxing gyms in KL/PJ. Instead of finding a kickboxing gym, I somehow dropped into this:

KDT Academy offers a wide range of trainings and one of the things they have was:

And since Oct, I've been attending CMD every Wednesday evening at 9pm. Physically it's now a little more challenging as this quarter I now have 2 classes on Wednesday (9.35am BODYCOMBAT, 7.00pm RPM Challenge). By the time I reach the place for CMD, I'm more or less around 50% of my physical best, but still I'm enjoying myself making new friends and learning new things.

My next step for this is to make it to the Sat afternoon open mat training which will allow me to hone my skills in boxing and grappling.

2 Teaching Freestyle Step

Fitness First Asia has just launched our 2 freestyle programmes and now I am teaching:

So far it's been a great experiene doing a class other than Les Mills programmes. As it's a entry-level class, the work demands are relatively lower compare to what I'm used to. After teaching it with a heart rate monitor, I realised that I am doing an average of 70% of my maximum heart rate and the highest I've achieve in a class was about 85%. Compare that to BODYCOMBAT or RPM which can reach average of 85-87% and sometimes I can hit beyond 90% in a class, this is a good option for beginner to try. Besides being easy on the heart, I notice that it burns around 520-530 calories per class, with 45-50% of it is fat.

Feedbacks from members have been positive. Sure there are those who find it too easy for them, but I taught a free class on Monday for my afternoon members to try and now they are asking for more! Will be looking to learn up more blocks so that I can teach more variety of blocks:)

3 Performing Arts

Back in my school days, I used to participate in a lot of church Christmas or Easter events. I've done acting, dancing, singing, script writing and -believe it or not- directing. Doing all those acting and dancing actually helped me in my development as an instructor. I have never had stage fright issues teaching my classes and I don't recall feeling anxious teaching my first BODYCOMBAT class- to me, it was just "Showtime!" The stage is something I'm so used to that it's just second nature to me.

I do miss doing those things but again, just like the MMA training, I've been busy with other things to do it again. Anyhow, I managed to do a bit of that for my wedding(musical theme) but something is still missing. So when the wife heard of this audition for a musical spoof that will be staged at the KLPac, she asked me to take part with her as well and I gladly obliged.

And so, Mon 12 Oct we went to KLPac and did our "thang" in front of the director. It was nerve wrecking as it's my first audition- usually in church shows, it's like "OK, you play the Devil... maybe you can try this role...etc" Anyhow it was a very good experience for the both of us and we were shortlisted for the second round. I was actually looking forward to it and I would be very happy just to be an extra for the show. Unfortunately, only the wife was selected this time.

Nevertheless, I am not giving up yet. There's another audition coming up next Sat for a musical and I'm going to try again. Even if I don't get selected again, I would still continue to try again and again, and again.

On another positive note, my church in Ampang has decided to do a couple of short skit for Christmas and, for the fourth time in my acting career, I will be playing the Devil. So no matter what, I still have something to do:)

Life is never boring!!!