28 February 2006

no sleep over it

Okay, Torino is over and it'll be another 4 years before I get to watch any winter sports on the telly. Such a shame. Such displays of strength, control and grace now left to the summer winds as we return to football, football, football and the occasional tennis match. And if you pay extra, you get golf. That's just amazing. If Nicole wasn't a World Champion, no one would give a shit about squash. We Malaysians only want IT if it involves the superficial accolades that come with it.

Just like the work I live in. Theatre. We claim we want it. We claim we are a Arts and Culture savvy society. So, why doesn't everyone want to watch theatre productions that don't involve comedy?

I understand that daily life is tough and you want to let off some steam by getting your laughter medication. That's great. However, theatre is so much more than just comedy. Everytime someone asks me what my next show is, the question that follows is, "Is it funny?"

I was trained in all elements of theatre, and I love dramatic pieces. My career began in a serious piece which made the critics take notice.

A couple of nights ago, I came out of the theatre to greet our audience. This lovely girl came up to me and said how much she enjoyed my making her laugh and how she wanted to see me in my next project. I told her it was a serious piece and how drama was where I shined best. With a saddened look, she sighed an "Oh" and added, "So, it's not funny?" For a brief moment, I felt my heart break from her disappointment. But only a moment.

What hurts is how much of a bum rap drama gets. Unless you're a cute actor people want to drool over regardless of the genre of the play (they'll come in droves), drama is destined to live a theatrical life in arts obscurity. But it is all the genres that make theatre Theatre. Like watching movies, Theatre contains all the amazing, wonderful and subtle elements of our lives. There is nothing truly as breathtaking as a powerful performance seen right before your eyes. Coupled with a script of substance, you are guaranteed a ride of the senses.

I guess that's why I carved a place for myself in this medium. The sensation of experiencing the moment far surpasses the crap money we earn from it. Movies and TV I don't mind doing but nothing gets my heart pounding like a great piece of theatre. And what makes it great? It becomes great when you, the audience, become part of the process of theatre in its entirety.

We do have a growing audience base. We've also lost a lot thanks to the mediocrity that sometimes escapes onto our stages.

We will continue to present theatre to you in all its many faces. We know you're ready.

Come in. We've been waiting.

27 February 2006

c'est wunderbar!

Actorlympics ended tonight with a wonderfully big bang thanks to all of you who cheered us on. The fullest night this whole run! I would like to thank all the cute young men who allowed me to use you for my funnies (and merci to all the girlfriends who sat by and let it happen!) Most of all a big thanks and muah muahs to Visionworks for, once again, the opportunity of exercising my comedic muscles. 

Love to y'all. I can finally play with Macallan.

25 February 2006

pretty much broken

48 hours sleepless, a chronic lower-back problem, a knee that goes weak from lack of sleep (it's a dull pain), a new computer waiting anxiously for my tender touch and three evenings of amazing hilarity. 2 hours more and my head collaspes on my four pillows as I stare into nothingness. My addiction to American Idol is keeping me awake just to catch the repeat. I still can't face the news.

Today the headline was Malaysian Airlines losing RM1 bil. That's a lot of Ringgit. Not making any sense. In the New York Times, it was reported that the Danish cartoon uproar has taken a turn. In what direction is left to be seen. After 11 churches burnt down in Nigeria, revered Muslim figures are now asking for fellow Muslims to take a hold of their emotions. The outburst only fuels the media and world people's image of Muslims as angry, irrational and terroristic. They have asked for the people to go back to the teachings of the Qur'an: contemplation and understanding. Don't destroy something as beautiful as the Islamic religion just because you think your personal belief in Allah and his Prophet has been tainted by 'yellow' minds.

A wise friend recently said, "Don't beat yourself up too much about your life. Just take it in your stride one day at a time because there are enough people out there that will do it (the beating) for you."

Your beilefs, usually personal, are yours. If you wish to share them then fine. But you have no right to impose them on others. So, if some fool wants to draw a cartoon, let him do it. Get angry if you want but what gives you the right to torch a place of holy worship? It's very different from burning your cheating husband's belongings in his BMW ala Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale.

Where is all this fear and hatred coming from? Insecurities of a loss of identity. The rich get richer they say. Someone somewhere wants cheaper oil prices. Tell me, who will benefit from cheaper oil prices, eh?

I dare someone to do a caricature of Buddha and Jesus in a back alley sauna. Why? I want cheaper Happy Meals and Pop Tarts.

Sleep it off.

24 February 2006


Bloggers are such boisterous people. A very colourful bunch that just can't help posing for pictures with their favourite comedians (hint: send the pics over girls!) Just seeing your satisfaction after the show is enough to make me smile for the coming day. And don't forget to pimp my blog! If there's Kodok, I wonder what I'll be nicknamed?

Not going to be a long one. Just got home. About to hop in the shower, have a hot beverage and watch the next repeat of today's American Idol.

Oh yes, I would like to announce that I am the first person in KL to own the 20" Intel iMac. It's here! Here comes my shameless plug: Go get all your Mac/Apple products from MacStudio (Low Yat Plaza, KL) and tell them Edwin sent you. They really are a great bunch of people. Nothing against the other Apple retailers but they're bound to Apple Malaysia's policies. MacStudio goes out of its way to make you happy. The owner himself called me today to tell me my new toy had arrived.

I may go missing the next few days as I will be getting acquainted with my as-yet to be named desktop or maybe I'll be blogging about my daily activities with it.

All I can say is this: It has been a wonderful day thanks to the bloggers, Colin Chong, the Actorlympians, Gustina Putri Orow, Mike Tan, all at Imaginex, the TASB Box Office boys, Nick D and you.

No crap world news can get me down (well, for this next week at least.)

23 February 2006

I don't know what you want but I can't give it anymore

Listening to Mel Tormé and the Pet Shop Boy's Pop Art album after the repeat of this evening's American Idol episode surely must have some kind of subliminal residue in my mind and body. I guess there must be as I'm here writing when I should be nursing my aching lower back by getting some sleep.

Are the Danes afraid that they might one day be citizens of an Islamic country? How threatening is this new strain of bird flu? Should I just leave this song on repeat? Am I gonna blog about something worthwhile? And many other thoughts swimming deep.

It's one of those nights. I know I have something to say but finding the words... This song is just too good. I'm getting up to dance.

20 February 2006


I'm not one to make big promo sessions but this poster looks damned ganas (fierce) and my friend Reza, in the Hatsumomo getup, is making his return to the game. He's one hellulva comedian and we don't see much of him doing comedy. So, to herald his return, as well as the coming-together of the city's wackiest individuals, I present the first of 2006's Actorlympics runs. Those of you who are in Kuala Lumpur, I hope to see you there. And please, this time when we ask for imaginative suggestions, leave the "Toilet!" one at home. No cottaging allowed on Malaysian stages (much to my chagrin.)

15 February 2006

dick with a gun

Today's News: Dick Cheney's friend, whom he accidently shot while they were out hunting, has had a heart attack. Does that come as a surprise? I would have a heart attack too if I was shot "accidentally" by someone who was helping to run my country.

What is it with Americans and their guns? Never-ending saga that one.

And the bird flu which has affected most of the world is now, according to the Americans, a threat to the world only because it has finally hit them. So big in fact, it called for a whole episode on Oprah Prime Time. Wasn't it a world-wide threat anyway? Where were they when it happened? Where were they for the Kyoto Treaty? I'll tell you where: Out hunting their friends and shooting their animals accidentally.

I just realised something. Countries whose first alphabet is A seem particularly accident prone. America (idiot presidents), Australia (racist politicians), Austria (little man with a funny moustache), Africa (apartheid). Didn't Argentina have some kind of war too???

I think I'd better stop watching and reading the news for the next couple of years.

14 February 2006

7 February 2006


In the news today, a woman in France who went through facial reconstruction and religious fanatics challenging the biased beliefs of freedom of expression because of the doings of arrogant Europeans. What is the common denominator between the two? Both are victims of history. Fortunately the woman is the lesser of the two evils. Why? Her suffering led to salvation albeit personal (let's not get into the scalpel of fame her surgeon now wields.)

The religious bunch. Thought nations have been at loggerheads for centuries, it still irks me how simple words can be misconstrued. Granted that some people should be more sensitive when dealing with topics of religion. Yet I can't help but blame ourselves for the situation that we are in.

I was watching CNN today while dancing on the treadmill. Images of Muslims shouting and screaming at policemen. Then the question flashed across the screen: What is the extent of "Freedom of Expression?"

I read it. Twice. Then it dawned upon me. The freedom of expression edict doesn't exist. Has it ever? Is it different for an individual? To me it looks like something someone came up with to cover a guilty ass.

I studied Political Science and when I studied freedom of expresssion, I held it to be a most wondrous thing. The right to express an idea, the unbiased exchange of information, the human justice of living. Now all it is is one big joke. Racial slurs is not freedom of expression. Asking your government for more funds to keep a war going because of freedom is not freedom of expression. Go express yourself somewhere else.

So, we are to blame. The intelligence of Man. As the world grows and becomes truly global with open channels and borders, people regress and become tribes again. Tribes of people that never venture further than the surrounding jungle. Dare I say, narrow-minded.

With every convenience available at the swipe of plastic, it's no wonder we allow our narrow minds to jump at the slightest inconvenience. Freedom of expression is a poor excuse for the common man to raise a club to hurt another. It's like my sorry relatives who snigger behind my back and say I'm a bad muslim because I'm not a pure-bred Malay. What does my race have anything to do with my religion? That's between my God and me. A holy man then told me not to be concerned with my relatives. These were words spoken through lips laced with insecurities. A loss of cultural and racial identity, and religion as a substitute. He added, "If you believe in God, he will believe in you. It doesn't matter what everyone else has to say."

Doesn't every religion teach patience, tolerance and understanding? It doesn't seem the case with hundreds of thousands around the world bearing clubs and weapons of mass destruction.

In our history, wars came about when a sovereign wanted to stake claim on a foreign land or defend his own. Then some idiot decided that religion had to come into play. Now we suffer for it. Just like with everything else we suffer. And most of the time we don't even know why. We follow only because our buddy next door said so.

All that's left for us to do is open a fish & chip shop and run for government. Oh yes, let's not forget a race riot on a beach in Sydney. That's always good for releasing stress. That, and a nice cold beer.

Now that the French woman has a new face, she can live a normal life in a world where at any moment she could lose it again. And I mean really lose it.

3 February 2006


Music is the verse of the soul, and the melody the quiver of a sweet breeze on a heartstring. It's a fairy's magical fingertips fluttering over a sentimental doorway, opening to reveal hidden memories from the depths of the past.

It is the quivering of a chord, penetrating your ears through the waves of ether, only to exit in the form of an ardent teardrop leaving its langorous trace of long lost love or the painful bite of destiny.

Maybe these notes could exit through your lips as they widen with the joyful smile of fulfilment. Music is a body composed of weary sighs, the breath of souls and the spirit of hearts...

~ khalil gibran

2 February 2006

bubble POP!

Just when you think the sun will keep on shining, it rains. And it ain't rainin' pennies from heaven.

I was winding down my car window and came this crunching sound. now my window is stuck midway and can't wind back up. The workshop I send my car to doesn't reopen till next week.

My youngest, Henry, hurt his paw yesterday and is a nightmare when he's hurt. So, I took him to the vet today. That was a thrill. It took all the strength I had to hold him while he was growling at the vet who tried to take a look at his paw. To top it off, it rained when we were in the clinic. With the window down, my car seats got wet.

Then, when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I get a message that No Black Tie, the jazz bar I was going to do Moodswings at, was closed down by the authorities. No licence. It's not that this is going to stop me from doing what I want, it just means that I need to get a couple more corporate emcee gigs to rent a proper theatre space. This is going to set the show back a couple of weeks or months.

I'm looking at it as a blessing in disguise. With the extra time, I get to perfect the music. Just wishing for these gigs to come along. Rental at our local theatres don't come cheap. I'm feeling pretty optimistic still.

I mean, why not? Only when everything goes wrong can the really good things happen.

Henry's sitting at my feet now. He's not limping as much now and he's smiling too.

I don't have to drive anywhere these next few days.

I'm listening to some CDs I picked up yesterday. Mel Tormé, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone. It helps to find my own voice when I listen to a singer's interpretation of my most loved songs. Each singer has his/her own way of wrapping the lyrics in their own silky emotive style. I think I'm very near in achieving my own style of sparkly wrapping.

So, the bubble may have popped and as my other baby, Bella, joins Henry at my feet, I know I'll be blowing another bubble soon.