The angry blog

Haha. Someone just started a blog called “Owe Money Pay Money”, dedicated to the media industry in Singapore, where it’s common to hear complaints from freelance professionals that they never got paid for their work.

I myself have been a victim. Two years ago, I was shortchanged $400 for an acting project.

I never did get the money back because the producer (also a freelancer) disappeared.

Actually, he did reappear (through e-mail) but when I asked him about the money, he disappeared again.

After countless years of struggling, I’m really glad that I don’t have to depend on freelance projects to survive anymore, because it really sucks to be exploited. But my heart goes out to fellow professionals who continue to be shortchanged day after day.

Apart from allowing media professionals to rant and warn others against specific individuals or companies, I hope this blog manages to address and reduce the problem, eventually!

Well, okay, maybe the title of the blog is a little inelegant, but I find it funny. Haha.

And, I guess, it’s the cold, hard truth.

Click here for the blog.

Losing things mysteriously in the cemetery

Time for another old post from my old blog!

I’ve been feeling rather backward and nostalgic recently, seeming to have temporarily lost interest in the present and the future.

Oh dear. =(

Sheylara

The following post first appeared on Sheylara.com on Nov 7, 2005.

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Dealing With Losing Things

I lost two items within two days last week. And both when I was out shooting this particular short film.

The first item is a Clinique eyebrow shadow. The second is my Olympus digital camera.

The Goonfather told me it’s because I didn’t pay my respects to the spirits of the cemetery in which the short film was filmed at.

On the set

Two days of filming, two things lost.

So, on the third day of the shoot, I waved hesitantly at the tombstones at random and apologised for being in the way. Well, I think it worked before I didn’t lose anymore things.

Do you know what that means?? It means I can’t put pictures in this blog until I replace my digital camera!

I just checked my bank account. I have $34 to my name, and I can’t even afford to replace the eyebrow shadow, much less the camera. And my birthday is still eight months away, so I can’t demand for the Goonfather to buy me a camera.

Well, so, that means no pictures.

There were no reports of any loss of items from the crew or from my co-star, so it means either I’m cursed or I’m just a hopeless scatterbrain. I hope it’s the latter.

In fact, I am a hopeless scatterbrain, as people who know me will agree.

On the set

Many people probably think I should be devastated for losing a camera but I’m not, really. I do feel a bit of a pinch because there are a couple of photos in there I really like which I haven’t downloaded.

But, apart from that, I am actually thankful that my dose of bad luck (assuming everyone has a kind of quota for good and bad fortunes) was spent on something so trivial.

In other words, I would rather lose a camera than lose, for instance, a kidney.

One should always put things in perspective. Unless, of course, one were to lose a camera and a kidney simultaneously, in which case it would be slightly more difficult to put things in perspective.

On the set

But one should always try.

I am also at the moment too happy to be disturbed by disappearing possessions because I have just acted in the coolest short film ever.

It is all very subject to taste, of course, but I just love this film, I love my role and I love everyone involved in the film. The last three days of shoot were totally enjoyable and exhilarating, despite the scenes being shot entirely on a narrow cemetery road infested with endless swarms of mosquitoes, a zillion different tribes of ants and all other kinds of miscellaneous unidentified bugs.

I shall blog about it at length after I get some photos from the production crew.

At the moment, I am still on a high. So, I think it’s about time to take a nap.

On the set

Thoughts on Female Games

I want to talk a bit about my movie, Female Games, today.

Here’s my Sinema interview:

Interview
Click to read.

Female Games is now showing at Sinema Old School, and will run till end August. Showtimes here.

After finally seeing it, I suppose I should warn you that it’s not for everyone. But then I was prepared for that. Kan (our director) told us from the start that his films have always been polarising. You either love them or hate them.

Filming

His films are the kind that win prestigious art film awards but the man in the street hates.

It’s a little different for Female Games. I think the word is: confusing. Confusion clouded my head the first time I saw it because the final edit changed everything I knew about the film when we were filming it.

I had trouble answering questions at the Q&A after the show because I was as shocked (and possibly dismayed) at the outcome of the film as the audience.

Q&A
Photo from JayWalk’s blog.

There still is, of course, the expected love and hate reactions. But I get the impression that, on the whole, people don’t know whether to love or hate it.

Whatever the case, I don’t regret being in the film. Experience is priceless.

My first R21 film… coming soon

I thought my movie would never get a chance to be screened after it was withdrawn from the Singapore International Film Festival due to censorship issues.

Sheylara

But Sinema Old School picked it up (yayness) so… I am akan datang!!

In a manner of speaking.

Female Games

In case you’re new to my blog, I’m an actress and this is my first major film. I blogged about the shooting of this film last year, under a different working title (God is a Woman).

The world premiere screening of Female Games is happening on July 22 (Wed, 8 pm). That’s the one I’ll be attending. Tickets are available to the public and can be bought through e-mail, phone or fax at the Sinema Old School site.

If you can’t make it on July 22, check here for other show times. The film will run till the end of the month.

Female Games

Please be aware that this is an R21 artistic, experimental film with sexually explicit content, and has been touted as “the first contemporary Singaporean film to boldly portray female homosexuality”.

If any of the words above bother you, please don’t watch it.

Critic have raved over the film, though. Not a single bad review so far! Read one here.

Female Games

I hope I don’t regret advertising this.

I think I’m going to.

I’m a voice artist

A week ago, I received an unexpected job offer to provide my voice for a commercial.

The job happened on Friday. It was so cool that I won’t mind solely doing this for a living.

Sheylara

Of course, like acting, you’re still subject to uncertainty and long waiting times between jobs, so it’s not a sure carerer.

But in voice work, at least, the audition processs is more or less eliminated so it’s less hassle. All you need to do is submit your voice samples via e-mail and wait for good news.

I can’t tell you the details yet, but the job was for an Internet commercial.

Sheylara as voice artist
Me with the creative team from Ogilvy & Mather.

The recording was done at The Gunnery, which does audio for all kinds of productions.

Two months back, I had gone for a voice performance workshop at The Gunnery to learn about doing voiceovers for TV and radio commercials.

The Gunnery

It was just one of those things I do because I like to learn new stuff. I never really thought I’d have the chance to be a professional voice artist, especially since I hate the sound of my own voice.

I’m not entirely new to voice work, of course, having provided many voiceovers for my own acting performances and commercials, but those were kind of like tag-on assignments, so they’re not really counted.

I did voice over one beauty salon TV commercial many years ago but it was more a favour for someone than anything else.

But I guess attending the workshop paid off because it got me this job.

In the workshop, we learnt how to tweak our voices in dozens of subtle ways to achieve effects desired by clients. We learnt tricks on how to sound a certain way by doing certain physical actions.

We also recorded several samples of us reading actual commercial scripts.

Sheylara and Evan
Me with Evan Roberts, creative director of The Gunnery.

Evan was our coach at the workshop. He also directed my performance on Friday and did the sound engineering. He’s amazingly talented as well as patient and awesome. I can’t wait to work with him again!

Well, as much as I hate my voice, this is something I don’t mind pursuing. I mean, if there are people who like my voice, I’m using it.

The work is challenging, fun and immensely satisfying when you get it right. Sometimes, your voice just refuses to come out the way you want it and then it’s all wrong, and you have to do it over and over.

Sheylara

I wonder if I’ll get more jobs after this?