I’m so busy I’m turning psychotic

And now, I’m going to recap my past two weeks, in case people don’t believe me when I tell them that I’ve been busy to the point of psychosis.

Starting with a party.

Nov 24 (Sat) — Drunken Guitar Heroes

I organised a party for my delinquent friends, luring them with Krispy Kreme donuts (all 3 dozen of ’em, courtesy of my favourite Hong Kong-based cousin who goes by the endearing moniker of Monster).

At the party, I made everyone play battle mode in Guitar Hero 3. The loser of each battle had to drink a shot from an unwanted bottle of raspberry vodka that had followed our group from party to party for two years because nobody ever wants to drink it.

We all ended up pretty drunk (because I made sure everyone took turns to play and lose) and had to crash at J&J’s place overnight. Was planning to blog about this (I have incriminating videos! Wahaa!) but haven’t had time to sort out the pics and vids yet.

Nov 25 (Sun) — Free And Easy (Not)

I say free and easy because I had no appointments. But free and easy is not as free and easy as it sounds. It just means I could stay home to nurse my hangover work on any number of things piling up on my metaphorical in-tray — advertorials, scripts, blogs, rehearsals.

Nov 26 (Mon) — New Project In The Works

Met up with some folks to discuss a video blogging project that was supposed to have started this week but got delayed due to technical setbacks. (Which was actually fortunate because I don’t know how I would have found the time to work on it otherwise.)

Nov 27 (Tue) — Playing Truant To Work

I skipped ABT (gym) class for the fifth consecutive week. Not because of laziness (as is usually the case) but because I’ve been so busy meeting deadlines that exercise has to wait.

Spent the day slaving over my script for 3 Men Meet 3 Women, instead, because I needed to cough it out, pronto.

Nov 28 (Wed) — Anti-Smoking Crusade

I’m acting in this anti-smoking play designed to persuade staff in the civil service to quit smoking. Yes, it’s an educational play but we try to make it funny so that it distracts our audience into forgetting to be annoyed by the messagy nature of the play.


(Rehearsal picture taken at Health Promotion Board auditorium)

We go to exciting places like airbases to perform. (Actually, it’s a pain to go to those places because of all the security procedures at entry and exit points.)

On this day, we had two shows to perform at two different locations, one of which was Tengah Airbase. I made a discovery there: If you park your car backside in, it will get towed away. An officer kindly alerted us to that fact when we made the mistake of parking our vehicle like normal Singaporeans do. But he didn’t want to explain why.

Nov 29 (Thu) — First Rehearsal

I had my first rehearsal for 3 Men Meet 3 Women, which I already blogged about.

Nov 30 (Fri) — Trying To Plug Holes

I was able to get properly psychotic today because I didn’t have any engagments. So I was forced to stay home and work on the damn script, which had just been shot full of holes from the previous day’s rehearsal. Spent all day stressing over plugging the holes. Didn’t make much progress because I was too panicky to concentrate properly.

Dec 1 (Sat) — Crying At Auditions And Laughing At Parties

I auditioned for a feature film and cried real tears when performing a monologue which I only had 10 minutes to prepare. It’s really liberating and fulfilling when that happens. Actually, I always find it easier to cry on fresh material than on prepared pieces. I don’t know if other actors are that way.

After my audition, I rushed to Morte’s birthday dinner. (Late again.) The plan was to surprise him with dinner and a birthday cake. But because Morte is an inquisitive dongo who likes to sneak up behind his wife and peek at her MSN conversations, which, during one inopportune night, involved secret birthday party plans, he already knew everything even before the day arrived.

After dinner, we came to my place for Drunken Guitar Heroes Part 2.

Don Juan de Porko (picture, left) showed us the alternative way to mash buttons. (Check out his left hand.)

The Goonfather commented on this photo: “F**king Stamford Raffles or guitar hero, siah??”

Well, I don’t know who or what The Goonfather himself was trying to be when he struck this pose (below).

But I do know it’s the best pose to strike if you’re in the mood for cramping both your arms before the song is done.

Dec 2 (Sun) — Meeting Ate My Social Time

A technical meeting was held to discuss – duh – technicalities and logistics for 3 Men Meet 3 Women.

I wanted to discuss my script with the director, producer and my partner, but there wasn’t enough time and I had to rush off to watch the Slingers. I even sacrificed half the basketball match by leaving the meeting later than I’d planned.

Dec 3 (Mon) — Mission Complete

Today was the ultimate do-or-die day. I absolutely had to rewrite a passable script even if it killed me. Countdown to performance: 11 days.

So I sat down and forced myself to keep working at it no matter how many times I got stuck. I would write one page, then get up to walk around my room complaining, “I’m stuck!” and pulling my hair out, then sit down again and write some more.

Using that method, I finally completed the script despite being horrendously tired from lack of sleep. I did-and-didn’t-die!

Dec 4 (Tue) — Happy Big Project

Met up with a bunch of happy people to talk about starting a new theatre/media group so we can create our own platforms to do the things we love to do. There are already several ideas we want to work on as soon as we have time. This is the way to live life, is it not!

Dec 5 (Wed) — Hobnobbing With Elites After A Long Day Of Work

I had a corporate photoshoot at Singapore Polytechnic. Not for SP but for Ministry of Manpower (related to my Promoting Singapore video). Photoshoots are generally boring because they don’t engage me actively, since I have to stay still in specific poses. Staying still too much makes me want to jump and dance and run around a football field yelling at the top of my voice. But photoshoots are easy jobs that pay well for minimal effort so I like them for that.

From the photoshoot, I had to rush to NYU Tisch Asia for a party. I was half an hour late. Then again, is there such a thing as “late for a party”?

Wasn’t really a party, actually. It was a mixer, the purpose of which was to allow potential future hotshot actors and potential future hotshot directors to network. Many of those potential future hotshot directors came up to me to say they recognised me from the two short films I had acted in for their coursemates, and to congratulate me for doing a really great job. I hope they were all genuine compliments.

Dec 6 (Thur) — Qiaoyun The Blogger, Qiaoyun The Model

Was invited to Samsung office, together with a small group of bloggers, to talk about blogging, new media, gadgets and yet another project, which I can’t reveal now. It was a fun meeting. Strangely, no one took any photos.

Right after that was a 3 Men Meet 3 Women rehearsal. We did hotseating today. In theatre terms, that means an actor gets into character and has to answer questions thrown at him by the director and/or other actors. All questions must be answered in character. It’s a cool way to explore a character deeper and to test how much an actor knows his role.

Throughout the hotseating, my director claimed, the way I physically sat screamed “Qiaoyun the model” instead of my character. Well, I sat the way I thought my character, a high society lady, would sit, like all proper and posey, you know?

Dec 7 (Fri) — OMG Reshoot

We had to reshoot an episode of Snap! (the kids drama now showing on Channel 8, Sundays, 10:30 am) because one episode was dropped for inappropriate content (which is subjective, in my opinion). So we had to shoot a new episode with a new script to replace the dropped one. My hair is now four inches longer than in the other episodes. I hope no one notices.

Today — No Rest For The Weary

Attended a Philips press event for bloggers (I’m really tickled and a little disconcerted that bloggers are more and more being recognised as an alternative for conventional press). I’m sure you’ll be reading about the event pretty soon from some popular blogs in the Singapore blogosphere. I can’t talk about it now because I have to rush off (yet again) for a rehearsal after posting this blog.

SEE I NEVER BLUFF YOU ALL.

I’m working on so many things at the same time that I don’t have time to tidy up my wardrobe, which is now looking like a tornado hit a clothing store and dumped its spoils into it.

I don’t have photos for many of the activities I mentioned above because all the rushing about saps my energy. I don’t have any strength left to even take my camera out. Haha. I mean, I do enjoy every meeting, every rehearsal and every project. But the fact that they’re all clamouring for my attention at the same time is killing me.

I’ve been rushing from one thing to another so much that it’s a wonder I can keep track of what’s going on.

When I bump into people recently and they ask, “How have you been?” I give a tired look and say “Busy.”

If they ask, “Busy with what?” I’m speechless because I don’t know how to start answering.

Next time someone asks again, I’m going to answer, “I’m so busy I’m turning psychotic” and then give them the link to this post.

When work is fun and games

I can finally look normal again after three months of looking like a dorky teacher.

I’m still filming the kids’ drama. I’m still a teacher, but we’ve moved on to the later episodes where my character’s personal life outside of teaching comes into play. I have the chance to wear non-dorky clothes and look normal! Yay.

I realise I’ve never mentioned the title of this drama. So, here are a few details:

The title is SNAP, but it’s a Chinese drama. It will be shown on Sunday mornings on Channel 8, possibly starting on Sep 30. There are 14 episodes, each lasting 30 minutes and I’m in 12 episodes. I think.

This drama series has many directors, each taking charge of different episodes. I think it’ll be very interesting to watch because every episode is going to have a different flavour.

Today’s director is Martin, who is also the overall project manager and the person who normally helps me take photographs using my camera while I’m filming.

But since he’s the director today, he doesn’t have time to horse around with my camera, so I’m my own photographer today and Martin is my subject. Haha.

Martin has a tough job managing the kids today because they have a fun toy as a prop.

A wired laptop!

You know how kids get engrossed when they’re having fun.

It’s just them and their world.

Well, since this is a kids’ drama, the production is full of kids.

Here are two big ones.

On the left is Ler, who directs other episodes. He looks into the camera defiantly because… I don’t know. Because it’s fun?

I love working with creative people. They’re like boxes of chocolates, like, you know, you never know what you’re gonna get.

On the right is Melvin, the producer, and this is his house we’re filming in.

Tell you one secret.

Melvin’s house is so big that it’s used as the prop house for two different girls in the show (to save them the trouble of finding two separate houses to film in.) Of course, the audience won’t know it because different parts of the house are used for each girl.

But I know and I think it’s funny. Hahahaha!

Yeah, I know. I’m very easily amused.

For example, I amused myself playing around with my camera’s macro function while waiting for the crew to set up the lights around me.

I like photos with foreground/background compositions. Not this particular photo I’ve taken, of course. It’s a stupidly composed test shot just for illustration.

I couldn’t do very much because I only had my fingers to use as foreground, plus the crew started to look at me weird for taking photos of my own fingers.

I’ve learnt a lot from this shoot. Especially from my favourite girls, Jiaxuan and Almond.

They’ve taught me all sorts of cute games and riddles and stuff that girls do to amuse themselves.

Ah, but no fun and games for now because it’s back to work.

Then again, acting is fun and games.

Once, I was filming a scene in which my character was listening to a student’s sob story. It was a serious scene, even a little touching.

During one take, as I delivered my last line, and with the camera focused on my face looking at my student empathetically, and just before the director yelled “cut!” to wrap the scene, someone’s phone rang.

The music was the chorus of “Killing Me Softly”.

The song came at such an apt moment, at the exact time a real soundtrack might appear in a movie. But it was hilarious because of that and because the song ringing out turned our drama into comedy.

I tried to keep a straight face because the director hadn’t yelled “cut” but then the entire crew started laughing and I had to join in.

Moments like that make great NG footages. But, more specifically, they make working on a TV or movie set so magical and heartwarming.

I love watching NG footages because they allow me to experience the fun and the magic behind the scenes. But being an actress is even better! I get to enjoy these moments not only vicariously, but also in person!

I think all movies and TV shows should show NG footages at the end, don’t you?

Anyhow, in the next couple of weeks, I will be alternating between looking dorky and looking normal as I film the later episodes. I can’t wait for the show to wrap because it’s really very tiring being a teacher. But I think I’m gonna miss it, too.

People never know what they want, huh?

Just pictures from today’s shoot

Super busy! Full day shoot today with a persistent headache that started the moment I woke up in the morning and refused to go away until after dinner.

So I’m not going to write anything interesting or entertaining or funny or controversial or whatever. Just going to post pictures from today’s shoot.

My teacher’s costume today is pretty cute. I like!

Time to do hair.

I don’t really like this hair. I feel very nerdy. But I guess it goes with the role.

Me and my main kids.

Reading to the class.

Cute Scotty being lazy.

Cute Benji being an imp.

Cute teacher being silly with a PSP.

P.E. teacher!

Eek, my face looks fat on screen.

Today was very tiring. And very hot. Another full day shoot tomorrow. Zzz… no energy to write anymore so, bye!