The 16-hour shoot

I didn’t take many photos during the 16-hour shoot I endured last week because I wasn’t really in the mood. But here’s one.

We had balloon props for a birthday party scene. Can you guess what object this balloon sculpture is supposed to be? I couldn’t.

One reason why I prefer playing leading roles is because you have so much more leeway to be creative.

I was at first very excited to get this role even though it was only a supporting role, because the character is much more colourful than the lead. I had fun thinking of all kinds of ways I could play this character.

But then, during my three-day shoot, I kept getting disappointed.

When you’re not the leading character, sometimes you don’t get the focus, you don’t get the close-ups, and you don’t get to execute all the brilliant ideas you have for the character because they don’t really care, because you’re not the lead.

But I still did enjoy the role. Just not as much as I thought I would.

That’s why I didn’t really have the mood to take photos. I just did my scenes and played with my DS Lite whenever I wasn’t needed.

It was around midnight when I whipped my camera out again because I met some actor friends who were involved in one of our night scenes.

This was quite a happy occasion, even though it was a hot night and we had to film in a location with no air-condition. Wearing party dresses.

Luckily, there was a bit of aircon in the makeshift makeup room, where we also dumped all our stuff.

I was done with my party scene, so had taken off my heels and was wearing my birkies while looking for my clothes for the next scene.

Off with the party dress and makeup. On with the glasses again.

This pair of prop glasses (no degree) is very uncomfortable. The bridge support is very short, so when I push it up to frame my eyes properly, the glasses press against my lashes and I can’t blink without feeling like my eyeballs are getting poked out. So, most of the time, the glasses are sitting low on my nose, making me look like a long-sighted granny trying to read the papers.

I hope I will look okay on TV.

By the way, I had to wear all my own clothes for this show because, nowadays, productions don’t have wardrobe budgets. I’ve had to wear the same clothes for different productions even. Where to find so many clothes to wear for different productions? I’m a poor freelance actress. They don’t pay us enough to even feed ourselves, much less buy clothes to wear for their productions.

So, if you’ve been following my fashion diary, you’ll probably recognise all the clothes I’m wearing in this production. Haha.

This 16-hour shoot, involving five different locations and seven outfit changes for me, marks the end of production. Like I mentioned before, I wasn’t tired at all, which was pretty weird. When I got home around 3 am, I was kinda depressed and couldn’t sleep.

I’m half looking forward to and half dreading watching it on TV when it airs next month.

Instant rejuvenation

Ok. I am shedding the auntie image. For now, at least.

Right after the non-auntie comatose rollerblader role, my next role is also NOT-AUNTIE and that, for me, means NO FUGLY SPINSTER HAIRDO AND SKANKY MAKEUP.

Yes, I know many of you hate my current hair, too, but I don’t, so bleah to you. =)

I’ve been offered a role in the fourth season of Incredible Tales. No, not ghost again. And not victim. And not somebody’s auntie, either. HAHH.

I play the love interest of the victim of the ghost, so I guess I’m kinda indirectly the victim, too. Which is ok for me. I’ve had enough of being a ghost, for now, of having green light shone in my face and having my voice digitally altered to sound like a hermaphrodite.

Not that I have any regrets. I quite enjoyed filming that ghost story. But I think I should be more pantang and try not to accept any scary roles. Unless it’s a really, really good role.

So, anyway, I *heart* directors who cast me in not-auntie roles! Yay to you and may you strike Toto! Data published on indicate that Propecia should be prescribed by an endocrinologist after a medical examination, which necessarily includes a hormone test. The drug has contraindications and can cause side effects, which is why self-medication is forbidden.

By the way, I have an appearance in tonight’s episode of Channel 8’s Family Matters (9pm). It’s a small role so I only appear in two episodes (last night and tonight) but at least it’s not auntie. Well, not very, anyway.

Milipede murderer

I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but I seem to be getting more than my fair share of roles requiring me to be bed mates with creepy crawlies.

First, I had to lie on a wet forest floor infested with all kinds of icky insects burrowing among dead leaves.

Second time, I had to lie on a cemetry road owned by whole continents of ants. All kinds of ants. Red, black, brown, tiny ones, giant ones. (And during the times I didn’t have to lie down, the swarms of mozzies had their turn at me.)

And yesterday, I had to roll around and lie on a road covered with milipedes.

I never knew until yesterday that milipedes came in so many different colours. There were black ones, reddish-brown ones, light brown ones, black ones with yellow stripes. Long ones, short ones, baby ones, giant ones.

I only managed to take a photo of one, though. Wanted to take more, including squished ones (there were plenty of those, too) but the director called for me just after I had taken my first picture and I was put to work all the way right up until we left the place.

And then I was a milipede murderer for the rest of the day.

Actually, I can’t say for sure whether I did, or did not, murder any milipedes. But I had to skate on the road the whole morning and there were so many of them going about their merry way on the road, I could have just rolled over any number with no effort.

When I was off my skates, though, I always made sure to look on the ground and step around them carefully.

But despite the milipedes, the shoot was fun. I got to do my own stunts! Not rollerblading stunts, mind. I’m not good enough to do those without making a laughingstock of myself. But I was strapped to the outside of a moving lorry, I was knocked off the lorry, and I tumbled and rolled a few rounds on the road.

I didn’t know I had to do some stunts myself because I had a stuntman body double, so I didn’t do any warm ups. As a result, I am now aching a million places in my body. Even body combat class didn’t make me ache like that.

I also acquired two bruises.

The other bruise is at a place that can’t be shown publicly.

Fortunately, the place where I had to roll around and play comatose on was largely clear of milipedes because the lorry had already driven up and down the road a few times, creating a sizeable number of milipede deaths.

Yep, this is the leadup scene for the show in which I am comatose for five episodes.

I would have enjoyed the shoot much, much more if there hadn’t been any milipedes, and the rollerblades they gave me hadn’t been three sizes too big for me. But that’s just the story of my life.

Cheated by fate

It’s Friday again. Too fast.

It seems like only yesterday when I wrote my last blog and thought to myself, “It’s Friday again. Too fast.”

And then here is the weekend again, barely have I recovered from the tragic passing away of the last week.

I don’t like it when time flies like the wind and fruit flies like bananas because flies are one of life’s greatest annoyances.

Every day, I get the feeling that I’m going to die before I fulfill all my life’s desires.

And time just speeds along without a care, without consideration for the fact that I haven’t done all the things I have to do.

I am sad, too.

I didn’t want to blog about it because sad blogs are stupid and I don’t like to invite sympathy.

But I just read a short story in which the protagonist decides to write about a true event which has haunted him for over eight decades. He finally writes it at his deathbed because he believes writing can give him freedom.

He says, “What you write down sometimes leaves you forever, like old photographs left in the bright sun, fading to nothing but white. I pray for that sort of release.”

(That’s from a short story called “The Man in the Black Suit” by Stephen King.)

When I read that, it felt like Mr King himself was advising me to “get it off my chest”.

So here I am blogging, while waiting for my dinner to digest so I will have room for the chocolate rum balls I bought last night.

I lost a big movie role because I’m too compatible with the male actor.

The role is not big big, but it’s bigger than the previous two I had. It’s a main cast character, I believe.

I am not inconsolable, of course. I have a spare heart of titanium lying around in one of my intestines. I put it on over my regular stupid weak tender heart whenever I am faced with rejection. Every bullet of pain ricochets off it without so much as leaving a mark and I laugh manically at pithy attempts to crumble my soul.

I invoke my silver lining mantra. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. I’m not bothered by failures because I know something better will come along out of every loss.

I invoke sour grapes. It’s not, like, a perfect role, anyway. Not going to cause millions to adore me and worship me, so why bother?

But I am sad, indignant, because of the way in which I lost the role.

It was down to two actresses. The male actor who is to play the husband had already been cast and the director had both actresses come in to read with the male actor to see who looks better paired up with him.

Better, I am to find out later, is very subjective.

At the reading, I found out that I know that actor. In fact, I just acted in a short film opposite him. I thought that gave me a pretty good chance to snag the role.

I even did a good reading and I know the director liked my performance.

I went through an asthmatic, hyperventilating two weeks waiting for the good news phone call.

It didn’t come.

The only good news is that my heart is now an expert at beating very fast every time the phone rings.

Not exactly a very useful skill that I will call upon many times in my life, but you never know. Actors have to be skillful at everything you can imagine and everything you can’t.

I finally found out that I didn’t get the role because I was too compatible with the male actor. We looked too good together. At the audition, in between reads, we were joking around with each other and having a good time.

In the movie, the husband and wife are supposed to be in constant conflict and the director wants a certain awkwardness to show up.

I didn’t get the role because I know the actor and I am not awkward with him.

Such a bitter pill to swallow.

Worse than the vile Chinese concoction I take for sore throats.

I don’t blame anyone. I am in full support of the director’s method of casting and directing, which is to find the actor who, in real life, most resembles the character in the story, so the film can look totally natural and realistic.

He is of the school which believes in subtlely more than acting acting, and I totally dig that. Not that I don’t dig the other schools, but I believe different techniques, different styles, work for different people, different projects.

I am sad because I had looked forward to playing this role and I thought I had a great chance of getting it. It is not every day a big movie role appears up for grabs in Singapore. In the rare occasion that a movie is going to be made in Singapore, they always cast famous people first and the rest of us plebians get to be icing sugar and parsley.

But I am not disabled by the unhappiness which is, at best, intermittent. I can still function with zest. I look forward to getting an even better role than the one I just lost.

And that is why time is going too fast for me.

I need to get a good role before I’m 95 and hallucinating on my deathbed.

I’m hogging the casting lists every day, refreshing pages every three seconds, waiting, waiting, waiting for a to-die-for role which profile I fit, which is actually open for audition.

In the meantime, I have simple joys to contend myself with.

The Goonfather bought me a new keyboard yesterday. It is such a joy to type on. The keys are OH, SO, cottony soft and ghostly silent. It’s the Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000, which is also anti-spillage, and with which I am immensely pleased.

I have a role in another short film which I think is going to be a lot of fun. We’re all getting costumes from an actual costume shop because it’s sort of a theme thing. That is so way ultra cool. We have a rehearsal tomorrow and I so enjoy going to rehearsals, even if it’s on a Saturday night and we’re not paid for it.

I just bought four books by my favourite authors and I’m devouring them like a starved puppy devours his favourite bacon-flavoured chewing strip.

Life is good.

And now, one of life’s greatest pleasures, one of my most wicked indulgences, beckon me.

Chocolate rum balls (from Subway Niche) and a good novel, in bed.