After two weeks of neglect, my corner in my bedroom looks like this.
When I’m consumed by work, my corner turns into a junkyard.
It’s very disturbing because I hate mess. I feel lost and unsettled sitting in a pile of mess, which is very unfortunate because I’m actually quite a messy person, especially when I’m busy.
Fortunately, I’m not that busy anymore because 3 Men Meet 3 Women has ended.
My performance was the opening act for all three nights. It was very daunting, but also advantageous because I could get it over and done with quickly and go watch the other acts leisurely.
This was at the Arts House box office. The little “shower room” on the right was my stage. I was confined in that little cage for my 20-minute solo performance. I was supposed to paint pictures on it while saying my lines so it’s like another layer of entertainment for the audience.
Pre-painted drawings to start the performance off with.
I didn’t actually paint all that myself. Heheh. The bulk of it was pre-painted by my mentor-director. I just had to add a few more curlies and flowers during my performance.
The above photo was taken by Johnny Malkavian during my performance. You can view more photos here.
The glass panels look cloudy and yucky because we had to clean off the paintings each day for the next day’s performance and it was impossible to get the glass back to its original clarity. This was taken on the last day of performance so, by then, the glass had gotten really really bad.
Will post more pictures when I get them from my director, who took pictures of my rehearsal when the glass was still clean.
The second act of our show was very challenging, being located outdoors.
It was at the Stamford Raffles statue by the Singapore River (beside Timbre).
Building the set.
Chris, the actor, had to really project his voice because he had to compete with the noise from Timbre (the pub just beside the statue).
On the last night, the set was moved to the Arts House foyer because it looked like it might rain.
Third act was Shuzhuang and her playground, located in the now-defunct Q Bar in the Arts House.
It was an amazing experience working on this theatre project. I’m eternally thankful to Richard Chua of Little Red Shop for giving me the opportunity to do theatre in a professional capacity when no one else would.
I’m also grateful to my mentor-director Yeo Hon Beng for very patiently and creatively helping me unlock the skills I needed to undertake this challenging task.
I’m still amazed that I was able to pull the whole thing off. I wrote the following about the process of working on this challenge (which was printed in the show’s programme booklet).
First of all, let it be said that it’s impossible to co-write a script through e-mail. The challenge posed to me and my graphic designer was to jointly develop a solo act for me to perform. Both of us were enthusiastic. Both of us had ideas. But both of us were also very busy. We could never find a mutually agreeable time to meet or even talk on the phone. So we ping-ponged ideas via e-mail and it took us a month just to agree on a story idea, which left us with hardly any time to actually write the damn thing.
Secondly, let it be said that theatre practitioners are crazy. It is ten days to opening night and I am shedding tears of panic onto the first draft of my script. It has been rejected because it is one medal short of award-winning. So I indulge in a bit of hysterics, “How is it possible for me to suddenly turn into an award-winning playwright and produce a brilliant script and be ready to perform it for a paying audience in ten days?!” And my director smiles at me and says, “Of course it’s possible. This is theatre.”
– Shen Qiaoyun
Hon Beng was right. I managed to do it. Actually, he had to help me rewrite my script after my two attempts. So it goes to show that crazy challenges are possible to surmount as long as you have the help and support of people around you.
Oh, remember the chipped nail I got from cleaning my glass panels?
The whole thing chipped off after the second night.
Heheh. My poor nails.
I showed a few people and they thought I fell down or something.
Wahahaha! (Yah lah, I enjoy cheap thrills.)
It’s paint. *lol* Looks like dried blood, doesn’t it?
I got paint on my arms, too.
Unfortunately, I had to clean off everything after the last performance because I indulged myself and got a lot of paint all over myself. I had to clean it all off after the show or scare every passer-by on the street.
I left my dirty costume on, though.
Photo courtesy of Rikiro Chung, our project publicist.
More random photos!
Chris and Shuzhuang fighting with pretzel sticks after the last show.
Hong Beng and Debbie (designer) wearing Debbie’s impromptu creations on their heads.
Me camwhoring in the Arts House toilet.
Shuzhuang and Richard cleaning paint off their hands at the Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre toilet.
Everyone got pink paint on their hands while moving the sets and props back to our base at TAPAC because someone forgot to shut the lid on the pink paint properly. Hahaha.
Anyway, my final thoughts on this project.
I value the experience a lot. I don’t think I put up an award-winning performance, but I think I did the best I could given the time I was allowed to prepare for it.
I felt my performance on the second night was really weak because I don’t know why I kept getting distracted by a zillion things, which was a shame because we had our biggest audience that night (about 30 or so people).
But I made it up on the third night.
I received three very different feedback for my performance from various people:
At least I still have room for improvement. Lots of room, in fact.
I’m already beginning to miss working on the production and hanging out with all the people who were part of it. Well, there’s still a cast party to look forward to, so it isn’t the end yet.
But I hope it won’t end even after it ends, if you know what I mean.
I love my life, this perfect life.