Saturday, September 26, 2009

Model Box of a One Room Flat

So we had to do a model box based on a given poem by our lecturer for Scenic Design module. The scenic set I came out with is a room that's derived from a one-room HDB flat. Well doing a model box is really a tedious process, because I have to admit I don't have very nimble fingers, and doing miniature models on a scale of 1:25 is really tough, and these models had to be as realistic as possible. Perhaps that's why I preferred more abstract set designs than going for realism? I had targeted to complete at least 50% of my model by Tuesday, and I believe I'm still on time, but I just feel lethargic, and I think even electrocution will not make me move much!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unseen Shots from "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown"

Earlier on I've said that we crew members parodied the cast before the show started. So here are some of them, courtesy of Caitanya who played Schroeder.

An elongated dog... Adam's (our drummer) upper body and my lower body...

Me parodying Lucy in "Lucy Opens Shop"

Me parodying as Lucy and Adam as Schroeder in "Schroeder"

Closing of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is finally closed last night and it was a good performance by the Level 3 Musical Theatre students, in collaboration with our Technical Theatre faculty. Other than yesterday's matinee which was like 60% full, all other performances were close to full house if not filled up to the max. Yesterday night's turnout even overstretched the seating capacity and I believed more chairs had to be added so as not to turn away anyone (I'm not sure though if anyone had been turned away).
My props table at a dark corner of the backstage

For those who still don't know what's my role in the production, I was one of the two assistant stage managers for the show. Over the intercom, other than identifying myself as "stage left" (since I'm stationed on the stage left side), I was also known as "the man on the stage left", or "Mr Stool" or "Mr. Baseball Bat", as I need to throw stool and baseball bat to my fellow actor as required by the director. Generally speaking, stage crew like me are not supposed to be seen by audience when the show is running. Hence, to make up for the loss of exposure, I had some fun with my other crew members while the cast is not around by parodying them on stage. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone had footages of these monkeying scenes of us, so I won't be able to post them up here. But to be honest, if I'm at least taller by 10cm, I might have joined the acting or musical theatre course instead. I'm actually equally interested in the performance aspect of theatre, so seeing others perform on stage tends to make to itch for acting opportunities too. But for now, I'll just stick to technical theatre.
Queen Julia from the Queendom of BopIt, also known as Miss Dogbone for having a throw a 1m dogbone on stage to Snoopy.

The cast of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

Right now, I'm relieved that the production is over, but on the other hand I'm starting to miss working on this production already, because I really like this show since ages ago. Hopefully I'll get to work with the same group of actors again, though I'm not sure if there'll be any chance till the end of this academic year...
The backstage crew, finally exposed to public...

Burning of the damned leaf that refused to listen to the SM's cue by the SM after last night's performance.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Performance at Yilan

I returned from Yilan last Tuesday after a five-day performance tour with my opera troupe and it is only now that I have the time to blog about it.

Part of our troupe's suitcases... but none of which is mine..

This performance is the second of the troupe's overseas performance tour to Taiwan for the year, but it's my first time traveling with them. Of course, I do not get to act due to my busy schedule. I decided to give up my role to someone else in view that I had to juggle between doing scenic design, lighting design, scenic construction, school production and school homework all at the same time.

Rigging in progress, with Ah-Long, my light op and great assistant to me throughout our stay in theatre.

Reflecting back, this performance is very hectic, as day in day out, everyone of us was stuck in the theatre since morning till late night, and hence there's totally no time for personal leisure. For me it's even worse; due to some communication breakdown, I had to do last minute lighting and scenic changes to accomodate the change in stage configuration, and one of our major scenic elements could not be pieced up in time, even with the assistance of many other troupe members. Luckily for me, everyone went on smoothly.
The lighting console: ETC Insigh 2X (oh my god it's so antique!)

A view of my symbolic scenic design without the lights; as usual, me with my drapes

Having said so, there're things which I was very sore about. First, I wasn't given any credit in the programme booklet. I don't know if this is the usual practice for the Taiwanese that the creative team is usually not credited, or that it has been left out due to space constraints. Well, they were kind enough to include it in for me after I raised it up, but then an amended programme booklet is no longer original anymore. Another thing is I wasn't able to take pictures of my own scenic and lighting design, despite being promised that someone would do that for me. No doubt I can extract the stills from the DVD recording, but how can still images be compared to high-res photographs, when it comes to compilation of portfolio? It's all about compromising of my professionalism, although I'm still not yet a professional.

Rigging again... with a bit of lighting

Bad moments aside, I still feel this is a rather nice experience. I learnt quite a lot, like coming out with contingency plans within 5 hours, planning a technical schedule (even though it may not be a perfect one), and cueing a show entirely in Mandarin. Say, how many newbies in the industry can have the luck to do all these?