Saturday, May 07, 2005

Woke up at 0900, a luxury after maybe 3 weeks of early mornings. We're pumped, opening night of 'Oz' being quite a hit with our crowd.

As a club NYeDC 05 pulled together and focused on getting our show out. Whether in training, rehearsal, technical, handicraft or artistic activities, everyone found a niche and gave everything they had and more. Every rehearsal found a new angle, a new toy, or a new gag with improvisation and seat-of-the-pants ingenuity; necessity being the mother of invention.

Right down to opening night, the cast and crew still found new ways to play, and last night the Timekeeper and the Wizard came into their own as characters in the show. Must credit Timekeeper who was sensitive enough to notice he was stealing limelight away from the main action and sensibly stopped his antics so focus could go back to centrestage.

Having a competent 'live' band to support the action is definitely the way to go. Our musicians have very little to do with the club but they found a way to believe in the show enough to ask to be a part of it. We left them to improvise on their own and kept the soundtrack flexible. Result: action, underscored with music and effects, that would otherwise have fallen flat.

If there were any problems on opening night, it would have been from the soundboard. Condenser mikes not picking up well, actors sounding soft in ensemble, in contrast to the loud, clear sounds of our individually miked up solos. Need to balance the sound better, and avoid feedback, which was another nagging problem.

The house last night was larger than I had been mentally prepared for. Last night sold well and let's hope tonight's show will be just as good. Must thank 'sif, HT, Ramzi, Shariffah and Durga of 04 for their time and for creating a gorgeous front-of-house set with fabrics, a couple of fedoras and a ruby red shoe (shaped phone). Must also thank the AV guy for hanging around in the sound booth giving me a hand with a twitchy soundboard.

Tonight is closing night. Let's avoid complacency and let the success of our previous night get to our heads. NYeDC 05, let's go and break some legs!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Looks like another major expense heading our way. HDB came over to inspect our bathroom to determine the source of our downstairs neighbour's roof leakage. Assessment: We're going to need a whole new bathroom. Floor tiles out, crapper out, and while we're at it, wall tiles out, bathroom sink out -- hey, and maybe get a replacement water heater too!

It's likely that it was our darned air-con contractor's fault in the first place, giving us an a/c drainage pipe that drained impractically into the drainage hole of our main bathroom floor instead of the shower hole. Because the drainage hole was at the far end of our bathroom, the contractor ran a long PVC pipe all the way across our bathroom floor which became a tripping hazard for us. June got fed up with the pipe one day and had it hacksawed off. So the a/c drained directly onto the bathroom floor. The water must have eroded the sealant between our bathroom tiles and thus started seeping into the floor below. Hence, new waterproof lining has to be installed, and hence, our new bathroom (minimalist in design due to budgetary constraints) will rise from the rubble of the old.

Um... in case there is anyone out there who is looking for evidence indicating whose fault is the greater, the above raises mere speculation on my part and does in no part constitute a confession.

What happens now? An HDB contractor will be engaged who will bring steely tools and beefy men to tear up our bathroom fixtures and install new ones with more gusto than finesse; and will gleefully send us a huge, hefty bill at the end of it all. How we then proceed with the apportioning of the bill between the parties involved will be another story for another time.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Finally, this week we move into our auditorium. For one week we can call our space truly ours. No more dealing with squatters in our rehearsal rooms, no need to move furniture around and back; the stage, the flooring, the lights, the sound system, they're all ours and we have smugly taken possession of them all.

The lights are plotted and almost set, much of the major pieces of set are onstage, props in labelled boxes backstage and costumes sewn and hanging on their racks. We've used up nearly 8 rolls of gaffer tape ($20 worth!) in a day, which must be a new record for us.

We only had 1 run today with costume, and it's good that the cast know now how much faster they need to change clothes backstage as they shift from scene to scene. 2 more days of rehearsal left and then it's showtime!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Because we now have 2 cars between us, my entire family could have an outing today, this Labour Day holiday. We started early and collected mom, dad and my bro to meet my sis and her brood up on Kent Ridge Park. For the first time ever, my whole family took in the air in unfamiliar territory together.

Kent Ridge Park is the site of the battle for Pasir Panjang Hill and there is a small monument there to commemorate the event. There is even a leftover AMX-13 light tank on display, though it's presence is misleading. That tank never saw battle up on this height. It was imported in much later after WWII. It was still a talking point between my bro and me, though, as we reminisced over our own NSF days in the local Armoured brigade.

But we were here not for the nostalgia but for the trek through a pleasant canopy walk above the trees (a short one compared to the one at MacRitchie) and along the walking paths of the park. Not much to see of nature around our built-up areas, but where we have set aside some space for nature, she is lovingly preserved. The lush greenery and the abundance of wild animal life (think birds, butterflies and squirrels, not lions and tigers and bears) could almost make you think you were in some other country.

Here, even the public toilet is clean and dry -- a nice surprise considering the alternative might have been the biggest tree within sight -- and as the conspicuous signage proudly declares, the toilet is lighted by electricity generated from solar energy.

In order to get to the pond indicated on our map, we had to drive back to the much smaller car park 'A', a little lower down the hill. We weren't disappointed with the pond and its environs. We found a pavillion to sit in and chill out while my sister's kids decided to mostly hang out with mom who was intent on exploring the pond a little further. We had more important things to do, like decide where to go for lunch.

Settled for the Ghim Moh market hawker centre. Cheap and good. Between June and myself, we ordered a whole half chicken, with liver and rice, all for less than $10. Not sure about how the others enjoyed their lunch, but June advises that there is nothing special about the ah balling (glutinous rice ball dessert) and that she's had better.

Took mom, dad and my bro back home where we devoured some ice-cream before vacuuming the M2. Mom lent us a hand-me-down vacuum cleaner: a Miele with a printed label that suggested it might be at least 20 years old. That this antique could work with such effectiveness attests to just how well they made stuff back then, 20 years ago.

Too lazy to wash the M2 manually so we drove to our nearest petrol station where we had it foam washed instead, going quite against Eddie's injunction. Cost is $6 for cars, $7 for SUVs, $8 for trucks.

Managed to catch a short nap at home before heading back out to return Mimi to her home. We had dinner at mom-in-law's place where she fried up a delicious fish & chips.

Had another bowling session later at the CSC. Average: 151. OK, still maintaining.

Amazing how many activities we could pack into a day, if we simply woke up earlier.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Lazy day, and no, I didn't get bored. Took Q-tip to Pet Safari, Eastpoint Mall, for a stroll. We were looking to restock up on kitty litter, but decided not to get it from here after all as we could get it marginally cheaper at Sembawang Shopping Centre. We did pick up a new line of dry dog food from Eukanuba, made from "lamb meat, not lamb meal." Hope Q-tip will like it, else...

Later we drove to Sembawang to pick up Mimi. We brought her back to our place so she'll stay another night or two with us. The cats are now so used to Mimi they no longer fear her. Not that they are so welcoming either, but at least they don't run off into parts unknown to sulk any more.

Tomorrow is one more day to rest up before the frenetic sprint up to Drama Night. It's been fun, stressful, rewarding, breathless, and I'll be glad for a bit more rest when it's over. Sadly, tix sales are moving only very slowly so far despite our efforts. People, buy a ticket and support English Drama in our College, ok?