Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Oscar speech

Hadn't expected that it would end in tears, but the emotional release from watching all their effort, dedication, and everything else they invested physically and psychologically into the production culminate in the audience's appreciative applause
set the waterworks flowing for Yu T and Xuan2. They were tears of joy at having accomplished what had seemed like an impossible challenge for them who had taken a huge leap of faith in directing their own show despite their lack of theatrical experience beforehand.

The other two directors were dealing with it in their own way. Lin stood by her friends as they wept, offering support as best she could -- and Nick went off on his own to shmooze with the playwright of the play he directed. 4 amazing kids who have grown so fast in such a short time. I truly salute them and their ability to organize and motivate a team of such diverse talent to give off their best for two evenings of theatrical magic.

I am still amazed by how so many people were willing to pitch in to make "Timepieces" a success. The actors starting from zero experience to delivering confident performances took much time, practice and not a few sharp words from Tina; the props makers quietly toiling away unseen, so creative and resourceful in building our set from recyclable materials on a budget that was so economical I couldn't believe it when they handed me their bills for reimbursement; wardrobe and make-up who might have overrun their budget a bit, but worth it for the visual treat they created of the actors on stage; the spot-on serious and efficient backstage crew which changed sets so quickly that between-the-scenes blackouts were bearable; and the tireless, multi-tasking publicity crew who took on the jobs of collateral designers, bill posters, sales and marketing, accounts, front-of-house, and banquet staff, all led by my indispensible partner-in-crime, Sha.

The AVA crew was so completely integral to our production I have to credit the show as a collaborative project between our two CCAs. Our campus TV news crew put our "thank you/credit roll" video together and will be editing our opening night video which will make a nice souvenir for all of us involved, as well as for the playwrights who let us use their scripts royalty-free. It isn't easy to get so much inter-CCA support for a project, but our kids pulled it off so seamlessly.

I had professional help from Tina who provided the training for the actors and directors and also lent her overall expertise in putting the kids to work as if we were operating like a professional theatre company. She also brought in Matt for a session of voice training at which we discovered some very hidden talents from among our less prominent kids, and Ian who oversaw all the technical details -- lights, sound -- shuttling back and forth between us and his job tech'ing for the Shakespeare gig at Ft Canning.

One more person I have to acknowledge is June. She sourced out my thank-you tokens to the cast and crew when she had gone on holiday in HK earlier this year. Having lugged them all home, on the nights I couldn't be around to keep her company (several of those in the past two weeks or so) she painstakingly wrapped and labelled each one for a more personal touch.

Honestly, everyone in this production was fabulous. Now, being fabulous isn't my personal forte, but as the appointed CEO of this little theatre company, I really only had one job: to LET the people around me BE fabulous. And everyone was, outstandingly so. Thank you all so very much!!!

Btw, the photo above has nothing to do with our production. "Timepieces" deserved my full attention so my cam stayed sheathed in the theatre. The photo is to congratulate Cara on her wedding day (the S'porean one) today. She threw a lunch for us at the Copthorne Kings and that was my table in the pix. My heartiest congrats to Cara and Dave!

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