Category Archives: (Non-imaginary) Projects

A Survival Guide to Auditions

[Warning: May not include tips on surviving tsunamis and other calamities if they happen during auditions.]

AUDITIONS. You wait in line for hours until finally, all the time and effort you’ve invested in honing your skills–the sweat, the blood, and the nerves–come together in a 2-minute routine.  This is your chance to pour your heart and soul out to a small group of people who are sitting in one terrifying row and–quite literally–judging you.

You have two options: You can knock them off their socks, or you can fall flat on your face. It’s your choice.

Now, you probably disagree with that—audition results are obviously the judges’ choice, not yours. But there are especially talented auditionees who fail, and those whom you think look pretty average, yet surprisingly make it. There’s a very short distance between Pass and Fail, and it is your job to make sure that you travel as far as you can in the right direction before taking other factors into account.

So, hear ye, hear ye:

  1. You—play Bruce Lee? But you’re female! AND Jamaican!

Being extremely talented doesn’t guarantee that you’re the right fit. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know the nature and genre of the production and, if possible, what roles are up for grabs. If you’re a brilliant actor who can’t carry a tune, you probably shouldn’t be auditioning for a musical. Or if the role you’re going for a basketball player role and you’re four feet tall—oh, you know what I’m saying.

  1. Captain Obvious says, Thou Shalt Comply With Thy Requirements.

Really, this doesn’t even need to be said. Yet inexplicably, a good fraction of applicants always neglect to bring a pen or their head shot, or leave a lot of relevant fields empty in their application forms. If a measly picture is too much, how could you possibly comply with the hectic rehearsal schedules?

  1. Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes!

Some productions feel there are requirements that are so obviously implied, they don’t need to be said. (Also, they’re testing your intelligence.) In case you fail that test, listen up:  ALWAYS bring writing materials. If a dance number is involved, bring work-out clothes and shoes. If they don’t specify whether to bring your own music for a song/dance, the safest answer is yes.  Prepare a copy of your portfolio whether they ask for it or not (if they ask you to fill out pre-printed forms, at least you don’t need to rack your brains for names and dates).

  1. If no one ever told you that wearing a Naruto costume to West Side Story auditions was a bad idea. . .

DO WEAR: Something professional (but not stiff) or smart-casual that shows your personal style. Something light and comfy, but with a cover-up or scarf in case the weather gets bipolar. DON’T WEAR: A frilly dress if you’ve always been a trousers type, or a leather jacket if it’s forty degrees out. Weird costumes like the ones in American Idol, etc.

  1. Avoid delusional choices.

Select your audition pieces to highlight your strengths. Stay away from “impressive” numbers that are way beyond your range. Experimentation depends on your time frame—a good choice would be something you’ve done (successfully) before and that you know by heart.

  1. Oil those joints.

Overconfidence will bring you down. Even veterans in the industry get warmed up. Stretch those vocal chords; stretch those limbs.  If you’ve been out of practice, waste no time and get back in. Start doing so the moment you make the decision to join the auditions. Watch yourself. Listen to yourself. Video cameras don’t do white lies; they tell you about spinach in your teeth and awkward mannerisms.

Finally, think of it as a job application, because it is. Remember that you’re here to show your best side, which means it’s probably not the best time to be a prima donna with a list of demands (not that there’s any good time for that, either). Whether or not it’s strictly true, make the judges imagine you’re Chuck Norris, and that you can FLY—and only then might you win the chance to spend the next few months trying to live up to that awesomeness.

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That said, auditions for FACEBOOKED! The Musical are happening tomorrow—this is an original musical by composer/scriptwriter Jude Gitamondoc and the rest of the OFFBEATS group.  (I’m pretty sure there’ll be many mentions of them in future blog posts.) In the meantime, you can find out about musical (and audition requirements and whatnot) here.

Also, the venue is 346-B Gorordo Avenue, right down a little road in front of KIA Motors. Here’s a map, and to be doubly sure, here’s a video.


Stuff

People ask me if I have a blog, and these days, I’m a bit hesitant to direct them to this ol’ abandoned building. It’s certainly not for lack of things happening. So just because I’ve given up writing on proper paper journals (laziness) and because I might need to remember certain stuff (possible Alzheimer’s or a dramatic tv serial case of amnesia) in the future, here I am. Unloading said stuff.

BAG OF STUFF #1- Siddhartha In Taiwan (Again)

Right, I know this was ages ago. Earlier this year, we had a handful of shows in Manila (La Salle Benilde) and a bigger handful (I lost count) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This is also just an excuse to post these photos by Nabz Durado and Benjie Layos here:

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The Cast of “Siddhartha” at the Buddha Memorial Center

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Me in “4 Special Signs”. LOL at my face.

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All work and no play? No fricking way!

 

BAG OF STUFF #2- My Mini Opera That Didn’t Win

I signed up for English National Opera’s mini-opera writing competition, after which I promptly forgot about it. When I got back from Taiwan, I suddenly remembered. Also, I had two days left to write it. So, er, I did write one in a rush. It’s called “A Longer Dream” and I’m not too impressed by it. It also did not win, which did not help in improving my impression of it. But I did put it up in this blog somewhere and intend to polish it later on. Perhaps someday we’ll like each other a little better.

Was thrilled by the idea of Neil Gaiman having read my mini-opera though. Mine was based on his seed story, “The Sweeper of Dreams”, which I’ve loved for a while already.

BAG OF STUFF #3- Lots of Jumping at Handuraw

Our recent PAK performance was called “Jump!” and- you guessed it- someone did jump. Our improv concept this time revolved around a would-be suicidal jumper and a bunch of people on a ship deck who would try to dissuade (or persuade) the jumper to jump.  I drew the Jack and became the would-be jumper. Naturally, it was Chai (playing a 13-year-old) who jumped in the end. Our stories are always logical like that.

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Disclaimer: None of the actual jumps looked like this.

More like this, really.

BAG OF STUFF #4- Squeak at the Fete

Headbanging to “Silent All These Years” was never so much fun. Yesterday (yay, something recent!) we formed a proud cheering squad as Squeak (known to most humans as Jessica McYorker) knocked them dead at the Fete dela Musique. I always love her signature songs, but I have to say that her Samson-Hallelujah mash-up was kick-ass.

Proof that it actually did happen:

 

Squeak and her keyboard. Headbangers in crowd not seen.

 

BAG OF STUFF #5- Plans That Involve Selling Actual Bags of Stuff

The lovely sisters and I have something brewing. This involves picking out clothes we would have bought for ourselves and letting other people buy them instead. Said clothes are still busy at a photo shoot with an inanimate torso but will be available for your consumption soon.

A second future plan is a little less sisterly and a little more musical, and my co-conspirators and I have decided to bring it up often and proceed to be all mysterious about it, when asked…


Two and Three: Bohemia and Taiwan.

Two. BOHEMIANS ON THE LOOSE

Worked with Cattski (and Peewee, and Jem) yet again, on a project of an entirely different nature, a music video for the Cat’s new album. The concept? Her eccentric friends gallivanting about the downtown city streets, basically being ourselves. Needless to say, we had a blast and a bit of a drink afterwards (also included in the video, which you should definitely not miss).

Find out more about it from the Cat herself. Here.

Three. “SIDDHARTHA” IN KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN

I mean the musical by Jude Gitamondoc, not the book by Herman Hesse. The one that has more or less set a longevity record for musical plays in Cebu. Its first run was in the Waterfront Hotel way back in 2007 which was followed by shows in Manila (CCP), Taiwan, Bacolod and Iloilo over the years. Some of the original cast are still part of the production, though many have come and gone. I auditioned and joined up in 2009 for the Bacolod-Iloilo run. This time, we were invited to perform in Taiwan for the inauguration of the Buddha Memorial Centre.

This put a lot of goodies in my First Time basket. It was my first time in Taiwan, the first time I went abroad with friends, the first time I performed in a foreign country, and the first time I ever danced the Sinulog!

Evidence.

Most of our time was spent on rehearsals galore…

That's me in the red-and-black arm warmers!

…but we did manage to squeeze in a bit of fun! We explored the grounds of Fo Guang Shan and a couple of museums, tried a bit of calligraphy (which I made a horrible mess of, predictably), ate at a scrumptuous buffet in the city, and window-shopped at a very expensive mall. Oh, and we took a LOT of pictures, so I’m (obviously) trying to find excuses to randomly put them up here.

Also, we did some shows, which was basically the point of us being there. Two turned into three, which turned out to be mostly (except that bit where Vince got his leg injured) a wonderful thing, because everyone felt that the third show was the best of all.

Here are a few glimpses of “Siddhartha: The Musical” in the Buddha Memorial Theatre in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. If you want to see the whole show, the good news is we’re performing again in the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration (Jan 22) in the Fo Guang Shan temple in V. Rama and on Feb 10 at the Cebu Coliseum.

Post a comment if you need further details on our upcoming shows!

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PS: A good many of the pictures in this post aren’t mine. They were grabbed from people who grabbed them from somebody else, so if you happen to be the photographer, great job and do let me know so I can credit you in this post. Thankees! 🙂


2011 Wrapped Up In A Pretty Little Box (With A Bow): Part 1

Okay, now I remember.

To make up for the long hiatus in bloggerage, I’ve decided to post a few photo highlights of how I wrapped up my year. But because I’m a bit of a cheater, this is just the December bit. Hee. Enjoy.

1. THE CLOCKWORK PRINCESS

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No, I did not actually construct a princess out of clockwork. Did the next best thing instead- I got involved in a Steampunk musical project. When I say involved – I mean I wrote the script with my lovies, Vince Gaton and Jem McYorker (check out her blog at http://selenografia.wordpress.com), who both happen to be very creative people.

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The Storytelling Team

I then collaborated with Peewee Senining and Paco Serafica for costume design. Finally, I joined my Very Dear Friends Yemma, Ainee, Nana, Jeo, Leomar, Graeme, Miko, Jem again (who also arranged one song) and Vince (who did the choreography) in the performance. Alex Uypuanco, our Director, also played Narrator.

Here we all are:

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The Cast of "The Clockwork Princess"

The whole shindig was for the Chaine des Rotisseurs annual banquet at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. It might seem a bit odd, having a musical play at a dinner. Well, why not? (It was odd. But also a lot of fun. We emerged in between each course.)

Here are some bits of the performance to munch on:

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To find out more about our musical Steampunkery, Cattski, who was our musical director and occasional proxy princess, also blogs about it here and here.

It’s getting late, but I’ll give you parts 2 and 3 soon. I promise.

If I remember.