Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's very hard to find good people (students)





If you're like me, a teacher, who has been conducting a course for some time now, you will find there's all types of people. The reason I conduct this Artiste Training Course is because I find there's a need for all aspiring artistes and those just wanting to learn a new skill. People come and go, but at least I hope to impart them some knowledge I've earned in extremely hard ways. To teach is not easy, because I don't want to sound too "I-know-all" but rather be fair to all my students, because they're all very different.

Seriously, I always make it very clear to all my students that you're taking this course to learn, not a way to get a job from me. Some people think like that, and it'll greatly affect the way they behaved during class. Knowledge is something that stays with you, not a job. A job comes and go. Same as money. Money comes and go too. The money you pay for the course is not making me, a teacher any profit whatsoever. But rather, the money you paid will ensure that you attend all the classes. The money you paid is a form of commitment in ensuring you really come and get the best out of each class session. It's all about you.

Thankfully, I got this new group of students who are good, and with the potential to be great. (refer to pictures) Below are some comments I wrote about their visualisation exercise. They are:
1) Andrew, inspiring and detailed vision. Just need to portray the environment more vividly.
2) Daniel, current thinking and very attuned to local politicians' behavior that is verging across to stereotypical persona.
3) Daniella, simple and singular in her visual performance. Need to work more on her lower body movement.
4) Justin, fantastic stuntman that able to portray panic and sudden death. Only flaw is the building of dramatic momentum before the actual climax.

The course you take is all about you. Don't worry or even care who's coming or not. Those absent will miss the lesson, and in fact, you should be glad, because it means you get my extra attention. With my attention, you can make use of me. And that's exactly what I want all my students to do! Ask me all the questions you want about the lessons. Our classroom acts as a form of virtual stimulation environment that will make you effective as an artiste, when after that, you'll be fully-equipped mentally (hopefully)in the real industry setting. The realities of our local entertainment industry can be very bleak for some who aspires a lot. To cope with that troubling emotion, I always advise my students to take it easy.

Don't be hard on yourself. Have fun. The future is not written in black and white. Everything is uncertain. Embrace it, and who knows, you'll be someone great in your chosen line of work! Then I'll go ask you for a job.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chinese New Year/Valentine Dinner at KLCC (A matter of giving & getting)






Now I never write reviews about food or restaurants. But since it was a special double occasion which falls on the same day, I will try my best to be fair. We started off the dinner with Yee Sang: a mixture of sweet and sour sauce, added with crackers, slices of carrot, (gosh, it's making me hungry writing this) and raw fish slice. For appetisers, we each had different type of soup. I ordered a traditional Chinese soup: a thick paste of fish, shrimp (kinda spicy too)and Chinese wine. My significant other ordered a corn and egg mixed soup (very American, to my opinion, and very safe)

Then we had the shrimps cooked in egg slices (my favourite). My partner ordered the yam encrusted with vegetables mixed with mushrooms. (not exactly my favourite, because a bit too mild and ehem: NO KICK). I was surprised to see a group of Malay family walked out from the dining hall, which means the food there is halal (meaning no pork, in compliance with Islamic food regulations).

The bill came close to RM200. Personally, I find it a bit pricey, but given the location being KLCC (duh!), I can give this high billing a miss. Besides, it is the first day of Chinese New Year, and nobody should be "kiamsiap" (frugal) when it comes to spending; for the more generous you start the new year, the more it will come back to you. In other words "the more you give, the more you'll receive".

I strongly believe this principle of giving applies very much to the life of an Artiste. An artiste needs to constantly GIVE. Giving their concentration and study the role or character they are entrusted by the film director. When it's time for the film to roll, the artiste must be ready to GIVE their all through their performance. Even before the actual shooting, an Artiste has to GIVE their time for audition and patiently wait.

Unfortunately, a lot of aspiring artistes, when they first start out in the industry can only think of what they can GET. "I want to be a star. I want to be famous. I want, I want, I want" Isn't it ridiculous to ask people to give you a job, when you don't have any acting and interpersonal skill to impress? Interpersonal skill is another very important trait for it shows what sort of person you are. Many times, during my class session, I came upon this particular student who was being rude.

I won't talk much about him, but look how lacking of an impression he makes when he doesn't use tact and courtesy before opening his mouth (for example: he asked a question before the other person finish talking and giving snide comment like "why so nice today?"). I suppose he only thinks what he can GET, rather than what he truly wants to GIVE. Another clear example that people who gives are nicer. Also another reason why I keep my class small and exclusive.

When an Artiste learns to GIVE, he/she will be a totally different person. He/she will be more pleasant and courteous when dealing with people (this is a people industry, mind you). The Artiste will then learn (here's where our Artiste Training Course really helps you) to look deep inside him/herself and really brings out the talent that lies within. When that happens, I assure you, your talent will never go unnoticed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The right way to conduct a casting session: where everyone had a great time!













This is the way auditions should be done in the future. My principle is PEOPLE. No matter who they are, talents should be treated like simply they are people: FAIRNESS & COURTESY. I've attended a number of audition sessions in my life, and I think there's always a better way to treat talents. The right talents, that is. Some audition sessions want to make the talents scared. Or intimidate them. Or show they don't care about them at all.

Forget about those talents who are undisciplined, bossy and diva-like. I'm talking about real human beings who are out there and really want to show their ability to perform (not simply their good looks). These deserving and truly ambitious talents are:
A)DANIEL(the one in red & black striped shirt),
B)DARREN (the one strangling me),
C)ISKI (the bald one). ISKI describes himself as "a fun guy, will play a lot, but very kiasu when it comes to work. For fun, I bake and especially LOVE to dance Argentine Tango, even did a few performances here and there"
D) EVA (the one putting a finger on her lips),
E)BABU (the one hugging me) and
F)FALLIQ (the one sucking my neck).
NOTE: Those following this blog, kindly VOTE your favourite talent by simply just posting a comment on this blog entry if you want (Example: I vote for A.DANIEL). This is NOT a contest, just a way for me to gauge which of these talents you like (for future job reference perhaps?). No winners or losers here. You can choose not to post anything if you want to.

The purpose of a casting session, in my opinion, is to extract the talents' best performance. When you got a group of right talents, shower them the best care in guiding them through the process. Being courteous and professional is key. And look what you'll get? FUN & LAUGHTER all the way.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Casting this Sunday & some tips what you should NOT do


There will be casting this Sunday. Those selected will receive an email from Mr.Liew. In the email, selected talents are required to only send (or call) a text message stating where you want to wait: either at LRT Wangsa Maju (in front of Newsplus newspaper stand) or V2 Cybercafe. This is because I will be there to gather and bring you to the casting place (an apartment flat area), so some walking is required.

Talents, please don't call Mr.Liew and request silly things like: bringing a friend along (your friend must send a profile first & must receive a reply from us, or else he/she cannot attend) or say you forgot the email to send your profile and request Mr.Liew about the email again. It will reflect very badly on YOU as a talent.

When you call, please do not TALK DOWN on Mr.Liew or with an intimidating or sexy (seductive) tone of voice. Your call will be disconnected immediately. Safer way for you is to just text message (sms).

Mr.Liew and myself can NEVER treat you differently from other talents because you try to "seduce" or "joke" with him on phone. Or tell about your background about where you're from or how far you've come to attend the casting, simply because we're NOT interested in that. We are looking for ACTING talent, so bring your talent and nothing else. Fairness is our work ethics.

Again this is CASTING. It doesn't mean you get the job. If you receive a reply email from us, it simply means you possess the LOOK we are looking for the part. You haven't got the job yet. NOTE: In the casting session, I will take your photos and post it on this blog for the director/producer to view. Talents can post your comments here or vote for who is your favourite talent via comment post. We appreciate talents who are HUMBLE and willing to learn. So for those talents coming this Sunday, BE:
PUNCTUAL: 1.30pm (if you're late, we will move on without you. Then you have to find the place yourself)
PREPARED: an English script will be given & record your performance.
YOUR BEST SELF: No diva, or sexy or try-to-be-cute, smarter-than-you attitude.

If you follow these, your casting session with us will be a smooth ride! We are nice people and we expect you to be the same. Drinks will be served during casting, aren't we nice or what?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Only nice, genuine people begets nice, genuine people...(and some ex-students & fans)







The secret is to enter any event or new situation without any expectations. And you'll be pleasantly SURPRISED. Yes, indeed. Being a first time attendee of this event, I managed to stumble upon a few of my ex-students formerly from my Artiste Training Course. They were all so pleasant and happy to meet their ex-teacher. And also some who had seen me on TV acting before. Gulp, I hope my real-life presence does not disappoint their expectations from what they've seen onscreen.

Of course the event had a few grand prizes to attract the crowd. Sadly, me and a few of my newfound friends didn't win anything (not even a lousy consolation prize, except the guy whom you see in the picture I was trying to "suck" out his luck aka me the Luck Vampire- he won the grand prize of RM8,888 worth of dreams & his name is Keat. Oui Keat, if you're reading this, I'm expecting you to fly me FIRST-CLASS to your world-marathon tour in Europe. I won't run, but I'll be a great cheerleader :-)

After the prize-giving ceremony, and us licking our wounds off each other feeling somewhat defeated & also sad to say goodbye (thank goodness I have you guys to share my misery, boo-hoo), I suddenly came to a greater realization of thankfulness for I got something much more better than the carrot-totting-to-attract-donkey prize: a great time out with all the laugh-out fun of hearing others talking about their dreams. Jue, I really think you should use the money for a nice pewter trophy instead of tiny "bulat" medals because if you're to showcase your medals to your friends later, they might suspect you buying yourself the medals just to show-off your past running "victories", instead of actually winning a real one. Just an idea, hehe. (love your running shirt with the cat design, eye-catching!) Sam, so glad to had shared our first "gossip" together of the Alice-in-Wonderland girl.(and being an USM girl, you've got the smarts NOT to share your parasite-germ-infectious field before our dinner)

I won't mention who the other winners are (except you Keat, and I'm still expecting a free trip to Europe with you ja?). But from my sharp observation, I remembered the skinny, cutesy, bespectacled, shorts-wearing lad who won the grand prize with extra RM1,888 cash! Now, how are you planning to use this thick wad of cash if not to invite all of us kind bloggers who gave u an honorable mention here? (slap my face with it, I don't mind) Oh well, I won't expect such a treat from these so-called "winners" (people like this usually already forget their supporters after they got what they want, true? Except you Keat, right? Ting-ting!). The only thing a poor folk like myself can do is to bask in the loving recent memory of my newfound friends whom I hope will continue to keep in touch by following my humble blog here.

Besides the awfully tiring running-for-nothing luckless contest, the organisers were smart enough to compensate the rest of us who get no prizes with some exquisite-looking food. Truly, an event like this is always fun to have nice, genuine people around. Like the saying goes "Birds of the same feathers flock together". LUCKILY, I've always made it a priority to be NICE & GENUINE to everyone I've met (especially my students and fans). And those whom I met are equally nice & genuine too: Keat, Sam, Jue, Kevin etc. (and a lot of others whom I cannot recall your names but were kind enough to approach me to say "hello", please post a comment here to remind me your name, THANKS!) And that great luck IS already mine for this coming Chinese New Year, regardless of not winning any prizes.