Saturday, March 4, 2006

time for a top five

Waiting for someone to arrive at the office on a Saturday afternoon after a really lazy morning and late breakfast with Panini, and I think to myself it is time for a blog but for the life of me I can't think of anything really worthwhile to talk about.

So I'll do a Top Ten instead!


I danced ballet for about 10 years, even reaching a level where I danced on pointe for about a year before I quit. I quit because of a few reasons, the biggest being that I wasn't really ballerina material, being rather low on stamina, a bit too tall and heavy and having large, bony and weak feet and ankles. Other reasons included wanting to do cooler girls' sports like rowing (after six months of which I developed large shoulders and strong arms and stomach muscles. Legs were still on the soft side...) What I miss are being able to get a workout and be expressive and creative at the same time. Took up belly dancing once a week last year for about 3 or 4 months and loved it, but came up with a few reasons not to continue (too far away, too few lessons a month to keep the momentum going..) So, I would like to take up some kind of dancing to get back into shape.

I love acting on stage. I love the rush of connecting with a live audience. I hate that it takes so much time for so little pay, and unfortunately, means that I have to forego time at the office and time with the kids. The best thing about it is being able to immerse yourself into a character and indulge your passions, doubts, weaknesses, and everything else about you that you wouldn't normally share with those around you - and to make it all larger than life. Acting for film or TV is not a patch on acting on stage.

Also, the challenge of baring yourself as an actor (not physically, but emotionally, personally) in order to get to the essence of the character you are playing. That is sometimes really scary. But I'd rather face that fear than forever sit in the darkness of the audience and feel limited to my imagination only, and not be able to get in there and be the character once in a while too.

This is a matter of finance, really. I could make the time if I wanted too. I not only want to travel with my family, but travel alone too. I did it once with a close friend - we travelled together for a while, then split up for a while. I arrived alone in Venice, thinking I should hold on to my money as much as I could. When I arrived it was about sunset, and by the time I weaved my way in and out the tiny walkways trying to look for my cheapo hostel, it was really dark. Lugging a huge backpack and noticing that the streets were not always well lit and that there were some dark figures around every corner, I decided to go back to the Marconi Hotel on the waterfront right next to the Ponte Vecchio. I spent USD100 on a room no bigger than two vans parked side by side. Feeling safe and finally being able to wash with modern bathroom facilities, it was well-spent. I lay down and watched TV before I went for a walk looking for snacks. I felt lonely only because I had nothing to do, but to be frank, I enjoyed my solitude so much. I felt I had strength and that I didn't have to look after anyone, or be looked after. Now I think if I ever got the chance to travel alone, I would write.

There's so much always going on in my head that I should spend time regularly to get it down onto paper. Writing prose is a much more organic process than writing for Film or TV. With prose (long story form, I guess), you can write and write and write and let it take shape as you go. You can find a lot of material just from the emotion you begin with. With scripts, it really is a craft which you must keep applying as you go. Ad you must think visually, which isn't necessarily so with prose.

I love cooking. I love watching people cook (or do anything with their hands that creates something bigger and better than the things they started with, for example builders, craftsmen, skilled labourers). I love people who cook with real passion, like Jamie Oliver, whom I watched bake some bread last night, a most sensual and passionate thing. If I had an extra RM50,000 poof out of the air and into my hot little hands, I would deck out my kitchen with industrial oven and stove and extractor hood and always have all my ingredients on hand - fresh.

On a similar note, watching people work with their hands has always been a bit of a turn-on for me. Mothers kneading bread, stone masons, carpenters, builders, seamstresses, musical instrument makers - I think it brings us all back to our ancient selves, when our real, manual abilities kept us going, requiring strength and skill, and most of all, love. Yes, an accountant may love his or her profession, and the logic and brains required, but it still is a mental skill. There's something real, human, about seeing someone working with thier hands. And creating things of beauty with that labour.

They say if you do something you love, you'll love what you do. I've never felt more gratified than when I am doing any of the above things. And I've been paid to do two of them (act and write). Funny thing is, people need me more for the other skills I have rather than my passions, and I always find myself foregoing the latter to help out with the former.

Now I am Assistant Producer for both of our next films, I realise that what I love most about doing it is when I need to think a little out of the box, and also when I have to approach sponsors - so really, all the organisational stuff no longer appeals to me like it used to, not enough to make me passionate about it anyway. It's all the fun, nice part of it that appeals only.

I think the longer I put off doing things I really want to do, and the longer I keep doing things I have the ability for but no real love for, the more I am doing myself and others a disservice. Not anyone is getting a hundred percent of me. What I lack are the balls to say no, and to go all out making a name for myself, and going through all the changes, which will be hard, to get there.

I am more of a supporter than a leader, and the biggest deal for me would be to get over feeling like I'm leaving others in the lurch and acting selfishly. I kind of did that last year, and once I got over that feeling, I felt very happy and accomplished with what I achieved. But I shall keep on keepin' on because there's a lot of fun being in the position to call myself an Assitant Film Producer. I think I have the personality for it but none of the gumption others might have!

My dream role: a beleagured woman character who makes a stand for herself and not only gets her man, but power and glory too!

Lovey, C


Anonymous said...

i wish i had the balls to bungy-jumping.. i almost did it when i was in queenstown, NZ but suddenly i felt tht the rope seems to be a bit "thin" or in another word, am so pengecut!! heehee..

and i would love to take belly dancing class coz obviously ive got the "belly".. and i loveeee to dance.. heehee..

venice is such a lovely place.. went bag-packing with ma family last year.. and we stayed mostly at the bagpackers hostel.. and it was fantabulous.. i love travelling..

and now finally, ive got the guts to learn to play the guitar after like 3 years of having the passion to do so.. and my fingers are now numb and aching.. uhuk! next in line are the violin and the drum.. woohoo!!


Anonymous said...

i found you! :)

Min Chan said...

I do not think it's selfish to want to take time off to do something you're passionate about. It is absolutely essential! Go on, put on your dancing shoes and dance like you've never dance before!

mamasan said...

maybe i am just being lazy! i should really take up something to keep me going, nurture the soul. anne, i taught myself guitar using tab books. yes, my technique sucked and it was more about wearing a punky outfit than having any real talent! but fun, fun fun!

there is one saving grace about the work i do, and that's having flexibility and meeting people who don't think "9 to 5". anything is possible, basically. and that's very invigorating.

anyways, gotta chow!
lovey, c

afiq said...

great blog.. good read.. Do u mind if i link ur blog to mine? thanks lots



mamasan said...

Sure thing, madba. Sorry for the huge delay in responding....


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