Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nic at Rehearsals, Day 2

I brought Nicole to day 2 of rehearsals for a Smart corporate concert with martin Nievera. She had herself a lot of fun... especially when rehearsals were over and she spent time in Daddy's office. Thanks again, Tita Girlie for these pictures!

(Shameless plug: Martin has a scent out called Inspired Madness. I don't know where it's available, but it smells pretty damn great! On him it did anyway...)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Irritation, Part Deux

"Manang, this calls for a separate blog for irritation in case you haven't got one." -- Angel of Beasts

You asked for it, you got it! 

The comments section will be open to anyone and everyone who wants to list down their irritations.  Yes, I do have a Pet Peeves blog, but it would just be too much to try and find it.  And right now I'm just tamad.

So... what irrrrrrrrrrrritates me?

1.  When people don't do their jobs right.  For example: the teleprompter operator at a gig I did failed my co-worker... his lyrics weren't entered into the prompter, and so at showtime he was left high and dry.  I was wondering why what he was singing in the show was different from what he was doing in rehearsal, so I took a glance at the monitor, and I saw that the lyrics were nowhere to be found.  All I saw were the title of the song and the words "To be entered later."  They were supposed to be entered YESTERDAY!  BEFORE THE GIG!  NOT LATER WHEN THE SHOW WOULD ALREADY BE OVER, DUMBASS!!!

2.  When the past comes back to bite me in the ass.  Not long ago I found out that an old falling-out incident with all its gory details was related to a pair of ears that didn't really care to hear about it.  In fact, the listener was already saying, "I really don't want to hear about it."  It happened out of the blue... out of nowhere... unsolicited.  After I was told of the incident, I became angry, but was immediately appeased by the knowledge that my friend formed her opinions of me based on what she sees today, and not on an incident that took place a thousand years ago.  Or was it a million?  For the record, yes, I was the one at fault.  But do I have to pay for it the rest of my life?

I will, without hesitation, admit to having been mean to certain people in my lifetime... I'm not always a likeable sort of girl.  I can also have a hair-trigger temper at times, a twist to my usually patient and calm nature.  And yes, I have had my own share of falling-outs and fights.  Who hasn't?  However, I'd like to think that when enough time has passed, the benefit of the doubt takes over, and it's safe to say that the people I had my fights with (and I) have all grown up, moved on and found a better, more peaceful place.  This I presume... until I'm then proven wrong.  I mean, 5 years ago... 10 years ago... 15 years ago... I was a different person.  As was everyone else.  All I ask is to be judged based on what I've become, and not on what I used to be. 

On a lighter note, I saw an ex-boyfriend of mine not long ago... the break-up was not a pretty one and I remember being badly burned by it.  However, many years later, upon seeing him in the front row of a show I did, I was actually happy to see him.  We saw each other after the performance and hugged.  We were fine.

3.  Technical rehearsals.  I know, I know, this is a necessary process when putting on a concert or a show, but damn it, there are days when it can irk the hell out of me.  At tech week (or as I like to call it, "hell week"), this is when lighting, sound, sets and costumes all get their tweaking time.  During one tech week, I was nursing a very bad head cold, so having to stand still on stage wearing nothing but a t-shirt wasn't exactly the way I wanted to recuperate.  I've also had the wrong pair of pants handed to me during one rehearsal, as my dresser didn't have a clue what she was doing.  She eventually did just fine.

Not all of hell week is hell though... I get a kick out of rehearsing my quick changes for shows that I do.  It's a challenge attempting to get my changes done in record time without panic or stress.  There is a method to that madness...

4.  Manila traffic.  I don't mean traffic jams.  I mean, cars separated by less than 2 inches of air... drivers who turn on their high beams, blinding oncoming traffic... assholes that cut in front of you... the stupids who make a left turn from the rightmost lane, and expect other cars to just part for them (who the hell are you, Moses?)... the buses that swerve from one side of the highway to the other, driving their vehicles as if they were racecars... all modes of public transportation that stop anywhere and everywhere (except at their designated stops) to pick up and/or drop off passengers... and the pedestrians who ignore the crosswalk 5 feet away, throw caution to the wind and cross wherever they please, even climbing partitions to do it.  Maybe they have a death wish or something.

The traffic jams are actually not too difficult to negotiate... I'm able to tune out the world by plugging in my headphones and listening to music.  We're going way too slow for anything to be a real bother.

5.  Showbiz intrigue and controversy.  No, I won't expound on this one.  I don't have to.

6.  When I see a really unflattering photograph of a celebrity friend who I know is far, far more good-looking than that.  Why does that irritate me?  As a public figure, there is a degree of responsibility one must take in controlling the images of oneself that appear.  I try to make sure that I pick flattering pictures for headshots and publicity photos, and approve of poster layouts and designs (along with the director of the show I'm doing... if my face is on it, I wanna say yes before it gets out).  I do accept that there is a lack of control when it comes to photos taken at press conferences, interviews and news events, and that's fine.  All I can do in those circumstances is to look good and show my best side (by the way, it's my left).

However, there is going to be a small fraction of pictures released that do not do any sort of justice in terms of the person's image or looks.  It could be due to a bad angle or bad lighting, but still.  It unnerves me when it happens, and it makes me feel terrible for the celebrity.  Hooooh boy...

7.  Cellphones that go off during a performance... especially during a quiet moment.  Before every performance, there's a Voice of God announcement advising the audience to turn off their cellphones and other devices that may intermittently make a beeping sound.  Fair enough.  In truth, silent mode is enough if you really need to keep your phone on for important messages.  Chances are you're a good distance from the speakers.

When that announcement is summarily ignored... that really, really gets my goat.  I've found myself singing the most quiet of ballads with only a piano or a guitar accompanying me when out of nowhere, that loud and incessant Nokia message tone #1 goes off in the 3rd row.  I'm then jolted out of focus and all I can think about is killing that person and his or her offending cellphone.

Many years ago, during the run of They're Playing Our Song here in Manila, my co-star Adrian Pang and I were on stage doing a very emotional scene.  One cellphone's message tone kept going off (apparently that audience member was more interested in texting than watching the show).  After enough minutes of this into the scene, Adrian finally lashed out (still in character, and speaking to the imaginary studio engineer) to TURN THAT BEEPING OFF.  The look in his eye was that of extreme irritation at how inconsiderate some people can be.

One more cellphone story: it was the run of a musical here, I can't remember which one.  A lady in the audience answered her phone in the middle of the show and carried on a conversation... loudly.  The sad part?  The lady is a talent manager, which means she should know better than to answer the phone during a performance!  I don't think she would have appreciated someone else doing that while one of her talents was on stage.  Haaaaaay nakuuuuuuuuuu.............

8.  Mediocre preformances from otherwise excellent artists.  I really, really hate it when I watch a show that someone that I know to be stratospherically, ridiculously talented is in, and they put out a less-than-stellar performance.  This is otherwise known as "phoning it in."  If you're aspiring for puwede na, don't even bother.  You'd just be wasting your (and my) time.

Maybe it's that fan girl in me... when I watch someone with some frequency, be it on television or live, and I know that their standard level of performance is excellent or beyond, I find myself extremely disappointed (and even sometimes angry and disgusted) when that same artist phones it in.  Sure, it might be for just that one performance that I happen to see.  But still.  I come to expect nothing short of brilliance... or whatever their best might be.  I'd much rather see you aim high and fall short than aim low.  That's just a major copout for me.

And how about some quick cut inis-ness:

- People who cut in line at the bank, airport, fast food restaurants, wherever.
- Being sleepy when there's so much going on that I want to stay up for.
- When an actually talented singer is voted off American Idol.
- When my computer crashes BEFORE I save my document.
- The ass that criticizes anything and everything when I'm watching a play, movie or musical, robbing me of my focus and enjoyment.  Shut up muna, puwede ba?!
- Over-energetic people... only the ones that border on obnoxious and annoying.
- People that walk in between someone who's posing and someone who's taking a picture, during the 1-2-3.
- When my internet is down.
- When I ruin a manicure/pedicure.

And that's really all I could think of... I'll be editing this over the next few days... or when something else gets my goat.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nic at rehearsals

I have a gig on Friday (a private corporate gig) and I brought Nicole to rehearsals. So while I was busy, Nicole was entertaining behind the scenes, and Tita Girlie took these fun photos. Enjoy!

(Thanks, Tita Girlie, and to Eloisa for swinging Nicole!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Little Girl in Tiara in front of Mirror

This was in our hotel room as we waited for my gig to start... Nicole provided in-room entertainment in the meanwhile.

(My favorite moments: the coughing... and her pseudo-saying, "ANO BA?!" after we giggled at her.)