This past weekend my a cappella group VERVE Collective had a gig for a private party. It was held at a house (OK, more like a mansion) in the beautiful Kerrisdale area, and most of the guests were musicians – both casual and professional. And man, the house was packed! I have to say, it’s a little unnerving to perform in an intimate manner such as a house party (as opposed to singing on stage, where you’re separated from your audience), especially when those who are watching and listening are those in the music biz. But on the other hand, WOW, were they ever a fantastic audience.

We had so much fun singing and performing for them. When it came time for our last song, there were actually cries of, “No, no! Keep going!! More!” It’s a good thing we had planned on a just-in-case encore song.

After we had completed our set, we received immediate feedback from the party guests. Again, knowing that almost all of these people were somehow involved in the music industry was a little nerve-wracking, but I guess we must have done good, because their comments and praise were above and beyond anything we had expected. I think I received one of my highest performance compliments that night, when a woman asked me where I had trained (vocally). When I answered that I haven’t had any training, and that my experience has come from performing itself, she seemed surprised and went on to say how impressed she was with my vocals – from the control to the not pushing it to get the sound out, to the actual sound quality, etc… man, I was floating afterwards from our conversation. Like everyone, I sometimes get in moods where I doubt myself as a singer, actor, performer, whatever, so to hear this kind of feedback from someone in the know really makes my day. Heck, it makes my week! My month! My year!  😀


Last night was a great, great rehearsal. I rehearse with my a cappella group (VERVE Collective) Wednesday nights, and like anything, we have our ups and downs. Last night was a huge UP! We have a lot of music, and have just recently got ourselves off-book for a big chunk of our new stuff. I find it’s sometimes hard to create a good sound and vibe as we’re learning, because we’re all so focused on our own parts that it’s hard to listen outside of that to hear the group as a whole. But last night everything we’ve been working so hard on seemed to just click into place. Our parts are pretty solid now, and we all seemed to be really listening to each other and coming together. Even our tempos were more in sync than they have been in the past, and I noticed that we all got into the groove of things. Not only that, but we started really enjoying the music while we sang. There were a lot of high-fives, huge smiles, fist pumps, and cheer last night.

Singing, rehearsing, performing… it all invigorates me. And after such a great rehearsal, I was on quite a high for the rest of the night.

You’ve been asking, and here it is! Shaw Multicultural Channel presents a special program showcasing the winners of the MIGHTY ASIAN MOVIEMAKING MARATHON 2005 – 2007! Tune in to see provocative and creative 10-minute local films produced by teams of filmmakers during each year’s competition.

WHEN: Sunday, Nov 2, 2008
TIME: 9:00pm – 11:00pm
WHERE: Shaw Multicultural Channel, Cable #109 (Vancouver)

I am happy and excited that Shaw is putting on this special event, and that you have a chance to catch some incredibly creative short films. And I’m even more excited that 2 of the 9 movies will be films I was lucky to be a part of. Details of the airing can be found here.

I first started competing in this contest in 2006, and our film entry, “Rise of the Kitara” won 2nd place that year! I got to play Kitara, a character most of you would never, ever, think of casting me as… and it was sooo much fun.

A roller coaster ride of two opposites, their chance meeting, and their struggles to de-cloak each other’s true identities. “Andy” (Ed Fong) a young cable professional goes about his normal day when he meets his unexpected fantasy girl, “Kitara” (Lannette New). Fearful and curious for her son, “Mom” (Shirley Fong) starts her own investigation to expose this lady of mystery.

2007 brought about new levels of challenges as our team decided to make a musical film in 10 days -10 short, sweaty, exhausting, fun, and rewarding days. The end result was, “E.V.E.S.“, and we managed to come in 3rd place that year. As well, we won the 2007 Audience Choice Award!

E.V.E.S. is a sci-fi musical set in the future where women rule all. OK, there’s more to it than that, but I’ve misplaced the spiel and am too excited to let you know about the showing that I can’t wait. What I can tell you is that there’s good, there’s evil, it’s sexy, it’s sweet, there’s craziness and more, PLUS there’s a huge musical/dance sequence to boot.

I hope you get a chance to catch the films. I’m so proud of our accomplishments, as I’m sure the other groups are of theirs. And what a great way to share them!

When we had the “Peaches” wrap party a couple weeks ago, besides everyone getting a DVD copy of the movie, our director and team leader, Pat, had another surprise for us. He gave us all posters of the movie! This is the first time I’ve received a poster of a movie I’ve done and I have to say, it feels pretty darn cool to see and have it. And I’m not even on the cover (well, my picture isn’t on it, but my name is!). 😉

The poster for the movie, "Peaches"

I went to Michaels yesterday. I love Michaels! Oh, for clarification, Michaels is a craft store that has anything and everything craft-related. Anyway, I bought a nice simple black frame for my poster and went home and framed it up. And now I love my poster even more! It will definitely be going up on my wall of fame… I have just a few things ready to go on that wall, but this is by far the coolest. So now all I have to do is decide which wall I want to use. Yes, it’s a bit shameless, I know, but really, why have paraphernalia if you’re not going to do anything with it? 🙂

On Friday I had an audition for a principal role in a feature film, which was a project “on Deferral”. I was excited to do the audition for a couple of reasons, one being that I got to be seen by the casting director who I haven’t been in front of in almost 2 years! She was just as professional and warm as the last time I auditioned for one of her projects and I’m happy I went. Another reason is that most of my auditions these days have been for commercials, so it’s nice to get out there and “act”.

Then I got a call that evening from my agent… she had an audition for me (for today) for an actor role in a major feature film. It’s for a small role, but man, this would be huge! It’s for a movie being produced by, and starring Halle Berry!

I was actually a little anxious about this one. It’s such a small part, and I’ve never really auditioned for an actor role before. It’s mostly been for leads or principals. (Note – an “actor” role generally means you have less than 5 lines in the project.) Anyway, I got some advice from some people in the biz, and they reinforced what I normally do for auditions, so I felt pretty good about that.

I just got back to my day job from my audition, and I’m really happy with how things went. It was interesting because they brought in a casting director from Toronto to cast it (it will be filming in Vancouver). She was nice and seemed to genuinely like my choices. I did my scenes, she commented positively and thanked me, and that was it. Everything was so tightly run that I was in and out of there even before my scheduled audition time (I always arrive a little bit early)!

Sadly, it will be a bit of a crapshoot. They were seeing all sorts of different types of women for this role, so I guess it will come down to what race they want to cast (asian, caucasion, african american, etc.), and then from there, what sort of look they want. Sigh, only in this crazy business, eh?

But again, I’m happy with the character I created, and how I presented it, so I guess that’s all I can do! Wish me luck! 😀

I feel so fortunate for knowing the people I know. Last night was the wrap party for “Peaches”, a short film made by Team Always Further for this year’s Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon. I have worked with most of these guys for the past three years for this contest (and have worked on stage with some as well), and they are an amazing group. While the team name may have changed, and some may have come and gone, these are people dedicated to creativity and support, and I am so lucky for being a part of the team, and having them be a part of my life.

Outside of the film team, I also seem to have the most amazing friends and colleagues. I don’t know if words can really express the love I have for you all. Nope, words can’t. So I’ll stop writing for now. I’m smiling as I write this, and I hope that as you read this, you’ll know that you contributed to that smile. OK, I’ll really stop writing now. 🙂

Last night was the screening and awards gala for the Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon (MAMM) 2008 contest. As always, our team got dressed up – our theme this year was comic book-y, with hats with brims, with PINK as the accent colour. Surprisingly, Jak and I were the first to arrive, but it was so much fun seeing team members drift in, and seeing their outfits. It was fun being able to tell at a glance who was part of team Always Further. 🙂

We saw 15 short films at Tinseltown (all 15 teams completed their movies!). It was the first time most of our teammates got to see our film, “Peaches”, and we loved it. I am so amazed by the creativity of our crew, and so honoured to be part of such a great group. Our film also had some great audience feedback while it was playing, which was awesome. I can’t wait to get a copy of it!

Unfortunately we didn’t end up placing this year. A little disappointing, but the competition was pretty fierce. Kudos to the 1st place winner, “Curse of the Jade Falcon”. It was excellent! All in all, we still managed to walk away from the screening with a great feeling of accomplishment. I totally love this group and I so hope we do more projects together.