(+8 GMT) before the undead come to life

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More fr the New Guy.

Hi all - here's more from me as Michael Chen - the perspective of the 'new guy' - in case there is anyone out there reading this who'd like to know what its like for the 'new guy' ...

I've done the last few rehearsals 'off the book' ie I've done a few rehearsals without holding the script in hand. The obvious advantage to that is, as you may have guessed, I am now able to concentrate more. Having the script in hand is like having one foot in the 'play' and still having another foot in 'reality' - which is not as fun as just being wholly in the 'play' of course - because this is such a bloody cool play and being Cockatoo is so liberating. (note: the emphasis on 'cool')

That being said, I've found that without the script in hand, I've become very conscious of what I'm doing with my body while I'm acting. All the hand gestures, turn of the head, the raising of an eyebrow, etc... which is a 'good' thing (I hope) - in case you're wondering.

When I first joined the Theatre Club, I was a mere lad of 16 while I was still schooling in SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, PJ and did my first play - "The Miser" by Moliere - I had a terrible habit that Ms.Sukania Venugopal (whom I must say - is the person who introduced me to theatre and acting - the brave woman who tried to bring 'culture' to the school that is Sultan Abdul Samad!) had to constantly remind me of.

I can't stand still. I'm hopelessly active and restless. If I sit still for too long, I think I'd just explode! This is a trait which some people have described as 'cute' or even 'useful' since I love sports (basketball, football, futsal, kickboxing) and the trait keeps me on my toes.

Unfortunately, on stage, it just makes me look weak. And that sucks. Especially in this play, because I'm playing 'Cockatoo' - who is insane and to a very logical extent - terribly restless but the 'Michael Chen' type of restlessness is not the same as the 'Cockatoo' restlessness.

Gavin has told me several times about being more rooted to the ground which is something I've been told by Ms.Sukania, Christopher Ling (when I did an acting workshop with him - 4 years ago), Rajen (who was my director in Harakiri - my 1st play 3 years ago), Joe Hasham (when I did his acting class last year) and now of course Gavin.

Obviously, this is a problem I've had for a long while. *grin*

I suppose it never was that big a deal initially since I always played smaller roles and had little stage time. However, this time around is a whole other ballgame.

Whatever it is, I'm feeling more confident now about being 'rooted' and doing justice to the role of 'Cockatoo' cause he's a great role and a great guy. Heck, if he were real, I'd probably be good friends with him (insane or not - *insert face with maniacal grin*)

That's it for now.
p/s: In response to Gavin's post about casting me - he's right - I don't care that there were other guys whom he actually wanted - as long as I get the role - I'm always grateful for any role I get! Besides, I get the chance to play a kickass character - the guys who turned down Cockatoo will be kicking themselves once they see FiL ... *insert face with maniacal grin*


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