October 31, 2006

fairground pt.6

This is the Challenger. It's the first ride that greets you when you enter the fairground. It swings like a pendulum and all you can hear are the screams of the passengers. Up and down and it twists as well. It goes so fast, you don't know what hit you. I can tell you I exhausted my quota of 'Oh God' and ended up with 'NOOOOOOOOOOO!' It took Candice and me about 10 minutes to decide whether to get on or not. No regrets.

I stood under it after we were done and snapped this. If only I had an audio track to accompany it. Just wild! I don't think I'd go on it again though. What we had for dinner got really uncomfortable. :)

Well folks, this is the last of the fairground attraction. I've had fun and I'm sure you have too. I'll post the rest of the shots on Flickr later today. Candice and me thank you for enjoying the ride.

ps. pop over to Candice's to read what she has to say about Ageing Junkies.

October 30, 2006

fairground pt.5

Where in the world are you going to find Frodo painted on the back of a roller-coaster wagon? Here in KL, of course (this one's for you LeoSista!)

This was the first ride Candice and me went on and this snowballed into two other gut-wrenching, near-vomit inducing, adrenaline pumping thrilling rides of fun. The roller-coaster looked harmless. The track wasn't particularly long. So we went on it thinking it was child's play. Oh boy, were we wrong! Each wagon seats 4 passengers. Like all rollers, it travels upwards. But the moment the dips begin, the wagon twists and turns as it rides the track. There were moments I felt like I was about to be thrown out of it. Only when I got over the initial shock and dismounted the wagon did I notice Frodo (and Batman, Miss Jolie, Jessica Alba too!)

To the 5 of you who commented on yesterday's shot before I posted Frodo all get a KL postcard. Just send me your addresses on our DP email. Yay! Can't wait to lick the stamps!

October 29, 2006

fairground pt.4

Hello! I apologize for being AWOL. Right after I posted on Thursday, I drove down to Singapore to watch a new play and hang out with friends. I brought my laptop with me hoping to do KLDP stuff. However, the whiskey and good times got to me. I just got home not more than an hour ago. So here I am!

Thanks for all the great comments on the ferris wheel. For that shot, I used a shutter speed of 1/20 and f/4.5. I tracked the wagon from the top and followed it down till it reached eye-level before I clicked. The same thing I did with the carousel shot. I would've been able to get a more precise shot if I brought my 50mm lens with me. Discovering the joys of lower f-stop!

Can anyone guess what today's shot is of? Everyone who guesses right gets a postcard from KL. I'll post again at midnight just to make up for lost time. Till then. Hope everyone is having/had a good weekend.

October 26, 2006

fairground pt.3

Round and round and round and round... Here's a shot of the ferris wheel again. I just wanted to get it from a different perspective. Candice doesn't quite like this shot. I love it! Whaddaya think?

Some of my friends, who have visited KLDP these last 2 days, asked where this fairground is. For all you KLites, it's called Euro Fun Park and it's situated at the open air parking lot next to 1 Utama (oops, silly me for forgetting.) Guess what? I think I'm going again next week!

October 25, 2006

fairground pt.2

The Carousel. Now, who isn't charmed by this ride? If I wasn't so concerned abut being such an adult, I would've straddled across a unicorn. The both of us were watching all the children whose smiles were beaming. I tried as much as possible to capture a shot of this solitary black horse. All the rest were white or brown. This black one just called out to me...over and over again. It kept going around and wouldn't stand still! The carousel was moving quite fast. I wondered how the kids held on.

October 24, 2006

fairground pt.1

Last night, after dinner, my friend Candice and me, saw a travelling amusement park and immediately did a U-turn. At first, all I wanted to do was take pictures. Ever since I bought my trusty Nikon, I harboured dreams of capturing the bright and colourful lights of a park. Who knew walking in that the both of us would succumb to these lights and ran around like a pair of giggly girls. Yes, this begins another series for KLDP. Hope you enjoy this one.

Today is Aidil Fitri. The beginning of another new year in the Muslim calendar. To all my Malaysian readers, Maaf Zahir dan Batin. To everyone who celebrates this month: May the wheels of love, peace and understanding spin forever. Assalamuailaikum.

Check out another fairground's shots over at Helsinki.

October 23, 2006

when 2 become 1

Modern architecture fascinates me. More so because I love the lines and shapes and whether it successfully compliments the existing structures. KL is no different from any other city. You see the old and new standing side by side. Sometimes you wonder why someone was crazy enough to building something. Other times you just look up in awe. On days like this, my camera gets some excellent pictures. I can never get enough of finding the right angle. Once I get the shot, I just pack up and head off for a cup of coffee. Then I sit and continue looking at more buildings.

October 22, 2006

sweet & lovely

What is a celebration without food, glorious food? What you see above is Roti Pisang (banana), a variation of Roti Canai, a local Indian savoury type of pancake.

Yesterday was the first day of Deepavali. A 5 day festival. Following that is Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, which marks the end of the fasting month and the beginning of the new Islamic calendar. Raya should fall on Tuesday or Wednesday depending on when the moon is spotted. Can't wait! Raya is a month long celebration. I'm gonna get fat!

October 21, 2006

happy deepavali/diwali

Today is Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, the triumph of light over evil. My warmest wishes go out to everyone who celebrates this beautifully lit day.

To everyone else, have a great weekend!

October 20, 2006

to the point

It's confirmed. The haze is going to last a little longer according to the weather department. That just means we'll be living sans colour and fresh air. I've been wheezing and coughing for weeks now and I'm sure the private health clinics have made a healthy profit from people getting ill.

This is a shot of KL Tower. It usually looks very majestic against a blue sky but seeing as it's gray and gloomy everyday, I had no choice but to convert this to a B&W shot. Otherwise, in colour, all the details are washed out. It's days like these that I wish I had Superman's superbreath so I can blow the smog away. Hey doesn't cost me anything to dream, right? My throat's killing me though...

October 19, 2006

loose tap

Water. The one element none can live without and is one helluva a subject for photography especially for an amateur like me. I get very excited when I capture water movement. This one I took while I was walking to the shops just a street away from where I live. The tap was shut but the water still dripped. I only took this one shot and it worked enough for me to wear a huge smile and continue walking.

Thank you to water for the life giving energy you give us. Aqua Vita!

October 18, 2006

only for you

Keranamu Malaysia, our new national 'tagline' and it just rolls off our tongues. Keranamu means Because of You. Some see it as a wonderfully patriotic sentiment: Because of you Malaysia, I strive to be the best. However, the cynicism in some have taken this slogan to a whole different level: Because of you Malaysia, our currency cannot really compete in the world market. Because of you Malaysia, blah blah blah.

But I call this country home despite all her shortcomings. Just because.

All it takes is a sign.

October 17, 2006

give me a sign

Rest assured, you'll never get lost in KL. There are signs everywhere and for everything. Everyday, more and more signages get erected. Take a look at this picture. So much to look at. Road signs, commercials, road works, restaurants... I may not get lost in KL but my senses have been overloaded with information.

October 16, 2006

backstage farewell

Butterfly Lovers: The Musical is now over. Emotionally and physically drained. The show closed to rapturous applause and tears fell as we took our final bow. Thank you to the audience, to the Gods of Theatre for blessing our journey, to you DP readers who have followed my journey. My biggest thanks goes to my fellow cast and crew members. I wouldn't have cried on stage if you were a bunch of idiots. However I did and I will miss the nonsense we got up to for 5 weeks backstage. Like the story, the love is eternal. The magic of theatre I am glad to have shared with all of you.

If you'd like to see more of the photos I've taken, have a gander at my Flickr page in a couple of days. I'll post them there.

The sun sets on another wonderful day.

KLDP returns to regular programming tomorrow

October 14, 2006

backstage pt.11

Seeing that Melissa, my stage manager, has given me an all-access go-ahead to snap shots during the performance, every opportunity I get, I'm there lurking in the darkness. I feel like the Phantom of this Chinese Opera. My role, though important to the show, is only 6 minutes of the entire 2 1/2 hours. Kinda like Judi Dench in Shakespeare In Love, though I doubt I'll be winning any Oscars. That leaves me lots of time inbetween to be the unofficial archivist.

2 shows more and it's all over. Of the hundreds of shots, I've compiled close to 150 of the best which I'll be putting on disc as a farewell present to each and everyone in the production. Here's is one of the shots. Soo Suan, the female lead, as she waits for our daily briefing to begin.

October 13, 2006

backstage pt.10

Sorry guys, those legs from yesterday's shot are not mine. I took the picture. One day you'll see mine, I promise.

Here we have a picture of the backstage crew. They're laughing because they played a prank on a few of us (present company included) and it was caught on video. Another hilarious moment. 3 days more and this show is over. And as a homage to my comrades, I'm extending this series until Sunday when the show closes.

Thank heavens for these people. I've been ill all week. Performing is such a pain. However, they make it easier for me to walk onstage. Simply precious.

October 12, 2006

backstage pt.9

2 more pictures and I'm done with this series. I've taken so many and it's been tough deciding which ones to share with you. This one I took during one of the quick change moments. The ensemble have about 5 minutes to change their entire costume and rush out for the next scene. It's always a flurry of frenetic activity in the dressing room when it happens. It's always a riot when it happens too. We're constantly laughing and stumbling over each other to finish the task. It's just brilliant!

October 11, 2006

backstage pt.8

All kinds of things happen backstage. Especially during the performance. Here is Adam, breaking a rule: eating in his costume and I caught him at it! Not only does he disregard the rules set by our stage manager, he's also managed to cheese off nearly all of his ensemble mates and he's the only one that has ripped his costumes on stage. I'm sure he doesn't mean to but he does ask and do some strange things.

Back in the theatre tonight. The extension begins. Looking forward to a long night. Have a great day everyone!
(This is KLDP's 200th post! Yay!)

October 10, 2006

backstage pt.7

One would think that after the show is done, everyone is pooped and ready to collaspe. On the contrary, adrenaline levels are high and the backstage antics continue. This is Kim Siong, one of the emsemble cast. He and a few others smudged their make-up and ran around the dressing room singing Whitney and Mariah songs. As I was removing my make-up, Kim Siong comes to me and asks me to take his picture. How could I resist?

October 9, 2006

backstage pt.6

The show was supposed to close last night but thanks to sold-out performances and a long waiting-list, it has been extended for another week. Today was a day-off. Phew!

So, I decided to continue the Backstage series for a couple more shots, if you don't mind. I know I finished the story yesterday but I just can't help it. I love my pictures. And I'm so happy you like them too.

To coin a phrase used by a very talented photographer, we'll be back to regular programing soon.

October 8, 2006

backstage pt.5

Dressed in funereal garments, Yingtai makes her way to Shango's final resting place. A storm ensues. Ma Wenchai, narrates the final scene as the procession crosses below him. The procession stops and for one fleeting moment, as Yingtai appears from the wedding sedan, you see that Ma and Yingtai are identically dressed. And in that moment they both look at each other for the one and only time in the entire show. However, she immediately notices Shangbo's tomb that sits right behind Ma. She calls out his name and runs past Ma. I walk away and Yingtai begins her final lament with thunder claps echoing her every word. She sings for the gods to allow her to join her true love in death. Then the storm, intensified by strobe lights, show Shangbo calling out to her. She runs into the grave and disappears.

The storm breaks and the members of the procession notice she's gone. They call out for her. The music rises and suddenly two giant butterflies appear from the shattered tomb. They realise it's the Lovers and everyone falls to their knees. The final song.

A thousand rainbows and a hundred flowers
Never equal a love this eternal
For this is their story
Liang Shangbo and Zhu Yingtai

This is Dominique Devorsine, the costume designer and personal make-up artist to me and most of the boys. The rest of the cast have the sponsored make-up crew, A Cut Above.

October 7, 2006

backstage pt.4

Yingtai, completely heartbroken, prepares for her wedding day. Suddenly, Sijiu, Shangbo's manservant, arrives at her door only to tell her that Shangbo has coughed himself to death. Yingtai faints and awakes to sing of how cruelly they have been parted and blames her father and Ma Wenchai for her misfortune. She tells Sijiu to wait by Shangbo's grave. He leaves.

Then her father enters. Yingtai demands to visit Shangbo's grave as a condition to marrying Ma. She also demands that the wedding sedan be decorated with funeral offerings. He reluctantly agrees. The marriage with the Ma family, to him, is far more important.

This is me, as Ma Wenchai. In every production of Butterfly Lovers, Ma never appears and is only mentioned. The role was created for me and I'm a ghost character who narrates the story of these foolish lovers. My character is only revealed much later as a twist to the formula.

- to be continued

October 6, 2006

backstage pt.3

A day after, Shangbo in his dorm room, is ill and tossing and turning with conflicting feelings. Madam Meng, the busybody visits him and poses a riddle which he fails to understand. She tells him that Yingtai confessed her identity to her and Shangbo, realising the fool he is, jumps out of bed and makes his journey to see Yingtai. He sings of the love that awaits him at the end. He finally arrives after the long journey and is greeted by Yingtai. Shangbo and Yingtai lay eyes on each other as man and woman for the first time. He is dumbstruck. She reveals how happy is is to see him but also reveals that he's a day late. Her father has arranged her marriage. Shangbo, affected, coughs into his handkerchief only to find his blood stain on it. Together, they sing their farewell song. Shangbo runs off with Yingtai calling after him.

- to be continued (this picture is of Siau Suan who plays her father)

October 5, 2006

backstage pt.2

Yingtai journeys home. Shangbo decides to accompany her for most of the way. But, before she leaves, she reveals her true identity to Madam Meng, the teacher's busybody wife. Madam Meng promises to help her.

Throughout the journey, she hints at her feelings for him as well as her identity. Shangbo, completely oblivious, thinks she's teasing him fo being somewhat effete. Yingtai resorts to matchmaking her 'sister' to him and requests that he quickly comes to visit and ask her parents for her hand in marriage.

When she arrives home, Yingtai finds out it was a ploy by her parents to get her home. They had arranged her marriage to the infamous and very rich playboy, Ma Wenchai.

- to be continued

October 4, 2006

backstage pt.1

As you can see by the post's title, this is the first of a series of pictures taken at my current production, Dama Orchestra's Butterfly Lovers. The story of Zhu Yingtai, the daughter of a wealthy landlord who defies tradition and customs and deceives her parents into allowing her to attend school. Disguised as a man, she goes and meets Liang Shangbo, a bookworm of sorts. She falls in love with him but cannot reveal her identity. He feels the same way but is confused by his feelings for this 'man' but all begins to unravel once Yingtai is summoned home under the pretense that her mother is ill.

- to be continued-

October 3, 2006

getting out

Yesterday, we had a day-off from the show. It was good getting out from the show for a bit of a breather. We go back in tonight.

This is the emergency exit of the space we perform in. It's always locked. But this past Sunday, it was open and the sun spilt in. I went outside, with cigarette and camera in hand. My cigarette smoke danced along with the puffy clouds above. Lovely day!

October 2, 2006

dress up

As requested, more backstage shots. This is Adam trying on his costume. He's part of the chorus. There are 10 of them, 8 boys and 2 girls. Adam is the youngest at a tender age of 18. This is his first production but he doesn't know if this is where he'd like to end up. Adam is currently in college doing graphic and multimedia courses.

Can you see that red robe hanging on the right side of this shot? Yup, that's mine!

October 1, 2006

what is it?

Sunday. Day of Rest. For some yes, for me No! Two performances today. Call time is 12p.m. Like this Blue Hyppo, I'll be looking for something to keep myself focused and alert. Jumping into the shower now. That'll help for sure.