Friday, April 13, 2007

The beginning is the end is the beginning

I know, I know. I'm really sorry. I've just bumped into a phase that has totally sucked up all form of whatever minimal leisurely time I already had, including the time to upkeep this blog. I hated the day that this would come, but it has, and well, if you still visit here from time to time, thanks a mill. Regardless, I'll just give a quick rundown of what's been up with me over the past few months.

I went to Singapore in January for a business trip. It was amazing fun, seeing my good mate Razzaq who was incidentally down there as well. Scoping the nightlife, shopping, making the most of hotel housekeeping... It almost didn't feel like work at all. If there's anything I would still love to upload as an entry, it would be this trip. I hope to get to it eventually. Plus I've gotten some wicked videos that exemplify Retardation Nation which can't possibly go to waste.

I've filmed one of my biggest adverts since my TM Net gig in 2005. This time it's for Dynamo, where I play the owner of a daycare centre. I can dare say that it was one of the most difficult shoots I've ever done. Infants and toddlers are the most difficult actors to work with, although no fault of their own. They're just very spontaneous and hence inconsistent with what they do, so the responsibility of getting a good take falls completely in the hands of the oldest talent on set. But like all other demanding shoots, it was a great learning experience. I don't have any shots of myself, but here are a few I managed to take instead.

Director Brian and crew perking up the kids

My cue card

The set that was built in a Shah Alam indoor studio from scratch

The commercial premiered on TV just a week or two ago. I've seen it once and am pretty insulted that my voice has been dubbed over by someone who doesn't sound half as genuine as I do in my humble opinion. But at least it looks like my co-stars really like me. God bless the wonders of great editing.

A good mate of mine, Michael Chen, has always expressed an interest to work together and he finally managed to rope me in for a short film he put together for the BMW Shorties competition back in February. 'Moving On' was Michael's first attempt at writing and directing, and I personally think he did a superb job. His one-on-one preparation techniques with me before shoots were sometimes too effective, and there were times where I ended up taking my character back home with me which would mess me up for days on end. But his efforts paid off after the crew and I sat down to watch the final product. Our film didn't make it to the shortlisting, but Michael attended the winner announcement ceremony, and in a little montage of all the submissions recieved, my face apparently appeared almost every 2 seconds. Thought that was a sweet consolation. And look out for Michael, he'll be the next big to happen to Malaysian arts.

In February, The Sun newspaper got round to publishing my prize-winning article from The Cicak's 'Write It!' competition. Quite surreal to have my byline peering out from the comment page. It's every budding writer's dream, and I hope I've inspired some readers to realize that they are capable of being so much bigger than what others restrict them to be.

As of January, I've been contributing writer to The Living Arts, a Malaysian arts newsletter that The Actors Studio publishes for free on a monthly basis. So far I've been submitting commentaries about arts and the media, as well as plugging local stage productions that might need a little boost of publicity. I offered my services to get myself back into the habit of serious writing, and it's a good start to building a proper portfolio. The feedback I get about my pieces have been coming from the most unlikely of places. I made a cold phonecall for a corporate sales pitch the other day; the woman who took my call recognized my name from The Living Arts, and said she was encouraging her own daughter to be like me and get involved in a lot of things. That was so awesome. I've been uploading my articles online (do excuse the lame address, I was so out of ideas):

My mate Gavin Yap has been approaching me lately to try out for a few voiceover auditions that he's been holding. I've never tried out anything like that before, but I've been having loads of fun with it. I chipped in a few lines for a pilot episode for a cartoon targeted at preschoolers, as one of 3 fish that poses a riddle to the main characters before they are allowed to cross a river. Gavin has been poking fun at my lines ever since then, and I get angry only because I haven't thought of a good comeback line yet. But jokes aside, I'm really thankful that he's put a little faith in me and letting me have a go at this sort of thing. I've kinda indirectly returned the favor by giving the next production he's directing some coverage in the April issue of Living Arts. Check out 'Tell Tale Heart' at KLpac this month, I think it'll be really something.

I've tried my hand at writing a play myself. The Oral Stage is a youth theatre outfit that was looking for writers for their upcoming seasons, and I was one of several who were selected. It felt very awkward writing the short play under a deadline, but I managed to put something together at the eleventh hour, and Kelvin Wong the director found the mood of it suitable enough to kickstart the entire production of SCREWED. It's a great honor but I'm extremely nervous because I never found the opportunity to sit in during any of the rehearsals. But it would be interesting to see how Kelvin and the actors interpret what I've written. It's a 5-minute piece called 'The Color Green'. Catch it this month if you're curious, and let me know what you think.

And finally, I've been selected as one of the twenty finalists for the Malaysian edition of the talent reality show, 'So You Think You Can Dance'. I've just completed the initial stages over a span of several weeks, and now I'm getting ready to move into a hotel this coming Sunday where I will be temporarily imprisoned - no contact with the outside world, barely any rest, cameras on you 24/7. The competition goes 'live' in the beginning of May, and eliminations via sms votes go on until the finals in June. As a self-trained dancer who goes crazy in clubs in a tragic plea for attention, I had no idea I would get this far and I honestly have no idea what the judges saw in me to let me go further. I would like to at least get a hint of that reason before I get the boot. Doing this show has not been without its huge sacrifices to work and life in general, but with the support of my mates and my family, I have a feeling this may be the start of something new. You can catch the show every Thursday evening on 8TV.

Which is why, despite writing this at 4am and feeling like I've been run over by a bus, I feel I must blog one more time. I just don't know when I'll be able to do so again after this and that upsets me. Dare I say it, Retardation Nation is an extension of my life, and I love how I can use it to entertain people. I would love to come back to it once all the drama is over, but as always, it's just a matter of when. Again, I gotta say to everyone whom has ever visited my blog and continue to do so even through my dry spells, you've been so brilliant in breathing life into my online realm. Thanks for sharing the laughs, the tears, the bits of life that make you go, "Whoa. Can we do that again?"

Keep up the great vibes and see y'all from the small screen.

Davina @ Disco-very


Blogger savante said...

Whoa! You've got so many things done and accomplished! :)

7:28 PM  
Anonymous shelley leong said...

Keep up the wonderful things you're doing!

We miss you crazy girl. By the way, we did something on my blog (listen, and you'll see.. I think I was possessed by you).

1:13 AM  
Blogger Glaring Notebook said...

*breathes out*

Big squishy hug for you when you get out! Remember your exercises! Stay in there long enough for me to catch you on those rare Thursday nights that I'm home!

1:18 AM  
Blogger dLion said...

break a leg, (well not actually) but have fun with the dancing!

12:08 PM  
Anonymous saintvamp said...

Don't burden yourself too much, if feel like doing it, 'just do it' with a positive thought. Yea is a while that you have not been blogging but as long you are fine and well is excellent for most of us. Till then wishing you the best of everything and gambate! ^_^.

Ps. Now somebody 'hot item' worrr..j/k

5:20 PM  
Anonymous paulw said...

I only checked this link out of curiosity, because last time I did it had been idle for ages. Wow, you've been busy. :-)

Keep it up and have fun - you have a good writing style, it's fun to read, so tell us about it. :-)

(Okay, too many smilies...)

7:11 AM  
Blogger Cleopatra said...

Hey Davina

Have fun with the dancing! Wish I had the time to dance...I miss it


10:47 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

I LOVE 'The Color Green'. Tho it only very recently dawned on me that maxywaxy was actually a dawg :P

9:44 AM  
Blogger dee (extraordinary machine) said...

kisses girl - an inspiration you are! dance your ass off!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Waifon said...

I am too awed and terpegun for words. Like how can someone be so talented!!! You can write, talk, dance, act, model and be pretty on a magazine. I can't help but go "OH I READ HER BLOG MOM. I KNOW HER BLOG OKAY. LIKE REALLY I READ HER BLOG AND SHE IS SO...WARGHGHGH IM SO JEALOUS SHE IS SO TALENTED MOM!!! AND I KNOW SOMEONE WHO KNWS HER OH MY DAMN EXCITED MOM ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME YA ALLAH!" everytime I watch SYTYCD. Yes, terpegun.

And why 8tv doesn't show clips of you dancing!? huh huh huh!!?? I waited till tetek pon dah terlondeh but nooo... everytime you come on screen, you'll be either talking abt the only pair of heels you have or cry cos you got shortlisted. First, it was your sister and then Jan Wee. Like hokayyy I really want to see her dance! But oh well, congrats! Yes, you have an official supporter now. Jari putus pon I sms for you :D Ohhh and one of the judges is super hot. The way he speaks is too damn sexy aiyo tergerak hatiku hohoho. Okay this is so long that it's becoming a blog post so anyway, all the best!

Waifon @ Stalker :)

oooooh I'm a stalker. Sked or not wtf.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Fiona-Jane said...

Hi Davina!

I've been trying to catch the show whenever I find myself home on a Thursday night (damn 8tv doesn't do repeats!). Only watched the last bit of it last night and was cheering for you when they announced that you were chosen for the Top 20! Good on ya!! Will definitely vote for you!

3:41 PM  
Blogger albert said...

I LOVED Prakash's expression.

It seemed as if the play was written completely around that expression. The hanky panky was just cream on top. But it was entertaining as heck.

1:14 PM  
Blogger disco-very said...

hey everyone. waiting in 8tv's headquarters as i type this, getting ready to record my 'elimination speech' for when the time comes to air it. it's been a rough couple of weeks, been learning so much about myself as both a performer and an individual. i've had some serious bouts of insecurity, so it helps that every now and then, someone injects a little faith in me when i've lost all faith in myself. so thank you so much for the support everyone, it means so much.

just to let you all know, if you miss the chance to catch the show on tv, you can find it online at the following URL:

thanks again, hugs on the house. :)

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Prakash said...

hey davina, how are you? Well, I am Prakash and I was in your play " The Color Green ". Thanks for such a wonderful script and I loved playing Max...I mean its really a fun role to play and I love fun roles like this...Btw any chance did you catch the play? Well, hope to meet you soon, and yeah I saw you on 8TV yesterday and wish you all the best yeah...take care and see ya...

9:40 AM  
Anonymous inaesb said...

Haha...Bravo! :)

I thought I saw you in the Dynamo advertisement. I was right!

Then I thought I saw you again in the ending credits of the So You Think You Can Dance. I was right again! :)

Maybe I'll see you in the next Cannes? :P

Good luck and all the best!

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you think you can dance ha Nadia?

4:48 AM  
Blogger HeR$hèYs said...

hey, ur absolutely doing great! keep it up gurl!
i saw the dynamo ad n recognised u. but it din sound like u though :)

10:49 PM  

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