I Had the Best Halloween ever, but at the same time My body was Thrashed. The biggest Ruckus was the Nick and Kim visited, and I had to look after them because I Really wanted to show them the life I had in Singapore. I managed to land them roles more or less as soon as they landed, I had to step over both their sleeping (or not) bodies every night almost because I always was the last to sleep.
We did go through the drama of friends living in close quarters and finding annoying things about each other, especially how me and nick would go off doing and talking guy things leaving Kim out of it. but heck they visited me on the busiest week of my life, the biggest thing I had to work around was Universal studios.
Sadly we were never on set together and I realised that we also never got photos together either.
On Set, not in Uniform... but got hat and Baton eh
Before I left back in August I did score the gig at Universal Studios for *drum roll* Halloween Horror Nights 2 ~ Technically A dream come true as I am a Massive Horror Fan. after jumping through several hoops to get my visa through and signing contract, it turns out that my role is underwhelmingly a security guard. Really? all this talent and you want me to be a plain uniformed security guard!? don't you have enough real ones already?
Turns out that the role was quite suitable for me actually and I did really grow into it. I am the first performer guests see as soon as they walk into the insanitarium (insane asylum/hospital/freak show). what I was required to do was pace back and forth at the entry, usher guests in and yell at them, the stage directions I got for this don't really make for much of a scary performance, so I took it upon myself to up the ante and hide/pop up as soon as the guests walk through the door (gives a jump 90% of the time but only works on the lead of the pack) and yell when people think I'm just a statue or looking else where (80% jumps, works only when they are distracted and squeamish), Bang my nightstick baton on the door frame as the last of the pack walk through (works 90%, This fake plaster wall frame was falling apart and I broke 2 sticks), I even sometimes stomp a foot in the path of unsuspecting slow moving packs of ladies who shriek and I then say it was a cockroach and then they shriek again.
(works 70% but rare opportunity to perform).
Yelling in the Change Room.
In the end I really appreciated the position, turns out that I am probably best suited as I did have a lot of room and stage time to play with, best of all I unlocked my Iron Lung/Adamantium throat warcry ability. After the first 2 nights of rehearsal I realised that my throat was hurting and thought back to vocal classes, how Maria de Marco (click to see her page) trained me how to recover from belting and straining the vocals. The secret is hold a bubble or pocket of air at the back of the mouth/tongue and for me push hard without swallowing, it is a miracle healing factor trick and I would do it before and right after yelling. There were all sorts of digital horror sounds playing from speakers in the house like wolf howls, whirlwinds and thunderstorms looping forever at high decibels, yet they could still hear and shriek my outbursts loud and clear every time. Unlike any other performer (self proclaimed) I was able to keep my voice every night and still psyche the team up with battle cries before and after shifts, indeed my yelling voice is now a performing weapon to be reckoned with.
Your one Security guard with one of the many inmates
I could have been any other inmate, hiding behind a curtain or door for a simple scare, or heavy (arguably relying) on makeup to scare or in a sweaty mask or tossing around in a cell or cage, or just walking around unnaturally. I really perfected my delivery and routine by the time the horror nights was over and I am thankful for this experience as I did manage to grow and discipline myself, I delivered like I know no one else could, sometimes ladies would run right back out the front door as soon as they entered and saw me perform, leaving their man with the make or break decision of going out after their terrified woman or walking through the house on their own after waiting 2 or more hours with their weak woman in the Queue. Devilishly Satisfying.
Despite having such a great performance I'm tempted not to do it again, mainly because performers do not get to experience anything that halloween itself has to offer, no parties, no other events, no days off (unless you do a sickie) hell we are not even supposed to walk through our own haunted house.. REALLY! management in USS is tight and strict and for good reason since there was at least 40 people to a house and if a special person like me is allowed creative freedom, then there will be chaos. the commitment time was high and late with over half a daily call time being waiting around (Nick and Kim visited precisely during the 2 weeks I was working). Although I did manage to find my own flavour within the restrictions I was always skating a fine line, and at the end of the day... I'd do this many many many times like an animatronic piece of theme park furniture. frankly I realise working in a theme park is exactly that and that is limiting for any artiste, but I do highly recommend it as an experience at least once in a Performing life for some discipline and fun and universal CV bragging rights. Universal studios also goes all out on expenses, manpower and effects and it is hardcore halloween lols that Australia never imagined.
Performance Rating: 7.8/10
(I could have perfected my technique earlier and some guests got away)
I did a Cameo on an independent film tentatively named RED.
A story of a married or divorced man who would do anything to get with this Karaoke bar singer. A classy Noir tale of forbidden love.
I played the role of Sash waiter, aside from the usual waiter job scopes basically I put the sash on the singer as high rollers put money on her, ludicrous amounts like $18888 are on the sashes, whether or not this is real in reality, I have my doubts.
Simon Wong and a young female co-star
The lead role was Simon Wong, who is an actor from UK who speaks fine english and cantonese so I was able to get along really well with him. he is the same guy in Mcdonald's Samurai burger TVC, he actually isn't japanese. (which is a wonderful asian themed burger we will never get it in Sydney by the way).
The budget was low but the Production was cast and crewed professionally and well equipped too (they shot on C300) with heaps of lights and props. But I will have to nit-pick their scheduling, everyone was passing out on set because there was a lot of early call times, like 6:30 am and even the godly hour of 4am on one occasion, this is of course to maximise the hire of the location and rather than work out a continuity laden schedule where everyone's time is optimised based on individual appearances, it's easier to call everyone for several hours a day. On my Day 2 of shoot I arrived at 4am and the night club space downstairs known as the Shanghai Dolly was still pumping half full, its 4am on a Working Tuesday morning, these people are *quote Simon* were "freaking mental" When Gangnam style was playing I put down my Breakfast Maccas and Hijak'd the stage.
After that morning op-op-oppa High I was passing out between every take mainly because I was thrashed from working at USS for halloween and also looking after Nick and Kim, I couldn't even be bother to take much photos. I had 2 hours sleep between each set and dipped in an out of the performance High and that was what kept me going, I can proudly say I've done a Cantonese Film now. That Monday we were all on different sets, I'm proud to say I managed to get us all gigs as soon as they landed.
Performance Rating: 4.5/10
Mainly Self Continuity issues since I didn't have lines.
left or right hand? when is my cue in the Cantonese song?
also stop Passing out ~ So Unprofessional.
Speaking of messed up and inefficient schedulings, earlier This Month I cameo'd as a featured Zombie in a independent series pilot titled Exodus, basically kept me on set for like 7 hours till the final scene, I actually had a mattress and a good sleep or 2. I was hesitant to do this shoot because it was low budget and had a long call time till 4am. The assistant producer didn't really know how to sell it to me but I wanted to be in a zombie flick so we emailed back and forth and caved when he described to me how cheesy the story was, I assumed it was to leave room for gore so I'm a sucker for that. So eventually I gave in, and good that I did, turns out it was shot in an abandoned School on a stormy night with no power everything running on a generator in the rain, definitely my scene. Below are photos I snapped from set.
The lead was Carl NG from Point of entry but the real reward was the other lead, Kay tong Lim, a legend in singapore and perhaps the world. He has been performing for longer than I have been alive and is the original pioneer voice of the concept accent known as Neutral, which I learned about here, it's not Aussie, US, UK or Singlish but somewhere in between all of that and universally respectable and powerful anywhere. He has performed in all those places, he was even in a Bruce lee movie, not sure if its just the bruce lee story though. He was mostly busy on the set and I didn't get to speak to him much, but his aura was amazing, think of him as the asian Morgan Freeman. I got to be the Zombie that grabs and spews blood on him!.
Here is a Photo of me topless with him, I had Zombie make up and really could not be bothered at the time to wash change properly without a shower in an abandoned school, I even hopped on to the cab topless and the cab driver was hesitant because he thought I was crazy gangster fresh and bloody from a fight.
Performance Rating 7/10
Not much to say since I don't remember, I held on to this entry to write it for halloween. This was the set that in the last entry I mentioned I agreed at 12am to do the Salesman cameo, call time 9am other side of Singapore.
Threaten to sell power Clean. at 17:26
I think it's also worth mentioning that on that set the director said that He has seen me before, when I asked when He said the Swensen's TVC, so my appearance is getting ahead of my flesh.
That Cameo is now Live on Xin MSN, Sadly my lines were stipped and it has become a silent montage :( Click image for link to video, It is a Malaysian show with splashes of english and I assume this works outside Singapore.
Also.. the DBS Lightsaber car insurance web Ad is out!
The above guy is writing this blog. Thanks for taking some time to read it.