Monday, April 2, 2018

Theatre and Resignation

In the immortal words of Staind’s 2001 hit single, it’s been a while.

A lot has happened since the last entry, but I guess the biggest news occupying my mind is that I have resigned from teaching. As of the first of April 2018, I ceased being a national primary school English teacher after 4 years of assuming the job.

Consistent readers of this inconsistent blog would know that it’s been a long time coming. I’ve expressed my thoughts about being a teacher multiple times on this blog, so I think it would come as no surprise for anyone who knows the history of my feelings about it. Currently, it just feels like I’m on a holiday, like a semester break, as if I’ll be returning to school in a week’s time. But I know that’s not going to happen, and I don’t know how I feel about that.

My immediate concern now is how to manage my time so that I don’t just waste away at home doing nothing but sleep and refresh my Twitter feed all day long. I have three big life-long dreams, and I should draw up a roadmap illustrating exactly how I’m going to be able to reach those dreams, setting a trajectory for myself that is built on habits and practices that contribute towards my getting closer to what I want. It won’t be easy, and I’m pretty sure 15 consecutive daily naps isn’t going to help a whole bunch.

A thing my father told me a couple of nights ago struck true: build a skill. I need to be able to do something, and do it well in order to survive, and that’s true about the world we live in. I spent 5 and half years training to do teaching, but now that I’ve found that that’s not where my heart is, I have to spend time training to do something else, so that I can be great at it, so that people will pay me to do those things. I already know what I want those things to be (writing, acting and playing music). I just have to work hard to be better at doing those things. I don’t think I’m particularly bad at those things. I just need to be excellent at them, and excellence takes time and hard work. If anybody needs an okay writer, actor or songwriter, hit me up.

Besides that, I have also been continuing along my path in theatre directing. To anyone who cared that I have not been more consistent in writing about it, I apologise. The combination of school, band practice and theatre practice is not conducive to me putting writing on the blog as a priority. 

I have directed my first piece of theatre in my life. It was a monologue in a show with six monologues, with each monologue being a piece of a bigger story. We received the script two weeks before the show and worked with our assigned actors throughout that time. I got two actors who would rotate the role between them throughout the five-day run of the show. The role was Syakir, who is the main antagonist of the story.

At first I got the actors named Own and Zikri, but then after two practice sessions, Zikri had to pull-out of the show because of his work commitments. He was replaced by Alang and together Own and Alang, I tried my best to breathe life into Syakir the character. It helped that Own and Alang were amazing actors themselves, so there were some instances that I didn’t even feel like I was directing, since the choices they were making and the performances they were giving were so great. When I did step in to direct their creativities and energies, they were receptive, listened well and executed the directions so well, I was in awe most of the time.

Last week we staged it, and they never disappointed with their performances. The whole point of the character was to make the audience feel uncomfortable and dislike the character Syakir, and I think by the end of each night, they achieved that goal. Own in particular was even more amazing on stage than during practice, even when he set such a high bar during practice already. Alang was amazing from the very start, and to think that he only had four days to work on the monologue to get to where he was during the staging astounds me. Both of them have shown me that I have so much more to improve on as an actor. I thank them for working with me and for being such great collaborators.

The third thing would be that the band I'm a part of, Pasca Sini has been busy organising and playing shows to promote our songs. We played an EP launch show at Impero Studio, Empire Damansara which was super fun. It was also the show that kicked off our first leg of our Everything Looks Cooler Tour. Last weekend we went to Alor Setar to play our second show of the tour. The third and final destination of the first leg of the tour shall be in Pahang, but I won't be able to play in that one because I'll be going to Indonesia for a family trip. For more information about Pasca Sini, you can go to Pasca Sini's instagram @pascasini. 

And that's about it for a small life-update post. I hope with my resignation, I will have more time to spend doing things I like, building myself up to become the person I want to be, undertaking the vocations I was to pursue and write on this blog more. But I am weary of making any promises, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s to the future, and making the most of it.


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