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Monday, February 28, 2011

One year ago...

I was walking along the streets of New York in my sparkly blue and black showcase top and studded leggings waiting to perform at the biggest showcase of my life. Western Michigan University Music Theatre Seniors always had the opportunity to be exposed to the competitive casting world in New York through our Senior Showcase. Very lucky of us. Some people don't even have the chance to have this tryout before moving here, and then they just get dropped like a bomb. Then again, it's not that different. It's just another showcase, another opportunity, another singalong.

I remembered clearly, a year ago it was gloomy and raining just like this. Not too heavy of a down pour, just wet and humid, a lil trickle here and there. My heart was thumping not because I was nervous. I have performed this number a zillion times and I knew I rocked the hell out of it with a little rapping and attitude. My heart was thumping hard because I have completely lost my voice. I felt sick. For the first time since I moved to the States, I could not sing a note at all. Still I had to perform. I had to sing. I ended up speaking through my entire song.

I remembered seeing my sister in the audience as I was bitterly trying to work through my song. The sadness in her face, the dissapointment not because I sucked by talent, because I sucked by fate. It was the biggest turnout in WMU showcase history. Important casting directors, managers and agents were all there to scout for new talent and I deliberately embarrassed myself, performing for the first time in New York City.

At the end of two showcase performances, our head of department sat us down and gave us the list of agents and managers who were interested in us. We were supposed to call them and set up appointments and maybe work with them in the future. While everyone in the class got at least 6 people interested in them, I had none. Could you imagine the devastation? At that time, this showcase was the world to us. 4 years of college training, working hard and picking the right choices of songs just for this 5 minutes of moments to shine. All of it went down the drain just because I was sick and couldn't pipe a tune. I felt like I embarrassed myself, my family, my class, and the entire program. All the WMU alumnus were there watching me struggle as I tried to pretend nothing was wrong.

I cried like a baby after the showcase.

I spend the rest of the entire week walking along the streets of New York with my sunglasses on just because it would hide my swollen red eyes from the world. I was depressed. Like I said, at that time, the showcase meant to world to me. It was what I left Malaysia to the States for and I busted my one time opportunity.

A year later, it is my junior's turn to shine. They are rocking their first show as I am typing this and I am so darn proud that have made it this far. I wish they knew that the Senior Showcase isn't as big as a deal as it really is. It's great exposure, that's what it really is. One year later, I am still here trying and grinding in the city like everyone else. You may get an agent out of it and who cares if you didn't? Truthfully speaking, non of us seniors from last year got any agents out of it so... I guess life goes on? Just get yourselves out there, break all limbs and have all the fun in your few moments to shine.


Break legs guys, like what Julia Murney said, "Choose enjoyment."

See y'all there at the 6pm performance!
You guys are awesome as hell anyways :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sweet Saturday


Yesterday was a crazy day for me. It was a huge audition day and because of that, I had left work early to make sure that I am well rested for the big day. Unfortunately, while my bodied rested itself for 6 hours but my brain was wide awake about 90 percent of the time because I was so anxious that I would not be able to wake up to my 5am alarm. I could hear the sound of the heavy pattering raindrops and loud garbage trucks outside in my sleep. Not the most pleasant thing. But I still managed. 
The adrenaline kept me up and awake after I hopped in the shower, lugged on my uber humongous duffle bag filled with audition essentials like my song folder, dance shoes, make up, water, 2 different audition outfits for the different roles that I will be auditioning for, grabbed a banana and umbrella and made my way to the bus-stop. 

I got to the first audition location. It was 6.20am then. I thought to myself,

"Meh, I'll be so early for this, I might even have to start an unofficial sign up list."

BUT I WAS WRONG.

I pulled unto the heavy glass door and came face to face with an extremely long line of other actors signing up for the same audition season. I joined the line and when I finally had the chance to look at the list, I was number 153 at 6.20am for an audition that doesn't begin until 10am.

Wow. I left the building laughing at myself for doing what I am doing. But I wasn't the only one. I was laughing at all of us doing this. Did I mention that it was pouring cats and dogs too?
Seriously, only actors are willing to go this far when it comes to a job. Only actors are willing to devote overtime hours and work for free. Only actors are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for things like headshots, comp cards, websites, and etc. even before being hired. Really, besides people involved in the arts, I don't think anyone else would be willing to give so much before even receiving anything in return.

I wasn't done. After signing up for audition 1, I left, braved the heavy rain and strong winds, hoping my umbrella wouldn't break and made my way to audition number 2.

This time, I was the second girl who had arrived. The building wasn't even open yet. After waiting for a while, a bunch of girls and I just sat on the floor next to the elevator and rested. Before we knew it, one of the girls got a call from her friend who was at audition 1, she said that if we don't get back to audition location 1, the monitors are going to start scratching names off the unofficial list, and all of our efforts of being early would go down the drain. 

Back to audition location UNO.


To cut the LOONNNGGG story short, I literally went from one place to the other at least three times each. This excludes the audition 3 that I was also involved in.

Insane. But I was glad that I got seen for all three of them before lunch time and I had the opportunity to actually head home for an hour nap before going to work at 5pm.

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Today was stay home day. And although I live with my sister, I hardly see her because of our opposite busy schedules. So I decided to bake cupcakes for a treat! Yum!



After reading several different recipes online, I decided to create my own version of a Double Choco-Chip Cupcake with Lemon Zest Cream Cheese Frosting.



After slapping on the frosting.
It wasn't as pretty as I envisioned it to be because the texture of the frosting wasn't stiff enough. The only way to make it harden was to add more sugar into it and I didn't want to do it.
No extra calories!



It was nevertheless delish though.
We'll see if the next attempt will look this poopy again. I am tempted to bake another round just so I can get it to look perfect. But I have to tell myself to hold back or else I would blow up like a balloon!


My dear sister who couldn't resist but to bug me saying,
"omg! So cute! Can I try it now?"
"No."
"So cute! I wanna try it."
"No, wait till I'm done."
"But. it's so cute"

=.="


Okay, now keep them away from me. I don't wanna get fat!


Oh god, two cupcakes and I am having a sugar rush.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I think I fell in love...

with cooking.


Making Garlic Primavera Risotto today for a few favorite people :)
So excited!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Karaoke

Hey all,

It's been awhile since I have updated my blog. I've been busy working last week. In fact I am so tired right now from a 12 hour job shift yesterday. I didn't get home till 3am in the morning! It kinda sucks because I am a morning person and I love my days. But what can I do, I need to make sure that I have money to pay the bills and audition at the same time.

I like this job of mine because I get to network with many other people who are kinda doing what I am doing. It pays more than my old job but on the other hand, I really hope that I start getting use to the fact that I am using a lot of my voice unnecessarily. My voice is so tired now that I can't even hit any notes. It sucks. And it's the audition season right now. 

:(

Anyway, I was dragged by my dear sister to karaoke a couple of weeks ago. I was running on 4 hours of sleep and I promised that I would go because it was our sister date plan for her birthday. 


Me singing I Know The Truth from AIDA.
One of my favorite musical soundtracks. I would love to see the show one day.


Here's dear Lynn singing Carrie Underwood's Don't Forget To Remember Me.
xoxo




More karaoke sessions soon?
Right now, I just need to get my voice back. meh...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Waiter woes

Sigh. I don't even know how to start.

Yesterday was just an exhausting day for me. Both physically and emotionally.
I woke up at 6.40am for a catering gig at the science center and worked from 8.30am till 2.30am. The gig was pretty easy and all but the fact that I had to rush to my other job in Manhattan that starts at 4pm leaves me no time to grab a bite or to even go home.

I arrived my other job at 3.30am. Half an hour early. Since I had nothing else to do, I started work early. Thankfully the place was busy as time would pass faster for me. I had a consistent amount of table to serve and all. Everything was going on smoothly until...

1. Couple number one.
Tipped me 4 dollars out of a 66 dollar bill.
Cheap skate. I was extremely shocked to how civilized a person can be. I spoke to a coworker and he told me to confront them. How?
"sir, why are you so cheap? Please give me more money?"

I don't think I have the balls to do it. My coworker who have worked for a long time then preceded to their table with the receipt and told them that he was my trainer and that it was actually my 2nd day of work here.
"the poor girl has to pay taxes with the very little amount of tip that you gave her. Did she do anything wrong?"

Obviously they felt bad, and then gave him a 10 dollar bill to pass to me. I was glad of course. I went to their table, thanked them. Problem solved.

2. Butt head.
On busy nights like this, table services are only allowed for dining. If you are just there to grab a drink, please help yourself at the bar.

My section was pretty busy and all, after the couple left, the butt head sneakily creeped into
my section and made himself very comfortable for me to serve him. I knew that he wasn't seated by the hostess so for a while, I ignored him. Finally, I said,

"Good evening sir, are you waiting for anyone?
Nods
"Are you ordering food?"
"Yes"

Oops, I felt bad. Maybe it was my mistake.
I then cleaned up his table, gave him a drink menu, food menu and made sure he was taken care of. Giving him extra attention to replace my silliness before. An hour went by, still no one. He was sitting there with his beer by himself. He then called for the bill.

That butt head effing lied! If I wasn't busy, fine sit all you want but there were people waiting for tables and all at my section. And you just wasted an hour of my time serving nothing but a tab of 6 dollars for a beer?
Fine. I told myself to suck it up and just smile?

Guess how much tip he left me?

0

Freaking nothing okay? You bloody cheap ass butt face. Really? Even if you have a drink from the bar you would have to tip your bartender right? I hope you sleep well tonight.
It's only 6 bucks anyways.

I should have ust my instincts.

Wait. There's more.

3. Stupid Ignorant Kids.

Wait a sec, you are in your mid twenties. YOU ARE NOT KIDS NO MORE!
Let me recategorize these group of people. Scrooges.
Came in, ate and drank up to a bill of 130 bucks. Paid, and walked out with no tip.
Wow. 3rd customer in a row to hit me in the face with crap like that.
My patience was already pushed to the limit my the other previous 2.

But wait......

4. Middle aged couple.
I hate to stereotype, but usually when someone walks into a restaurant, you kinda guess in your mind, what kinda of customers would they be. Rude? Demanding? Uber friendly? An awesome tipper? (How can you not think of that when that's your source of income? It makes you work for it.)
I never suspected anything of them because they were polite and all. We had great conversions throughout the dinner and they loved the sake and sushi rolls that I recommended them.
Their bill came up to 150 dollars.

Take a guess how much they tipped me? :)

ZE EFFING RO
Nothing! NOTHING!!

How could you be so cold hearted? You are a bloody middle aged couple making decent money and you bloody well know that waiters DON'T F**KING MAKE ANYTHING!



I was so mad because of the long day I had before working at another job and then coming to this shit show. Working 13 hours in a day really doesn't put you in your best mood at all. By the end of the day, I was just exhausted and filled with mixed feeling. I was upset, tired, hurt, thinking of what I did wrong...

It's just so unfair.


I never really doubted my customer service ecause I grew up in a family that's involved in businesses. Customers are always right and yada yada. I am not saying that I am perfect or anything. Every once in a while I get thrown off by something, but never was I the server who was ultimately rude, forgotten to smile, or spat in any food.



Breathe in. breathe out.




Welcome to the restaurant industry Sue-Yenn.

On the bright side, at least they didn't walk off without paying. Doesn't mean that I am still not bitter about the fact that I could have made at least 30bucks more that night.

I'm only human.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Picture Updates!

Hi world!

I just thought that I should update you all more using pictures (like how I use to back then when I had more time to actually use my camera). Enjoy!



I've been skyping and it's freaking awesome to still be in touch with people who are FAR FAR away.


I fell in love with make up all over again after watching a bunch of youtube make up star Michelle Phan's videos because I was bored and lonely at home during one of my 'nothing-to-do' days.
The color combination was inspired by my black dress with red and orange flowers.


New Year's Eve getting ready to go out with my rabbit ear muffs!



The weather has been nothing but brutally cold. 
First winter in New York and it has welcomed me with nothing but horrid sharp winds, gross slush and ice.


I have been complaining so much about how wet feet is a huge pet peeve of mine. 
I finally got myself a pair of rainboots! No more worries!
I love stepping in puddles now, just because I could do so :)


I celebrated Chinese New Year with new Malaysian friends and even brought Sammy with me!
Pearly: Everybody has to wear red!
Red for Prosperity, Good Luck and Happiness!
I could use a lot of that right now.


I had REAL YEE SANG for the first time in FOUR freaking years!
In my previous post, I wrote that we had homemade yee sang, and now I finally got to share the real thing with new friends!

I had it every single Chinese New Year since I could eat solid food, never really appreciated it until now.
YEE SANG!


Chinese New Year is really like Christmas. It has the same value of "Giving is better than receiving".
On the other hand, Chinese can get pretty selfish too because the only reasons they give is because they hope that the more they give, the more they will get in return!
Lol. Just kidding... but this is really what some people think!

Either or, I was extremely happy when ex-room mate Pearly brought out a huge bag of Chinese candy and distributed it to everyone on the dinner table. Thank you Pearly Wurly! LOVE LOVE LOVE!


I realized, every time I meet someone new I would indulge in a different specific type of cuisine.
Over the past years, I have had a lot of  Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Malaysian (Just because I am Malaysian myself), Filipino, Greek... 
Now I am stuck in a French and Italian phase.

I made my first risotto with zucchini, bacon and chicken.
I must say, it was pretty damn good :)


Of course, in conjunction of the SUPERBOWL, I had to make Nachos!
Freaking delish!!!

Now I feel like a hypocrite. 
Here I am blogging about losing weight in my previous post, and now I am making all these fatty foods.
Seriously?


We celebrated my dear sister's birthday last weekend.
It took us one whole month to plan it!
I had so many ideas in mind. From cocktails on rooftop bars to a surprise at a fancy restaurant, we finally decided to have a warm and homey surprise party at a friend's place.

The best Chocolate Praline cake for the Best Sister in the world!

video

Lynn's surprise video (I didn't get to record the beginning of the surprise because the lights were all off and it was too dark. You could see nothing in the video!)


I hope you had a wonderful birthday love.
May you be blessed for this tough year ahead of us. I know you are capable of reaching your highest goal.
I love you. Muah!

xoxo.

More birthday pictures to come!


I took this picture today at work. 
I was at the Hearst Tower overlooking the city of New Jersey.

It looked way better in real life. The picture shows nothing but the concrete jungle.




That's all for now peeps!
Stay tuned for more!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Resolutions. Too late no?

Updates updates.

I've been thinkin'... I need to really start kicking myself in the butt to do something different.
I've been told (by several people in fact) that I am extremely hardworking. Yes. But maybe putting in so much hard work at a different place is not that smart at all. I need to work smart as well as work hard.

Resolutions. Is it too late to have them now that the second month of the year has kicked in?

I will record a vocal track with video included by the end of March.
Holy crap, now that I've put this out there I have to do it.

Second resolution, discipline. I need that. Really do.

Third. Save, save, save! Looks like I might not be able to obtain an Artist visa on time. I am too new in the industry, and although I have professional experiences, they are not enough to back me up. I'll have to go back to dance school come October. Tuition fees. No, not again!
Mom, why am I not born American like Cheryl?

Fourth, I might start a Vlog. Might. We'll see :)


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On the other hand, I had an amazing dinner get together with 10 other Malaysians at a Malaysian restaurant at China town :) It's been awhile. I can't recall when was the last time I had Malaysian food before that. Funny that I was so deprived of it that I just chowed down everything I saw. Probably not the smartest idea. Didn't savor the taste enough. Lol.

Come to think about it, China town is just right there! When I was back in Michigan, I had all the excuses of not having to have Malaysian because there was only one Indonesian Malaysian restaurant and you needed a car to get there with. Right now, I can just hop on to the subway downtown and grab a bite whenever. Just too darn lazy.

Stay tuned for pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Summer is coming. I'm so out of shape. I don't even think I can see the world in sleeveless tank tops anymore. Diet!