Sunday, July 28, 2013

A weekend of music and dance

I must admit, it's pretty strange typing away on a laptop again as I have grown accustomed to the whole pen on paper, old fashioned way of writing thing ever since I decided I wanted to be out of the house more and blogging on a tiny phone isn't exactly easy as the keypad is tiny and I keep stumbling over my own fingers, so I decided to start writing in one of my long abandoned diaries again.
It was slightly difficult at first since it's been sometime since I've actually written my thoughts down on paper and by the time I was halfway through jotting down whatever I was thinking, the thought would have evaporated away and you are left staring at some blank paper, maybe it's because I write very slowly or something. I should probably teach myself how to write in cursive one day.
Also you get to pen down every last detail without having to worrying about how your entry might insult someone or how you would be judged by the way you write, so hooray for secret diaries!

Okay, it wasn't exactly a weekend of music and dance since it started on Thursday and I only got home on Monday and it was filled with more than just music and dancing, I seriously need to work on my blog titling skills.


I woke up to the very annoying bleeping sound of my phone's alarm at seven or so in the morning, I wanted to give my morning zombie self some time to put on make up, actually comb my hair into place and put on a little black dress I D-I-Y refashioned from one of those hand-me-down ankle length auntie dresses I had rotting in my closet which I so happened to only work on it at like, two in the morning or something since I had to pack and stuff. I had a casting and it so happened that I needed a tight, short, dark coloured dress (That I didn't have, so D-I-Y-ing was the alternative to sitting down and crying I suppose.) at the Amber Chia academy for a company that booked runway models.

The casting was over pretty quick, all I did was talk a little bit about myself, get my height measured against one of the two ladies that were doing the casting, do some pretend-you-are-on-a-runway strutting and they actually said my very panicky refashioned dress was pretty and asked where I bought it from!
I'll should probably add "learn how to sew clothes properly" to my things I need to learn how to do before I get old list.

After some drool worthy wan tan mee in Petaling street and getting a new pair of red sneakers at Mid Valley, Dad dropped me off at AWL's. I don't really remember what happened afterwards except maybe walking over to CLIC to have some bihun, fried, vegetarian bak kut teh and fried seaweed with bits of sesame seed in it (Which I later dumped into my bak kut teh soup since it tasted really weird on it's own for some reason that I have no explanation to.) for lunch and then re-reading the city of glass by Cassandra Clare.

At five or so in the evening we made our way to the urban groove dance studio where the workshops for project hip hope (A charity fund raising project for the house of love, an orphanage and the house of joy, a home for the elderly.) were held and signed up for their graffiti workshops since I've recently been obsessed with trying new forms of art out and graffiti is something completely different to what I am used to!

Once I got "project hip hope" stamped in red ink on the back of my palm I was whisked off to a secret church, it shall be called the secret church since I have no idea what the church is called and I probably wouldn't have noticed it there since they camouflaged it so well!

A couple of minutes after climbing up a few flights of stairs, settling down on a plastic chair in this very squashy room filled with Australian fellows freestyle rapping to their adventures they had so far in Malaysia and hip hop dancers that I recognized from the urban groove studio, began the first project hip hope workshop! It began rather awkwardly I must add, since literally everyone knew each other and spoke in hip hop language, which at first was like an entirely new language filled with weird hand gestures but I am proud to say that by the end of the three days I spent at the graffiti workshop I had pretty much understood the whole hip hop language and sign language thing they had going on. And a girl named Carisa, who happens to look almost exactly like my fat blue hippo but perhaps with a hip hop twist said she liked my very random stack of bracelets, yay me.

I must admit the workshop ended almost right after it started or at least it felt that way, hmm. We covered a a brief bit of hip hop history, how it started and who made it famous and all, it's too bad I don't remember much of it since I probably have this life long disease called goldfish memory.
Then we did even more theory on the different graffiti techniques, mainly letter writing/spray painting techniques since we were focusing on getting our tag, basically your graffiti signature, done by the end of the first workshop.

After what seemed like eternity, nah actually I found the theory bit pretty interesting since I had never actually dabbled in graffiti before. When it was time to create our tags I had an "artist block", my mind went blank and I had no idea how to create a somewhat "badass" tag for myself or how to sort of draw it out on paper! Even when I did pull some ideas together and started doodling on my A3 sized paper with multi colored markers it just didn't seem to flow as well as I thought it would and I got the feeling that maybe graffiti is just something I will never be naturally good at.

Once the workshop ended I headed back to the urban groove dance studio, got dragged to a vegetarian restaurant by Awl for dinner and of all things they had there I ordered vegetarian fish head noodles! It tasted very much like eel sushi, I am still undecided if I like or hate it, hmm. Oh since Am, Sam and Arian decided to take the evening workshops we hung around the restaurant sipping on Chinese tea and orange juice, since I might have burnt my tongue while stuffing noodles down my throat. Then Jet and his family decided to join us since they had just finished their dinner somewhere in taipan as well, we yakked about things I don't remember of anymore till the owner of the restaurant decided that they wanted to to kick us out since it was getting late.

The next day was filled with egg sandwich making and packing into ziplock bags,more reading and writing a dozen pages or so in my diary, I guess this is what I get for procrastinating, zero memory of anything that has happened only rough bits and pieces. 


Today at the workshop we started on characters, the whole theory then practical concept again but I enjoyed myself a whole lot more since Sam wasn't taking the workshop with me so I pretty much didn't have an excuse to hang around her and not talk to anyone else! I was there a little early for the workshop that for some reason was held in the urban groove studio instead of the church, so after walking around the reception area for a bit, I plopped down on the couch and talked to this random girl that looked equally as bored next to me and by the time the workshop started we pretty much knew everything from each other's weird life stories to what we kinds of videos we watch on youtube to what we thought of random countries around the world!

As for the practical part of today's characters in graffiti style workshop we had to draw the person sitting next to you as a character and the person sitting next to me was Jane, a friend of Sam's that I had met at the first workshop but didn't really get to talk to much and the photo above is her drawing of me as a graffiti styled character and the piece of paper next to it is my failed attempt at graffiti from the workshop the day before! 
I don't look anything like that though you might have gotten the shorts and big feet right, but thank you for making me feel really beautiful!
We switched our drawings at the end of the workshop so I unfortunately can't upload a picture of the drawing I did of Jane but maybe it's a good thing since mine turned out pretty bad but not as rotten as the tags I did the day before, thankfully.

Am and Sam weren't at the studio yet since their vocal workshop started a little late so I sneaked into the room where the hip hop dancers were rehearsing for the project hip hope concert on Sunday and you could say I was pretty blown away, staring at them dancing with eyes popping out of their sockets and my jaw trailing of the floor! There is just something about the choreography and music that just makes you blink for a second and then mouth a silent "wow" because you forgot to breath for that few minutes they were dancing and its a little hard to say anything when you've got no air left in your lungs.

I spent the next twenty minutes or so watching them dance the same routine again and again till Am and Sam arrived and dragged me off to subway across a very congested road for dinner, by then the dancers were probably very creeped out by my overall existence in the studio.

We watched the silver linings play book when we got home, it was amazing (Yay, Jennifer Lawrence!) enough to keep me awake watching it till two or three in the morning.


Day three of the project hip hope graffiti workshop! The workshop that I just couldn't wait to attend since we were told that we got to do graffiti with actual spray paint!
Evening came soon enough and after a quick round if registering and re-stamping in the urban groove dance studio I rushed down to the alley behind the row of shophouses with Sam because that's where today's workshop was held. 
I was greeted by three huge wooden boards and a cardboard box filled with primary and secondary spray paint colors, I was bursting with excitement!
After Matthew mystery, he is this mind blowingly "cool" priest that conducted the graffiti workshop, does freestyle rapping, dances hip hop and tells nerve wrecking stories of his early graffiti days in Sydney and how he very nearly got killed by a train in the subway and caught by cops a couple of times. Anyways after he demonstrated one of his signature characters it was our turn to finally try out graffiti on the huge wooden canvases.

Sadly, I discovered that graffiti isn't as easy as it looks and made a complete mess on my side of the board, how very disappointing indeed but it was fun literally getting myself coated in spray paint since I picked the bottom part of the board and there were people working on their piece above me!
Note to self: Always pick the top when it involves paint and other humans.


After another lazy morning filled with more egg sandwich making and diary writing at Awl's we made our way to the Paradox cafe where Am had created an open mic event, to be honest I really didn't expect much from it, maybe some newbie singers/songwriters that would give such terrible performances that you would rather listen to a blender blend concrete. You could say I didn't have very high expectations about the event or/and that I am a terrible excuse for a human being.

It was strange how the moment Am welcomed all that arrived and started it of with her two original songs "clues" and "dandelion days", I actually found myself enjoying the songs, tapping out the beat with my shoes and singing along, all while I was stuffing my face with a huge bowl of noodles.
I still have Am's "dandelion days" stuck in my head and I believe a week or so has passed already.

I even met a fellow RYLArian there, Krystal, I do regret not speaking to her much during last year's RYLA, hmfp. She's in a duo called Big & Small, they were the featured artists for today's open mic and I don't think I have enjoyed a performance as much as Big & Small's! It was just so filled with strength, happiness and energy that you can't help it but dance! Unfortunately I still hadn't finished my enormous bowl of noodles so I kind of just shuffled my bum around the chair I sat on, boo.

Also, I don't think I have ever spent so much time in a toilet before, it was just so filled with hilariously interesting stuff pasted on the walls and there was a piece of artwork painted on the door to the toilet and the particular style it had was extremely familiar! After staring at it for a minute or two I realized it was by Iam May, one of my favorite local artists! 

The moment the last performer stepped off the stage we packed up and zoomed off to The icon, where the project hip hope concert is held.
We arrived a little late so the concert had already started and there were three middle aged men rapping in Cantonese, I was pretty confused but things started going uphill when they exited the stage because then the stage was just taken over by all the dance crews and music that was so loud the floor vibrates and your heart starts beating a little funny! I unexpectedly started having a really good time and joined the huge crowd of people that were waving their arms about, dancing (halfway through the night the people in the mosh pit made a circle, the dj started mixing and there was an amazing dance battle!) and jumping in the mosh pit!

So yeah, that was my very eye opening weekend of being immersed in the world of music and hip hop culture.