Entertainment Ind.

Posts filed under Entertainment Ind.

Finally; my first showreel

Filed in Entertainment Ind., WorkTags:

After nine months of research, selection, editing and education in Final Cut, my first showreel is finally ready. I hope you enjoy it.

Note. It's entirely in Cantonese except for two scenes in English, and one scene in Mandarin.

If you have difficulty loading and viewing the video, it's now also available on YouTube here.

Interview on RTHK 2 晨光第一線 細味歷練 2009年1月

Filed in Entertainment Ind., PressTags: , , , , ,

Last week, RTHK 2 broadcast a multi-part (Cantonese) interview in the 「細味歷練」 segment of their morning program 「晨光第一線」.

The original recording was around 40 minutes long. Alyson 侯嘉明 did an excellent job of editing and splicing to produce the five segments.

Here it is for those of you who missed it.

晨光第一線 細味歷練 2009年01月05日
晨光第一線 細味歷練 2009年01月06日
晨光第一線 細味歷練 2009年01月07日
晨光第一線 細味歷練 2009年01月08日
晨光第一線 細味歷練 2009年01月09日

Song requests

Filed in Entertainment Ind., MusicTags: ,

Question of the day.

If you had the opportunity to see me perform, which songs would you hope to hear me sing? If you're reading this on my personal blog or on the AliveNotDead site, leave a comment. Otherwise, you can email your wish list to me at hokwokwing dot hk or me at gregory dot hk. Please include the song's name and the artist's name where applicable.

English, Mandarin and Cantonese songs are obviously fine. If you have a favourite Italian, Spanish or Japanese song, you could send those to me as well. No promises though ;-)

Cantonese Opera anyone?

Filed in Entertainment Ind., EventsTags: , , ,

Just before we left for Macau for the International Series of Mahjong competition, I received a telephone call from ATV. They wanted me to perform in the National Day Cultural Night production 「香港同胞慶祝中華人民共和國成立五十九週年文藝晚會」, which was cool, but what was even cooler was that they wanted me to perform Cantonese Opera!

My part in the performance was only 30 seconds long but it was special. Ten days before the show, I had the music and lyrics. Then on Friday, five days before the show, I had my first 2-hour lesson in Cantonese Opera followed by another lesson on Sunday morning. That was it. The rest was up to me.

I knew it was going to be hard because we would be performing live, and because the show would be broadcast through much of China, so I worked hard to memorise the song and spent one to two hours every day rehearsing the routine on our balcony.

On Wednesday afternoon before the performance, we had rehearsals, my first time to work with renown masters of Cantonese Opera 梁漢威先生 and 尹飛燕小姐. Rehearsals went fine, and then there was more fun to be had. I was to be dressed in full Cantonese Opera robe with full makeup. Yippee!

My nerves were steady for most of the day, but by the time I reached the stage, my heart was racing a lot faster than I would have liked. Near the end of the first sentence of the song, with adrenaline racing through my body and all of my senses hightened much more than necessary, in my mind, I momentarily forgot a character in the lyrics. I'm not exactly sure what happened next but I heard the last character of the sentence come out of my mouth and held on to it. Then I smiled, because I knew I was going to be ok.

It was not as good a performance as I had hoped for but for someone who had just had 4 hours training in something as complex as Cantonese Opera, it wasn't too bad.

More importantly though, it was a personal victory. Many years ago, I developed a physiological form of depression resulting from severe and prolonged physical exhaustion, possibly a form of Burnout Syndrome. During that time, whenever I performed publicly, my nervousness would morph into terror, terror that was clearly visible on my face. Those episodes of terror left a mark on me. Since that time whenever preparing for a new performance, I have had to face the memory of those terrors and overcome them. It has only been during the last one or two years that those terrors have gradually faded away, and I have been able to enjoy performing again.

Without knowing it, several of my friends have been instrumental in helping me to overcome the fear of reliving that terror while performing by helping me to enjoy performing, good friends including Fred, Walter and Peisha.

And now, for your entertainment, here is the clip from that night's performance. I make my appearance just after 5:23 minutes into the clip. Try not to laugh too much ;-)

Caffeine free, for now

Filed in Entertainment Ind., EventsTags: , ,

I have been caffeine free for almost five days; no coffee, tea or caffeine-spiked softdrinks. The reason? I have a special performance tonight, a short one, but special nonetheless. It involves singing and Cantonese but it's definitely not what you would expect ;-)

If you want to catch my performance, watch tonight's China National Day show before the fireworks display.

Blown away!

Filed in Entertainment Ind., General, Music, TechnologyTags: , , ,

I'm blown away by the Apple iTunes system.

I'm getting myself organised for a musical future, and part of that involved converting and importing into iTunes all of the Karaoke VCDs and DVDs we have in the house. When the tracks become part of the system, they're easily accessible, and they'll get listened to. The process of converting and importing the Karaoke tracks took three days of AppleScript scripting to automate and process, along with lots of Chinese typing, but I now have more than 700 karaoke tracks; both audio and video; in my iTunes library. Being a perfectionist, I then proceeded to correct the data for the tracks in my library, and create playlists (unrated, not played within the last month, ≤xGB) that I could use on our Apple TV and iPhones.

Did I say iPhones? Yep! I've waited more than a year for Apple to release the iPhone in Hong Kong, and I was registered with Hutchison 3 in both the local store and the online database weeks before the official launch. Even though we can't really afford it at the moment (who can?), we went ahead and purchased one white 16GB and one black 16GB, two colours so that my wife and I wouldn't accidentally pick up the wrong phone. Before buying the phones, I calculated the Total Cost of Ownership for the All-You-Can-Eat package. It comes out to HK$12,000 over two years per phone which is a lot of money, but not as expensive as the TOC in some other countries. The HK$12,000 included an upfront payment of $6,000 including the 'iPhone' cost, the 'Plan Prepayment' and the first month's subscription fee; ouch!

The iPhone is so cool. It has its bugs but the current functionality is great, and the potential is simply awesome. When comparing the iPhone to other 'smart' phones, people need to remember that the iPhone is not so much a phone as a portable computer with added phone functionality. It's a completely new paradigm. For the purposes of this article though, I'll only describe one function; Apple's included Remote application.

Here at home, we have two desktop Macs, one Apple TV, two portable Macs, and now two iPhones, and iTunes is completely interlinked through our wi-fi network. It's incredible. At this very moment, my iPhone is controlling the iTunes library on my iMac which is broadcasting the music through the Apple TV connected to our hi-fi system! How cool is that??? I could remote control the Apple TV directly but I don't get to set ratings while connected to the Apple TV, only when connected to an iTunes library on one of the Macs.

Life is suddenly becoming so much more musical ;-)

「集體回憶」 radio interview part 2 now online (20080502)

Filed in Entertainment Ind., Press

Part 2 of my UonLIVE.com 集體回憶 interview was posted on 2 May 2008. Again, it's in Cantonese ;-) Here is the direct download link.

I have also just done a telephone interview for Radio Centre-Ville FM102.3 in Montréal, Quebec, and an interview for the U Magazine. I'll let you know as these become available.

「集體回憶」 radio interview part 1 now online (20080428)

Filed in Entertainment Ind., PressTags: , ,

Available now for your listening is Part 1 of a two-part radio interview, one in the 集體回憶 series over at UonLIVE.com. Part 2 will become available on Friday evening, May 2.

The interview is in Cantonese and UonLIVE's web page is in Chinese. If you can understand Cantonese but not read Chinese and wish to listen to the interview, boogie over to their web page and look for 2008-04-28 TVB外國人河國榮 in the listing. Failing that, here is the direct download link for Part 1 as provided on their web page.