Friday, May 28, 2010

The Final Performance

Hello everyone who isn't reading this because I have no subscribers since my recruited P.R agents (my sisters) have had no time to tell people about this blog - how are you?

So last night was my final performance for my Mus 144 class. The class is kind of a training ground for singers because we get trained in vocal techniques, microphone use, movement and all kinds of other stuff. The class basically teaches you how to be a rockstar.

This is how it works:

During the semester, one is required to sing five songs from four different genres - Country, Pop/Rock, Jazz and R & B. The fifth song can be from a genre of our choice. The first time we sing our chosen song, Charlie, the professor (who trained Gwen Stefani by the way), critiques us and tells us what to do and what not to do (emphasis on the what not to do). In addition to this, everyone in the class fills out Performance Evaluation Sheets with three things that they liked about your performance and three things that they didn't. Then, the next week, we sing the same song again and this time, everyone just fills out the sheets. There is no individual critique.

This process repeats itself for each song you choose. It's kinda hard to get 5 songs done in a semester because the competition to sign up is cut-throat. If you don't stalk the door, rush into the classroom as soon as the door opens armed with a sharpie and sign your name on the board, you don't get to sing.

All the singing in class is done with a pianist. No live band or anything. But when it comes time for the final, we have a whole band backing us up - and we don't get to rehearse with the band beforehand!

It's a nerve-racking experience, but still a lot of fun. The show was awesome and everyone shined just the way that they should. The band was awesome. They were all successful industry musicians who had worked with artists like Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, James Brown and more. Here's a little taste of what the show was like:

This was my first time singing with a live band, so it was a new experience. I had a blast though, and if I didn't just graduate (yesterday, in fact. I ditched the ceremony to perform with the band instead - great decision btw), I'd totally take the class again.

All in all, it was an awesome night and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dancing on The Beach


for my Dance Improvisation Workshop, my teacher thought it would be a fun idea to dance on the pier and on the beach in front of the WHOLE WORLD. I thought she was nuts and that it would be super weird to dance in the middle of the promenade with tourists and beach goers ogling at us, but I have to admit - it was a lot of fun.

We put on quite a show, randomly moving through the crowd, interacting with each other and pairing up into partnerships halfway through the dance as if we'd read each others minds. Everything that we did was improvised, which was amazing. We danced on the pier and on the sand and it was pretty much a perfect day to be outside doing exactly what we were doing.

We have a four minute performance in the school show on Tuesday, which will be my first dance show since junior high.

The dance shows I used to be a part of in junior high were cringe worthy - not because the dances were bad, but because I was so bad in them. I have always had two left feet. I do not know how to move my body gracefully and have often been told that I am very stiff with my movements. The only dancing I can do is Salsa dancing because I'm good with hip movements.

In fact, now that I'm here, flashing back to junior high, I can't help but think about that one time we had an inter-school dance competition that our school hadn't won in years. I was a member of a school club called the Interact Club, which is why I ended up being a part of the dance in the first place. The club did all sorts of fun things like plays and dances as well as things for charities like donations and volunteering. Since our school decided to enter the dance competition at the last minute, anyone who volunteered from the club was put into the dance troupe.

Rehearsals were a little cringe worthy since the choreographer kept giving me the evil eye, but other than that, I think I did pretty okay. I didn't trip over my own feet or anything.

The day before the competition, I went out an bought the costume for the dance. The next day, we all went to another school where the competition was being held.

Upon arriving at the school, however, I was told my one of my professors that I had been "removed from the dance because I was a bad dancer". This, after I had bought an outfit and traveled all the way to the other side of town with the rest of the dancers. My little 13 year old brain could not comprehend what had happened and I spent most of the afternoon crying in a random bathroom stall.

Later, the teacher who threw the thirteen year old child out of an inter-school event got fired. I'm not sure if it was due to my mothers complaint letter to the principal, or due to the eight other complaint letters that this particular teacher had received against her, but she didn't even complete the semester.

After that incident, I didn't dance again until now. Taking this class has been a lot of fun and I'm glad I chose to dance because I feel like I've gotten over my fears from junior high. I mean, at the end of the day, who care's if I'm not a great dancer? At least I'm not afraid to have fun and make a fool of myself.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Creative Life

Everybody's doing it.

I know I'm jumping on the bandwagon a little late, but I guess it's better late then never. I mean, who knows? Someone could think my blog entries are actually interesting, and I could get a book deal like Julie Powell did when she wrote about the whole Julie/Julia project.

Probably not though.

In any case, I was just sitting here, looking at my 67 photo albums on Facebook and thinking, "God, I've had an awesome life. I should blog about it."

So here I am.

I may not be the worlds best writer, but I have a lot to write about. It begins with my family.

I grew up in Mumbai, India. My mother is a journalist and is the managing editor of a fabulously fabulous Fashion and Lifestyle magazine that shall remain nameless. Let's just say that when my mother walks into an event and shows her business card at the counter, people stand up to greet her.

My father is an orthopedic surgeon. That's a bone doctor for all those who don't know. So, you know, if you ever break a leg or an arm or now know of a good doctor who can set things right. And that's just what my father is - a good doctor. He's honest when it comes to his patients and never overcharges or takes advantage of his patients. No wonder we're poor. It's always the evil that are rich.

My sister is a copyrighter at an advertising agency. Her achievement is that she not only eats, sleeps and breathes advertising - but she magically manages to have a life too. She's always out and about, leading a very Friends or How I Met Your Mother kind of life.

And then, there's the cousins.

My fathers side of my family has always been very musically oriented. Almost everyone sings or plays some kind of instrument. Growing up, my dad would sing Beatles songs to me and my sister, which impacted us greatly.

And this is why I am a writer, a singer and a filmmaker. I got the writing from my mother and sister, the music from my dad and cousins and the filmmaking from within. Plus I'm sure the random drama caused by Rani, my maid, added to the whole filmmaking thing.

But even though I've been working on the three creative arts mentioned above, it still hasn't been enough for me. I want to experience all the creative arts out there. I have worked in fashion and event planning. I have been a web designer, a songwriter and a poet. Now I want to work on photography and playwriting. I've started dancing and have taken an interest in theater. I want to learn how to paint and draw (which I currently suck at) and how to work with animation.

And that's what I intend to explore in this blog. Creativity in all it's forms. My goal from now on is to take on and learn about all the creative arts, and document my experiences in this blog. I am undertaking a really fun journey here, and I hope my readers will travel to my crazy destinations with me.