Thoughts on 13:34, The Musical

Two days after 13:34, I finally feel rested enough to write a post about it. Just goes to show how tired I was 🙂

It’s a good tired, though, the kind which makes you feel that all the effort was worth it.

It was a long journey. There were ups and downs, countless burnt weekends, frayed nerves, and moments where I asked myself: “What am I doing here?” In the end, I told myself I was in this for God – not for me, but for Him.

Rehearsals began sometime late March, and in those early days, some of us were like headless chickens without a clue as to how we fit into the larger picture. Slowly, as the production took shape, it began to make sense. And in the final run-up to the show, when all the cast, dancers, musicians and choir came together to rehearse, what started off as only a vision became something beautiful and moving.

That said, on 10 June, what you witnessed at Hall 1 of the Singapore Expo wasn’t just the work of a couple of hundred people. It was through God’s Grace that the show went on – and quite smoothly too. From what I’ve heard, its message touched many of the people watching. That in itself is testament to His hand.

I feel like I’ve grown a little from this process too. You see, I had signed up really hoping for a singing part, but was asked to dance and RAP instead, neither of which I have any skill or experience in doing. So, extremely far outside my comfort zone, the only thing I could do was to try, and I’m glad I did. Because I realise that even though it takes me a long time to learn a dance move, with practice I’m pretty sure I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb; and I did get the chance to write my own rap, and perform it too. Yes, I was shaky the first few times, but I hope I did a decent job in the end.

I’m lucky to have met so many talented people on this journey, people who have taught me a lot. Not only about singing or dancing, but also about humility, selflessness, and trust in God. Also, it was great fun seeing Catholic priests hamming up with the rest of us. It’s something you don’t get to see very often, I tell you. In the words of “Fr Gerard”, they’re “as human as the next person”.

Yup, that’s about all I have to say. It has been a wonderful journey, and great fun too. “Frankie’s gang”, especially the guys – Peter, Thanakan and Glen – we had some good times 😉

The gang backstage with Mel our dance instructor - Thanks to Ysabel for the picture

Updates

Just got back from musical rehearsal. I think we’re finally getting the hang of the dance and rap routine, and for the first time we had a chance to run it with Fr Mike, the priest who is performing with us. (Yes, he will be rapping!). He’s really sporting and I’m sure it’ll be one of the highlights of the show 😉

After that, I had an interesting conversation with our vocal trainer, Jane. I noticed she had been warming us up with scales my own coach used for me, so I asked her if she was SLS-trained. Speech Level Singing (or SLS) is a technique I have been training with for some time now, and I was under the impression that there were only two certified teachers in S’pore. (Read more about SLS here). Jane told me however, that there were now about 5-6 SLS-trained teachers here, some of them pretty new ones. Well, it’s great that there are more choices now, especially in terms of price.

I’m just about done with the first song of my “song a week” challenge. Firmed up the melody and played it to Carol earlier today – she really liked it 🙂 Will try recording it tomorrow, if my voice holds up. Both Carol and myself are having bad throats, thanks to the Botak Jones’ spicy fries we had the night before. Had no idea it would affect us that badly! Won’t be having that in a while, I tell you.

But anyway, I was really encouraged to see the comments on my earlier blog post, and on Facebook. Thanks everyone for the kind words. This is going to be exciting!

13:34, the musical

I haven’t told many people about this, but I’ve actually got a small role in an upcoming musical called “13:34”. It’s organised by Cana – The Catholic Centre, in conjunction with the Year For Priests, and it tells the story of three young men and their struggles in answering the call of God. (In case you’re wondering about the title, its taken from John 13:34 – “Love one another, as I have loved you.”)

I’ll be playing one of the protagonist’s gangster sidekicks, and you will get to hear me rap a little bit! 😉

This is the first time I’ve been involved in a musical of any kind, so I’m thrilled to be doing this. Been spending almost every weekend since end-March running through blockings, lines and dance steps, but it’s been really fun. Yesterday, we did a full run of Act 1 and it was good to see it finally coming together. Yes, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I know it’s gonna turn out great! I feel blessed to have met so many talented and friendly people on this journey.

13:34 will be held on Thursday, 10 June 2010, 7.30pm, at the Singapore Expo Hall 1. If you’re interested in finding out more, do visit our Facebook page.

See you there!