Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa: The Making

On behalf of the Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa team:
Welcome to our Blog!

Brought to you buy our ever-enterprising and always endearing Nick Dorian. Thanks for the hard work and quick setup, Nick! Not only is he and Carmen Chow providing our photography needs, you'll also see Nick acting in the play. More details on that shortly.

Why bother with a blog, you ask?

Well, we thought it would be interesting for onlookers to have a peek on the goings-on behind staging a play. It's not all glamour and glitz - a lot of it is hard work. There's the grueling rehearsals, the publicity and administrative stuff, all the co-ordination and legwork which all amount to stress, late nights and my having kittens about a lot of things.

Was roped in to help out with publicity and marketing, but somehow along the way I ended up being producer. It really struck me just how much I've commited to the play when I was putting my signature on the cast contracts. It was really happening and this wasn't just a small-time gig, but a production going to Istana Budaya.

I feel blessed as producer to be working with a scriptwriter/director as enthusiastic as Marina Tan is. Her exuberance and sheer tenacity are great assets, which I think she needs to focus on ensuring the creative aspect of the play is taken care of. That's why I took on the producing job - to make sure she can work on strengthening the story, guiding the cast and, in other words, bring out the magic in HMMW's story.

My job, in a nutshell, is pretty much this:

Yes, producers get a bad rep for being supposedly high-handed, demanding or pushy. Well, my job is just to smoothen things out so Marina can concentrate on being an awesome director. That means doing the administrative work, making sure we have enough money and not use up the budget on caviar at the cast party, and making tough decisions. I hope Marina still likes me after HMMW is over despite my having to say (and get away with) saying things like these:

"No, Marina, we can do without XXX."
"No, Marina, we cannot wait until Thursday."
"No, Marina, are you insane?????"

So the cast will have to get used to my appearing at rehearsals just to show my "I Disapprove" Face. Next up, we hope to have more cast members have their say on the blog about HMMW, their experiences, their characters. So stay tuned and hope to see you when HMMW opens!

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