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From a Fast-Paced Weekend to a Dull Monday March 5, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Events, Technical Theatre.
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It’s been a very exciting weekend for the Drowmage… but unfortunately – all good things must come to an end. Went for a theatre set design + costume design workshop, organized by the Japan Foundation in KL and KLPAC (KL Performing Arts Centre). Learnt lots of new things – including the fact that sometimes in life; you don’t get all the free time you want to create things, and most things have deadlines whether you like it or not. Made new friends, learnt new things about set design – but more importantly, learnt more about what I wanted out of life.

The workshop was conducted by 2 Japanese set designers; Sugiyama Itaru & Hatano Kazue. Kazue-san spoke good English – but Itaru-san needed a translator to explain his more detailed concepts – and we all soon got accustomed to listening to him spout an explanation in Japanese and the translator to explain it in English.

The nice thing about the workshop was that although it was full of people from all sorts of theatrical background, such as set designers, costume designers, drama teachers and even a filmmaker; the workshop brought everyone to the same beginner’s level with its Japanese concept. We learnt the concept of a theatre’s “Space” and how it was combined with the costumes (we were told to forget about fashion, but about the character we were trying to create. The costume, in essence, WAS the character, and was not meant to be an accessory to the character.) Everyone had fun, and there were tons of laughs when we were trying to create costumes and draw some of our sketches, yet even sadness, when we were listening to our coursemates’ more personal experiences which inspired some of the sketches.

I wish I could say I had tons of pics, but I didn’t bring my trusty old tourist camera to the course until the final day itself. The best pic of all? The group photo.

Group Pix

Itaru-san (3rd from Left, Front Row) & Kazue-san (middle, 2nd row) were our trainers from Japan.

Before I left, I thanked each of the trainers. Itaru-san, in slightly broken English, told me that I was good, and had a lot of good ideas….. probably one of the best compliments I have had in months! Kazue-san was cool and calm – she kinda reminds me of Anna Wintour from Vogue magazine with her hair-do.

The lousy part of the workshop? The place has expensive food… the Drowmage feels broke after a weekend of eating there. 2nd lousy part? The people who got picked (yes, you have to go through a selection process, not just send in a form and turn up on the day itself happily), came for the Friday evening portion – and didn’t bother to appear for the rest of the workshop on Saturday and Sunday. Their spots could have been given to those who really gave a damn about learning something new, but didn’t get selected. If you say that you thought we were going to be building sets; well, that’s why there was a fracking programme given to you via email in the first place. (I swear, there was an androgynous-looking creature that came for one day, who actually rolled his/her eyes at me when he/she walked past me on the first day. What did I do wrong? Breathe?)

Well, back to work. It’s another dull Monday, and I feel like I haven’t slept in days.