Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Life Is Complete :)

Thank you for dropping by my blog and please prepare yourself for a VERY gushy entry, which is completely warranted, because:

1) Kevin Spacey has been my favourite actor for about 15 years now, and will always remain at the top spot. :D

2) I can't believe how blessed I am to not only be able to meet my favourite actor ( how many of us are lucky enough to have Hollywood stars visit Singapore, let alone star in a play? ), but to meet him TWICE in less than 12 months.

3) Both encounters were truly amazing for different reasons, and unforgettable!

4) Mr. Spacey's immense kindness to so many during his 2-week stay in Singapore is nothing short of mind-boggling. :)

First, a recap of the very first time I met Mr. S last December, just to give you something to compare with.
And for those who are unaware, he later sent me a personal reply to a fan letter I passed to him. Yow!

Okay, on to last night's events.

It was the closing performance and I will post a proper review soon. I attended with my cousin's 15-year-old daughter, E, and this was the very first time she was seeing a play.

As expected, she loved every minute of it, and we were treated to a lovely address by Mr. S during the curtain call, as he thanked all of us for coming to see the show, for the "warmth and affection" showered upon them by everyone they met, assuring us that "those of you who live in Singapore have much to be proud of".

I'm trying to recall whether he said he'd be back in the near future - E, help me out?

After that, we made a beeline for the stage door, located on B1 near the glass doors leading to the carpark.

I was shocked to find nobody there - the cast and crew don't count!
There were a few doors, so we positioned ourselves at the one which looked most promising ( follow the arrows ). A guy in a suit passed us and helpfully said Mr. S "will not be signing autographs", that he'll be leaving from another door and going straight to the car.

So we shifted ourselves and stood near the car instead, a black Audi sedan ( is that the correct term? ) where a Chinese man sat at the wheel, waiting.

About 20 minutes passed, and various cast members appeared in small groups, heading in different directions. A few walked up the ramp leading to the main road, saying they were going to a restaurant nearby ( I bet it's One Fullerton, famous for its nightlife ). Others strolled by, smiling and even waving hello when they spotted us holding the Richard III programmes. We were hoping to speak to Chuk Iwuji, who's terrific as the Duke of Buckingham, but he didn't come our way, darn.

Isaiah Johnson, who plays Lord Rivers ( Queen Elizabeth's brother ) is unbelievably friendly and stunned us when he said a big happy "Hi!" as he passed us. He spoke to another man a few metres away, then returned to where we were standing. At this point, E walked up to him and asked for a photo, to which he immediately agreed. After that, he told us "I love Singapore!" and that "I want to come back!"
I answered, "That's great! We'd love to have you back here anytime!" :)

Next, Nathan Darrow, who plays Lord Grey and Henry, Earl of Richmond, appeared wearing a cap, chatting with Simon Lee Phillips ( Sir James Tyrrel ) and Gavin Stenhouse ( Marquess of Dorset ).

E went up to Darrow and requested a picture, but strangely, he looked perplexed, and repeated, "You want a photo?" But he obliged and gave E a hug during the shot, before hauling a couple of big bags to the waiting Audi, depositing them in the trunk then entering the vehicle on the left ( back seat passenger ) side.

Another tense 5-10 minutes passed, then we heard voices approaching from round the corner. Lo and behold, Mr. Spacey materialized, walking with a group of actresses, among them Annabel Scholey ( Queen Anne ) and Hannah Stokeley ( Young Edward Prince Of Wales ).

Stokeley spotted us instantly, flashing a warm smile and waving - awww. :)
They said their farewells to Mr. S and left ?for the other waiting Audi SUV? - they didn't go to the main road, I think.
Mr. S entered the car on the right, behind the driver, then turned to his left to talk to Darrow. He didn't appear to have seen us.

At this moment, E and I looked at each other, contemplating our next move.
E: Oh no, he's gone into the car.
Me: What do you think? Should we go over?
E: Errr...

Earlier during our wait, I predicted that if E were to go up to Mr. S, he wouldn't ignore her, mainly because she's so young, and encouraging young people to develop an interest in theatre is one of his missions.

This, coupled with E's conviction to not let her fear result in a lifetime of regret, prompted her to steel herself and stride over to his window.

I followed behind, stopping a couple of metres away, out of Mr. S's direct line of vision.

As she stood outside, he was still turned the other way, talking to Darrow. The latter spotted E when she waved, and she gently pointed at Mr. S. Darrow then informed Mr. S of what was going on, and he turned to face her. E waved again and gave him a big smile.

There's a split second when I held my breath and felt my heart almost stop - I'm not kidding! I had no idea what Mr. S's mood was like, and wouldn't have blamed him for refusing to do anything further. Perhaps just shake his head to indicate he isn't quite prepared to meet fans tonight.

I honestly couldn't believe it when he gestured to the driver to roll down the window. It took about 5 seconds 'cos there're 2 parts ( a dark inner one, and a normal outer panel - that's an Audi for you :)), then Mr. S leaned over, a curious expression on his face.

KS: Hello. [ I almost passed out - we didn't offend him, thank goodness! :) ]
E: *super-excited* Hi, Mr. Spacey!
She stretches out her hand and he immediately takes it, giving her a firm shake.

E pauses, and I worry that she's tongue-tied. This is, after all, her very first face-to-face encounter with a star.

I step forward and Mr. S turns to look at me.

Me: Hi, this is E, she's 15, and this is her first play.
KS: *looks pleased* Oh! Did you enjoy it?
E: Yes, I did! You were AWESOME! *says the word "awesome" with immense gusto*

KS: *gives her a HUGE smile* That's great!

( Did he also thank her for coming to the show? E, please confirm. )

KS: *suddenly points at Darrow* This is Richmond!
E: Yes, I know! I took a photo with him! *laughs*

I can see Darrow through the window, and he's laughing as well. :)

E: Can I have your autograph please?
KS: Sure!

I quickly fish a marker pen out of my pocket - incidentally, it's the same pen he signed an autograph with last year when I first met him. A lucky charm indeed! :D

Me: Thank you so much! *he takes the pen from me*

We turn to the centrefold of the programme, a 2-page spread of Mr. S and Annabel Scholey, in that scene where she's plastered against a wall and he leans in close to ask, "Why dost thou spit at me?"

KS: How do you spell your name?
Me and E: It's E*****

He writes each letter as we spell it out, adds "To" before it, then scribbles something below before signing his name at the bottom.

Me: *trying to decipher the words* Something to more theatre?
KS: Go to more theatre!
Me and E: Ohhhh, go to more theatre!

He returns the programme to E, then I tentatively ask if he can sign mine too.
He doesn't smile, and hesitates for just a moment, but then says, "Sure!" ( Whew! :))

I don't know if he's tired and maybe not too enthusiastic about being ambushed, so I expect him to just scrawl his name and be done with it.

KS: What's your name?
Me: *stunned* Err, XX.

And here's the weird part - he doesn't ask me how to spell it.
Last year, he requested this, but yesterday, he wrote it out all by himself, without any assistance from me!
Which leads me to wonder - he probably has a vague memory of me somewhere, even if he didn't acknowledge it specifically. Hey, that is, in my book, TOTALLY AWESOME! :D

He goes through the same drill - writes my name first, then adds "To" before it. The message below - Thank you! ( exclamation mark included - none last year, only With Thanks ). Yes, I analyze everything, haha. :)

He hands the programme and pen back.

Me: There's a letter that C ( from the Singapore Repertory Theatre ) helped me pass on to your personal assistant.
KS nods.
Me: Have you received it?
KS: No... *looks concerned*
Me: Well, there's a donation to your foundation inside, so I hope you'll get it. It's with your assistant at the moment.
KS: Oh yeah, don't worry, I will.

During this exchange, he turns around to face me directly, and is sitting in a rather uncomfortable position. I also notice 3 other women standing behind us - no idea where they came from - but Mr. S never once breaks eye contact or gets distracted. So cool. :)

I realize he's been extremely generous and that we should take our leave.

Me: Thank you so much! It's been great having you in Singapore. Hope to see you again soon!
KS: *smiles* Bye!

( E, if you remember this differently, let me know. My brain was turning to mush at this point! )

E and I walk away and the other women step forward. I hear them greet him and he says "Hi", but we don't hang around to see what comes next. However, there was nobody else around so I'm sure he chatted with them and signed autographs too.

I developed a serious case of insomnia when I got home. Slept at almost 4am, and was up again at 7:30am, thanks to the tonnes of adrenaline coursing through my veins, haha.

After hounding the SRT for weeks, asking for a chance to meet Mr. S, it couldn't be arranged because of his tight schedule. Plus, I'm not a VIP or big-time sponsor. Understandable.

Add to that the fact that I had to miss the SRT fundraising dinner at St. Regis, because I was supposed to work the night shift, but ended up falling sick and taking MC. I was told that Mr. S was spectacular at the event, climbing onto tables to entertain the guests. OMG, kill me, kill me now!

And last year, despite shaking his hand, getting an autograph and a beautiful photo which I will treasure forever, I kept wishing I could've spoken to him a little.

So I finally got my second chance! And I really can't believe how fortunate we are!

E is on cloud nine like me, and I'm sure she will take Mr. Spacey's words to heart. I too will make sure she is given opportunities to enjoy the theatre on a regular basis.

Best of all, Mr. S has promised to return in the near future, to collaborate with the SRT on more projects. I can't wait to hear about those, and next time, I will attend 3 or more performances, so let's hope the ticket prices will be more affordable.

Thank you, Mr. Spacey, for your generosity and kindness! You have changed yet another young life, and made me a supporter of the SRT and your foundation. Jack Lemmon would be proud. God bless and may you continue to have a fulfilling career and leave a great legacy through your tireless work in arts advocacy. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finally, I saw Mr. Spacey on stage. And it was AWESOME! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over - Again!

A review of David Foster's concert, followed by my amazing encounter with him.

Thank you, Mr. Foster, for your immense kindness! :D