Friday, February 29, 2008

Doing Time For Patsy Cline

I finally had the guts to watch the show back last night.

To be honest I was quite nervous about reliving the experience (like they say you are your own worst critic).

But from beginning to end I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

From Grease through to This Kiss, I thought the entire cast (and crew) put on a great show and most importantly we all had a blast!

Yes my nerves got a hold of me again and my pitch was far from perfect, but what an opportunity – performing a Patsy Cline number with such a remarkable country crooner.

It was particularly special to have my Mum in the audience. If `you are your own worst critic’ then surely as Slim Dusty wrote in 1966 `you can never do wrong in a mother’s eyes.’

Each week we survive is icing on top of the cake and next Tuesday we’ll be serving up a feast of rock and roll.

I actually saw Adam perform the song a few weeks ago at his gig in Albury and he rocked the stage.

It’s going to take some serious choreography so this Sunday we’ll be put through our dancing paces. Then on Monday we have a good half an hour or so to rehearse on stage before the final run through on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s amazing how much time and effort goes into a two minute performance. From song selection through to movement classes and wardrobe, the lead up is as much fun as the actual show.

But of course the hardest bit is actually forgetting everything you've learnt when it comes to the night - throwing it all out the window and just letting loose on stage.

I think our next song will be the perfect opportunity to do just that!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Scraping Through

When I left Saturday Disney almost three years ago, I thought my days of crazy characters and outfits had sadly come to an end. But all that changed on Tuesday night.

Strapping on my air guitar and thrashing it out on stage to Powderfinger was the ultimate thrill. Not to mention presenting the weather for the six o’clock news in my rock chick getup.

I also had the pleasure of watching Adam perform in Albury last week. He is such a natural performer and it was great to see him on stage. When he invited me up to sing, the audience made me feel very welcome so I felt quite relaxed.

We sang one of my all time favourites and I felt spoilt having the opportunity to sing it on stage with Adam. Next week you’ll see us perform it again for the country genre – I can’t wait!

My nerves weren’t as bad last week so hopefully that’ll only improve. Although I have to admit the elimination process was very nerve-wracking, especially when we were the last three on stage. I thought it was all over.

Several thoughts flashed through my mind. Firstly, what a shame Adam and I wouldn’t have the chance to perform country given it’s his thing. Secondly, my Mum (who lives in Dubai) had just emailed to tell me she was flying over to watch me perform the following week. And thirdly, I was having too much fun to leave!

Thankfully we made it through and I think last week taught me a good lesson. Obviously song choice is really important and even though I love Powderfinger, the song didn’t really give me the chance to show off much vocal range. All that thrashing on stage also made it quite hard to sing!

Next week’s song is simple, but incredibly beautiful and emotional. Every time I hear it I feel her pain and that's what I hope to portray. This Tuesday it’s all about the music.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shaking it Out

Well I finally managed to get some sleep last night after almost three days of feverish insomnia. Thank goodness! I was beginning to think Fever had left an indelible mark on my brain – how many more times could I replay that song in my head.

As you could imagine, it was quite a build up to the first show. We had three days of rehearsals, culminating in a final dress rehearsal that finished just three hours before the real deal.

My nervous energy was well and truly building by that stage. The rate at which I was downing the mini-chocolate bars and lollies in the green room probably didn’t help. Nor did seeing everyone else on stage – what an impressive group of performers!

It was quite a relief when show time finally came around. And being second in the line-up meant I could relax early in the piece.

When I first took to the stage, I was surprised at how relaxed I felt. Unfortunately it didn’t last long or rather my hands didn’t last long. To be honest I didn’t feel nervous, but my hands told a different story. In fact I was forced to grab the microphone with two hands just to control my shaking!

Nonetheless I was happy with our performance. It was certainly challenging, but I had a lot of fun on stage with Adam. He is a very calming mentor and his words of encouragement made such a difference. Not to mention his beautifil voice.

Next week we’ll be rocking it out on stage and I can’t wait to do something more up beat. I didn’t realise how exposed I’d feel at the beginning of Fever. The band seemed so quiet and I had to be so controlled with my movements.

Hopefully next week my hands will be too busy playing air guitar to shake!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It Takes Two

So I’m sitting in my hotel room enjoying a steak and trying to catch up on a few emails. The television is on quietly in the background and has so far served only as a faint distraction. But my ears prick up as a familiar chorus kicks in.

I look up to catch the final seconds of an ad for It Takes Two and the super at the bottom of the screen sends a nervous shiver down my spine. It says `LIVE TO MILLIONS.’

That was an hour or so ago and I’ve now followed up my steak with one and a half chocolate bars. I deserve it after such a rigorous day of rehearsals ahead of my first performance on
It Takes Two.

In less than 48 hours I’ll be singing live on national television. It’s a daunting thought but my nerves only add to the excitement. I know I’m going to have a ball!

Today was our first day of rehearsals since we all got together several weeks ago to shoot the promos and publicity shots. My partner Adam `country singing sensation’ Harvey has been a busy beaver these past few weeks (he won Album of the Year at the Golden Guitars) so we haven’t had much time to rehearse together.

Fortunately I have a copy of his vocals on CD so I can practice lots without him even being there! In fact the drive to and from work has proven to be invaluable rehearsal time, although I’ve had a few strange looks at the traffic lights.

Adam has an incredible voice – it is so deep and mellow. I have to admit I wasn’t really familiar with his work but I have since given his album a workout on my iPod. I am already learning so much from him, especially in terms of relaxing my voice or as he says `being lazy with it’ rather than just sticking to the song as I know it.

Anyway, I’ll try my best to do just that along with working the stage and negotiating my high heels and fending off my nerves this Tuesday night at around 7.30pm. While I can’t reveal our first song, it’s one of my all time favourites and I hope you enjoy it because we’ve had a lot of fun putting it together. Thanks for your support!

Warming world, cooling debate

Yes it’s been a very long time since my last rambling. In fact it was more than a year ago I posted my immediate thoughts after seeing An Inconvenient Truth. But it seems much longer considering how quickly the climate change debate gathered steam.

Within months of its release, the film had stirred a new wave of eco-consciousness. Green was the new black and everyone seemed to be jumping on the bandwagon at full steam ahead.

As outlined in my last entry, the fact that sustainability and conservation issues are now firmly in our psyche can only be a good thing. It’s in the back of my mind everyday – when I turn on the dishwasher or washing machine, have a shower, or brush my teeth.

No doubt you’ve experienced green guilt at having left a light on unnecessarily or used the dryer when you could have really waited for a sunny day.

That’s not the point. My unease lies within a broader framework. I know I’m eating some if not more of my words here, but it was alarming how quickly the debate shifted - especially in terms of its political and scientific discourse.

Yes climate change is alarming. But surely an issue of such magnitude and impact deserves continued rigorous debate. Many scientists still claim we’re being misled.

I’m not saying we are. But perhaps the debate was defined too narrowly too quickly.

In fact there’s a lot of evidence against human causation in global warming. The Carbon Sense Coalition (http://www.carbon-sense.com/) is one such alternative, and a quick look at some of its scientific reports reveals a very different and compelling view.

These scientists claim that the doctrine acceptance of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports `blocks learned discussion’ and brings `little credit to the scientific community.’

And while climate scientists are claiming the debate is over, `space scientists and others are making quite remarkable progress in showing that global warming is almost entirely due to natural causes.’

Global warming is scary and yes we need to take action. But for an issue of such enduring impact, it seems a little concerning that so many of us (including myself) were unfamiliar with it even a year ago.

Do we blame the government for not bringing it to our attention... or is it an indictment of our society that it takes a film (effective but perhaps not necessarily scientifically impartial) for us to sit up and take notice?

The issue here isn’t global warming. I appreciate the immense scientific research of institutions such as the IPCC and CSIRO – and the evidence backing the role of humans in global warming. But I think the debate may have been prematurely hijacked. In my last posting, I wrote that education is the most important tool in any debate. But it’s about educating yourself on both sides of the debate. Besides, you don’t want your words to end up biting you on your blog.