Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Principal's Diaries! Week 1...

Aaaaarrrrghhhhh… I can’t believe it’s already week 3!

Gosh, it feels like it was only yesterday I said “yes” to Sooraj, next thing I know I was introduced as the new Principal of AF, and now we’re in week three. What a whirlwind.
Week one was about getting to know the faculty and students better, and getting used to the working system at AF as well as trying to formulate a system at the Akademi that works within the existing system.
This project presents itself with a whole new set of challenges for me, as this is the very first time I didn’t get to choose my team, unlike how I worked on PGL and P.Ramlee and all my other work as a producer through Enfiniti. I wasn’t present at auditions either so I didn’t have a say as to who I thought would make the mark. But challenges are what make life colourful, so I went for it.

Week One was a good start for us all. We talked about a common vision, and agreed upon what we needed to do to, to put that plan into action. We had 10 weeks to transform the AF kids into future icons and leaders of the industry. I enjoyed my brainstorm sessions with the faculty, who were very excited about working with a new system and trying out new teaching and learning methods. Most of all, I enjoyed hearing from the students. After my “7 syarat” presentation to them, I could see fire in their eyes and they were all geared up and ready to take the challenge.

Friday 13th March 2009:
Fast forward kepada full dress rehearsal Konsert pertama. Aris Kadir mengatur pergerakan mereka di atas pentas. Stylist Konsert minggu pertama, Shada Hamid, mengatur wardrobe dan memberi styling direction untuk rambut dan makeup. Concept Shada adalah untuk memperlihatkan mereka se-natural yang mungkin supaya personality masing-masing yang diperkenalkan kepada penonton. I dropped by konon-konon nak singgah untuk check out venue dan check out persiapan performance pelajar sekejap, but I ended up staying there all night with Aris.

Saturday 14th March 2009:
I hardly slept all last night. Rasa macam seorang ibu yang anaknya bakal jalani SPM besok paginya. I got my hair done at A Cut Above at 5pm, and did my makeup in the car on my way to Bukit Jalil.
I got to Dewan Bukit Jalil at 7pm and headed straight for the changing room. Everyone was ready, some were having final touch-ups, some were being taken for photo shoots for Majalah Aksi.
I asked for everyone to gather with Aris and me. I could imagine how nervous these kids must be underneath their calm appearances. Mestilah nervous kan, malam nilah pun yang dinanti-nantikan. It would get even crazier bila berdepan dengan penonton buat kali pertama atas pentas!

I got everyone to join hands in a circle, Aris and me included, and we performed a backstage ritual that we practice before every performance of PGL. This practice was introduced to PGL by Steve Rahman-Hughes and has kept us all tight as a team. What you do is, you “take” positive energy with your right hand as you breath in deeply, and you pass it on with your left as you breath out. Pelajar2 tu nampak betul2 bersemangat lepas ritual itu sebab deep breathing tu boleh menghilangkan tension dan at the same time you breath in all that is positive into you, which gives you good energy!
And finally, before they walked onstage, I taught them the war-cry I’ve used since the Kit Kat Klub days:
They answered, “AF7!!!!!”
“AF7-THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
That never fails to wake up sleepy vocals, gets the adrenalin pumping, lepas tu you will feel like you can take on the world. Bessssst.


The kids put on a fantastic first performance, ramai yang berkata ini konsert minggu pertama AF yang terbaik, dan kita dapat mengenali personaliti masing-masing. I was seated with the rest of my faculty, biting my nails throughout, trying to project as much positive energy as i could towards the stage every time any of the kids came on. Mudah-mudahan berhasil juga. Tamat je konsert tu, terasa "flat" sangat pasal throughout konsert tu I felt as excited as though I was the one performing onstage!

It's onwards and upwards from here on, no looking back!



ms hart said...

Hi Madam Principal! The first few performances at the first concert made me so restless...alaaaah why aren't the voices 'coming', I thought. But I needed to stay on and watch because of THE PRINCIPAL!;-) So that's what I did and thank God, the performances got better and better! What impressed me was the level of confidence of all the performers - the said first few included. Now thaaaaat I was very sure, they got from their Principal!! Your positive energy has always been soooo infectious! Take care, ya!

tiara jacquelina said...

Hi Ms Hart... or shall i say Ms Tarts? hee hee. Terbayang lagi sedapnya... but no more tarts for me til after May! There's only so much you can pick up in one week of classes... the kids are all so naturally gifted with beautiful voices i must say, but none of them have ever undergone any formal technical training, so they're all unpolished gems right now. Still, I'm seeing a definite transformation with every day that passes, and I know that with the right tools and being exposed to the right techniques, we will really see them shine. Tell me what you think after tomrrrow's concert!

Safri Abdillah said...

Datin Seri Tiara,

I'm glad AF this round has a lot more talented and gifted students. For that, I would like to congratulate you and your team for doing a great job during the selection process.

I'm not so much a big fan of AF. But this time I see a young talented boy, Hafiz. He has made me look forward to watch the weekend concerts. He has got character and a good voice which I feel you should explore even further. With good and proper trainings and guidance, Hafiz can go really far. He is so versatile and can sing songs of various genre.

Seeing Hafiz performing reminds me of the first American Idol winner from Australia, Guy Sabastian. Natural talents, fine character in showmanship and above all wonderful voice are the kind of similarities i see in both Hafiz and Guy Sabastian.

So, I really hope that in the final concert Hafiz is given a chance to deliver the song sung by Guy Sabastian in his final performance at the first American Idol, "Angels Brought Me Here".

All the best Datin Seri. A good job indeed!