Thursday, 4 March 2010

FAME - I'm gonna live forever, Baby remember my name...


I HAVE to blog this... I've been searching for this song high and low for DECADES! "STARMAKER" -

I was maybe 13 or 14 when the movie came out, and 16 when the TV series finally screened in Malaysia, and I remember how FAME did it all for me back then. Besides he fantastic dancing and acting, I remember being moved and inspired by Irene Cara's soulful rendition of "Out Here On My Own". Not many songs those days were written as "performance" songs, most were just run of the mill pop songs, but Irene Cara's singing was packed with emotion without going over the top, and I told myself, ONE DAY, I WANNA SING AND DANCE AND ACT LIKE THAT TOO.

FAME - the movie and TV series, was the Glee of yesteryear. It's themes are still as relevant today as they were 25 years ago, quite amazing.

This is the movie that did it for me, and the theme song became my anthem throughout my teenage years, and had stayed with me even today.

Lyrics to Fame (Tiara's teen anthem!)

Baby look at me
And tell me what you see
You ain't seen the best of me yet
Give me time I'll make you forget the rest

I got more in me
And you can set it free
I can catch the moon in my hands
Don't you know who I am

Remember my name
Fame

I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly
High

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry

Fame

I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame
Fame

I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name

Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember

Baby hold me tight
Cause you can make it right
You can shoot me straight to the top
Give me love and take all I've got to give

Baby I'll be tough
Too much is not enough
I can ride your heart til it breaks
Ooh I got what it takes

Fame
I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly
High

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry
Fame

I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame
Fame

I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name
Fame




From Wikipedia:
Fame is an American television series originally produced between 1982 and 1987. The show was based on the 1980 motion picture of the same name and was hugely popular during its first few seasons. Using a mixture of drama and music, it followed the lives of the students and faculty at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. Although fictional, it was based heavily on the actual Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York. Most interior scenes were filmed in Hollywood, California. In Seasons 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 the show filmed several exterior scenes on location in New York City.

The popularity of the series, particularly in the UK, led to several hit records and live concert tours by the cast. Despite its success, very few of the actors maintained high-profile careers after the series was cancelled. A number of the cast members were seen again briefly in a reunion programme made for UK television in 2008.

The Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning TV series portrays the lives of a diverse group of talented high school students at new York's School of the Arts. Training hard for careers onstage, the young performers face tough competition and even rejection, along with all the normal teenage dramas. Debbie Allen, the series' star and choreographer, heads a dynamic ensemble cast: Lee Curreri, Erica Gimpel, Albert Hague, Carlo Imperato, Carol Mayo Jenkins, Valerie Landsburg, P.R.Paul, Gene Anthony Ray (as dance sensation Leroy), and Lori Singer.


The cast
Faculty

* Debbie Allen as Lydia Grant
* Albert Hague as Benjamin Shorofsky
* Carol Mayo Jenkins as Elizabeth Sherwood (seasons 1-5)
* Ann Nelson as Mrs. Gertrude Berg (Seasons 4-6, recurring previously)
* Ken Swofford as Quentin Morloch (Seasons 3- 5.09)
* Graham Jarvis as Principal Bob Dyrenforth (Seasons 5.10- 6)
* Morgan Stevens as David Reardon (season 2, recurring seasons 3 & 4)
* Eric Pierpoint as Paul Seeger (Season 6.03)
* Michael Thoma as Greg Crandall (recurring season 1)

Students

* Gene Anthony Ray as Leroy Johnson
* Carlo Imperato as Danny Amatullo
* Billy Hufsey as Christopher Donlon (seasons 3-6)
* Valerie Landsburg as Doris Schwartz (seasons 1-4)
* Jesse Borrego as Jesse Velasquez (seasons 4-6)
* Lee Curreri as Bruno Martelli (seasons 1-3)
* Cynthia Gibb as Holly Laird (seasons 3-5.10)
* Nia Peeples as Nicole Chapman (seasons 4-6)
* Erica Gimpel as Coco Hernandez (seasons 1-3.08,recurring Seasons 4-6)
* Loretta Chandler as Dusty Tyler (seasons 5-6)
* Lori Singer as Julie Miller (seasons 1-2)
* Carrie Hamilton as Reggie Higgins (seasons 5-6)
* Janet Jackson as Cleo Hewitt (season 4)
* Michael Cerveris as Ian Ware (season 6)
* Elisa Heinsohn as Jillian Beckett (season 6)
* P.R. Paul as Montgomery MacNeil (season 1)
* Page Hannah as Kate Riley (seasons 5)
* Olivia Barash as Maxie Sharp (season 6)

Watching this video brings back fond memories of school, and performing this with my posse on Teachers' Day. I cannot watch this without crying buckets.You see, in school, I wasn't one of the academic achievers. I could have been if I had bothered, and I was always amongst the top 7 or so, and sometimes even top, but school was more about fun to me - it was about sports day, cheerleading, acting in the school musical productions, about singing in the Form Four Variety show, ie. performing at every opportunity.

I loved Art and Literature and History though. And in Form 5 I came to love Maths, thanks to my tuition teacher Mr. Foo, bless him. But I used to frustrate every one of my teachers, as well as my headmistress. It used to rile them that I was one of the smartest kids who just wasn't bothered to try. I just wasn't fond of the way they tried to straighten me up when I wasn't ready for it, I guess. Because of that, I became such a rebel, a likeable, loveable one if that makes any sense. I used to annoy my teachers yet I'd tease them and make them laugh as well, so there was a good sense of balance.

When my friends and I performed this song and dedicated it to the teachers who shaped our lives, it was a huge emotional moment for both students as well as teachers. I remember how I barely made it to the end of the song, fighting back tears and choking so much all the way. Some of the teachers came up to us and hugged us, and it was a nice moment where misunderstood teen students and well-meaning teachers reconciled.

I want to particularly dedicate this blog entry to 2 of my teachers who encouraged me to be who I was and follow my dream - Mrs. Sekaran, my Art and Music teacher, and Mrs. Noreen Kannabhiran, my Form Mistress and 4 Arts One, English Teacher and the absolute most stylish teacher that ever walked the grounds of St. Mary's. She was the teacher in charge of The Form Four Variety Show and if I remember correctly, she was also in charge of the school Cheerleading squad.

Anyway. Here's a YouTube video recording of "STARMAKER". Dedicated to the followers of my blog from the same vintage!




Lyrics here so you can sing along:
Here as I watch the ships go by
I'm rooted to my shore
I keep asking myself why
And if there's more on the other side
Here as I see the friends I thought I made
A little bit crazed and knowing now
We've outgrown one another

CHORUS
Star maker
Dream breaker
Soul taker
We're happy now

Now when I see the things I want
I can take the things I see
But I keep asking myself why
And if there ain't just a little bit more for me
Here when it's time to count the cost
I keep measuring what I've lost
And wondering if you knew
It would all end up with you

CHORUS
Star maker
Dream breaker
Soul taker
We're happy now
Here as I watch the time go by
How I'd like to sail away
Leaving all my past behind
But I know I'd only last for a couple of days
Here stands everything I thought I made
It's the only life I know
And I can't even call it my own
I've got no hope, I belong to you

My star maker
Dream breaker
Soul taker
We're happy now
We're so happy now

And here's another classic! Irene Cara singing "Out Here On My Own". She starred in the Film version of "Fame".



Out Here On My Own lyrics:
Sometimes I wonder
Where I've been
Who I am, do I fit in?
Make-believing is hard alone
Out here, on my own

We're always proving
Who we are
Always reaching
For that rising star
To guide me far
And shine me home
Out here on my own

When I'm down and feeling blue
I close my eyes so I can be with you
Oh, baby, be strong for me
Baby, belong to me
Help me through
Help me need you

Until the morning sun appears
Making light of all my fears
I dry the tears I've never shown
out here on my own

But when I'm down and feeling blue
I close my eyes so I can be with you
Oh, baby, be strong for me
Baby, belong to me
Help me through
Help me need you

Sometimes I wonder
Where I've been
Who I am, do I fit in?
I may not win
But I can't be thrown
Out here on my own
On my own

And it looks like FAME has come full circle, 25 years later! The re-make came out last year but I missed it.

Starring: Asher Book, Naturi Naughton, Kay Panabaker, Kherington Payne, Collins Pennie, Paul McGill, Debbie Allen

A reinvention of the original Oscar®-winning hit film, Fame follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors, and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, a diverse, creative powerhouse where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting famethe kind that comes only from talent, dedication, and hard work. In an incredibly competitive atmosphere, plagued by self-doubt, each students passion will be put to the test. In addition to their artistic goals, they have to deal with everything else that goes along with high school, a tumultuous time full of schoolwork, deep friendships, budding romance, and self-discovery. As each student strives for his or her moment in the spotlight, theyll discover who among them has the innate talent and necessary discipline to succeed. With the love and support of their friends and fellow artists, theyll find out who amongst them will achieve Fame.



And sometime this month, I'm looking forward to watching a really talented young cast from The Alice Smith School (particularly a talented young girl named Tengku Sofia Daud) perform FAME onstage, so I can once again re-live my memories through their eyes.

2 comments:

Lillian said...

Hi, I am a mum serving on the PIBG of SMK BUD 4. This year we wd like to organise a dinner concert to raise funds to build a roof over the assembly area. It costs about RM300,000. As such,we want our concert to be a real crowd puller and I was doing some research on musicals that the kids can do. We have many really talented kids. BTW, the blitzers are fr this school. Anyway,PGL came to mind as very appropriate as I wanted a localised musical so our kids can know that M'sia is capable of producing great musicals too. When I saw yr blog, I saw that you are a fan of FAME,too. I used to look forward to the Fame TV episodes. Much better than Glee, dont you think? Oh dear, I am digressing. The reason I am writing to you is because in yr blog youmentioned being on the lookout for new young talents and hoping corporate bodies wd incorporate nurturing n developin young talent as part of their CSR. I was wondering whether you cd help us by being patron to our kids, help us help them produce a musical like PGL or even Fame? It wd be so awesome if we could have you the legendary Tiara Jacqueline as our mentor (I am not trying to bodek you!I really mean what I say)The kids wd be so thrilled.And we the PIBG wd think perhaps it is possible to build a badly needed roof for our kids to protect them fr sun and rain. Hope to hear from you. You can also email me at lillfang62@gmail.com. Thanks n regards,
Lillian Fang

Lillian said...

Hi, I am a mum serving on the PIBG of SMK BUD 4. This year we wd like to organise a dinner concert to raise funds to build a roof over the assembly area. It costs about RM300,000. As such,we want our concert to be a real crowd puller and I was doing some research on musicals that the kids can do. We have many really talented kids. BTW, the blitzers are fr this school. Anyway,PGL came to mind as very appropriate as I wanted a localised musical so our kids can know that M'sia is capable of producing great musicals too. When I saw yr blog, I saw that you are a fan of FAME,too. I used to look forward to the Fame TV episodes. Much better than Glee, dont you think? Oh dear, I am digressing. The reason I am writing to you is because in yr blog youmentioned being on the lookout for new young talents and hoping corporate bodies wd incorporate nurturing n developin young talent as part of their CSR. I was wondering whether you cd help us by being patron to our kids, help us help them produce a musical like PGL or even Fame? It wd be so awesome if we could have you the legendary Tiara Jacqueline as our mentor (I am not trying to bodek you!I really mean what I say)The kids wd be so thrilled.And we the PIBG wd think perhaps it is possible to build a badly needed roof for our kids to protect them fr sun and rain. Hope to hear from you. You can also email me at lillfang62@gmail.com. Thanks n regards,
Lillian Fang