Friday, June 24, 2011

IYCE and The Lazy Song

This is one of those posts where I don't know what to begin it with. I don't even know what title I should put, though I most likely will find something later. There are so much going on and it's starting to overwhelm me. I guess the point of me writing this is to get all these stuff out of my mind. Then maybe I'll have some space for other things.

A cool thing happened to me last week. I was shortlisted as a finalist for International Young Creative Entrepreneur 2011 in both Interactive and Fashion sectors. I was excited but also scared. They give me less than 2 weeks to come up with a presentation, which will be used by the jury to decide whether or not I'm the right person to represent Indonesia to the competition in London. And because I'm a finalist in 2 sectors, I have to submit 2 presentations.

10 days may seem like a lot of time, if you're not doing about a gazillion other things. Which I am. And it's not just regular stuff at work, several projects are going on at the same time. And sometimes in life, you can plan all you want, there are still a lot of things that are out of your control and they can fall apart right before your eyes. And you don't really have any choice but to pick up the pieces and try putting them back together again. Because, who else would?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

...after a Decade of Waiting

...I walked into the Nusa Indah hall of Balai Kartini that night and gasped. I saw for the first time where I was going to sit. Not only that it was located in front (which was expected because I had paid for front row tickets), but the piano was literally located right in front of it! Or more specifically, the piano stool that Ben Folds was going to sit on for 2 hours that night, was located right in front of my seat! It was really the BEST seat in the house!

That's where I was sitting!

I squealed and told Detta, a friend who went to the show with me, how perfect everything had been, that this is all "meant to be". Detta just rolled her eyes because she's been hearing me going on and on about how perfect that day was for me. But it really was. Everything worked out very well for me and it was as if every single thing I did leading up to that day was orchestrated in such a way, by some higher power, that caused me to experience all this awesomeness. Yes, I just used the word higher power and awesomeness in one sentence. That's how giddy I am still about it.

Me and Detta

With the t-shirt I just bought and straight away changed into in my car :D

Anyway, Ben Fold's long time fans know how great his live shows are. His stage antics are perhaps as famous as his songs. The man really knows how to draw the crowd in and he's superbly creative about keeping them excited. He is known for involving his audience as part of his performance and he has done it in many different and amazing ways. He used them as his backup vocal (maybe almost always), doing a capella montage for one his songs (though we haven't seen the finished work yet), get them to be a part of a music video for Sarah Bareilles, getting them into a chat roulette improv ala Merton, asked them to do paper plane requests and many many more. He has gone way beyond saying a few words in local language to communicate with his audience (though he did that too in Jakarta but that's only a teeny tiny part of his stage banter) He has performed with guitar orchestra, a full orchestra, acapella group; he was the first musician that ever had a live show broadcasted via MySpace. His live shows are a huge part of his career and there is always something new and interesting in them, that fans just want to keep coming. I have a DVD of his concert with West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) in Perth and that was the first time I seriously got my calculator out to count how many $$$ I need to go to Australia to see him perform live. Thank God I didn't have to do that!

Friday, June 3, 2011

"My hearing is Ass, sorry Affi."

To keep you up to speed, one of my favorite singer/songwriter, Ben Folds, came to Jakarta and I got a chance to meet him, chatted with him and took photos. But I forgot to bring my CD for him to sign on.

Or, for a more elaborate version of that story, read my previous post.

And now let's move on the really interesting part of the story! (Oh shut up, to me, it's interesting!)

So there I was, eating my lunch...or more like, trying to shove some food down my throat, while Ben Folds himself was being interviewed by the media, two tables away from me. I told my sister and Ipong how I have stupidly left the CDs in my car and wondering if I should run to the parking lot to get it. We had some back and forth exchange of words, but to keep it short, both of them said to me "Don't you just sit there wondering if you still have time! Run! Now!"

I grabbed my car key, ran to the elevator and rode it a few levels down to the parking lot. I grabbed the "Lonely Avenue" CD, locked my car and rode the elevator back up again. When I went back to Pizza e Birra, I noticed that there were only a few people left in the press conference area. Ben was talking to someone and there was a girl inching forward, clutching something, either a CD or DVD cover, I can't recall. I walked really quickly the corner where they were all standing. I saw Ben's tour manager (I later learned that he's called 9 Year?), talking the the girl and said "Did you get your autograph? No? Oh it's okay, I think we still have time for one more." and I thought "Oh no, they might not allow me to do this!"

There were two people from Ismaya Live standing next to me and I asked them politely if I could get Ben's autograph, really really quickly. They were hesitant, saying how they really had to go to the concert venue. I quickly decided I wasn't going to get a yes out of them, and understandably so of course as they had to watch the schedule and all, so I just went straight to the tour manager and asked him. Luckily, I didn't have to beg, as he was really nice. He said yes, sure and ushered me to where Ben was standing. He saw me and I think remembered me from the interview, because there was a flicker of recognition in his eyes and he said "Hey there!"

"I forgot to bring this with me earlier, so could you please sign it for me?"
"Yes, of course! What's your name?" he asked while taking out his marker.
I started spelling my name "A...F....F.." then I froze because I saw that he had written A.S.S on the cover!

"It's "F" actually." I said politely trying not to laugh
"F? Oh..these look more like "S" than "F"!" he said incredulously. "I'm sorry." he said, and he looked genuinely sorry.
"That's okay. You can just strike it." I said. It really was okay to me.
"No, no, let me try to fix it!" Ben said still holding his marker mid air. He thought for a moment, looked up to me then looked at his tour manager and said
"Uh...I guess there's really not much I can do about this, is there?" and started laughing really really loudly.

His manager and a few people who were watching what happened started laughing too. And I, of course, also started laughing because....I've got an "ASS" written with black marker on the cover of my Ben Folds. I can not think of anything more bizarre than that!

"Okay how about this.." he said and started scribbling something. "So could you please spell your name again?" and I did and then I read what he had written:

My hearing is ass, sorry Affi.

this is now locked in a vault and stored deep inside my secret dungeon

and he put a little arrow through the heart icon next to it, before adding his autograph.