Latest Entries »

Stage Fright

Dear Diary,

I used to have a really bad case of stage fright.

My first piano recital, my knees and fingers shook uncontrollably.  When I played the violin on stage, my trembling hands would make unwanted vibrato.  I remember one time when someone convinced me to play the violin in a small group back in college, I had asked for the lights to be turned off, because it was the only way I could play without the shakes…  I recall that my hands still shook even with the lights off.

I loved performing in groups because it meant I could hide in the background but still be able to perform.  I found out that I had a talent for singing harmonies.  So I joined a choir in my grade school days.  I stopped joining choirs when I reached puberty.  Quite an awkward stage for me so I just ended up being this shy and reserved teenager around public but being really funny and crazy with my circle of friends.

College life gave me a chance to revisit my stage fright.  One of my first and favorite performance memories was when I got called on stage to sing with a live band.  I sang a Green Day song in my shaky voice with the band and my friend.  I replayed this scenario over and over in my head and I kept thinking, man, that was awesome, but I could have done better.

How did I overcome stage fright?  I don’t think I ever did.  I just got better at faking confidence.  When people find out that I like to sing, they always make me sing in public when a live band asks for volunteers.  I love doing them and I cover my stage fright by making it funny.  But it’s a real thing.  People probably won’t believe it, but performing in public scares the living shit out of me.

Funny enough, I never get stage fright when I train or present anything at work.  Because I knew what I was talking about.  So it appears that my insecurity in my ability to perform good is what gives me stage fright.  It doesn’t help when you come from an extended family with great musical talents.  My older brother inherited the natural vibrato in singing, which is unfair because all he uses it for is to sing in the shower.  My sister inherited the natural confidence because she’s the youngest and she basically grew up with a silver spoon.  So what did I inherit?  I inherited the passion for performing.  Which I never got to pursue because of my damn stage fright.  Had I been more confident, I would have definitely been on stage at my younger days.  Had I been more talented, I would have definitely made sure I used those talents to put me out there in the world.  But those are all what ifs.  I most likely would still end up in my living room singing in my own karaoke home system even if I had the talent and confidence.

Over the years, I have improved.  I’m not completely over stage fright because I know that I’m not the best at performing but I realized that I’m not average either.  I hope that someday I would actually get the chance to live out my dream.  Just be on stage with the spot light on me.  What I’ll be doing on stage? No idea yet.  I still need to discover what I’ll be comfortable performing.

Today, I’ll be attending a workshop for Improv as one of the steps in improving myself with performing in public.  I hope it turns out well. I’ll blog about it afterwards.

Love,

AVA

Dear Diary,

Wow, it’s been 2 years since my last post.  I really know how to leave things hanging…  Reminds me of these 2 fan-fiction stories I wrote back in college.  I’m still getting emails telling me to finish them.  I pretend that I have no time, but completing a story is not that easy and words don’t magically flow to express how you want a story to go.  Anyway, back to what I was saying.

Yes, it’s been 2 years.  I wonder if anyone out there is even still going to read this.  I’ve lost contact with the people I used to talk to here in wordpress.  I’m sure they are probably still writing and have filled their blogs with 2 years worth of posts.

What have I been up to?  Last I posted was that I was in Indonesia.  After that project I flew back home.   Trained new people who joined the company.  Went back to Thailand for a few more projects.  Off to Cambodia to do some training.  Then to India to train some more.  I truly love being a trainer.  Nothing like imparting knowledge to your audience.

Now my latest project is in China.  And I will post some pics of my travels soon.  I have too many things to show you.  Granted, I am not the best traveler as I always head for the tourist traps, but hey they make for great pictures.

So far, I think the best thing I’ve seen for 2018 is being able to see the Pandas in Guangzhou, China.  Seriously, the zoo was really big but I spent most hours in Panda village. Just staring and watching them eat.  Kind of stalker-ish if it weren’t a really cute black and white panda bear.

 

Love lots,

Ava

I’m in Indonesia

Dear Diary,

Wow, didn’t mean to leave you hanging there… But after my last post, I was extended in my Thailand project. And it was all kinds of crazy crisis mode. We had to work on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!

By January 2016, I was flying out to Indonesia for my next project…

I missed my annual family Christmas get together. Booooo But hubby was with me so all was well.

We had a tiny Christmas eve celebration where he cooked some macaroni chicken soup. (My favorite!)

  
Alright, I promise to post my past travels for 2014-2016… I know I really owe you a lot.

Love,

Ava

Things To Do

Dear Diary,

This project is almost done and I should be able to go back home sometime in October 2015.  This is my list of things to do when I get home.

  1. Apply for singing lessons
  2. Set up a studio section in the house
  3. Buy an electric drumset
  4. Buy a piano

Those are the priority ones at least. Hehehe

Xoxo,

Ava

No Music, No Life

Dear Diary,

Hi.  I have not forgotten you.  I have been busy.  Ok, maybe more like lazy.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  I’m back at least.  I can update you on what’s happened so far in my life.

I’m still here in Thailand.  Got extended until September.  Unless something changes in between and may need to be sent home sooner.

Hubby is still back home at the Philippines, but I go home to visit 1 weekend every month.  Last April, he was here the whole month to visit.

I thought I would be back home by End of June, so my last trip home, I brought home my mic and guitar… I thought life would be boring on the weekends now because all I had was my iPad to make music with.  It’s not the same when you press buttons to get the chords…

Then last month, after going through my facebook feeds, I saw some videos of Jessie J having a duet with other people via an application called Smule.

I remember back in the Glee days, I used to have an app called Glee! Smule.  I used to sing and record songs from Glee using that app.  Then forgot about it for some time.

Then these floating videos reminded me of it.  Unfortunately, the Glee app was already gone, only the Smule main App still existed, I had 2 recordings but those sucked. haha 2 years ago I did not sing that well…

Granted, I don’t really sing extraordinarily.  Not in any way that would get me in The Voice audition. But I’m in tune. And I have some talent with harmonizing.

I think reactivating my account in Smule, is making me a better singer though. Singing with strangers is fun.

If you ever feel the need to drop by and have a listen here’s a link:  http://www.smule.com/ava_martini

Love lots,

Ava

Dear Diary,

My aunt died last Monday.  Last time I saw her was on New Year’s day for our yearly family reunion.  She was healthy.  She was active.  She was dancing and singing.  No sign of anything amiss.

January 29, I receive a message from my mom, telling me that my aunt was in the ICU because of a rare disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  I went straight to google to see what I could find.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/guillain-barre-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20025832

1 to 2 cases out of 100,000 per year.

The treatment was expensive.  Her immediate family was able to start her on the daily treatment.  But it was too late.  After a week in ICU, my aunt passed away.

My prayers go out to her family.  To my dad, who was really close to her.  I, unfortunately, was not.  It was only through our yearly family reunion that I got to talk to her, to hear her stories and to tell her briefly how I have been.

Life is unpredictable.  No one ever knows when it’s their time.  Someone can live their life forever scared of all the possible horror that they might experience, or live like there’s no tomorrow, but in the end it’s still the same story.

Life is unpredictable.  And yet it is beautiful.  It defines you.  The life you have is based on how you have acted on the unpredictability of it.  On what you have done.

But this life is not all that there is.  There is something beyond life that is more beautiful.  More unpredictable, because we do not know.  We may know enough to want it.  But we’ll never know until we get there.  That is the beauty of the afterlife.  The mystery.

Sometimes I wonder about people who don’t believe in the afterlife.  Do they think that this is all there is?  What becomes the meaning of life for them?  Thinking that after this life, it’s the end.  Like a game over with no replays.  Do they enjoy their life more, knowing that everything ends and then nothing.

That is very sad.  I don’t think I could enjoy my life thinking that there is nothing beyond the years that I have on this earth.  I would keep asking myself everyday, what is the purpose of all this…

Much worse, in my opinion, is believing in everything or believing in something vague.

So, dear reader, if you have reached this last part of the post, I’m here to tell you what my purpose is in life.  It’s to tell you about Christ Jesus, who died for our sins.  All you have to do is accept Him as your personal Savior.  It’s that easy.  Yet it’s the hardest thing to do, because it involves putting your trust in Him and it means that you will change your ways because you now have accepted Him into your heart.

Life is unpredictable.  Don’t let it be too late.

AvA Martini

Dear Diary,

I have a new hobby… Ever since I saw this video:

http://youtu.be/Q3oItpVa9fs

I have become addicted to Electronic Dance Music (EDM). This is pretty ironic for someone who does not like dancing…

It started out with me buying EDM songs in itunes that I thought were nice… Then watching videos of people making EDM. And consistent with my personality of a frustrated musician, I just had to try it.

IMG_0871

I don’t have any hardware or computer softwares yet. I need a good digital audio workstation (computer software for editing audio). I need a synthesizer (looking for AKAI MPK Mini MII whichis compatible with iPad). And I need lots of drum samples.

As I have none of the above yet, I settled for what I did have. Garageband app in my iPhone. So here it is… My first EDM.

http://youtu.be/eahFe7w-jAc

IMG_0859
Garageband App for iOS.

AvA_Martini

Dear Diary,

I’m at the airport again. Leaving behind my hubby, my family, my relatives and my house. Off to the foreign country, that I work in.

I have been doing this since 2009… I should be used to it, right? Wrong…

I can’t turn off the feeling of loneliness washing over me… Especially after the holidays.

People back home dread going back to work after the long holiday. Now imagine going back to work in a far away place…

Back in 2009, my very first foreign country to work in was Singapore. I went home for the first time after 6 months. I had 4 days in the Philippines… As you can guess, 4 days are not enough. But it was better than not being able to go home at all for years.

It was my first time of leaving people behind after coming home from overseas, so I couldn’t hold back my tears…

Now, my tears are controllable as long as I distract myself. But the loneliness is still there.

So here I am, at a cafe, waiting to board my plane. Heading back to a foreign country. Alone… And not knowing when my next visit back here will be.

ava_martini

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/484/14251926/files/2015/01/img_0419.jpg

Dear Diary,

Sometimes I just wish I can stand up from my desk in the office and start singing on the top of my lungs…

I’ve seen videos of people dancing like nobody’s looking… Maybe I should start a trend. Or there might be a trend already and I should join the cause.

avamartini

IMG_1787.JPG
– Singing Green Day’s Time of Your Life on our wedding day.

Short Story: I See You

I see you in the corner of my eye, looking at at me.
I see you smile across the room, our eyes meet.
I see you standing in the corner, silent and steady.
I see you.
But nobody else does.

%d bloggers like this: