October 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Ha! You’d think I’d be doing this quite regularly now. But no, I still miss posting on certain days when I am supposed to. I shouldn’t be hard on myself, though. Have to remember that I promised myself that I’d just chill and not stress over it. I did stress about other writing-related things and with good reason. Let me just keep that/those to myself, though. Regardless, I think I did okay enough.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s how October 2016 went:

Blog-wise:

(1) So, how did my hash potatoes go?

#MondayMemoirs (see “comfort”) – I’m supposed to always have a Monday post weekly. Unfortunately, these days, I am usually busy at home on weekends, I am not able to log in.

Even when I am able, I often spend my time worrying about other “real-world” things, like accompanying one of the kids to class rehearsals as the class is required to perform as a group. Well, they were made to choose from dancing and singing and it’s good he chose the latter–he’s not a good singer, but he is a more awkward dancer. He even kind of freezes when performing. I am trying to change that, although I don’t think my strict style is working on him...

#MondayReviews (see Cancer? Schmancer! ~Fran Drescher)

#TuesdayTunes (see Fight Songs!, Poetry in Music) – You can never really run out of things to share when it comes to music. Maybe just run out of time when busy. Good thing I was able to deliver.

#AskWednesday (see The Warrior Teacher) – Well, somebody promised she’d be sending her answers, but she probably hasn’t answered anything yet. Plus she just lost someone close to her so that’s understandable. As for the others, it’s my own fault as I haven’t sent any questions yet (partly because I was expecting the said promised answers). Will push through then.

#ThursdayTips (none in October ) – In a sort of way, my missing posts here were kind of affected by a kind of issue I had to deal with last month. To think I do have stuff to share.

#FeatureFriday – Last time, I said this would alternate with #FridayFlashdance, which basically meant it would be my default post whenever I couldn’t post a feature in time. However, given that it was near Halloween, thought I’d do a #FreakyFriday thing again, like last year. So…

#FreakyFriday (see Freaky Me, ZZzzzoooommmbiiiesss…!!!) – I actually enjoyed these! The thing is, I was also supposed to share a third post last October 28. Miss Indecisive got the better of me again. The post is still in draft mode. Because I enjoyed that, though, and it’s still November, anyway, think I’ll continue this hash potato for a while. Don’t be surprised, then, by next Friday.

Saturdays and Sundays, or any day, could be about anything. I will post anything when I feel like it, like Moms, we are with you… that is a re-share of a writeup over at My Trending Stories. I definitely could relate to it.

(3) My Trending Stories. Posted once or twice, but certain things were kind of off for me and I didn’t have time to deal with them as well. I will need to have a working scheme for this because I do want to post there.

(4) Memoirs of a Coffee Cat. If you don’t know yet, that’s my more personal blog over at another platform. There were a few posts when I was in Drama Queen mode, but they were not really much. I just wanted to let off a bit of steam. Meanwhile, I have been re-sharing stuff from way back 2004, editing and updating along the way. It’s weird in a way as I get to re-read stuff that I now do not remember what were really about (some stuff vaguely shared), or who I was referring to. To think I said somewhere there that I could be having a lovelife soon. LOL. I should have known that “soon” meant eight years more, give or take.

Social Media Reach-out:

As I said in my last recap, I am very thankful to new followers. And of course, I am also very thankful to those who have followed me over the months, especially the years. Let me share some of them to you  and feel free to visit their blogs. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Christine,         Jane,          Lani,        Mabel,

Raine,               Rara,          Victo

More bloggers to link to in the coming months, for sure. “Old” ones, new ones.

Fiction/Story-writing:

Trying something out. That’s all I’m going to say.

Literature:

Done with Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West online book. I wish I could read the third installment of his series, but I couldn’t find an uploaded copy where I found the first. I will read something else from there then as I am curious to see how certain movies based on books actually “look” and “feel” in written form.

Personal:

How apt that I thought of starting to watch The Walking Dead. Got season 1 and watched with the family. There were several awkward moments the first family night when characters spent sexy time, so the kids had to look away or close their eyes. The next night, I made sure to fast-forward to more wholesome scenes (like there’s any) as I already finished the whole thing the night before, ergo, I knew what to expect and when. Got season 2 now, but we haven’t seen it yet. Meanwhile, we started watching Japanese animated films. I made sure to watch with them so I could translate and explain the movies to them.

Aside from movies, I am again obsessing over stuff and stars that I obsessed over years back. Two of them are “CATS The Musical” and Veerle Casteleyn. I have, in fact, been playing professional sleuth (or professional stalker, you choose), trying to really find Veerle. I am proud to say that I have updated my post that is dedicated to her: Little Dove: Cat of a Feather. Do check!!! One of my fondest wishes is to see Veerle in person before I die. If I do die not seeing her, then I’ll fly and get to finally find her at the other side of the globe–no visa!!! I’ll be the first stalker spirit/ghost, ha ha haaa!!!!

 

Alright, that’s it with October. I predict that November would be a blast (yeah, right). Oh, and it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary today…

Love you, Mame & Dade!!!

 

My Happy List

As promised, I am listing my Not-Really-Bucket List. Will add more pics and links soon. Remember, crossed out and in red means done. Here we go…

MY HAPPY LIST

1. Smile at people all day and see what happens.

I was 13. Heard a smile could make others smile, too, so I experimented with trying to spread joy. It was going well until a lady looked at me like I was crazy…

2. Do something really amazing and meaningful.

3. Ride the roller-coaster.

4. Try a scary sport or adventure.

5. Learn to swim.

6. Learn a third language fluently.

I’m partial to Spanish, which won’t be so hard to learn given our country’s history, plus I can find people to converse with. Just partial, not sure. We’ll see…

7. Learn Baybayin.

baybayin-example

This is just to show my handwriting. Baybayin/alibata should be written vertically actually

Baybayin is the ancient script of our ancestors. Why it’s more commonly called as alibata is a bit of an issue, but that’s become the better-known, more commonly used term. We forgot about it while under the rule of Spain. We just began re-learning it in the recent decades, but people have just really started appreciating it this past decade (sadly, mainly because they think its characters look cool when used in visual arts).

I don’t claim to be an expert in it as I’m not that quick yet in reading words in baybayin/alibata. I do claim to be a baybayin/alibata advocate, though. I think we should start really including it in the curriculum instead of simply teaching it under the Filipino subject in passing. Anyway, I tend to follow the Spanish-influenced baybayin/alibata because the use of the cross makes reading words easier, for me, at least.

Related post: How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

8. Learn a martial art.

learn-muay-thai

Learned the martial art Muay Thai. Forgive the sort of leggings here. MT shorts are too short for better movement and I couldn’t find my cycling shorts that time

 

9. Learn to paint on canvass.

10. Travel around the Philippines.

11. Visit Disneyland with my family

Japan, Hong Kong or the US, whichever opportunity presents itself.

12. Travel around Europe.

13. Visit New Zealand.

14. Visit The Louvre Museum.

15. Experience the West End.

16. Experience Broadway. I literally mean being in New York watching shows.

17. See ‘WICKED The Musical’ live.

18. See ‘CATS The Musical’ live.

musical playbills

I was lucky to have watched both CATS and WICKED (and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) with the help of my dearest mother and of one of my friends…Thank you!!!!

19. See ‘Les Miserables’ live.

20. See ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (JATD) live.

21. Act in a real stage play/musical (school skits do not count).

That almost came true. I was to be 1/3 of The Narrator in JATD. There’s only 1 Narrator but the Director wanted three for various reasons I won’t enumerate…*sigh* I’m not giving up yet, though. Who knows?

22. Go to the Netherlands, watch Veerle Casteleyn perform live onstage, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her.

23. Watch a Lea Salonga stage musical, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her.

How I got the twofie deserves another post. I was not able to get Lea‘s autograph, but this is okay already, right? The main purpose was to meet and talk to her face to face 🙂 Meanwhile, I have seen her perform live onstage in some of her musicals.

lea-salonga-twofie

Miss Lea and I. Standing beside her only emphasized my plainness, but who cared???

IMG_20160605_141829

I never heard about BABY The Musical till then, but I loved it!

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*...See this faded ticket

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*…See this faded ticket

24. Attend a live music concert that I paid for.

lea-salonga-concert

This concert, I enjoyed. Isn’t it obvious who I’m a fan of???

Back in college, I was able to attend three live concerts, all for free. One was because I interviewed a band for the school paper. The other two were care of the college radio station I worked for. I wasn’t even really a fan yet of all three. I watched because I got in for free. So I decided I wanted to be able to attend a concert I was really interested in and I would pay for my ticket. I did. Watched Mariah Carey’s live Manila concert. It wasn’t so nice an experience, actually. We were standing far from the stage and I think there were rain showers as well. Somebody was taking pictures and his/her phone got snatched from his/her hand.

25. Sing solo on stage in front of everyone.

I’ve got stage fright. Easier to conquer if with others, not so alone. I wasn’t even too crazy about the idea, but one of my best friends asked me to sing a song at her wedding. I thought better that than be a bridesmaid. I would have hated all the preparations. Also, I wanted to be able to say I did that even just once in my life. Turned out I’d do it several times, but not without me trembling inside everytime. At an office Christmas party, I actually messed everything up! Yikes! Epic fail! *hides* (No pics to show…thank goodness!)

26. Win an award or medal.

They’re not like some big awards or anything, but I guess I earned them. I did not know how I could get any, but I ended up getting some anyway. *Speech alert!* “I would like to thank the school paper and the radio station for those awards….” If they’d be interested to know, yes, I still have those certificates. They’re on my blogfolio’s Certifications & Awards page, filed under “PEER AWARDS/RECOGNITION”.

I did win with my village friends (twice, I think) when we played volleyball in the local summer league when I was a teener. Then when I was already working, I also won second place (or was it third?) with the School Administration Team (playing volleyball also) when the tertiary school we worked for let us join the Intramurals.

I played for the Administration team during the Intramurals back when I worked for a tertiary school. I’m third from right here. At my left (facing camera) is/was the Girl with the Smiley Heart

27. Choreograph a dance number.

Did that thrice in college for three different groups on different occasions. Won for me a Star of D’ Night Award, too, among other things 😉

28. Learn to play a musical instrument,

I think these count even though it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how they work

jaw-harp

The kubing (jaw harp)

bamboo-buzzer

The bungkaka (bamboo buzzer)

29. Be in a respectable indie film playing a bit role.

30. Start a good family business.

31. Build a reading and hobby room.

32. Buy a vehicle for the family.

33. Live in a beautiful house where it’s peaceful with our family.

34. Enjoy our future grandkids.

35. Get a master’s degree.

36. Become a teacher.

home-made-tests

These are just some of the tests I gave the little boy

I somehow have some illusions of becoming a teacher. My kids are here, though, so I think I can cross this out. I’m a proud teacher, too — our incoming first-grader (as of this writing) actually passed his exam with flying colors! Someday, I might teach students in a real school environment, maybe about writing…

37. Become a radio DJ.

I always wanted to be one. Then when I was 13, one of my friends became one of what were called as Junior DJs and I would tune in to the city’s local station so I could listen to her and several other kids. Not without envy even though I knew that envy wasn’t good. The opportunity to become an actual DJ knocked when I was in college so I did not let it pass. I was even surprised I had the guts to try. It paid off, fortunately.

dzlb-memorabilia

These were taken just a few years ago, just to show my radio colleagues I kept souvenirs all these years

38. Become a writer.

I wasn’t planning on making this my career because of the starving artist “syndrome”, but I am here because I think I sought this fate anyway. Fate is still part-effort.

39. Finish my novel.

40. Write/create a comic book.

41. Fall in love.

My real name’s hyphenated now, so, yeah 🙂

42. Tell someone my innermost secret and hope not to be or feel judged.

43. Give birth to a live, healthy baby…

God has yet to grant this wish. We are not giving up yet so we hope he lets us have the baby the next time. We’ll try to be ready.

44. See both/all our kids graduate from college.

45. Build a home for the aged whose own families have abandoned them.

46. Buy a land and build a large animal shelter, for abused/neglected/abandoned animals.

47. Grant scholarships anonymously (when I’m already rich, of course!).

Why anonymously? First, I won’t do it for recognition. Second, I won’t want other people to know I have money because people can use and abuse you when you have money. Three, I won’t want anyone approaching me for his/her kid’s scholarship. Let’s face it, a lot of kids don’t like to study. I wouldn’t want to feel sorry and obligated to send to school someone who doesn’t really want to be in it. Also, some parents will only use the kids to get the money and spend it on other things, not for the kids’ schooling. Someone else who’ll be working for me will handle applications. I’ll have a say on it, of course, but I won’t want people to know.

48. Build my Dream Museum.

49. Attain peace of mind.

50. Die happy.

51. Do my best jump for a jump shot.

This is My Happy List Item #51. What about it? CLICK HERE.

eversun-makati

With the permission of all the peeps here, I shared this to JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project‘s Eyoälha Baker and she posted it on her project’s Facebook page

52. Finally watch Patti Austin in concert, live.

UPDATE (Dec. 3, 2018): I was trying to check if there’ll be any show I’d like to see next year. I was going to save up. Then I saw THIS. AAARRGGHH!!! I’m so mad that I didn’t know. I’m even madder that the date is so near and I can’t go! No extra money for it *sniff* What are the chances that a Good Samaritan will be able to see this immediately and send me a ticket in time for the concert??!!!

53. Try vlogging.

Done. Well, doing it now. I have THE SANDBOX.

SAMPLE:

I said I’d “try” vlogging because I am not sure if it’s something I can keep doing for years. But, at least, I’ll be able to say I didn’t waste my opportunity. And at least, I’m learning new stuff “tinkering” with YouTube. Meanwhile, I aim to buy better-quality equipment in the future. Right now, I make do with what I have.

 

Okay, that’s My Happy List. I’ll add more to it if I think of more. Care to share your own happy list, though? Feel free to do so and put the link in the comments! 🙂

Little Dove: Cat of a Feather #atozchallenge2015

Ladies and gentlemen, today I share to you one of my most favorite stage thespians. I bring you…LITTLE DOVE. Oh, and all images and videos, unless indicated, are not mine, just to make it clear. Also, this was written circa 2006, just so you know. However, I’ve been updating it from time to time and adding images and links 🙂

From Gazet Van Antwerpen

This is Veerle Casteleyn
and this is my most favorite photo of hers. Photo credit: Gazet Van Antwerpen

CAT OF A FEATHER

Truth be told, there isn’t much to be said about Veerle Casteleyn… Uh, let me rephrase that—there isn’t much info available about this li’l lady, not even in the whole, wide world of the web. Any true-blue Veerle-fan knows that.

Her First Catwalks

Veerle Casteleyn was born in Vlaanderen, Belgium on March 6, 1978. ‘Veerle’ is Flemish for ‘feather’, which appropriately describes her to a ‘T’. Figuratively speaking, of course. Lithe and graceful on her feet, it’s no wonder. After all, Veerle is a dancer first before actress and singer, with quite a credible resumé in dancing tucked under her belt. She is a sweet/light soprano and wonderful actress. A fantastic all-around thespian…

[Ed. ‘Veer’ is said to actually mean ‘feather’ in Dutch, based on some research. Meanwhile, ‘Veerle’ is said to mean ‘travel to battle’ or ‘battle traveller’. In some ways, an individual maybe considered a battle traveller so Veerle may very well be one anyway. I still do prefer to liken Veerle to a light feather.]

Her official foray in the performing arts really started when she began training as ballet/jazz dancer at the Municipal Institute for Ballet in Antwerp, Belgium. She performed in “Joint Venture”, “Initiate”, “Fanfare”, “The Three Musketeers” and “Self-Made”. More roles came after school–an orphan in “Annie”, Liesl in “The Sound of Music”Sylvani a.k.a. Jemima (meaning ‘little dove‘) in “CATS the Musical” (she played the role both in the Antwerp and a London production), and more roles as understudy.

In 2002, she successfully essayed the role of Julia in “Romeo en Julia: van Haat tot Liefde” (R&J), the Belgian production of, well, you’ve guessed it by now. That was her first-ever lead role, complete with a CD release of the show’s songs where you can hear her sing, and believe me, as you will later find out, her voice before was and still is a subject of much debate.

What Curious Cats Ought to Know
veerle-casteleyn-as-Jemima

Veerle as Jemima in the film version of CATS The Musical

To those not familiar with Veerle, she is actually best-known (so far) as Jemima, the cute kitten in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s (ALW) “CATS The Musical” video, whose wisdom is far beyond her years; the kitten that made Veerle famous (to musical-lovers, at least). On second thought, Veerle made Jemima famous. Though she was first played by the great Sarah Brightman (best-known as the original Christine Daaé of “The Phantom of the Opera”, another ALW masterpiece), Jemima had always been a minor role and was not at all that noticeable until Veerle came along and immortalized her on video.

Veerle was only about 19 or 20, the youngest in the whole ensemble in fact, when she joined the production.  She would later play Jemima on a more regular basis in the West End, as well as do swing parts (a swing is like a bit player) and, more impressive, Victoria the White Cat and Rumpleteazer as an understudy. These two latter roles should tell you how great a dancer Veerle really is. After all, both require superb dancing skills and “Energizer”-charged moves. Not to mention, playful with a sensual flair. Vicky alone always gets to display her dancing prowess, often taking center stage.

ALW had to choose the best performers for the roles, especially since the show was to be shown in another form. Jemima’s role called for a “little, young thing with a wonderful, wide-open face” and Veerle was definitely IT. (See her in the video below smiling so sweetly with Jo Bingham who played Etcetera at 0:29-0:31, then choreographer Gillian Lynne is talking about her as you see her at 1:00-1:09).

(Below, you’ll see her all over the video having her whole look done)

(Now watch her duet with the great Elaine Paige…)

Many viewers get enthralled upon seeing her sweet face and large, expressive eyes during her solo parts. Maybe it helps that she is, indeed, a lovely girl with an unusual charm even sans makeup. However, any other lovely girl would have been hard-pressed to pull it off the way she did in the film. Veerle obviously knew how to work it and project what needed to be projected. Besides, she was not all-face, too. She was the shortest but she wasn’t short in talent at all. She proved to be one of the giants, holding her own against or alongside other great talents like John Partridge (as Rum Tum Tugger) and Phyllida Crowley-Smith (as Victoria).

(This was the first-EVER video that I saw of her online WITHOUT the makeup…I was so excited!!! I forget what year that was, but the Internet wasn’t like how it is now, so it was not easy finding it. In fact, I think somebody just shared it in the forum that I joined in. Very short interview clip, but very dear.)

This Cat’s Meow

Undoubtedly, it is her duet with the Great Elaine Paige who reprised her role as Grizabella, that often leaves the biggest mark in most viewers’ mind. Paige is obviously way up there in the superstar department, having amazingly sung the most original version of ‘Memory’. Still, perhaps, part of the charm of the said duet is “Veerle’s” singing voice…

Now is the time when I have to address the issue of dubbing. In the credits, you will read somewhere that Jemima’s singing voice was dubbed by Helen Massie. That is correct. The long-standing issues here have been: “Why was Veerle dubbed?” and “Didn’t she sing anything in the film?”

The why has been answered time and time again! It wasn’t because she couldn’t sing, but due to her strong accent at the time of the filming that affected her English. Veerle may not be the greatest soprano around, and maybe she was pretty raw back then, especially with no formal voice training, but she delivered. Quite convincingly, in fact. As for the second question, it has not been properly addressed yet. Nevertheless, we who have seen the film more than we should can say that she actually did sing in many parts of the video. Where exactly? I will leave the fun of finding it out to you.

[Ed. THIS is how her voice would have sounded singing her solo parts or with a few cats, just fast-forward to 1:30, though she is everywhere in the vid dancing. Meanwhile, CLICK HERE and HERE to hear her sing in “R&J” — these are my fave of hers from that musical, her first real recording ever, though the voice is really raw, but I think that’s exactly what made her perfect for the role of a young and naive protagonist. She sang in seven songs. Meanwhile, I found her discography as well.]

veerle-as-jemima-in-CATS-DVD

The CATS DVD Jemima poster…Image from the Net but I’m pretty sure The Really Useful Group (RUG) has the rights to this as well as all other CATS images

As I said, Miss Feather made Jemima, so much so that when the movie was released, the wide-eyed, innocent-but-wise li’l kitty was a big hit. Soon, the movie’s off- and on-line release posters and ads featured Jemima holding a “CATS” DVD, etcetera. Why not Grizabella? Or Old Deuteronomy? Or Munkustrap? Or Rum Tum Tugger? Or any of the major roles? The answer may have been “Why not Jemima?”

Jemima is also easily remembered now. The girls love to imitate her and wish they look like her, cat or not. The boys mostly drool at her (especially those who look for and find her unmade-up countenance). Let’s face it. She is easily one of the most beautiful cats in the show, if not the most, ’cause that, of course, depends on taste.

Let the Cat Play

Moving on…Post-“CATS”, Veerle did several plays/musicals onstage again. As mentioned, she did the London production. Then it was in various other productions for her as she toured UK/Europe, The Netherlands and her home country, Belgium: “Carousel” (as Louise in the UK tour),“A Little Night Music” (as Fredrika on the Netherlands tour), “R&J” (Belgian production…another girl acted for The Netherlands tour), “Fiddler on the Roof” (as Chava…great solo ballet sequence, I’m sure), “Alleen op de Wereld” (as the adult Remi), “Dracula” (as part of the ensemble), and “Mamma Mia!” (ensemble).

romeo-en-julia

Veerle played the lead female in Romeo en Julia opposite Davy Gilles. The show was produced by the Belgium Music Hall

romeo-and-julia-death scene

Julia is devastated to find Romeo without life…

She didn’t always get the major parts. But that’s show business. Veerle knows that. Meanwhile, she also found time to make her TV debut in an episode of the police show “Flikken” (‘Police’, in the Sporen episode) as Elke de Brock, rape victim.  Then she became part of the short-lived courtroom drama “De Wet Volgens Milo” (‘The Law According to Milo’) (2004-2005) as law firm intern Sonja who’s “youthful enthusiasm and ambition often gets her into trouble” (this is a loose online translation of the info I found on the show’s site).

If that wasn’t enough, some people reported spotting Veerle in a commercial somewhere, but they’re just speculations. Meanwhile, as far as I know, aside from singing in the “R&J” soundtrack, she recorded at least one song (again, as far as I know for now) for the “Alleen op de Wereld” soundtrack (CLICK HERE).

(See her in “Romeo en Julia — van Haat tot Liefde” at 8:42-8:51, so do a fast-forward thing. Had to find the best vid that clearly shows her especially with Davy)

(Her guest starring role in “Flikken”, ‘Sporen’ episode. Do not even try to auto-translate, it sucks)

(Very short clips from the TV show she was a part of…Is it me or does somebody love mixing reddish shades and blue?)

The Cat of a Feather

Veerle knows she has yet to make a bigger mark to be really called famous, despite the fact that she indeed achieved semi-superstar status with a still growing number of fans scattered all over the globe. She has achieved something that most performers still only dream of. Yet, swell-headed she is not.

Ironically, this girl is a very shy individual in person, embarrassed by the amount of attention given her. Perhaps, too, she feels the pressure of living up to what people expect from artists they admire, or it’s possible she simply does not like being admired for her looks alone. Veerle has actually expressed surprise and bewilderment by all of this. She is so unassuming to the point of being unintentionally private; thus, we only have what little more personal information about her we have. This, by the way, does her real good. Stalk her not, please.

It has been proven several times that she isn’t a snob either. Veerle might be private, but she is definitely not a snob. Though the instances are few, accounts of her have been made, not any of them negative. Not yet. Hope not. If you’re lucky, she just might recognize and surprise you by linking arms with you at the parking lot (that is, if her shyness does not get to her first). She may visit your forum and leave a message even if only once.

veerle-casteleyn-forum-post

To everyone’s surprise and delight, Veerle actually posted a message on the forum! Shoney Cat was going to The Netherlands to see her perform live in a musical. Johan is Veerle’s friend. Jemimus, the original forum’s creator, had seen Veerle many more times than any of us at the the time, plus Veerle knew him…To enlarge, right-click, “View Image”, then zoom in/out

She may meet up with you if she knows you’ve come all the way from across the globe just to watch her in a show, which dialogues you don’t understand anyway. Or she may spend even just a bit of time chatting with you online.

veerle-casteleyn-chats-online

The very rare moment that Veerle actually went online and chatted with her fans. Shared by Steven, the forum moderator at the time…To enlarge, right-click, “View Image”, then zoom in/out

That is provided that you…

(1) will understand she types slow, being admittedly not-so-techno- and Net-savvy.

And….

(2) won’t go borderline creepy and scare her away.

And of course, ambush photo shoots with fans, that’s a given…

veerle-casteleyn-autograph

See how nice her pernmanship is! This is a cropped portion lifted off an actual poster she personally signed for a fan

That’s about it when it comes to getting a bit more glimpse of what Veerle is.  And oh, did I tell you she has a very nice, curvy penmanship?

Cats Sometimes Take a Bow, Too

At present, as of this writing, Veerle is already preparing—or maybe already rehearsing—for the role of Electra for this year’s Dutch production of “CATS”. Yes, you die-hard Veerle-fans, I hate to be the bearer of a really-not-so-“bad” news, but she isn’t playing Jemima. Veerle opted not to do her, a personal decision. [Ed. See update after this article.] I am not surprised. One can only do a routine role so much. She said it herself, she wants a new challenge.

Veerle Casteleyn may still be ‘a kitten still wet behind the ears’ (sorry, I just like saying that), but one thing is definite–this cat is not going anywhere but up! Kitty heaven, here she comes!!!

 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

*********************************************************************************************

UPDATES: Veerle has since done the Dutch “CATS”, as reported she would do, and I gave a link to a vid somewhere above. She was a swing member doing…

“…(1st cover for Electra, 1st cover for Sylvani aka Jemima, and 2nd cover for Victoria). She took over the role of Jemima full-time in the summer of 2007. ‘CATS’ premiered in Rotterdam in October, and toured the Netherlands until October 2007.” (Wikipedia)

Then she did “Les Miserables” (ensemble), “Oliver!” (ensemble/Charlotte) and “Musical Droomvlucht” (ensemble). From what I found out, she worked or works (not sure if she still does–dunno if it was a one-time deal or what) as a choreographer for Diluna Dansstudio. She choreographed their 2015 “CATS” musical, as can be seen below. They are the ONLY pics of the ever-elusive Veerle I’ve found from there. There’s not even a mention of her there except on NieuwsBlad.be. On the caption, she was said to be a top choreographer, so I am hazarding a guess that she’s been doing choreography these past years.

I am most probably right as I recently found — or rather, someone else found and privately shared to me — recent proof of it. If I were Dutch or Belgian, I probably could actually find her. We think we also found a real social media account. She’s really kept everything very private, you won’t exactly see a thing on her own page to confirm anything. Besides, it seems inactive. If it is her real account, she probably won’t want it shared to the public unless it’s a fan page. So forgive me if I don’t share it. Please don’t ask for it from me even secretly. I intend to honor my promise to the sharer and especially to respect Veerle’s privacy. If people start flooding her inbox with messages, she could guess I gave her away — I don’t want her to hate me.

We did try our luck by sending messages to her, but..well, we know our Veerle. I just told her it’s okay and I’m just happy to have found her. Anyway, let’s just see if she attends the premiere of the new CATS movie. My guess is she won’t be there, but I’ll let her surprise us 🙂

veerle-castelyn-choreography

Veerle doing choreography for Diluna Dansstudio’s “CATS” show

veerle-casteleyn-choreography

I wonder which part of the musical she is working on here….

See if you can find Veerle here

You can actually find the above same article as The Veerle Essay, posted with my permission, at the Unofficial Veerle Casteleyn Fansite, which is owned by a fellow fan. There’s a mention of a certain “Gracie” as author — that’s me.

You see, I wrote this first for my Multiply blog years ago, and around the same time, I joined the Steven’s Veerle Forum, which I believed to be already inactive for years. But I found out the “new” one, VeerleForum.com , and registered. The old became inactive not because it had a few active members but due to technical problems (won’t go into details anymore). I had been a fan a few years before the writeup.

If you’re looking for more updated info, based on my current research, as I keep saying, not much has been found out about her in later years, which saddens me a bit. I’ll continue my research, though. Do let us know of any new information about Veerle. You’ll be compensated with a lot of virtual hugs, kisses, and heartfelt thank-yous!

 

Lastly, just to let you know, this is my  “L” post for the A-to-Z Challenge (so that explains the title more, hee…).

L

What’s in a Name?

Awards time!!! This has been a long-time coming, but here it is. With apologies to those who abhor awards, but as I said in the past, I appreciate awards. Thank you again so much to Jafar for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award. I got another award, but his came first so I will address it first.

lovely-blog-award

For the One Lovely Blog Award, these are the rules:

1.Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award. – I just did above.

2. List the Rules and Display the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog. – Here they are.

3. Share 7 facts/things about yourself. – Find them below.

4. Nominate around 10 other bloggers and let them know about the award. This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love. – I will skip this one and explain later.

5. Follow the blogger who nominated you. – I already started, pre-award.

Okay, for the 7 Facts About Me, I decided to focus on my name(s), which explains the title of this post. I just thought, “What else can I share that I haven’t yet?” Then I realized that I have always wanted to write about the evolution of my name(s)…Well, sort of evolution. I know you’ll probably go, “Whut?” but here it is and I hope you’ll like what I’m sharing just the same. 😉

1. Jay-Gee is how you pronounce J.Gi. I’m sure a lot of people have been wondering how to say it. That said, just call me Gi, short for Gigi, my real nickname. No, it’s never Jen or Jenny, though people automatically assume it just because my name’s Jennifer. I answer best to Gi.

2. “Gi” went through changes. Looking at old pictures, my mother wrote at the back and spelled my name as J-I-J-I (I think that’s cute), but later on, she changed her mind and began spelling it as G-I-G-I, which is the accepted norm, anyway. In high school, my sister did a cut-out of my nickname and stuck it on my door — it said Ghie-Ghie. I followed and spelled it as G-H-I-E even till I began working. That is why a lot of peeps still refer to me as Ghie. I really dropped that one long ago.

For some reason, Filipinos grew really fond of adding an unnecessary “H” to their nicks or their babies’ names, like Lhyn, Bhen, Johnathan, etc. My sister’s name looks cool, though, but I would have hated it if I were named Jhennifer, or Jenhiefer, or Jennifher. With apologies to anyone named as such, but...

galunggong

This is the galunggong

3. My entire gradeschool life, I was called Jennifer F. mainly because I always had a namesake in class. Except in fourth grade, but someone was nicknamed Gigi, too. I didn’t tell my classmates about my actual nick for fear of being teased as galunggong, a kind or sardine that was then–and sometimes is still–normally referred to as G.G. So I stuck to Jennifer all the way through high school. There was a Jenny in my batch, and a Je and a Ge, which were short for Jean and Geraldine respectively, so I decided to stick to Jennifer.

My blocmates in college called me Jennifer but Gi became my “in” name when my sister introduced me to her co-members in a school organization as Gi. I ended up living with the family of a member, renting bedspace, and the people I met there called me Gi. A batchmate used to call me Jen but when she also rented bedspace in the same house, she began calling me Gi. She was already part of the school paper, which I also joined and she introduced me as Gi. Then we and several co-writers became members of a film organization so, well, you can guess what they call me by now 😉

big-c-magazine

Copyright © The Core Group Publishing, Inc. Unfortunately, I heard they folded up so the dotcom of the magazine is no more. The Tripod account was the first and reeeaally old one that was there even before I joined the publication

4. Why J.Gi? When I decided for a writer’s name, I think that was probably around the time I started working for a magazine, I wanted it to be Gi Federizo, kind of like Og Mandino or something. But at the same time, I still did not want to disrespect my parents so, as a “compromise,” I retained the initial. I did want it to be somewhat unique so J.Gi was born.

At the time I thought of this, I met a couple and the guy’s nick was J.vee. I thought hard to give up J.Gi so as not to look like a copycat, then I realized, who cared? Besides, it’s not like I was sure to become famous anyway, so why be bothered? It was not like he had copyright over it.

5. My new last name is Enriquez. As a writer, I retain my maiden name. No laws against that.

6. I have been these people:

Li’l Dove Feather — derived from two names. My favorite Cats The Musical character is Jemima, which means “little dove”; the actress who played her on video was Veerle Casteleyn and “veerle” in Flemish means “feather.” Incidentally, that sounds like my last name anyway.

Maya Sands — a combo of my favorite name, Maya, which I decided to use for my story’s main character, and Sands, short for Sandra or Sandra Dee, my airname back when I was a student radio DJ. I also answer to Sands like it’s second skin.

Charlize Gracie Dylan — also a combo of sorts. Not a fan of Charlize Theron but I liked the name at the time. I like the name Gracie, sounds really sweet. Then I like the name Dylan for a girl, also my fave character from the Charlie’s Angels movie (so sue me). Writers whom I met from Yahoo! groups and with whom I am connected still through Facebook still call me Gracie.

7. I do have a fourth alias, one that I cannot divulge. Let us just say that she was both a part of a social experiment I did on my own, and a kind of means to release depression at the time. She was more like a fictitious character rather than just an alias because I gave her stories, I gave her history, I gave her life. She had a life of her own. Of all the characters I have ever created, she was the best, and the world will never know.

 

So that’s it about my seven facts! He he!

As to why I am not nominating any blog, it’s not because I don’t want to or there are none that deserve it.  It’s mainly because I have decided to create something a little bit different, something that won’t require anyone to pass the award on to be able to accept his/hers. I mean no disrespect to the original creators of existing awards, BTW. I personally like your awards. But I will leave it to others to decide what to do with theirs.

How “Vanity” Killed the CATS Entry #atozchallenge2014

I wasn’t even going to post today, but Life really has a way of changing and connecting things, and now I write about VANITY. As my “V” post for the A-to-Z Challenge, I meant to post my writeup on the Belgian stage performer Veerle Casteleyn, if I could just find it (I really do want to introduce her to you through that article so will post one of these days). Veerle is the actress-dancer who played Jemima in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s CATS The Musical.

Life had other plans, though. Due to something else I need not elaborate, I just Googled one of my older online aliases. Lo and behold! At the top of the first page result was a link to an archived discussion, not really a debate, as they called it, since everyone else other than myself hated me. WikiPedia hated me. You see, WikiPedia and I go way back.

This was back when WikiPedia was just starting and encouraging people to be its first volunteer non-professional editors (you know how it works, right?). I thought it would be neat to be an editor so I joined them. How, I don’t remember. Anyway, as it was still starting and basically testing grounds through trial and error, guidelines weren’t all that clear and people were still sort of trying to get the feel of it.

Me, being excited and being a CATS fan, not to mention, still trying to grasp the whole notion of writing for the Internet when I was not at all net-savvy, I decided to contribute. The thing was I did some things wrong that led to others misinterpreting my intentions as a means for self-promotion because I linked to my blog posts. Vain, they said about me. They decided to do a debate on whether to delete my contributions or not. I admit I was stupid, going into something I did not fully understand. What I could not comprehend was how nasty people could be in judging others and saying bad things about them. But then again, this was way before Facebook and Twitter. The comments paled in comparison, though, to what people post nowadays.

The funny-in-a-not-so-ha-ha-way thing was I wondered if they didn’t realize I could read them when they should have known I was an editor like themselves. Couldn’t they just simply cite a rule that said linking to personal blogs was not allowed? They could have politely asked me to edit or to delete what needed to be deleted. The comments thread went this way:

*Delete: vanity. The author then created three separate articles on misspellings of the screen name, each linking to the first ”and to the others”. 

* Delete. Aargh. Why do people think this is relevant to the rest of the world? 

* It isn’t. Delete all.

*”’Delete”’! No doubt about it.

*Delete it- definitely. Pointless and boring

*”’Comment”’: the original poster of this page keeps blanking it – could this qualify as a speedy? [Ed. I don’t even know what that means! What do “blanking” and “speedy” mean here???] 

**Comment: Yes, if it’s the author doing it. With IP’s, it’s hard to be sure.

***Comment: it’s the author Charlizegraciedylan, [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Little_Dove_Feather&action=history]

*”’Delete.”’ Vanity.

Of all the things I hate, it’s when people make assumptions on my character when they don’t even know me. So I decided to  make things easier for them and posted this:

Dear WikiPedia

In the archive, there doesn’t seem to be any more response to that for reasons I am not aware of and don’t really care about. This information about my personal experience had been a secret I kept until now. I kept it as such because of its embarrassing nature. To actually have this kind of history is embarrassing. But if there’s one thing history teaches us is to learn from our mistakes.

This post is not against WikiPedia itself, but is meant to serve as a reminder to me, and maybe to you as well, especially in this Internet age. Advice to self:

(1) THINK before you leap. That means to always be careful. Think twice, thrice, even many times, about what I am going to say, share or do online and how.

(2) BE AWARE.  Think of whom I share information to. The more I share in public, the more chance for trolls and unfriendly people to target me, ’cause that’s how they get their fix, to degrade others so they can feel better about themselves. In this case, I tried not to mind but because some action was needed to be decided by them, I made things easier. But generally, I just give trolls and nasty people no mind.

(3) KNOW. Make sure I fully understand the rules, regulations and what are expected of me, even if I get nothing in return for the effort.

(4) DO NOT BE VAIN. I was not that vain that I had to keep linking to my own blog — to gain traffic was not the purpose. It just was not well-thought out.  But my crime of vanity was committed when I decided to join the team of editors because it somehow added something to my ego. I got my comeuppance early.

 

It’s never easy to share embarrassing stuff about yourself. But if that helps to improve one’s self, I’m all about sharing. We improve only when we learn from mistakes.

 

************************************************************

WHEW!!! Four letters to go! I jumped from “T” to “V” because my “U” post was published on time. Anyhoo,  props to the people behind…

a-to-z-challenge