Shalini – Music and Miss Adventures.

Telescope: My First Offical Music Video… With a Powerful Message.

February 28, 2013

VANCOUVER BC, February 27, 2013

Up and coming Canadian musician, Shalini, premiers her debut music video with a message.

Scared and alone, a little girl turns to her best friend: a cherished stuffed rabbit. “I wish you were real. Promise you’ll never ever leave me.” To her surprise, the little girl’s wish comes true. But life for Bunny Boy is not so easy. Now in his teens, he’s picked on, bullied and teased more than he can bare.

Directed by Vikaash Prasad, Telescope features VSB high school students from The West Program who help create scenes touching on cyber “faceless” bullying, physical bullying and verbal harassment.

To raise money for this video, Shalini approached neighbours, friends and strangers with hundreds of homemade “Mr. Monster” cookies. She is thankful for the strong support towards anti-bullying in her community.

With this universal video, Shalini and her teammates are looking forward to help spread the anti-bullying message around the world.

Please help us share our message. Don't forget to comment on YouTube and pass on to friends, family and anybody in need.

Some random facts about Telescope:

For a video less than 6 minutes, "Telescope" was shot in Vancouver, Burnaby, Ladner, Delta and Surrey over 4 days.

Bunny Boy's face, chest and fur too over 13 hours to put on and take off by SFX artists Kyrsten Olson and Madison Van Beek -- plus over 12 hours to create!

The musical theme for "Telescope" was written in the shower by Shalini when she was 17.

The Kirkland House in Ladner was staged as Shalini and Bunny Boy's home -- warm and full of character, and over 100 years old.

Director, Vikaash Prasad, filmed day two out of three (party scene) without his glasses or contacts. He also played the Bunny Boy in the music video.

Bunny Boy's secret name is "Chessfur". Baby Shalini couldn't pronounce the letter T.

In real life, Shalini was bullied in high school. A group of girls would draw mean pictures on her locker and in the bathroom.

The original coffin featured in "Telescope" was too big to fit in the van: It was over four feet wide and eight feet long. Vikaash Prasad and Shalini's dad borrowed a cargo van with no shock absorbers to transport it from Surrey to Burnaby, where it was later cut down and finished by SzeYun Lo to use in Ladner.

Shalini approached Frank Iuele at the VSB's West Program to ask if she could sell cookies to the staff and students to raise money for the anti-bullying during recess. Frank responded by saying he'd like the class to get even more involved, and so the video features the students throughout this video.

In a rencent interview, Winston Haushchild (the musical producer of Shalini's EP), has this to say about Telescope:

WINSTON: I think it would probably be Telescope because I think it’s really emotional and it will probably appeal to the most amount of people. I always said that just the composition of the piano piece itself stood on its own. You almost don’t need vocals or lyrics. That song just has it’s own vibe. I think people will fall in love with that song. For me, it was great piano composition that we took a step further with your words and lyrics.
SHALINI: And strings. It’s so amazing. I noticed a lot of the more artistic people or those who listen to a lot more music love that song. They do. I guess they find something in there that they can relate to.
VIKAASH: Even my dad, who’s 50-something.
WINSTON: That song is universal.
SHALINI: For all ages.
WINSTON: It’s going to work for someone who’s 15, “Yeah, I dig that song.” It’s going to work for someone who’s 50. It’s a universal song, whereas Life of the Mind probably isn’t and is going to work for a certain demographic. I think for a song that’s going to capture the world, I think Telescope … There’s a reason that Nickelback is the biggest band in the world, because they resonate with like everybody. There are a lot of people that hate the band.
SHALINI: There was an app or something to get rid of their songs?
WINSTON: Nickel-block. Even my mom can be like [in elderly woman voice] “I quite like that Photograph song.”
SHALINI: My dad says the same thing.
WINSTON: Then you can have buddy with his pickup truck and ball cap saying [in growl voice] “Yeah, I like Nickelback.” They appeal to a large demographic. I’m not in any way comparing Telescope to Nickelback, I’m just saying that there’s something to be said about the more people you can appeal to, the better.

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Congratulations, Shalini, our Miss China International Car Model of 2013!

February 8, 2013

Here's a picture of our lovely star on the cover of a newspaper in China! Details, video footage, thoughts, emotions and Shalini's newest opportunities to be discussed shortly! Stay tuned!

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My Home for 20 Days, Nansha City, China

January 4, 2013

After Chicken Island, I asked to switch roommates (don't ask...) and luckily enough, I got to have my own room at the Aoyuan Health City Hotel back in Nansha because of the odd number of girls. I had a brand new roommate, but she wanted to live with her best friend who had her own room... and there was a bunch of shifting around yada yada yada and in the end, I got my own room! :) Woohoo! It did get a bit lonely in the beginning, but after I got used to it, I didn't mind so much. It was a nice escape and a good place to practice at the end of the day.

I got room number A511. Here is my bed!

When I got to my room, I found a dead cockroach hiding behind the curtain. My roommate and I were too scarred to throw it out, so the lady who was working there vacuumed it up. The view behind the curtain looked like this:

What to Wear?

December 21, 2012

One one of the odd days, I secretly escaped to Nansha City with my clever roommate, Wu Young, to do some shopping. The team that was taking care of all the girls was really strict about us leaving the hotel and venturing off. So shhhh.... don't let anyone at the Guongdong Television Network know about our little adventure! ;)

While we were waiting for bus #18, I saw a woman on the side of the road getting ready to sell some fresh bananas.

I also saw a poster of a missing girl on the stop sign. I wonder if she ran away or got kidnapped... I hope she ran away to Canada or somewhere safe.

It cost only $0.33 (2 yuans) to ride on the bus for one way.

On the bus, Wu Young pointed out that I was wearing my pants inside out. Had to excuse myself though - I had a really long week, was a bit homesick and needed a break from waking up at 5am everyday to do long photoshoots, shows and promotional work. Most of us didn't get to sleep till about midnight either! But better doing modelling than having to knock on doors and sell Mr. Monster cookies in the freezing cold lol. All in all this shopping break was much needed!

In Nansha City, I saw tents full of clothing, cellphone cases, purses for miles, notebooks, angry bird toys, socks in every shape, size and design you could think of, pickled lotus root, bbq's, teas, dumplings, cakes, shoes, shoes....and even more shoes!

The Squatting Toilet…

December 11, 2012

If you go to China, prepare yourself to use a squatting toilet - it's just a part of the experience!

The malls, gas stations, theatres and even large stadiums have squatting toilets, so here are a few tips that I picked up along the way.

1. ALWAYS carry a stack of tissues with you at all times. Most of the public toilets there DO NOT have toilet paper! You must bring your own. The first time I went, I didn't realize this and had to use a page out of my notebook. Yup... not very nice. So carry your own toilet paper!

2. Avoid wearing nice shoes to the toilet. The toilet floors are extremely dirty... you can imagine why.

3. Bring your own sanitizer or wet wipes for your hands. I ran into a few public bathrooms that didn't have any soap or paper towels. Luckily I always carry wet wipes in my purse!

4. Have a positive spirit and try something new! It's not as bad as it sounds, and it's actually (as weird as it seems to us North Americans) quite comfortable and you don't have to fuss around with toilet seat covers.

I've seen some pretty unappealing toilets in China... one had a bunch of dead and half-alive cockroaches lying around all over the floor. Another was a dark staircase leading to a stinky, muddy, hole in the ground. I didn't use those ones. Sometimes it's better to just hold everything in and wait until you get back to your hotel or find a better option. :)

Do you have any funny toilet experiences to share?

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Make Me Pretty, Beauty Tech!

December 10, 2012

One of the biggest sponsors for the competition was Beauty Tech. They did our makeup anytime we had an event or show. Their troops travelled far, woke up extremely early and worked under incredible pressure to get all 16 girls primped and powdered right on time. For one of the training sessions, we were taken to Beauty Tech's Guangzhou headquarters to take a free makeup course + some one-on-one makeup advice!

Here's a beautiful team of Beauty Tech's makeup professionals:

Singing Teresa Teng’s “Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin”

November 27, 2012

I was asked if I could sing a Chinese song for the competition!

While I was riding around in one of the little trolley's on Chicken Island, I heard some of the girls singing this one song that my music teacher showed me a couple of years back. A day later, I heard some random guy on the road humming it AND THEN heard a techno remix version of the melody playing in one of the corner stores. I took it as a sign...and when the director asked me if I could sing a Chinese song, I told him that I wanted to sing Teresa Teng's version of "Yue Lian Dai Biao Wo De Xin". He's really excited to hear me sing it...I can't wait!!! I'll be performing it in a few days -- the afternoon of November 30th!

Teresa Teng is one of China's most prized jewels -- she sings mostly romantic ballads and I think her voice is as beautiful as a songbird's -- a sad songbird. Songwriter Tsuo Hung-yun, described her voice as "seven parts sweetness, three parts tears." Teresa didn't write this song, but she made this song and other romantic love songs very popular in the 1970's. Unfortunately, Teresa Teng passed away of an asthma attack in 1995 at just 42 years old. Just being in China for a few weeks, it's clear to me that her legacy has been carried forward in such a wonderful light!

" parts sweetness, three parts tears."

I've memorized most of the words -- the basic meaning of the song is "The moon represents my heart" and it has a waltzy, love-song, romantic (almost at the brink of tears) kind of vibe -- I love it!!! I'm a bit worried about how I'm pronouncing the words, but when I sang it for my translator, he said it sounded understandable and really good! I hope people will be captivated. I know some people will be super critical about the pronunciation...and I hope I don't offend anybody with my take on the song. Although it took three weeks, the team here tried their hardest and finally got me a keyboard to practice on (thanks guys!) -- BUT, I won't be able to put my fingers on one until the morning of the actual talent show!! Yep... it's cutting it close, so I'm not going to have the piano as my crutch this time around. The karaoke track I have at the moment sounds super cheesey-wheezzy (thank you for finding it for me Vik!! <3), so I'm going to make a little something on Garageband to play in the background. I'm more nervous when I have to sing without a piano. Maybe it's because I have something that's covering half of my body and I feel safer... or maybe it's because it allows me to look downwards. I wonder if I should pick one audience member and sing to him...or maybe I should sing to the camera? It's going to be broadcasted all over China... hmmm decisions decisions...

UPDATE (via Vikaash): Looks like the talent show is happening piano...this is crazy!!!

Here's the beautiful Miss Teresa Teng, and lyrics / translation for you to sing along! ;)