NEARLY 900 CYBERFANS AT LEA SALONGA CHAT
Internet News. July 20, 1998. Nearly 900 Internet fans of Lea Salonga gathered at the Talk City Live Auditorium last Friday night to witness her second Internet live appearance at Talk City. The show was produced by the Philippine Headline News Online (http://www.newsflash.org/) and Talk City (http://www.talkcity.com/).
Minutes before the show started, the show producers realized that the turnout will be much bigger than last year's session when about 200 people showed up in the preshow where Talk City profiled Lea's career. Talk City Host, Diane Mathia Garrod, says: "Sometimes we don't get that many in the whole show, and this is only a preshow."
About a dozen fans started camping in the Auditorium as early as five hours before the show started. Diane told Lea: "Lea you are very lucky to have such wonderful fans! We do a lot of celebrity chats and this one is very exciting." The Talk City ushers had a good time doing their job in maintaining order in the various Auditorium rooms that were opened for the session.
"I like this... these folks are mostly very well behaved!" says usher KatCCC. A couple of fans were "kicked out" of the Auditorium for uttering foul language. "You get one of those jerks per 100 people it seems:(", says usher SpiderCCC.
Several Talk City staff worked through a pile of 837 questions fielded by the audience during the sixty minutes session weeding them out with duplicates and obnoxious questions. This was even more than the 655 questions sent during last year's two-hour session with Lea at the same Auditorium.
Lea answered a total of 55 questions ranging from her performance in Mulan, giving advices to fellow musicians and aspiring singers, her experiences in London's "Hey Mr. Producer" show, a new musical album "In Love", her wedding plans ("I have yet to get a proposal!), etc. Asked to describe herself in one sentence, Lea responded: "I am one very loyal, hardworking, professional NUTBAG! I'm crazy with my friends and protective of the people I love".
Lea's webmaster, Joyce Torres, who assisted in the sorting of the questions, was impressed by the quality of the questions sent by the fans: "Neat questions. Where do they come up with these?" She suggested to the show producers to keep all the unanswered questions for a possible future chat session with Lea.
On the well-acclaimed Mulan song 'Reflection', Lea revealed that the original version of the song, which she recorded in 1995, was much longer than the version that was shown in the movie which she revised in 1997. "I wish that was the version released in the CD", Lea told her audience. She said she is not doing an album right now that will include 'Reflection' "but that's an idea."
Lea lost her Internet connection twice during the session- first at the beginning of the show and later as the show was coming to an end. When she lost her connection shortly after her introduction, the show producers established a telephone contact with her in Manila. They were able to relay the first question over the phone while Lea was busy establishing a new connection. She was able to return to the Auditorium promptly and went on to personally answer the rest of the questions using her Mac computer. "Of all the times for my line to disconnect... it had to be right after the intro!," Lea told the audience. "Ah well, things can only get better from here, right? I apologize."
Majority of the people in the audience though were having a fabulous time in the Auditorium and were not bothered by the technical difficulties going on backstage. Lea made up for the first disconnection by agreeing to extend the show by 15 minutes. She was prepared to extend it further when she came back after her second disconnection. "Lightning... sorry to crash... power surge made my computer go nuts!" Lea explained apologetically. However, Talk City had already ended the show by then and when Diane asked Lea for her final thoughts, Lea responded, "Were??? you mean we're done already??? We can't be done already!!!" Most of the audience and the Talk City ushers had already left the Auditorium though and it was not possible to resume the show.
"Sorry that I wasn't able to answer all the questions (what with getting disconnected and this lightning storm)... thanks for joining me tonight! Hopefully if there's a next time, the weather will be clear and the connections solid," Lea told the remaining people who stayed in the Auditorium after the show came to a sudden end.
Etobicoke, Ontario, CANADA
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