Hey you! Thanks for visiting this blog.
Let's see, I started this blog in 2012 when I was in the cusp of starting the craziest journey in my life: and that is to pursue acting and writing for a living. It actually took me a while to come to this decision, so how can we start?
Let's go back to the time when I was still in college. I went to Smith College, an all-womyn's college in western Massachusetts. Coming from NYC, it was a huge culture shock. I grew up with People of Color all my life, and being thrown in an almost all-white campus, I felt extremely out of place. I felt different. I had a hard time adjusting and almost transferred. The only saving grace was an Intro to Asian American Literature class, where the professor had the same last name as my mom. I stayed and had the pleasure to read some of the best Asian American authors. In that process, I also became a very angry student--because I realized most of what I've been feeling: isolation, fear, and acceptance has been written in narratives. This class propelled me to become heavily involved in the Asian American community in the 5 College area, which consists of UMass Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, Amherst College, and Smith. I spent my college years organizing events and relearning Asian Pacific American history: something I never learned (I only briefly learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act in middle/high school). I found my calling: and it is to become a community organizer. I got into the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship at UC Berkeley as a law fellow during my junior year summer, and I thought I was set. I will become a public service lawyer and foster change by working within the community. I was dead-set on applying to law school and had no plans lined up after graduation. Low and behold, I didn't get in any law school and was left stranded for the summer.
That summer after graduation, I scrambled for my old internship contacts: the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), desperately trying to do something that summer because time is a terrible thing to waste. AAIFF got back to me, and offered me to do Box Office. I said why not and did that while taking acting classes on the side at the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (something I always wanted to do). After the festival was over, I was left dwindling my thumbs again. I interviewed with another nonprofit, and I didn't see a match, so I let it go. What should I do now?
Winter passed. It was February 2012, and something magical happened called LINSANITY! It was Jeremy Lin, an Asian American NBA Knicks player killing it on the courts. I couldn't believe my eyes. I found out about his story: perseverance, following your heart, and work hard to achieve your dreams. I was inspired to keep on searching, even though nothing seems to be coming up.
Around that time, the nonprofit company, whom I didn't match with, asked if I wanted to work for a Congresswoman. I was like heck yeah! I interviewed and almost immediately got the job as a Congressional Caseworker. It was with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, where she oversaw Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg. I had the honor of working at the office and also going out to LES/Chinatown community events to represent her when she isn't in NYC. Being able to do that was a dream come true. But something didn't feel right. I felt trapped. I was told by someone to stay there for at least two years. Alas, I wasn't sure if this was my calling. After a short six months, I left the office.
During that time, I also auditioned for a 1.5 year acting program at the Barrow Group Theatre Company and was accepted. I didn't know what to expect. I was such a newbie, I couldn't even memorize scripts. I had a hard time, a really hard time. I had many points in class where I look at my classmates and think: they can be on television shows or movies. For myself, I wasn't so sure. I spent the rest of my time during that program worrying and doubting my worth. Then the program ended. But I told myself I was here for a reason: I am here because this is what brings me to life. And so, I kept on taking scene study classes. Every time I fuck up, I tell myself I will do better next time. I didn't give up and kept going.
It was during this same time in January 2014 where I saw a solo show class being offered. It's a class where you have to write and perform your own materials. I was so down. I signed up for the class. I was hooked--in the writing process, workshopping it to see what works/what didn't work. I had mini chunks written and had a huge writer's block and took a break.
Then I worked on a short film project with a friend that didn't take off. I learned so much about the writing acting, and producing process (for a film) during this time. I know the story we had will come into fruition someday--sometimes it just takes time to figure it all out.
I still had that desire to keep writing. I hopped back onto the solo show writing and submitted to the NY International Fringe Festival. I got back a notice in April that I didn't get in. I felt so defeated and didn't look at the script for weeks.
After the summer was over, I knew only I can stop me from working on this solo show. I took the 11 pages I had and kept on writing and taking things out. I ended up with 19 pages. I wrote some more and took out some more, and right now, as of January 2016, I have 22 pages aka a solid script. As of late January 2016, I'm proud to announce that MC Jin will be the director for the solo show!
It's been a long journey thus far. But with faith, perseverance, and a lot of hard work, I know I'll work through it all.