Just a quick warning: long post ahead.
I realized it's been three months since I've updated this blog. shit. I'm sorry. not sorry.
I feel like life's been a whirlwind .. or tornado.. since the last post. Where did we leave off? Oh, right, moving to LA. From what it looks like now (financially), either I'll make it out there within the next 10 years, or never. Maybe deep down, I don't wanna move out of NYC, and by telling myself I wanna move out there to pursue film/television is just comforting + something I can reach for. I know I want to move out there, I just need a reason why. I need a kick in my ass. Who wants to kick my ass so I can fly out there? Well, I think I need to kick my own ass before I can get out there. I need to be HUNGRY to get out there. Right now, I'm not too hungry. Just give me some time and space to get hungry again. Or goddamn, I'm already so hungry in NYC, I can't be hungry for LA. Maybe there's room for both????
Hmm. So what the hell happened in the past three months? First things first, I got a job with the Board of Elections as a Chinese Translator. How I got the job: I was catching up with a friend at Mother's Ruin and was telling her my work at Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which I really much enjoy -- just very, very tiring physically. She said she'll keep an eye out if anything comes up, and she forwarded me this job posting that AABANY was circulating and thought I was the perfect fit. I saw the posting too: part translating legal documents, part community outreach--that sounds like a great fit. I applied. The next thing you know, I got a call from a judge, hopped on the train to a meeting with her; she told me to meet with the Brooklyn Democratic Party Leader in Canarsie, then I called the Brooklyn BOE, then I took the language assessment, I had the interview, and the next thing you know, I got the job!!! I was like, "shit I got the job." This is my first 9-to-5 job ever since AALDEF's Voting Rights contract came to an end in May 2015. I felt scared. I felt excited. I felt like life is finally coming together: I can have an easy 9-to-5 job, then focus on acting. Gotta save up some money to move out to LA; gotta save up enough money to move out to LA. I kept telling myself that.
I started the last Thursday in June, and left the second to last Friday of August. That was the quickest turnaround I've ever had in any job. Ok, I lied--I left Forever 21 five days into the job during the winter break of my freshmen year of college because of a knee injury. I've since had some time to reflect upon why I left the job without feeling angry, anxious, and depressed. Those were all the feelings I've held onto while on the job. I worked with a borderline abusive co-worker who constantly spoke with a condescending tone. I had a nervous breakdown the second time I met her. My stomach turned every time I walked near her. I wanted to leave, but I repeatedly told myself to keep my mouth shut; there will be another day where you can take whatever this is in and you can save up enough money to get out of NYC. just shut up.
This eventually got to me. The only way to zone out at work was for me to listen to UCB and comedy podcasts, and then go to comedy shows after work, drinking almost every night--one drink turned into two, two drinks turned into three-- I was hoping that by watching these shows and listening to these comedians/entrepreneurs' conversations (shoutout to Jeff Staple's conversation) can keep me away from all this negativity. It didn't. I felt so stressed out. I let the negativity consume me, and I only got more angry and more frustrated at work and at home. I even lashed out on my mom on several occasions, even though she was being understanding. I felt like my world was turning upside down. I was turning into a monster I no longer recognize. I felt trapped. I really wanted to get out; I did. I would cry my way into work. Or when I'm crossing the street, I would imagine being hit by a car and feeling nothing. I felt like I was spinning into a downward spiral that I don't know how to get out of--it's like falling into a deep well and you're screaming loudly, yet silently, with no one there to catch you.
I had to look deep into myself. My co-worker at Nom Wah once told me, the only person who can change you is you -- you get to decide what you want to do with your life. I was at the finishing point in my Improv 301 class and had enough money to sign up for another two classes. So I did. I signed up for Improv 401 right after I got the teacher's evaluation and feedback + when my wish-list teacher's 401 course became available (started this past Monday on 9/11/2017). I also signed up for Sketch 101 that's starting in October. Oh, and I also am putting up my solo show again (happening this Saturday/Sunday at 7PM at the TBG Studio Theatre). My bank account is pretty much back to none, but I feel so happy being able to keep doing what I love, which is performing.
I've also gotten into fitness for the past 1.25 months. Exercising was a way for me to let off some steam, and it worked so well. I've been focusing more and more on weights now -- dumbbells and full body squats with a weighted ball. I've also been doing yoga to stretch things out -- I really want to do more Pilates. I feel myself getting stronger and stronger every week I get in, so I'm happy.
After I left the BOE, I focused on trying new things. I tried standup for the very first time two weeks ago at UCB East's Open Michelle (all women's), and REALLY enjoyed it. I'm most likely gonna be back tomorrow to the co-ed open mic and try out some new and old stuff that's refined .. on MEN and WOMEN and see what the reaction is.
As for future plans: I got my old gig back at Nom Wah on the weekends. I was back over Labor Day Weekend, had food poisoning this past weekend, and am taking this week off to focus on the solo show. I'll continue to be there on weekends, so long as training for my new gig doesn't start yet--which is starting in a week or two (they wanna start me off training in their other restaurants to gear up for the launch of the new place). I've got a new gig lined up starting in December/January. It's being a hostess at a newly built site, and I can't wait to share this part of the journey with y'all. This is gonna be another full-time gig, but at least it's hospitality/something that brings me so much joy. It will also give me an income that helps me continue to pursue the arts without being broke.
I guess for those young people reading this + pursuing the arts (I consider myself old, so anyone younger than me, is young): you have to give your acting journey your all. You cannot give up when you're broke / broken on the inside. So as long as you still have $50 in your bank account and that desire in your heart, you should keep going. It ain't easy going on this journey. Just let this experience, whatever it is (pain/joy) carry you through.
I got a tattoo during one of my most painful weeks at the BOE, and it says "Si haec insolita vera est, Quid exinde verum est?" It translates to: "if this unusual thing is true, then what else is true?" It's UCB's school's philosophy, and the way I interpreted it is: if this unusual shitty/painful situation is happening and present, then what else can happen? I lived through this and survived, so now I'm asking the world, what's next?
Bring it on!!!
PLEASE COME TO MY SOLO SHOW THIS SATURDAY/SUNDAY - 7PM - TBG STUDIO THEATRE. More info here.