thi.nguyen

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3storybunkbed

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my parents are awesome.  sure it’s taken me almost 26 years to appreciate them, but nevertheless, better late than never.  last weekend i was supposed to go up to the bay for a family outing in sf.  this was in the calendar for weeks and i was all set to go until my manager calls me a day before and tells me i have a meeting with an agent (i’m getting a new commercial agent because my old one is leaving her agency due to internal turmoil within that agency — she doesn’t want to work for a shady owner in which i respect, but leaves me with no agency representation) on a saturday afternoon, the saturday right smack in the middle of my bay trip. 😦 i couldn’t find a ride out after the meeting so i couldn’t go back to the bay.

i was really upset when i realized my trip wasn’t going to happen and i called my mom to let her know.  she was wonderful about it.  she said every opportunity matters and that she and my dad understood.  she said i can always come home whenevers.

that’s so sweet.  even thinking about it makes me feel loved.

i had some friends ask me once, “are your parents proud of you?”  in which i answered, “not yet.”  my parents worked really hard to get to the states, my dad fighting in the war, my mom staying in refugee camps.  with the help of my aunt on my mom’s side, they managed to find each other and rent out a one bedroom apartment in good ole east side san jose.  my dad’s first job was a janitor and my mom’s was a teacher’s assistant for many years. because it was such a struggle, they wanted their kids to have a secure and successful life.  so of course my mom pushed me and my sisters to be scientists, doctors, dentists, etc (the asian american dream).

but here’s where they fucked up.  my mom was a teacher and brought home tons of books, especially music and art books.  my dad was a computer techie and brought home huge empty computer cardboard boxes and lucasarts computer games (role playing games that were rich in characters and story.  my all time favorite is monkey island and i will name my first dog guybrush threepwood).  they took us to museums, made us take piano lessons, encouraged reading and movie watching (ie indiana jones and star wars).  with a one bedroom apartment, my parents had to be creative in thinking how to use their space to raise 3 girls.  thus the 3 story bunk bed (picture above).  that in itself was utopia for imagination.  we laid blue sheets and blankets on the carpet and draped it off the first story bed and pretended it was a pool or the ocean.  underneath the makeshift desk was our hidden cave.  we draped a beach towel over the bunk bed ladder and it became a mail chute where we delivered old valentine cards.  we used lawn chairs, the cardboard boxes, and a toy clock to make a time machine.

so it was no surprise that i’m trying to do the acting thing, my hipster sister doing the starving artist thing (typical of hipsterdom: she recently graduated with a BA in fine arts), and my youngest sister, a senior in hs is contemplating between being an engineer or a musician (she was the best out of us 3 on the piano).  my mom actually says that the youngest sister is her last hope — she rather my sister became an engineer.  hahaha

so no, my parents are not proud of me yet.  it’s not that they’re ashamed of me either.  they’re just worried.  my mom especially.  i think she’s in denial of what i’m doing with my life and thinks it’s just a phase.  my dad is a fan, but only in “secret,” he’ll ask me about my progress and just listen nothing more.

here’s the thing: i want to make my parents proud.  they worked really hard to get where they’re at and it’s admirable: my mom’s a teacher with tenure, my dad is an engineer, and they live in a 4 bedroom house that they own in the suburbs of san jose.  they made it where my sisters and i can choose to be a starving artist.  however, i want to succeed not for the fame or fortune or whatever that may mean, but to succeed would justify their struggle and hard work.  i want to succeed for them.


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fuck that shit

ok, it’s been almost a year since i’ve been down here in la pursuing this.  and yes, there have been some milestones (good team, good headshots, business saavy, meeting casting directors, making connections) but lately i feel like i’ve digressed.

coming back from acting class tonight, i bombed in everything i presented to my teacher.  even while doing the scenes and cold reads, i knew i wasn’t applying myself.  i knew it felt wrong, i knew what i was doing wrong even before the scene ended.  i didn’t prepare, i didn’t do my homework, i didn’t apply the things i’ve learned.  i didn’t apply myself!

wtf is wrong with me?  i’m wasting my teacher’s time, my time, my money for what?  for me just coasting along?  i’m mad at myself because i know better, but i’m not doing better!  i can be sooo good, but i’m wasting away taking naps in the middle of the day, watching saved by the bell on netflix, fucking facebooking for god’s sake! ugh!

i reflected this back to a friend and he asked me “do you care anymore?  do you even want to do this anymore?”  this shocked me!  i don’t care?  does it look that way?

the thing is, i do care! that’s why i’m mad at myself.  i’ve been reading ayn rand, atlas shrugged (i love ayn rand, phenomenal philosopher of objectivism)  and in her book, she uses characters that are driven to their potential solely by pursuing their passion passionately, vehemently, even selfishly.  especially selfishly.  and by accomplishing, succeeding, being the best in their passion for themselves, do they actually contribute to the world.

“no matter how hard a struggle he had lived through in the past, he had never reached the ultimate ugliness of abandoning the will to act.  in moments of suffering, he had never let pain win its one permanent victory: he had never allowed it to make him lose the desire for joy.  he had never doubted the nature of the world or man’s greatness as its motive power and its core.”

i was watching mad men and one of the characters had quit her job to pursue acting and wasn’t getting anywhere, so her mom said, “this is what happens when you have the artistic temperament but you are not an artist,” and that alarmed me!  omg, what if that’s me?? what if i only think i’m an artist, but really have no skill or right to be in this field??

from this little thought, i’ve been getting into the mindset of “oh i suck anyway, why bother applying myself” which perpetuates my mediocrity.  it’s no excuse to be lazy, but in a way it’s a form of protection from getting rejected or god forbid to the possible reality that i just might not be good enough.  that’s so scary.

if i continue with this laziness, am i not letting “the ugliness of abandoning the will to act” happen?  am i accepting defeat and just going through the motions??

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

reading this entry out loud, i have to say, fuck that shit! no way am i letting some stupid intangible inconsistent insecurities get in my way.  i will not be weak, i will not accept defeat.  FUCK THAT SHIT! booyah.