Progress Report

Life is weird. Sometimes when it rains it pours, but then other times, when one part of your life is shit, another part is good.  The latter part is true for me right now. On the making rent and having enough money for food, it’s been a struggle.  I’ve interviewed and trained at a number of new restaurants lately, but maybe because I was spoiled at a corporate restaurant (where they have their shit together and there’s a rigid structure to abide by), I have been continuously disappointed by how many restaurants do NOT know what they’re doing.  So, as of right now, I’m restaurant-less.  In addition, maybe that’s a sign to get out of the restaurant industry.  I’m currently living off of unemployment — though I do not intend to for long.  I’ve applied to a non-profit that I have my fingers and toes crossed for.  Wish me luck!

So where there is a lack of abundance of money, I’ve had an abundance of AUDITIONS! Yay!  It’s awesome!  I’ve never had so many auditions around this time in my life! Like I’ve said before, auditions are an accomplishment in themselves.  I haven’t booked anything, but just the whole process of studying the part, the scene, reading between the lines, doing my homework and practicing has made me really ENJOY auditioning.  I’m more confident and comfortable auditioning.  I used to be so nervous and let my nerves shut me down. But now, it’s FUN, it’s weird and it’s a way for me to learn something new.  Last month I had an audition to be a lost Japanese girl in the woods.  My agent called me to assure me that she knew I wasn’t Japanese, but the ppl from the show liked my look and gave me a shot. So to prepare, I watched a YouTube video on the pronunciation of Japanese.  It was really interesting to me, I had fun doing it and I got a callback for it!  I mean who really gets to do this as their occupation?

 

Speaking of callbacks, I got a callback for a movie in Dallas!  I told them I was down to be a local hire, where if I get the job, I’ll pay for my way there and my own living costs to better my chance of getting the role.  To prove my word, for my callback, I got my cousin to hook me up with his reward miles and fly me to Dallas.  I airbnbed/hosteled it and used Dallas’s public transportation (which is awesome btw) for over a day.  How RANDOM. I met the writers, casting director and the director.  The director and I did the UCLA cheer together! UUUUUU CCCCC LLLLLL AAAAA UCLA FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!  I was prepared, did my take on the role and the director said he liked it, but in a surprise tone, as if my take wasn’t what he had envisioned, but was pleasantly surprised when I made the role my own. I didn’t get the part, but I think I made an impression, and if not for this project, perhaps another one in the future.

And finally, I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpour of kindness and support I have received from my friends and my family. I’d be a hot mess if it wasn’t for everyone that has helped me — whether it was covering my tab, or helping me film a scene, treating me out to bingo — I feel loved.  I know that if or when I fall down again, I am surrounded by people who love and care about me. This thought makes me feel stronger and unstoppable. Thank you you guys.  ❤

It’s wedding season and I’m sure this song has been overplayed, but who cares! I love love and it’s really how I feel toward my support system, so here’s john legend YAY 😉

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 could 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 Lucas Arts 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 (i.e. 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 the 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.