Where I’ve Been ….
A while back, I talked about how after shooting “Revenge of the Green Dragons” that I stopped doing the regular “work” I normally did for money, and only did commercial background work as I pursued acting more. This was an experiment to see what else I can do, and if I could survive without the work I normally did and only pursue legit acting work. I finally finished my reel. I started coaching actor friends. I made a point to always hire a coach for every legit audition. I made a postcard that I sent out, started my website, and I got a new agent! My goal was to land some more legit work by the end of the year.
Waiting the be,..
That was last August, the year ended, and it’s almost been a full year since. It’s interesting to think that when I was little, I thought I’d be someone else than I am today by now. I used to think 24 was gonna be a big year in my life. The start of a career, and that I’d have one and just progress onward and upward, and be an “adult” and be someone. By the time I reached 24, I realized, I was nowhere close to being an adult, or having a career or being “someone,” whatever that means. Then in my late 20s, whoa,.. though I felt I grew and was a different person than I was 5 or 10 years ago, I really didn’t feel like I was where I thought I’d be. I was like a super-duper maxed up hyper late bloomer or something! Today, I feel wiser, older, and I’ve changed a lot personally. Even professionally, things have changed,.. like my outlook on my career, but in regards financial success, what some measure success by, I’m probably the same place I was 5-10 years ago. I don’t know, I mean, I AM making a bit more each year. I’m even working less, and making more. New doors have also opened for me, and I feel optimistic that things for me will just get bigger and better, and I’ll get better and better, BUT, right now, I still don’t have a career. Or do I? Is my life, where I am and what I have right now, my career? Maybe the journey IS the career??
Once Upon a,…
Since last august I’ve only done a few commercial background work, and I was lucky doing a coke commercial that shot on the weekend, AND it went to “golden time.” If you’re going to do background work, commercials are the way to go. They pay the best, AND, if they shoot on weekends, the pay is double. So I was getting a nice check already, but when we hit “golden time”,.. I made a full days pay per hour from the 16th hour of working on. That money helped me get through. I was lucky. 2014 came around, and FINALLY, in April I think, I landed a principal role in a Febreze commercial! On a side note, of course my role was an Asian Chinese food takeout delivery guy. Anyhow, I’m still waiting for it to air, and it’s the end of July almost. I got paid for the initial work. That money alone isn’t a lot considering what I’ve earned since last Aug., and I really was thinking, maybe it’s time to start doing other work again. I had also just moved in May, and that cost me a lot more money than expected. My bank account had been the lowest it’s ever been, EVER! Luckily, I have savings, and had yet to dip into it, but only because I got my Federal Income Tax Refund!!!! Phew. So, I survived, and I’m still ok. Even with the tax refund, in no time, I could be back to possibly needing to find other income again. This past week I got a holding check for the Febreze commercial! That helps. But what now.
The whole point of this post isn’t what I just told you. My point is that, during that time, this past year, I realized I could be and do anything I wanted. I had the freedom. So, at some point I started to focus on creating who I was and wanted to be, versus waiting for something to happen to me. I also created support systems for myself, to help push me. For more on what I’m talking about and what I did, look at my first post in this blog titled,
Creative Discipline.” Here’s the gist, I decided I wanted to create content, while still pursuing acting. I started writing every day for a minimum of 1.5 hours. I met up with Amy Chang to work on some writing projects and acting. I started a creative group that meets monthly, and I started writing this blog every week, and shooting a weekly YouTube show, First Impressions.
What you DO, ….
Yesterday I went to the AAIFF’s Opening Night Gala, and did some networking. You can read a little of what I think about networking in my post Networking, Preparing to Act and Other Strangers with Friends. At the event, of course people asked me what I did. I kinda started to realize what I actually DO now. Basically, I’ve been creating content in the form of my blog, and First Impressions every week for a couple month total now, while still pursuing acting. The idea that I could be doing this for a living,.. meaning, creating my own content, writing, producing, creating a show, filming, First Impressions, and whatever other projects I start, really started to become a reality.
… Is who you ARE
This is what I do now. It felt empowering, and in talking other people at the film festival who were looking for content for TV or a website, I really felt I was heading in the right direction. This really inspired and motivated me. By doing what I do now, I’ve started a ball rolling and it’s only the beginning. It’s very exciting, when you realize you really CAN do what you want and pursue what you want. That it truly IS possible.
I have to also give props to my partner, Jaysen Headley, for his support, helping me, inspiring me and leading by example, to do all of this. I also should thank all my friends, like Sean Boggs, who are my support system. I now have something to show, which I feel is important for anyone who is an artist. Having this realization, I hope to continue, and to grow. I hope to create more content, and go places in my life I’ve been waiting to be.
Having a difficult day.
Or,.. a challenging day, is wether or not I can maintain this “feeling” of optimism and good fortune, even on a bad day! My inner ear was hurting for some weird reason, and it just really effected my mood. It crossed my mind that it could just all be in my head, I really don’t know.
Jaysen came over to say (paraphrasing), “I know you’re ear hurts, and you’re not feeling well, but remember all the positive feelings you had the other day.” Well, he’s right, I guess, I just wasn’t feeling the mojo at the time. I’m pretty sure it’ll come back, but boy is the ear thing a bummer.
Have you heard the song “Once Upon A Dream” from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty? The feeling I think of when I hear the song is that of a fairytale princess’s bittersweet hope of a dream-lover fantasy being fulfilled. Both romantic, and yet somewhat tragic, but magically hopeful and surreal, as you dare to imagine a prince could truly sweep you off your feet during a waltz.
I heard the song, “Once Upon A Dream” today, but the dark version from Disney’s “Maleficent,” by Lana Del Rey. This darker version I heard, seems somewhat more devious. What was once a fairytale princess’s song, is now a dark, haunting cautionary fairytale that tempts the listener into the false comfort of the original song, but actually puts them under a spell that twists the entire ending of the fairytale around. Yes, I know you, I met you once upon a nightmare disguised as a dream, and you loved me, like an addict to a drug, mmuaahhaa. A seed of doubt, of mistrust or paranoia is planted in your garden of hope. That is a bad day.
It’s an Obstacle, unfortunately, one I feel I might have to wait out. I guess, what I’m saying is, even on a bad day, it’s ok. It’s a weed in your garden, don’t nurture it with sun or water. If anything, let the water drown it out, and let the sun dry and burn it away. Don’t beat yourself up. The rest of your garden is still there, and the hope and optimism comes back. That’s the beauty of life sometimes, that there is always hope in tomorrow, as you never know what may happen. Things do change. Don’t be scared of weeds, or the prospect of losing your garden, have faith, or create it. Check out my posts on Obstacles, and Creating Belief.
WordPress issued their own weekly challenge which seemed pretty neat so I thought we’d give it a try.
See what others in our circle have contributed:
Free-Write: WordPress Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Mystery Ending
This post is part of a writing challenge that you can read more about below. In the challenge, we are to write whatever we want as a post, save it as a draft, and each day for four days, there is something you’re supposed to add to the post. Right now, writing about this IS my post, ha ha. Boring!
So what is something I WANT to write about?
Um Comics? Freelancing writing
Producing for Late Cambrian’s forthcoming album?
Asian American International Film Festival The film “SOLD” and human sex trafficking
The excitement of prospects, and the idea of getting a ball rolling, and having it continue.