Been a while...
I've lived in five different places since February, in three different cities. Settling in NY at least until Sept 2010, goshdarnit. Gotta say, though, that Hong Kong is looking MIGHTY enticing...
FACT/SF In May, I toured the state of California dancing guerilla-style in public spaces (read: all 173 Walmarts in the state) with the San Francisco-based company, FACT/SF, under the artistic direction of Charles Slender for Part II of the Consumption Series. For more information, go to www.factsf.org. Videos of the performances may be followed by searching "FACT/SF Tour 2009" on youtube.
Audiobooks In June, the first audiobook I recorded was released. It may be found on Audible.com. Search "Paper Butterfly" by Diane Wei-Liang.
In August, I narrated my second book. It's entitled "Time After Time" written by Kay Hooper. Apparently she's currently better known for her mystery/thriller books...but THIS was definitely something else! Written in the early 80s, it's a steamy romance. Hours of entertainment.
Next week I will be recording another romance novel by Kay Hooper entitled, "Serena's Web".
West Side Story
In July, I played the awesomely spicy role of "Anita" in the Courthouse Center for the Arts' production of West Side Story. Really great reviews and a bangin' good time.
Wendy Win for Twin RiverIn September, I did a series of commercials with Diamond Star Media for Twin River Casino, where I played the news reporter Wendy Win. Please go to www.twinriverbreakingnews.com and vote!!!
New York City By the end of September, I was more or less moved in to my new apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Since then, I've been fishing around getting my feet wet. Another new city. Another big adjustment.
I'm currently working part-time as an administrative assistant for The Inner Resilience Program, a non-profit that teaches social and emotional intelligence to parents and teachers in schools, and as a dance teacher for STARR, Inc., a non-profit that offers leadership programs and art to underprivileged children in the NYC area. I'm also technically an academic tutor for Champion Tutors, yet another non-profit that offers 30 free hours of tutoring to students, but that has yet to yield any hours.
I'm just beginning to start auditioning for shows and just beginning to try and put together a "real" demo reel from scratch. I don't have any quality clips from my work in Hong Kong that I can use...and I'm a little bitter about it. I need to invest in a mac and it makes me want to make my knuckles bleed for typing that out loud.
Also my mp3 player was stolen and my computer broke down. I've been using a donated computer that isn't fast enough to watch videos online with and doesn't have a DVD player...but this computer is better than no computer, that's for sure! Listening to the radio and what few CDs I have with me. The situation is dire.
I had an awesome Halloween costume this year: a giant bunch of grapes. Think Fruit of the Loom, ghetto style... with 40 balloons and green ribbon. I took up the space of 5 average Americans. Yup. People had to pass me beers from the bar because I couldn't fit past the doorway. It was amazing. But I was able to share it with precious few people.
A BIG, FAT SAD FACE for missing the AnD Halloween party and in general for missing my HK friends.
Closed "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", in which I played the dirty, rotten Christine Colgate in March 2009.
Recently narrated, "Paper Butterfly," by DIane Wei-Liang for BBC Audiobooks. Due to release in June 2009. Check it out!!
Guest artist for FACT/SF with Charles Slender in May 2009.
Anita in West Side Story. July 2009.
Dance tour to Sarajevo, Bosnia. October 2009.
Since the last time here, I've been hired full-time permanently at Rhode Island Hospital as an administrative assistant to the Director of the Cancer Center. It pays the bills and at least it's in the healthcare world. It's been helpful to see how things work behind the scenes. And I generally like administrative work - it's not challenging enough for my brain, but it'll do for now. I'd like to have a job where I can do administrative work AND use my brain for something interesting like nutrition or food science or movement science. Hmm... one more thing to think about.
So Cabaret came and went. It was a good show and I had a lot of fun playing the part. Check.
Made turkey for Thanksgiving. And turkey congee. Hell yes.
Choreographed and performed in a Christmas Spectacular show in Massachusetts in December. It was the most stressful experience I've had in a long time, but I did manage to meet some cool people in the process. And I was working, which is a good thing.
Took a brief hiatus by visiting my family and some friends in L.A. It was REALLY nice to be back home. It was the first time in a long time that I really felt back at home in L.A., too. The weather was perfect; it had just rained so the skies were clearer and the temp was in the 40s-60s (F). Amazing. Still not the bay area, but dreamy nonetheless as I also had no obligations but to see people.
Speaking of weather (cause it's important in my life), I have been soo digging the snow here! It's beautiful. Snow that makes layers on anything and everything. Real snowflakes! Crisp air!! GORGEOUS trees. The whole place looks so different. Scary icy roads. I totally did a 360 on one of the small, remote highways in the south of Rhode Island one night. I'm very fortunate that there weren't many people around me and that no damage was done to either the car or me. That shook me up a little. Weather averaging in the teens (F). The heater in my apartment works, so I'm nice and warm in my apartment and I have plenty of good clothes to keep me warm when I'm out in the nice crispy, cold air!
Next up: New Plays Festival. I'm participating, as an actor, in Brown's New Plays Festival this February. The play is called "Exquisite Corpse" by Mia Chung and it plays Feb 11-15. It is largely about immigration. Really interesting. It's great to be working with the Brown MFA students as well.
In March, I will be playing Christine in the musical version of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". This production is at the same theater that "Cabaret" performed in. It's performing the last three weekends in March.
I will also be narrating an audiobook in February. (!!!) I have yet to receive details for it. All I really know at this point is that it is a murder mystery set in Beijing. Will update when I get more details. I'm thrilled to be doing voicework in the U.S.!!
That's all that's really set for now. It seems that people like planning for the summertime sooner when they have long winters. I'm surrounded by people that have been making plans for the summer for a while now. So it's something that's on my mind, too.
Trying to work out how I might be able to come to HK for a couple months if I don't continue to work here at the hospital. Anybody have any work for June/July/August? I'd love to perform in any shows, do any office work, teach yoga/dance, put together a show, etc. If work looks possible, there is a STRONG chance I will come back for a little while.
I'll take either June or August to be in Thailand and get certified to pratice Thai yoga massage. If this all doesn't work out, I may be able to push it to the fall... or winter. But I want to make it happen at some point.
In other words, my time in Providence probably won't last for much longer (barring an outrageous and wonderful opportunity that shows itself). The longest time would be until next September but I don't really see that happening. Trying to consider what might be the next place. So far, signs seem to be pointing to NYC. Of course there's also Chicago, SF, Toronto, Rio, Buenos Aires, Melbourne.... Ahh!! What's next?!
The debut performance of Sally Bowles!
I've been very fortunate to have found theater right away here in Rhode Island... I will be playing the role of Ms. Sally Bowles in Cabaret this November for the Center Stage Players. I am attaching the flyer for a look-see. Even though most of you won't be able to see it, I thought I would post about it because I've been working very hard on it, this is a role I've always wanted to play, and it's fun to share :) In fact, I don't think I know anyone on alivenotdead here in Rhode Island... YET (unless Jessie wants to come back - heeey!).
It's playing November 7-9, 14, 15, 21-23 at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in North Kingstown, RI. Evening and matinee shows.
Aside from trying to settle on a job (or two or three or four...), I've mostly been adjusting to environment. Surprise. I'm pretty sensitive to them; the environment was the top reason I left Hong Kong and one of the only things I don't miss about HK. But, as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side and lo! and behold! I've hit another obstacle: ALLERGIES.
Holy crap. It's terrible. There are all sorts of things in the air here that my body has not encountered before, especially, I suspect, ragweed. Admittedly, my body has become more sensitive to the air after my time in HK (not more resilient, as you would think it would in an effort to build immunities...bummer). My asthma definitely redeveloped while I was in HK. Also, as I get older I find that I'm developing my mother's sensitivities and that certainly includes allergies. Anyway, I've been getting high and developing a dependency on Vick's SINEX. This shit is amazing. I just hope it's not burning my sinus tissue away...
Another part of environment is food. Produce anywhere cannot compare with that from California. There are plenty of seasonal foods, however, that do exceptionally well here. Sticking with seasonal foods is an important exercise, I think, in the back-to-nature + fully immersing into one's environment process. Amongst normal dishes and desserts, I've baked apple pie, pumpkin pie, carved a pumpkin, and I will be mulling some fresh apple cider soon. The maple syrup here is pretty awesome, too. OH! Something that is NOT inferior to California: the Italian food. I mean, wow. It and the home-cooked food at the Rosati's are the best that I've ever had. Period. So I'm enjoying that, but missing an easy stop to a noodle shop.
Aside from allergies, some food, and missing my friends, I'm really enjoying it here. There's a lot of history of America in this area - it's cool to be around. Also, I REALLY enjoy this seasonal thing. It's the first time that I'm living in a place with real seasons...so this will be my first winter. I mean, sure I've SEEN snow (Wushu ski trip anyone?) but it's different to live through a season of it. So I'm very excited :-D It's already down to the 30s and 40s in the daytime (1-7 degrees Celsius), so I'm already wearing all of my coastal California "winter" clothes, haha. Time to stock up! By the way, I fully endorse the store "Savers". Check it out: Savers.com. It's true that there's a lot of truly jankity-jank stuff, but if you're willing to put up with some dust and put in a little time, you can find some really fun stuff there.
I'm really trying to give New England a chance. It wouldn't be fair to hang on to other places while I'm here, undermining any effort to adjust. It's true that I spoke of CA an awful lot in HK, but I did throw myself into HK because I believe that's an important thing to do. I had a wonderful time in Hong Kong as a result and I'm considering a return someday. In the meantime, I believe one must absorb as much as one can in one's current place and make an informed decision about what next from there. I've got medium-term goals that I'm working on and that I hope to take with me wherever I end up next. Some may view the move to the smallest state in the U.S. a step backwards, but I understand it as a broadening experience with different sources of related opportunities to build with so I'm going to take as much advantage of that as I can while I'm here.
Anyway, that's the latest. I am in the process of trying to work out more performance and work. As soon as things are more finalized, I'll be talking about it.
Cheers! (ooo... they have pumpkin ale here, yummy!)
Back in the USofA. Sure enough, isn't Hong Kong. I have to watch my back a little more closely, find medical insurance, fund auto insurance, and pay nearly $5/gallon for gas...and find a DD or pay a taxi through my nose if I want to go out.
But I'm kickin' in California this summer, back in the place where this devil was born. Aside from the fires and the aforementioned realities, it's been beautiful. A very good start to the path of health recovery. I haven't coughed in weeks! And I'm sleeping and eating good food. And working out OUTSIDE, ha!
I'm taking biochemistry at Cal and working at Cal Performances again for the summer. GO BEARS! It's great to reconnect with people and old friends, but nix on the cut-throat and/or immature undergrads. I mean, being 19 and an undergrad exploring your interests and yourself and other people is a very important thing. It's just odd for me to be thrown back into it and to see these kids from a perspective of having been out of school for a little time. Being away from school made me appreciate that you're there to learn about something. It's not JUST about the degree, or satisfying requirements for med-school. I thank the stars that I made it through and do have the degree but if I could've paid more attention in class, I would have. It's been nostalgic to be back here, but because I'm not actually in a full-fledged degree program with an end-point set up for me and I'm surrounded by people mostly younger than me, it's hard not to feel like I'm spinning my wheels a little bit.
Funny thing about the arts - you usually have to set up your own goals, schedule, work, class, insurance, friends, you name it. And it might mean you're moving around a lot, which means both seeing a lot of places and not feeling settled anywhere. A worldly, creative homeless person. A lot of life experience and likely not a lot of money. Surrounded by a lot of great people, but probably not much time to see them because you don't live there or you're in rehearsal/work. Would I have it any other way? No. But I'm a masochist and I feel as though I really have no choice. I feel like I'm dying if I'm not involved in the performing arts.
For the past couple of years, I'd say I was moving pretty aggressively ahead - and loving it. I like to move quickly. Thoroughly and efficiently, but quickly. Hong Kong was that for me. I got to do an awful lot in a pretty short amount of time and I met some really great people. I even had some old friends around me (hint, hint AnD), which was really nice. It wore me out, but damn the ride was fun. And I was working completely in the performing arts.
And now things have slowed down considerably. Yes, I am back in school, for science and not the arts. Yes, I am transitioning. Yes, I'm confident I will come out of it shortly. I'm just taking the time to notice the strangeness of my liminal state. I miss my job in HK, I miss my friends. I don't regret my decision, though - I haven't been back here long enough to give it enough of a shot to make that kind of evaluation yet. What I do know is that I don't like devoting myself completely to academic science. I would like science to be a good part of my life, but CERTAINLY not everything.
So I'm going dancing, going to take dance classes (that don't have to be ballet and are at an advanced/professional level), taking a voice and IPA class, looking for voice work, and when I get to Providence/Boston I'm auditioning for everything of interest available. As for paying the bills, I'm hoping I can find something coordinating or managing at a performing arts venue or a health center. I'd also like to teach yoga.
So that's it. I'm reconnecting enough to be reassured and to reevaluate, but moving away too quickly to be able to plant roots and explore. All I can do is plan for root-planting :) Despite the chaos, things were pretty steady in HK. Here's to finding that again soon.
So most of you know that I'm going to be leaving Hong Kong for a little while. Not sure when I'll be back, if I'll be back. It's hard for me to be leaving but it's something that I have to do right now.
In the meantime, I have a couple of shows that are happening before I go. One is a reprise of the Madonna Tribute that Bob took awesome pictures of (see photo section). If you missed it, check it out - it's a fun show. Flyer is attached.
The other show is a play called POPCORN, by Ben Elton. I've assistant directed it and I've got a small part in it as well.
It is showing at the Hong Kong Fringe Club Studio Theater, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central.
Tuesday May 6 - Saturday May 10, 8pm.
Adults $250, Fringe Club Members $200.
I hope I'll be seeing you soon!
I was in Singapore this last weekend for a swing dance camp, hosted by Jitterbugs Swingapore. It was AWESOME. Singapore is hot and humid. The man-made island of Sentosa is beautiful but sadly a tourist location.
I HUNG OUT WITH FRANKIE MANNING! He has an autobiography that I think is worth checking out called, "Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop"
Anyone know how to upload videos from files on the computer as opposed to links from online?
I've got two shows coming up pretty soon. The first is Perilous Mouths Productions presentation of COMPANY, music by Stephen Sondheim. I am playing Kathy and I've done choreography and assistant directing for the show.
Where: The Fringe Club
When: Tues, Oct 23 - Sat, Oct 27 at 7:30PM
How: HkTicketing.com or 3128-8288
HK Singers presents "THE FULL MONTY" the Musical! I'm playing Jeneatte, who is the piano player for the young men who will be going for the full monty. A woman of indeterminate age who smokes like a chimney. Should be fun!
What: The Full Monty
Where: City Hall Theater
When: Nov 15-19, times vary
How: URBTIX Hotline: 2734 9009
Credit Card Hotline: 2111 5999
Check out the attached photo.
Cheers. Hope to see you there!
So I'll be in a music video shoot this weekend for the piece "Half A Girl" by Ben Robinson. Should be a lot of fun. Everyone involved is very cool :)
I've attached the poster (designed by Ben Robinson) for your pleasure. Will update when the video becomes available for viewing!
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