An Act of The Divine

Somehow I decided pursue my dream in the theater arts. To prepare for this, I resolved to dance consistently for about two years before starting on my training as an actor. In the book, Acting – First Six Lessons by Richard Boleslavsky, it is advised that one has to pursue dance/rhythmic gymnastics as majority of acting depends on the actor’s ability to control their body movement by the usage of relaxation and letting go of tension.
 
Needless to say, realistic acting is a dying art, especially now with digital effects and animation in a fast food fast social media culture. To put in time and dedication to a craft is not a common occurrence this advanced age of artificial intelligence. There is no direct extrinsic rewards as an actor, in fact, majority of it would depend on luck and opportunity by being at the right place at the right time.
 
Sometimes I ponder if I am letting go of more lucrative opportunities by pursuing an art that not many may actually appreciate, as most realistic plays are run in small Off-Broadway theaters with 50 seats or less, as Broadway is now running mostly cartoon Disney or movie franchises. Or if I would ever get on big screen and be taken seriously as an Asian actress instead of playing an exotic or comedic part.
 
I would say, real acting is when you actually don’t know if the person is acting or not. The moment you can tell the person is acting, it is a sign of a bad actor. It’s an invisible craft of masquerades. But I believe the best actors, are the most authentic human beings in real life. They are not liars, or con artists, but true pure artists with their souls intact, which they have declined for it to be traded with the devil, or sins, or distractions.
 
That the training of an actor is one of the highest elevated crafts a human being could aspire for in the perfection of god. It is a the total artistry on all levels – body, mind and soul, body movements and voice.
 
For to touch another person’s soul is an act of the divine indeed.

I am a rat

It’s a delusion, isn’t it?
This dream, the American dream
Seems to shred in every direction
It’s tough, it’s rough
Yet, it’s the sirens that
keep me up,
the homelessness
that reminds me
that I am no more
than a pathetic sewage rat
crawling on all fours
begging for scraps
surrounded by failures
for that elusive
dream.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, I finally had time to sit and read and watch some videos I like. I think this blog is my remaining solace from my hectic schedule and I derive my peace out of writing my thoughts on virtual screen. This is the only time I get to like – be myself – time.

On the very rare days I get this time to contemplate about the mysteries of the universe, and admire art by my favourite artists, I am somehow feeling stuck yet liberated. I mean, I free completely free to express myself artistically in fictional mediums, but I am stuck in the sense I am unable to express myself in non fictional terms.

The problem is that – fantasy is more appealing than reality. And reality kind of hurts, and it is kind of like what we see everyday on the streets. There is nothing appealing in that, but in fantasy, in fiction, there is no boundaries to our imaginations.

Sometimes I want to tear the dividing veil between reality and fiction and make my work more real. Some days, I pull back completely and decide to hide my truth under fiction. On other days, I just want to dance. I don’t know, I am in a confused mess and writing this piece that doesn’t make any sense on Thanksgiving Day.

My life is very suppressed, very controlled, like a greenhouse. It is safe, it is comfortable, it is nice. But it is just a built up mega lie to keep the illusion of safety when actually, it is an enclosed trap. In this trap, people are told to do and say what others want them to do in a controlled behavior. But the only exception is that if you create entertaining fictional pieces, you are allowed a voice.
 
In this controlled state, I could only express myself in fictional terms and nothing more.
 
This is the path I had chosen and lived to no regrets.

 

What is Talent?

It is in my opinion that one can possess tremendous talent, yet lack the capacity to unleash it due to the lack of access of coaches. I think being an artist is a form of athleticism itself, it requires tremendous discipline, and dedication to the task at hand, day in and day out. But, a big part about talent lies in the imagination and visualization process.

It is one thing to repeatedly do drills and perfect a sequence of dance moves or a chorus in a song, but it is another thing to do it exceptionally well beyond what is already existing out there. In this world of content creation and cyber space where we have access to unlimited information, what is lacking is originality.

Most of the content we read or are exposed to are mostly duplicates of previous successful formulas and there is nothing original about it, except for the reinterpretation, re-adaptation of a novel or a screenplay. When I wrote the erotic short story on Butterfly, it was my modern interpretation of Venus in Fur in Roman Polanski’s movie, based on the play adaption version by David Ives of the original book Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (yes this is totally inception on so many levels).

I believe by exposing myself to as much art forms as possible, I could create new content, and continue to expand the human imagination and shared consciousness through my creations on cyberspace. I mean, at the end of the day, I can bring nothing to my grave. But at least, in my lifetime, I did create and shared my creations with the world.

This is my immortal legacy, and who I am.

 

Scene Study – Penny Dreadful – Ives meets Dorian Gray


Scene Study Observations
1. They are speaking slower on screen as compared to real life and emphasizing their consonants.
2. They are stretching the sounds of words as they perform actions (stroking the flower, smelling the flowers).
3. 4 mins screen time = 2 – 4 pages of script
4. Breathing can be heard on close up shots
5. There is no need for exaggerated stage movements, it is naturalistic everyday movements and mostly eye movements by reacting/listening to scene partner.
6. 3 different locations in 4 minutes
7. Naturalistic movement during pauses, or walking to next scene. They are always constantly moving. There is no “still” frame.
8. Most likely they are wearing microphones to film an outdoor scene.
9. The emotions in the voice of the actors drive the story line of the scene, and the subtext is based on not actually what they are saying, but the hidden connotations beneath their words.
10. The viewers have to guess their intentions towards each other, and how their relationship evolves as they discover “plants” but actually, the scene is about discovering each other preferences.
11. He gives a “laugh” when he says “no one has ever accused me of being useful before.” The laugh is not scripted, it is a direct response to her accusations. The emotion of the actor has to come off the page, and into the scene smoothly based on what actually would be the natural reaction of how people talk in real life, but the screenwriter will not dictate on script what the emotion is as it is open to interpretation by the actor.
12. My conclusion is such that, if any two actors are given the same script it will be played out differently based on their interpretation of the text, their scene partner reactions, and their overall dynamics and most importantly, the viewer notices two distinctive characteristics of the actors on screen – body movement and speech.
13. Maybe directors love to cast dancers and singers, or triple threats on screen due to the need for natural movement and natural speech quality. The male actor (Reeve Carney) was professional singer.
 

On Feminism

I had been described as a feminist by numerous people who converse with me in person. It is probably something I had unconsciously picked up during my educational years influenced largely a subject I took in university relating to Gender Studies as an elective module while I was in Monash University.

This is what I subsequently learnt, the third wave feminism what I experienced on campus. There were feminist e-zines authored by students on premises, and leading feminists advocates speaking up on against rape and sexual abuse and harassment. Furthermore, the number of women certain degrees outnumbered men in Australia and there were more women in white collared professions compared to men.

I had never regarded myself as a feminist, I regarded myself as a woman and my dad raised me up as his only child, in a fashion of probably what he thought I should know  – like how to write a cheque, play chess and write a letter.

It never occurred to me what activities were gender specific. I spent most of my childhood playing soccer, and doing acrobatic stunts on monkey bars, playing games in the arcade or online games. I was naturally good in playing virtual games, and it was not because I wanted to prove I was a boy, or I thought myself as a boy – it was just a natural interest.

Subsequently I was elected to be the guild leader of numerous guilds in game, and they became top guilds. My guild members would think I am joking when I described myself as 12/female, as I spoke in game like 18/male with my usage of vocabulary. The good part about being in a virtual game is that your real life identity doesn’t matter, it has to do more with meritocracy – it’s coded with a reward system that is based on skill and intellect.

My YouTube Channel could be described as a channel using technology to advocate a fourth wave feminism, it challenges the idea of being a subservient women that men want. It is the polar opposite, it is about being a dominating woman, who controls her minions.

It is of my intention to put the word FEMDOM in my channel description, for the very fact it is about Female Domination. Or rather, it is about the empowerment of women who be whoever, and whatever they want to be. It is a statement itself – that women cannot be confined to traditional roles in this century.

When Annabelle Chong starred in the “The World’s Greatest Gangbang“, she did it as a feminist statement about the insatiable nature of a woman’s sexual desire. She majored in gender studies, and it was part of her thesis to be a porn actress as a form of liberated sexual expression of being a woman, and to challenge gender roles – that she was the one who needed many men to satisfy her desire – instead of the opposite narrative that we are accustomed to.

This in turn, had inspired my channel, in which the character “The Scarlet Queen” needs many minions to satisfy her requests, and she doesn’t belong to anyone. Not even the knights, although some men would want to believe they are knights, they are minions anyway.

Although I don’t regard myself as a feminist, the things I do are feminist in nature. And maybe, it is just in our nature to be who we want to be without the need for any labels on who we really are.

 

The Scarlet Throne Trilogy

As part of my historical research into European and Chinese history for my upcoming trilogy, I am rather fascinated with Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman who captured the heart of King Edward. He abdicated the British throne to marry her. Another period I am researching on is the last empress of China – Cixi, who rose from the lowly ranks of being one of the many concubines to reigning empress.
 
But contextually I am still lacking the sensory experience of being in a great empire, and I hope when I travel to Rome and spend an extended time there, I can capture the grandeur of the beginning of a human civilisation.
 
I think this project is rather ambitious as it combines many time historical periods to create a post modern fantasy. It could be categorized as my thesis on post modern feminism, the current state of the world (nuclear threat and artificial intelligence), and the globalised level playing field and intermixing of cultures. It probably it would be my magnum opus (if I ever complete this series).
 
No idea why I am still not working on this ambitious three novel project that will take six years to complete, but I am excited to embark on it soon once my current quest of filming my own short film is complete.

The Little Wagtail

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 2.38.53 PMGackt’s voice continues to resurface in my dreams, although Seki Ray was first published in 2000. I had been a crazy fan girl of Gackt during my teenage years, occasionally dreaming of having lunch or coffee with him. Although the remote chance of ever meeting him in person is almost close to zero at this point.

The reason this song is resurfacing in my dreams, other than my adoration for the singer, has to do more so with the lyrics and the way he sings it. It is so full of emotion that it is captivating. It is moving, to myself, although I can barely understand a word of Japanese. I can totally… relate and feel him as he sings it.

Out of my curiosity, I have looked at various translations of his songs in english to gain a better understanding of what he is singing. In this song, it is about a wagtail, a small and tiny bird that built the island of Japan from the the commands of the god, Kamui.

On some days, I do feel like a wagtail, a small and tiny bird. In my quest, I feel quite solitary, quite alone. When I am in my room, I am filled with such homesickness that I am whining through my bed sheets. There is so much solace within me, as I embark on this never ending quest to build a grand design that I cannot yet communicate to the world as I am in the process of building it.

Some days, I feel I lack the skills and abilities to do what I had set out to do. On some days, I put up a great performance and feel this is truly who I am meant to be. It is fluctuating. But there is an inner resilience within me that tells me to keep going, and not give up – for the rewards at the end surpasses anything I could possibility otherwise do.

It is toil, and years of hard work. But I will complete what I started. I will make that short film, send it for competitions and win some mainstream awards. I will work on my body as my instrument, and not party, drink or do detrimental things to it.

I had never worked so hard in my life, since I last graduated from university. This task is extremely testing, the athleticism and artistry that is required astounds myself.

But I will continue to do what I do, as this is who I am truly meant to be.

 

Sekirei ~seki-ray~

Wagtail ~seki-ray~

Lyrics, Written, Sung by: Gackt Camui

Translated by: Mina-P (Email: Minako@senshigakuen.com)

Version 2.20

 

Note: After quite a while, I finally figured out the significance of the sekirei (wagtail). The Ainu are a minority Japanese people who live in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. In their creation tale, the wagtail acts a servant of Kamui, the creator god. The wagtail is a cute little seaside bird who’s generally viewed as tiny, weak, and even crippled. But it’s faithful and does its work despite being such a poor little thing, eventually even physically creating the land all by it’s little self. Basically, the wagtail is representative of something or someone who is not strong themselves, but through its giving heart manages to help others a great deal.

 

kaze no koe o kiita

yume no tsuzuki o shiritakute

daremo oshiete wa kurenai

mune ga akaku somatta…

I heard the voice of the wind

I want to know the rest of the dream

No one will tell me

My chest was smeared red…

 

kimi dake ni wa wakatteite hoshii

kaeranakereba ikenai koto o…

I want only you to understand

Why I must return…

 

kono doko made mo tsuzuku shiroi daichi wa tooku

mou harisakebu koe wa dare ni mo todokanai

Far off in this endlessly continuing white earth

My voice that’s crying out can no longer reach anyone

 

kono karada no itami o kakusu you ni

sora kara no yasashisa ni dakare…

Like it’s concealing this body’s pains

I’m embraced by kindness from the sky…

 

sono hitomi ni utsuru tsuki wa kirei de

tatoe yoru ga owaranakute mo

The moon reflected in those eyes is pretty

Even as the night is not finished

 

kono doko made mo tsuzuku shiroi daichi wa tooku

mou harisakebu koe wa dare ni mo todokanai

Far off in this endlessly continuing white earth

My voice that’s crying out can no longer reach anyone

 

kono doko made mo tsuzuku shiroi daichi wa fukaku

mata ochiteyuku boku wa dare ni mo iyasenai

Deeply in this endlessly continuing white earth

I’m still falling and cannot be healed by anyone

 

sono chiisana karada o tsutsumu you ni

sekirei no yasashisa ni dakare…

Like being enveloped in that small body

I’m embraced by the wagtail’s kindness…

 

sora kara no yasashisa to tomo ni nemutte

daichi no nukumori ni dakare…

I lie with the kindness from the sky

And am embraced by the earth’s warmth…

(http://www.senshigakuen.com/translations/lyrics/gackt/sekirei.htm)

To give up acting is to give up life

Some people are born fighters, or entrepreneurs, or dancers, or musicians. In ten years of teaching and directing actors, I have seen maybe 3 or 4 truly gifted actors, who simply can’t do anything else in life. Like me. We do it because we HAVE to. We have no choice. To give up acting would be to give up life.

Jerome Pride, Actor at Actors and Actresses (1991-present)
I find this statement fundamentally true to who I am. As much as I had denied who I am – which is – an actress – it continues to haunt me in all my dreams and visions. In fact, I am truly alive when I am on stage. I feel safe and secure in the surrounds of a theater. I can literally live in the confines of a theater, and breathe, eat and sleep in it.

In fact, I have a crazy idea to turn my room into a black box. Which is to buy full length black velvet curtains on all four walls and enclose the room into an amphitheater. I would be sleeping, living and breathing in my theater room, and be truly where I want to be.

Sometimes when I dance, I close my eyes and imagine the new reality that unfolds – like the ballroom dance scene from Anastasia. That I am a long lost princess, searching for her place in this world. Reality, as we know it, is dull and a routine. It is in our minds, where our deepest fantasies reside, that we can summon our imagination to bring forth these new realities.

I love living many lives, and being many different personas. That’s why I write stories. I write novels. I write to express my fantastical creations. But actually, I truly want to act on stage.

An actor is a dancer and vocalist in one. It is the ultimate artistry of using the human body as an instrument. That’s why I continue to work on my craft, to dream about my highest self, my potential… of who I can be.

As I work towards unleashing who I can be, I am happy and content to have chosen this life and calling.