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.

Immortality

The art of acting is the ultimate mastery of being human – it combines athleticism, artistry and imagination all in one. It’s about being a dancer and vocalist. To connect with our authentic selves that we had long forgotten…. to be part of the divine. 

It’s hardly understood and misused. It is now mainly used as a tool for fame, riches and temporary pleasures.

True mastery belongs to a few who can find the art within themselves as their unique expression to the world. 

Such, is my endless request for immortality. 

 

Commercialization and Art

“If you were Michelangelo and you are given $50k a week to paint bathroom walls, would you do it?”

My direct answer to this question would be – an obvious no. If I had chosen commercial work over my art, I would not have written three books nor have three million views on YouTube to date. In fact, there will not be anything distinctive about me, I would be like another Asian Female casted in stereotypical roles and easily forgotten as another actress no matter how famous I could be. I would be used by the media to gain profits for the studios, and then discarded when I no longer have any commercial value. Such was the tragic fate of Marilyn Monroe.

I have done numerous of photo shoots to date, almost every photographer I had worked with said they have never worked with a model like myself. I am their best work on their portf0lio, and not the commercial work they had done (weddings, maternity etc).

For one, I treat the photographer as the artist, and I am the muse. I am the object of desire, and they are the voyeur. I do trade for CD (TFCD) on purely artistic collaboration purposes if I like the photographer’s work. I would study their previous work, and give them ideas on what we could shoot and then we choose the props and location together. It’s an artistic collaboration to further our personal development.

By doing collaborative shoots, it helps me understand myself as an artist and pushes me to work with different people with different strengths (some photographers are good with indoor and some are good with outdoor shoots).

Photography is an evolved art form from painting canvases. The model, or the muse, has no different function except to inspire the artist to create. The viewers to imagine. The canvas to unfold a new reality never envisioned before. Such is the painting of modern art. Such is what I try to create in my work. In my vision, my dreams… my desires.

My art has by far not bought me much profits and it is self funded. In fact, I had chosen my art above all things in my life because it brings me the most fulfillment. I don’t mind the conditions I have to go through to accomplish a masterpiece. I will put in the hours and work like an artisan.

I could have, and easily chosen to commercialise and popularise my art if I wanted to, but there is something pure and beautiful about being indie, undiscovered, untouched. There is a rarity to be private, yet public. Sometimes I have an inner conflict if I should try to be more popular and likable and get more publicity. Get more mainstream roles or to become famous.

I believe I stayed true to my art for so long because I wanted to do it, and not because I wanted the world to validate it nor the public to like it. It is for myself mostly. It’s subjective reality, and the reality I wish to see, and create for the world.

The trade off of my indie art creation is that I don’t get much privacy, as much as I wished for, my work is mostly public, and it’s public property. But I had figured out it’s better to put my work out there than to keep it to myself.

But I don’t need anyone to validate it except that I do it out of my own accord and will.

Eventually I will have to gravitate towards mainstream, towards recognition, towards publicity, but before that day comes, I will continue to work on my craft and keep my art pure to my soul.

 

The lost art of acting

There are flashes of actors that are memorable, the moments that you remember about years after you watched the movie. Those moments are the most invaluable, and how do we create that? 

I had never seen it on West End. I saw it once in Las Vegas in the Phantom when he was enacting in the Phantom of the Opera. I saw flashes of it on some films made in Hollywood. The rest of the plays I had watched? They are technically good but I don’t recall the actor. But shouldn’t each show leave such an impact to the viewer that they would remember the actors that brought life to it? 

Over the years the brilliance of actors became less visible as “high concept” movies took precedence. For the new shows on broadway, the emphasis is on theatrical costumes and flashy stage props. Why, is it that in this modern day of technology we have simply lost the art of theater? 

I reminiscence the days I saw real acting, real theater and real artists on stage. But soon this art form will be lost to technology, unless we make an effort to learn and execute it without the need of flashy props or make up to conceal what the actor truly desires to bring life to. 

An actor fuses body movement and voice, a dancer and vocalist in one. The highest art form using the human body purely as his instrument. No need for any externalities. An actor can perform nude in a one man play and yet be captivating to his audience. Yet, day by day I see countless of actors do harmful things to their bodies and it hurts me to see them smoke or drink. 

Shakespeare was an actor before he became a playwright. He trained himself write from an actors point of view in his plays. The training of being an actor is probably one of the toughest conditioning a human can ever subject himself to as an artist and athlete. 

The rarity of this art form, and the almost extinction of it, has lead me on a timeless quest to rediscover this truth and experiment endlessly on myself to elevate my art to the next level. 

The Dark Lady of My Dreams

I see my destiny

the dark lady of my dreams

she fades in and out

whispers to my ear

I am a woman of masquerades 

une danseur actrice directrice 

let me take over you 

the lights go out

I remember myself no more

Je vois mon destin

la dame noire de mes rêves

elle se fane dans et hors

murmure à mon oreille

Je suis une femme de mascarades

une danseur actrice réalisateur

laisse moi t’occuper de toi

Les lumières s’éteignent

Je me souviens plus de moi

 

Dancing with the wind

I haven’t been able to watch or read a movie, play or story about love for the past year without tearing, even if the ending is good or bad.

So now, when I study a play, I cut out a scene, a fragment, so I don’t have to deal with the ending, so I don’t have to feel emotions. So I can live one more day, dancing with the wind.

I belong to the theater

I dream about it every night. I don’t know but sometimes the undercurrent of dreams takes over reality and I just have to respond to it and create this magnificence so I could lay it to rest.

Soul Song

A dancer communicates the music through his movements by connecting to his soul song. He has a unique perspective on the dance and although it might be choreographed it is essentially improvising while on stage. No two dances are the same.

I want to be immortal

To create a masterpiece for my short film. My magnum opus consolidation of my YouTube channel for the past five years. The merging of two identities in one. Mastery. Transcendence. They call it. I want to be immortal.

The queen of masquerades

I hate what I see in the mirror
Cuz it’s her staring back at me
I don’t see me, no, I don’t see me
It’s she that I see, that I want to be

She is, the dark lady of my dreams
The queen of masquerades
Who blazes the skies apart
In her quest for immortality

New York, I am coming for you.