I got on the Amazon Prime Radical Body Transformation Program for 8 months with the intention to run a Spartan Race. Although I would consider myself pretty athletic, I mainly dance as my main form of exercise and running a Spartan race is entirely different from dancing. I have been assigned a virtual coach, Josh, who oversees my diet and exercise schedule. We do a weekly check in on Saturdays and he changes my workouts and calories intake accordingly.
The first week was extremely tough as I would workout for 45 minutes and be utterly exhausted that I would fall asleep once I hit the bed. So I had to refrain from going home too early so as not to fall asleep at 8pm, if not, I would wake up in the middle of the night be awake too early. I made some adjustments to do meal preps for most of my meals, and got more protein in. Counting protein is extremely hard as it requires a certain level of discipline to hit the protein requirement weekly. I sometime miss it or I overdo it. It’s easy to do it with protein shakes and bars but my coach advised me to try to get natural sources of protein from meats and eggs. It’s rather challenging and it continues to up my game.
I went outlet shopping and got new sports attires specifically designed for running as wearing dance fitness wear is kind of different from workout wear and I don’t want to stand out in the gym too much. I got a fitness tracker, and basically I am all set to train. The second week felt so much better in fact, I feel like running and working out more than the first week. I no longer feel exhausted, which is great.
My last time racing was when I was a teenager, I came in 25th out of over a thousand people from my school’s annual marathon race. Interestingly, I did not train for that race but coming from a competitive dance background helps with endurance as we usually dance for 2 – 4 hours. I have never raced since then. I think I do better in long distance than short distances.
I was considering learning gymnastics and did aerial silk for a while, and there is a problem with being dyslexic – I would probably never be that good in aerial silk due to my inability to tell directions unless it is learnt by constant repetition or muscle memory. For gymnastics, the gateway is to go to the gym first before attempting it. I figured out training for a spartan race does help me become a better dancer as the difference between a semi pro dancer and a pro dancer is the level of fitness, ballet training and fundamental conditioning (daily stretching etc).
I might flop at the race, but at least I tried to train for it. I think it’s all about keeping to a schedule and I am excited to embark on this fitness journey
I have to admit I spent most of my life overcompensating to be good enough. I would work 16 hours a day, and not socialise to achieve my goals. I wanted to be perfect. I needed and craved for validation, at the expense of my health and well being. I would tear down the skies, to hear, “It’s going to be okay.”
At this stage of my life, I would say I have reached the pinnacle. A list of feats that I made possible in a short duration of time, because of my ruthlessness. I don’t think I am well liked, I think I might be hated.
Four years of business school doesn’t train someone to be compassionate. It trains you to get down to the bottom line. It’s soul breaking training, the graduation rate is less than 50%. It corrupts the mind, it crushes dreams and it forces cold hard facts and removes all traces of emotions. To succeed, one must develop a sense of being in a state of zen.
My identity was fragmented in the process of business school, it broke into pieces, only to be merged together again in my pursuit of the highest form to be an artist and athlete. With this new form, I can truly say I have been to the depths of the deepest caves of my mind and back. I am glad I undertook the training to be an actor, I would never have understood myself this deeply otherwise.
Q: You published three full length novels before the age of 30 years old, how did you do it?
AVER: Only one in a thousand people who start writing a novel actually complete the novel. It is like climbing Mount Everest, and I think it’s just one those things in life that it’s nice to have accomplished. At the Thriller Writers Convention in NYC, most authors are double my age. I am the only Asian in the room.
My writing abilities were spotted early in school by my teachers who would photocopy my essays and pass them around for other teachers to read (I took literature, history, economics). They cast me lead in the school’s play as Desdemona in Othello. I was in the school’s dance and debate team. When a member of parliament visited my school, I had a debate with him about the freedom of the press. Singapore has one of the lowest freedom of speech in the world. Prestigious magazines and books were regularly banned out of political interest. The debate was well received by the students. I was nominated for the student council.
At 18 years old, I fell into depression due to constant harassment from my classmates who did not like the attention I was getting. Where was an incident when I opened my locker and there was rotten food inside. My notes were stolen, and they called me names. I dropped out of college and gave up my dreams of becoming a lawyer. I enrolled in business school, and started writing my novels.
I think essentially what happened was that I became an outlier of the conservative and stressful Singapore education system. I pursued my freedom in speech in writing fictional worlds, so my books will never get banned and I will never end up in jail. I created the Scarlet Queen YouTube fantasy channel that has over four million views. This year, the amount of views on my YouTube will exceed the population of Singapore. My works are well loved by a loyal fan following.
If I did not drop out of college, Singapore would have gained a powerful politician and lawyer who will focus on gender equality, freedom of the press, free medical care and LGBT rights.
This music video is a direct cross cultural reference to American society from a modern Japanese point of view.
– In this music video she sleeps with eight different men as a diamond ring flashes in the background.
– It is a cross reference to her personal life whereby she has gone through a divorce with an American, as some of the sentimental lyrics are the words she wants to say to her former lover.
– This is probably the most intimate music video that features her on a bed 80% of the time with different men, which is a statement by itself to the casual nature that people treat relationships. Gone are the days that diamonds are forever.
– The diamond mask and paper fortress are actually symbolic of the superficial levels of American society, that diamonds are actually worthless in value but inflated by advertising. The paper fortress represents paper currency, which in essence is “fake” as intrinsically, America is in debt.
– A wild galloping stallion in the background is the symbol of female empowerment, and it represents Ayumi Hamasaki as herself in the image of a wild stallion. That she is pretty much free to transverse different landscapes and sleep with whoever she wants.
– This music video is in essence about the freedom of the female sexuality, portrayed by a Japanese woman with contemporary American symbols.
– It may be a statement that the freedom of the female sexuality should be limitless across all cultures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.