Posts Tagged ‘artist’

2015 So Far

Happy new year, world! I know, a little late but hey, I normally celebrate Chinese New Year which hasn’t happened yet so there. Anyway, my year started off pretty terribly actually. I woke up one morning at 4 am and couldn’t go back to sleep without oversleeping for work so I decided to browse for flights to London. My friends and I are planning on visiting London, Paris and Prague in June. The prices had been hovering around $600 – $900 so I thought I would see if they went down as prices sometimes do on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Lo and behold, a $300 non-refundable flight to London! I couldn’t believe my luck. I bought a ticket for me and my friend so now, all I needed were tickets for the other countries. I went to work and when I checked my email, I had received my confirmation for the flight. However, it was then that I realized that the flight was actually going to London, Canada! Crap. All over my face. There’s a London in Canada?!! Oh my god… Thankfully, I was able to get them to cancel it but not before I was charged a $250 fee for canceling so ultimately, I’m out $250, which is a LOT of money for a not rich person like me. So now, I’ve decided to hand off flight searching to my friend in case of any further mishaps.

Anyway, I’m excited for next weekend as I will be walking the runway again for Kearny Street Workshop‘s “Celebrate Your Body” Fashion Show at SOMArts Center. I had my fitting yesterday with Natasha of Halmoni Vintage. She is such a wonderful person, so kind and beautiful inside and out. I’m very proud to model for her first runway show. Other designs will be from Patria Native Land, Madeira, Thuy Custom Clothier, and also Kini Zamora Clothing who was a finalist on Project Runway. Check out what Celebrate Your Body is all about. They will be honoring Thick Dumpling Skin at the show, which is a body positive website run by Lisa Lee and Lynn Chen.

Other things under way are our next Granny Cart Gangstas sketch comedy show in March! We had a meeting Friday night and compiled our content together. Here is a glimpse of the titles:

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Oh, did you catch that? Yes, it is true. I wrote a short sketch about Will Friedle. Couldn’t help it. I can’t wait to start rehearsing for it. I let one of my friends read an unfinished outline of it and she was already laughing less than half way down the page. It involves cake, a dog, and a ninja. My goal is that by the end of the show, everyone who came to the show is going to google Will Friedle when they get home. Sigh…it’s just wonderful when you can merge your artist life with your fan girl life.

Another show I’m working on is called “There’s The Moon And Then There’s You” written by Christina Ying. This is the first feature length play I’ve ever helped produce. I am in charge of the Indiegogo campaign for it. Pretty ironic since I don’t know the first thing about raising money, but there is a first time for everything. I did do one for myself for “Accident” but it’s different when you’re doing it for a project you didn’t write.

Anyway, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my lazy Sunday. Hope you do too!

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“Consequences”

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this but my friends and I started an all-female comedy troupe back in 2011. Granted, we didn’t do anything until 2012 but the idea for the troupe originally began in 2011. Our name is Granny Cart Gangstas. Currently, we are on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Tumblr. We just finished hosting a show on March 8, 2014 in honor of International Women’s Day. It was called “Bad Ass B!tches” and was held at Bindlestiff Studio.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun it is when we get together and create. We all have a similar sense of humor so it’s easy for our minds to connect and come up with ideas for sketches, films, music, etc. Of course we also have our differences and sometimes, our ideas will clash but that’s where we collectively make decisions that we all eventually agree on.

Our latest video is a 90s music video parody inspired by Xscape’s “Understanding” video with original lyrics written by Andrea Almario. You can check it out here.

My favorite part of working on this video was how we all had these ridiculous ideas and the filmmakers who helped us film the video (Revelcade Entertainment, Project W Production, Torrid Productions & I Don’t Care Productions) trusted our decisions no matter what they were. We are planning on doing another show sometime this year so look out for information on our Facebook page!

Keeping Busy

So many events and projects have caused me to neglect my blog! But I found some time today to dedicate to documenting some of the things that have been happening. Last week, we finished our run of A Pinoy Midsummer at Bindlestiff Studio and it was a completely sold out run! We even had to add 2 more shows due to high demand! I guess I can cross “Be in a sold out show” off my bucket list. I was really excited to be a part of this show because I love working with it’s director, Lorna Velasco. She was the director I started Bindlestiff with so it’s nice to be able to reconnect. I was initially supposed to play Snug the Joiner but I opted to play kulintang instead. I just really missed playing the instrument and it gave me a chance to relearn some of the songs I had lost.

Another project I had done was that we finally got to shoot our intro for Granny Cart Gangstas! This is an all-female comedy troupe I’m trying to start through YouTube. We attempted to film our intro video last year in December but we got shut down by security. Apparently, you can’t take pictures or film in a private park, even though there are no signs stating it was a private park. We recasted the parts and my friend directed the short piece and watching the raw clips had me crackin up. I can’t wait to see them edited and completed.

I also started an internship with a movie called “Saltwater,” written by Lise Swenson. I’m really enjoying it because I’m a part of the casting team and I was excited when I was assigned to do a dossier on Rider Strong. Of course it was also me who suggested him but I truly envisioned him for the character in the movie. I don’t have any expectations on whether the director will agree but at least I threw it out there. It would have been nice to see him audition for the part.

Alas, my time is up and I have to move onto other activities for now. I have an afternoon to nighttime meeting today so I need to buy some Hennessy. Ciao!

Ambition to Fruition

My friend and I have been talking for over a year about wanting to make short films that are focused on women, comedy & imagination. We were being ambitious & didn’t know if it would actually come to life. We had been throwing ideas back & forth with each other and now that Death of a Player is done, we can finally put some actual work into this project. We’ve decided to venture into the world that is YouTube. We came up with so many ideas that we realized we just couldn’t do it alone so we pulled in a few more local friends that we knew would share our vision. Right now, there are 5 of us working on this project. Once we establish an actual & credible foundation of some sorts, we’re hoping to pull the rest of our creative friends to express our vision. It’s a lot of work and I’d just rather present it to our friends when there is more structure & direction. Right now, it’s pretty ambiguous & frazzled. :0P There are so many YouTubers out there that make all these funny videos and we want in on that! The best part about us is that between us 5, we are producers, filmmakers, comedians, writers, musicians, directors, and actors. Plus, we have a spectacular community of resources that we can hit up, no problem. The best part is that we’ve worked with one another before so we know each others’ strengths & weaknesses, how to get along & how to work together to get this going.

I’m super excited. I never really thought it would actually happen. I’m usually the type of person to dream & not do. It took a long time for me to actually crank those dreams out and make them come true. I still have dreams & one by one, I’m working towards getting them to fruition. Of course, my ultimate will always be losing weight but I’m just going to let that one simmer for now. It will just have to remain a constant reminder that will nag at my shoulders each time I make a meal decision, try on an outfit, or feel an irregular heart palpitation.

Anyway, I had the pleasure of location scouting last night and I found that I really enjoy the pre-production side of things. Some people think that things just magically happen and that just simply is not true. So much goes into the making of almost anything-concert, movie, theater show, even improv has some kind of pre-production planning involved. I just really love to follow a plan. Without them, there would be chaos, confusion and consequences.

And so it begins…

Granny Cart Gangstas

Death of “Death Of A Player”

“Death of a Player” is a success!! I’m so proud to have participated in this production. We just finished our last show on Saturday and our show got to the top #1 spot at Bindlestiff Studio for ticket sales on Brown Paper Tickets! So ecstatic about that! This was one of the best productions I had ever participated in. We received some great writeups & reviews and I had a blast working with all the people involved. We all collectively had one goal: to make it great. We all wanted the show to succeed and that we did!

It hasn’t really hit me yet that I won’t be seeing these beautiful faces all together again this week. It hasn’t really hit me yet that this production has concluded. It hasn’t really hit me yet that the show has run its course and will not be reprising itself, at least not in the near future. I think the reason is because while the project was indeed new, the faces were not. The friendships were not. The creative juices were not. I know I will be seeing some of these faces again soon. I know our friendships were real and the production only added to the solidarity of its foundation. And I know the way we flow together will resurface again in another time & another project. The BEST part about working on this project was that it was just like we were playing with our friends, like you do during your childhood.

The producer, Maggie Suarez-Calixton, told us that someone from the SF Examiner came to see the show last Friday and his opinion was that he wanted to nominate us for best theater production! Regardless of whether or not it happens, that was truly an amazing compliment to hear. We went through so much mud to get to clean & dry lands and it was worth it in the end. I got to return to Bindlestiff Studio in a big way, wearing two hats as a writer & an actress.

Now that the show is finally over, I can finally release my monologue. Sigh…what a relief to have had the opportunity to release my angst. Thank you PMSTA!

Breathe

I love PMSTA. I really do. The show has been going great and I am honored to be working with each & every one of them. We just got past the 1st weekend and have already done 5 shows. I can’t believe it! Usually, the 1st weekend only has 3 shows. I guess we’re just that much more ambitious. I’m getting some good feedback about my monologue, “Strength.” I ended up having to do the mom voiceover when initially, it was supposed to be a recording from my friend’s mother. Each time I do it, I have to find the prebeat and revisit those dark days. It’s hard because I find myself remembering all the emotions I went through. I had to stop watching the comedic monologue that precedes Strength in order to get my prebeat, which sucks because I really like watching that monologue.

My brothers were able to make it to the show on Sunday. Unfortunately, I found out on Saturday that the actress who normally performs Strength was unable to perform it on Sunday, the only day that my brothers were able to go. So, on a whim, I made the difficult decision to do a stage reading of Strength. I hadn’t revisited my monologue since I gave it to the director so I decided to just read it raw, without any prebeat, preparation, or anything. Just me & a mic. I had my friend record it so that I could preserve it. I’ll probably post it after the show is done.

The reading went well, I think. I was barely able to see through my tears. I squished all 5 pages into 2 and it was difficult to see the small font I had used. I didn’t tell my brother that I had written about the incident but he told me it was well written. I don’t think I really truly felt like it was until my friends Judith & Christina told me that some people stood up after my monologue. I rushed offstage right after because I just couldn’t bare to sit there any longer. I ran into the green room and cried. I just need to re-release all the dormant emotions I had sealed away in a box, tucked inside my heart, never to be opened again. That Sunday, I opened it and the memories of it all came rushing back. I became numb & lifeless, tears just streaming endlessly down my face. I tilted my head back & just wanted to die until I felt two arms wrap around me. It was my friend, Tonilyn. She said that she was proud of me for my courage and that I did good. I grabbed hold of her and she let me cry into her soul. At that moment, I realized it was what I needed; it was something I hadn’t done to heal. I never let anyone comfort me about it. I always cried alone, in my room, listening to Adele’s “Someone Like You” and wondering if my mother was ok. Then another friend, Andrea, came in and told me I did really well and hugged me too. I really appreciated this gesture and it helped me tremendously.

The human hug is so insignificant and yet so powerful. Toni let me do the “ugly cry” into her. I think I did it for just a minute or two but it felt like an hour. Thank God for my friends. If not for them, I would be in a very different place, mentally, physically & emotionally. Now that I have finally found a voice & a place to tell my story, I can truly begin the healing process that I stopped so abruptly due to circumstances beyond my control. I feel so blessed to have these healing souls surrounding me, bathing me in their love, nurturing me with their laughter, and soothing me with their touch. I am finally able to breathe.

PMSTA Presents…

Rehearsals & moving have been kicking my ass. Trying to pack, move stuff, unpack, make props & rehearsing has been my week lately. I haven’t even been able to really write at all, nor eat for that matter. As the show is coming up this week, it is really starting to sink in. I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure lately to improve on my craft but all the pressure is affecting my performance. I’m starting to get panic attacks when I’ve never really had any before. I really don’t like being the center of attention. Just writing this out and thinking about it is giving me a heart palpitations.

The best part of this project is the people I’m working with. We started back in 2007 and I’m honored to be with them again. PMSTA has been a great group of folks to work with. When I’m having a bad day at work, it’s their energy that feeds me to return to a more balanced demeanor and I’m ok again. I wonder if this type of development occurs in other theater groups. I’m sure it does, it has to. How can you work with so many people for so long and not develop a sense of kinship with them?

I don’t even know why I’m writing this post. I should be working on my character development. Well, by now, I should already have it down. I do have it, but outside issues are affecting my deep within and it shows onstage. I need to buckle up and get focused!! FOCUS!! FUCK!! You don’t know how many times I have released a random scream. It feels good. I just need to focus focus focus.

At this point, my issues are minimal. I’ve lost my moustache about 4 – 6 times, I am spending my breaks getting props & stuff, I’m trying too hard to establish my blocking, and deep down, I know I got this & I’m nervous for nothing. “Relax, relate, release” as Whitley Gilbert would say. :0)

It’s showtime.

Death of A Player presented by PMSTA.

Oh Nothing, Just Our PMSTA Trailer & Stuff

I am so proud to announce that the trailer for our October show is now live! I had so much fun working on it that it inspired me to want to do more in film. The director of the film, Matthew Abaya of I Don’t Care Productions, is also going to be doing a feature length film called “Vampariah” and he asked me to help him with casting. I can honestly say I was ecstatic! Besides the screenwriter, casting was also one of my dream roles to take on when it comes to making a film.

I’m excited to begin holding auditions and getting through this process, more than excited. So excited, I went out and bought a book called “Producing & Directing the Short Film & Video” to catch me up on all I need to know. There is a 4th edition to this book but this one was 40% off and mama can’t pass up a bargain like that. Let’s just see what I’m going to learn. I hate when I read and nothing has entered my mind because I’m drumming up a to-do list in my head. Am I the only one that happens to? Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, check out our promo below:

Complaints & Collaborations

I’m supposed to be off book by Wednesday. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to memorize any lines. I hate this. I asked Jason Marsden on Twitter for tips and he said “Read out loud 3 times, in a monotone (do not perform). Rinse, lather, repeat.” Haha!! I love him. He’s such an awesome person. I will try his tip. I actually have only read it aloud once during rehearsal. Man, this would be so much easier if I was the one who wrote it. The short play I’m in is called “Circadian Suites” by Shannon Lee Pacaoan. The one I wrote called “Strength” is being performed by Annie Wang from Bindlestiff Studio’s 2009 Stories High show. It will be for the PMSTA show in October. Instead of memorizing, I should be writing. To be honest, I haven’t really been able to complete my screenplay. I want to finish it before 11/1/11. I was thinking of submitting it for admission to CSU Northridge. However, I refuse to submit it until I am happy with it. I don’t know if I ever will be happy with it seeing as I am my own worst critic but I have to move on regardless.

Anyway, I’m in the process of gathering a crew to start a new Youtube channel. We want to make comedic films, possibly all female. There will probably be guys here & there every once in awhile. I know, soooo original, right? But my friends & I are motivated & we love getting creative so why not? So far, we’ve got ideas, writers, directors, equipment, and resources. Now we just need to have meetings and just get it started. Oooh, just writing about this in public is getting me excited about it. I hope we actually go through with it. It won’t be easy if I move to LA but then again, life is always tentative so I really don’t know what’s in store for me yet. Let’s just call it a target; a hit or miss. If things pan out, we can do this no matter where we all are.

Oh yeah, and last night, my brother approached me about doing a children’s book together. He had an idea to create a fantasy world and turn it into a children’s book but he wants me to create the story and our cousin Viking to do the illustrations. Writing a children’s book sounds easy but I know it’s hard. It will definitely have to be put on the back burner for now. I have other priorities to pursue…like updating my resumé. Mama is eyeing a new job.

Happy Birthday, Will Friedle!

It’s Will’s 35th birthday today! I’ve decided that in addition to going to work & memorizing lines & fighting my traffic ticket in court today, I would celebrate his birthday by drawing some main characters he had voiced & listening to “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons on repeat. Then I’m going to watch my favorite episode of Boy Meets World, which is What A Drag where he dresses up as a damn hot lady. I might even buy some birthday fruit basket cake from Schubert’s and eat it too. Yum.

I really enjoyed drawing these characters but it took me 17 hours and that’s a lot of time to be doodling. I may not be a real sketch artist but it was fun to try. I really hated coloring it though. Looks like it was done by a 12-yr-old. This was my first time coloring anything this large and in colored pencils. I was going to leave it in black & white but my cousin, who’s an aspiring anime artist, told me things always look better in color. Damn him for saying that. Damn him a lot because I totally ruined some parts that could have been avoided. Oh well, life isn’t perfect and neither is my coloring inside the lines. Anyway, happy birthday Will!! If you ever read this, I just want to say hi, how are you?

Sketch for Will Friedle

Adding color to drawing

Halfway colored

Sketch for Will Friedle completed

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