Monday, December 15, 2014

No, I will not put on my big girl pants!

No one ever wants to get that text message. I received it last night. My mentor, my catapult, my beloved friend has gone to be with God. Marie was a pillar. Even in her 11-year battle with cancer, she continued to work, continued to inspire, and continue to cultivate young minds. Marie would not want us to weep for her. In fact, she would tell us to buck up and move forward. Marie would want us to laugh, and celebrate life one moment at a time. But in this moment, I simply cannot laugh nor celebrate, but weep for the lost of a bright light. 

I've tried to put on my big girl pants for the last two weeks in holding back tears. I tried to share a hilarious story in hopes that whoever reads it, will take a moment to laugh. I've met with friends who share the same sentiment I do. It helps a little, but the tears are still there. So right now, I simply will not put on my big-girl pants. I need a moment to cry for my friend.

I have lost quite a few people in my life. Some have passed of old age, and some were taken too soon. I no longer ask why God takes the good ones. Because in reality, the bad ones are taken too, we simply don't give a shit about them. But when the good ones are taken, it shakes us to our core. I can only come to this conclusion. God takes the good ones so we can be better people, by honoring their memory and live life as they would've lived it. Marie saw the potential in me. Therefore, I will pass this on to my students.

Marie is dancing with the good ones up there. I know this without a doubt. Her light will shine on in all the people she has touched. But for now, the world is darker without her here. My heart is shattered. I miss you, and I love you Marie! Please say hi to my PoPo, GungGung, YehYeh, MahMah, Nanna, Pop Pop, Matthew, Michelle, Eddie, and Lisa for me. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cinema at the Edge

I am so overwhelmed by the response of STILL.

To date, the film has been screened at:

Festival Fiver  (Spain)
16th MECAL International Short Film and Animation Festival of Barcelona  (Spain)
Asians on Film (USAs)
CINEDANS (The Nederlands)
International Speechless Film Festival (USA)
Busan International Film Festival (Korea)
American Online Film Awards (USA)
Salon Internacional De La Luz (Colombia)

This weekend, I am honored to attend the Cinema at The Edge Film Festival in Santa Monica on behalf of William Lü, and also participate in the Post Screening Q&A afterwards.

Words can't describe how I feel right now. A serendipitous moment on Facebook lead me to explore a part of Music for Dance I had never done before. The process from beginning to end was tedious, yet so much fun, being able to collaborate on a project Intercontinentally from The Nederlands to the States. The film world is a world completely foreign to me, and yet they have embraced this film.

Stay tuned or "like" STILL on Facebook for news and future screenings!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Leaving it at the door

As I wrapped up my 9th year at the local arts high school, I realized I had to deal with an unnecessary amount teenage angst like NEVER BEFORE.

I had to stop a class because the seniors decided that was the day they all hated each other.

One took off in tears
One ran off after the girl in tears
One curled into fetal position in the back of the class
One is circling around chasing an invisible tail because she didn't know what to do
One is calming the teacher down
The only boy in the class decided that he was done with all the estrogen in the room and walked out.

They decided to lay it all out on the table in the middle of a dance class because they felt that it was necessary to talk it out. I had to stop the whole thing to remind them:
1) They are seniors, therefore, they are almost adults. Act like it.
2) At this school, we teach them to be professionals before they are professionals. So when they are out in the professional world, they are prepared far beyond anybody else.
3) The problems you are dealing with has nothing to do with the class, so leave it at the door.

I also had a group of 10th graders who made the teacher cry. Not just a little tear down the face. No. Ugly cry.

I also had a student who confided in me and told me how some kids are mean to him. One girl in particular was bullying him. The awkward Asian kid who grew up in a culturally-ignorant town in me felt for the kid. I consulted with my colleagues and addressed the issue with my superiors. Through a series of events, I ended up being the one accused of bullying Said Bully by her mother. I thank the LORD above that my superiors had my back, and the problem was immediately resolved without any further action.

When someone accuses you of bullying, it really shakes you to your core even though you know you did nothing wrong. It makes you question whether or not you should be working in the position you are in.  The one thing that I did do was address Said Bully every time she was on her phone, missing 80% of rehearsals, making excuses, rolling her eyes, and leaving early because she was "sick." Apparently, that wasn't okay with her mother. Long story short, when that production was over, I cried some ugly tears. I was happy it was over, but I was also sad that I wouldn't be able to see the rest of the cast on an every day basis.

It got me thinking:

One time, a good friend who happens to be a professional dancer for a major dance company asked me:

"When you come in to play for company classes, not just for us, but for everybody else who comes through town...Do you see the conflicts the members have with each other? Or the inter-personal problems or tension that they are currently dealing with?"


I actually had to think about it. The short answer is "No."

Unless I am purposely looking for trouble, I don't see trouble. The professionals do a good job in "leaving it at the door" when there are guests in the room. Luckily, I am that guest.

Going into the next year, that will be my motto especially with teenagers. Please leave it at the door. Thank you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Presenting: STILL - the movie

I will be quick. Remember this?

Project Schubert

I am proud to give you some awesome news. STILL - the movie as been selected to be screened at 6 festivals so far. William's Brain-Child will make its World Premiere this weekend at the Asian On Film Festival and I get to see the premiere!!  So exciting, and terrifying at the same time.

And look, my name is in the credits!