Art · Conflict · culture · Film · Finance · Friendship · Future · Money · Music · newsies · Self Discovery · Self Improvement

Seizing the Day

I’ve been watching and listening to my Newsies soundtracks lately, and its brought back a resurgence of a group of fans known as the Newsies Mailing List.  I’ve been looking back  on some of my posts from 1998-present, and it’s chockfull of memories of youth. While some of the posts I made are cringe-worthy and full of awkward adolescent babble, other posts… they were from a version of myself that was full of life. I loved Seize the Day.  It was my middle school anthem song- my fight song, as you will.  I would burst into the song and was ready to take down giants.

Looking back on my past… it makes me feel so OLD and TIRED. Where is that girl who burst into song?  Where is that girl on a mission?  My exuberance for things seems to have gotten lost, and I am grasping to get back some of that life.  I have been so bored and sluggish in a lot ways.  My life feels like Belle in the Disney animated Beauty and the Beast- you know, the scene where she is out in the fields in her desire for the adventure in that great wide somewhere, and she picks up a dandelion seed plant, and she sings, “I want so much more than they’ve got planned!”

Being an adult is hard. I’ve lost friendships, gained friendships, had broken relationships that crushed me like a bug, went through some real life experiences that have tried to flatten me.  I feel like I’m drowning in financial insecurities, yet I am embracing the joy of creating art that I love while feeling the sorrow of not being able to live off of it.  I am trapped in a world where money equals power, and it sucks. I don’t know if I can carpe diem.  But I’m not going to just tuck my tail between my legs and call it a day.  Maybe I need a new anthem song.  Maybe not Seize the Day or the Belle Reprise, but maybe a mixture of both.

Art · culture · Death · DIY · Food · God · Health · History · Holidays · Religion · Self Improvement · Women

Holy Hamantaschen!

Chag Purim Sameach!  Or Happy Purim, Y’all!  I’m not Jewish, but I like holidays.  And this one strikes a particular chord because it’s the story of Esther- the “foreign” queen who saves her people from genocide.  Yaaaas, queen!  On a side note, can we please have more celebrations of women who do awesome things?

In honor of this day, I made some hamantaschen.  What is that, you ask?  They are cookies that symbolize the holiday’s origins.  You see, Haman was the evil dude who wanted to get rid of the Jews.  So he bribed King Xerxes, but Esther helped to save her people, and Haman was executed.

Some say that hamantaschen are supposed to be “Haman’s Pockets” as in the money that he bribed King Xerxes with; others say it’s “Haman’s Ears” as in the cutting off of criminals ears which happened to Haman, as well as being executed (?).  I didn’t do a thorough fact check on this, so forgive me if that’s incorrect.hamantaschen

Now, I am on a very particular diet, which is grain free, gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free, alcohol free, gmo free, cage free, organic, grass fed, wild caught, fair trade, and a lot of other hippy dippy stuff that limits what I can eat. So I’ve had to look up ingredients from every where and modify my own hamantaschen recipe.

ANYWAY.  COOKIES.  YOU WANT THESE COOKIES. Here’s what you’ll need:20170311_101705-1 20170311_104556-1 20170311_175735-1

1 & 1/2 cups of almond flour
2 tablespoons of xylitol (can be found at whole foods/natural grocers/wheatsville)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon almond extract (or vanilla, I prefer almond)
Circular cookie cutters
Jams that you like (with no sugar added)
Parchment paper
Baking Sheet
Time

Step 1: Mix your dry items together in a bowl.  On a slow speed (if you’re using a mixer), mix in your wet ingredients.  This is the order I mixed it in: started with butter, then milk, then extract, and lastly coconut oil. The consistency may seem crumbly at first, but if you mash your finger into it, and it seems soft and doughy, then it’s good for the next step.

Step 2: Get two pieces of parchment paper and roll out your dough between them.  You can make them as thick or thin as you want, but thinner dough is a little bit more difficult to shape them and cut without it crumbling apart (because almond flour is not as sturdy as regular).  Then refrigerate until your dough is firm (30 min-1 hr).
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Step 3: Once your dough is firm, using circular cookie cutters, cut out your dough.  My first attempt, I rolled it too thin in spots, and the dough would crumble.
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Step 4: Set your oven to bake on 350 degrees, and add your jam!!! Now, I’m not going to tell you how much or how little to put in your hamantaschen… that choice is yours.  You might want to test. I put in one spoon for the smaller ones, and two spoons for the bigger ones.  The choice is yours.  Oh, also, you might want to do a test run of folding them before you put all your jam in them… because I ended up getting jam all over my arms, but eventually found a way of folding the dough into triangles that worked for me.

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Step 5: Bake for about 8 minutes, let them cool off for about 5 minutes, and then eat and enjoy!!!

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Art · Conflict · culture · Food · Health · poetry · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Women

Why Women Hate Men

You look me up and down
SIZE me up.
I wear anywhere between 6 to 10 in jeans
if that’s what you’re wondering

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

You tell me not to eat those kinds of foods
Say that you feel guilty for letting me eat this way
Or that way
I can’t even eat a bag of chips without feeling guilty
About what I eat
About how I look

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

This is my body
I can exercise if I want to
This is my life
and I can lie down
Or sit on a couch and watch Netflix all day
IF I WANT TO

DO NOT TELL ME
what to eat
what to wear
how to dress
how to do my hair
what my body should or shouldn’t look like

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

Art · Austin · culture · Friendship · Texas · theater · TX

Bippy’s and Acting Awards

Well, acting awards are great… and disappointing.  In Austin, there’s this thing called the B. Iden Payne Awards.  I’ve been calling them Bippy’s (rhymes with Yippie! or Hippy! or Skippy!), but I think they’re called something else.  I dunno.  I should really research what it’s all about, but I’m way too lazy at the moment to google it.  It’s like Austin’s version of the Tony’s.

I am honored to be a part of three productions that were in the nominations:
The Mikado: Reclaimed was nominated for two awards- Best original script; Best featured actor in a musical (Jonathan G. Itchon)
Persephone was nominated for best original score (Tyler Mabry)
Privacy Settings: A Promethean Tale was nominated for best theatrical event

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I was unbelievably happy and proud when Jonathan won for The Mikado: Reclaimed because it was well deserved!  I couldn’t stop crying out of a place of joy… but there were the other shows, and I got so disappointed that certain people didn’t win.  I was also kinda sad that some productions weren’t in the nominations, but I get it, not everyone can agree on stuff that was awesome.  Like other shows that I won’t mention who had original scripts and scores and amazing ensembles and casts, which in my opinion were super amazing and created by the cast and weren’t even nominated… but whatevs, dog.

I think it’s such a tough thing because so many people think they deserve an award or some kind of recognition for awesome work that they’re doing, but when you’re in shows, it’s hard to see other shows, so it’s hard to say what work was super excellent and what was just eh.

I guess that’s what the committee is for. Ah, well, if I wanted to be the one making judgment calls, I shoulda joined the committee, right?  Right.

At the awards ceremony, four of the six cast members of the TM:R performed in costumes (that had not been washed since February or March) and were in white face/ grey scale makeup… and we got to use our old fans.  It was really tough going back to that place- the feeling of being trapped in your skin color, that place of unjust imprisonment, being voiceless… singing Gilbert and Sullivan again.  I don’t know how to describe just how amazingly hard this show was, and how fulfilling it was to be telling a story like this one.  While I have had fantastic opportunities in the theatre community here in Austin, TX, this show will always hold the top shelf of theatre that I’m super proud to have been a part of.  I’m getting teary-eyed, just thinking about it.

Anyway, I’m starting to not make much sense, and getting ranty and on a tangent, so I’m just gonna end right here.

culture · Dance · Friendship · Future · Love · Music · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · theater · Theatre · Ukulele

Living the Dream

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To living the dream. To moving across the country to be able to pursue that dream. To finding opportunities to use my gifts in acting, singing, dancing, and playing ukulele. To being paid for those artistic endeavors.

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To being validated, and seen for who you are, however artistic and strange that may be. To working on projects that don’t make sense and don’t need to make sense.

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To working with artists who make an effort to represent diversity in a real way- who open their hearts and share their stories, and make you cry with their pain and laugh with their moments of joy. To being heard loud and clear without speaking a word in English. To singing about the injustice and making the truth known.

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To writing something and see that writing from page to stage. To dreaming and seeing that dream continuously deferred, but it finally happening- small and unpretentious, but it took place.

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To making an effort to bring life to the small parts in big casts, and to sitting through the long and tiring rehearsals to finally make it to opening night.

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To looking forward to the artistic journey you are embarking on and to be excited about the future projects that are awaiting to be seen.

To never giving up on that dream, no matter how many times you get knocked down or are told not to waste their time auditioning because they aren’t looking for your ‘type’. To living the dream you’ve had in you since you were young. To reach for it again and again.

Art · Conflict · culture · Future · History · Self Discovery · Self Improvement

Next Time

The Injustice.
There are past experiences that wake me in the night– negative memories that send adrenaline and anger coursing through my veins. I see the people that caused my pain and made me rage.

Where I come from, ignorance is limitless; mediocrity and indifference to the suffering of others is a standard way of living. How can I make them see if they are blind? I could not change them. I failed, and I was powerless. They keep doing what they do.

Next Time.
I have changed. I have forgiven them. I have forgiven myself. Next time, I will do better. Next time, I will be better. Next time, I will continue to use my words, my voice, my body and all of my being until I am heard.

culture · Death · Food · History · Holidays · Religion

St. Patrick was not Irish

So, everyone thinks of St. Patrick’s Day as a day of drinking green beer and celebrating Irish heritage and culture.  But it’s not.

St. Patrick is that Irish Saint, right?

WRONG.  St. Patrick was of Roman-British descent.  He was kidnapped and sold into slavery by Irish raiders, and it was in Ireland that he found God.  Later, he escaped from Ireland, and became a priest.  Then, he went back to Ireland as a missionary and was willing to die there if it meant converting the pagans.  He did convert many Irish to Catholicism, and it is believed that he died on March 17 in Ireland.

Why the drinking of beer and mass consumption of corned beef and cabbage?  Well, the Catholic church decided that St. Patrick Day was a feast day- so even though during the lent season, one should fast, the fast could be lifted for the day- hence the alcohol consumption.

Corned beef and cabbage is actually not very Irish in terms of Ireland, but it’s an American Irish tradition- because the Irish who had immigrated were poor, they could only afford their food on the cheap, so corned beef and cabbage was the usual on the menu.

So, another holiday debunked, but I might try a green beer before the night is over, as long as its gluten free…

Conflict · culture

Bloody Good

So everything is changing, and it’s all kinda awesome.  Change can be a little scary at times, and I’ve still been battling my various demons.

Some of the resolutions I made in April have been going well, others have not.  I’m good at making goals, but not as good at following through with all of them.

A few things that I have been proactive with are: going to counseling for my emotional issues, creating new opportunities for myself, pursuing spiritual interests, and learning more about social and political issues.

One of the best things that has happened is that I auditioned for an equity theater and I can proudly say that I am in the cast of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  It’s really validating after my experience with community theater and white-washed versions of Miss Saigon.

Though the town theater experience was troubling to me at first, it’s made me a much stronger and intelligent person.  If they hadn’t decided to be ignorant and bigoted, I probably wouldn’t have come across the opportunity for Bloody Bloody.   Because of the door opening with Bloody Bloody, I’m finally going to be able submit an EMC application.

Also, the situation made me think a lot more about my identity as an Asian American.  I’m extremely westernized, but I have such a rich eastern heritage, and I don’t want to discount it.  I’m still finding that balance.