Audition, audition, audition

I have been off and running since the beginning of the new year with auditions for commercials and film roles. It has been great being called into audition in the first place but even better being asked to come in for callbacks.  Between wrapping a short film, Relative Eternity, I took a trip to visit loved ones and decompress in NYC.

Last thing I need in my life are more cameras! Eddie, the on set photog, snapped candids while we shot, Relative Eternity.

I had a very interesting audition when I got back.  It was literally a comedy of errors.  I often get asked about my ethnicity. It seems as though I am universally East Asian (if that makes any sense).  It’s great when people try to guess my ethnicity because they’re always so certain (Korean, Chinese, or Japanese).  It’s been a tremendous advantage as an actor because I can fill almost any role unless they specifically stress that you must be a specific ethnicity or speak a certain language. Well, this audition notice did not stress a language requirement nor that I had to be a specific ethnicity; the ethnicity of the character was simply stated.  (I must remind you that I’ve played a geisha on stage as well as got cast as a Chinese princess in the upcoming feature, The Legend of The Black Lotus.) Anyways, I was surprised to be asked immediately whether or not I was a specific ethnicity upon arrival. I suppose I could’ve fibbed but that’s not my style at all so I told the truth. They seemed disappointed and wanted me to read an “any” ethnicity role instead…or rather memorize it on the spot. Realizing the time constraints they were under, I asked if it would be okay if I auditioned for the part I had originally memorized and they agreed.  Mid-conversation about the issue of ethnicity, the casting director asked why I had not started.  Oh.  So I started. As I started, the table leg at one end collapsed–sending headshots, notes, and laptops flying. I stopped to help steady the table and keep the remaining materials from flying when I was asked why I had stopped. As I tried to continue, the casting director went to sort through the things that had fallen…and one of her earrings popped off…She waved at me to continue…when her pen literally came apart.  Wow. Once finished, she critiqued my performance: not good enough. Fair enough. Despite the given situation, I should’ve focused and stayed focus on the performance.  I asked for a second chance given the nature of my first crack at it. She even agreed to tape this one! So I went for it. When I finished, she said almost surprised, “That was actually good.”  I left proud of how I handled a challenging and unusual casting situation.  I remained professional, performance driven, and assertive with my integrity intact.  Most people would’ve lied, thrown a tantrum, or booked it out of there after the first run through. 😉  Not surprisingly, I didn’t get the part. But I chose to see it as a great learning experience. And hey, the casting director gave me constructive feedback which I can use toward any future audition.

I auditioned for a part in a feature called Taken by Surprise. I got invited to a callback/reading of the entire script.  It’s a sweet script and the cast and creators all were great collaborators. Feedback regarding the callback was positive but they are in the process of filming parts of the movie with the main characters to entice investors.

I had a great audition two days ago for a student film @ USC.  The script and concept is refreshingly original and well written.  The producer and director asked all the actors to come in with a prepared monologue as well as be ready to read the provided sides. I have a confession to make: I have a love/hate relationship with my dramatic monologue. It is most definitely a doozy of a monologue. There’s nothing easy or simple about it. It involves an experience in Vietnam. ‘Nuff said, right? It requires complete concentration and commitment. I know, I know…don’t all roles require the same? Yes, but this is to the nth degree. Any wavering…and the moment is totally devoid of its richness. There is literally no room for errors in bringing the character and her memory to life. I know when I’m finished if I was ‘there’ or not. It’s also intense for someone to witness. Thusly, it’s not my natural inclination to jump to perform it.  It’s kind of the reason, I’ve been putting off auditioning for this acting studio that I’ve been eyeing. (That and scheduling…) But when I got the audition notice requesting the prepared monologue, I decided I had to do it.  This was an opportunity to really work the monologue.  The monologue went well…the side read even better.  I did my initial take as the character for the first read through, but after the director gave me an adjustment…it came to life. As the director said, “I got chills watching you!” Well, hopefully, I’ll get the part. Sometimes it is such a hit or miss. There are parts that I walk out thinking I nailed and never get called back for…other times, I definitely think I bombed and I’ll get the part. TBD.


I know I’ve said that improv seems like an acting basic…but I was totally schooled after taking an UCB improv class with David Harris.  Being able to improv still should be a basic acting skill, BUT being great at improv requires work! It really forced me to trust my scene partners and be open to whatever scenario I happened upon. One of the things I truly enjoyed about UCB’s long-form is that it really stressed playing to the top of my intelligence. Instead of adding more ‘unusual’ things and trying to be funny, it really forced me to keep it simple, honest, and focused. For me it was harder to improv (than original thought) because in certain scenarios I had no ‘character’ — I had to respond more closely as myself.  I generally don’t like being the center of attention, especially on stage.  😛 I know. Ironic.

I managed to stand in the wrong line. I always forget how short I am.

I was so nervous for our final graduation performance last Saturday! The nice thing was that there was no real way to prepare for the performance so it forced me to let it go until the day of.  It helped that my classmates were equally excited and nervous.  I also knew that my classmates were awesome so I’d be supported on stage and given plenty to work with.  I will eventually take more classes at UCB. I want to keep working on the aspects of my performance that I got constructive feedback on. I, however, need to take a break for scheduling reasons. I’m determined to get back into acting classes more regularly and the intensive I’m considering will require a twice a week commitment. My teacher was impressed by the caliber of our final performance (for our experience level).

Paging, Ari Gold

Okay, so if I had a shark like Ari in my corner, Hollywood would not have a chance…but I am one step closer. (ha!) I had an interview/audition with a boutique agency re: commercial representation. It went well and we’re working with each other on a trial basis. It’s a nice introduction to an agent-actor relationship.

I intended to invite agents to my final improv performance but I had SO many issues trying to get my headshots and postcards reproduced at Reproductions. Usually, they’re on it but this time around it was error after error. First, they didn’t have my proof ready several days after it was scheduled to be completed so I had to kill 45 minutes to give them time to print it…only to return to find that the wrong proofs were printed. I agreed to allow them to email me proofs to approve. I got those several days later.  So a process that should’ve taken two days max…ended up taking about two weeks.  I somehow managed to maintain my cool and not get angry with the employees at Reproductions. My sister said this would’ve been a justified moment to lose my shit, but I highly doubt it would’ve helped the situation. 2.0

I’ve been meaning to update my official website for awhile, but I’ve been preoccupied with all the other logistical aspects of my life and career, including, you know, working my survival job.  Fine, I’ve also been distracted by my guitar and newfound opportunities to record on Garage Band!  I’m actually excited to geek out and write my own code for the website.  Did I mention that I used to be a webmaster for a very popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer website in middle school? Yes, GEEK! Expect a clean, resourceful and graphically pleasing site soon. And if it isn’t up in the next month or two, feel free to remind me!

Award Time

A webseries I worked on last year called Me And My Old Man got selected to screen at the 2011 LA Webseries Festival this weekend.  It turns out that Kevin Ross (aka Judge Ross) will be receiving an honorary award. If you remember, I actually worked on his show at the beginning of this year!  Hollywood is a small, small world!

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