Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Soul to Soul

Don’t know why I picked the title. I used to like the group though.

My last couple of entries got me thinking, once again, of this conversation I had with my out-of-town friend. She works in the entertainment industry in Asia as a manager. And, as a friend, she doesn’t like to see me struggle. That’s plain and obvious. As a matter of fact, I don’t like to see me struggle either.

One of her clients is a regular TV star who works constantly and has done very well for himself. He’s famous, relatively rich and probably has done everything in Asia that I’m trying to do here in the States. I mean, we’re talking publishing books, starred in movies, TV shows, released music CDs, everything an entertainer would be more than happy to achieve.

Honestly, I’m not envious. And honestly, I doubt I’d be able to achieve even a quarter of his success anywhere in Asia. It’s a different market and I don’t resonate with it. Plus, I don’t think it’s my calling.

I’m a big believer that, to some extent, we as souls have chosen the circumstances that we will face later in life. That covers the gamut, from the athletic to the handicapped, the beautiful to the ugly, the white to the black, the tall to the very short. And it also covers an Asian in Hollywood.

Why did I choose this fate? Certainly not because it’s easy. Looking back at my life, not once did I choose an easy path. However, that’s not really saying I chose the hardest life either. I’ve had it pretty easy, compared to many in this world.

I’ve had great jobs and great positions. I could’ve lived very well working a regular 9-to-5 job. But I quit that life to pursue something that has no guarantees, no safety net. Of course, I’ve got my safety nets already in place, which is my resume and the contacts I’ve made over the years. If I want to make 40-50K minimum a year, I can make a few calls and I’d be doing that within 3 months time.

But, again, I chose this life. This god-awful rotten excuse for a life that, in comparison to someone in another country or situation, might seem mediocre at best.

I have an Asian friend who is a movie star and he doesn’t live in L.A. either but he is known for his work in America, not Asia. My manager friend asked me why he doesn’t do more movies or TV shows or strive to make $20 million a picture. That’s an easy one. In his words, “I can do that but what would I learn? That I can be more famous and make more money?”

Don’t get me wrong. I want to earn a decent living and have a fair amount of fame. Maybe even a great living and a great amount of fame. But I want to do it in Hollywood, an environment that isn’t particularly suited for me, but one that will teach me a great amount about tolerance, adversity, success, failure, strength, endurance, and personalities of every kind imaginable.

And I want to do it in America. The so-called land of opportunity. Where some people are probably more equal than others.

Okay, enough of all this serious stuff, it’s time to have some fun. My improv class is tonight and that means it’s tightrope-walking time.

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