Archive for September, 2008

Failed Vlog Experiment…but excellent learning experience…

September 30, 2008

Approximately 47 days ago I set out to finish a screenplay.   AND I planned to video blog about it  Instead I have about 24 pages and stopped vlogging on day 8.  What happened?

What I learned was extremely valuable.

1.  While there is persistence and perseverance, there is also a need to allow the process to unfold naturally rather than “willing” something to happen.  I’m all for deadlines but being realistic and gentle with one’s self is helpful too.  I found that forcing myself to “make it happen” put too much pressure on myself and I would get bunched and stressed.

2.  Be open to learning.  I took the screenwriting class and found that I was unconsciously trying to stay ahead of the teacher.  It took me a few weeks to throw out my attachment to my previous work and be open to what he had to say.  When that happened, the frustration sort of melted away and I was able to write more.

3.  I can not write in a vacume.  I NEED people, to bounce ideas off others, to hear crit, to crit their work, to stay inspired.  I can see why authors develop drinking problems.  Writing is hard.  And had I not been pregnant perhaps I would be a raging alcoholic by now, who knows?

4.  Writing produces all types of demons – – recognize them and let them go.  Sometimes it’s a gentle voice telling you you’re too tired to write, sometimes it’s a movie you see that is very similar to your story idea.  My favorite distraction demon is blaming my little 12″ G4 for not working so therefore I can not write (HELLO, pen and paper?)  Whatever the form of the demon, just see them as merely temporary stumbling blocks instead of completely letting go of writing.

5.  It’s definitely okay to take a break and pursue other interests.  I started Natski.net, a small online greeting card site.  I felt super guilty  about not writing the script, but concluded it was healthy for me to have other interests.  I thoroughly enjoy it and it refreshes me to where I can get back to writing with a different mind set.

6.  THAT SAID, it is a delicate balance as to where you can let one overtake the other.  I thought about if I were going to die in a few months, which was the MOST important project to me, I realized it was the script.

So now I’m back on the horse and writing again.  🙂

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Baby Shower

September 30, 2008

This is a week late but we had our “baby shower” this past Sunday, September 21, 2008.  Honestly, my husband and I are not baby shower types.  If you say “baby shower” to us, we both suddenly feel like we have white starched shirts on that itch around the collar.  We were not planning to have one due to my squeamishness of oohing and ahhing at gifts and J’s aversion to jinxing things (as he would say: stupidstition).

My dear, dear friend, Amanda E. decided to throw one for us anyway.  And I am surprised to say that it turned out to be one of the most special events of our lives.  When J and I nervously arrived at our venue we had no idea what to expect or what to do with ourselves.  No one was there and I thought it was a big mistake.  Who goes to a Chinese restaurant ALL the way in Flushing?

Amanda and Jonthan showed up with their beaming faces and bags of goodies.  They put beautiful roses on the table as centerpieces.  They brought white onsies and fabric pens for everyone to write things and draw on them.  They donated a gift on behalf of the baby for the International Day Of Peace.  They brought an album where people could write pieces advice for us.  They even suggested for people to bring their favorite childhood book as a gift (this was an excellent excellent idea as we now have the best library of books…and no blinking, blaring, noisy toys that collect dust)

As our friends trickled into the restaurant nervousness subsided and it was replaced by genuinely loving afternoon.  People loved the onsies and it seemed like everyone genuinely was having a fun time, connecting and chatting comfortably.  My mother commented that she had no idea how nice the event would be and regretted not bringing my other family members.  She felt it wasn’t a typical babyshower and felt very happy about it.

J and I felt so blessed for Amanda and Jonathan for putting this event together.  We feel so grateful to have friends like them.  It’s no wonder that everytime we see Amanda and Jonathan they have a ton of family members and friends surrounding them.  We don’t get to see our loved ones as often as we’d like to, and it was truly lifesaver for us.

Zodiac signs are arbitrary…

September 26, 2008

I’ll be having a c-section on October 3 which is next Friday.  This is not by my choice but because the baby is breech.  I’m going to continue to lay on the ironing board, yoga poses and possibly the accupuncture.

I’m very excited…though a bit scared of the operation.  It’s funny because I realized people who don’t know much about childbirth (i.e. my little brother) think that c-section is the preferred method.  What most people don’t know is that c-sections pose more of a risk to mother and baby, they cause a higher risks in future pregnancies and take a longer recovery time.

I’ve been going a bit nuts so to kind of chill out, I’ve been drawing a LOT.  Brain is not functioning really…I’m not really unhappy though, just feel excited about the unknown.

Last week was the last day of my screenwriting class.  It was terrific and I feel a lot of hope about my script.  I realized a few things about my writing:

1.  I can not write in a vacuum. I need people either for feedback or to bounce ideas off of.  And those people should be receptive to my script and give critical but not unkind feedback.

2.  Sometimes it’s okay to take a break.

3.  Persistence is the payoff.  I’ve fallen off the horse many times…but that’s ok.  It’s just important to get back on it.

After class, I met with my coach and we discussed my plans for 2009.  I am VERY excited about getting back into acting and being a mom.

ECV tomorrow

September 18, 2008

ECV stands for External Cephalic Version.  It basically means doctors manually turning the baby to a vertex position.  This is what’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

I’ve never been to the hospital aside from going to my regularly scheduled appointments.  Getting this done doesn’t thrill me.  Our appointment is at 8:30, then perhaps around 10:00 they’ll do the ECV.  They give me something that relaxes the uterus and then do the baby spinning.  Then they have to monitor the baby’s heartbeat for about 4-5 hours to make sure she’s ok.  The success rate is around 50-65%.  I’ve read online that it’s not the most comfortable thing and that it can be quite painful (though some women were fine with it).  Then we’ll wait around for 2-4 hours to monitor the baby and her heart rate.

If it goes well, then I’ll just be a little sore.  The other scenario is that we have to do a c-section 😦  So we’re packing up everything just in case.  I hope it’s not the latter…but also have come to terms ONCE AGAIN that I am NOT in control and just kind of go with the flow.  Though you can be sure I’m going to stuff my face today since I can’t eat for most of the day tomorrow.

37 weeks – 2-4 weeks to go

September 17, 2008

Sorry for not posting for a bit.  I’ve been wavering from feeling totally awesome to totally exhausted.

It turns out that the baby is transverse breech.  Seems my daughter is undecided whether or not she wants to come out or not.  So we are up for an ECV (moving the baby manually) or a C-section. Earlier I was super freaked out, but at this point, I realize how little control I have over things.  Yesterday we got a playpen/bassinet thing, a stroller and an extra base for the carseat/stroller thing.  

In strange/awesome news, I had an audition last week.  I got a call from my agent and he said there was a play going up in London in February.  They wanted to see me.  I asked if they knew I was eight months pregnant and the agent said yes, they don’t care, they want to see you.  I was split on attending this audition.  I was grateful for the opportunity but at the same time, I wasn’t sure if I was able to do it.  All the more reason to go for it.  I worked with my acting coach and a dialect coach. While I didn’t nail it out of the ballpark, I felt that I did very well at the audition.  That’s all I could ask for.  I also met another Asian American actress who has a little girl and she was super psyched to see me.  She ran over to me and gave me her number and told me to call her.

I’ll admit, these past few months have been a bit rough on my actor psyche.  But I felt if getting an audition at 8 months pregnant isn’t a sign to continue, I’m not sure what is.  I’ve worked hard these past 3.5 years and I realized that if I gave up acting to pursue a REAL JOB, I would not be happy.  I might even blame my child for sacrificing my career, but actually I’d have no one to blame but myself.

I admit I also was stuck with the screenwriting.  I hated the screenplay and began feeling utterly hopeless about it.  And when the going got tough, I decided to start drawing a greeting card line. I even printed a few up at the printer…but then after deep reflection, I asked myself, if I were going to die, what would be the most important thing to me to do?  Aside from being a mom and wife?  And a little weak, feeble and neurotic voice said: “The damn screenplay!”

Being in screenwriting class has been really helpful.  The people in the class are very supportive and have a very good sense of what works and what might not work.  Two girls in the class (who are also actresses and pretty terrific writers) want to pair up with me to continue on our work.  So I’m back on track and unstuck.

In other more important news, my friend’s mom has been feeling under the weather.  This woman is one of the kindest, most beautiful people ever.  Every time I see her and her family we are filled with love and warmth.  It just reminded me how precious time is and how lucky we are to have people like that in our lives.