artist life. Archive
November 1st, 2012
Greetings from Portsmouth, NH! It’s Halloween and I’m on the road for a one month tour of “Going Green the Wong Way” in New England. We had no costumes packed for tonight’s parade, so we thought about what we had in our hotel, and ended up making this video in a few hours! I shot it on my iPad!
We’re proud of this silly little thing. Making these same day video is such a high. We actually ended up missing the town parade and staying in to edit this video!
There’s been a lot of adventure on this trip with the Hurricane. We’ve just come in from an amazing week in Putney, VT– a small town of 2000 folks that really makes me reconsider life in general. I’ve never experienced a hurricane before and while Hurricane Sandy didn’t really hit here at all, preparing (or rather, not preparing for it) was quite an adventure.
Here’s a video blog from before Sandy hit.
I send love to all my friends in NYC and Philly who were battling Sandy. It’s really something else to be on this end of the country when things like this go down. I realize my Californian self is not at all aware of what to do in inclement weather.
Here’s a video from after Sandy (didn’t) hit.
Oh, by the way, in the middle of it all, the Giants won the WORLD FREAKING SERIES! It was a bit anti-climatic with the SWEEP. But it provided some excitement to go from the show to the series. My tech Jen secretly filmed me in my pajamas doing my rally dance. I OWN IT BECAUSE GUESS WHAT?! It worked and they made it look like a cakewalk!!!
Also, thanks to everyone who contributed to my new show! I raised about $1600 in contributions that will all be matched by a matching grant! It’s a wonderful start towards a new exciting direction in my work!
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Category: artist life.
March 29th, 2012
It’s my fourth Artist-in-Residence grant award project! And I’m doing something totally different than I’ve ever done before!
Join the Environmental Justice League!
A Community Theater Project Exploring Environmental Racism
Want to develop your writing and performance skills? Want to learn about the impact of pollution and lack of healthy food access on low-income communities?
Learn about collaborative theater making, puppetry, and working social issues into theater. In this innovative eight-week workshop, participants will get an overview of environmental justice issues and craft that knowledge into a fun, informative, and original performance work.
* Guest workshops include puppeteer Paul Zaloom’s “Theater of Trash Workshop”!
* Toxic Tours Field Trips!
* Be a Green Superhero!
*WHEN: We meet and rehearse Saturdays 4/28- 6/9, 1-5pm, Special “Toxic Tour Field Trip” on 5/5/12 at 9am- 4pm (mandatory for participation), Final show for the public on Saturday 6/16 at 2pm!
*WHERE: William Grant Still Art Center, 2520 West View Street Los Angeles, CA 90016 Some additional rehearsals on weekday nights may take place at other rehearsal spaces in District 10.
All experience levels welcome. Open to participants 18+ Translation is available in Korean and Spanish. Participation is by application only. Commitment to sessions and participation in final show is required of all participants.
APPLICATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 18.
You can find the application here: http://kristinawong.com/downloads/ejl_flyer_app.pdf
la aplicación en español
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Category: artist life.
February 9th, 2012
When the “Debbie Spend It Now” Superbowl ad ran last weekend, I saw the window to finally get off my ass and produce a short in 24 hours. What a rush! And a much needed assignment of creative adrenaline. I’d been feeling a bit stopped up and depressed now that I’ve been off tour. I can see why people get addicted to making films in a hurry. I’m looking forward to see if people watch it!
Here’s the original ad….
And here are the outtakes! Enjoy!
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Category: artist life., hollywood wong, outsourcing american jobs
January 13th, 2012
Did you know that the human colon holds 6-7 pounds of waste in the crevices and nooks?
(Maybe you didn’t want to know that.)
Last year I threw down a lot of shows, including the world premiere and short 3-city tour of CAT LADY. I did a run of Going Green the Wong Way in San Francisco. I raised almost 10k for the development and touring of those shows through my fan base. Thanks to crowdfunding, I realized that despite the isolation I live in as a self-employed artist working from home, there are people (some I’ve never met) who like what I do enough to support it (THANK YOU).
Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest toured into it’s FIFTH year EVERYWHERE including Virginia Tech and a medical conference at Stanford. I finally got to live my dream and travel for weeks and weeks alone through Southeast Asia and fell in love with life and myself again. I put another year of home ownership under my belt– I still can’t believe I’m a performance artist and homeowner! Thanks to Groupon, I learned to breathe via four months of yoga at four different yoga studios in Downtown LA. (Yep, I’m a Groupon Hussy.) I inadvertently learned that when working at home, sanity really does come from daily fitness and leaving the house for a few hours while the sun is out. Best of all, my dream job came true when American Public Media’s Marketplace show invited me to be a regular guest commentator!
It was a year packed tighter than a sausage. And I’m glad it’s over.
On the love front, in 2011, I was in a great but brief relationship that really reminded me that there was such a thing as respectful people who have their lives together. And that it is possible to be in a partnership where someone doesn’t yell and put you down to get their point across. I just about gave up hope that there was such thing as good people. It didn’t help that I had been working on a play about pick-up artists for the last three years which brought with it, all sorts of wanky energy in my love life. Last year’s brief brush with healthy love got me in a great mindset about relationships again. I feel protective of my heart and energy. Most importantly, I love myself. For the first time ever after a break-up, I thanked my partner for the time we shared. And when all my friends were sending knee jerk girl sympathy emails of “Fuck him. You deserve better”– I didn’t give into the bashing. I replied, “He was a great person. We just didn’t work out. I’m just grateful that I got to experience that relationship. I learned so much.”
That’s some adult shit right?!
What kept bugging me all last year though? My home. I bought this place in March 2010 and still had yet to get some art on the walls and really claim the space as my own. I got so use to leaving home, I damn near forgot what a home was.
I had pictures and paintings from past lives stacked against the wall. I enjoyed the potential of virgin white walls, but also felt overwhelmed at defining who I was through my surroundings. I was so used to waking up in different hotel beds every week, that deciding on consistent things to look at was an impossible task. My performances are so specific and articulated, yet paradoxically, in my private life, I couldn’t make a decision on how to define my life in my very own home. I didn’t expect to buy a loft, and the cathedral walls here seemed to eclipse all the tiny post-college art pieces I had in my possession. So I left the walls blank for almost two years!
At the time I bought my home two years ago, I had been a few months out of the world’s worst relationship with a filthy broken verbally abusive man who refused to let me to hang my art because he didn’t want more holes in the walls. He said it would prevent him from getting his security deposit back from our landlord despite the fact that he intended to live there indefinitely, had painted the walls different colors, and already lived there for years. Crazy right?
I unfortunately think the fear of breaking the walls and lowering my property value followed me for the last two years. But last week, I took the hammer, fearlessly threw nails through the walls and claimed my rightful home. I have a few “woodpecker holes” from pictures I didn’t quite hang straight and had to do a few tries to get right… I don’t care. That’s why god made spackle.
I must have cleared at least two carloads of crap out of the house. I gave away a seven year old cat pee stained futon mattress (thanks Oliver) to someone on Craigslist. I’m even slowly selling off my yarn collection. Yep, the yarn obsessed Kristina is being replaced with a whole something exciting else.
I thought it would take me two or three days to clean out the house. Nope. Turns out a project like my home and art archives takes TEN DAYS to clear through. But now! I have my dream home. I have an office where you can see the desk! I have visual points of focus in the home. I have my Cambodian glamour shots up in the living room! I have ADULT FURNITURE! There’s a lot more work to be done too. I feel a bit guilty like I’m late for the race of 2012. I didn’t do much of any work these last ten days. I’ve just been cleaning, clearing, re-arranging. But it’s the necessary foundation for this new transition in my life.
I’ve actually hired home organizers and assistants to help me with my home in the past. But something about just being home and being home for the first time for months that has really kicked my own ass to get this done on my own.
I’m learning that the biggest transition to an adult home office is eliminating plastic and cardboard storage units. I had so many files inside milk crates which were clumsy and collected dust. I replaced brown cardboard boxes, with the “classy” IKEA cardboard storage boxes with metal corners. I am finally learning how to “display” things rather than cram them into a bookshelf.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal to some, but this is huge to me. I finally have an adult home! And it’s mine! And I don’t care if I don’t get my security deposit back because I own this house! So take that stupid ex boyfriend from three years ago! I am no longer a casting candidate for Hoarders! I am the best version of myself that I could ever share with the world!
So this is a whole energy shift. The direction of my new creative work has to change. I’m no longer interested in mining my interior and fileting my history. I’m bored with identity politics– I’ve been for years. I’m interested in the rest of the world and turning over as many new ideas as possible. I want to make truly innovative ideas come to life– faster than ever.
I will always love theater, but the timeline for making theater can be hellishly long. Proposals, grant deadlines, readings, presentations dates, courting theaters, production details– it’s all necessary to make great theater, but holding onto ideas (especially show ideas on suicide and depression) for that long was also holding my life hostage. After last year’s James Franco debacle, the invitations to be a blogger and commentary from some big magazines and websites couldn’t pour in fast enough. And I couldn’t jump on any of the offers because I was on tour, mired in production, or just passed out.
While you won’t see me touring as many different cities and shows this year, I’ll still be touring and making new work. I do my first international run this year when Going Green the Wong Way goes to the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland! I will also be doing a three week run of the same show in Los Angeles! Exciting! So I’m choosing projects more selectively. I used to be scared that if I didn’t take EVERY opportunity offered that people would forget that I was alive. I’m now focused on learning as much as possible and making some really strategic decisions.
2012 is the “flip the script” year for me. I live in Los Angeles, and it’s time to let people know that I’m actually here and can work here. Hollywood baby.
I’ve also decided to quit drinking for year. Goodbye Wong Island Iced Teas! I realized after too many drunken nights of volunteering to be random gay couples’ surrogate mother, maybe I needed to change my interior as well.
My mother’s reaction when I told her I was going sober? “Good. Save Money.”
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Category: artist life.
June 15th, 2011
Tonight I’m performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade in LA! The show is already sold out online! I hope my friends who brave the stand-in line get in. The show goes up in full in San Francisco in July.
I’m not sure that anyone even reads my blog anymore unless I’m being dissed by James Franco. But at any rate, if you are still out there… I’m happy to report I’ve been doing well. Still busy, still stressed out from overcommitment, but I have to say I’m really finally living the life! I’m enjoying a nice flow of work and great opportunities flow my way. I’m surrounded by good people. And I’m spending my days writing for different magazines and publications. I’m getting ready for the home video release of Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest this Fall. I’m enjoying my home. It’s a good life. Sitting on the laurels of having worked my ass off last year. And I’m really feeling blessed.
I got a few great press mentions this week include Good Magazine and Persephone Magazine.
THE BEST NEWS! American Public Media’s Marketplace show contacted me about doing a commentary for them for July’s “Carmageddon” (the weekend shutdown of the 405 freeway). Yes, seems that almost dying in a car fire is the best thing to happen to my career!
In my newest eco-experiment, I’ve been co-raising chickens in a yard in Highland Park. They are adorable. Their names are Pilpel (Hebrew word for “Pepper”) and Lovely. And it’s nice to just enjoy them, watch them, I don’t even mind cleaning the coop. They haven’t laid eggs yet, but I learned that by putting a “fake egg” in the coop, it helps induce their egg laying. So far, they have not been inspired by the hard boiled egg I put in there. But any day now it will be free range eggs for everyone!
I’ve been also preparing for this summer’s visionquest to Southeast Asia. I have no idea what to expect so I’ve been watching “No Reservations,” “Bizarre Foods,” and what documentaries I could find online which were all about sex trafficking or undetonated “bombies” in Laos… now I’m more confused what I’ll get. It will definitely be an experience.
But I’m excited that the trip I regretted never taking out of college I can finally do now. I need to go to a travel clinic and get shots done. It’s going to cost a few hundred dollars just for that and knowing my history with bugs, I’m going to get eaten alive! You can find me in Southeast Asia this summer. I’ll be the one walking around with an electronic bug zapper.
I guess I’m so happy because I also figured out, even with my artist income and artist salary how to set aside money every year to do an overseas vacation each year:
Basically the formula is this: Don’t own a car, put that money in a savings account earmarked as a vacation fund, and sublet my home when I’m gone (which builds equity while I’m on vacay)– viola! Overseas vacation money!
So this will be the first of many visionquests about the world. Believe it.
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Category: artist life., Blog, The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles, veggie oil car
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