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Eat, Pray, Dryhump: Southeast Asia Visionquest 2011

August 2nd, 2011

I can’t believe it.  After months of saving, scrimping and half-assedly planning, I’m going to backpack through Southeast Asia for seven weeks.  I fly out tomorrow.  I’m going to live out of two carry-on bags for 44 days!

I have about $2000 to do this trip!  Apparently this should be enough to have me living like a queen.  The first place I stay in Thailand is only $18/night.  And it’s $6/hour for a Thai massage.  Which just has me asking… WHY THE HECK DID I SPEND SO MANY SUMMERS SULKING IN LOS ANGELES?!

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get a trip like this together.  This is the kind of thing I should have done out of college but was too clueless and too chicken to do something like this alone.

Knowing there’s a whole world out there outside of art and my own neuroses has reinvigorated me with hope.  I want to do this every year!  And I haven’t even gotten on the plane yet.

Here are some things I’ve done to prep for my trip.

1.  Gotten over $300 of vaccinations (I declined the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis.  At $600, I figured I could chance it.)

2.  Printed out a piece of paper which describes in Thai and Vietnamese how I don’t eat meat and will have “severe allergic complications” if they serve me meat (I won’t, but apparently this is the only way to have restaurants there take vegetarians seriously).  There is a cartoon of animals with big “X’s” through them for me to show to the Cambodian and Lao people.

3. Watched Eat, Pray, Love (In a peculiar way, I identify with the 40 something year old white divorcee dating James Franco, having an existential crisis… except it’s not clear to me how she was able afford taking off for a year)

4.  Sprayed down all my clothes with Permethrin (mosquito repellent).  I will not be eaten alive again!

5.  Watched “No Reservations” and “Bizarre Foods” to get my palate ready for Asia.


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A San Francisco Homecoming

July 15th, 2011

I’m here in San Francisco where Going Green the Wong Way opened last night.  July is a weird time to do a show in any city, so a one weekend run is even more tricky to rope in an audience.  Because CAT LADY also plays in San Francisco in November at ODC Theater, we agreed with ODC that we’d to do a “low key” marketing plan for the show this weekend to not detract audience from coming to November’s show (this is a common agreement in live theater that performers not do other shows within a certain timeframe of a show date).

But “low key” marketing doesn’t pack theater so I find myself making up for lack of major press by posting on the Facebook walls of everyone I know who lives in San Francisco to come to the show.  Most of them from high school.  It’s trippy to see profile picture after profile picture of babies and toddlers as I rapidly cut and paste a hello and link to the ticket page.

I feel slightly disingenuous as I cut and paste on the walls of people who I barely talked to in high school who through the friendship hoarding of Facebook am now allowed to spam.

But it worked, because last night was packed!

Last night was crazy!  I missed my high school reunion and it was like this whole life reunion came in on me.  Friends from middle school, high school, college and adult life all came out. I had drinks with folks I did theater with in high school.  It was like nothing changed.  I think the 30s is a good time to see people because I don’t have anything to prove anymore.

Press from the SF BAY GUARDIAN!

In other news, I’m loving the life of being a national radio commentator. My story on Carmageddon aired on Marketplace two days earlier than scheduled and it’s archived online here.  I am at 17:07 of the broadcast.

It’s great!  People from other parts of the country all wrote or called that they heard me!  I haven’t had that experience in a while since my work of late is so analog.

This is such a fun way to come home.  A lot of work though.

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Category: Blog

Going Back to the well.

June 28th, 2011

As if I didn’t shake my audience/ friend base down for enough money ($7500+) last year to put up CAT LADY, I am now doing another online fundraiser for another show which touches down in San Francisco in two weeks!  Unlike other shows which are usually presented by theater companies, universities, or museums, this one will rely on ticket sales!  Yeowks!

However, I have an offer from a big ticket donor who challenged me to raise $1500 from individual donors.  If I can do that, she’ll make a 2-to-1 match!  Giving me a $4500 budget to put up the show!  Woo hoo!  So far I’ve made over half my goal.

Even if you can’t give, at least watch the video which stars the chickens!

To get this fundraiser going, I’m giving a handsewn doll to all $50 contributions made in these last few days of June!

Other than the non-stop work, I’m enjoying the eggs the chickens are laying.  The last few days they’ve been laying deformed shell-less eggs.  :(

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Chickens and Shows, Chickens and shows.

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

Yarning for Love

May 14th, 2011

I feel so tangled up in a knot of life these days.  For a “mellow month”– May sure got insane super fast.  I’m in rehearsals for a DANCE show (yeah, you heard that) and got a million other itty bitty shows all over town and am still late on filing my taxes.

But finally, Yarning for Love is available online to watch forever and ever!  It’s the film about the entanglements of love.  It’s Buster Keaton meets Asian people making out meets yarn.

YouTube Preview Image

We conceived and shot it in two days while I was an artist-in-residence at the University of Chicago in 2009.  Masahiro Sugano’s feature film “Art of Love” just got distribution if you want to see what else he’s made!

I started reading Lonely Planet book guides to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos– because I’m doing a long ass vision quest out there this summer.  It’s exciting to finally be the world traveler I had wanted to be as a girl!  Exciting and scary….

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