cat lady Archive

The Final Meow in Miami!

January 17th, 2013

I have been in Miami almost one full month!  The show has been going over so well and we close this weekend! This audience really gets me!!  The reviews have been fantastic, but the feedback from the audience is even more interesting.  A lot of audience members say things like, “I can’t believe you share yourself like this every night!” And people just really seems to get the themes in the show– the loneliness, the inability to feel like you can participate in “real life,” that sometimes there feels like there is a choice between living inside art and life.

Read the Rave Reviews from the Critics!

“You never know what to expect!” ~ Jesse Leaf ~ Around Town

“This Cat Lady purrs!” ~ Bill Hirschman ~ Florida Theatre On Stage

“Entertaining Olio! ~ Marj O-Neill-Butler ~ miamiARTzine

“Rules-be-damned!” ~ Christine Dolen ~ Miami Herald

“Everyone needs to see CAT LADY!” ~ Happymamatravels

“Laugh your head off!” ~ Neil de la Flor ~ KnightArts

“Offbeat!” ~ Hap Erstein ~ Palm Beach Arts Paper

*****

I’m not sure if it’s my sobriety or what… but this is the tamest trip to Miami I’ve ever had.  No hook-ups! No coke binges! No bodies in back alleys!  Where am I? Dejavu, I think I said that of my last trip to Miami.   That trip was Hedonism compared this one.    Now that I don’t drink, I just find myself staying out of trouble by working pretty hard here, taking a lot of naps when I can’t stare at the computer any longer.  When I leave here I will have taken yoga class for 20 straight days!  Talk about fulfilling some serious New Years resolutions!  As much as I’m hating the monotony of yoga, it’s like my body doesn’t know a day without it.

I wrote an essay that xoJane published about my experimental year in sobriety.  The user comments are a trip– everything from people telling me I’m an alcoholic to calling the essay drivel (because of my first paragraph) to telling me to drink again.  Oh world!  Admittedly, I did write the piece projecting myself as much more conflicted about whether or not to drink again (Hey!  It makes for more interactive responses)!  I feel pretty clear that for now, I’m probably not going to booze up anytime soon.   As much fun as my life was when I drank, I actually can’t imagine drinking that way again.  And holy crap my skin has really cleared up this year!  I gained a bit of weight which is weird though.

I am proud to say I’ve met 2 out of 3 of my writing goals for my time out here– the xoJane essay and another essay proposal for The Los Angeles Atlas Project.  The unmet goal was to write a book proposal for “Going Green the Wong Way” but that was just too difficult to wrap my head around while working on this show.  When I get back to LA it will be for over a month!  I’m so excited!  It will go by so fast and then BAM!  I’ll be living out of a suitcase.

I’ve pretty much been on the road since July.  I just want to feel at home.

 

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Category: Blog, cat lady, cat pee, miami

Oh shit, my cat died.

March 6th, 2012

Rest in Peace Oliver Wong  1999-2012

My cat Oliver arrived by hand delivery yesterday in a little cardboard box.  He now exists in a rolled up plastic baggie and weighs less than 3 ounces. Here is the full obituary and dedication to Oliver that was published on xoJane.com this morning.

It was a fast and unexpected and very expensive goodbye. But I think the article does him good.

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Category: cat lady, cat pee, golden shower, jealous of animals | Tags:

Stick it Lin me.

February 28th, 2012

I could go on and on in an unpaid fashion about how as of last week I’m a cat-less cat lady, or how I changed my last name on facebook to reflect my mental marriage to Jeremy Lin…  Or I can link you to  blogs on other websites about the same subjects.

Enjoy my first blog for xoJane about how I’m sexually harassing Jeremy Lin.

I’m a working blogger!

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Category: cat lady, cat pee, loser, neediness., no more dong, sex is unnecessary when you have yarn.

This is the kind of week that makes it all worth it.

November 3rd, 2011

I was asleep in my childhood bed in San Francisco this morning when my mother burst open the door and screamed, “You are on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle!”  And there I was, my sad little Cat Lady face, next to an even sadder caption… “The Single Life.”  So awesome!  Basically $5000 worth of a free singles ad, ahem… cover page story for my show.

My parents are being so nice to me this morning because I’m in the paper.  My mother is beaming.  My father cooked my breakfast.  I AM HAPPY for the first time in weeks.  And I’m feeling like all this lonely crap work of getting a theater show up is worth it!  Three years of fundraising, 21 drafts, and many days shut in crying trying to figure out why the hell I was doing with this show…. REALIZED.

We open tomorrow!! The set looks amazing. The ODC Theater is fantastically gorgeous.  It’s really a wonderful wonderful life right now.  All year, I keep thinking: This is it.  I’m too old for making theater. Why am I making theater if I live in LA?  This is my swan song year. Why?! Why?! But when I’m crawling around on my knees in kitty litter onstage, hearing my writing performed by actors, and looking out into the seats during rehearsals, that old addiction of live theater work comes back to me!

My crazy idea of connecting cat ladies to pick-up artists.  I’ve manifested it!  All the crappy relationships and non relationships I’ve had the last five years– made pretty with art!  And people are telling me they are excited about coming!  I am excited about being here for them.

SAN FRANCISCO!  HAVE YOU BOUGHT YOUR TICKETS YET?

By the way, earlier this week Marketplace aired my commentary on IBM’s new woman CEO.  It’s heavily edited from what I originally recorded, and even that version was heavily edited before recording by the producers.  The best line that will never make it to air was… “Speaking of health care, how about allowing women, to have penis attachment surgery, so that they no longer make 77 cents to every dollar their male counterparts get for the same work?”

Oh, that cutting room floor.  So much gold to be found.

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Category: cat lady, San Francisco

Dorothy may not be in Kansas anymore. But I am.

April 18th, 2011

Greetings from Emporia, Kansas!  The claim to fame of this small college town two hours South of Kansas City?  It’s the founding city of Veterans Day! Woohoo!  Party!!

Since my last update, I premiered CAT LADY in Houston.  It was exhausting, expensive, though went over extremely well.   Two and half years of hair-pulling and tens of thousands of dollars later culminated in a three day run that went by in a blink.  Yes yes, art is a journey, not a destination… I still felt like I crashed from the world’s most pricey heroin binge after the show closed. After feeling sorry for myself about the ephemeral nature of my work, I thought: Yes.  I did it.  I got it up.  The show got made.  It was to my liking.  And now I don’t have to sit in that never ending creative gestation period.  Hallelujah.  Time to have a private life!


I don’t much to say of the city of Houston because I barely saw it.  Touring hardly ever means getting to be a tourist.  I did meet one of my longtime blog readers who lives in Houston–Chris Lopez and his wife Lily.  They took me out to awesome sushi and even sent me money to make CAT LADY!  Lily was so cute and treated me like I was actually a celebrity, not just a woman who got her 15 minutes by getting dissed by James Franco. Shout out Chrisnlily!

Here’s some press on the show… 8 Asians, Culture Map, Yellow Magazine, and the Houston Entertainicle.  I also did an article for Sexy Voices of Hollywood which I have yet to listen to myself in.

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I went to New Orleans after the show closed. It was my first non-work related vacation in YEARS.  I really must schedule more vacations which is why I dropped five years of airline miles for a seven week trip I’m taking to Southeast Asia in the summer.  My first VISIONQUEST!   I’m excited now that I have six full length shows under my belt, four of which I can still tour.  I finally get to give myself a break and absorb life again.

New Orleans was wonderful.  I didn’t open my laptop once. Ignored most calls.  I just consumed, consumed, consumed.  Stayed at a private house via Airbnb just outside the Quarter and discovered all sorts of music clubs in the neighborhood.  I rode a bike to Lake Ponchartrain and as far out as the Lower Ninth Ward (btw, there’s still a lot of post-Katrina damage in New Orleans, keep them in your thoughts).   I didn’t call any friends in New Orleans.  I didn’t want to have any conversations about art or how my show went.  I just wanted to be an anonymous fat tourist, and I got my dream come true!

The best part about my Houston premiere?  It felt like I had finally taken the trash out on the last 2 1/2 years of my life.  The creative process sometimes stilts the passing of emotional trauma because I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s happening in my life and how to share it with an audience in a viewer friendly way.

Some people mark time by jobs, homes, kids they’ve had.  I mark the Dynasties of Wong Adult Life with my shows and creative projects.  There was the bigbadchinesemama.com Era (2000-2001), Emerging Voices Fellowship/Novel that has yet to get finished Era(2002), Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner-Up/ Flailing around Hollywood Era (2002-2003), Free? Era (2004-2006), and of course, the longest dynasty of them all Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Era (2006-2010, though THAT Era seems to keep leaking into the present).

I sent a lot of ugly to the stage in CAT LADY, found ways to reflect and transform it artfully and so it’s become something else I can manage and understand better.  What’s wrapped up in the Cat Lady era?  My existential crisis, bouts of depression from touring a show about suicide for four years, many empty hook-ups, and several failed relationships that includes a relationship I’ve not talked much about before on my blog…  a really traumatic relationship with a verbal abuser.

And somehow… I made it funny to watch.

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The only show I’ve allowed myself to get addicted to this season is Celebrity Apprentice. (I get addicted to shows quickly, so I choose from hulu carefully.)   I hate the idea of celebrities playing for charity, and how one charity wins per episode, but that’s Hollywood and capitalism and amazing drama.  Anyhow… I started crying when Nene Leakes bursts into tears in the boardroom.  She was the Project Manager and her team was at risk of losing (and they did) and she confesses to The Donald that she wanted her domestic violence charity to win because it’s a cause that hits home.  Nene, Latoya Jackson and Marlee Matlin (who I’m quickly becoming a superfan of and is my pick to win) all admitted to Trump to being a abusive relationships.  (Of course, the following episode Nene goes off on a verbally humiliating tirade on Latoya…  rather ironic considering Nene’s cause…)

Trump’s Obama birth certificate antics aside — I find Celebrity Apprentice a fascinating opportunity for always under-documented social issues to have a bigger presence.  And while I’d rather nobody have had to experience it, felt somewhat comforted that these “celebrities” were so openly admitting their domestic violence experiences because the subject of domestic violence I had considered shameful to share publicly.

As brazen as I seem to be about sharing my personal life with strangers, I’m pretty guarded about speaking openly about private experiences I’ve had with violence.  And I’m especially private about talking about my relationships, I usually just hide under the persona of the tough talk funny perpetually single cat lady.

But I’m feeling more and more compelled to share with strangers that I survived and escaped a verbally abusive relationship not too long ago.  I want to “come out” about this because domestic violence is unfortunately not that uncommon.  And domestic violence victims are rich, poor, educated, not educated and come in all colors.    I am hearing that many of my friends have been in abusive relationships. One friend’s experience was so extreme that she had things thrown at her while pregnant and had to run into hiding with her son.

I never knew what it meant to be in an abusive relationship or even thought that I could be in one.  My friends work for social justice non-profits and so I’m constantly educated on equity, I’ve read a million and a half books on self empowerment (I’m married to myself for Christsakes), and this verbal abuser was someone I was introduced to through friends who (I thought) had my best interests in mind.

What I thought was a runaway romance quickly became a Lifetime Made for TV movie.  He’d keep me up in the middle of the night, screaming at me, berating me, picking fights with me as I tried to sleep.   He’d yell constantly at me, sometimes in public– yelling was his volume of choice.  He’d control parts of my life  and my behaviors by constantly correcting me.  I was terrified what would happen if I didn’t follow his demands carefully, and found myself lying to friends to avoid situations where I’d incorrectly perform his directives.   My secrets, my family members, my shows– were all the subjects of his cruel put-downs.   I knew something wasn’t right when I began to compile a list of who I could call to rescue me if he ever got out of hand.  It got to the point that he was called me every derogatory word imaginable as he almost drove me off the road  and then threw a can of soda at me– that’s when it was clear I had to get out of the relationship.

As it turns out, the person who introduced us knew he was unstable and had a history of psychological meltdowns (one that actually got him fired by the same person who introduced us… a minor detail that would have been nice to know earlier). I actually hung out as long as I did (eight months) because I thought:  “We’re of the same community of friends, so this is supposed to work, I’m supposed to endure this.  This yelling is just him being passionate.  My friends would not put me in a dangerous situation right?”  He would call me names until I cried.  It was his way of making sure I was still emotionally invested in him– if I could take his anger and still come back to him, then he had control and my love.  Sick sick sick.  And so characteristic of verbal abusers.

I’ve read that violent unstable people prey on people like me who do live ambitiously and pursue our joys– artists and activists. I think this verbal abuser thought I’d fix his miserable life– he was not in a profession that made him happy.  Nor was he courageous enough to travel, let alone, clean his room in over five years.   But I couldn’t fix the fundamental misery of his life.  In general, nobody comes into your life to fix things.  I have learned that when you enter a relationship, you need to COME CORRECT not broken like my last partner.  A good relationship is one that inspires, not compromises.  And I was not inspired. I was scared.

As I finally move past that chapter in my life, I am becoming more vocal of sharing with audiences and friends that I am a survivor of domestic violence, specifically verbal abuse.  And it’s been a very long and heartbreaking road to recovery.  Over a year out of that relationship, and I’m just learning I’m not this piece of crap person who does everything wrong. That I am actually quite an amazing person.  And yes, that I do deserve to be loved by someone who is brave enough to love without cruelty.  And yes, that I need to screen these candidates WAY better.  And yes, there are actually nice people in the world who know how to be generous and act without anger.

We live in a world where the angry customer gets their way (though now, selfish corporations trump them).  Where democracy can only be achieved by violent upheaval of the government.  Where cat fights don’t get the ratings that fist tossing bar room brawls do.  Violence is embedded in our personal and global histories.  It’s how change is incited.

Even in the Asian American community, domestic violence is commonplace.  Unfortunately, it’s shameful to talk about it and so women are suffering silently rather than reporting it.  Some (not all) Asian men think that it’s ok to yell at women.  That girlfriends and wives are “property.”

As an artist,  I was not seeking an abusive relationship.  But I was broken.  I was depleted from touring a show about suicide and needed comfort.  I needed someone to be my rock.  I was tired of dating broke people that I was always underwriting.  I saw in this verbal abuser someone who might be my rock in my continued pursuit of a financially tricky and emotionally draining profession.  Instead, I was bait and switched, pummeled with words, and knocked way off my horse until I was forced to figure out who I was again.

He did not take me away though.  And I am learning that it is possible to be brave and love again.  First myself.  Then someone else.  Someone who comes correct and has earned the privilege of my love.

It is actually possible to be in a relationship where loving communication does not happen with screaming, verbal humiliation, threatening gestures, throwing things, hitting, intimidation, forced sex or hurting. It might take a few tries to find a partner brave enough to act with kindness (or to even find it within yourself), but it’s possible. Love can suck, but it is not supposed to hurt.

(Wow, quite a lot of revelation for having been in Kansas for just one day!)

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Category: a shot at love with kristina wong, artist life., balance, Blog, cat lady, empowerment, i'm kristina wong, New Orleans, vision

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