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Vigil For Those Who Mourn

I haven’t posted anything on the Orlando massacre this entire weekend, mostly because I had no words to express the sadness that pierced a hole into my gut. I had no way to fully process what had happened and how it was affecting me until what we were able to do at the Wizarding World yesterday; we were able to hold a vigil. 

Now, the official definition of vigil is “the period of keeping awake during the times spent asleep, especially to keep watch or pray.” As we had team members from Orlando speak of their loss on Saturday, there was such a spirit of love and unity among the crowd. That was when I felt like I understand why we call these services a vigil: we are all gathered to face the emotions that are so easily pushed aside as a community of strangers strangely United for this moment. In the times where it is so easy to retreat and hide into isolation and avoid holding someone who is going through unspeakable pain, we show up, allow the pain to do its worst, and stay awake to comfort the ones who so desperately need a soul to connect to and find solace in. 

To see strangers come together, share tears, laughter, and just stay in the embrace of one another brought me so much hope; the hope in humanity that had been slowly fading away in my heart. It was a humbling energy to experience, and it is only after allowing that to permeate into my soul that I am finally able to find some peace after such catastrophe. To all who are still suffering, I cannot say I know even an inkling of the pain that plagues you. All I can do, all WE can do, is do our best to hold you in comfort, and love you the best way we can. Love. Love those around you. Let’s keep the light on in the world that so desperately wants to keep it dark. 


Chompy The Shredder

It’s been less than 600 days since my last post!! So hey, there’s a win right there!!

So today, my pretentious ass is gonna write about a random I felt while I was shredding papers at work today. 

We have this shredder that we like to call “Chompy”. We have recently made a Cookie Monster face and put it over the mouth so it looks like we are feeding the monster every time we shred. Now, the thing about this shredder is that if it starts getting full, even in mid shred, it stops. Also if you feed it too many papers at a time, it stops mid shred. One trick getting around having to empty out the shreds is to pull the bin out, shove it down, and keep going. As I was shredding a huge box full of old documents, that’s what I kept doing; shoving the shavings down as far as it’ll go before continuing to shred. I didn’t really care that eventually I’d have to empty it out (or rather, someone will if it’s not me), I just kept pushing it down and kept shredding. Now when it came to the point where I couldn’t shred a single sheet, I decided to take the bin out and replace the trash bag. Now let me tell ya…that bag almost ripped apart because it was so full!! It took two of us to even wiggle the bag out because it was so full!! And once it was finally out of the bin, it was one hell of a haul to get it over to the garbage area. I admit I’m being a bit dramatic, but it was surprising how heavy shredded paper can be. 

That’s when I made my pretentious parallel; this is what I do with my life. The only difference being, when it’s finally time for me to actually pull that trash bag out, I refuse to let some people see it. Most of the time I end up having to make that happen by myself. So many times, that trash bag actually ends up coming apart and the shavings go everywhere. It’s a pain in the ass to clean, especially when I won’t let the people with the right tools see what’s going on. It’s not that I don’t want to ask, it’s just I feel like I can’t ask, not in a way where I feel like I won’t receive the help I need, but I let my arrogance in, saying “why should I bring others into this when its mine to fix?”

Too many a time in middle school did I run into the issue where I became co-dependent and attached to the people I tried to ask for help, and when that became hard for the other person, I’d feel rejected and abandoned. It was something I couldn’t help but expect, only to be hung high and dry due to my own self pity. So I guess there were bits of my life that I ended up forcing myself to only allow myself to deal with. And, unfortunately, often times I’d be too exhausted to really do anything about it so I’d set it aside, pressing it further down into myself, and kept feeding myself the tasks of life I need to shred. When it gets too full, and it gets hard to handle the weight of the gunk left in me, the aftermath ain’t pretty. Not only is it ugly, it’s very unhealthy. I’ve seen it tear that garbage bag apart and really leave me incapable of living life day to day. 

The only way I’ve been able to crawl out of that hole is by seeking help and comfort out from those you can trust. It’s sometimes embarrassing as fuck, but there are people in your life you’ll be able to help you carry that bag of shavings out to the dumpster. Don’t be afraid of reaching out. You never know who’ll be the one to help you through that specific season of your life. Though there is a way to reach out and there are ways you shouldn’t, but that’s not what this post is about. Bringing people into your shit is terrifying and will scare so many people away. It sucks. But you know, at least you’ll know who’s got your back and who doesn’t. That comfort alone is enough to get you through sometimes. 

Am I back? I’ll Never Be Sure

Looking back at the previous posts I’ve posted, I see that over 600 days have gone by…….where did the time go?? I also find it hilarious that my last post was titled “IM BACK ONLINE” and then 600 days go by. So here’s the deal; I’m pretty set on getting blog posts back into my routine, but I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. So as far as I’m feeling now, im back to write some more of my journey. Whether it’ll stick, eh, I guess we shall see 🙂 

There’s been too much that’s happened in the past two years that I’ll just have to skip the lengthy recaps and pretend like you all don’t know anything that’s going on in my life. I guess it’s like a fresh slate, which is sort of nice but also presents lots of problems. I feel like this is a reflection on how it feels in my life right now. The time to really assess where things are, seeing what needs reevaluation, what needs more or less attention, breaking out of old habits and forming new ones. It’s a pretty terrifying process, since I’m leaving nothing out of the mix. As an artist and a person of some sort of faith, I feel like we should constantly be checking in to see where we stand, where we rest, and where we are aiming our focus at. During the past two years, my faith, creative focus/expression, sexuality, and general paradigm of the world I live in have all taken drastic journeys. I may or may not be sharing my insights on my discoveries, because they may not be necessary to express, but I aim to make the following blog posts to be as vulnerable and honest as I can. 

What I’ve come to learn is that being an artist has its responsibilities. We are not only meant to bring people joy/escape, nor are we only meant to challenge society and aim to make a change in the world. We are meant to be as honest and truthful to our work as possible, whatever form it may take. My personal journey may resonate with one person, and make that individual know that loneliness is not their only companion. If I tackle a role as an actor, it is my duty to empathize the shit out of that human being so that I can accurately portray that aspect of the human condition. As a dancer, moving in vulnerability can help at least someone in the audience feel the emotion draped across the stage. The meaning of being a Collaborative Artist has changed over the years. The collaboration doesn’t solely lie in the skills the artists bring to the table, but the willingness to be a part of each others’ vulnerability and humanity. For the moments you spend creating art, you are tapping into the heart and soul of the other, whether or not it is something you intended to do. You may not like what you see; in fact, what you find may terrify the you and make your core shiver. But that’s the beauty of this journey we all chose to be a part of as artists. We find the beauty in the ashes, nurse the Phoenix out of the flames, and harmonize to the caucus of life to make it strangely beautiful. That’s what I believe it means to be a collaborative artist, and it’s a journey that hasn’t been easy, nor will it ever start being easy. But it’s one hell of a ride for sure. Hopefully this means I’m back, maybe it means I’ll pop by once every two years and write another pretentious post like this one about my so-called discoveries about life. Either way, I’m bringing this back into my routine, one way or another 🙂 

Deepest Apologies! I’m Back Online!!

To everyone who previously followed this blog and have not heard from me in WAAAAY too long,

I’m SOOOOO sorry it’s been so long. Things have been going in both great and difficult ways, so it’s been hard to keep everyone up to date on everything that’s been going on. I hope you forgive me, and I’ll be better about more current updates 🙂 

To summarize what’s happened since the last time I wrote:


– I MOVED!!!!

– I attended both Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance, and was a volunteer at the LA Film Festival.

– I worked at Universal Studios as a zombie for their Halloween Horror Night event!!

– I was hired on a film/web series that took me to Arizona for 2 months. 

– I competed in a Singing Competition and landed in the finals once and semi-finals the next time! 

– I was invited into a Dance Company (Stretch Dance Company) and danced in a preview show of “I Have Lived A Thousand Years”, a ballet telling the story of a girl who survived the Holocaust. Also got to dance in the LA Choreographer’s Ball with the company. 

– Been working fairly consistently and being paid to work in the film industry!!!

– Directed my first play, which got nominated for an award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and also was in the Pick of the Fringe category, meaning our play placed in the top 20 plays of the festival (which is a festival that plays over 300 plays during the month of the festival). We also just got extended to run the play again in August for a short period of time 🙂 

– I finished writing my first feature length screenplay with a writing partner, and am in the process of selling it. 

– I’m currently in the pre-production phase of the first film I will be directing since I’ve been out in LA. We’ve already received a grant to film it, and we are scheduled to film it this Fall sometime. 

– I am now a Lyft Driver!!!

– I’ve also been dancing in multiple groups and shows around town. 

So brief summary, but it’s still a lot to process!! I won’t be going into specifics with most of them, but I’ll keep you all posted on the newer things happening soon. I’ve also attached some pictures for you all to see from the past few months. It’ll give you all a small idea of what’s been going on 🙂 

I’ll be more consistent on writing about my experiences here, and elaborating on things I’ve learned being here. But as a return post, I’ll keep it short and simple. Thank you all for reading!! That’s all for now!!!



Carnival - 1

The Dance Company I dance for – Stretch Dance Company

DM - 1

My beautiful Special Effects Makeup friends and I making magic 🙂

FAME - 1

Singing in a competition

Graduation - 1 Graduation - 2


HHN - 1 HHN - 2 HHN - 3

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

LAFF - 1

LA Film Festival Volunteering 🙂

Level Ground - 1

Level Ground Film Festival Staff Experience 

West Side - 1

A Dance Re-telling of the West Side Story 🙂  

Line Dancing - 1

Dancing with a Line Dancing Group down in Long Beach

Matthew Morrison MV

Matthew Morrison Music Video Shoot

Random Puppet

Being a pirate and a puppeteer for a web series

Stretch - 1

My Still from the Dance Company 

Stretch - 2


Stretch - 3 Stretch - 4

Stills from our show 🙂 

TIFF - 1 TIFF - 2 TIFF - 3 TIFF - 4

Toronto International Film Festival 2013


My Apartment At Night!!

So I was doing my laundry one night, and I looked around, and found that it really is a perfect place for a horror film. it was really dark and creepy, so I pulled out my camera, and did this in like 20 minutes. No edits done to it, just posted. So this is my apartment complex!!


Keep Your Eyes, Heart, and Mind Open

This is something that I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks, and it continuing to show to be true in this town, so I wanted to share. No matter what your primary title is, when you’re starting out in this town, you need to keep your eyes, heart, and mind open for many things; guarded, but open. You have no idea what things may be a blessing to you, and the things you thought would be your blessings may turn out to be something that harms you. One of the best ways I’ve found this to be effective is to find places to serve. Let’s look at that word “Serve”. This doesn’t mean drop everything and go into charity, but it means don’t be afraid of doing free work. It’s hard, I know, because “free work” automatically puts stress on bills and time, especially if it’s not in the field you call your primary profession. However, I’ve found that God works in so many mysterious and complicated ways, that I’ve been blessed more in free shoots than paid ones. Here are two examples that I’ve had in the past few weeks.

I was looking through my LA casting notices, when I came across a familiar name: Matthew Morrison. Apparently he was doing a music video, and they needed extras and background players. Sadly, the compensation section said “No Pay”. Mind you, just by submitting yourself does not mean that you automatically get into the production, so I thought “Why not?” So I submitted myself for it. The next day, I got an email saying I’ve been selected to be in their music video as “Young Couple”. It was exciting to know that I was going to be in a music video, but it was hard to know that it wasn’t paid. Then, the email said that we were shooting on the Paramount Lot! So I thought “Okay! I get to be in a music video for Matthew Morrison, and I get to shoot on the Paramount Lot!” So when the day came, despite the 7 am call, I was ready to go; a little hesitant in the morning because it was so early, but I still made my trek over there. I got there super early as well because I was so paranoid of being late, so I was there with just the 2nd AD and the producer. But I was able to just walk around the lot, looking at some awesome stages, including a pool stage with the sky backdrop thingy, which I got super geeked out over. When the day finally started, the Extras Wrangler called me over and said that I was now the Cab Driver. I was okay with that, so I went over to where they wanted me to be, and what car’s waiting for me? The famous 1950’s Checker Cab!! I got to drive that cab around!! So if you see that music video now and see that cab, yeah, that was me. After driving that cab, while waiting around with the other extras (Awesome people by the way), Matthew Morrison walks over to us and thanks us each individually for spending our day for free to help this dream of his come true! So yeah, we got pictures with him, and talked to him, etc. I couldn’t believe I was just standing there watching Mr Shou do his thing!! So even if the day had ended there, I would have been happy working for free. It was such a fun shoot to that point! But the day just kept getting better!! I was waiting around to see if they needed me for anything, so a few of us and I just sat around talking and walking over to craft services for the cold but absolutely tasty breakfast burritos, then from the dressing rooms, this man walks out who looked SUPER familiar…it took me a little while, but it was Ryan Di Lello from So You Think You Can Dance season 6!! Then I turn around, and there’s his wife Ashleigh Di Lello as well!! I just stopped and couldn’t move for a while. For some reason, I geek out over dancers more than I do actors or film people. For the entire time from then til lunch, I was trying to find a time to be able to talk to them, because they weren’t shooting quite yet. My new friends thought it was absolutely hilarious that I freaked out that much, but I didn’t care. Right after lunch, I found the perfect window of opportunity to go up to Ryan and strike up a conversation. So I did, and I ended up talking to him and Ashleigh for the next 20 some minutes while the crew finished setting everything up outside. I couldn’t believe that I was just sitting there talking to these two amazing dancers that I loved during the show! Then the last cherry on top was there was yet another So You Think You Can Dance veteran Ashley Galvan shows up as well! So I met three So You Think You Can Dance dancers, and Matthew Morrison in one day of free work. That in itself was incredible for me, but I also became pretty close to some of the extras I worked with. So with that one day that I decided to work for free, I met so many incredible people and had such a blast on the Paramount Lot. None of that would have been possible if I didn’t agree to work for free.

My second story has to do with serving at my Church. If you’re not a Christian and reading this, finding some place to serve like this is always a great idea. Towards the beginning of my stay here in Hollywood, I found it so difficult to connect with people and to have friends that made me feel at home. I had 2 friends, both of whom are girls, and if it weren’t for them, I would have given up a long time ago. However, it was hard not to have any male friends. I didn’t know what it was, but I just couldn’t connect with the guys at church or alums from the LAFSC program, or at least the ones I met up to that point. I was at the verge of giving up with Mosaic when I don’t know how this happened, but I signed up to be a book club host of the new series Mosaic is doing. Of course, I chose the most awkward time (Mondays at 1 pm) so I didn’t get many people signed up at all. However, at the meeting, I met this really cool guy that I instantly connected with. We hung out for the rest of the night after having just met! Turns out, he was one of the leaders of the ambiance team at Mosaic (The ambiance team decorates the church before people arrive. Since I help out at the evening team, we light candles, set tables and chairs on the patios in their right places, etc.) This was the week of Easter, so Easter was the Sunday coming up. I find out that this guy was in charge of decorating a big portion of the church for Easter Sunday, so I offered to help that Saturday. It was an all day feat, but it sounded like fun. When I got there, it seemed odd at first because I came late so everyone had already started. But as the day went on, I was able to help get a lot of things together. The theme was an oasis, so we had tons of palm trees and flowers all over the place to make it look like an oasis. It really turned out beautifully. While I was helping out, I got to meet some of the other volunteers and the other leaders as well. One of the people I met that is sort of the point of this story, is a find arts photographer. I’ve never heard of it, so we traded information, and we ended up talking about what we both specialize in. He had just moved from Oregon a month after I moved here, so at this point he had only been around for a few weeks. As we continued to talk, I found out he was working on a music video, and he found out that I’ve had experience with editing film with music and dance in them. In the following few days, he contacted me to see if I wanted to help him with that music video! So we met to talk about it. Now, at this point, both of us had looked each other up; he had watched my films on my website, and I looked through all of his pictures on his. In addition to his photography, he had a book he wrote that he was selling! It was a little pricy for me at the moment because I still don’t have a job, but I really wanted to read it. On the way to the meeting I even thought about asking if I could just see a copy and read it. When I got to the meeting, he pulls out this white package wrapped real nice and hands it to me. It was his book! I thought it was hilarious that I was just thinking about asking him if I could borrow one, and he just gives me a copy! The meeting was great, though it was hard to know what steps to take from there due to some complications, but when I got home, I read through that book in 20 minutes. I normally do not cry watching movies or reading books, though there are exceptions. Up to this point, I had never cried reading a book. It was such a beautiful story, and his photography was such an excellent companion to the story. After reading it, I sent him a text message thanking him for the book, and telling him how much I loved that story. Then I received a text that had a jokey tone to it, talking about maybe turning this into a movie. I jumped on that boat so fast, and whipped up an outline and a binder (with nothing in it yet, but I printed labels and everything), because in my mind, this story lends itself so healthily into a feature length film! So I met with him again and presented the idea, and he loved it and agreed to let me make this film! So I somehow ended up landing my first feature on my 22nd birthday! (Yes, Best Birthday gift EVER!!) Ever since then, the two of us have been tossing more film ideas at each other. This happened just because I somehow decided (still don’t know how) that I was going to host a book club for Mosaic. I’m not in any position to lead anyone spiritually, nor am I equipped enough to host people into my home (which is why we meet at a Starbucks down the street haha), but I just went with the idea, and look where it’s lead me. Though it’s still not easy in the financial department (seriously, around $20 left for the rest of the month) I have community, a place to serve (I serve with the ambiance team every Sunday), good friends, fellow talented artists who want to work on projects with me, and support. Who knows where things will take me from here, but I’m excited to see where my path leads. I feel like this is a very good place to be. I’m still struggling to get by, but you know, what fun would it be if there was no struggle? It wouldn’t mean much either. This city, though I’ve been here for a little less than 3 months now, has become a place I can call home, and it’s because I found a place, not the place I want to land in forever, but a place that I can contribute. Keep your eyes, heart, and mind open. You never know what’ll be thrown your way. Just make sure you just keep swimming, and never give up. That’s my little speel for today!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Auditioning…my little speel :)

So today, I wanted to write a little bit about some of the auditions I’ve been going to, and a little speel I have on them. Through LA Casting, I’ve been getting quite a few different kinds of auditions (Mostly student shorts, but some bigger things, and a lot of music video/dance related auditions, but that’s not what I’m going to cover today). It’s always hard to tell how to approach the audition, because sometimes the producers give you sides, sometimes they dont, sometimes they tell you what to prepare, and sometimes they just tell you that they want you to show up and they’ll tell you what to do there. It’s hard to gage what’s going to happen, and what you need to do to make this audition the best it can be. But the most important thing is to make sure you make a choice about what you’re going to do in that room, and once you’re done, move on from it. Yes, there will be some funny stories you encounter, but you can’t hang on to every audition, waiting for them to respond, because chances are, they won’t let you know if you did not get the role. It does get difficult sometimes, because there are those roles that you read and think “Oh, this is the PERFECT role for me!!” but chances are there are at least 20 other people who may be “Perfect” for that role. But don’t let that get you down! Think of it this way: If it’s not meant for you, it won’t be, but the role that you do get, you’re the only one who can do it! It may be a long time before you land a role, and it may take forever before you land a role you REALLY like, but that’s all part of the journey! And also, make sure you treat yourself after every audition. Encourage yourself and congratulate yourself for making it through a hard but necessary step to get where you need to be, so give yourself a little break after each one. It’ll help not burn yourself out.

I’ll end this post with a pretty funny story (or at least it’s pretty funny in my head haha). I got an audition to play this Japanese student who just moved here a few years ago to study. He’s wanting to make enough money so that he can go back to his hometown, so he somehow gets wrapped up in a bank robbery. It was an interesting story, but I had no idea they wanted a super thick Japanese accent. So I get to the audition location, sign in, and wait in front of the door. As I get there, someone was just leaving, and this Japanese guy goes in. Naturally, since I’m sitting next to the door, I can hear everything going on inside. So the beginning was the same chit chat that you have when you go into any audition, like “Was it hard finding the building?” “Do you have any questions?” “Could you slate for the camera” yada yada yada…then I hear him go for it in his Japanese accent, and since he was Japanese and someone who moved here recently, it was natural for him, so it was a great accent. Already, I was getting intimidated, but I had no idea why. This wasn’t a role I really wanted, it was just an audition that I got so I showed up. All of a sudden, I hear this guy start yelling in Japanese, and the reader starts reading in Japanese!!! Then after a little bit I hear the director and the guy start talking about something in Japanese, and I’m sitting there thinking “Why the heck am I even here?” I wanted to walk away and save myself the humiliation…but then I said to myself, “What have you to lose?” So I waited til the guy was finished, and when he walked out, I didn’t even want to look at him, or I felt like I was going to crack up laughing because how embarrassed I was. I get inside, hand them my headshot and resume, then when they asked me if I had any questions, I flat out told them that I’m not Japanese, so if I could do it without the Japanese accent. They looked at me a little confused for a second, then said “Oh yeah, go ahead. Character comes first.” So I did the best I could do in the audition, and I was out of there well less than half the time the first guy was in there, but it didn’t matter. All throughout the walk to my car, I couldn’t help but laugh at how funny the situation was. It really isn’t such a funny story, but I guess I was so embarrassed and panicked that I ended up having the giggles. After that, i treated myself to a small In-N-Out Cheeseburger. Made the world a better place 🙂

Well, that’s all for now!! Til next time!