Auditions are slow this time around, so I'm not doing much at the moment. Thankfully I've got at least one show to keep me occupied through the winter, but then what? I went to Actorfest yesterday, an actor's resource expo, in the hopes of finding more networking and auditioning opportunities. Instead, I got this:

Gina: (arrives at a table, looks at resources, waits to talk to the Exhibitor)
Exhibitor: (to a female Caucasian teenager) We have a couple of seminars coming up, check them out, our casting directors are currently looking for young types like yourself!
Gina: (still waiting)
Exhibitor: (to a young Hispanic man) Check out our upcoming seminars, our casting directors are really interested in young Hispanic males right now!
Gina: (still waiting)
Exhibitor: (to Gina) Oh, hi. Are you an actor?
Gina: Yes, what are your seminars about?
Exhibitor: We have a variety of seminars listed in this pamphlet. Thanks for stopping by.

Okay, so the harsh reality is because I'm not a young or Caucasian or African-American or a bi-lingual Hispanic actor, there is no room for me in this world. Add to that the slim to none chances I have of being cast in a musical theater production, especially as a female, I sometimes wonder why I even try. As if it weren't hard enough being an Asian-American in everyday life, I've decided to try and become an Asian-American actor. Well shit.

Because of this, I have to start considering other options. Annie, Lotus, and I are currently in the process of writing a play about three aspiring Asian-American actors, and with time, patience, and a lot of hard editing, we're hoping to submit it to a festival or two in the future. There are a lot of stereotypes about Asian-Americans that we're not only hoping to dispel, but to own and use to our advantage in order to give people like ourselves a voice that will finally be heard. I've also been thinking about song writing again because there is a part of me that would maybe like to become a recording artist. Maybe. It would require the purchase writing and recording equipment - most notably a digital keyboard and a microphone - and of course, the courage to begin writing again. It's one of the things I lack confidence in, but I suppose if it's something I really want to take a shot at, I'll have to get over it.

And then there's my "real" life. Admittedly, my job is getting better day by day. I really enjoy my co-workers, and they help make my 40-hour work week feel less like 40 hours and much less like work. I did a couple of parties all on my own this week, and I'm starting to get the hang of it. The parties are an excellent life study, and I'm using them as a way to continue my acting education. I worked a job recruiting event, a new student/alumni meet up, and a wedding, all of which captured incredible milestones within these random people's lives. Maybe I'm just being romantic. Or maybe I'm desperately trying not to be cynical.

It's so easy to be cynical these days.

All of this makes me wonder where my life is headed. Right now, I feel like I'm living two separate lives, neither of which really fit well with each other. On the one hand, I'm an aspiring artist. On the other, I'm your average restaurant worker. And a big part of me feels like I'm not taking advantage of the right opportunities. To add to all of that, I'm starting to worry that I'm too old to be taking these sorts of risks anymore. I no longer fall into the "young actor" category, I'm too old to be working entry level jobs, and soon enough, my biological clock will start ticking so loud I won't be able to pretend it's not my time yet. I don't know, I just feel sort of unwanted lately. And I feel like everything I have is not what I want.

Okay, I'm lacking a sense of direction at this point, so I think I'll stop writing. Let's just end it by saying I need some guidance. And maybe a nice, stiff drink.



It's been a little over a week since I graduated from AMDA, and things are starting to fall into place. I began my job last week, and while it will certainly do for the time being, I know that I do not want to stay there longer than I have to. This, in itself, gives me hope that things are going as they should; because I know my job isn't right for me, it gives me the motivation to continue auditioning and pursue acting, which, as I've really known all along, is what I want to be doing. So yay for that! It isn't quite party season yet, so I spend about half my time doing catering and parties and the other half hosting. Not exactly what you'd call intellectually stimulating, but, at the very least, the restaurant has a nice vibe and the people are very kind. I think, once I get adjusted, it'll be an alright place to be.

Random fun fact: My restaurant, Havana Central at The West End, is only about three years old. It was formally a long-standing establishment called The West End. In the spring of 2004, while on an east coast tour with AiR, we sang in the basement of The West End. It was my first time ever in a bar. And now I work there. Coincidence? Who knows?

Aside from starting work, I spent the end of last week bidding farewell to Rafa, who serendipitously became one of my closest friends at AMDA, and has since returned home to Mexico City. Rubria and I rented a car, "kidnapped" him, and drove us all out to Long Beach in Queens for a night of nostalgia. We presented him with a movie we made, with the help of all our friends, chronicling his time at AMDA and in New York. I don't think words could ever describe that night, so I won't even try. Nevertheless, it's one I won't ever be forgetting.

I also booked my first acting job. I'm doing a new musical Off-Broadway called Bobo's, which follows the story of an bi-racial teen struggling with the issues ethnic minorities face in the pursuit of the life they dreamed of. It's an urban musical, sung through with R&B and hip-hop music. I'm playing the Hispanic mother of the lead character. Rehearsals begin at the end of November. We're doing a concert version of the show in mid-December, and previews begin in February for a March run. I'll be doing this in addition to working, so there will be something aside from work for me to look forward to in the coming months.

In preparation for the show, and life in general, I guess, I've signed up for a membership at Planet Fitness - for $10 a month, you can't go wrong! And deals like that remind me why I love New York so much - and I've restocked my kitchen with healthy foods. I had been making such poor choices during the last couple weeks of school, but I've decided to turn over a new leaf and not make any more excuses for not taking care of myself. Thankfully, Rubria has joined me on this quest, so I have someone to help hold me accountable. It's really nice to get back into a normal regimen. I loved being at school, but I must admit that during the last 16 months, I've had little time to focus on myself. So now that I'm working only 40 hours a week, as opposed to the 24/7 commitment I made to AMDA, I have more time to devote to my health and well being, as well as my interests, like leisure reading (including plays for continued education, of course), visiting museums, arts and crafts, cooking, and being a young adult in general. I kind of missed "real" life. It's nice to get back to some sort of semblance to it.

So far, so good. And here's to hoping things continue to get better.

Long Beach, Queens

"Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight!"

Celebrating Rubria's birthday - Las hermanas en la fe


bring on tomorrow

Graduation came and went. And while I am more than happy to say goodbye to some things and certain people, there are a few that will always hold a place in my heart.

The original A1s

Drew and his bevy of Asian Maidens

Nothing but love for Rafa and Rubria

Miguel, my brother or cousin or whatever we want to call it today

Me and the family

This is only the beginning. As Rubria says, "The best is yet to come." And I'm a believer.