Tag Archives: Jeanette Eng

My Rockefeller Center Campaign is Up!

Experience Extraordinary Everyday!
Experience Extraordinary Everyday!
Check me out!
Check me out!
Why hello there...oh, what's that you say?  I look like that woman on the phone booth?  Don't be absurd...wait...omg!
Why hello there…oh, what’s that you say? I look like that woman on the phone booth? Don’t be absurd…wait…omg!
Whoa!!!
Whoa!!!
My friend hitting on my phone booth twin
My friend hitting on my phone booth twin
Heading downtown in taxi at 6am!
Heading downtown in taxi at 6am!
heading to church, glammed up post-shoot!
heading to church, glammed up post-shoot!
with a fellow Bella agency model Katerina!
with a fellow Bella agency model Katerina!
If you’re in NYC and in the Rockefeller Center area, swing by the phone booth on 6th Ave btwn 46th and 47th to get up close and personal with my bad self!  This was a shoot in November booked through Ken Park for Design Firm Pentagram, photographer Sam Robinson, all for Rockefeller Center, for print and taxi videos!  Here are some fruits of our labor! THE SHOOT: It was an early morning with a call time of 6am on Sunday morning, so I remember taking a taxi up and it being dark and cold!  Go figure that our first shot was to be ON the ice skating rink!  We were ushered onto the rink where bar tables and drinks were setup…remember it’s November and freezing…and we shot a “summer scene,” depicting the rink when it is transformed into a plaza in the summer!  So, there we were, w/o jackets, smiling and toasting our glasses, standing on ice, in November…what a crazy sight!  Everyone was shivering, but the talent especially, as we were dressed for summer!  I remember getting back inside and a fellow talent turning the hair dryer on his feet! When it came to my solo shoot, I was dressed up in chic designer duds and my shot was walking along 50th Street with the Radio City Sign behind me.  I just walked the 10 feet up and down the corner of 50th and 6th while the photographer walked backwards, shooting me.  I walked, I looked, I smiled, I walked, I smiled, I looked around.  One funny thing is that they were timing the shots with the  taxi traffic behind me so that was interesting.  It was like, “wait for it…ok, taxis are moving, walk, walk walk!”  Again, it was FREEZING, but a short shoot because I still made it to church by 11am!  Here are some shots and a video from the day of the shoot: I COULDN’T HELP BUT CREATE A LITTLE SKETCH WITH MY PHONE BOOTH! CHECK IT OUT!

The 5 Most Annoying Online Dating Faux Pas

I recently joined the online dating community and have immediately increased the number of eyebrow-raising encounters in my virtual world.  In an effort to find some humor in the situation and perhaps enlighten a population of clueless men and be an ambassador for a nation of exasperated women, I thought I’d highlight the biggest repeat offenses on the online dating scene.

 OFFENSE #5: Crafting a Username

This goes out to “YourDreamMan846,” “Ambitious247,” and “ImYours129.”  It doesn’t matter what type of username you invented.  The sheer fact that you designed a name just for this site is the crime.  Normal people use the same username for everything and that username is usually some iteration of their name.  Would you go to a Fortune 500 Company job interview w/ an email like dreamcatcher324@aol.com?!  Well then don’t show up to eHarmony with a username like ImTheOne143! [real-life] examples below:
Intended communication: “I’m clever w/ wordplay!” Interpreted communication: “I'm chock full o' bad puns…run!”
Intended communication: I’m clever w/ wordplay!
Interpreted communication: I’m chock full o’ bad puns…run!
       
Intended communication: I’m a complex and conflicted soul
Interpreted communication: I’ve got baggage and I’m a drama king
     
Intended Communication: "I'm a Sweet Korean guy." Interpreted Communication: "I'm a boring Korean guy."
Intended Communication: I’m a Sweet Korean guy. Interpreted Communication: I’m a boring Korean guy.
 

Intended communication: “I’m goal oriented! Interpreted communication: “I'm a lazy bum."
Intended communication: “I’m goal oriented! Interpreted communication: “I’m a lazy bum.”

 
Intended communication: “I’m handsome and successful!” “I’m insecure and my username knows it
Intended communication: I’m handsome and successful!
I’m so insecure even my username knows it

OFFENSE #4: Withholding Information

NoInfoThere are sections in your profile where you simply choose from a drop down list to answer objective questions as to your: ethnicity, height, body type, religion, etc.  Why these questions are left unanswered on your profile is beyond me.  These are facts about you.  There’s no easier survey than that, buddy. What’s your intention in avoiding these questions?  mystery, mystique, wonderment?  Man up and own up to who you are!  I’m not on a dating website to rack up blind dates!  Would you buy an external hard drive with – TB harddrive storage and – RAM that is size – x – x – that is the color – ?  Well then what makes you think I even want to look at a man with just as little disclosure?!                

   

OFFENSE #3: Photo Don’ts

There are a plethora of photo offenses.  In the interest of time, I’ll just highlight a few of the most barf-worthy and aggregate them into a single category, otherwise we could be here all day. unecessaryselfieShirtless Out-of-shape Selfies Take pictures of your body if it’s worth showing off.  I don’t want to see you shirtless if it’s just revealing a toneless, pale, soft torso.  This is a case where you can leave it to my imagination.  And honestly, it’s really only fine to take include a shirtless photo if you happen to be at the beach or winning a fitness competition.  Anything else reads douche-y.           creepymccreepsterA photo of you with a faceless woman Your photo collection should consist of pictures of simply you and/or you with people that [still] matter to you.  Don’t perform surgery on your pictures.  It looks creepy that you resorted to dismembering or defacing your ex next to you in the picture.  And why are you even including pictures of your ex on a dating site?!       FakeModelingmodeling pictures: real or imagined Keep the photos civilian.  I don’t care if you’re an actor or a model; so am I.  I’m not going to plaster my headshot up because I’m not trying to get discovered on here; I’m trying to meet a real person!  This is doubly bad if you’re taking fake modeling pictures cuz now you’re not even getting paid to look like a bag of douche.       shadymcshadster No pictures C’mon.  Just. come. on.  Again, I’m not online dating for blind dates!     Pictures that don’t look like you If all goes well, we’re eventually going to meet and I will know that you look nothing like your picture(s).  Here’s a great litmus test.  If you’re marveling at how good a certain picture of you looks, it’s not real enough.  Don’t false advertise.  It’s better to underpromise and overdeliver than to have no shot of delivering at all.

OFFENSE #2: Pseudo-intellectual descriptions

This goes out to Mr. “I’m an open book that’s hard to read” (true story) and Mr. “I’m a walking contradiction” (rough recollection).  The essay portion of your dating profile is an opportunity to show a little personality, that’s all.  Read: Do not attempt to display your [lack of] literary prowess here simply because you have a field box instead of a pulldown menu at your disposal.  These descriptions are nauseating because you are either spending the time to fabricate a mystique about your persona with ridiculous metaphors and refurbished catchphrases…or you actually speak like that.  Both scenarios are intolerable.

OFFENSE #1: Beyond the Profile

Now, just cuz a prospect has made his way into my inbox and elicited communication from me does not guarantee he is free and clear!  The weirdo can still rear it’s ugly head here.  Two messaging don’t’s: Do Not Blow Up My Inbox: If I haven’t responded to your last message, give me a doggone minute!  If any of your messages take on the tone of pandering, egging, or chastising me into responding, then you have gone too far, my friend.  This goes out to Mr. “Oh c’mon, give me a chance!”  and Mr. “Why do you keep visiting my profile and not responding?!”  Do you really want me to say, “Because I’m trying to convince myself you look good enough to respond to?”  Just sayin’! Do Not Becoming Dating Website Penpals w/ Me: This goes out to Mr. “So, tell me about yourself and your favorite vacation memory” and Mr. “What’re your plans for the weekend?  Not for the purpose of scheduling a date, just to ask!” I don’t need a new chitchat buddy.  I need us to get out of the inbox and into a real life scenario!  Of course, once we get to real life, we then enter a whole new world with opportunities for real life faux pas; but alas, that is fodder for another “top 5” list! In closing, I’d like to say my peace: I am not some bitter online dating man-hater, I’m in this to win this, baby!  In the throes of the online dating success stories in my circle, I hope and pray that I will release a final triumphant article relaying the fairytale that begot me my handsome Christian hunk of a fiancee [picture a God-fearing Channing Tatum-type]  Delicious, right?  So, excuse me as I log on to my account to look for him.

My Landmark Forum Experience

I recently took a course called the Landmark Forum that has seismically shifted the space that I’m operating in.  I was referred to it by a trusted friend who reported all sorts of positive results.  Being that I felt I could afford to experience a breakthrough, I waffled a bit and then prodded by some frustrations and a check that came in, I made my move!  And so, on a recent weekend, I found myself spending 3 days, 10 hours each day, soaking up radical views on our existence and approaches to our life events.  Below are the points that made the most impact on me.  I’m excited to share with you and solidify the information for myself as well.
 
What happened vs. Your story of What happened. landmarkWe are meaning-making machines.  We attach meaning to stuff that simply happens and those meanings usually don’t serve us.  Then we drag those meanings all the way through life so that our present state of being is a result of a damaged child.  Remove meaning from all the bad things in your life and you will be free to to have peace of mind, self-expression, power, etc. What this means to me: My dad can hang up the phone abruptly with me and I won’t take it to mean he’s insensitive or doesn’t want to talk or doesn’t love me.  I can leave it as simply “He hung up the phone.”  This simplicity allows me to step into the next moment w/o preoccupation from life’s stories.  We have the freedom to change our stories as well.  “I am not a morning person,” is just a story and can be changed if you choose to author it differently.  
 
Get good w/ your parents
One assignment that everyone had  was to call their parents and thank them for the gift of life and for all the good things in his/her life.  Conversely, such meant that everyone then had to take responsibility for all of the things that were not good in his/her life.  Everything that your parents did after giving birth to you was bonus.  And thus, they don’t owe you for any of the things that you are probably blaming them for.
An entire room of almost 300 people were making calls to their parents to say “I love you.”  Chinese twenty-somethings who hadn’t called their parents in weeks to seniors who had decades of resentment to release…released it all.  It was incredible to witness healing on such a massive scale.  For me, it softened my approach towards my parents and gave me compassion for them.  

Relationships are 100/0
We usually think of relationships as being 50/50….and so we wait around if we feel that the ball is in the other person’s court.  Well, Landmark teaches that all it takes is one person to decide he/she wants to make the relationship whole and the other person will rise to the occasion.  This gives you permission to take action.  Now that’s uncomfortable, but it’s going to save the relationship. This was huge for me.  It took the waiting out of  reconciliation.  It told me loud and clear that I needed to make some phone calls.  
 
Don’t make anyone wrong. There is no wrong; there is just another possibility.  Consider the possibility that someone else has another way of doing something.  Then, when you talk to them about it, you aren’t coming from a self-righteous, “attitude-y” place; you are coming from a place of enlightenment where you want to create a new possibility for yourself and that person.  You can be right and alone or you can have a relationship.  And no one wants to go to the grave, “having been right” [and no one at their funeral].
 
Forgiveness Forgiveness does not condone the action at hand.  Forgiveness is for you; it releases you from the right to punish or resent the other.  And when you have resentment in your heart, you’re not at ease, aka dis- ease, aka disease, aka you get sick!  And when you ask them to forgive you, you’re releasing them from resenting and punishing you.  That is why it’s so important to apologize.  An apology completes the relationship.
mothertheresa
 
You chose everything in your life. Your life is a result of your choices, not your decisions.  Decisions involve reasons.  Choosing is simply your choice.  Therefore, if you take on the mindset that you chose your parents; you chose yourself; you chose everything, then everything is perfect and thus you have perfect parents, you are perfect, your body is perfect, etc.  When you start using the word “choose,” you empower yourself and stop making yourself a victim to your circumstances.
 
Everything in the present is given by the future.  
When it’s Friday, you’re already living in the weekend.  When it’s Sunday, you’re already living at work.  When you have a vacation in que, you are already losing weight for it two months out.  Thus, the present is given by the future.  Now, if you attach meaning to the past, the future is consumed by an effort to try to recreate the past or avoid the past and the present is given by that.  So, your present is simply about the future which is about the past.  But if the past has no meaning, then it doesn’t exist in the future, and thus, your present is unaffected by it.  Then, you can enjoy the moment.
Life is Meaningless; don’t take things so seriously. The game of life was invented to raise the stakes in a game to keep us interested.  I didn’t like the way this sounded to me at first, but I have to admit that this phrase has removed a lot of the stress and burden that I oftentimes place upon myself in the name of being successful, being a good daughter/sister/friend, being a good Christian.  A levity is discernible to me post-Forum. There is no tomorrow, there is no past, there is just now, then now, then now, etc.  Just live in now.
Don’t place so much significance on weight, it’s just weight.  And then it comes down to discipline. This was big for me, but I think that being in a happier, more secure place after the Forum will help me be in control of my diet and exercise naturally.  Then, not placing such great emphasis on weight will make it easier to create a transformation as well.  Whatever you resist, persists.
Language is the author of everything.
When God said, “Let there by light,” there was light.  Create new possibilities for yourself by speaking them out.  Declaring is the beginning of creation
possible
These were just  some of the moments that took residence in my brain.  I have to say that I’m excited to take the Seminar Series on Thursday, designed to help one solidify their knowledge from the Forum.  I would whole-heartedly recommend the Forum to anyone who is looking to lessen frustration, decrease stress, heal relationships, remove life clogs and drains, in order to ultimately live life w/ power, peace of mind, self-expression, and freedom…what we all want.  (Power is the velocity with which you can enact ideas into action).  Anything is available that you want for yourself.
I didn’t buy into everything that the Forum taught, and so I’ll add the disclaimer that it will not necessarily all be for you.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that I’m feeling like I can breathe easier, live more spontaneously, shrug off things that don’t serve me, and choose the life that I want.  I’m relaxed!  And all because life is meaningless…go figure!

Mi Web.Com Commerciale!

According to my college friend, my old college Hall Director, and a smattering of other keen eyes out there, my Web.Com commercial, where I fill the role of a yoga instructor/user of web.com, has his the airwaves! We shot this in a studio in City Stage in August and I booked it through Liz Lewis by way of good ‘ole Actors Access. (I’m not too good for self-submitting!)  The script was one of those pages of one-liners, many of which ended up in the final product.  In the first casting, I read the lines w/ a another woman and in the callback, I read them alone.  I remember being in an ornery mood at the initial audition and was so gratefully baffled to be called back, during which I came w/ the charm and talent full-force..haha!  Angela was incredibly supportive, even just through email, throughout the entire process…I felt fully prepared and nurtured from casting through to payday…a refreshing rarity! The shoot itself was a pleasure.  I had a shoot earlier that day and they worked with me so that I could shoot during the later portion in the day, allowing me ample time to shoot a voiceover in NJ for Deloitte Touche and get back to NY to shoot Web.com.  Some highlights of the shoot, in bullet-point recollection, in no particular order:
  • Catering by Carmine’s (their famous: tiramisu, garlic bread, chicken marsala)
  • Fresh-baked-on-set cookies
  • Creative craftie all-around (can you tell I did a lot of eating?!)
  • The opportunity to improv while on set.  They just had me speak off-the-cuff about my “experience” after delivering the scripted lines
  • Bumping into a crew member that I’ve worked with several times and catching up
  • Having the opportunity to relax and read while waiting for the turn (it’s the little things!)
Behind-the-scenes captures of both shoots are here…and don’t forget to watch the actual commercial!  Enjoy!

MIRACLE ON 94th STREET

I’ve wanted to live in NYC for as long as I can remember.  I would often close my eyes and dream [or make a vision board] of a sexy, yet sophisticated Tribeca loft, outfitted in equal parts chic and grit.  I would have a dog…I didn’t know what type at the time, but have recently fallen in love w/ French bulldogs, so I’d probably have one of those.  I’d have dinner parties w/ the coolest of people, I’d go running nearby, I’d be dressed uber-chic, I’d have food-service, I’d have maid-service, I’d have fresh flowers-service …you get the idea.  I’d be a bonafide New Yorker, straight out of the pages of the Carrie diaries. But how to achieve this as an actress/as a creative/while doing what I wanted?  Many New Yorkers are making some sort of compromise with their living situation, whether it be in the way of cost or size or number of residents.  None of these compromises were a part of my dream.  In my dream, I had it all: I was living in Manhattan in a luxury condo in a fabulous neighborhood, sans roommates, and working for myself.  That’s the only way I was going to make the move from Jersey.  It had to be right.  I desired, I envisioned, I prayed, I worked, and I took practical steps to manifest my dream. But until then, life had to go on…and for years, it did.  For years, my life as a Jersey girl moonlighting and then working in the big city was extremely tedious.  It was standard for me to leave the house during the day, equipped with clothes, food, computer, and everything in between that I would need to get me through the next 10 hours.  I had a list of cafes on my phone that I could spend hours at in-between appointments.  I finagled locker real estate at each of my gyms to save me from toting sneakers and [sometimes sweat-drenched] gym clothes around.  I knew where I could warm food up at public and private microwaves in certain parts of the city.  It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I lived on the streets.  I had nowhere to just be.  Gosh, I remember how the advent of Loosecubes had the looks of changing my life.  Loosecubes gave me an office where I could get wifi, refrigerate food, and pee!  Those who are road warriors understand the beauty of such a trifecta!  I can’t tell you how many times I would eat food that was not hot, not cold, but just kinda whatever temperature it was after 6 hours in my bag.  Don’t worry, I have a third-world country strong stomach.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased clothes because in the process of carrying outfits to change into, forgetting undergarments or other pieces of the outfit is likely.  And don’t even get me started on never being prepared for midday weather changes.  Let’s just say I have 7 umbrellas for a reason. But as always, looking back reveals how resilient we can manage to be.  I was still able to accomplish a heck of a lot working out of cafes and as a commuter over all these years.  I managed to curate a career from scratch, start a non-profit, and hold my own socially as well.  From the outside, I did so much in the city, I most likely had the appearance of a New Yorker all along.  But little did people know that I snuck back over across the river once the day was over.  And over there, I would clasp my hands together and dream and pray for my NYC apartment to come soon. And it finally did. My life is completely different now.  I’ve only been here for the better part of a week  and every aspect of my life has been upgraded.  Manhattan is my playground.  I feel like I live on a college campus because everything is so accessible.  I feel like I moved to a foreign country because everything is so exciting.  I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, minus the hooker past.  I feel like Carrie Bradshaw prancing up her brownstone steps, minus the annoying tutus.  I did a combination happy dance/girly squeal once I realized that I was officially moved in.  I sang good morning to myself on my first morning.  I am in completely awe of how easy it is to get everywhere…I couldn’t be late if I tried.  I am in love with everyone: the fruit stand man on the corner, Gary the doorman, Rory the concierge, Frank the super, Seth the leasing agent, Luz the coordinator…these men and women are the secret heroes in my Manhattan fairytale. I have such bigger dreams now.  I exude a new joy every morning when I rise in my little 400-square foot of heaven 15 floors above Broadway.  I cook better and eat better in my kitchen with its abundant pantry space and singing microwave.  My makeup and hair is better since I’ve been doing it in my squeaky-new bathroom with ample mirrors all the better for looking at myself in!  My body’s in better shape since I’ve been running in Central Park since it’s a stones throw away.  I can’t wait to embrace the activities, lifestyle, restaurants, ambitions, and people that await me.  I can’t wait to do so much more.  I know that my flesh believed that my nyc apartment dream was taking much too long.  But God knew what He was doing and waited until I was ready to be smart with it.  I believe that and shall use my miracle wisely. Thank you, from the upper west side.  😉  

Get Fit New York!

Get Fit New York just had the pleasure of interviewing two Olympic athletes who live and train right here in NYC!  Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad-Tabago (2nd from R)  and Paul Kim Williams of Granada (far R) sat down [on the ground] with me to divulge their Olympic stories.  Then I took it to the gym w/ their strength and conditioning coach to see how I’d measure up next to these guys.  They were extremely gracious in sharing their experience, they were gentle on me during their workout, and they really showed both their humility and their athleticism between their interviews and workouts…I was and remain in awe! For those of you who don’t know, I have just launched my very first fitness web series, titled Get Fit NY!  We profile the fitness culture in NYC to spur its residents on to the incredible events and opportunities pulsating right here in NYC!  We release new videos every Wednesday, so you’ll have to wait to see our interview w/ the Olympians.  But for now, you can get caught up on the past three episodes right here!

Homefirst Commercial

I had the pleasure of playing a nurse in a Homefirst commercial this past Saturday.  The job was booked through Ken Park Management and Don Case Casting and shot in Brooklyn by a Production Company.  A first for me on this job was being provided limo service from my home in New Jersey to the set in Brooklyn and then back!  What a treat! On set, I met Kim, one of the other “nurses,” who wrapped soon after I arrived.  After some natural makeup and designer scrub changes, it was time for Mr. Lee, my “co-star,” and I to shoot our scene!  Mr. Lee was an 88-year old Chinese man who was actually street-casted from Flushing, Queens.  He was a natural, however, and surely won the entire crew over…I may venture so far as to say that he stole the scene! Our shots were simple, taken in the kitchen, meant to portray an early morning setting.  In actuality, we were shooting at 8pm, but with production magic, they were able to create the illusion of sunlight streaming through the window and splashing onto the tray of oranges just perfectly!  The task was to capture moments of connection between me and him.  That was simple, as Mr. Lee was adorable, repeating the word “action” in his Chinese accent each time after they spoke it!  We also conversed in Mandarin in-between takes and shared many laughs.  He had me rolling when he commented on how much tea we were drinking and I got a chuckle out of him as I told him he could go on to Hong-Kong movie stardom! I wrapped around 9pm (started at 3:30pm) and my limo awaited me, whisking me back to Jersey.  I felt like a princess indeed.  Check out the pictures below.  Good times!

My foray into stand-up

I have always always ALWAYS been a lover of good comedy.  Dane Cook, Mitch Hedburg, Russell Peters, Demitri Martin, Chris Rock, Pablo Francisco, and Jim Gaffigan are just a few of my rockstars.  I had my favorite bits from each of them that I could literally recite verbatim…Dane Cook’s “Chicken Sangwich story,” Mitch Hedburg’s line about flyers being given out in New York, Russell Peter’s “Indian customer-Chinese salesman” joke, Chris Rock’s “bad phone-sex” rendition, Pablo Francisco’s “Spanish girlfriend” story, Jim Gaffigan’s “robe” joke..and of course, “hot pocket” joke.  And since peering into NYC’s own local comedy culture, I also quickly came to respect Wil Sylvince, Godfrey, Eliot Chang, and Kevin McCaffrey. Now, enter another factor into this equation.  People have always told me that I am funny.  Some people have even gone so far as to say that I should do comedy.  So, for the average person, this would elicit something to the tune of a “psssshhh!”  in response and the notion would soon evaporate from their mind.  For me, however, this often offhand comment excited me.  Part of me wanted to believe that it was true!  Part of me would have loved to possess just an iota of this comic genius I had come to so admire.  But alas, standup was always fear’s reach away from me.  I didn’t spend too much time brooding over it, but for the record, I loved the fantasy. I went on to live vicariously through comedians that I dated, an impromptu jump up onto stage at an open mic, and glossing over a standup class that did not fit my schedule.  Eventually, the planets aligned and God must have deemed me ready.  And about two months ago, I received an e-mail from the PIT promoting a standup class that actually cooperated with my schedule.  Now, it was scarily possible!  I diligently surveyed my comedian friends and non-friends alike as to the necessity of a standup class.  Most of them touted it as unnecessary, pointing instead to open mics as being the true training ground for any standup.  I could see their point but enjoyed the structure that a class promised.  I hinted at my dad enough for him to spring for half of my class tuition.  And it was done!  A day before The Art of Standup was scheduled to commence, I was enrolled! For the next two months, I was thrust into the world of New York’s amateur comedy circuit…and I have lived to tell the story!  Following are the most prominent observations from my experience in the standup world!
  • Comedy is hard work! Comedians walk into a stigma of being a lazy, bitter, late-night drinking, non-contributing members of society.  What the general public doesn’t see, however is that these guys are constantly working! They carry a pad and paper with them at all times to record joke material as it is inspired and have stacks of already-filled pads at home!  According to comedian Joe Wong, the average comedian uses about 1 out of every 10 jokes that is written and then practices that joke nearly 72 times before it is perfect.  That means a comic, at any given point, is simultaneously thinking about material, writing material, and practicing material…meaning the cyclical process is never done.  That’s a lot of work!
  • Comedy Open Mics are a twisted concoction. I remember thinking that it was backwards for comedians to have to pay in order to perform.  Yet, I found myself doing it during these two months!  What I quickly learned was that http://badslava.com was the go-to resource for open mics.  Every comedian in New York hops on this site to see where open mics are happening on any given day.  They then attend these open mics, taking place anytime between 4pm-10pm, and tolerate the 5-minute performances of their fellow amateur comics until it is their turn to hop on stage and try out their material.  Open mics are accepted as being a brutal setting where laughs are not expected, as the audience usually consists of hard-to-please fellow comics.  The organizers of these open mics strike deals with the clubs with the door and drink fees and are usually comedians themselves and host the open mic.  In the end, all anyone wants to do is practice.  The hierarchy of spots seems to be open mics, bringer shows, scheduled spots, and eventually headline spots.  It’s an even crazier industry to navigate through than acting, I believe, and that’s hard!
  • Comedy is teachable. I used to see what standup comedians did as this intangible gifting that they possessed.  I used to think that I could never do something like that.  But upon closer examination, I realized the methods and the practice and the true, blue work that went into comedy.  I realized that comedians often repeated jokes and that sets were no different than monologues, save for the risk of unexpected hecklers.  I saw the discipline behind comedy, especially after watching the documentary “Comedian” by Seinfeld, in which one comedian tirelessly recorded and played back performances, kept a file cabinet full of jokes, filed according to category, and truly breathed comedy.  And I was reassured that I could do this thing.    
  • Comedy is terrifyingly exciting. I performed at a total of 5 open mics and 1 show during the course of my standup class.  Every single time, my heart raced in anticipation.  Every time, I threatened to jump ship.  Every time, I experienced mini-anxiety attacks.  And every time after a good set, I was elated!  It’s the natural nervousness and accompanying high that accompanies doing something you love.  I know that every artist has thought to themselves at some point, “Why am I torturing myself like this?”  And the ironic answer is “because I love it.”  I know.  Crazy.
  • Comedy is not my new career. I am so glad that I can now check “do standup” off my bucket list.  I feel a personal sense of accomplishment.  I am already reaping the benefits of having done this, both personally and professionally as the needle on the funny meter has climbed in both my conversations and auditions.  I am beyond happy with this foray that I took.  In the same breath, however, I know that I do not want to invest the amount of time necessary to do this thing well.  I am very happy to draw from my comedy experience to complement my acting career, but don’t look for me at a comedy club near you anytime soon!  For now, you’ll just have to make do with this video of the fruits of my labor!

2011 Men’s Health Urbanathalon & Inaugural Brooklyn Marathon

Several years ago, I came across this race and petitioned all of my friends to get on board with me.  And then I balked at the $100 registration fee and backed out myselfThen, the following year, they weren’t doing it in New York again!  The next year, again, no New York.  Finally, this year, 2011, it was back!  And I was ready!  I signed up for the Urbanathalon and the Brooklyn Marathon straight away because I wasn’t about to let the opportunity slip through my fingers again and I had a loose plan to use these races to raise money for the school in Nepal I had helped!  So, there I was, all signed up and ready to go!  That’s the crucial first step necessary to commit yourself and get the ball rolling, not unlike booking the plane ticket of a trip.  I operate on a “Bite off more than you can swallow, and then trust that God will help you chew” mentality.  And so, not having ever done anything like this or having the proper running gear or having the time to train did not phase me in the least.  All I knew was that I wanted to do this and so, I took it one step at a time.  Just like when you’re driving, you never see the whole road, but as long as you have headlights lighting the first few feet of your path, you know that eventually, you’ll get to California! And so, my next steps included training, therapy, and gear! TRAINING: A combination of the NIKE Running Club, the NY Running Company, the iMapMyRun App for my Droid phone, Hal Higdon’s book, Marathon, and just general surveying and researching were responsible for building a strong training regimen for me.  I knew that most marathoners followed marathon training schedules and so I decided that this would be the best way to structure my training.  And since the Urbanathalon would take place in the midst of my marathon training, I was killing two birds with one training regimen!  The week I returned from Nepal, I had already begun running w/ the NY Running Company just to get in the mix with the right people, information, etc.  I ran with this club and the NIKE running club, simply to give me more scheduling options.  Someone put me on to Hal Higdon’s book Marathon and in here, I found my marathon schedule!  I inputted all the runs into my calendar and was looking at three weekday runs (5-8 miles each) and one Saturday run (13-20 miles) every week.  The long runs are the ones in which running partners are so necessary.  It’s physically and mentally so helpful to be flanked by runners when you get to those double digit mileages. It stuns me when I think about running an average of 13-16 miles on Saturday mornings during the course of my training.  I remember the first time I hit 16 miles, I thought that my legs were going to give out.  The girl I was running with was going for 18 and I was gung-ho, ready to rev, right behind her.  But I was all bark and no bite, as I started waning after 13 miles, whining by the 14th mile, sputtering at 15, and literally limping by the time I stopped at mile 16.  I told her to keep going, save herself, as I needed to recover and walk the last two miles.  It took two miles for my legs to feel again and I suddenly understood the concept of training your feet and legs to simply endure such impact.  The second time I hit 16.5 miles, it was part of a 19 mile run and I just couldn’t do it anymore, once again!  My legs were jelly as I rounded the 16th mile and I just had to walk.  The funny thing is that I had an appointment scheduled for when I estimated that I would be done running.  So, in order to maintain that time, I had to take a taxi back to Niketown, the start and finish point!  I always laugh about people carrying metrocards w/ them when they run, just in case, but now, I get it! My life really started changing once I was well into my training.  I started thinking about running as a means of transportation.  When running 8 miles on a regular basis, so many places suddenly fall within the circumference of your running regimen.  I don’t remember how it began exactly, but I started combining my training run with appointments for that day.  For example. I ran to Hoboken to meet girlfriends for pizza.  One day, I ran from 42nd St to 34th St to get my nails done and then ran to Mott St to get a facial and then ran to 21st St to take a spin class.  With my little pocket on the back of my pants to hold my credit card and metrocard, I was unstoppable!  The craziest undertaking was when I ran to Hackensack to get my hair cut…9 miles away!  I arrived to all these places sweaty, but not stinky, and giddy off of the unorthodox intersection that I had found between life and training! Another reason why long runs are important are simply to learn what works for you through trial-and-error.  Every detail counts when you’re going to be at something for 26.2 miles!  For me, I learned that my must-haves are: an ipod shuffle, proper running pants (w/ a pocket in the groove of your lower back), proper sneakers (love my Nikes), gloves (w/ a key holder are great), a mile-tracker (my Droid works, a watch is better), a headband (since I had bangs), and if running to a specific and unfamiliar address, the navigation function of GoogleMaps. THERAPY: I tore ligaments in my ankle two years ago.  I hate to admit it, but it’s true when people say that your body’s “never the same” after certain injuries.  I wasn’t going to let that stop me from signing up for these races, but I also had to be smart and manage my limitations.  I started visiting the physical therapy office in my gym when I felt pain after an 8-mile run one day.  Andre instructed me to stop running for a week and even entertained the thought of my not running the Urbanathalon.  I rejected that notion violently, but agreed to pause running for one week.  After reassessing the situation, we settled on a regimen of daily ankle-strengthening exercises and weekly physical therapy visits, concluding with Andre wrapping my ankle in preparation for my next-day long-run.  I was grateful for the graciousness and attention that I received from West Sides Sports Med.  They were truly instrumental in my success, physically and mentally.  I was wailing during a portion of all my visits, as Andre would massage deep into the scar tissue on my ankle, but coming from Chinese descent, part of me took solace in the belief that the pain signaled progress! It’s so important to be verbal about something that you want to glean information for.  I must have spoken about needing therapy or recovery and lo and behold, someone recommended the reflexology spa that would soon be responsible for helping me recover after my long runs and both races!  While I was putting my body through all this trauma, it really helped, both mentally and physically, to have someone tend to the resulting inconsistencies and imbalances.  Again, I was in serious pain during this time.  I would be squirming as the massage therapist would knead the pressure points in my foot that corresponded to muscles in my back, hips, legs, etc.  I had white-knuckle grips on that chair, but it was good, it was all good! GEAR: I knew that I needed a the right gear.  And I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap.  But being Chinese and a creative, I didn’t exactly have the money or the mentality to throw all my money into this personal project.  I bought gear on a need-to basis little by little, but can say with confidence, that there is value in the right gear.  Pockets in your pants, pants that support your legs, gloves that keep your hands warm, underarmour that keeps your body warm, the right hat that keeps your head warm, sneakers that become an extension of your body…all of these things make a difference in the comfort of your run.  If you are tugging at your pants, have no tunes in your ears, have cold fingers, have cold air seeping under your hat, you are going to be miserable.  You want to get these things squared away so that your energy can be economized for the important thoughts…like running!  I am grateful to my friend who hooked me up with the pair of Nikes I used for everything.  I am grateful to my roommate to took me shopping for my prize pants on the eve of the Urbanathalon.  I am grateful to all the salespeople who helped me buy my gloves, hat, etc that made all the difference in my run and are not must-haves in my running ensemble. THE URBANATHLON: I came in 2nd place in my category, female women from 30-35!  I was in great shape for this run.  I remember flying past so many people and just feeling like I was on fire, it was incredible!  The adrenaline rush was nonstop and the energy was electric amongst all the runners in Queens on that forboding Saturday morning (it was raining and by the end of the race, snowing!)  I was definitely giddy from the beginning and you can tell in my video as I interviewed friends pre-race. I know for a fact now that I’m someone who loves doing these adrenaline-charged events.  This year will surely bring more races, another Urbanathalon, perhaps a triathalon, and perhaps one of those mud runs!  I was literally fist-pumping my way through many parts of the 9-mile run because I was comfortable and my music was good!  The obstacles were a challenge for me and I’m grateful that fellow competitors were so gracious as to give me a boost and help me over every one of those walls I had to climb over!  The monkey bars required three attempts for me and even on the last one, the supervisor just let me scoot past after having completed most of it.  The stairs at Citifield were fine, save for the bottleneck effect of all the runners squeezing into the skinny aisles between the bleachers.  There is a lot of upper-body training that I need to do for the next Urbanathalon and strategies that I can employ for certain obstacles.  But I was running safely, staying conscious of my ankle, and I made up for any deficit accrued during the obstacles during the running portions.  All-in-all, an awesome, awesome experience that I can’t wait to do again!  Especially since I’ve qualified to be in the first wave of runners next time!  woohoo! THE BROOKLYN MARATHON: With the Urbanathalon behind me, I couldn’t rest just yet.  I still had to continue my marathon training as the Brooklyn Marathon was less than a month away.  What was so great, however, was that I was confident now about the marathon.  I now thought of myself as real runner, a real athlete, a competitor who could hold a candle next to other competitors!  This was new for me, as I had only run cross-country in high school and a few races here and there prior to this.  Of course, I consider myself a fit individual, but I never quite considered myself a “runner”…until now!  I remember that I only had one opportunity to hit the 20-mile mark during my long run and I never did it.  It’s recommended that every runner run up to 20 miles before embarking on a marathon.  This is considered the perfect mileage in order to train adequately without over-training.  The adrenaline of race day will easily close the 6-mile gap between your training and your goal.  For me, however, due to scheduling constraints and a lack of running partners, I went into the marathon with only 16.5 miles under my belt.  It was nerve-wracking! As I mentioned before, one motivation for my running these races was to raise money for a school in Nepal!  This is what I did the night before the marathon.  It took a lot of time and effort, but it was the vision that I had for this marathon, so I’m glad that I followed through.  What’s great is that somewhere between Temples In Training and Run for Nepal and future races, I believe that this effort doesn’t have to end with me!  So even though I only raised $200, which will grant two students tuition, more money can be raised upon this platform! So, the Brooklyn Marathon, in short, was not the greatest experience.  I finished, but it took me about 5 hours and I overshot the finish and ran about a mile extra, which was mentally defeating and frustrating.  I also shot out of the gate way to fast, dooming myself by mile 7 for a painful remaining 19 miles.  It was definitely not what I had bargained for.  What I took away from this is that I have to learn to pace myself to run at reasonable pace from start to finish and also have to complete more miles during training in order to prepare my legs and feet for such extensive running.  I also realize that a marathon is not such a cardiovascular challenge for me, as I’m running slow enough to carry on full conversations.  So for the next one, the ING New York City Marathon, I would definitely like a group or partner to just keep myself occupied, as boredom is actually an issue for 4 hours!  My goal, in 2012 is to either qualify for the ING Marathon via lottery or charity or run 9 races in order to qualify for the 2013 ING Marathon.  And then, I will run it under 4 hours!  Mark my words!

Get in “SHAPE” with Me!

I am the face of “SHAPE’s New Workout Builder Tool!”  In short, I’m demonstrating 100 exercises which you can drag-and-drop into a playlist and when you hit “play,” I will lead you through to your fitness goal!  It’s all about interactive, portable technology, and SHAPE’s got it right!  Especially when they chose me! 😉
Screenshot: Shape Workout Builder Tool
Screenshot: Drag & Drop to create your "Workout Playlist!"
This was an incredible shoot.  I had so much fun.  We shot in Jersey City, for 3 full days.  I was so sore, let me tell you!  These shoots are actually very challenging because you have to execute the moves with an expression of ease and mistakes are expensive because your body tires with each take!  I was doing exercises that even impressed myself!  Be sure to check out the one-legged squat, the weighted push-up, the triple-stop push-up, and the dive-bomber push-up!  What, what?!  Amazing!  I admit that I was nervous about some of these exercises, but I had a lot of support from the crew and there were times when I had to eeeek out that last repetition and they would start cheering and clapping to squeeze it out of me! It was a great shoot and the first time that I asked everyone to pray on set with me afterward!  Check out that story in my keynote speech!  If you want to use it yourself, check it out here!  And since we shot for three days, I had plenty of time for fun behind-the-scenes shots, now included in my gallery! Fun Fact: This has always been a dream of mine, to model for a fitness magazine.  No exaggeration, I have a composite of my image superimposed on a Shape Magazine cover that I created as a visualization tool!  I bet it’s still lurking around in my hard drive somewhere, but I don’t even know if I want to reveal it.  The point is, I visualized and focused attention on this goal and it came to fruition in this project!  Praise God and Hallelujiah!