22

gweishi22

fifth december twenty-seventeen;

We finally wrapped production three days ago, & I have some time this evening before my movie, so I thought I would spend this time wisely to do something for myself – i.e. writing about my special day. I turned 22 only a week ago & i feel like I’ve already aged a whole lot. Possibly everything to do with this production I was on. This year’s birthday was just like any other birthdays; it was just another day, & I basically spent it working on the film. In hindsight, yea there would have been things I’d love to do on my birthday (like spending time with friends & drinking & not working) but I am reminded that I am fortunate enough to be able to work on something I love & that made it special for me.

So the day started out pretty ordinary – I got up thinking “today will be awesome”. I made sure to dress up because I believe in “look good, feel good”. I was feeling adventurous so I tried to go for a subtle smokey eye but I failed. & so, with barely any eyeshadow on & 5 outfit changes later, I left home & headed to work. We had a photoshoot at Botanic Gardens & Sembawang park which brought back memories of when I was working as an extra for a Mediacorp TV series. Those were the days when I thought being an extra was the coolest thing I could ever do because I could be on TV. Until I saw the scene air one day, where I played a prostitute & prayed that clip would disappear forever.

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we are not affiliated with Sinmah Poultry.

My afternoon was spent working on the film, & I was really just looking forward to spending my evening with Kranz, away from work, away from the stress. I expected to have to work since principal photography would begin the next day, so all I really wanted was a couple of hours to have fun. I remember I used to shun from the idea of having my birthday celebrated – I hated the attention & every year I get reminded of how little I have achieved. Last year was no different. So, I decided, instead of moping, I would do something about it. Within the last year, I have done so many things I’m so proud of. I finally feel I’ve done myself some justice (for lack of a better word), as a 22-year-old fighting to fulfil my dreams & to live a meaningful life. Sure I’ve met with a whole lot of failures & challenges along the way, but I’m proud of the person I am today.

Most significant is the discovery of my love for filmmaking. This time last year, I was still that person who had no idea what to do with her life, & I was wondering what I could do to help society/people/someone. I know now for sure that this is what I want to do with my life, that film is a powerful beautiful art, & that this is a possible career path even in a place like Singapore. I have never been so sure about anything before this. Within the 6 months after my exchange in NYC, I’ve worked on 4 sets as a producer/AD (3 short films, & a commercial), & I am excited for more to come in 2018. This is what dreams should look like. It’s not the perfect, smooth-sailing, idealised version that everyone speaks of; it’s the drive that keeps you going, it’s sleepless nights, occasional tears, a lot a lot of hard work, some sacrifices, sheer determination, it’s picking yourself up again & again after tumbling down the hill, it’s a fight.

This aside, I celebrated my birthday with someone special – someone I am immensely grateful for. KRANZ, my facebook wife, who readily accepted my request to crash at her place when I had late wrap times & ridiculously early call times at Sembawang (which is a 30 mins drive away from my home). This woman waited at the restaurant for an hour, drinking Moscato alone, while I was running around Tanjong Pagar looking for a heart-shaped, matcha cake. I have to write about this because it made for a memorable birthday.
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Here goes the story: It was 9.14pm. I got a text saying the prop cake (which would be used in the scene the next day) had not been bought. I had a 30-minute window (before shops would close) to look for this very specific type of cake in Tanjong Pagar – the only cake store I knew existed was Cake Spade. I am someone who would do anything & everything within my capability to solve a problem, & so I spent an hour running around the entire Tanjong Pagar area. An hour of searching led me to find a $48 matcha cake at 100AM. We made do with that one.

I remember walking back to the restaurant completely exhausted & overwhelmed with emotions I ended up crying. Haha, great way to end my birthday aye? I was upset I couldn’t devote my full attention & time to Kranz, & I was honestly quite upset with myself for not being able to switch off the phone & ignore work for a bit. Eventually we finished that bottle of moscato & proceeded to Chicken Up for more drinks on a whim so our night together ended beautifully.

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Amidst all of this, my family has been supportive of my filmmaking journey & for that I am grateful. As with any parents in Singapore, they had their reservations when I returned from NYC & insisted on taking a year off school to pursue filmmaking. But seeing my family take time to be a part of this film I was doing (as cameo, or bringing us crafties while we were in the middle of nowhere) made me realise how much they care about me & my dreams. It’s these little things that showed me I’m not fighting this battle (for lack of better word) alone. I don’t express my appreciation & love for my family enough, so this is me making a note to do so.

present:

I obviously took longer than I should to finish writing this, so I’m now at the airport with my homes jetsetting to Langkawi in a couple of hours.

ending off with happy thoughts of the beach, the sand, & the sun. Happy holidays everybody!

xoxo, gweishi.

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dance through december

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Beautiful picture taken by Tommy ❤ also was red as a lobster ’cause the sun was vicious.

Today I am sitting by the glass window, at my new favourite coffee place (after The Loft @ Chinatown has closed down) sipping on my usual cuppa Iced Americano & having salad. I am now questioning my decision to have spent 8 bucks on a bowl of leaves (& avocado yas) but I was temporarily motivated by what my grab cab driver had shared with me about healthy living and taking care of our bodies.

So I entered the car happily munching on my bag of chips, & offered some to Mr Henry Leong. He declined my offer, & then told me he is a health consultant & that “we are what we eat” so if we “eat rubbish we become rubbish” HAHA. I was having junk food then la so I became very self-conscious. We had a very pleasant conversation in 15 minutes. Meet Mr Henry:

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Can you believe this guy is 63 years old, & welcoming his 5th grandson in a couple of months?! He told me his secret to looking young is really taking care of himself – having enough sleep & eating healthy food at the right time. These are things my parents tell me every single day, & as much as I try to heed their advice I often find myself prioritising work over everything, including myself. This is something I’m slowly realising & working to change, so the conversation with Mr Henry came at the right time. It reminded me to keep with a healthy lifestyle (so I can look 40 even though I am 60), & it reminded me of why I enjoy taking taxis even though it means money not very well spent.

I love talking to people & listening to their stories, & I was surprised at how Mr Leong had influenced me even though we had just met. I guess I’m always taken by surprise at the magic created through human connections, no matter how transient.

I’m writing this entry because I needed a way to unwind & clear my mind. The past couple of days were really hard for me, & I hate that I have been carrying such a negative energy with me. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about how we should live as 20-something, & now I’m feeling overwhelmed by everything I’ve taken up work-wise, & that has taken a toll on me because I found myself being an absolutely horrible person. Especially at home – I was easily triggered by the most minute things. I can actually count, with 2 hands, the number of times I’ve genuinely smiled this week.

I could choose to write about all the bad things that have happened, but all that would do is bring up unhappy memories & being happy is a choice. So this is me trying to start my December right, & finish 2017 with a bang. Braulio’s behind-the-scenes photos from my Malaysia shoot couldn’t have come at a better time. I was browsing through these photos, & I started to remember why I do what I do. I think I kind of forgot because I was so caught up with wanting to get the job done well. I fell into that jadedness that I was talking about in my previous entry, & that sucks. I’m too young to be jaded!

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Ending this short entry on a positive note! There’s so much for me to look forward to in the coming month: I have been working with a team of really nice NTU film students for a short film & principal photography begins next week (more after we wrap in 2 weeks); I got a callback for something I auditioned for earlier this month; I will be heading to Langkawi & then Penang for a R E A L break from all this stress. I am going to dance through December, & even though I literally look like a chicken when I’m dancing, I am going to savour every moment as it is & have fun.

I feel so much better, & happier, after writing this even though there was really nothing to write about. On a side note, I celebrate my 22nd birthday next week & for the first time in a while I’m looking forward to spending the day doing whatever it is I’ll be doing. If you’ve known me for a while, you’d know I hate doing anything special on my birthday – I’d really just rather sleep my day away & spend time alone wondering why I am still unaccomplished at 21. Something is different this year, & I’m excited~~

K now I need to head back to doing work before heading to the restaurant. Happy December y’all; make the last month of 2017 count!

xoxo, weishi.

P.S. We’re going to be shorthanded in December, so if anyone is looking for a part-time job holler at us!