Posts tagged audition

The Next Level (2)

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Recently, I went on a couple of auditions: one for a commercial and one for a short film.

I was excited to hear from my agent that I had gotten called back for both and, after the commercial callback, the producer told my agent to have me make sure I was available to shoot. The problem was that the callback day for the short film happened to fall on a day that I was traveling to San Francisco. I informed my agent that I would not be able to shoot the short film due to scheduling conflicts, and she told me it was okay because it was a low-budget student film and I would not have gotten paid for the shooting.

So I went to San Francisco and was enjoying myself. I got a call from my agent telling me I was still wanted for the short film without having to do a callback audition. They asked me to reconsider, but I still declined because I would not get paid. Half an hour later, my agent called me again. She said the person in charge of the production still wanted to book me. It was then that I could truly see their desire and passion for the project. It deeply moved me, so I agreed to film.

Typically, casting directors will choose two people for a role in case one actor has scheduling conflicts. They place you on avail, meaning you should clear your schedule for shooting. Three or four days later, after waiting for the commercial producer to send me the schedule for wardrobe and shooting, I did not receive their call. I realized they went with the other actress, and I was disappointed… I think the worst part is being picked, but only as the second choice. At the same time, the people from the short film wanted me to go in for rehearsal, so I went in to meet the producer.

The film was a brand-new project. They were young, ambitious and passionate. As I was sitting there practicing the dialogue, I felt a great need to help them out. How I wished they could achieve their dream with a little bit of my help! We all have to start somewhere. Before they conquered Hollywood, all the famous directors made student films.

The actor they paired me with for the audition had also received the role. However, he didn’t show up because the job offered no money. I can’t blame him – I had the same thought originally. But as I was driving home, I kept thinking back to this group of young people and the work we did that day. I felt great about being a part of a team that was pursuing their dream.  Suddenly I got it – it was a type of unconditional love.

This unconditional love is not difficult to reach; it does not only appear between families. You can attain it if you forsake things for your benefit and put others before yourself. That becomes unconditional love because you are only doing it to help others. Forget about money. I was so happy to be involved in this film because it allowed me to be aware… It was a passion-based project that I was grateful to participate in.

Sometimes we get wrapped up in things like money and ego, but there are other things that are far more important. I gained something special that day that I wouldn’t normally have if I didn’t want to help others. I was made aware of what love could do. I was so blessed to be around people who were passionate. I was blessed to be apart of something special. Through giving without thinking about receiving, I got to experience a feeling of joy that was completely unexpected. The insight I received that day helped me to become more aware of the power of unconditional love.  It was beautiful, and yet so simple. Go the extra mile to help others- you will probably help yourself along the way! And this is what the next level is all about.

Conditioning for Miracles – Acting with Miracles(2)

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My friends think I’m crazy for being involved with dancing, marketing, writing and acting – especially acting. Why would a person who majored in science decide to pursue acting? Sometimes I ask myself this question, too.

Here’s how my love affair with acting began: One day, my daughter was going to deliver her headshots to an acting agent. My daughter’s husband’s friend had just referred her to this agent, and seeing as though I was curious about the whole acting industry, I asked if I could tag along. My daughter, then in her 20’s, giggled and reassured me that she was old enough to go by herself, but as she saw the genuine curiosity in my eyes, she sighed and agreed to bring me along.  

When we arrived at her office, the agent placed my daughter’s headshots in her hand, and then turned to me: “I would like to be your agent,” she said straight-faced. At first, I let out a little chuckle, thinking that she was joking. But then, as I read the expression on her face, I could tell she was being 100% serious. I told her I had no acting experience and that instead, my background was in science. Still, she encouraged me to give acting a try. It seemed like there was a little voice in me telling me to grab this opportunity, to take the risk. Why not? I had nothing to lose anyway.

Within a few weeks, I had my acting headshots taken and enrolled in several acting classes. Pretty soon, I had become a full-fledged actor. I remember one of my best friends came to visit from Texas and told me that she and her husband spotted me in a commercial before she knew I had started acting. She said  one evening, as the two of them were watching TV, a commercial came on. “Wait a minute, is that Alice?!” she exclaimed to her husband. The two of them kept rewinding the commercial to see if it really was me: and it was. She was especially excited to get to accompany me to an audition during her time visiting me in LA. For someone who knew me first and foremost as a science geek, to witness me in all of my acting glory was a special treat!

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Alice Lin’s headshots

And they weren’t the only friends or family members who spotted me in the commercial. Everyone who saw me couldn’t believe it – how did a bookworm like Alice Lin get into acting? Because of a willingness to take action and take advantage of opportunities, I turned my life around. I did a complete 180 from the field of science to marketing to dancing to acting. It has made my days more colorful and made me open to seeing the constant flow of miracles coming into my life.

I can’t think of another profession that would allow me to step into other people’s shoes the way acting has: I’ve studied and played the roles of a homeless person, a judge, a minister, a maid, a nurse, even a golfer. All of these experiences have caused my heart to swell with compassion for the role every human plays in their own life.

Because of my personal experiences, I have also gained a profound respect for actors. It is not as easy to act as it may seem. I remember one particular audition I went to for the part of a woman’s mother (the daughter was played by actress Lucy Liu). Through the help of my acting coach, I was able to put myself in the mental state of Lucy’s character’s mother. The role of the mother was mentally strenuous; I had to act as though I had been informed that my daughter had died and my other daughter had thought I was going crazy after receiving a phone call from the supposedly dead Lucy. From 12am to 12pm on the day of the audition, I didn’t come out of that mental state. It took me about another 12 hours to get out of it. And this was just for an audition – I can’t begin to imagine how intense it would be to take-on such a role for a major motion picture that would be filmed over the course of a year!

The first film I did was about Asian prostitutes and I landed the role of “Mama San,” a woman who controlled teenaged prostitutes. The director took me to several massage parlors so I could be exposed to the environment that I would find myself in while shooting this film.  Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to enter any of the massage parlors because they suspected we were undercover policemen. Even still, I had to reach deep within my soul to imagine what such a lifestyle would actually be like. When the film was screened, the audience was shocked that an MIT researcher would be able to act as Mama San to these teenage prostitutes.

As I was in the movie theater watching this film and saw my name on the casting credits, I was so moved that I told myself: “You’ve come a long way, but you’ve done it.” I believe we can all do what comes our way; our biggest challenge is recognizing opportunity when it comes knocking, and then granting it permission to enter our lives. Only then will we start recognizing the omnipresence of miracles in our lives.  

Conditioning for Miracles – Acting with Miracles(1)

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One day I received a text message from my acting agent informing me that there was an audition in Santa Monica for someone who knew Tai Chi. Being Chinese, Tai chi was a part of my ancestry; I felt its calming powers flow though my veins. The only problem was that I had never actually learned how to do it. So, naturally I did what anyone else in my position would have done: I consulted the oracle (YouTube).   Full of confidence the next morning after having spent hours studying Tai chi videos, I thought I would ace the audition. But when I went in, I was shocked to see at least eight other decision-makers in the room – from casting directors to product representatives and more.

When the cameraperson asked me if I knew Tai chi, I knew I couldn’t say I didn’t know. My acting coach taught me that once I showed up to an audition, I couldn’t reveal any problems with anything they asked me to do. But deep inside, I knew that I was in trouble. Despite the fact that none of them were Asian, I suspected that at least one or two of them were skilled Tai chi practitioners.

During the audition, I tried to recreate what I had seen on YouTube but feelings of remorse for being dishonest about my skill level dominated my performance. They thanked me for my appearance, but I still left in embarrassment. I decided that night that I needed to learn Tai chi. I went to the park the next morning, where I knew I would find at least one group of people practicing. Ready to learn, I joined the first group I saw and began to imitate their movements. Luckily, a master teacher who would visit from time to time frequented the group I picked. We all benefited greatly from her teachings. Because of my strong desire to learn, I went there every day, seven days a week. I would never be ashamed of myself again for misrepresenting the truth. The only way I could fix things this time was to truly learn Tai chi. Over the last two years, not only have I practiced diligently, I’ve also learned many different styles.

What I learned through this experience is that life can be full of unpleasant circumstances. Yet, we have the ability to transform these small, otherwise insignificant moments of discomfort into large and lasting opportunities of personal growth. If I hadn’t been open to receiving the motivation that transpired from my own shame I probably would have never learned the many different styles of Tai chi. Now, it is one of my favorite activities. It has not only helped to improve my overall health, but it has also helped me learn how to relax and calm myself down. The benefits of mastering Tai chi are simply too numerous to count.photo 3-6

I enjoy acting so much, and it has provided me with a plethora of opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone and learn new things. Without acting, I never would have had such a desire to master Tai chi. But, acting has just been one of many a catalysts for growth and exploration in my life. Our environment constantly calls for us to learn new things all the time – we are simply tasked with recognizing these opportunities and welcoming them with open minds and hearts. Once we are able to do this, then we will be blessed with broadened perspective and endless miracles in our lives.

Here is the Yang Style 24 Forms beautifully executed.

The form was the result of an effort by the Chinese Sports Committee, which, in 1956, brought together by four t’ai chi teachers – to create a simplified form of t’ai chi as exercise for the masses. The creators truncated the traditional family style t’ai chi forms to 24 postures; taking about six minutes to perform and to give the beginner an introduction to the essential elements of t’ai chi ch’uan, yet retain the traditional flavor of traditional longer hand forms (in general, 88-108 postures). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-form_tai_chi_chuan

Zero Limits and I -Peace(Part 1)

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When I first set out to write “Zero Limits and I,” I had planned to finish it in three parts. However, soon after I completed part 3, I found an old letter that I had written to Dr. Len in 2009 that would unveil an entirely new idea that I’d like to present to you in this final section of Zero Limits and I, entitled “Peace.”

In total, I wrote Dr. Len three letters, two of which I already shared with you in the first three sections of “Zero Limits and I.” The third letter was written on September 15, 2009, and in it, I talk about a beautiful prayer called “The Peace of I.” Please find this prayer below:

The Peace Of “I”

 Peace be with you, All My Peace,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Peace that is “I,” the Peace that is “I am.”
The Peace for always, now and forever and evermore.
My Peace “I” give to you, My Peace “I” leave with you,
Not the world’s Peace, but, only My Peace,
The Peace of “I”
http://www.self-i-dentity-through-hooponopono.com/peace-of-i.htm

The power of this prayer inspired me to write a third letter to Dr. Len several years ago, and as I read through it again just the other day, I couldn’t believe I almost forgot to share with you this most important connection I have to Zero Limits.I’ve included this letter below for your reading, as it marked a very important time in my life: the time when I discovered peace within me. It is my hope that when you’re done reading, you’ll be able to understand how I came to walk on this path of Zero Limits. (Please note that I interpret the meaning of “I” to represents infinity, divinity or cosmic consciousness.)

Dear Dr. Len:

Aloha from the City of Angels!!!

The Peace of ” I “
This is the closing prayer for the process of Ho’oponopono. Even after two workshops, and doing all the steps of Ho’oponopono day in and day out, I still did not really get it until a couple days ago, which was exactly 40 days after I finished my 2nd workshop at the beginning of August at Woodland Hills, California.

On September 10th, I woke up at 5:15 am, and could not go back to sleep. Was it that I was worried about my business? I asked myself. Yes… It has been very slow for a couple of months now. My last paycheck was stopped, I just felt a little bit unhappy, yet I was not as worried as I normally would have been. Good things came out of this. Because of my slow business, I had more time to do the cleansing through Ho’oponopono. I found calmness and peacefulness within…

I did not understand then why I was awakened that particular morning. I used to get a very clear message each time I was awakened in the past, but this time was different. My brain seemed to be empty, and I could not even think. I went downstairs, sat on the living room sofa, and tried to figure out what to do. Taking out my pendulum, I asked for the guidance. I asked myself, “Should I go out to work?” I seemed to get a quick answered with a “No.” This gave me time to do Ho’opopnopono process. I did that and some writing too. I then went to my dance class to get some exercise since I was taking a day for myself.

Just before I turned off the engine of my car when I reached the dancing studio, my phone rang. It was Maria (my acting agent) on the other end. “Guess what?” she said, sounding jubilant. I asked “What?” She then informed me that I booked the part for Criminal Mind TV show. This was totally unexpected!!!

I remember I rushed over to the audition site yesterday from my computer class. I had a hard time finding the location. Fortunately, the casting crew ran late, and I had time to do my cleansing before I got in. Of course, I also did the mental cleansing in the audition room in front of all the people inside. There were a lot of people, but I was, for some reason, at ease. I acted according to the producer’s instruction, and then I came out very calm and confident. I was amazed by my inner peace and completely forgot how rushed and anxious I was when I got there. How I was completely lost and had to ask the person after person how to find the location.

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Peace be with you, All My Peace. That peace was with me before, during and after the audition. The Peace for always… I did not realize it when I was awoken that the divinity just wanted to tell me this message. Peace be with you, all my peace. The Peace for always, now and forever and evermore.

Later that day, I came home for lunch, and the phone rang…It was another call from my agent’s office, but this time I spoke with Nancy. She called to tell me that I would be getting the check for the residual income from the Dentyne commercial I recently shot and that had been airing nationally. She told me what the amount was, and I was dumbfounded. It was about the same amount that I typically make in a month… AMAZING!!! (Note: I did receive more than triple of my monthly income at the end.)

My Peace “I” give to you, My Peace “I” leave with you, Not the world’s Peace, but, only My Peace, The Peace of “I.”

The Peace is given to me and left with me; this peace is not the world peace but only His peace, the peace of “I.” This peace is indeed beyond all understanding. I know now this peace is for always, now, forever and evermore. It is such a comforting feeling that I feel that “I“ embraces me tight and whisper in my ear “ Peace, no fear.”

Sincerely,
Alice Lin (September 15, 2009)

 

My Life Story (10): Fire Brings out Spiritual Being

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“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher

I have heard this quote many times,
Either from self-improvement workshops,
Or from the books of inspirational authors.
But neither did I understand the meaning behind it…
Nor did I experience it until I finished writing the fourth article about the fire.

How did it happen?
Let’s go back to the moment before.
As an actor always does before going on stage,
I was lying on the couch,
And watching Caroline Myss’ story of David the Navajo on YouTube.
I was exhausted from running errands all day.
I started to relax and dozed off …

All of sudden, I woke up and saw Forgiveness in the description of this video clip,
Right then and there I felt a sense of relief,
I felt my burden lifted,
My sadness gone,
My struggle to let go disappeared,
I was filled with energy,
I was surround by Love …

From that moment on,
The story of Dallas Motor Inn Fire disintegrated.
I felt nothing toward those people who plotted against us…
The most incredible thing was that
I could let go…
I was free…
I felt light and full of energy,
I could not help leaping toward my auditions the next day…

I could not grasp the change in me.
I could not understand how my hatred toward those people had disappeared,
It seemed that the feeling flew away in a gust of wind,
And it happened in an instant.
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
What was going on?

As a student of science, I started to search…
Again and again…
Was it a quantum shift?
Was it a quantum leap?
I exhausted my knowledge.
I was about to give up.
Then I saw the answer.

“LOVE” – a painting was smiling at me from across from my table,
It dawned on me…
Yes, it is Love.
Our nature is … Love.
Spirit is Love.
I awoke …
We are a spiritual being with human experience.

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                                     Painting by Jershi Lin

 

I was just brought back to my spiritual being.
There is no shifting,
There is no leaping,
Just stay put and relax,
Let our nature take over,
Let our spirit awaken.

Yes, it will happen in an instant.
It is faster than the blink of an eye,
Because we are just coming back to our true self.
We are just coming back to our nature.
What an experience I had gone through.
What tremendous energy I have received,
What healing I have received,

But most important of all,
I know indeed…
I am love,
I am energy,
I am a spiritual being.

 

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                                        Painting by Jershi Lin

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