The Last Straw (2)

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As I finished “The Last Straw (1)” and typed the last sentence (“…tears of blessings that are to come”), I just posted it and closed my computer as though I was closing a chapter in my life. Little did I know that there was still much more to come. It was like a train stopping at a station, and then moving forward toward me to send me the blessings, one after another.

When I say there were many more blessings to come, I am not joking. A few days after writing “The Last Straw,” my agent called me to tell me I had booked an action-drama series. It was still new, but it was getting very popular. I was elated to find myself participating in this tv show because I wasn’t able to act much last year due to time conflicts. With this call at the beginning of the year, I was excited about what the rest of my year would hold for my acting career. It gave me so much hope for the future, and I saw it as a sign that I could do well this year in my acting career.

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When I first went in to shoot the episode, the hairdresser accompanied me to pick up my costume. I had three selections, and he told me, “You look so high-spirited that I’m going to pick this one for you!” But as he started to reach for a brightly-colored costume, the woman in charge of wardrobe exclaimed, “No, no, no! Her wardrobe needs to be darker,” and handed me a brown costume. She also instructed him to tell the makeup department to make me look “dirtier and poorer.” By the time they had finished, I had seemed like an entirely different person. Gone were the bright clothes and high spirits, replaced by a depressing and dirty costume. Understandably, my character was a poor woman. However, it didn’t seem to be enough, and a girl painted my sleeves and blouse dark brown. It looked like I had been rolling in mud.

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At that moment, I began to think about the words of the divinity. I had to know who I was, and what my position was. What was the purpose of writing a book? Who is the reason I am writing a book? “ Make sure you know what race you are running, who are your competitors and who is the reason you are running child,” I recall.

My character was the mother of a young man running an illegal operation. She was not a respectable person, as she had tried to survive by living a life of crime. I had to understand this position and put myself in the situation. Luckily, the director’s instructions to stay on set the whole day, even if we weren’t shooting, actually helped me get into character. I understood the mood of the show, and what the scene required from me. I noticed that the director never failed to start with “Thank you everyone” before the “3…2…1…action” countdown. As I was shooting this episode, I was reminded to be thankful for my environment, grateful for the opportunities, and appreciative for the challenges. This show was not just a chance for my acting career, but a rare opportunity that put me in a situation to make me think about who I am.

Life is like a play. At this time in my life, I play as a writer to fulfill my promise to the divinity, and it is a promise I intend to keep. However, I finally realized I was going about it in all the wrong ways. I was trying to finish it in a rush: it was like I was racing to finish a test and turn it into the teacher as soon as possible. It totally crushed my spirits when I found out that I did not win. It was not the money that came with winning but a book deal. Yes, a book contract to help me to publish next year is the key. I can have the book out by 2017. Then I am free because I fulfill my promise, and I will have freedom to go about my life.

After losing, I realized I was the actual winner, as the divinity put it. By losing, I learned what it means to be a writer. Shooting this TV episode was especially enlightening, giving insight about my position in this world. The Voice asked me who I was writing this book for. All this time I thought I was writing for him. It was for me. All this time, I figured I had written more than enough material for a book. I realized I had omitted many important parts. Healing was only part of it. The missing part was the growth. After healing, then we can continue to grow. I do not write for others, but for myself.

I finally see the blessings that are about to come are the continuous growing of the spirit in my life.


The Last Straw (1)


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