July 19, 2024

Full tank of gas

3 min read

Dear Purpose,

I feel like writing something happy.  I’m not exactly sure what I’m gonna write about.  In fact, I don’t particularly even feel like writing right now. I’m really just writing for the sake of it.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, because I know it’ll eventually devolve into a bunch of digital rambling.

Let’s see… what makes me happy?  Blueberry muffins.  Ramen from Daikokuya.  Garlic Aioli and Ube Shakes.  Super Smash Bros Brawl.  Slurpees.  Making sushi.  Smoking hookah on a cool night.  Listening to music.  Playing music. Singing harmony.  Writing a new song. Improv… yes, improv.

You already know about my addiction to the stage.  Let me expound on one facet of it.

The first time I stepped on a real, holy-shit-people-are-paying-to-watch-this stage was back in 2005…

…wait, I feel like I need to go back a bit further.

I am a stage whore.  I’ve been one for a long time, but only recently have I learned to embrace it. Ever since the day my parents put a minus-one mic in my hand and made me sing an unending rotation of “Somewhere out there,” “The Greatest Love of All,” and “One Moment in Time,” (much to the dismay of my relatives, I’m sure) I have been a stage whore.  This was only exacerbated by the fact that my elementary school (which was maybe 85-90% Filipino) was fond of Christmas and Spring productions.  I can remember several of my classmates grumbling about having to participate. I, however, remember thinking, “This is awesome.”  I mean, I can still remember the music and lyrics from a musical we put on when I was in 8th grade. And when I was 9, my mom signed me up for guitar lessons.  Giant can of worms.  I fuckin loved recitals.

Imagine my surprise when I was told that I was going to become a doctor.

Well, my insatiable need to perform waned a bit during my high school years, with my mind firmly set on the road to medical school.  Then I got involved with the drama at my high school.  Academically speaking, it was horrible.  This carried over into college and managed to manifest itself into 2 acapella groups, 1 improv troupe, 20-something choir concerts, a year of acting classes, and 6 PCNs.  I was a bio major in title only.

The funny thing is, my greatest fear about going into the real word was not about finding a job, it was about not having a place to perform.

Anyway, the 7 months after my last PCN was pretty darn tough.  Stage time=0.  I mean, there were the coffeehouse gigs with the roommates, but at the time, I was not comfortable enough with my music to enjoy it.  I needed something else.

Enter: Room to Improv.

Kris, my roommate at the time had found a casting call in Backstage Online for an Asian-American Improv troupe based in Studio City.  Unfortunately, we were all the way in Orange County.  But, when fate drops a line, you gotta pick it up.  You have to.

Needless to say, we made it into the troupe, and after a couple months of training, we had our first show.

There we were, going 90 on the 101, trying to get to our first show in time.  We had just got out of a dinner theatre show in Irvine, and we were running late.  Providence must have been smiling on us that night because 1) we didn’t have any incidents while going 90 on the freeway, and 2) we made it just in time.  The rest of the troupe was lining up to make their entrance. No time for nerves.

And then the music dropped.  I heard my name through the house system and ran out to take my place on the Two Roads stage, still huffing and puffing from our death-defying freeway trip, running around to the back entrance of the theatre, and changing into my RtI shirt.

I was met with audience applause.  Almost immediately, the 7 months of non-performing no longer mattered because it had all led up to that moment.  I was on stage again.

Sorry. Apparently, I can talk about this forever.


1 thought on “Full tank of gas

  1. umm… so… there’s a continuation of this story, yes? yes. turn it into a lord of the rings type deal, y’kno? trilogy? something! yes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.