Saturday, September 15, 2012

Achievements - a public record of my life as an Artiste so far...and the things to be Thankful for, always.

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As an artiste, I constantly try my best to keep a record of my achievements (or lack of) for the past year. A record is important for it gives you a macro-view of where you've been and what you've done so far to progress your career. And being an artiste is actually quite a public career, hence a record is always necessary. Unlike others who kept a record of their lovers, girlfriends, boyfriends or other conquests (I do have one, but that one's a secret, hehe) It's not always a lucrative career to have in Malaysia, unlike in other countries. But still, I owe it to myself to keep a record so I can share with others, especially my readers (and students) here. Life is short, even shorter for an artiste. So the time you are given needs to be properly accounted for. That's why I created this blog in the first place. It helps me to keep my mind clear and properly arranged. It was a very difficult past year 2011. But somehow I managed. I am just so thankful. Immediately on the day of my birthday back in July, I make it a point to clear all my debts - especially those from credit cards. I truly want to start anew. I don't want anymore debts to cloud my direction. It also makes me feel cleansed in so many ways! When you complete paying your debts, at least you get a picture of your finances, enabling you to plan ahead what to do. Especially for upcoming artistes, I will coach them to lead a productive artiste living on a budget.

Me in action - waaa-POW!
Que Sera Sera
Now, the only debt I could only have are the healthy ones - like home loan, food, and transportation. You really learned to be contented with what you.have. And definitely - you learn to WORRY LESS! I have been a constant worrier before this year. But after getting all my credit card debts cleared, (and cancelled all of them except one) I worry less. You know the hateful feeling of going to the ATM counter to pay your monthly installments? Sometimes the machine doesn't accept certain notes, and you just have to give more! I really don't want that anymore, if I can help it. I also worried about the chances I missed - like a movie offer 2 years ago. But looking at it - the movie received horrible reviews, so I should be thankful, in a way I'm not in it. Everything can be turned into a good thing, even the bad ones. It's really how you think. Read about my past students' TOP TEN success stories here:
1) Coaching You to Success
2) Full Attendance
3) Fashion Students Showcase
4) Bigger Class
5) Taking Students on Roadshows
6) International Students
7) Student on Magazine Cover
8) Student Casting Session for Real Jobs
9) Students Photo Shoot
10) Students Performing for Event

1) Larger Fan Base Beyond Malaysia
This is the first and most important thing to be grateful for. Recently, I've stumbled across my photo gallery in Youtube, done by this nick EYEHOLLYWOOD. This is indeed something I'm grateful for, even though I don't think I look good in pictures, but still someone somewhere out there create this little video. Seriously, I have problems looking at myself in pictures. Some people may not like me in the pictures, well, me too! I don't even like myself in pictures, so welcome and join the gang. For my new students, I will coach you how to handle haters in a positive way. But if you want to hate me in pictures, check out the video below:

2) Exhibition in Paris (and Berlin)
The French team (Patricia & Cyril) 
briefing me before shoot
So back to being grateful, I am so thankful that I received interest from a famous photographer, Patricia from France (I'm also thankful for being photographed by a German photographer before and now France!). She wanted to take pictures of me (and urgh, my "ugly" home). The theme being of "Middle Class in Malaysia". I can tell you that I'm from the very bottom of that class. The offer seems like good exposure - to get my face being exhibited in front of thousands of Parisians sound glamorous. My super-working brain begins to envision what sort of shirt I must put on, or some glitzy pants (or shorts, oops) to make the pictures look better. But the photographer wanted it to be real. So all my fancies are dashed, and when she came on the day of the shoot, I was being just me. I wanted to just tidy up or clean my house a bit before the shoot, but really, I have to refrain myself from doing so - being that the phographer wanted the real me. In my fantastic dreams, I want the whole of Paris to go wild with the pictures taken. But reality is more understated. I still haven't receive the pictures, but the exhibition is taking place next month at Exhibition Academie Francaise, Paris. Anybody going to Paris next month, kindly keep an eye for the exhibition for me. New students of my Artiste Training coaching will be given strategies in breaking out internationally.

3) Main Role for Film
I know being famous has its advantages. But this is Malaysia. I've already received many offers being that most of it are unpaid or "badly paid" jobs for an actor (at least to my stature now). Or even if it is paid, doesn't last me even a day's wage. Come on, I need to eat too. But then again, I cannot be too caught up in the situation and be thankful instead. There's always another side to a bad picture. And to me, that is to be to thankful, grateful. Grateful that there's still many, many people recognise me and wanted me to be in their pictures. Recently, an example of this upcoming director. In my heart, I knew from his first call, this is going to be an unpaid job. But really in Malaysia, where so many of its films are so entrenched in its specific culture, nothing seem to mesh as well as it should be. So I agreed to meet this director and listen to his pitch. As it turns out, he's the one going to get some ideas from me if I weren't careful and open my big mouth. But as an experienced actor, I know how to restrain my tongue without seeming too reserved. In person, I'm actually a very sharing guy. I love to share my stories. But sometimes, when times are desperate, I just have to restrain myself. Even at the expense of being ridiculed or labeled as a smug. But my greatest achivement so far (in Malaysia) is still the KFC commercial back in 2010, which was aired during the World Cup season BECAUSE it transcends race, age and religion (I get almost all types of people coming up to me, complimenting how well I acted in it). I will also coach my students interested to appear in commercials.

The booklet cover for fresh graduates
(see me with my both thumbs up? 

that's not the only thing that's up, darling)
4) Endorsing (non-paid)
Yes, I was selected among so many others too are being selected for this shoot. The experience has been quick and easy. I like the person coordinating the shoot, and the goodie bag with a cute little bear. After the shoot, I was quite excited to see what the Jobstreet people going to do with the pictures, but didn't really see myself anywhere - be it outdoor or magazine advertisements. But the PR Manager was thoughtful to email me some of my pictures - in which I looked so horribly fake, haha. Truly, I am the worst critic of myself. Thank goodness I have the sense to bring a jacket - to make me look decently professional during the shoot. At that time, I was thin, like 62kg, so was confident posing for the camera. There were other folks there too, and for this shoot my profession is Communications Strategy Coach. I got a view of my picture where it is the handbook cover for fresh graduates seeking for jobs. (I need a job too, where can I get one?)

5) Better Quality Students 
No matter how bad certain people say about our country, it's the only one we got. Instead of sitting there and bitching how bad things are, get up from your lazy ass and do something about it! Don't blame the government or the authorities or the law, it's a sad excuse (they're human too). Like I said, we can either stay negative and die miserable. Or sit up and be more proactive, and positive. Don't blame other people, start with YOURSELF first. It always does. When you don't do something about it, then you cannot blame others when it went wrong. Malaysians in general, are still the most beautiful people in the world. Of course we have our weaknesses, but still, we are all in the same boat together. If you don't want others to label you a racist, then you yourself must be sure you're not one yourself. Of course there are bad apples, then we just have to avoid such people. Remember you have a choice! If I don't like a particular movie because of the cast or some story aspect that could be racial, simply don't buy the ticket to watch it. You have a voice and the right to express yourself - don't let others take that away from you (trust me, our current system is restricting every right we should have as a free human individual). You also have the right to make mistakes, nobody is perfect. This world we live in is a giant learning process, never stop. Like my students, I am careful to choose only quality ones - all race, age groups are welcome! So far, I'm grateful for all of them! I wish them all the best! Below is a video testimony from one of my successful student:

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