Thursday, April 4, 2013

In praise of games because they really show you the real world. A first-time voter's self guide.


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A lot of people asked me how I would describe the experience in my Artiste Training coaching is like. Simply put, it's like a game app in your smartphone and tablet. Fun. Addictive. And very, very much like in real life. Fun because our brains are wired for pleasure, and fun is one of it, besides food, music and sex. Addictive because my coaching empowers the individual. My coaching enables you
1) to become the artiste you want just enough, without disabling you to become complacent. 2) This coaching is to nurture the individual in you first, untainted by the media, political influences or traditional pullback, so you are able to distinguish what's good or bad and take responsibility in building your artistic career. 3) Among the more interesting subjects covered are: Atituding, The Science of Popularity, SAE Control, Soft Skills and Artiste Skills.

My students age 8 and 11
Finally, the Parliament is dissolved, and elections shall be called in the next 60 days. Imagine all of us having dignity and self-pride of being our true selves without hiding. Imagine all policies and laws are directed to uplift our individuality and freedom of choice. Imagine all our choices in the voting ballot have real impact on the administration of our country. Imagine you and I are able to walk together hand-in-hand without being judged by your race, sexuality and background. Imagine that you are rewarded for your hard work, skills and patience and not by your race, qualifications and whom you're connected to. Unfortunately, this is all still imagination. Since I'm being branded as Chinese in my country (though in truth, I don't see myself defined by such low form of denominator, and see myself as first-class citizen of my country), I began to have the insight of how specifically the regular Chinese male's mentality make-up by taking a step back to reflect on my brothers.

The Chinese male in general suffers an extreme low self-esteem. A majority of them succumbs to submission to authority and fear. Personally for me, I experienced first hand how the individuality value is reduced since teenager in the public school system right up to the employment when the teacher divides us into groups and when I'm applying for loans - have to check the box of bumiputra or non-bumiputra. The worst part is even my family members does nothing to uphold the value of the individual and succumb to their own perceived enslavement and victimhood mentality. Blame it on the government and it's policies for enabling the few? Or is it that our Asian culture is inherent with its master and slavery framework which perpetuates itself subconsciously in our everyday life, and makes us compromise to substandard recognition accorded to the Chinese minority by this country? Place a Chinese and Indian together, and you'll see the stereotype attitude began to manifest. It's how the simple is made complicated and look opaque. This complication, thus, created a generation of "psychotic" Chinese young men who chase or pretends to be successful by keeping up with the Joneses and belittling others. As I delved deeper into the roots of this inferiority complex, soon I see it affects everyone including the Malays and Indians too. This complexity stems from everyone's fears and the need to hide.

My students from every colour
of the rainbow.
Malaysians have so much they wanted to hide. I believe it is due to our country's regime-like administration. Regime means control. Regime defines, divides and punishes its people. Regime divides its people so they become weak. Regime defines its people so they become stuck in their limitations. Regime punishes to keep its people in fear and in order to conform to a set of enslaving social order. Regime is an order and follow process, akin to "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". No wonder Malaysians hide. Corruption is not confined only within the corridors of the government in power, but is at work even in the perceived comfort of the family home. Relatives who come to pretend to offer help, but is actually hiding their malice of getting something in return. Promises are made for the future, yet the present is often hidden from attention until one fine day when you awake to discover you're already in your 30s or 40s and things remain the same as it was a decade or two ago. Our country is made ever more opaque when corporations and companies are created using public funds to hide the incompetence to self-generate wealth but instead to self-enrich the few degenerate individual not based on their effort but more on their corrupted practices. People often say why the law does not punish the rich and powerful, when they themselves are the very lawmakers whom are elected by the people.

Yes, I am afraid. Fearful of my life, my future to be reduced to begging. It was in the darkness, that I was approached by this old man asking me for money on the street and I have to quicken my steps to walk faster to avoid his approach. It's not that I don't want to help him, but I couldn't. What scares me most is how gentle and good his English was when he whispered to me through his soft-spoken voice. This old man serves as a reminder of whom I might become in the future - begging for strangers for money in the street. If you had not realised already, the Chinese minority are actually in limbo - neither here or there. If you're an actor being branded as Chinese like I do, you are made not to feel like you belong. It's extremely clever how the government centralised all their major projects onto themelves so all other companies and corporations have to stop hiring when the government stop awarding projects. For the folk on the street, you are bombarded by the media and movie posters that feature talents that looks just like you and me but are given the attention only due to the race and religion. Yes, we are conditioned to become beggars and be submissive. Only fear will motivate us, not true talent. Lies and slander becomes our belief and motivation due to our own inherent weakness to extremities. In the upcoming elections as a first-time voter, I feel it is time for me for I have become wiser. Wiser in terms of
1) Separate myself from emotion triggers like race, religion and money.
2) Get both views and not believe in just one
3) Be aware of lies and slander ( happens to artistes and politicians alike)
4) Accentuate my Individuality first
5) Use my Head, not my Heart
6) Trust no one

It's like the games I play on my tablet. This day and age, I don't watch the local television, read the local newspapers, Facebook or listen to radio. Partly because I do not want to waste my limited resources and the other part is because my attention is precious. What you give your attention to becomes your reality. So what do I do with my free time? Play games on my 7.7 inch Samsung tablet, of course! Do you know Samsung stores no longer carry that tablet anymore and deemed obsolete? I'm proud that I owned the world's largest Super Amoled screen, and was the first user to purchase it when it first arrived in Malaysia. Playing games on a 7.7inch device is still best, because imagine using your wrist on a light device it's such ease compared to a 10 inch screen. Of course, I also used it to make calls (I don't care what those fools think about using a large device as phone) Games app are simply easier and better played on a 7.7 inch device. It's also amazing what games like Temple Run and Jetpack Joyride can show us what it's like in real life.

Your Enemies Are Real
I remembered when I first started dreaming of becoming an Actor, and all sorts of people would come and belittle my dream, even when I was a kid. When I grow older and become a teacher, I realised all those people who belittled me before now can kick themselves since I'm being acknowledged as Best Actor. Enemies are real in this world of ours. They can be seen and also invisible. When I coached my student, often times they are their own worst enemies because of their self-defeatist attitude. A lot of Malaysians especially those in the city, are an arrogant bunch. They thought they have "made it" after starring in one silly movie or a commercial, and made themselves feel the whole world owed them their ingratiation. I remembered when I first started out as an actor, my enemies are indeed everywhere. The racial divide. The stereotype I have to endure, and personify on screen. The crooks and sub-quality writers, producers and directors. These are all real "enemies" an artiste have to face. Much like a game of Jetpack Joyride, where you're riding on your jetpack, and constantly try to maneuver those unexpected obstacles.

My team chilling
Life is Short
This can serve as a comfort to some or a wake-up call to many! Whenever I play Jetpack Joyride (which is my current favourite game), I know sometime along the way, I would get electrocuted or sliced in half by those laser beams. It certainly made me realise to simply enjoy the ride and not take things too seriously. People can say whatever they want, but it's up to you how to respond. Which leaves us to my next point:

Your Focus is Now
A lot of our media forced us to think about how great and glorious were the past. I have encountered arrogant bosses who balked about their past victories and glories, as if we owed it to them to worship their "greatness" (or more like their stupidity). The greatest trap for us is to fall into the mindset about the past, and forget about your present. Here's what games best taught us is that we have to always remain focus at the moment to play, like in Temple Run, you need to anticipate what twists and turns to encounter so you won't fall or get burnt to a crisp. Games are really fascinating in that way it helps us to focus on the now.

It's not always about the rewards
If you were to follow the coin trails of Jetpack Joyride, often times it would lead you to the laser beams or in the target of some missles. Here's a lesson we can all learn - it's not always about the rewards. Some people revered in the joy of just being alive and able to breathe. Some artistes don't care about fame or constantly to be in the media spotlight, but just want to act in quality roles. It's not always about the money. Some people learn because they want to open their minds to new frontiers when they join my coaching. And most importantly, for me, it's all about the Journey. And how you travel. 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