I See Things in Widescreen...
Friday, December 14, 2012
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
April and May have been insanely busy for Bradley and I. Brad finished his first year of post grad crap and I just finished post on 3 projects simultaneously. Usually after completing such momentous tasks there’s a temporary calm before the next series of events wreaks havoc on our lives, unfortunately that’s not how it worked out for us this time around.
We are engaged. We had family and friends to tell, parties to plan, a fucking wedding to get ready for! In addition to that, I have never been soo busy professionally. Ever since I left Eddie’s production company I have been bombarded with people wanting me to meet with them for a plethora of jobs. From VFX editor to directing, to co-writing and storyboarding, I have been having a hard time sorting through all of it much less deciding what I want to do next.
In mid-April Bradley and I flew to Santa Barbara to let his family and friends know that we were finally taking the plunge. There were cheers, tears, handshakes, hugs, kisses, speeches, more cheers and MORE TEARS; it was all pretty exciting and emotionally exhausting. It’s always strange for me when I see an actual family and not the disaster I was born into.
Next we drove down to LA to tell my clan. We started with the Tylers because they have always been the people I share this kind of news with first anyway. OBVIOUSLY I told Tyler a month before I even proposed. I went over what I was going to say REPEATEDLY with him, I poured out all my anxiety and fears and Tyler gave me the courage I needed to see passed it all. But we’d both decided that telling Mr. & Mrs. Tyler should be a big surprise when we could all be there together. It was awesome. They were so happy for us. I felt loved.
Up until now this whole process was pretty much a breeze. The rest wasn’t going to be so easy. I started with my dad. He was happy for me, he hugged me and it was awkward. Then he wrote me a check for an insane amount of money to “help out with the wedding”. My dad loves me a lot. It hurts more than anything else. We got up and left shortly after that, the whole thing took about 20 minutes. Afterward I cried and felt like shit for the rest of the day.
That evening it was my mom’s turn. To my mom’s credit, she’s made a complete 180. My little brother has really forced her to take a long hard look at herself and realize she was in the wrong. Over the last couple years my mom has tried very hard to get back into my life and I have done the best I could accepting her back; but it’s not the same and she knows it. There’s just too much pain that I can’t figure out what to do with. So instead I fake that everything is okay, and she pretends not to notice even though we can both see the pain in each other’s eyes. We told her the news, she cried, hugged us both, she told me how proud she was of me and how excited she was for the both of us, and then we sat around making awkward small talk.
After all that terrible was done, Brad and I went down to Mexico to relax and unwind. And from my previous post, we all know what kind of damage that did. But it was still probably one of the best weeks of my entire life. By the time the week was winding down I felt like a new man and I was ready to face the world again! Brad and I were staying in LA while I took a crapload of meetings and Brad and his sister planned an engagement party and wedding. It’s possible for a super duper jaded LA/NYC boy to get starstruck, because over the next few weeks it happened to me repeatedly. I met with actors, musicians, directors and producers; it was all insanely exhausting and completely overwhelming! The amount of prep that goes into meeting with somebody to discuss a project is pretty big, so yeah I pretty much didn’t sleep for like 2 ½ weeks straight. But I did get to meet one of the sexiest men I have ever seen in real life like EVER, I got to meet guy I have had a crush on since I was like 14, a director I have had a creative boner with since forever, and I got to meet a pornstar who’s probably more famous than all the other people I met combined (somebody at the meeting tweeted about it and for a hot minute we were the biggest thing on twitter!).
So it was a pretty even exchange for lack of sleep. Ok this is getting really long. I am going to take a break and unload the rest of my anxiety at a later time.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Instead of saying, “hey, I like you and I only want to be with JUST YOU!” I said, “I like having sex without condoms, but I don’t want an STD. Let’s stay monogamous so we can nix the condoms! But if one of us slips up, no biggie. We will just get tested, use condoms for 6 months, and then get retested, and then go back to life as normal.” It was total BS and now looking back on this I am ashamed of how disrespectful and childish I was to Bradley and our relationship.
In the 5 years Bradley and I have been together, the condoms have come out once. The time we had broken up for a few months, and we’d both “moved on”. Those first 6 months after we’d gotten back together were FUCKING AWFUL. I have never thought of myself as a jealous man, but I would literally DESTROY the guy(s) that were with Bradley if I ever met them. Even thinking about it right now makes my blood boil and gets my adrenaline pumping.
The idea of seeing another condom between the two of us, I can’t even begin to describe how much that would completely and utterly destroy my world. It’s not about the stupid condoms! It’s about what they represent. I don’t give a fuck about some stupid condom. I care about being the only man in Bradley’s life. I care about monogamy, because no matter what your local old gay tells you, monogamy can and does exist in the gay community. Sometimes it can be the most difficult burden EVER since EVER, but it’s also ALWAYS the most rewarding and intimate experience you can share with another person.
Being honest with my feelings has always been the one thing that has turned me into a coward. Mostly because I don’t ever feel worthy of these feelings, but also because I am always insecure enough to feel like my feelings will not be reciprocated. Being with Bradley has given me courage like I have never known. The moment I was finally able to wrap my head around the fact that I loved him I became a different man.
Having to experience life without him, I know it’s not anything I could ever do again. Bradley makes me a better man and I think I might just do the same for him. He gave me the courage to start production on my own show, and he gave me the strength to confront a lot of my insecurities that I have been hiding from. He is my everything; life without him just doesn’t make sense to me. That’s why I got down on my knee and asked him to marry me. And I mean the world to him, so that’s why he said, “yes”.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
I had to fly out to LA for 2 days to meet with the production company responsible for "my show". My agent felt that me actually seeing what was going on first hand, would help make my decision easier. The guy in charge was super duper impressive! He knew his shit, and he seemed to honestly appreciate and understand what I brought to the party. Sitting in his office, I couldn't help but notice the giant ass emmy sitting on his desk. I have never actually seen an emmy in real life, and it seemed a lot more substantial than I imagined. It also added a lot of weight to what this guy was proposing and made the whole thing seem that much more REAL. In that moment it really got me thinking a lot about what this actually meant for me and it brought up a lot of issues I have with myself.
Standing in front of a camera always brings out the insecurities I have about myself. I have worked in front of the camera for as long as I have been surfing. Whether it be modeling clothes, or MC’ing events, to being interviewed or interviewing someone else; I have always been hyper aware of the fact that I am being judged. When you work in front of the camera, you are only allowed to be unattractive if you’re white, black, or rich. In all other cases, you have to be the hottest motherfucker in the room to stand a chance. From being short, to not really having the definition in my body that I want, to my scars that I feel hideously disfigure my face; I see these images of myself and I just want to put a bag over my head and hide. I have all this anxiety over my appearance and how I am not handsome enough to be here, and it kind of just devolves into a pit of self-hatred and the such…
Intellectually, I know I am attractive. I know I am the only one who even knows that I have/had scars. I know that my short stature actually looks really good on me. And I know I look damn good with my shirt off because I do a shit ton of cross fit training and martial arts routines daily! But for some reason none of those things matter, and it’s the little negative things that have always stuck with me.
When I was 19 I did this photo shoot with a few other guys. I don’t really even remember what this shoot was for, I just remember that we were all half naked and it was really cold that day but we had to act like it was 90 degrees out. A couple months later I saw one of the pictures that didn’t make the ad online on some gay blog and there were HUNDREDS of comments over the picture. I KNOW I shouldn’t have, but I read all of them. Rookie mistake! When I was done it felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach. I remember comments like “the short one ruins it for me” and “the Asian guy’s abs look off, that’s a sign of scoliosis” and on and on… Yeah there were a lot of positive and really awesome comments, but those aren’t the ones that stuck with me.
Every time I step in front of the camera I think about those comments. I think about all the eyes on me, and how they are looking for all of my flaws so they can rip into me. I think about how easy it is to just reduce a person to their imperfections and how it makes me feel when that person is me. I always do my best to have impeccable posture when my shirt is off so my abs don’t look like their deformed, and I always interview people over 6ft sitting down so I don’t look like a dwarf, and a million other little things. It’s pitiful! I hate how aware I am of these things and I hate how much I care about them.
There are a million reason why I don’t want to be on camera in my own show. From the strain it would put on my relationship with Bradley having to do long distance AGAIN, to my crazy insecurities I have getting judged by a million anonymous assholes I will never meet, to this awful feeling that I just don’t have what it takes to be successful at this. But there are also a million reasons I would want to do this and facing then defeating my fears and insecurities are really just a drop in that proverbial bucket.
Even though I hate to admit these things, I work hard at who I am on camera. I am funny, personable, and charming as fuck; that shit just doesn’t happen overnight. I know the effect that I have on the people around me, and it’s taken me years to perfect that skill. I study, plan, and train hard for every possible outcome and am always prepared for whatever happens. I have mastered the art of working my ass off and making it look like it all happened on accident. I deserve this opportunity and I am doing myself a serious disservice if I turn it down. But if I am really honest with myself, I really don’t want this.
I feel like this is the story of my life summed up perfectly. I work really hard, I get offered the golden prize at the end of a long and arduous journey, and then I walk away from said prize as if it were nothing. I don’t want that to be the legacy I leave behind, the guy who could never pull the trigger. That’s some pitiful bullshit…
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
This month has been a whirlwind of crazy. First I had Tyler’s 30th Bday, then I flew out to Texas for SXSW, then Brad and I went on a spring break vacation EXTRAVAGANZA, and in the middle of all of this I was offered my own television show. Trying to communicate even a fraction of the mental and physical exhaustion I am feeling right now seems completely unfathomable because there are no words to describe this!
So let’s just start from the beginning. Earlier this month, Tyler turned 30. Most people hit 30 and (from what I hear) it’s a time where they pull out the proverbial yardstick and figure out how they measure up to their goals and expectations they’d set for themselves before they knew better. Tyler has a lot going for him; from his modeling career in college, to his short-lived pro soccer career, to just being this awesome and genuine human being that people gravitate around. I could go on for days, but the point is he knows he’s awesome so that stupid ass yardstick wasn’t about to rain on anybody’s parade this year! We surfed, we barbecued, we hit the skateparks, we rode our motorcycles up to Hollister and back, then we drank and partied so hard it was like we were teenagers again!
It felt so good to have some serious hang time with Tyler. It was crazy how much I missed him without actually knowing it until we were together again. We never have time to just be stupid with each other because I live halfway across the country and guys don’t spend hours on the phone “chatting” with each other. So needless to say, we both needed this time. Somewhere in the middle of all our fun my agent found out I was in town and asked me to come in for a sit down. I refused to ruin Tyler’s week with business, so I scheduled a meeting on the Sunday before I flew out to Texas to meet Eddie for a screening of our short film.
Long story short, this network offered me my own show based on a segment I always do when I host this show for them. I haven’t blogged about hosting since like 2008, so just to update: I work for this super duper obscure cable network guest hosting when the principles are out, or occasionally just doing short segments for the show. The last time I appeared on the show was at the beginning of March, and now they want me to make this a regular thing.
After taking a minute to really let this offer soak in, I wanted to say no and be done with it. This was the obvious next step in the relationship I had with this network. In one form or another, I have my hand in at least 4 of their current shows, and my agent is really good friends with their head of programming. AND the fucker (my agent) is always trying to figure out another way to squeeze as much money out of me as possible! After spending an hour going over all the specifics, I really started to get excited over the potential of what this offer really meant. My biggest problem that I have, and always have had, is dealing with being in front of the cameras. I absolutely hate doing it! So that’s where I have left that, up in the air, the usual…
Next was an awkward yet amazing 3 days at SXSW with Eddie. Our film was originally rejected because they had removed our category at the festival, but after viewing it they decided to screen it in all it’s 10 minutes of glory just cuz it was awesome. Eddie brought his boyfriend and we awkwardly made small talk but were clearly not into being around each other. We got a shit ton of accolades and spent the next few days being approached and asked if we were responsible of the awesome they’d witnessed. It was fun, but on the third day I was so glad to finally be done with all that drama.
FINALLY it was time to fly back to New Orleans and pack for mine and Brad’s SPRING BREAK VACATION EXTRAVAGANZA! We flew to Hawaii where we surfed, laid out in the sun, surfed, made love, surfed, ATE, surfed, and just enjoyed each other. Content. That’s how I would describe my week. Absolutely content. I was so happy and at ease. It was beautiful. If every week could be like that, I would know heaven.
Now here I am, back in New Orleans, sitting at my computer trying to figure out what the hell I am going to do next with my life. My biggest worry is that one day very soon I am going to need more than my million dollar smile to get me through life. I really should be milking every opportunity for everything it’s worth.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
I have been back for about a few weeks now and I am finally starting to feel like a human being again. Little by little this city has gone from unbearable to just slightly annoying, but it still has a long way to go before I can call this armpit, home. There’s nowhere to skate! No steep hills to bomb, or cool spots to street skate; I can’t think of a single thing to do for fun here!
Okay that’s not true. This month I am pretty sure that I have had sex more than anybody else on the planet, so that’s something. I have also been spending a lot of time doing some much needed work on my Carrera, which has been mostly neglected these last few years. Still I can’t build an entire life around sex and cars, I really need to find a new hobby.
On Monday I received my cash-money from the gallery via wire transfer into a bank account that I never use! A smart man would’ve picked up a cashier’s check and then brought it to the proper bank, or electronically transferred the cash. Unfortunately I am a BORED man, and bored me are seldom smart men. So I thought it would be fun to take out the entire amount in cash and play with it for a while. I had to run out to my car and grab my man-bag (empty it of all it’s contents) then fill it up again with cash!
I am not sure if anybody is aware of this, but money is heavy. $5,000 in $20’s $10,000 in $50’s and the majority in $100’s; walking out of the bank my heart was racing and my adrenaline was so high my whole body felt like it was shaking! I brought the money home and then I spent the last few days playing with a HUGE ASS pile of cash! I photographed it, sketched it, I built money cities, and I posed with it in many different and awesome ways, then this morning I brought it back to the bank. I really need to find a new hobby...
Monday, March 05, 2012
So my gallery show in NYC went exactly how I thought it would. 8 pieces in this collaborative show; 6 sold the first night and the other 2 sold the following night. I am so miserable and full of contempt for anything and everything I have tried to do in the last few years and it’s actually starting to really make me depressed. In all honesty, I know there is so much in my life I should appreciate more than I do. I have achieved so much that I should be proud of, but I am not. My career should make me happy, but it doesn’t. I want to find a way to FORCE myself to at least recognize how far I have come, but I can’t.
I know exactly what is bothering me. 10 years ago I was beginning my career as a professional athlete. I remember training for months to get my body into perfect shape, then hitting the waves for hours and hours until my body felt like jello. I gave surfing my all, then competition time would roll around and I would finish eighth, or fifth, or even third, but NEVER first! Almost immediately surfing stopped being about me enjoying myself and became this impossible adversary I needed to DEFEAT!
Surfing isn’t something you can conquer. It’s something you spend your entire life having an amazing love affair with. You practice, you appreciate and you honor surfing for the art that it is; it’s beautiful and it’s a gift that not many people on this planet can truly appreciate. I failed as a professional athlete because I couldn’t cope with not always being the best. I couldn’t rap my head around giving 110% and not coming out on top. 10 years later and I can finally see how stupid I was way back when it mattered, and I can’t help but have one of those “if I only knew then what I know now” moments…
I wish I could blame my failed athletic career on my dual goal of pursuing an education at an Ivy League university, or on my sexuality, but deep down I know that’s just not the truth. The truth is I wasn’t mature enough as a man, or skilled enough as an athlete to succeed. I wasn’t enough. I am an artist because I couldn’t cut it as a surfer. I am a director because I failed as an athlete. I am a programmer, because I couldn’t be the best at what I truly loved. All these achievements just twist the knife a little more because they are all reminders that I am a failure.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it.
So last week I read this blog post about “linsanity” and it really pissed me off! Like so much so that I wasn’t even able to fully articulate my anger into cogent sentences and I went all rage troll on this guy’s comments section. Basically he felt that the success of Jeremy Lin has been the catalyst in society that allows Asian Men to be seen as sexual beings. Like somehow Mr. Lin being good at basketball makes me a more viable option to the people I want to fuck. Obviously some of this anger was coming from my recent falling out with Eddie and how that whole mess went down, but reading this guy's views on all of this, it just felt like deja vu!
This writer was already on thin ice when he said something about Jeremy Lin being the first Asian American “stud”, completely ignoring my personal lord and savior, Mr. Bruce Lee. But then, towards the end where he wrote, “…our basketball whiz kid has given the rest of us balls.” that really set off my rage reflex!
NO! NOOO! NOOOOO!! And NOOOOOOO!
How the hell is some random person on the internet going to tell me that before Jeremy Lin existed in the media zeitgeist, I was a eunuch!? How does this guy, who has now been read by thousands of people, unilaterally decide that an entire race of men have no balls!? I can pretty much guarantee you that nobody has ever been in a room with me, and didn’t think I was man enough to handle my shit!
This is the same BULLSHIT I have been hearing since my freshmen year in college, 11 years ago! Any and EVERY SINGLE Asian American liberal arts major, spends hours pontificating over this same nonsense. It’s so easy to blame western society for the desexualization of the Asian Male, because for the most part that’s just how it is. They think they're clever because they have identified this marked disparity in how Asian male's get treated vs EVERYBODY else. In the end they bitch and complain and do absolutely nothing productive dealing with this issue because it's "society's fault" not theirs.
Another big point of contention with this guy, was that Jeremy Lin has been the first big Asian role model. Obviously the first thing I thought to myself was, BRUCE LEE! One of the greatest athletes, actors, HUMAN BEINGS to ever walk this earth! There are SOO MANY Asian American guys who've achieved A LOT and wouldn't appreciate this fallacy that Jeremy Lin has now made them fully realized men!
Did these guys wait for the world to tell them it was okay to have internationally successful music? Are these guys also lady boy eunuchs who owe their manliness to Jeremy Lim? NO! They forced their way into a genre and lifestyle where they weren't even welcome, and they MADE the world recognize them!
This dude right here, has made an entire career out of NOT BEING A STEREOTYPE! I respect him so much for recognizing the problems he would face in the industry, and then succeeding anyway.
"If you want to ride the ultimate wave, you have to be willing to pay the ultimate price"
This MAN was one of the most badass surfers to have ever caught a wave! His charisma, skill, and machismo helped bring surfing to the world in a way that it hadn't before! NOBODY ever thought that he didn't have his balls, because they just don't come any bigger than this man's low hangers!
The quiet, studious nerds, who sit around doing homework and playing video games; who the hell would want to sexualize that in the first place!? If you don’t like it, there’s a pretty easy fix, CHANGE IT! You can't wait for the world to tell you when it's okay to be different, powerful, manly, or sexual; you just have to go out into the world and OWN these things! I am loud, cocky, I know what I want, and I ALWAYS get it! I am not going to sit quietly and ask for permission to be a man, and if you have a problem with that I will whip out my manhood and knock you across the face with it because, “FUCK YOU!”
As a proud Asian American working in the sports and entertainment industries for most of my life, there is SO MUCH I want to say about this! But it's just so overwhelming and completely ridiculous all at the same time. In all honesty I feel like Asians in America have moved well beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that once bound us. A long time ago, we plateaued and we quit striving for that next big milestone. More than anything this barrier between us and them, comes right down to attitude and personality.
2002. I was a kissing booth for charity. Raised $2000 in an hour. AT A COLLEGE FUNDRAISER! Look me in the eye and tell me it could've happened if I wasn't sexually desirable to all the people who wanted to kiss me.
I could go on for days about this, but I am SO OVER thinking about this bull-sense! SO I would just like to say one more thing; Been having my balls since 1985!