It’s called the past ‘cause I’m getting past, and I ain’t nothing like I was before.
You ought to see me now.
It’s called the past ‘cause I’m getting past, and I ain’t nothing like I was before.
You ought to see me now.
So this short article about was written in the World Journal 世界日報 (better known as that paper my mom used to buy when she went to the Chinese grocery store)
If you want to practice reading Chinese, check it out. hahaha
we’re going to film at the end of october/beginning of november, but I’m hoping to be there for longer, so bookend a few weeks onto that.
in 2015? or 2014? if 2014, that’s right in the middle of the school…
We’re planning on filming this year, hopefully finish the film/distribute by next year and do the festival circuit.
Sometimes I feel like creative people, for the sake of survival, should study something practical, with the intention of going into their creative fields because they will always do the thing they do whether it’s writing or making music and then they have something to expand their knowledge, to help them to gain real world experience….
I just work with a lot of artists who don’t have any concept that their career is a business, a small business, that needs management. The most successful (in the long term) people I know, were people that didn’t think their talent was going to be enough to get them where they wanted, so they made good plans for “day jobs,” so to speak. They were strategic with their time and resources. Also, people in the entertainment industry have told me to get a college degree, not because I needed it for the industry, but because it would help me in the inbetween times.
It’s why I got a BBA instead of a BM or something, I minored in Chinese, but didn’t major in Asian studies, so that I could use my medium of business/media to put my interest in Asian studies in context. because I can always take those electives and read those books, but I did NEED to go to business school to know what I know about being a producer.
What is HuanDao-besides an “Independent documentary telling a story of self-discovery and identity on a bike trip through Taiwan”?
support huandao’s kickstarter! [i am about to get real up in here folks, fasten your seatbelts, also i made it all about me but who is surprised, really]
so this is probably no surprise to my like eight followers (lol what are you doing here jk never leave me), but i have been really open on the arguablylost blog about my taiwanese identity. however, what you probably don’t know is that this is far from my first online blog — but it IS my first foray into trying to be real with myself and the issues i care about and affect me directly. first and foremost among those things is my identity as a taiwanese american.
this is a little intense for me, because historically i have been really really reaaaaaaaaaaaally careful about maintaining a strict boundary between my online self and my real life self. (not even gonna lie, it is because i am highly suspicious of the government and am genuinely concerned about being watched by the nsa or something, a weird paranoia that turned out to be 100% validated by snowden). i am about to take a step further into that and talk about my real life in non-vague terms because there are things that i am tired about being silent about or afraid of.
how does this relate to huandao?
..besides an “Independent documentary telling a story of self-discovery and identity on a bike trip through Taiwan”?
If you read the FB page, follow our Twitter & Instagram, and visit our website, you’ll see a bread and butter explanation of the film, but this is me writing an open letter explaining the essence of this film, and how this is not just another project for me, but something that is an extension of my very being.
Those of you who know me personally know that I’ve been working in the music industry for the last four years, attending Belmont University and getting a degree in Music Business. Having just graduated, a lot of people have been asking me what I’ve been up to—producing an album or working with an artist. This project- HuanDao, a feature length documentary film, seems like a departure from what I’ve set out to accomplish, but I see it as a part of the vision I have for my work as an artist and storyteller.
As a music producer, I’ve spent the last few years learning the ins and outs of the industry-interning in world class recording studios, working as a staff engineer at my university’s studios, working to record and produce bands and artists on my own, and I’ve loved it.
But while I’ve spent the last few years working and interning in the music industry, I’ve been reading, thinking, concerning myself with, and writing about issues in the Asian American community. At one point, halfway through my college career I actually made a decision to study abroad in Taiwan for a summer, knowing that it would take me away from my goals in the music industry and Nashville. I accepted that if my career suffered for the decision that I would live with it because it meant more to me to know that part of myself than to build my résumé.
My journey did not by any means start and end that summer; this is a thread that has run through my entire life and will continue to grow. (If you’re interested in reading about that, it’s available on this blog under [10,000 MILES IN A HUNDRED DAYS])
Have you ever experienced the feeling that you are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, that everything in your life has been leading up to that moment?
This is what this project is for me.
I grew up never seeing faces and stories like mine told on screen. I grew up surrounded by white people and white culture. I do a pretty good job smoothing over the fact that being Taiwanese American is a big part of who I am.
This film is a chance to make a movie that tells not just my story, but the story of countless other ABCs and Asian Americans I’ve met in my 22 years.
The following story may sound familiar to some of you either because it’s your own or because you’ve heard me tell bits of it to you-
I grew up in the home of two parents who had immigrated from Taiwan. My dad was an engineer and my mom was a nurse. They grew up in poverty and came to America and built a life so much bigger and greater than I think they ever could’ve imagined back in Taiwan.
We spoke Mandarin at home, and from an extremely young age, I was shipped off to Chinese school. I hated Chinese school for the most part. I loved seeing my friends, but no child wants to devote their Saturdays to extra school, homework, and scary teachers that were your friends’ parents. I never thought twice about the life that I lived, caught between white mainstream American culture and our little world. I never batted an eye as I spoke fluent Chinglish (a mixture of Mandarin Chinese and English) with my friends and family. I went back with my family to Taiwan, but never felt like I could call it home or a place I belonged.
I went away to college. In the South. And for the first time in my life I was separated from the two things that kept me connected to my heritage—my parents and my Taiwanese community. I felt different, very different. I realized very abruptly that I really was not white. So I started asking questions. I started reading and digging. I started studying Chinese again, and I decided that I needed to go back to Taiwan for a while to figure things out. So I did.
It was good for my heart and my soul, and it helped me to give words to the life I had been living. I realized that I was a part of a community; I was a part of a bigger story. I was a thread in the tapestry of family history.
We were all trying to figure out how to live in these two worlds—the one at home with our parents and the one in larger American society. I want to share this journey in a tangible way. I want to make this film and explore Taiwan even more, to dig deeper, and I want to take you with me. I’m going back and making this film for every one of us that can’t go back because in one way or another, we all need a way to figure out how to go back before we can go forward.
We, the team, have so many obstacles. One of the biggest ones is money. I have been working multiple jobs for the last year—saving up and also working to run the best Kickstarter I can. We are also young, and this is our first feature length film as directors and producers, though we both have experience doing video production in shorter formats. Also, we are nobodies. We’re just some first generation Chinese kids whose parents still question the validity of their decisions to make a career making art. We didn’t grow up under bright lights. Our connections are not executives or investors in our industry, they’re just kids we grew up going to Chinese school with.
This film is my debut.
I turned down going to one of the top universities in the country (to the silent frown of my Father) to go to a no name regional school that happened to be number one in the music industry. My parents don’t know anything about the entertainment industry, and they don’t really know people who work in that industry either.
But all of this. The fact that we’re such unlikely people to be making a film, makes me want to do it even more. Because it means we’re going to tell a story and a perspective that is rarely heard.
This film is a challenge, accepted.
I want to honor my parents, who they are, and who they raised me to be by going back. I know that they don’t really understand this, but this is me doing what I know to be a good daughter—honoring their vision and sacrifice and our past as a people by pursuing the vision I’ve been given to create.
They came here to America, and no one told them to do that. They travelled across the sea, away from everything they knew and held dear. And now I’m going to go back—to walk away from comfort and familiarity for the potential that there is something there to be found and shared.
This is what “HuanDao” is to me.
Two young women biking through the entire island Taiwan, exploring the intersections of Western and Eastern culture.
This film is about canonizing an experience that many Asian Americans have had in going back or returning to the land of their parents. This is a trope that already exists in real life, but has failed to be documented in mainstream American media.
This is about telling our stories.
Please check out this Kickstarter, please share.
Hey followers, it’d mean a lot to me if you’d check out this project. I know not everyone can afford to support, but if you’d do your part in reblogging and sharing with your family and friends. I’d be much obliged.
#cycling #biking #huandaodoc
I just launched the website/tumblr for the documentary I’ve been working on for the last couple months. I’m going to sit down soon and explain it some more, but I’m really excited about this project!
This song is very strangely accurate at this very moment in life.
Today is my birthday and I’m riding high. But this is summer, playing dumber than in fall.
Everything I say falls right back into everything. I’m not in the swing of things. But what I mean is not in the swing of things yet.
Riding around on the bikes. We’re still sane.
Hey promise I can stay good.
All work and no play never made me lose it. All business all day keeps me up a level. All work and no play keeps me on the new shit. Yeah
All work and no play, let me count the bruises. All business all day keeps me up a level- @lordemusic