I have a busy day ahead again today. I therefore have to plan my day wisely, otherwise I can’t get nothing done. Today is a sunny day. But summer will soon be gone. What a shame. That’s why I try to capture summer in scented candles, with all the lovely scents of summer that make you feel like summer never ends. Well, for now, I have only French lavender scent so far. But more and more aromas will be added, as soon as I have finished making them and add them to my online store BUPPHA.uk.
It’s a long process. I also have to design new labels for each perfume, packaging, containers, and so forth. Christmas will also soon arrive. So I want everything ready by then as well. It’s September now. So I have plenty of time to prepare. It gives me a peace of mind when I plan everything well ahead. I have learned from my experience that things will go terribly wrong, in most cases, when you are unprepared – no matter what you do. That’s why I try to prevent it from happening again at all costs. So from now on, I will outline everything in advance in order to avoid mistakes as much as I can. It also gives me more confidence and can then easily envision things that could go wrong, and thereby do whatever I can to stay away from them.
So today, I will start my day with the revision of my drama screenplay first, just a little bit. I try to break down the editing process of my manuscript into small chunks, to make it more achievable and realistic. I can just tell you that my drama script has a very unique story, plot, and characters. Furthermore, it’s also based on a true story which makes it original. I therefore do not post my drama screenplay anywhere, yet. I want to keep it under wraps for now until after the rewrite is complete and, perhaps, the film has been made.
Then, the rest of the day, I will spend it to focus on my candle business. There’s a lot to do as well since I just started it. So to stop myself from pulling my hair out trying to cope with all the things I need to accomplish, I have to do everything bit by bit. One small task at a time. When I have completed this one, then I can move on to the next. It’s more manageable this way. Now, I will get going with all my to-dos if I want anything to get done today.
I have been stalking by my neighbours for the past 1-2 years, especially during summertime because it’s warm, so they can just open their terrace doors and come outside to stand and stare at me constantly without giving a damn how I would feel! Their flats are just the opposite mine. So they can just look right through my windows. One of them is white, which I’m not sure if he’s white British or not, he even lives with his girlfriend or wife. But he doesn’t care. He just stalks me when she doesn’t see. But he slows down a little bit after I have given him a stern look a few times lately. But in the past, he even called his friend that I am now coming out of my flat and standing on my balcony. He said it out loud, as if he didn’t think I could speak and understand English. When he saw me walking down the road passing his flat, he would come out and stare at me as if I am not human or something. I have no feeling whatsoever. He made me feel like a sex object in broad daylight, right in front of my face. I almost cried. Often time, I was thinking to go over to his flat and tell him to stop stalking me. But since now he doesn’t seem to stalk me that much anymore, so I put that idea on hold for now.
But another male neighbour – who looks Chinese or Vietnamese or Thai, but he looks Chinese to me – he still continues to stalk me and it’s getting worse and worse. Recently, I even saw him open his terrace door and take pictures of me or film me. The first few times I saw it, I thought maybe I was paranoid. So I didn’t think anything serious about it. Also, as soon as he saw me see him doing it, he would then point his mobile phone that he used to take pictures of me or film me to another direction instead pretending he’s filming the nature, the garden, and things like that not me. But 2 weeks ago, he did take pictures of me or film me again while I was cooking dinner in my flat. I then gave him the finger! When he saw me giving him the finger, he stopped taking pictures of me or filming me and walked away.
It was the last straw. I then called the police right away. The police arrived and promised me to go talk to the male. But before they left, one of the police officers, who was female, saw my fish sauce in my open kitchen, she then asked me where I’m from, how long I have been living in UK, what I do for a living, and so on. When I told her that her questions seem irrelevant to the matter, she replied that she just wanted to know so that she could put it in the report. After the police left, I didn’t see them going over to the male’s flat to ask him as they promised me. But I could be wrong. After that day, the man still continues to stalk me as usual. I mean, if the police did actually speak to him, he would be scared and stop doing what he’s doing. So how come he still carries on to stalk me – nothing has changed. Tomorrow, if I see him stalk me again I will go over and speak to him myself. I will also report him to the neighbourhood team, to make them aware of the situation.
The reason why I blog about it is that to make people aware of that this is one of the main reasons why many victims in sexual assault cases do not want to come forward or report the offenders since they fear nobody would believe them anyway. The result would then be that they end up embarrassing themselves for reporting the crime in the first place. Some who are very vulnerable could even wind up committing suicide because of shame, and also because they are being victimised further by others who do not want or refuse to believe them. I will therefore encourage all victims to come forward no matter what. If you do not speak up for yourself, you let the culprits continue to do what they want as long as no one dares to speak up.
Shafts of bright morning sunlight pierce in through the windows. It looks like, it’s going to be a lovely sunny day. I start my day with music. It’s a ritual thing that I do almost every day: Listen to music when I stand up and when I go to bed. Now, I am full of positive energy to go through the day. It’s going to be a good day. Whatever’s waiting for me, I’m ready. I know I am going to be extremely busy today, and for the rest of this year, to be exact. But I do what I love. So I don’t mind. I enjoy being busy with the things that interest me the most. I’d be bored myself to death if I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.
I also get rejected all the time. This is part of an actor’s life. But I learn to take advantage of the rejections to a great extent. They just make me stronger and do whatever I can to reach my goals, just to prove them wrong. Literally. So, rejections do not discourage me. Besides, they motivate me in a way to stay on the right track, to work harder to make my dreams come true. They just confirm to yourself that you believe in yourself so much that nothing or nobody can make you doubt yourself. Period.
When I want to relax I turn to music. Or just when I want to be inspired. Music really feeds my imagination. I like listening to music in the morning and before I go to bed. But also when I have writer’s block. Or when I want to chill out. It just gives me new energy, ideas, and inspirations that I need. Music is good for your soul as well. Of course, it depends on what music you listen to. But most music just helps to cheer you up. Therefore I think it would be a good idea if patients at mental hospitals listen to music regularly. Or maybe they do? It’s like a therapy. It totally transforms your mind and mood to the better. I don’t watch TV anymore. I listen to music instead and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t want to bombard my brain with negative stuff in the news daily. I choose to only see positive things and associate myself with positive people, who don’t try to make me feel bad about myself for no particular reason just pure bias and generalisation. Negative people are like blind persons. They choose to only see what they wanted to see – no matter what. Nothing can change the way they wanted to see you. When I stay away from pessimistic people, I feel so relieved. The world is a nice place to live, after all.
I went to one of the free workshops “Casting Director, Agent, and Performer” for members of Spotlight in Chinatown yesterday. Some of the advice I have heard before and some I haven’t. So it was very useful, learning how to:
- Impress casting directors with my (self taped) auditions.
- Make good quality self tapes and showreels yourself without emptying your bank account by paying for a showreel company to do it for you, which could cost a lot of money. As an aspiring actor, you don’t have money to pay for those things you don’t really need if you can do it yourself.
- Find agent that is right for you, who believes in you, and once you do have an agent how to communicate with your agent on a regular basis since communication with your agent is very vital.
- Submit yourself to jobs on Spotlight.
- Utilise Spotlight to the fullest extent.
- Find the right roles for you.
- And many more.
It’s just one hour seminar from 6pm – 7pm. But for me, it was worth it since I am serious about my acting, writing, and directing careers so I always look for ways to acquire new expertise and wisdom, which can help move my careers forward. I also attend acting class regularly, to improve my acting skills, to meet fellow actors and make new connections or friends, and to keep my knowledge in acting and film industry current. So I do whatever I can to make my dreams come true and I enjoy every step I take because I love what I do. Each journey towards my goals is an adventure in itself. It’s also a challenge. I am not afraid of challenge. So it’s fine with me.
I have been very busy lately. That’s why I don’t blog that often as I used to. I am preparing for the making of my short film if I cannot sell my script, to pitch for the fund for the feature film. So every day counts. I spend each day doing the research, re-reading my screenplay, rewriting scenes and dialogues, making plans, and many more. And plus, I have many other things to do, too, than just organising my filmmaking project. I have put a lot of work and time into my upcoming drama film. I have therefore reached the point of no return. From now on, I can only move forwards. I have to make it no matter what – either sell the script or make the film myself. But something good has to come out of the screenplay. I will not just write a script and think nobody will care about, then just forget the whole thing and go do something else.
Since I have been busy with lots of things recently, today I will just relax and watch a good film. But after the film, I may begin to look at my screenplay again. I’m just so excited that I enjoy working on it every time. There’s not a day that I think: Maybe this project is too difficult, I can’t do it anymore, I will find something else less challenging to do instead. On the other hand, I just get up each morning looking forward to continuing to work on my screenplay and my filmmaking project because I’m very positive about it. Also when I visualise the day I have successfully made the film or have sold the script, I just can’t wait to get there FAST. And that’s what keeps me going, never giving up.
I write this post as if I have a discussion with someone about the process of writing my first feature-length screenplay (a coming-of-age drama) and, possibly, making the film myself as well which I will also be playing one of the main characters. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to pretend, I am being interviewed by someone to see how I will answer those questions when the time comes. I think, it’s also a good preparation and a brave proclamation to myself about that I can do it, I will make it – just relax.
How do you start your day?
As soon as I get up, I make a cup of tea or coffee, have my breakfast, and begin to write straight away.
What are you doing at the moment?
I’m working on my feature-length screenplay (a coming-of-age drama) and trying to get it sold. If not, I will make the film myself. So I’m very busy with lots of things, such as doing the researches for my film, how to get it made. I also take some acting classes once in a while to improve my acting skill, attend several film and writer events to network, and many more. But one of the main things is that I try to finish the revision of my screenplay by the end of this month, which is this Sunday 31. So, I don’t have that many days left now.
I thought, I am completely done with the redraft. But then, when I read through it somehow it doesn’t seem captivating enough, and some aspects of it are unclear and uninteresting. So I have to rewrite it again and again, until it’s perfect. Because, if I want to sell my screenplay it has to be more than good. People have to be unable to put it down, till they have read to the end. So, I try to achieve that kind of level. I therefore have to be a prolific writer, to refine my writing skill. Because, when you write a lot or produce a lot you become good at it in the end. Writing a lot of things doesn’t only mean quantity; it also means quality since it helps you become a good, confident writer. Although I have yet to write lots of screenplays, but I blog a lot and almost daily. So, I do produce lots of writing work anyway – just in a different form of writing.
What is it so special about this drama script?
That it is based on a true story which is so personal to me. For that reason, there is a personal touch to it as well. It’s not just a true story and that’s it. All in all, the whole package: The dialogues, the plot, the characters, the setting, and more. It’s just a very good story to tell. And that’s why I feel like turning it into film myself since I know the story very well. I would therefore be the right one to tell and direct it.
What are the most important views of the script?
That it is about the views of vulnerability, loneliness, choice, control, and the like. It’s a coming-of-age drama. So, it’s about making the right choices in your life, about being you – not just someone or something or anything that’s not you, just to please others. It’s about holding on to who you are. It’s about finding yourself, actually, which many young people have to cope with. Growing up can be scary. There are lots of responsibilities you have to take. The reality can be intimidating for some, especially youngsters. Hence the journey to adulthood can be lonely which makes many teenagers feel vulnerable. Although they may not be aware of loneliness and vulnerability themselves, but they are there somewhere deep down.
What are the interesting things about the characters?
The protagonist is a very complicated person. For example, he says things he doesn’t mean. But, it’s not only the protagonist who is like that, all characters are enigmatic in some ways. They do and say things that can be annoying or difficult to understand. But they have their own reasons for doing it. The impetus can be good or bad.
What is the setting and why?
It takes place in a small district of London. I want to portray the lives that are different from what we are used to. We need to see and experience something completely different than our own world. It’s nice to be taken to a different world and be transported with entertainment and learn something from it. I can promise you, there is a lot to learn from this film, a lot of questions to be answered, and more.
Considering everything, this film will be a good film to watch. I can visualise it already. Therefore I would like to make this movie myself, which I might. Because, I want to make a film which I in some way give something back to the society. So if I ever turn it into film myself, I really want people to go see the film, to experience something different and educational.
I have made an infographic to really lay out my idea in an outline, so that I can easily follow it to the end. I think, it looks less abstract when I see it right in front of me when and what I am going to do first and last. It’s more organised and manageable. Before, I kept everything in my head and it seemed chaotic and unreachable. I also don’t know when to start and when to finish. So by making it clear to myself the steps I am going to take and set myself a deadline or a timeframe when it will be done, what I am going to do first, next, and last, everything looks possible now.
What do you think?
I start my day with one of my favourite breakfasts which is just some slices of bread with different items on them – one of them is salmon since I love fish, but not all kinds of fishes. One of the reasons I like fish is that it helps improve or maintain my eyesight. So I try to include fish and many others fruits and vegetables that are good for the health of my eyes, skin, and overall healthy body in my daily diet as much as I can. I also try to drink more tea instead of coffee.
I don’t have this type of early meal that often, though. I normally have oatmeal or muesli or cereal for breakfast or just some fruits. Only once in a while that I fancy full English or some breads for breakfast, like today. It’s delicious when you don’t have it too frequently. And while it is yummy, it’s just not very wholesome. Therefore I only have it every once in a long while. I like taking good care of myself. So I go very much up in what I eat, do, and the like. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle makes me feel good. When you love yourself and will do anything for your well-being you will shine of confidence and self-esteem.
Sometimes, I just skip breakfast. But only sometimes. Because, when I start my day with a decent breakfast I tend not to eat that much during the day. And I also have a prodigious energy to accomplish lots of things. I just feel so active and lively throughout the day. And I only eat just a little for dinner. But I notice that if I don’t have breakfast I am likely to eat more and sometimes a considerable portion when I don’t need it. So first thing in the morning when I stand up is to have a good breakfast. Then I’m ready.
My feature-length screenplay could be finished tomorrow! I try really hard to finally complete it. It’s tough when I have lots to do, and at the same time trying to finish my script. So I work extremely hard to do each task each day according to how important each one is. My calendar is jam-packed with several assignments daily. And I have to prioritise. Otherwise, the most essential duties may never be accomplished. And at this moment, finishing my screenplay is of paramount importance since it could establish my writing and filmmaking career – if I concentrate on writing a good script, which I’m trying really hard right now. And also because, I have a good feeling about it that it’s going to be a good screenplay. So, I never give up on it. If it’s something I can sense it’s not going to be good I would stop trying a long time ago and starting on something else instead. But, I keep going because I know my hard work will pay off in the end. I’m just very positive about it.
A clip from Richard E. Grant by Spotlight to encourage you to never giving up. As an actor myself, I can identify with everything he says. And I couldn’t agree more. Personally, first and foremost, you have to believe in yourself first. If you didn’t believe in yourself and didn’t trust your instinct, no one would believe in you either.