Without the Internet, I have no job

The Internet has totally changed the way my friends and I communicate.

In the past, when I hang out with friends, we would just hang out. We would chat over a meal or a drink.

Nowadays, when I hang out with friends, we’re chatting with each other online instead of in person, even though we’re sitting right next to each other.

Plurk conversation
[Join us on Plurk]

Of course, we still do chat the traditional way, but it’s not uncommon to see the whole group of us sitting around a table together, all of us on our mobile phones, text-chatting with one another and with other online friends.

Sheylara

The Internet is not just an option anymore. It has become an integral part of our lives.

Continue reading…

The devil got me

I sold my soul to the devil today, when I swore never to do it again.

I’m speaking metaphorically lah, what is wrong with you?

I mean, what is wrong with me. Sorry.

The devil has a three-letter name. Its name is J.O.B.

And I don’t mean a job like an acting job or a writing job or a modelling job or a temp job like I’ve been doing in the last few years, allowing me to live a relatively free-spirited life with no serious obligations.

I mean a J.O.B. with a regular salary and CPF.

[Get thee away!]

So, now, I’m staring at my PC monitor, wide-eyed, heart thumping, awash in a stupor of disbelief.

Okay, I actually did that for 15 minutes.

But that’s about all the time I can spare for frivolous self-indulgences. Because I have a J.O.B. to do.

Alright, I shall stop stringing you along before you get tired of being strung along and decide to leave.

So. I have agreed to be the editor of a new publication. (I think I’m not allowed to say what it is yet.)

*cue shocked gasps of breaths*

C’mon, humour me.

That was my old occupation, being an editor. I was an editor in a newspaper, a magazine and a web portal. But I quit eventually because I wanted to act and didn’t want to be tied down by a regular job and I didn’t like the stress of that job.

[Pencil-wielding horror]

I swore never to go back to the grind. Over the years, I rejected several related job offers.

So, why did I accept this offer?

Because it’s a very small publication and I got the impression that I’ll just need to spend like four days a month working on it.

Because it’s gaming related and sounds vaguely fun.

Because I need to re-oil my marbles.

Well, I figured that it won’t kill me to give up four days of my life each month.

And then I had a serious meeting with my boss-to-be and I started getting the idea that the job is much bigger than I expected and that I may have to spend a lot more than four days a month.

But, by then, I couldn’t back out anymore because I was hooked by the challenge.

And the money.

Which is not much, really, but the promise of extra monthly income is very attractive to someone who hasn’t been getting much of a regular income in years. (But which really shouldn’t even be a consideration considering that I’ve been happily living an income-less life all this while.)

You can tell I’m confused. Can I plead duress?

Anyway, just like that, I’m back on a payroll.

[I'll pay you in houses]

While the job will have fun elements, it will also bring the kind of unwanted stress which drove me away from my old career in the first place.

For example, I have exactly two weeks from now to work out my editorial direction and publish the first issue.

And I already had my year nicely planned out with exciting personal projects to keep me awfully busy.

But now I’m going to have to rework my priorities. Give up a few things. And get used to the fact that I don’t own myself 100% anymore.

Sure, it’s not a full-time job in that I have to sit in an office 22 days a month. I’ll just have to go for meetings and work mostly from home, but the stress will be full-time.

An editor’s job is 24/7, I suddenly remember my ex-ex-boss teaching me. It doesn’t matter the amount of time you’re doing the physical work of putting the publication together, you’re constantly monitoring trends and news and thinking six issues ahead while you work on the current issue.

I’m starting to wonder what I just signed up for.

The devil got me. After all these years.

[The devil got Sheylara]

Confusion of emotion

I am my usual tardy self again, of course.

After being away from the blogging scene for so long (I also stopped reading blogs), it’s hard to jump back into it.

But I decided to “blog in” today because I’m going away on a short holiday in 7 hours’ time, and it feels wrong to just leave without a word. A stupid thing to feel since all the world is connected by the Internet, but it’s psychological.

On the acting front, half of me is happy and half of me is sad. It’s strange when you get mixed feelings. You’re confused, you don’t know what to feel, and you get a bit crazy.

I was offered a very nice role, and then I lost it because they couldn’t pay my rate.

On the same day, I got another role, a fun role which I really wanted.

But the happiness is tampered by sadness.

And, on the other hand, the sadness is neutralised by the happiness.

In mathematical terms, this means I should feel nothing.

But emotions can’t be calculated in mathematical terms, so my brain short-circuits from the confusion.

It’s annoying when too many things happen at once. You don’t get to enjoy a situation exclusively because other things demand your attention.

Right now, my full attention has been violently seized by a sick, sadistic video clip I just watched after following a friend’s link in a forum (which I was browsing while blogging).

People should be banned from making sick videos AND linking them.

Damn.

I shall attempt to distract myself from the evil grips of the video by MSN-ing everyone on my MSN contact list and singing the Elmo song very loudly (but taking care to turn off my microphone and webcam first).

Kidding. I don’t have a webcam.

I think I shall read a book.

Shit, I wasn’t born to act

I had started writing about my weekend filming experience in MediaCorp but, after about 1000 words, I decided that it was too wordy. There is too much to tell and I don’t have any pictures to illustrate my story. And I wasn’t even halfway done yet.

So, I scrapped it.

Some things are better told over a cup of coffee. Except that I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like to tell verbal stories. I took part in storytelling competitions when I was in primary school and never won any. Haha. But I did win essay-writing competitions.

Speaking of which, I recently had my fortune read and was told that writing is the best career for me. I was advised not to be an actress because, to put it very simply, the elements surrounding my birth inhibit my ability to express myself. Which makes me appear stiff and awkward in performances and makes me lousy at interacting with people. All of which are very true.

But I refuse to go back to a wriitng career because quitting showbiz will kill me (metaphorically). So I was told to keep practising and to depend on hard work to overcome the lack of natural ability.

You may not believe in fortune readings but it is very interesting. I went with three other friends and we all sat around listening to each other’s readings. It was freaking funny because the master was able to tell the strengths and weaknesses of all of us very accurately and we got to laugh knowingly at each other’s shortcomings.

Anyway, after that session, I was depressed for a week. Of all the careers in the world, I had apparently set my mind on one for which I’m least suited. You’d have to agree it’s just totally fucked up.

But then, the more I thought about it, the more I felt a huge load lift off my heart. And then I felt refreshed, invigorated and optimistic.

Because, finally, all my frustrations over my own abilities have been explained away.

I have always felt that there was something wrong with me. I feel constipated constantly by a lack of ability to express my emotions and energies, physically and vocally.

When performing, I often cannot make my body respond to my internal commands. I can visualise perfectly how to do a certain action, say, for instance, a striptease. But when I actually try to do it, the actions don’t come out the way I visualise and all my limbs would be sticking out in all the wrong places, or I might trip over myself and fall flat on my face or something.

When I dance, I’m like William Hung. I’m like a puppet controlled by strings.

It was a huge shock to hear a stranger tell me these things which I have tried to explain all my life but have never been able to get anyone to understand. People give me stock comments like, “It’s all in the mind. You just need to let go. You need to have confidence.”

But these words don’t help because it’s like forcing a retarded child to pass a calculus test.

The most frustrating part is people telling me it’s all about confidence when it’s not.

“Why don’t you join Singapore Idol?”

“I can’t sing.”

“Oh, come on, have more confidence in yourself.” 

Well, that’s just crazy. Having all the confidence in the world is not going to make you get off your wheelchair and walk if you’re a paraplegic.

I have never claimed that I can’t be good at singing. But I know I’m not good now because I don’t have the natural ability and I haven’t been trained yet. And we’re talking about a national singing competition here, not your friendly neighbourhood karaoke contest.

But people just conveniently assume that I am either being modest or I lack confidence. And they neglect to consider the fact that if I really lacked confidence, I wouldn’t even be relentlessly pursuing an acting career in the first place. So, bollocks to that.

Anyway, the fortune reading made me feel more optimistic about my future because I can finally put a name to my enemy. I can fight it better now that I know what it is and where it’s coming from.

I can stop beating myself up over failed attempts to perform to my own satisfaction because I have something else to blame. Something which is beyond my control, therefore not my fault. Haha.

I accept the fact that I am not a natural born actress but I can still achieve a certain standard through hard work.

It’s sad to think that I can never be as good as people who are talented AND motivated AND totally gorgeous, since the only innate quality I have in my favour is a motivation powered by an inexplicable hunger to perform. But I still look forward to achieving the level of success I can achieve on my own terms.

Well, what else can I do? =P