Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ang Lee: The Uncertainty of Success

Ang Lee, two time Academy Award winner for best director wrote this moving essay in 2006 after winning his first Academy Award. It is a very beautiful and moving piece by a humble and gracious man. Thank you Irene Shih for the translation and bringing this to my attention.

In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: ‘Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway.’ Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation.
Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time.
That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support.
My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income).
This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.
Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.
The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’
And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.
Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that you only need one gift. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’
And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.
You see, I have this never-ending dream.
 Ang Lee



Monday, February 25, 2013

Derek Fisher Signs with Thunder

It looks like, fellow Calabasas resident, Derek Fisher will be rejoining the Thunder for the remainder of the season. We hate to see you in another jersey, but we love you Fish! Good luck and hopefully, we won't see any late game heroics from you when we (hopefully) meet in the Western Conference Finals.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quote of the Day

“Immerse yourself in the energy of what you desire.” ~ Hiro Boga

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Garnett for Bledsoe and Jordan?

Do you think the Celtics will trade DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Garnett?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Laker's Owner, Jerry Buss, Passes Away at 80 Years Old

Dr. Buss, arguably the greatest NBA owner of all time has passed. Today is a sad day in Lakerland. With the passing of Dr. Buss, Jim Buss looks to take over the Laker empire. We hope that Jim can be half the owner Dr. Buss was. Thank you Jerry Buss for your contributions to Los Angeles.

Read more here

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nasir Shakouri to start Encore Payments, LLC

Nasir Shakouri starts Encore Payments, LLC to service merchants via web, mobile, b&m, and phone. As an industry insider for over 10 years, Nasir Shakouri is focusing on customer service and a great customer experience for their clients. For more information, check out