#5DAYS OF FAIL: FAILERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! Days 3-4

Oh. Yeah. WE ARE STILL FAILING OVER HERE!

Read all the blog posts about the first #5DaysOfFail:

* Day 1-2: http://jennyyang.tv/blog/2014/1/6/5daysoffail-failers-of-the-world-unite

* Day 5 and Final Show!: http://jennyyang.tv/blog/2014/1/10/5daysoffail-day-5-and-final-show

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DAY 3 OF #5DAYSOFFAIL:
INSPIRATION WORD "AROUSE"
(WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2014)

#5DaysOfFail: Day 3. Arouse

Blog/Essay: “Laughter” by Jenny Yang

You know what turns me on? Laughter.

They say guys get into comedy to get girls.  Girls get into comedy to repel guys. Honest to goodness.  

Girls get into comedy not because they think that being outspoken, hilarious and filled with opinions will get them more suitors, but because it is like a sickness.  Women who get into comedy are compelled to do it because we have no choice.  It’s either we get on stage and figure out a way to get people to laugh at our command or we die inside.

OH. YES. It gets real.

I call it a sickness because getting on stage with everyone’s attention on you means that you are allowed the amazing freedom of getting a group of people to think about exactly what you want them to think about. Granted, the limits on this freedom is your ability to communicate and entertain. I call it a sickness because once you get that taste of freedom it’s hard to go back.  It’s a kind of freedom not often afforded to other women. Correction. It is the kind of freedom that is not “afforded” to women but taken by women ourselves. Yup. I’m saying it. Declaring the standup comedy as a feminist act.  Just you, a microphone and the risk of appearing “inappropriate”, “unlikable” or “shrill.”

Weirdos, assholes, dickheads, eccentrics, punkasses, bitches, cunts, you name them.  They annoy me in real life (and sometimes one stage) just as they annoy most of you. These are the people attracted to standup comedy. Not just comedy as a group doing funny things together.  But standup comics. Individuals (99 percent of the time) who want to stick their thoughts in your face.

I want to stick my thoughts in your face.  I want to hear your laughter. Even it I risk not doing it right. Even if I risk not being loved.  It’s a sickness.

HOW'D IT GO?

Tonight's FAIL was tough. I was racked with anxiety working on my set for tonight's comedy competition for most of the day.  I was in the top ten of the finals tonight but I didn't place. That bummed me out a little. It reminded me how far I'd still like to go. In fact. I didn't need to be reminded. I've been feeling that way, it's just a competition makes that feeling much more public.

It was also a yearlong process for 2013 at the club that was a "general" competition and in the top ten i was the only female and only Asian American. Everyone else is a white dude and one black dude. It reminded me of how alienating standup usually feels.

So this attempt at a first draft is shorter and includes some of those conflicting and sometimes poopy feelings about doing standup. We fight to fail another day.

SHIN: Song a day

damn you really are busting my balls on this, you expect me to write, go to work AND come to your show? lol here's my Day 3 - really sucks that my nostrils are not cooperating when singing falsetto and my piano skills HAVE to improve this year...thanx for the reminder :)

SARAH: Character monologue a day

This one I wrote in an almost fugue-like state, without pausing much. At some point in the middle, I felt like I was being too cute and decided to veer in a creepy direction. At least I hope it's creepy.

I'm finding that the easiest way to do these is right after I've finished one writing/revising-related task and before I jump into another -- a FAIL sandwich, if you will. That ensures that I'm already in a writing groove and also that I don't get to precious about it, cause I have something else to move on to as soon as I'm finished.

TRACI: Visual art a day

I was starting to see a ton of different images for such a provocative word - AROUSE - YES! Too many images!! I started the timer at 55 minutes and just made myself go with what came first. This does make me want to take a drawing class, nevertheless. And I got aroused myself while drawing - haha! (that's not that hard to do with me, to be fair.)

PRISKA: Song a day

Today was tough, my mind was resisting. I just improvised the entire thing and recorded it on my iPhone. The most fail of fails but it's as real and raw as I feel today.

KEIKO: Somethin' a day

having fun. decided to stay with the theme of "doing something different everyday." (first day was an essay/ yesterday I recorded a movement piece) today is art. spent more time drawing this than I've spent in years. very therapeutic. made me want to do more pen drawings. think i will copy some Joe Sorren art pieces. ha! they will be unrecognizable but they will bring me joy. had the independent film "herb and dorothy" playing in the background. i think it was my thirty fifth viewing of it...

SRI: Photo/s a day

Yeah, so I didn't quite know what to do with this one. So I took a picture of my cat. Cats are sexy, right? RIGHT? See those inviting bedroom eyes? And that cold, don't give a s**t, supermodel stare? Her whiskers bring all the boy(cat)s to the yard. Welcome to the Red Light Meowstrict.

KELLY: Short script a day

Dude. I'm starting to feel better about my writing. Don't get me wrong, it's not amazing or anything. I'm definitely still failing. Failing miserably.

However, having to produce a short film script every day has pushed me to think creatively and produce material more quickly than I ever thought possible. My daily routine is changing! Throughout my work day, my mind is constantly thinking about story development. During lunch, I'm writing or researching. Instead of going out, I'm writing or researching! It's awesome!!!

Today was the first day during Five Days of Fail that I really let myself have fun. Instead of criticizing the crap out of my writing, I laughed the whole time! I didn't try to produce anything amazing, I just let myself have fun. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

THOMAS: Comedy sketch a day

Each day, I've been trying to change it up. Monday, I wrote a sketch with two characters, so Tuesday, I wrote one with three. Today, I decided to write a parody of this commercial I saw all the time growing up, and still see on TV today. This was my most ambitious sketch by far. I spent several hours tinkering at this, and it's kind of a mess, but I like how it turned out and, after some rewrites, I'd like to eventually shoot this and put it online.

TAZ: Poem/Visual art a day

So, I had an EPIC fail for my fail. I went to a book reading, came how to eat dinner (cereal) and as I sat down to write, I fell asleep on my sofa. It was only 10:15pm. And I slept until 8am. I SLEPT TEN HOURS.

I also dreamt I was on the set of a Bollywood movie and cleaning my parent's house for a family party. And in my dream, my Mom was there. She called my phone to make sure it was working. Which it wasn't. #Symbolism

Have I won at this #5DaysOfFail thing, yet? I mean that's the EPIC Failure, right? I actually have a great poem (in my head) on the topic of "Arouse" so I'm going to work on it tonight. In addition to today's #5DaysOfFail.

DAY 4 OF #5DAYSOFFAIL:
INSPIRATION WORD "BURN"
(THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 2014)

#5DaysOfFail: Day 4. Burn

Blog/Essay: “Backfire” by Jenny Yang

He turned to me and wiped his runny nose on my bare shoulder.

“I always thought we had a connection. I just never felt like I could act on it.” Sniffle.

His voice broke while he spoke, low and breathy next to my ear.  I’m glad it was pitch dark in his room except for the small sliver of light beaming through the bottom of the door from the dorm hallway. There wasn’t a chance that Macario would see the shock and discomfort on my face.  This was going to be my first no-strings attached hookup. It was going so well. We were both naked and I wanted to sustain the sweet silence that was the post-hookup glow.  A light cuddle never hurt anyone even though I was only going to visit my alma mater for a night.

Just passing through, folks. Nothing to see here.

It was that confusing period in early September when Philadelphia couldn’t quite make up its mind about whether Fall was ready to arrive. I had just graduated from smarty-pants liberal arts college earlier in June but I figured, why not visit my friends who were still locked down in school? I was going to head home to Los Angeles after I finished my summer internship in New York.  A last East Coast hurrah.  I put in my four solid years of intense nerd-camp, thank you very much.  Let’s just party with my friends for a night with no worries about needing to study the next morning.

Macario was quite the get.

He was in my class but was one of the few who decided to take another year to graduate. The first day of my Freshmen year, I met Macario and quickly pegged him as the only attractive guy from our tiny college class.He had caramel skin, a full head of dark wavy heair, and was way too handsome to be at such a nerdy school.  “He could get it,” I thought, even though I had never let anyone get “it” before yet.  

We flirted on occasion but he was always had some random girl on his arm at this party or that.  How could I have faulted that? If I was a fun-loving and attractive guy like that in the prime of my life, I would’ve been dating whatever cuteness I could get my hands on.  I, on the other hand, maintained my chaste and standoffish shell of studying and platonic friendships.

This shell was so serious that my Senior year, our resident “male slut” of the class, Marco, actually asked me point blank during lunch, “You know what, Jaimie? I don’t remember you dating anyone here. Are you a lesbian?”

I gave Marco the slantiest side-eye one could technically give when the target of said side-eye is sitting directly in front of you.

“No, Marco. Just because I wasn’t a man-ho like you, I am not gay.” Moving on.

So that balmy night in September, I almost couldn’t believe my luck that I found Macario at my friend Lily’s dorm room, hanging out.

“You’re staying with Lily tonight? You don’t have a boyfriend back home who misses you?”

Smooth. I knew it was on. We planned on meeting up later that night at the Delta Upsilon frat party on campus.  I never went to DU parties. But for Macario, I’d certainly make that exception.

I had dinner in Philly then headed back to campus to hang out with everyone who was still there. It was so fun. Like a mini-reunion. All the favorites were playing and the house was just dark and crowded enough to encourage uninhibited dancing by even the most shy partygoer.

“I love it when you call me big pop-pa!”  Biggie was an east coast favorite.

Mid-shake, I suddenly felt someone behind me. I turned around and it was Macario.  We danced. And danced. Then got closer and closer until the song didn’t matter and we were in an embrace.

I could describe the softness of his lips or the warmth of our sweaty bodies but this is not that kind of story.

We made our way to his room, chatting like we were buddies like before. We both knew what was going to happen. But this cold walk back to his dorm felt like we were just students walking to our next class.  Other party goers passed by us on the narrow campus path as we walked up.  He and I were neither holding hands nor walking close to each other.  This was the perfect time for me to make my mental calculation.

Jaimie.  You are about to get naked with this totally hot guy.  He’s a player so this is perfect. You both know you are only gonna be there for a night.  You also like him as a friend and person so it’s like the best of both world’s. It’s your first one-night stand but it’s gonna be safe because you know the dude. Good work.

And then he had to cry.

“I wish this happened a year before. How perfect it could’ve been. Hold on.” He reached down to grab some kleenex.

Honk. This man had too much snot for my bare shoulder to handle.

THIS WAS NOT A PART OF OUR AGREEMENT.  WE WERE GONNA BE COOL. WHY ARE YOU NOT BEING COOL.

If I actually verbalized my thoughts, Macario probably would’ve sobbed harder.

Instead, I said, “Yeah. Too bad.”

Great. Now I’m the asshole.  I’m the one who made this guy cry?  

“Macario. I have to go. I’m so sorry. Lily is expecting me. I don’t want her to worry.”

“No. Don’t go? Why do you have to go?”

“I don’t want to keep her waiting for me. She is expecting me.”
“Oh. I’m sure she’ll understand. You’re on campus. It’s safe here.”

This was probably the shittiest way to get out of staying with this bag o’ feelings.  This was also, strangely, my way of reacting to a situation where I was afraid I was being the asshole - you know, leave so you can be more of the asshole than you already are.

I got out of there.  I haven’t talked to Macario since.  My perfect plan of emotion-less physical pleasure completely backfired on me. This being a player thing was definitely not as easy as it looked.

HOW'D IT GO?

Wow. I had a hard time finding the story that I wanted to tell. Burn can mean so many things! I liked it but was drawing a blank for so long. What helped me was that I was fresh from a writing session with my buddy Thomas so I tried to come up with a story that explored something that one of our characters will be experiencing in our web series. Done! Then the rest was history. Let's just say that this story is "semi-"fictional.

SARAH: Character monologue a day

Well, I pretty much went totally against my advice from yesterday and wrote this before doing anything rather than making a FAIL sandwich. Also before eating. WTF. I pretty much never write before eating. What were we talking about again? Sandwiches?

Anyway. I like the way this one ties to the other pieces I've written this week (though, story-wise, it doesn't really get going 'til the end). And I tried to restrain myself from my usual verbal tics and writing crutches, which went better than I thought it would. And now I'm late for something, so I'm just gonna send this to you.

PRISCILLA: Song a day

Tried to do something different. All the beats are off and nothing's perfect but... the mood is there. Hopefully this doesn't burn too many people's ears. Wow, funny how many insecurities come out! This is a week where it's supposed to be okay to fail and yet I'm still terrified. Learning to let go.

SRI: Photo/s a day

How it went: My most delicious fail yet. Roasted maple cayenne Brussels sprouts. Sweet, sweet burn. Who says you can't eat art for dinner?

KELLY: Short film script a day

I've been losing a lot of sleep this week because of my project. I think I screwed myself over a bit by choosing short film scripts. (Duh, IDIOT!)

Anyway, it's been really hard to stay awake at work. With my fulltime job, auditions, improv, and FDOF, my schedule has been way overbooked. I'm delirious, but I think this state of ultra-tiredness is good for my creativity.

I'm so tired that I'm not criticizing myself as much. I'm just letting the words flow, and that's really fun. I have found that I come up with some really interesting things in this state of mind. True, they may be strange choices, but they are interesting. I think making interesting choices is the most important thing when it comes to anything creative. So GET EXCITED TO READ THIS INTERESTING FAILURE!

KEIKO:  Art piece a day

Fun! My first iMovie. Yes. I know. Where have I been. A little ditty about burn. I like that I am not stressing about stuff. Everything is taking a lot less time than if I thought of this as "my project". For some reason, because there are a group of people doing this... and because I know that there will be another word tomorrow and that there were other words yesterday and the day before... there isn't the same pressure that I usually put on myself. I like it. The pressure is self-created. Doing things this way is really making that clear to me.

THOMAS: Comedy sketch a day

This was the weirdest sketch I've written so far. It's not very funny, and it kinda goes nowhere, but it makes fun of Burning Man, so I like it. Anything that makes fun of Burning Man is a win.

TRACI: Visual art a day

I thought I was going to do something more.. cheery..but I think today's overcast day out where I was driving around gave me a little melancholia to ponder. That's what friends are for :)

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