Welcome to The Life of Felicia Hom

Currently revamping for the Internet audience's pleasure!

A Short Screenshot of my Acting

Acting is one of my long-neglected childhood passions and dreams and I have only recently come to resurrect it.

A Brief Glimpse of my Journey around the World

I've been to over a dozen different countries and traveled mostly by myself. It was one of the most enriching and independent experiences of my life. Above is Cesky Krumlov.

I Ain't Gonna Live Forever!

Here is my inaugural intro post, posted in December 2010. I have since moved back to Los Angeles.

Acting Is my Long Lost Love

Or so I wrote back in October 2010. Pictured above is me as Titania, in rehearsal for BITE's Shakespeare Reveries.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'd like to thank the Academy.

When I was in high school, I was a member of our Forensics team. I competed in Original Prose and Poetry, better known as OPP. One of the absolute worst pieces I had authored was a speech on how I finally won the Academy Award. I mean, out of all the pieces I had written and presented, it tanked the most badly (the others, at least, had some degree of success). I cringe at the mere memory.

I suppose it is a far and lofty dream of mine to become the first Asian American actress to win an Oscar. Let's face it, the chances of that happening (me specifically winning an Oscar) are slim to none, though it's something I fantasize about while exercising on an elliptical. I won't have my head too far removed in the clouds. How many actresses get to walk up to that podium, much less faceless Asian American ones?

My experiences in college with the various Asian American student organizations - namely APC, helped me become more aware of this 'Asian American' identity. I would like to be some sort of Asian American pioneer. That's my dream. I want to be able to make some sort of cultural impact. I look up to people like that.

I was in New York one random summer in 2007. I was with a high school friend and I vaguely mumbled something about how I wanted to be a cultural icon. My friend laughed and basically said, well what are you doing now?

Sigh. What am I doing now? I want to follow my dreams before all hope within me crumbles and before time slips away even more. Yet, I still want other things in my life, which may be more important than my dreams. I want to find my love, and yes this should be done at a younger age because God knows it gets harder. I want to be financially secure! I want to be a professional! I must devise a way to have it all.

This past weekend, I audited a Meisner technique training class. The teacher, Jim Jarrett, talked about how he's been afforded such a great opportunity to do what he loves with his shows and teaching. He mentioned sacrifice and giving up everything for one's dreams. It takes courage, it really does. I hope I will have this courage and will find myself in a place I know I should be once again. Now, off to that goal achieving agenda!

Friday, February 25, 2011

And the Best Acting Award goes to...


Our ensemble cast took home the prize of Best Acting out of the San Francisco competition in the 48 Go Green competition.

I attended the screening of all sixteen films at the Lumiere Theatre last night. It started about an hour or so late as the man in charge was stuck in traffic on the 101. So, the practically full house proceeded to wait. While waiting, we were treated to an episode of an anime called "Eden of the East," complete with a naked Japanese teenage boy.

I felt nervous at the thought of seeing myself on the screen, with practically a full theater. Our film was third to the last to be screened, so I watched the first twelve films with a feeling of unease in my chest. My heart was beating faster than normal!

While not all the films could be considered absolute masterpieces - I still had to applaud each team for making an effort. To write, shoot, and edit a film in a mere two days certainly is an accomplishment in itself. Certainly there were the confusing films and the ones that probably set out to make absolutely no sense at all - but that's besides the point. I was sitting in a theater of people passionate about making and producing art. Art, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, is it not? This was a theater of people who sat waiting for over an hour just to see the five minutes they had labored to produce.

When my face finally flashed on the screen, I was a bit aghast at myself - you know the feeling of a clenched jaw and that warm tingly feeling on your back? But, yes, that's me and that's who I am - and there I was! After all the screenings were over, a stranger told me I had done a good job. Why, thank you! Felicia Hom is glad.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A film made in 48 hours!

Previously in my life, I participated in a 24-Hour Theater festival in Seoul and played a rambunctious but still cute Martian. This time around, I was the leading office lady in a 48-Hour film competition!

So basically, a team of directors, writers, actors and crew are given 48 hours to produce a short film with a given theme and some required elements. This particular competition involved something related to the environment.

The audition that I mentioned last week where I felt like I had no emotion - well, it worked out so I was still in the film this weekend! I got to work with an awesome crew and cast who knew what they were doing.

I won't spoil the elements of surprise yet as it is a competition - and there will be a theater screening this Thursday on February 24 at the Lumiere Theatre in San Francisco. How exciting! I really had a blast filming this and am looking forward to seeing the finished version! After the screening, I'll link to an online version to all who are interested in seeing me go corporate (but environmental at the same time)!

In other acting news, I attended an audition last night and another earlier this morning. I can't whistle, so I don't expect much from one. Also, I will not have to be kissed by any teenage boys. Boohoo! Additionally, I have some interviews to be preparing for and some more job hunting to do! Isn't life exciting?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The City of Angels

Today was the final class of a five-week session I signed up for at A.C.T. During the break, my teacher asked me how I was. I told him about my heartbreak of the past week and also how I was planning to move back to Los Angeles at some point. He, however, is a real advocate of the theater over film - as he believes that theater is a lot more fair to the actors. This is true, of course. Also, he told me that I shouldn't starve, so finding a good financial job would be a good idea. I also think this is true.

So I want to act, yes I do. But do I want to subject my life and career to an industry where 99% of those in the union are unemployed at a given time? Where someone can walk in and get hired just because they are absolutely more gorgeous than I am?

My teacher said I could do both. This was my plan of action, too. I mean, I still want to establish myself in the professional realm of actually being able to earn a living. I once said I wanted power. I'm an intelligent person. Do I have that business personality, though? I suppose it's all about mentality.

I thought about how nice it'd be, just to be a working professional. I'd do my job and hopefully be doing something helpful to the world as well. Then with my life being stable on the work side, I'd be able to find the love of my life, get married, and have kids.

Then as I was crossing the street today, I remembered an acquaintance of mine who is going to be awarded for his dedication the Asian American community. I thought about it - and the truth is that people who do good to the world, community, and society around them always make me weep internally at their awesomeness. I am humbled.

I really respect those who are able to live for a goal which will not just help themselves, but rather will exact change and a positive influence on the lives of others. I love those teachers out there, and my being one briefly showed me just how hard it is to be a teacher. Then we have those nurses and doctors who really care about their patients. The list goes on.

I performed a scene from "Damsels in Distress" in class. I played the role of Julie-Ann, an engaged woman whose fiancee ultimately realizes that he doesn't love her. It's a comedy, by the way.

After class, as I waited to take the bus home. Yes, I can drive, but sometimes public transportation isn't a big hassle. A man stopped to give a homeless man one of his grocery bags; then after checking his pockets to see if he had enough fare for the bus, he then handed some extra money to the man. I really felt like this guy was a better human being than I was.

I want to be able to do it all. I want to be a better person, someone who is more conscious and loving. I want to help others. I want to be an actress. I want to be a high-powered successful business woman, financial professional  - you name it. But, the biggest thing that I still want is love. Am I going to find that in the City of Angels? 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Auditioning in tears

I had two auditions today, as I mentioned in yesterday's post. The first one went...reasonably not well. I felt quite stale in the delivery of my monologue, like I had been zapped out of all my emotions. The improv (where I get angry that my roommate has brought home inorganic wine for our party) which followed also seemed a bit off. Needless to say, I wasn't in top form at all.

I then directly proceeded to my second audition a little bit away. I was asked to play a teenager - the object of contention of two rival teenage boys. There is supposed to be a kissing scene...so...maybe I'll have someone a good eight years my junior kiss me! Who knows (I have been required to kiss someone more than 20 years my senior in a show). I then did my monologue again, but this time I had a break down - probably not because of my acting skills, but from all the pent up emotion of the last twenty-four hours. It was like a catharsis almost.

I then rushed to make it to my scene rehearsal. At A.C.T., there also happened to be the regional auditions for the MFA programs (Yale, Harvard, USC, etc) from around the nation. Needless to say, people who really want to study acting showed up. Maybe I imagined it, but you could tell these people had that artistic, different kind of air. It also reminded me of the difference in level which must be needed to make it into one of those problems. I also began to question again what it is I'm doing with my life - and the fear of the unknown - and the fear of never finding love. There was one actor-couple who seemed perfectly fit for each other in appearance; they even dressed similarly - and they sat together in the corner admiring the sun. I was, on a very small level, a bit jealous of that.

So I've been back home - I completed an entry about dating in Asia as part of my editorial internship and dropped a few more tears (the reason I may disclose to my friends). My mother's been chatting about me with her friends over the phone, all within clear earshot of me. Needless to say she tells them how I'm chasing my dreams but how I'm just foolish and stupid. Well, I can't let that be the word on the street, now can I?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finally booking something after an audition!

Or at least so I thought. I'm back in one piece from work on a print ad at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley after a seemingly successful thirty second audition which I had attended on Wednesday. The audition consisted of me smiling at the camera and giggling - so there was really no room to mess up with my 'acting.'

So, this was the most money I've ever made off of one acting/modeling-related gig...for only about 5 and a half hours of work. To put this into perspective, the rate for 8 hours of extra work which I did on Monday was about four times less.  (Yay! Small steps for progress!) And although I was booked as a secondary, which was one pay level above extras and one pay level below the principals, it really made no difference as a bunch of extras were ushered into the front. So, I doubt you will see me in the actual ad as I am a rather short girl standing behind a sea of people. There were probably just under 100 people used for the shot, which was comprised of
professional looking people holding cell phones or other electronic devices (I brought my nephew's eePC along).

I probably was one of the youngest people in the crowd, though I did overhear another guy saying he was 24. Additionally, I bumped into some of the other background talent which I had met on the Alcatraz shoot on Monday. It seems like the San Francisco Bay Area acting scene is quite close knit!

On another positive note, I drove across the Bay Bridge for the first time in my life. I've been across countless times, but never as the driver until. Unfortunately, it seems they recently raised the toll to $6. It was only $4 in January! I always feel a sense of accomplishment once I finally reach home and park in my driveway...and feel thankful that I am still alive. I mean, I did accidentally get into the more ghetto region of SF by accident after overshooting the 101-N split...and got horned at for cutting into a lane...eek!

So in other news, I will be attending two auditions tomorrow and afterwards rehearsing a scene for my class (from Roleplay by Alan Ayckbourn). Exciting stuff! I also meant to do a post about my many failed interviews and auditions, but I'll do that one a bit later. ;}

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back from the set of 'Alcatraz'

...that set being the intersection of...Clay and Grant down in Chinatown. I had my first experience on a legit production - the pilot of a new series called 'Alcatraz.' Of course I was in the background. At most (if the series will be picked up and hopefully it will since I want to strain my eyes to glimpse anything resembling me) you will see a flash of my back - long black hair on my brown jacket. I probably only crossed the camera for a total of two seconds after...10.5 hours.

In any case, it was an interesting experience where I got to speak with more interesting people! But in hindsight, and for my own self-improvement, I really need to be more outgoing. I am outgoing to some extent, but not enough. I really do need to talk to more people and in a meaningful manner.

So, I drove down to Pier 27 by about 7:20 AM and I had to pat myself on the back as I have never driven in downtown San Francisco. Crazy, huh? I had to keep the windshield wipers on because my windshield kept fogging up and my de-fogging didn't seem to work. I was mildly aware it was dangerous the seconds where I couldn't see. I'm a terrible driver and it is no secret. (The only time I've driven on a highway by myself is when I went to see my boyfriend - it was a harrowing journey and I actually did get clipped - but it wasn't my fault to my credit!)

Around 10:40 AM, we were outside shooting our first scene. A line of bystanders stood on the street, watching curiously. But more amusingly or rather not so amusingly, traffic was blocked off on various streets. One could look up the hill and see not one but three 1 Californias (buses) backed up, waiting to get through. I could just imagine the anxious and irate Muni passengers, and the ones probably waiting at bus stops down the line.

We were prepped for scenes after lunch, but it turned out we were not needed as the sun set.

Then, by about 6:13 PM, I was on my way home. I was mystified by cars turning left on red onto the Embarcadero and had to tackle a gigantic hill as my car screeched up Gough Street. ("Hmm, does this qualify for shifting gears? Ah, I'll just drive up and see what happens") But I arrived home safely...tired and delirious. So, a major accomplishment! My first drive down to the Embarcadero and first seconds in front of a camera intended for real TV! Exciting stuff no doubt.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What makes an artist... an artist?

I lay in my bed last night with this on my mind.

A classical pianist, like my beautiful friend Chika, cannot become a pianist in a matter of one day. One simply cannot decide to be some great concert pianist without ever touching a piano and then the next day become anything remotely close to legend. The same can be said for dancers, painters, and actors - well, at least maybe.

I formulated some raw formula 'math' formula in my head to describe what made a true artist. Hard Work + Dedication + Passion + Raw Talent + Training =? Artist. (all right, so it's not math at all) Then, I revised the equation. Hard Work + Dedication + Passion + Raw Talent + Training + Emotion + Extra =? Artist. Of course, each artist is different. So let's say each of those components to creating an artist is unequal, and each has a different multiple. Say... (a)(Hard Work) + b(Dedication) + c(Passion) + x(Raw Talent) + y(Training) + z(Emotion) + n(Extra) = (some degree of)Artist.

You may have artists of all walks of life and of all trades. But, I suppose my focus is on actors, since that's something I'd like to do and even have my business card printed saying that I am one.

There are all kinds of actors. There are the amateur actors who perform on small stages and do it just for the love and fun for it, perhaps. Then there are the working actors who actually make a career out of acting - be it on stage or from audition to audition in Hollywood. Then there are the stage legends whom many people may have never heard about, save those who really care and appreciate theater. Most visibly are the movie stars who are in big name films and are seen all over the world - these are the people who end up most closely associated with the word 'actor' by the common populace.

Perhaps the best actor out there is some unknown guy sweating it out on a stage in God knows where in the Midwest. It may have been one of my English teachers in high school who first put this idea in my head, as I now strain to remember who said it. So I suppose, in the equation of what makes a successful (the definition of success also can be argued) actor, you have to add in the 'luck' or 'connection factor.

And unlike the case of the classical pianist, it might very well be possible that someone who hasn't had any training whatsoever can be presented with some great acting opportunities and be considered an actor. One day a nobody, the next day a somebody. Perhaps this person was extremely good looking or just happened to be yelling at her boyfriend in the tube station and had an agent spot her out (true story, apparently).

So then what exactly makes an actor an actor? Does he or she need to have gone to the Yale School of Drama? Obviously not everyone can or has. Or at least have her BFA? Where does one draw the line? Of course, after having completed these programs, these actors will have had proof of rigorous training and that's always respectable and desired. I mean, a doctor is one with a M.D., regardless of where it was obtained - but of course no one can just walk into a hospital and be a doctor. But can you just walk in the door to an open call and be an actor? It seems one can, given this individual has a great amount of raw talent and combination of the correct looks. Sure, it may be rare, but it still happens. But, I mean, maybe this walk-in actor will still have to work up to a level where they can be respected by a community of actors who all have worked much harder than this newbie and undoubtedly will have some natural bitter feeling. It's not a fair industry and everyone knows that.

Is an actor automatically an artist? Not always. I suppose if this actor lacks that emotion, heart, or interpretation, there's no way I could consider him to truly be an artist. If one simply recites lines with acted feeling, is that enough to be art? Probably not.

For me, in the brief time that I've studied acting, I really do realize how difficult it is to actually become the character - be immersed so that the audience will forget that you are actually just an actor and not that character. Can I play a dying hooker who is addicted to drugs and dying of emphysema? Not really. Can I be believable as a man? No, I think not. It's not as if I will be cast for these types of roles in any case, but a truly great actor is one who really can become...just about anything. Right? And it's hard work, unless you are a true genius as Uta Hagen said.

I suppose all I can conclude is that...the artists are the one who create something real - out of abstracts, words, colors, emotions, movement - when there wasn't something there before. Art can be anywhere - maybe in the form of a car or code. In theater or film, it is a collaborative process. The playwright weaves the story, the director crafts it, and the actors bring it to life. It's the same when making music. All I know is that if you've ever waited in the wings behind stage, already as someone who is not just you, you're giving life to art. You have made it.

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