Waiting to be ‘Confirmed’

This post won’t be the typical thought provoking/critical thinking approach that I would take. This would be an official rant, along with a way to clear a few of the many classless rumors spread about me by people in that same category.

As many of you know, I am an artist. First and foremost as a dancer/choreographer, then model, along with aspiring actor.

I say the word ‘aspiring’ because apparently, I am yet to be ‘confirmed’ to be a part of any huge projects. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of Mazhavil FM’s short film titled “Annorunaal,” and Passionate Fool’s Malayalam Music single “Luvvh.”  I wouldn’t say I’m a struggling actor/artist, because I’m not. It just so happens that my position in the world is rather “inconvenient” for some folks to “actually see me,” and thus, I had decided that acting may not be for me right now.

Going back to the term, ‘confirmed,’ it seems to be a word which I am faced with throughout my life. Whether it be through performances I would voluntarily partake it, to auditions I may have done, to college applications, to registering for college courses, and for the past few years- it has been a word I have been hearing when I am awaiting a response from the Malayalam film industry.

Recently, I have been in contact with a few people, and one project in particular seemed to have been a mutual interest in both parties (myself, and the movie team). I heard about this project around the end of last year and thus…I’ve yet again immersed myself in the fantasy of acting.

This particular person whom I’ve been in contact with is a friendly guy. A genuinely good-hearted fellow; but me having the constant let down from various people in the industry (as well as various other classless people approaching me with offers), wanted to get things done, and straight to the point. I no longer wanted to strike up conversations introducing myself, why I want to act, what else I do, etc. That can easily be found out through my Facebook page.

After talking for several months, I would bring up the question as to whether or not my role in the film was set or not, and I would always get the response, “nothing confirmed.” Every single time. This may not seem like a big deal for some people, but for me- after seeing various other actors making their way into the industry, having their “confirmed” status- brings me to frustration.

I had learned never to set expectations for most things in life, especially when it comes to the film industry. I had been let down by one too many people, people whom are even considered family friends and are known in the Malayalam film industry, yet, they too have brought disappointment.

To simply state “you’re not confirmed for the film” or “you’re not in” would be soothing to the ears than to rather hear, “nothing is confirmed.” I know things have been confirmed. I see the news. I know how to read. So, why is it that for my instance is it so hard to just give me a yes or a no? You’re ultimately playing with a persons emotions, getting inside their head- and that was never intended on either party.

Funny thing is, in an older blog I had written years ago, I had mentioned this thought of pursuing acting. Even in my childhood, I had often danced the word around my house, and yet- I’m still stuck in this limbo of “to be or not to be an actor.” It’s in my blood, it’s definitely within me, but unfortunately, my timing seems to be off. It’s all about luck in this industry…along with money and contacts unfortunately.

 

I do apologize for the rant…but I guess the one thing I have to say from this is if it’s in your blood to do something, do it. It may take time, and a ton of effort, but don’t let that passion die. Also, if you just so happen to be the decider for the person, just give them the answer they deserve rather than toy with the idea that they “may or may not be confirmed.”

 

 

Featured Photo: Clip from ‘Annorunaal

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Being Comfortable With ‘Self’

This ABPD is back, not that I have gone anywhere.

I was rather surprised of the various messages that I’ve received thanking me for this development of the term ‘ABPD.’ I return your thanks, but I must say, this term was within us all this while. It’s just a matter of how we decide to develop on it, to help it gradually evolve and settle within our communities. For that, I need everyone’s help and support.

I encourage those in the Indian community to stop using the term ‘ABCD.’ If your child does feel like they are stuck in a grey area, help them out by communicating with them along with understanding what it takes to being comfortable.

The concept of being comfortable is tricky. It comes and goes, it takes various shapes and forms. Just when you think you feel at ease with yourself, something from around the corner will catch you by surprise and cause you to contemplate whether or not you’re actually ‘comfortable.’

By becoming comfortable with ourselves, it requires great leaders and influences. The partial reason as to why a person may be conflicted of choosing which culture to identify with is because of peer pressure. One of the biggest names out there in headlines today is Donald Trump. I know, it’s rather unfortunate that I have succumbed to dragging him into this piece, but he has brought upon an unnecessary, incompetent fear to our nation that cannot go without mention. To compare a developing human being whom has no real raw sense as to what is going on as Trojan horse is just absurd. He has caused unnecessary havoc and chaos in what could have been contained and dismissed. The fear which people feel when meeting people not like themselves; well, he fed on it and the fire just seems to burn on. People of diverse culture grew to have no voice again. Especially with this recent presidential circus of an election-people who are the slightest bit different are seemingly shut down. Especially those of brown skin. It’s become the events of 9/11 all over again.

No wonder people of Indian descent are confused whether to stick to their roots. When people such as Trump are feeding off the fears of those considered ‘rightfully here,’ would they not rather be more American than lean towards their traditions and roots? It seems as if that is the root cause of why the problems arose in the first place right? Why bother even considering to be Indian, just be the typical American that society wants you to be- is that not the standard norm now?

Wrong, there are others out there fighting for inclusiveness within culture and diversity. People- leaders, are speaking out and for those who going through this struggle of identity of cultures. We have a tenfold of people who are speaking up for everyone who pushes being unique away. President Barack Obama had spoke out for the Muslim community who recently was under fire because of the massive shootings going around as well as ISIS. “You fit in here, right here. You’re right where you belong-you’re a part of America too. You are not Muslim or American. You are Muslim AND American” (White House Weekly Address 2/3/2016). My understanding of this was that when a person as powerful as the President of the United States- also to be considered to be the most powerful country, is recognizing that cultural identity is an evolving issue brings a warmth in our hearts with those struggling with this reality. He recognized the need to see each other as well as ourselves for who we are which is a blend of all cultures and their virtues. That is indeed the foundation of what is known as America. If we start to address and educate, speak to others about such prevailing topics, we may start to see a sense of community and togetherness rather than isolation and fear.

Yes, the President did indeed address this specifically to Muslims, but I feel that anyone of a diverse culture may relate. Whether you are Chinese, Canadian, African, Egyptian, Indian, etc., you are what you are and you should embrace it rather than push it aside because one told you to do so.

So, embrace your child for who they are. Stop comparing your children to others and creating unnecessary conflicts and tensions, it creates the possibility of having a low self-esteem.  Encourage them to be the best that they could possibly be (as cliche as that may sound), because it is the simple thoughts and concepts that matter. Tell them in the end, always be comfortable being YOU, because at the end of the day, it will be you and you alone… and no one can take that away even if they tried.

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To Be Or Not To Be An ‘ABCD’

Let’s make things official by saying…this is the first ‘official’ post of this blog/journal/rant place that I have constructed.

Now that that’s out of the way…let us dive in to what really matters.

What does it mean to be an ‘ABCD?’ The literal translation of the phonetic letters is an ‘American Born Confused Desi.’ This term seemed to be coined as a derogatory term for Indian children who act more American rather than being true to their Indian roots. How I see it is that the first generation born child of Indian immigrant parents go through an identity crisis. I recall growing up, my parents being immigrants from South India did not really know how the educational system was here, or much about America in general. It was up to me as a first generation American Born Malayalee/Desi to discover what it was and face whatever was put in front of me, without any real guidance. Yet, the trust conflict was that my parents, wanted me to be the traditional Indian girl they desired, however, if I were to be what my parents desired, the kids at school would question me or mock me.

Do not get me wrong here, my parents are the people who have raised me to be the woman I am today, but there is that generation gap that needs to be understood from both parties, and as a child growing up, this may feel a bit overwhelming. A child during the younger phases of life needs those closest in their life to be understanding and comprehending. It is indeed the most crucial time for shaping their identities which is to discover the purpose and meaning of one’s unique self. To comprehend what you are as an individual, along with what it means to have another cultures tradition rooted in oneself may cause a sense of confusion for the child. If one is feeling that they have no one to really relate to, to look up to, to have the open communication amongst another (hopefully within your own family), one will slowly start to lose themselves in society, hence why the term ‘ABCD’ has been formed.

When it comes to culture and diversity, it is not just the mere idea of being inclusive to one another, but rather, to encourage competency amongst those growing up in a multi-cultural environment. This begins with our leaders, our communities and organizations to take responsibility in regards to creating an aura of acceptance and comfort to each individual on this planet.

To start, we must first differentiate as to what is culture and what is diversity as they are often times intertwined with each other. Culture is to be defined as, “The beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.” This means that culture is along the lines of customary beliefs, as well as materialistic traits of racial religious or social groups. Basically it may be defined as a shared set of values and goals. With diversity, its relatively along the same lines, however it is precisely known in being; “The state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization.” It may also be known as the various forms, types, ideas, uniqueness that one may have to offer (Merriam Webster). As you can see, these two terms coincide with each other for the very reason that it deals with the term ‘uniqueness’-a person whom is perhaps a shade lighter than the next is considered ‘unique’ or ‘diverse’ because they are different. They stand out. That is what diversity means, and when cultures are looked into, we consider cultures as something very new and unique to the world.

I shall end with the question as to what you believe needs to change with the term ‘ABCD’… what about culture and diversity has intrigued you and how has it affected your life? What change do you believe needs to happen in our world today?