My latest article has been published on Manifest Station! It tells the heartbreak that led to the night I finally claimed my identity as a dancer - and won my first dance contest! Click HERE or the photo above!
I love when entrepreneurs post their yearly earnings. That kind of transparency demystifies MONEY (trigger!) and creates positive community based on sharing, rather than cloak & daggers.
But these numbers don't tell the story you really need to hear.
Someone could be grossing half a million dollars and netting in the negative due to overhead (i.e. building rentals, big staff) or poor investment/saving (MONEY trigger!)
Specifying net profit is a fix.
But it's still not the story.
What you're actually looking for is
I, too, didn't want to die. Even in the moments when I thought I would.
I have felt the rage at being so unloved you wonder if you were born just so someone could hate you.
I have fallen into the hole in my heart and couldn't crawl out for 12 hours.
I've had the wave subsume me until I was nothing but a body of pain.
And I've crawled back from the dead.
Raise your hand if you had that annoying genius cousin your parents always compared you to. (Oh are you Chinese too?)
Mine is pretty unbeatable:
Name: Genius Chang (not his real name)
Grade Skipped: 1st
Instruments Played: piano, violin, clarinet
# Ivy Leagues Accepted Into: ALL of them
Even I was so impressed that I wanted to marry Genius Chang. Then I grew up and discovered you can't marry your cousin. (At least not in New York.)
Because he was out of my league, I never tried to compete with Genius - except in one thing.
When I first got to Hollywood, I wanted to be Christina Aguilera's back-up dancer.
I threw myself into ballet and hip-hop classes, even this thing called Pilates until I developed bursitis and had no idea how to rehab it. So I put my dream away.
Then The Universe Happened
In 2005, FOX debuted a reality show called So You Think You Can Dance.
I saw a Paso Doble for the first time, with a real Russian ballroom dancer. I finally realized the genius that is Wade Robson, who at that time was little more than a bleach-haired white kid from Orange County who purportedly danced like a black guy. I cried after every piece, in awe that this kind of dance was finally on network TV.
Something in me stirred. I wanted to dance again, bad.
Getting the Call
The Universe has a way of responding to requests.
I received a recommendation to a trainer who knew exactly how to rehab my bursitis (as well as a car accident injury I had further accumulated in Hollywood.) I went to the gym every day. In months I was stronger than I had ever been.
And that summer, as I dreamed in front of the TV, I got the call.
My agency phoned me with an audition for an untitled film directed by Julie Taymor (Frida, Broadway's The Lion King) featuring songs by the Beatles.
For a dancing role.
"But these are professional dancers!"
"You're a professional dancer," the agent replied.
After two sets of three-hour auditions and an amazing phone call later, I was indeed, a professional dancer.
That movie, you may have guessed, turned out to be Across the Universe, starring Evan Rachel Wood.