So my blog turned 2 years old and I didn’t even notice. And I’m not going to celebrate because it hasn’t been active for all that while, especially over the course of the past 3-4 months. There have been some wonderful improvements in my life in the meantime, and I am bound to share them with everyone here. My greatest virtue, as I have discovered, is introspection – and consequently I am my own best and worst critic – and what I value most in life, as I had put forth before, is integrity. Blogging is an ideal activity to exercise both introspection and integrity, so I’m getting back on the job. Besides, there are more than a handful of people who enjoy whatever I have to say here, and I should do them service, too.
Well, first off, as to where I am and what I have been up to: I am enjoying my summer working at a local professional theatre in the American Southwest. I had intended to sing with a symphony orchestra in New England for a summer choral festival, and I even went to audition. Didn’t get the job. Of course not, I still need more training. And I am still mad at this school for having misinformation on their website about how they have a functional and well-run music programme. No matter, I am happy to be here. I am the composer in residence, writing for 3 out of the 5 shows of the summer season. It’s not as fancy as job as you’d imagine, however, since it’s an old struggling theatre that runs on a small budget and a small fan base. I also function as stage management, board operation (light and sound) for the performances, and set-building/stage carpentry. Some days I might stay home and write new material all day, or I might be running around backstage for 10-13 hours. I’m enjoying it more than I had expected and I can’t complain. I get provided room and board, and I get paid on a weekly basis – which reminds me, I haven’t gotten my paycheck yet for this week. It’s a beautiful town; it’s high up on the mountains and also in a desert. I had to deal with the altitude change for a while and, although it does not get awfully hot during the day, it can be rather chilly at night. I am in love with my life right now. I knew I’m good at this theatre thing (or performing arts in general), but I didn’t know I was this capable.
Well, how I got myself to get into the theatre groove was a pretty wonderful process. I had been moping around (again) for a while, because I had applied and was admitted to music school which I would not be able to afford by no means. I ran around frantically looking for student loan cosigners. I finally decided against music school, which was a serious blow because it’s what I seriously want to do (go to music school). It was a bad breakup. Music is something I had failed to appreciate going into college and, once I realized it was my ultimate goal in life, it seemed out of reach. I decided to work on a theatre degree first, before I can move into a music programme. When I can finally go to music school, I would need nobody’s validation or support; it would be for myself. I will invest some time till I get to that point. So … it was a good turnaround – the decision to stick it out in the theatre – and my psychological health improved dramatically. I am proud and happy to say I have been off anti-depressants for over 3 months now!
And this theatre gig has opened up new horizons for me. With music, I had been stuck in the rut of thinking I’d be an operatic composer, singer and conductor. It seemed set-in-stone and felt pretty limited. While it’s good to have plans, it’s not good to be staunch about things. Theatre is entirely new and I can develop in many directions. I’m learning about acoustics, lighting design, stage management and stage carpentry this summer. (To be honest, I think I’ve learnt more in the past one month than I could/would over the course of one semester in college. And I can’t believe I have to go back to college in the fall.) I’m planning on learning hair and makeup and costuming next semester. I am seriously considering a career in drag. It’s a great career possibility and the reasons, I shall discuss in a different post, because it’s entirely a different matter from the subjects at hand.
I want to discuss my love life – that is the main subject. I needed to bring all the things above as updates and to contextualize. I had developed deep affections for 2 young men over the course of the past year. The first one, I had met on a dating site and I had mentioned him before in my posts. He’s from a western Midwest state and is the son of a Lutheran pastor, and I may have mentioned nobody has ever made me feel as respected and appreciated the way he does. I met him in January 2013, and as time passed, our communication became scarce and sparse. But we still communicate and, although our message exchange hasn’t been as frequent as when we just met each other, our messages are still of substantial material. I still adore him. He’s one of the sweetest boys I’ve ever known, and I haven’t even met him.
Ok, let’s move on to the next one … I hate how I try to be anonymous with names on this blog and still people whom I hang around on a daily basis would know exactly whom/what I’m talking about. Anywho, I met this guy as part of my job. He’s a musician who’s from outside the US to play in the musical we’re putting on. (Decent music, horrible book – maybe I’ll discuss it later.) Holy fucking balls, he is the only professional musician in the band/cast and he made the show infinitely better. He’s studying jazz at university, and he’s possibly the only peer in the company and in town. I can see eye-to-eye with him due to our common ground of musicianship. I used to loathe instrumental music that exists purely for the sake of sound and he used to hate sung music (with words and poetry). We had discussions on our experiences with music, the learning process and discoveries, musical aesthetics and linguistics and so on. We would usually sit indoors and chat up a storm – with me on my computer with my computer-programmed sounds and him fidgeting on a mandolin – and we would go for walks/hikes. We got to work together for 3 weeks at the most and got to hang out even less. And I couldn’t discuss music at work, because I’m stage manager and he’s professional musician; our professional spheres are different there. But it was all great. We were both professional about work, and I developed some feelings for him. I didn’t act upon any, except for asking him to hang out as often as possible (during my few unoccupied hours). It wasn’t some, “OMG, you’re so cute/hot, I wanna fuck you,” thing; I had no desire or intentions to make sexual advances. It was rather, “Dear me, you are sweet. I want you around.” I decided not to make any advances of any kind whatsoever, because (1) it would be unprofessional, and (2) what can be accomplished within 3 weeks’ time, and (3) I would very possibly be barking up the wrong tree. (If you know me well, you’d know I completely disregard the “gaydar”.) Plus, there might be professional liaisons to be further established in the future. He plays in a family act. They don’t have a principle singer; I can sing. They don’t have a particular manager or a technician; and I can do those things, too.
SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT, WHY AM I OPENING UP ABOUT EVERYTHING ON THE BLOG AGAIN? It’s not like I hadn’t gotten into trouble before for writing deeply personal thoughts and experiences about what happen in the theatre. This is insanely unprofessional. BUT I need to talk openly about these things and how I deal with them – for the sake of posterity! God forbid, my bosses should see this and fire me for being grossly unprofessional. (Well, I don’t think I’m being unprofessional in having feelings. It’s not like I can control them. Maybe talking about them might be unprofessional.) And God forbid, the boy should see this and cut any further communication with me!
On close examination, both cases (the crushes on these boys) seem to have been purely infatuations – although the one with the first boy has lasted over a year, and neither has stopped at this point. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME FOR FALLING FOR TWO BOYS AT THE SAME TIME! It happens! Why I’d fallen for both of them so easily may be attributed to how hard it is for me to find people I can relate to. It’s awfully lonely to be Han Zaw. I was starting to enjoy my life and I wanted to add how I’m ok with being single, but I don’t think I can quite add that yet. People seem to be strangely fascinated by me but the reason may not be because I’m relatable but because I’m just so strange yet act humanely enough still.
Ok, back to speculations on my love life … So there’s this thing about how queer people start their dating life later than straight people do – because you at first participated in the expected heteronormality before you come out, and then do you start your dating life. I think I’m entering my gay puberty and am wanting to start dating. Let’s put aside how horny I usually am, ok? Due to the localities I constantly find myself in (small conservative American towns), I rarely ever find people I can relate to. I need someone whom I can agree (or at the very least, agree to disagree) with on politics, spirituality, lifestyle/fashion, personal and academic interests, etc. I’m very particular. With the fist boy, we tend to be on the same page for about 3 quarters of whatever we talk about, and even on stuff we disagree on, he talks about it with great confidence in his opinions and great respect for my opinions. SOLD – you have my heart! There are fewer things I can agree on with this second boy. He’s a very sheltered Irish Catholic boy who has a very narrow worldview although he has toured North America with his family as a musical act. Fans of Irish/Celtic folk music are of a very particular demographic, so I can understand how he wouldn’t have seen or heard much about the outside world. I can talk to him about anything and more than half of it would be new to him, and he would still listen very attentively with an inquisitive mind. Such a reception very appealing/attractive. He barely knows anything about racial/inter-racial dynamics in American society or about non-Christian spiritualities, or even much about non-American foods. I introduced him to Baroque music (in relation to jazz), to Burmese and Chinese cuisines, and to sociology. (I actually bought him a introductory sociology textbook, because he’s very receptive and willing to learn. And I think I’m so brilliant for getting him that.) He also taught me new tricks in music, which I appreciate. Now, in the company, we have actors who are in their late 20s or mid-30s, directors and theatre management in their 60s or beyond, and I’m the only kid. It’s no wonder I gravitated toward this boy.
Coming into contact with these two boys and eventually having some distance from them seems to be a most valuable learning experience about my dating life. They were just infatuations, but with good reason. And I am glad I was able to analyze the situations and see the improbability of pursing a relationship with either. That’s what my head says so far. My heart is still in a different place. I still want an opportunity to love recklessly like a teenager, but when you’re gay and have in life the circumstances that I do (i.e. being minority in a foreign land, to be brief), AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! However, I’d still like to be given an opportunity though.