Journal #4: Cẩn Thận – Careful

And with that, auditions are over! I’m honestly really bad at taking pictures of things while they’re happening, so unlike Calvin’s very nicely-decorated posts with lots of pictures, mine have none. You’ll all have to deal. Anyway, Friday, with drama’s final callbacks, concluded the end of a very long month of auditions. With Awechords’, Modern’s, Traditional’s, and Drama’s auditions finally over, we can say that we have 99% of our cast on board! (The only exception being Stage Crew, which takes ongoing applicants.) We had a lot of very talented auditions for Drama, but unfortunately could only accept a handful. The small nature of my cast prevents me from adding more people. This morning, I wrote an e-mail to the drama cast. I wanted to share with them a few things, and I will paraphrase a few of those few things here. While this e-mail was sent to the drama cast, I have a feeling that I will send these messages out to all-cast soon as well, after we have our rosters filled out. firstly, you are a person, then a student, then a cast member With my cast members, due to the touchy nature of this topic, I refuse to make VCN the cause of anyone’s mental breakdown. I do not want anyone to feel overwhelmed, lost, or swept away by the amount of work they need to complete. If you need a break, you need a break– don’t be afraid to ask for it. My producer, Amy, says I need to take my own advice. the content of this script is very real to me While this...

Journal #3: Cân lời nói trước khi nói – Think Before You Speak

The greatest, yet most challenging, thing about our culture night is its nature. UCLA’s Vietnamese Culture Night has been known to tackle difficult topics head-on, such as mail-order brides, LGBT issues, mental health, gambling, interracial marriage, and so on. These topics– which can easily be misconstrued or misrepresented– require lots of careful planning, and the exact word for the occasion, lest the theme of the show be misunderstood. The same goes for this year. The sensitive topic that I am choosing to cover this year is very near and dear to me– so dear, in fact, that the very importance I place on this subject has intimidated me into discarding a lot of my ideas. Writing about this topic has been a constant process of writing, editing, and discarding over and over and over again. It’s difficult for me to stick with one idea because I am constantly trying to make sure that I tackle this subject in just the right way. Otherwise, I run the risk of leading the audience to poor conclusions or presenting bad solutions to these issues– neither of which I want to do. Getting my staff settled in has been a little problematic as well. Above all, my philosophy for my staff is that you should take care of yourself as a person first, then yourself as a student, and then yourself as a student leader. However, this did result in a few logistical problems. Thanks to the support of VCN alumni and previous directors, I was able to work out a lot of the issues. It’s so great to know that there is a support network...