An article on mental health by me was published in the Age yesterday.
And there is a short video showing highlights from Silence from ABC Radio Vietnam.
The Immigration Museum captured a short video and parts of one of the Q and A sessions for Silence.
I was interviewed by Robin Usher, and the interview appeared in today’s edition of The Age. I think he did a good job in capturing the reasons why I wrote Silence.
Yesterday I was interviewed by The Age in the leadup to my play Silence‘s third season. Robin Usher, The Age’s Senior Theatre Editor, asked me whether there was a thriving Vietnamese-Australian arts scene that he didn’t know about. After I named a few names and activities he said he thought it was thriving – so I thought I’d share with you some of the other stuff out there. Chi Vu is a playwright who wrote Vietnam: A Psychic Journey, which is in the PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. I think it’s fabulous that Vietnamese-Australian writing is considered Australian nowadays. Nam Le of course has appeared in Australian Long Stories along with the usual suspects – again a great sign. Dominic Duc Golding wrote Shrimp which was on the VCE list and his work in progress is Umbilical. Hoang Tran Nguyen is a visual artist and there is Van Rudd who is half Viet half Aussie who is an agent de provacteur as well as being Kevin Rudd’s nephew. There is an outfit called Her Productions which is for young Vietnamese-Australian women who used to run the radio show Voicebox on 3CR and now have moved into multimedia and film. And the actresses for Silence include HaiHa Le (Bed of Roses, City Homicide etc) Diana Nguyen (Miss Saigon) and Ai Diem Le as well as Gabrielle Chan from Sydney (Home Song Stories). They have all incidentally been in one season of Silence or another.
I also attended Owen Leong‘s exhibition “Birthmark”. It features photos of young Asian-Australians with bogong moths transformed into their faces and the effect is beautiful and startling. It includes portraits of Tom Cho, Chi Vu, HaiHa Le and Lian Low (the current prose editor of Peril). Owen’s exhibition is on at Anna Pappas Gallery until June.
My play Silence is on the VCE list for year 11 and 12 students! It will be published with Currency Press in May 2010 and have another season at La Mama.
The run was successful in November 2009 even though I had to play Ba at the last minute. This at least gave me an insight about how difficult the part is to play.
Peril is having a launch at Asialink on Thursday December 3 at 7pm. Come along and be part of the fun!
Finally received word of my masters result- which looks like a pass with no amendments! Am really relieved about this and looking forward to starting afresh with the doctorate at the University of Western Sydney.
I received an invitation today from Casula Powerhouse to participate in “Writing Asia” as part of the Sydney Writers Festival. It is an all Vietnamese-Australian panel looking at first generation and second generation issues which promises to be interesting.
I also got a residency at Glenfern, a historical house in East St Kilda courtesy of the Victorian Writers Centre.
It really suits me to be able to have a couple of days dedicated to writing in a different space.
Silence has been resurrected with a replacement actress but only for one week June 4-8. La Mama itself is in a precarious state and trying to raise $30,000 in three days to put down a deposit on the building they reside in. Please donate money if you can.
Silence has been cancelled- Ai Diem Le was seriously injured in a car crash and we can’t replace her in time.
I wrote the 80 word “intention to submit” statement for my masters in creative writing today- free at last- almost! I’ve found the journey really interesting, without Kathleen Fallon I would have quit all together. I have learnt that I can write academic discourse in english literature at postgraduate level and I’ve read a lot of interesting texts as well. The creative process for my novella has been a bit painful, the gestation period was long and it was an effort to write. But in the process I’ve learnt about layering my drafts and playing with voices in the text so it has been useful.
Silence was workshopped and redrafted over the weekend which was intense but also a great process lead by Melanie Beddie the dramaturg and Gorkem Acaroglu the director. With their input the play is now more stylised and less naturalistic which is fantastic! Bring on the hungry ghosts I say (with the aid of fog machine and projections).
So now I have some head space for the Footscray Arts residency and my next new work. I’m reading Women Native Other by Trinh Minh Ha which has a great prologue about story telling and ancestry that has resonance for my next theatrical work.
Peril’s inaugural Board meeting is happening in August- more excitement with three people flying in from interstate. I’m thrilled that Peril is getting bigger- and maybe well get funding soon- applications TBA.
I’ve just got a residency at Footscray Community Arts Centre for the second half of this year. I’ll be residing there one day a week on Thursdays. Pleased that I can dedicate at least one day a week to artistic stuff for a change…I’m working on the 6th draft of Silence at the moment and it’s filling my mind. Being this stimulated and engaged with my work is what I like and theatre definitely has more interaction than novels. I’m thinking of just accepting that my preferred mode of writing is short fiction and plays, and adapting my finished work to that aim- themed short stories that turn into novel length works seem to work for me better than the slow painful evolution of my novel for my masters.