19 May 2018

The burn

Oh it's hot here in Hong Kong. Anyone who knows Hong Kong summers knows it bit about the temperature or the sunshine on your skin that kills you. It's the humidity that wraps itself around you that'll burn you out.

It's been an absolutely insane last 10 days.. My Instagram is going strong and my habit to "create" is going well. Not 100% perfect but enough to motivate me to actively try to document my life rather than just dust it into folders on my drives.

I head off to Macau tomorrow for the volleyball event and right now my schedule is pretty much full until the end of May. How is this possible? One way or another I just somehow find ways to fill my schedule on a weekly basis! I guess it's just what happens when you've been running your own business and realize if you don't actively keep things going.. You start slipping.

I was at a career talk today followed by thr TEDxHSMC and then headed over to ymca for a youth workshop on communication skills.. By now I literally don't want to speak anymore.

I'm so ready to sleep but I already know the next 10 days are going to be hectic.. So perhaps a cup of coffee instead?

Do you guys resort to coffee at crunch time? Or what's your "poison" to deal with a crazy schedule?

09 May 2018

The madness is back

Well I've been back to Hong Kong for around 2 weeks and let me just say it has been an absolute whirlwind of stuff going on. Even on days where I'm less busy, I've ended the day totally exhausted from everything going on.

Right now, I got a lot of opened loops that I'm trying to finish off, which, as anyone who knows me well, is my kryptonite. Having too many unfinished tasks is what can stress me out. By unfinished I mean items that have started but are incomplete. So if an item is on my to do list, but hasn't been "initiated", then I'm OK, but once I start it, it's like another item taking up my mental RAM. Speaking of mental ram, I invested in a Qnap UX-800p to add more storage space for everything I have seeing as I'm starting to get my stuff more organized (eg. DVD files from years of back ups or personal items) so I just need proper digital space to store it so it's easily accessible.

I installed it with 8 x 10TB (yikes) hard drives in RAID50 format so that means I essentially have 60GB space, so hopefully it'll be stable enough to last for years and fast enough to work properly.

I also finally got my instagram account going again, after registering it, but never properly using it for all these years. I guess now that I got my hands on a proper camera, my urge to take photos has come back, but I'm also using this as a daily target to create something. I've come to realize that unless something is given a deadline, it eventually will fall into my pile of "to do when I get time" which is probably never at this rate.

Having said that, I thought a few months ago that when May comes, my life can be back on track, and guess what, I've managed to line myself up with gigs for the rest of the month, it's insane but at least that means I got stuff to feel productive. Oh and our Laugh Festival this year is going to be a month long (I know, go big or go home) so I'm trying my hardest to basically do as much as I can to make it a killer festival and then take it from there for 2019. 2017's laugh festival had us filled with confidence that we could do something like this, and after Melbourne this year, I'm fueled up to take this festival to another level. Let's see how things go.

So with that said, it's time to buckle down and work. I hope you guys are enjoying your summer, humid heat... I'm using this as the perfect moisturizer and steam room. #greatskin (look at me with my hash tags lol)

29 April 2018

Life is on track-ish

Well I'm back in ol' Hong Kong and for the first time this year, I don't have a looming "travel date" lined up ahead of me. I have only been back to Hong Kong for 4 days and it's been a whirlwind getting back on track. I spent the whole of today basically clearing my room, setting things up again and sorting out all the stuff that I needed to tend to in the month of April that I've been out of town.
First of all, Melbourne, you were awesome. We headed over to Sydney as well and well their comedy festival is wayyyy smaller than Melbourne but still something definitely worth investing in for our Cantonese shows.

So our shows in Melbourne sold 70% of its capacity which was great, glad to see Cantonese shows worked again this year. I also managed to learn a lot more in using the Canon M6 camera. I mean, I made a lot of beginner mistakes (eg. I had the shutter speed set at 1/50 for filming and often also took pictures at that shutter speed which meant my photos weren't very sharp :(...) or I had the audio set too low and so a lot of times where I thought I was getting audio as well, it completely failed.
The good thing is I learned a lot about manually controlling the aperture, shutter, iso and combining them and proudly got quite a few cool photos. I'm planning on restarting my instagram account and make myself submit 1 photo a day as practice to get better at this. I spent the most of last night after my gig retouching a bunch of photos I took and boy it brought back memories of like 10+ years ago when I spent all those hours learning fashion photography retouching and absolutely loved it. I must admit, I use maybe 20% of the tools I learned back then but it's enough to add a dramatic effect to photos. Here's one I retouched:

Excuse the watermark

And well the original photo is just this:


So as I was retouching it and thinking of the feeling I wanted to convey, it brought back a bunch of memories of the good ol' days when I would retouch photos of anyone and anything I could get my hands on just to test out different effects and filters and emotions.
It's times like these I miss having the time to read all those photograph books like Adobe Photoshop Master Class: John Paul Caponigro which I borrowed in university, read and now own just because it was so freaking good! I still have a long way to go but at least now that I have my hands on a proper camera I can do a lot more and keep learning. I hope I progress enough to take killer photographs of comedians and other things in the future.

Well speaking of the future, I got a crazy week ahead of me and I hope to finally get my fitness back on, it's been a month of no flexibility work and basically eating like mad and resting barely sufficiently.

And there we have it, my 2018 has finally properly started for me where I can sit down, plan things out and follow through. Very inspired after my trip in Melbourne, watching my fellow comedians from around Asia totally rock their shows and the festival, so this time next year, I hope to step up my game to a whole new level both in my comedy, my branding, my videos, my photos and obviously myself :)

So here's to a great next 10 days for everyone! See you then!

12 April 2018

Mel-born!

Hello from down under! Well it's that time of year again where we head to the Melbourne International Comedy festival and for the 2nd year in a row, we're doing Cantonese comedy shows! We've already finished 2 shows, a killer opening show and a fun 2nd show because it was a Wednesday night and we had half a room of people. I must say, the Wednesday crowd was up for a fun time!

Well as usual, once I'm here, time just flies and I've been here 1.5 weeks...WTF?! And I've worked out....twice...barely. The gym in our building is quite crap with no free weights and only machines so I've been trying to get creative with my stuff and the bands I have but some days you're so mentally exhausted the last thing you want to think of is what to make yourself do.

The good news is I'm not going as crazy as before with my food. Sure the first few days was like OMG MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH but I think this being my 4th year, I get it. I'm not as blown away by the  quality of food here :P

So how are things? I've been working hard practicing video editing skills and so far so good, I've put together 2 videos of our trip which has been fun:


and


I must say, the more I do this, the more I'm understanding the challenges of video editing as well as filming. I've been a good boy and practicing my different techniques and trying to be disciplined with camera angles, organization and thinking of a story board.

Ok enough geek talk. Oh and I've been avoiding the toy stores my whole time here. Partly because I don't really need/want new toys but I also don't want to get tempted by what is available..... I don't have space at home anyway.

It's 12pm now and we're about to head out to Victoria Market to get some food so we have lunch and I'm determined to go to the gym today!! RAHHH!!

24 March 2018

Thank you broadband

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh after almost a week of painfully slow wifi (I'm talking inability to load YouTube and downloading at 3kb/s).. It's so good to be back on land, in the world of proper wifi. Unfortunately, due to the lack of proper internet, I had to delay my work until I returned to. Hong Kong and the last week has been absolutely chaotic for me. It's Saturday and I'm still feeling jetlagged! I didn't even change time zones?!

Well how are things? I've got around 1 more week left in Hong Kong before I head down to Melbourne and get ready for the awesome madness that is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival! Super excited about our shows but also quite nervous as I really don't want to fall out of any health regime I'm trying to get back on to. Last year while in Melbourne, I was so busy I had to give up on working out and it took me almost a month to get back on track when I got back to Hong Kong. But don't get me wrong, I will be eating a whole lot when I get there. That is certain.

Anyway, other than trying to get back on track and get my life sorted before I leave ol' Kong, I've been researching about cameras and man the Canon 80D seems to fit all the things I've been looking to do with a camera. I'm so tempted to get it but I realize at this point, another toy is not what I need, but perhaps learning more about video editing and effects. I've pretty much got the general use of Adobe Premier down, now on to after effects and let's see what crazy videos I can put together.

Ah I'm ranting because im on the train on my way to go teach in Tuen Mun and it's a good 1 hour journey. Well let's see how fast these next 10 days go bye. I'll check on in then and see where the hell I physically and mentally have reached lol.

13 March 2018

Let's set sail!

Ahoy matey! So this blog entry comes to you in the middle of the ocean! I'm onboard a cruise ship and ta-da, I came in yesterday and already did my show! I was this close to being able to disembark immediately and basically stay in Hong Kong but the cruise director decided let's have a bit more comedy! So I'll be doing another set later on the cruise ship. Heck, I get to enjoy the sound of the ocean at least while typing this! So that's pretty cool!

How is everyone? How has your week been? I've been traveling so much, I'm actually ready to just stay put in my room and on land. After I return to Hong Kong, I have approximately 2 weeks before I head out to Melbourne for a month for the comedy festival there! Super excited about it but not really looking forward to the overnight flight I have to take to get to Australia. Man I hate red eye flights, somehow I just crash and burn hard when I lack one night's sleep. My kryptonite!

So I've started watching this show called Stranger Things on Netflix and very, very cool! I love this crazy stuff with a mix of horror and madness...reminds me of all the Stephen King books I read growing up. Man I love those books, I've forgotten half of the details but still remember the general story line.

Otherwise, I'm trying to get myself back on track with my fitness regime. After being in India for 2 weeks and experiencing a food coma 3 times a day after 3 meals a day, I'm ready to get my life back on track.

Basically, in 2 months' time, once I'm back in Hong Kong and May arrives, I can finally "enjoy" 2018. Yes, 5 months into the year is when my 2018 actually begins.

However, I've got a whole bunch of stuff lined up for 2018 comedy-wise and I can't wait to execute them. It's going to be yet another roller coaster ride of doing new stuff, figuring things out, running around and border-line losing my mind, but the cool tihng is, just like the Laugh Festival we had last year, once we do it, then it sets a blue print for the future and opens up a lot of new doors for the wohle comedy scene in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia.

Anyway, the wifi on this ship may be free but it's crazy slow! So I have to stay calm while I'm working and basically try to work while I load other pages lol... crazy multi-tasking so I can make the most of whatever bandwidth I get. Man I wish my home internet that is lightning fast. I guess it's times like these that you become extra grateful for whatever you have. When people come to my place and see my room and go "man it's tiny", all I can think is "trust me, this is just right for me". Heck, if you gave me a massive room I'd actually be less satisfied, simply because I love the idea that every thing is like 1 step away from me and I have to be extra efficient in the way I organize myself not because I love to be efficient bugt I don't have much room for wastage :P At least having a tiny room and no space has stopped me from buying any more toys! Win!

Anyway, going to go get my dinner before catching the show at the theater tonight, it's a world-class musical act so I hope I gain some extra culture and sophistication :P

01 March 2018

This blog has lasted 11 years...er....how?

Hello, hello, hello! I am shocked myself that this blog was started 11 years ago! Every major entry I write (ie. every 6 months), it's crazy to see how my life has changed.
So I write this right after dong a session of Ultimate Yogi - Balance.

The Ultimate Yogi w/ Travis Eliot - Balance Power Yoga Class from The Ultimate Yogi on Vimeo.
I'll be honest, I've been doing this yoga stuff for a while but I never followed the full schedule. So this balance class was my first attempt and yep, lots of shaking and falling for me but heck, pretty cool to try something new....while I'm in Delhi, India! So yeah! I've been performing in India for the last week and started off in Mumbai, headed to Delhi and been doing shows in Noida...tonight onwards I do shows in Gurgaon and it's pretty fascinating. Their rooms here are insanely beautiful! Like mind blowingly beautiful!

This is their room in Noida! They have everything, a smoke machine, warm spotlights, killer sound and a fantastic atmosphere! OMG!
Man I am always so grateful that I get to go travel the world doing stand up comedy. Good thing is, all my experience on cruise ships have paid off where I can travel globally and my material works most of the time. Not to mention I wrote some new material just for the Indian audience here and they like my local jokes :) Phew!

So the last major entry had me working out the 5 things that pretty much summarize my life:
  1. Comedy
  2. Web design
  3. Fitness
  4. Gaming
  5. Drumming
Well check this out, at my new place, I finally decided I have to give drumming up. Simply because it wasn't going to happen, not just the fact that I barely practice but the idea that that spare corner had to keep turning into a spare room for guests just turned things completely upside down. I mean it was pointless if I could practice and then had to stop and stuff... I'd lose all motivation and it'll turn into frustration. Also I've decided that as of 2018, my web design needs to close down. I really want to focus 100% on comedy and also work as hard as I can in growing the scene, myself and my goals. So #2 and #5 are gone. Gaming is still alive and fun. Fitness is... well it's been tough. I've been traveling and man it's tough to stay healthy while traveling. I mean I can get my workouts, it's the eating part that is tough.
Not to mention the food here is fantastic!!!! WOAH!!
But otherwise, comedy has been doing quite well, I've locked down gigs for when I get back to Hong Kong and the Indian scene is quite mind blowing really, to see their establishments totally blows what we have in Hong Kong or elsewhere out the water! And they have enough of a market that their own comics are making Amazon Prime specials etc. Man, I'm so jealous of their opportunities, but heck it's a fantastic incentive to work things out on my end. Nothing's stopping me from making something from nothing!

Well 2018 has started off quite crazy for me, lot of stuff happening including the passing of my 91 year old grandmother, which basically shook up my whole January and I've been busy the whole year. We're at March now and it feels like I was just writing down my new year's resolutions a few days ago. I have no idea where the last 2 months have gone but I do know a lot has happened, changed and will keep changing.

Oh did I tell you, I've got my hands on a Canon EOS M6 camera and the ZhiYun Crane 2 stabilizer. On my way to India, I was a very good boy and read through the manuals for all my devices, the Zoom H4N, Sennheiser clip mics, Canon camera, Crane 2 stabilizer and GoPro.. I can proudly say I pretty much know how to use them all inside out. At least I know all their functions and stuff. I've been filming my shows here and taking pictures just to learn and man it feels so good to know my tools properly. All I have left is to properly learn Adobe Premier and I'll get on with editing video myself and stuff. Can't wait to get this as part of my arsenal. It's always been something I wanted to do but decided I'll leave it to later but I have all these ideas I want to do and it takes too long to wait for someone else to help me do it.

On another note, we're heading to Melbourne in a month's time for the comedy festival there! Fingers crossed we sell our tickets, I am quite worried but at the same time excited to be there since a lot more Asian comedians are heading down so we can all meet up there and hang out! I love how the community of us are close knit like that.

As for fitness, I got myself a Manduka Eko Superlite mat which I'm loving because now I can travel with it easily and do my yoga in my hotel room. I no longer get limited by what is available at the gym or a towel for that matter. I still need to figure out how to work out my post-workout shakes because I really do see an impact on my performance if I have my shakes right after my workout vs. a meal right after. The good thing is with all this traveling now, I'm getting better at organizing my fitness time while I'm away so I try my best to balance things so I get some sort of workout daily. It's been tough the last week as I was with family in Mumbai and when I got to Delhi I pretty much got in, had like 2 hours before having to head out to the shows...otherwise I've been doing yoga/workout each day :) Although I'll admit, yesterday my workout had my heart pounding like crazy and yes it has everything to do with the greasy yummy food I've been having :)

So I'm in my new place, properly settled in. Our Laugh Festival was a success and we've been doing well so far with Cantonese shows. One of my Cantonese videos went viral so that helped sell tickets for our shows which was good income for us to buy more equipment (the crane 2, a drone, etc.) in preparation for whatever video work we can do. Man I can't wait to learn to edit videos easily like I can with poster design and just slap stuff out every other day :P

Finally, the goals for this year are simple, I just want to have a healthy life where I'm back to my fit conditions like I was 2 years ago (man I was in my best shape ever!) and have the energy to get through my days as well as pursue a much bigger comedy goal, with the festival, travels and hopefully have enough material for a proper 1 hour special. It's great to see so many others filming their specials on netflix, I think it's time Hong Kong does the same.

Well, there we have it, 3 main focuses on my life:
  1. Comedy
  2. Fitness
  3. Gaming (well not really a focus)
And with that, here's to another awesome 6 months and who knows where it'll take me, heck I never would have thought I'd be in India doing shows but that happened. Maybe in 6 months I'm busy reading through paperwork for my specials? Why not :)