I present you with… A shamelessly obvious vanity project so shameless you’ll wish someone would just cast me in something, anything! I went to the Erasmus Huis’ “Canto Ostinato” programme and it gave me a widdle writing idea… It’s still very raw at the moment, however. The most brainstorming I’ve done for it was this Tumblr post I drafted and updated between July 7–15, 2015. In which I write the following:
The programme itself was epic fun, here are some pictures:
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Went to @erasmushuis_jakarta's entire "Canto Ostinato" programme (documentary film, Jeroen van Veen's lecture, and laying-down concert with Sandra Mol and @AnandaSukarlan). 🎼 I was fascinated by the Belgian (?) woman in the documentary because she was speaking French in Dutch/Flemish—the "maagh, euh" and the typical francophonie repetition habit. I also especially liked what the architect and the roundabout engineer/researcher had to say—although I personally loathe roundabouts (they can be utterly disorienting if you're ADHD, it's like being dyslexic except the letters are replaced by cars). But I am amazed the actress who described the piece as being "water-like" because that's precisely how I view it too: like auditory watercolours (am I talking crazy? Yes, I'm an idiot about describing music). 🎶 But it does sound delicate, soothing, and feathery/ticklish (when played softly). What's interesting about this piece is the way it sounds depends on the volume with which you play it. Other pieces are about the same thing no matter how loud/soft it's played—pressing keys too hard won't make me snap and suddenly want to commit bloody murder. But when played loudly, this piece can make you nervous, neurotic, and it starts getting disturbing up there… I can see this being used as a score for a psychotic murder scene (stabbing). 🔪 At medium volume, it's quirky without being twee. The lecture was much more fun than excepted, Jeroen played some trance-like stuff (repetition appeals to me) and similarities with gamelan. 🎹 I got the CD for my car, it makes me want to draw stuff. Hey, I've got an idea: Why don't we make a film entitled "Canto Ostinato" in which the piece is played non-stop during the entire duration of the film—like a silent picture, relevant parts/dynamics adjusted to scene moods (the film will be about a dysfunctional flatmates who don't speak). 🎻
Mia’s new M.O.
Anyway, after the debilitating shame I suffered from Fifteengate, I have decided to change my entire business model so I can feel safe about acting. Basically this is my new modus operandi:
- I no longer actively audition (I’ve already dropped all my agents—LOL). I’ll make exceptions for directors I already trust, or if they can prove trustworthy provided they haven’t made my blacklist, and you’re still alive (because the directors I’ve ever wanted to work for are mostly dead). I figured, given the projects/roles available out there and the Indonesian casting process, auditioning just isn’t worth it (it actually can get expensive and time-consuming, just terrible returns—almost like actual gambling).
- I will take offers (as long as I trust the people and I know I can feel safe working with them—old rules still apply) and maybe show up at auditions for casting directors who happen to remember me.
- Basically what I’ll do now, is I’ll write my own roles (and I’ll copyright the concepts in the most public manner possible) and people can produce it, if they want. I’ll play a role, maybe I’ll assign myself to it—or give them options to cast me from the many roles in it. No producing my writing without casting me (and I have to have a say on key decisions). If you don’t want to cast me, then I’ll happily take my idea elsewhere—in fact, if you’re terrible enough about tainting things that matter a lot to me, I’d rather not have it produced anyway. I’m not going to bloody die if my work doesn’t get produced. Take it or leave it.
And the beauty of it is, that because my bucketlist goal is to gave five roles between 2014–2024, it won’t “hurt my career” as much as (I already have two, because I’ve disowned Fifteengate—meaning I only have three left until I meet that goal).
My dear mother (and probably father too, but I wouldn’t know because he just changes the topic whenever I start talking about acting) just doesn’t understand the concept of a ‘vanity project’. One day we were having lunch after errands and I told her about this short, a very matter-of-fact short film in which a mother and her daughter clinically discuss inheritance (we share a similar sense of humour). The film will have terrible dialogue like, “well, yes, Mother… Accessing and managing your inheritance would be a piece of cake as long as I have your death certificate… But, of course, for that to happen, you’d have to die first.” Mother loved it, she’s quite a nasty human being herself (I’m convinced I carry all her evil genes).
So we’re having fun, LOL-ing about over lunch, all hunky-dory, lalala-lalaaaa… And then she decides to ruin the mood by asking, “so, who would you cast for the daughter character?” Mother, why on Earth and in God’s name and everything in between, Mother, would a semi-failed actress write a short film and cast anyone but herself?! Whyyy? Like, how could she not understand that? Of course I’m going to cast myself in it! Why else would a semi-failed actress write script if not to cast herself in it? You’d think she’d know all along I was talking about writing the role for myself. Mais non… FYI, she’s very good at maths and she’s very logical—surely she’d have it figured, so I suppose that was her subconscious thinking out loud how much she prefers I wouldn’t become an actress? IDK.
The merciless shaming Mia Djojowasito has been been forced to endure as of late has rendered her
completely somewhat shameless
On a more serious note: There really is no shame in vanity projects, I mean look at the opportunities I’m stuck with. Nobody wanted to give me a chance, my agents weren’t that nice, and one of my agents typecast me for nerdy roles… Only for me to have casting directors tell me I behave like an “idiot” (in the literal mentally impaired sense) when I’m not in character. I’m really not above any it anymore now!
TBH, I used be allergic to it too, I viewed it as narcissistic (and TBF, some people are quite narcissistic about it and I love cracking jokes about people like that—something about narcissism, that kind of thing has always tickled me for some reason. LAWL) and I looked down on people who do it… Until I discovered something worse: Some people like to create this impression that they’re more in-demand than they actually are (swear-off social media because it’s supposedly ‘un-posh’ and not ‘Old World’ enough for their image, won’t set-up official work-related websites but have their PR set-up fake “fan accounts”—ahem, and set-up pap-ops, interviews requested by their PR instead of the other way around… When in reality they’re not even famous enough to be recognised and their work isn’t notable and significant enough to warrant entire spreads). And then people get their CV/credentials wrong, but they never bother to clarify (I can never understand why, as a person who’s issued statements for everything from calling a living person “dead” to sneezing) and wait for the other party to make a statement—especially if the inaccuracy makes them look more accomplished than they actually are, so they can appear “too cool to bother with the fame game”, but it’s all fake (and they’re really thirsty as f*ck). Add your baity chums (no direct communication, that’s what the plebs do) into the mix, and you’re good to go: The epitome, the very definition of “posho” and “professional”… Not. I just have my own idea of what it means to be “posh” and classy, and being a blatant liar isn’t included.
I’d rather be upfront and openly market myself, it makes one’s life so much simpler and easier (and life’s just too damn short anyways). Much like this gentleman right here:
Now that is my brand of PR: Transparent as f*ck! Just good old traditional straight-forward self-promotion, because having my PR approach conventional media outlets just isn’t après-garde enough for me! I don’t hate the media, but I just think it’s a little insulting and patronising to order the media around (I grew up wanting to be a journalist before I became disillusioned, and I believe in letting journalists use their own judgement to decide who’s newsworthy and who’s not, it’s what they were originally around for—and if I want to be in control, I have my social media and the Internet and that’s the turf I’m entitled to) and the media then, in turn, dictates what the public should think, even if it’s a lie rooted in, created by, that disproportionately-hyped person (I can understand using the media to clarify misunderstandings/miscommunications, advocacy, and for key press releases, but arranging interviews with yourself? Come on now, that’s just sad). My widdle contribution to journalism will be an effort to respect news people’s intelligence and judgement (even if I think far too many journalists annoy me). I mean, who knows what might come out of it: Maybe if I start respecting journalists’ intelligence, they’ll start using their brains again, and stop insulting my intelligence? A disenchanted girl can dream… I wouldn’t want people to think the media is more interested in me than they actually are: Lying to the public is one thing, but once you start lying to yourself, the possibilities become endless…
In fact, rather than sharing story ideas in private, lately I’ve figured it’s better to use social media post as a “poor girl’s copyright” method (cyberlawyers are my homies, my centre, my forevermore). Because, hey, the more eye-witnesses the better—tho I really wouldn’t recommend Tumblr or AO3 until they begin applying timestamps in addition to date stamps unless you import to Twitter which does, and then you should take a screenshot of the date and timestamp. Why should I be ashamed of selling my work, it’s not like I’m pimping off details of my utterly trashy real-life personal life? I’m not above self-promotion for the right thing. I don’t feel ‘cheap’ posting about my ideas, under my actual stage name, and hoping someday someone might take notice. To me, this is way classier than calling the paps for a display of OTT PDA and then pretend-complaining about it when you arranged it yourself (or easier still, just take a bunch of damn selfies, Bruh? Why make your life far more complicated that it needs to be? SMDH). You know that Brigitte Bardot scene on “Masculin féminin“? Where some director in a café with BB goes, “faux, faux, faux, faux, faux…” Yip. That’s pretty much what that kind of PR is. Just because I’m Asian and Asians are stereotyped for liking knock-offs doesn’t mean I’m going to buy your fake sh*t! But, hey, at least I learned a lesson on what to be ashamed of and what I shouldn’t be ashamed of. There’s nothing to ashamed of about writing your own roles because nobody wants to cast you, it’s definitely less damning than just accepting to play whatever’s out there, and at least I’m just promoting my work here… I am not one bit ashamed of what I’m doing right here, I am damn proud of it. For once, I get to actually be proud of something.
So, jeah. This is me, blogging, trying to protect an idea of mine, because it means a lot to me. I’m serious, though: If anyone knows of any similar films, do let me know (leave a comment or something). I don’t intend to plagiarise it, I promise! I’m just a little scared of how clueless I am being about it, so I need some reference, and I don’t like feeling like I’m feeling around in the dark…
Last updated: July 27, 2015