[The Grown Up Child Actor] Hi

My name is Rachel. Born in Hong Kong, raised here as an actress.

I was maybe four years old when I first started acting, 24 when I finally walked away from it all. I was younger than most of my colleagues, but had the most experience at least in terms of years. For twelve months I worked as a Flight Attendant, bringing my tally of visited countries to 24. When I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to do for life, I looked for my first ‘proper’ job at age 25. Soon I joined a global recruitment firm as a consultant, where for the first time I was immersed in the corporate world of sales.

I didn’t stay at the job for very long. It drove me crazy and I tried to look for ‘my thing’, as I had for as long as I can remember.

I’m at a job right now that’s better than being a recruiter, but it feels like I never did figure out who I really am after I stopped acting. Maybe I’ll feel like a fish out of the water for as long as I’m not on set.

This is the life of a grown up child actor. Follow this space to read about the insecurities, eating disorder, identity struggles and all the things we pretend to know nothing about.

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Nara, Japan

Nara is only about 40 minutes away from Osaka by train, and is definitely worth the trip.

Famous for their free-roaming deers, Nara Park is only about 10 minutes walk from the station. It is a straight shot and you know you’ve made it when you see the stalls selling deer crackers.

Nara Park is a very peaceful spot: grass, open air, and gentle deers; only ruined by annoying tourists just like myself. For some reason the deers bow so that you would give them the crackers, which I found a bit unsettling. While some say they were trained, I prefer to think that they’re just following the crackers in the humans’ hands as they bow. The deers are mostly very gentle, but they can get pretty aggressive, or impatient with people taking so long with the food. Two of them went for the crackers in my hand at the same time, and one even bit Jon’s coat to get him to hurry up.

On a nicer day, it would have been great to stroll through the park and maybe even have a picnic (not sure how doable that is with all the deers around, maybe it’s not even allowed), but with the rain getting heavier, we happily agreed to visit the nearby sake brewery to stay warm.

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Kaiyukan – Osaka Aquarium

Growing up in Hong Kong means that when I travel, aquariums rarely make it onto my to-do list. We have Ocean Park and we take these things for granted.

As a “been there done that” kind of traveler who sees a sight and does not know what to do with it, being in Osaka posed a small problem for us. We just did not quite know what to occupy ourselves with after each meal. We did some shopping, hit the arcades, visited the nearby Kyoto and Nara, and mostly spent our evenings at bars. On the last day of our trip in Osaka, we caved and headed out to Osaka-ko to see us some fishies.

Having spent a few days in the city, it was refreshing to go out there and be in the open space where we were greeted by the first snow… that we’ve seen in years. It was a strange moment of euphoria. I was so cold for so many days that I really felt I should at least see some snow; and snow I saw.

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MahaNaga / Gypsy Spell Bar – Bangkok

It has been a while since I last travelled for work, and it definitely reminded me of the good old crew life.

In Bangkok I stayed in Sukhumvit, a very international part of the city. So international in fact, that I actually struggled to find Thai food. Everything in the area seemed to be Japanese. I was told later that there are a lot of Japanese expats in Bangkok, and my office was also in the Japanese Village.

On my first night in Bangkok, I had to walk around a little and brave my way down the streets leading off the main road to find some Thai food (as my husband Jon text to assure me I’ll be able to find something while in Thailand). When I saw a small stand on the street corner saying “Modern Thai Cuisine”, I went for it. It didn’t really matter whether it was modern or traditional, as long as it wasn’t Japanese.

mahanaga

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Weekend Taipei Trip

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Sometimes (all the time) work just gets too crazy and you get really desperate to GTFO. Well I didn’t have the balls to actually walk away from my life so a friend and I went to Taipei for a weekend.

I left work 2 hours early on a Friday (with permission, thanks for checking), and caught an early evening flight to TPE. This is also where I realized I really do love airplanes. I was on an A340, and even though it was one of my least favorite aircrafts on the CX fleet, I had about a good hour of zen, just listening to the hum of the engines and the opening and closing of those aluminium compartments. It was the calmest I had been in ages.

Okay anyway.

I landed in TPE, went and got my sim card like a pro, and hopped on a bus to the city. I suck at the whole bus thing even in Hong Kong, so that was a major win. My friend had already shopped all afternoon and I was quite exhausted from the week so we just went to an all-you-can-eat hot pot place (馬辣 “Ma-La”, it’s a chain, just Google it) around the corner from our ‘hotel’ (more on that later), and drank lots of beer. It was da bomb.

Our hotel. We had good rates, HK$600 for a double bed room for 2 nights I think. It’s a business hotel. It’s in a building with clubs, bars, movie-themed… something, and our somewhat newly renovated business hotel. It’s dark and kind of modern, but really just looks like a karaoke joint; it even sounds like it because that’s what’s right below our floor. NO FRET, RACHEL TRAVELS WITH EAR PLUGS. MAJOR LIFE WIN.

The next day we got up and decided to check out this place called 貓空 “Maokong” (it literally translates into “cat space/empty”. I was so excited. We even had to take a cable car to get the the bloody mountain. Cable cars that had teeny tiny windows and were effectively glass ovens.

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Rachel’s Reviews – Frenchie: The world’s first speed wallet

YES ONE FOR ME PLEASE!

Back when I was still working in a corporate firm, my job involved meeting clients and other people every single day. I had a Muji business card holder which sounds savvy enough, but was actually just a matt-finish plastic box that I kept dropping and eventually started falling apart. My colleague decided it would be a stellar idea to tape it up with glittery washi tape, until I had to break it to her that it wasn’t working so well for the business side of things.

So I went online and got myself an awesome Charles & Keith card holder for about 75HKD. It’s got a nice print on it and even though it threatens to break whenever I put more than four cards in it, I still love it. I love it so much I started trading the limited spots for my Octopus card, credit card, bank card, and just one slot left for my business cards.

Then it dawned on me.

I don’t need my actual wallet anymore. Well, it turns out I do, but I’m covered as long as I have this little card holder of mine which fits in my pocket just fine.

This is now my life: I don’t really know where my cash is, although I know that I usually don’t have any on me, there are receipts everywhere, and in a nutshell – the beautifully organized wallet I once had is just a pretty but obviously abandoned wallet and my cash/cards situation is a mess.

In another nutshell – I would like this Frenchie thing.

 

“17” – the app. 


I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw a friend who posted a picture of his new account on “17”, saying that he’s checking it out after seeing so many people posting about it. Naturally I wanted to check it out and also did some research since it seemed the same as Instagram, and the old woman in me just doesn’t get why people need a new app when we also have a smooth-running one with all our friends on it (I have tried new apps that are similar and deleted it after a few hours when I accepted the fact that not enough – sometimes none – of my friends will ever use it).

So what is this “17” app? It’s pretty much an Instagram knock-off, yes, except for a live-streaming feature which helps drive traffic to your page/account, which in turn helps with earning royalties. Hold up, earn royalties? Turns out, there is some sort of an incentives program where users get a share of the profit from the ads that are on the app, since you helped drive traffic. However, from the few minutes I was actually on the app (although spent mostly browsing through the FAQ page), I wasn’t aware of any ads on the app. I guess the biggest question is whether this whole thing is a scam; and MY question is where is this profit actually coming from if there are no ads on the app, or even if there were, how come people are getting royalty shares just from receiving likes on their photos? I racked up about $0.009 from the few likes that I got but I’m also not sure how that really helped with the ads that are supposedly there. If I’m right, ads usually need to be clicked on for the host to make money, right?

To explain the incentives side more, you need to have accumulated a certain amount before you can redeem your royalties through PayPal. Apparently, no one gave any bank information at the beginning, probably thinking it might just be a scam, so the app guys (more about the founders later) set up the payout process using PayPal and supposedly users are now more confident and comfortable with the app’s incentive program. Huh.

Okay, the founder. Turns out “17” is founded by this Taiwanese celebrity Jeffrey Huang (@bigbrother on the app if you’re interested) who is doing all this to encourage people to manage and maintain their social media accounts well, again, hence the incentive program. This all sounds pretty cool, but then people started posting inappropriate contents and now the app developers need to actively seek these users out and are banning them permanently.

 

I know.

There’s more. I also realised that the App Store just experienced “its worst security breach ever” and people are saying that this “17” app is a big hack whatsit. Okay guys, firstly if it’s the App Store breach it’s not really like the developers made this app to hack your accounts or whatever, and secondly, there’s a huge list of apps that you need to worry about and it doesn’t look like “17” is on the list. Having said that, even though Instagram is not a great news source, an app called “17” is not the easiest thing to Google either. So it’s a bit hard to do your homework I supposed.

As for me, I’ve deleted the app and I’m tired of typing so here’s a list of reasons why:

  1. It’s not very well-developed; whereas Instagram is in comparison.
  2. It’s probably another hype app which doesn’t gain enough hype to convert enough of my friends for it to be worthwhile.
  3. There’s dodgy stuff there.
  4. Again, it’s not well-developed enough for me to feel like it’s worth my time considering making money off it. It’s also not going to make much money unless you have a massive following anyway; and I personally feel like there are more solid ways to make a living. This might change, ha!
  5. Honestly, this app seems to bring a pretty new concept but in reality nothing about it is authentic. It is pretty much exploiting people’s greed to make profit – no official information is found on the app regarding where the profit is really coming from, and how your royalty amount is derived. It’s pretty much saying, you use Instagram anyway, use our app which is the same except we’ll give you some money, and we use PayPal so you should trust us.

What about you? Have you used this app or even received your royalty shares? Leave a comment and let us know about your experience with “17”, or extra information about the hack!

Miley’s Hair.

I have a confession to make: every time I see Miley Cyrus’ hair I secretly wish I have hair like that. Not her hair, but like her hair.

Actually, I’m not a big fan of her hair; but there’s something about her attitude that makes me think: yeah, people think she’s gone too far or whatnot, but on some level, I wish we were all a little more like her. Despite how crazy she seems to have gotten – I mean, maybe she’s only doing it for attention, but assuming she’s not – she’s just being herself, and there’s something ballsy about expressing ourselves that a lot of us lack.

As a child actor, I can identify with her, or Radcliffe (as a non-HP actor, he just annoys me for some reason), or even Bieber (gees). You grow up as a certain person not only to the audience, but to those around you. You reach an age in your teens where you’re sick of being treated like a child at a workplace, and then you’re an adult and you’re almost still not being taken seriously as a walking, thinking individual. I admit, sometimes it’s not even how people treat you, it’s just a self-consciousness thing. Your on-screen character/personality is so … bland or even perfect as a child, that it becomes quite frustrating when you realize you have so much more personality and depth than how people or sometimes – even you perceive yourself. I remember being 21 and being asked by a colleague if I have ever dated before. Are you seriousNot that all my life experiences are based on relationships, but yes, I do have a personal life, and a professional life that began when you were only a toddler. 80% sure I’ve seen and experienced more crazy things than you have. Let’s face it, growing up in an environment like that is stresscrafulzy. It’s funny, because that’s also what gives us so much more to work off as actors.

Again, it’s not that they are intentionally minimizing your identity… You’ve just had your whole life somewhat on display but people only get the front of it.

And now my life has changed. I have a corporate job and I struggle to care that much about it. And I see Miley’s hair, and I want to openly have that I don’t give a fxxk attitude.

At least right now I’m not caring about starting my sentences with ‘and’ (did a quick Google search and it looks like I’m okay though).

「明星」不是聾啞人士。

雖然我已經不是演員,不過還是會經歷一些演員經常面對的事情。例如:被人認出(曾經)是演員。

演員真的因為要顧及型像一般都不能夠暢所欲言講出心底話。昨天碰上一些小事讓我想起一些想分享的點滴。

我們這些不是一、二線的演員,剛認識人的時候他們會稱我們為「明星」-通常我都會尷尬地說其實我是個演員而已;因為「明星」這名銜我覺得有點誇張之外我亦擔當不起。然後他們之後的五個問題以內通常會包括「(你在TVB工作)那你是不是會遇見很多明星?」各位準備好沒有?我要「開波」了。這些時候口裡講的是「啊,對啊…」,但是心裡想的是「你傻的嗎?那當然。我在哪裏工作?你根本就是在說:啊,你會上班的,那你是不是會遇見你的同事?」天啊。當然,我們明白大家都只是好奇…不過我也只是分享一下那一刻我心裡真的會覺得這問題挺無聊的。不過當然,遇上興奮的人,一般都是「有佢講無我講」:就是說,他們都這麼興奮好奇,就會不斷地問問題,但是都是一些我們沒什麼可以回答的問題。哈哈哈。

另外,在大大小小的場合裡當過受矚目的人都應該會試過:你會發現人真的十分之主觀。把你認出的人會:一、睜大雙眼、「眼金金」地看著你;或者,二、不斷地明顯地「偷看」你,然後看別處或跟身邊的人一邊細語一邊以高頻率地再次回頭明顯地「偷看」你。

OK,我要借這個機會跟大家解析一件事。我知道大家一般都是從某種屏幕上看見我們,但如果你在現實生活中看見我們,我們已經不是在屏幕上…所以我們其實是看到你、更聽到你的。你站在我身旁大聲地說:「他是TVB的誰啊!」是整個車廂/餐廳/附近的人都聽到的。我們不給反應不是我們盲了或者聾了,是免得給反應而已;因為有些人很有趣,自己這麼大聲大動作 -人的基本反應也就是會看過來吧 - 當我們看過去的時候,他們眼神卻像被你冒犯了,像說著「望咩jek望?」。你都痴線,你那麼大聲說我的名、我參與的劇集,我望一望過來也是正常的反射反應對吧?我還沒問你「望咩jek望?」…

那昨天到底發生什麼事讓我想起這些「點滴」呢?其實真係是很少、經常發生、更是沒有讓我難過的事(就算覺得有點麻煩也不多不少算是習慣了吧),不過也是趣事我便分享一下吧。

昨天在我operate的班機裏面有TVB的演員,也就是我的舊同事吧。我不是負責他們的範圍,不過因為工作我也有經過過。其中一位演員/明星挺有名的,他身後的幾位乘客在我派發入境表的時候已經將我認出,還超大聲的問我是不是TVB的。之後,我一邊工作一邊走上走落,當然他們久不久都會看著(也當然,我是看到的)。到差不多降落的時候,有一位乘客將手機提高,鏡頭向著我,閃光燈一閃,被我用手擋住了!我知道我已經解釋好多事,但我身為cabin crew也想為我的同事們講一番話。我們知道、也appreciate各位乘客對我們的好奇,但是你們總不能二話不說、電話提起,便打算拍我們的照。希望各位尊重一下別人,如果我突然將電話放到你面前拍你的照你也不爽,對吧?況且,在機艙裏面不止你一位乘客,你隨便拍照有機會拍到其他乘客,他們也可能不滿意的。講到重點,你隨便拍我們的照,但是我們沒有準備,表情會很醜,ok????? 哈哈。不過認真說,就算以前是演員我也很討厭這樣,你要拍照你就開口自己過來問,我們沒有什麼原因不讓你拍,但是我們有的時候你要尊重,因為這也是尊重自己的行為。還有,我長氣多說一次,換轉是你也不爽吧?你會否覺得不知道我拍你的照要作什麼用途?那為甚麼我們的照就可以讓你隨便拍下呢?

Anyway,我想說的,就是人真的可以很主觀,你要拍照,你竟然不顧及那人的感受、也不尊重他。你要看明星,那麼多動作,也沒有發現有一位一線明星在過去三個半小時一直坐在你面前。