Fire Walk With Me

Sawasdee,

For most people reading the forthcoming entries, it may seem like walking halfway into a movie and not knowing what is going on. Maybe it will seem more interesting, as the back story is gradually revealed while the chaos unfolds in real time, like an unintentional homage to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

See, I used to write yarn-spinning scatagorical emails to my friends back in the States, describing my experiences, first as an American boy coming to Thailand to understand his roots, falling ass backwards into the hurly burly of the Thai entertainment industry, experiencing glorious highs and sobering lows, with chimerical flights of fancy to the Golden Triangle and the never-ending afterparty. In between dispelling rumors of a career in porn (“That’s adult entertainment to you, pal.”) and impending extradition for involvement in the Gold Club scandal, I travelled, learned how to read and speak Thai, auditioned for acting jobs and fending off the advances of Bangkok nightlife sirens, satyrs and transsexuals 4-5 nights a week.

At one point I ventured into the wonderfully seedy world of hip-hop nightclub ownership in Rachada Soi 4, an exciting, yet ultimately bittersweet experience that will one day be chronicled in print (either as a pamphlet or interactive filmstrip) in “Tales from Da Crib”.

Eventually, financial pressures and Mom’s furrowed brow dragged me by the thumbs kicking and screaming for a red-pill enema and I was made part of the Realworld System, where cruel Agent Realjob stood waiting, rubbing his grimy hands, cackling, “You thought you could avoid me forever, didja? Pathetic human! I dub thee…radio news producer!”

Now I had less time and energy to audition for acting jobs I wasn’t getting anyways. And having to write dozens of pages of work-related plagiarisms every month for Radio Thailand News polluted my creative mojo. I procrastinated on writing my anecdotal emails; ideas quickly backlogged in my head and eventually withered away. Document1 (in all its cruel blankness) mocked me as I aborted several attempts to kickstart my writing shwerve.

But not hope was not quite lost for the criminally underemployed actor, as famine lead to…well not quite a feast, more like a nice sized plate of ribs with a side of cole slaw. Within the span of a month, I booked and shot three television commercials (Knorr soup boullions, Pao detergent, and Westin hotel) along with two music videos (Thai pop rockers Kala and evergreen songstress Amp-Sawaluk). I’m back, Jerry! And from here on, I want to write it all down so I won’t forget. And in the meantime maybe I can also metaphorically lend my shoes to old and new readers alike.

So, am I the late-blooming chrysalis, ready to soon crush his doubters and hear the lamentations of their women? Or the marginally talented never-has-been whose list of near-accomplishments dwarf his embarrassingly meager C.V.? The space-fetus at the end of 2001: A Space Oddyssey or the inevitable donor of stem cells?

Right now your guess is as good as mine; as I knock the rust off my digital quill, I expect this gonzo-blog to appear implausibly slapdash. But viewed from a distance, it might reveal some universal truths. Or maybe just a 3-D picture of a sailboat, helmed by a hot female body with the head of Abraham Lincoln.

In the meantime, as long as we’re hunkered down in the same boxcar, here’s to enjoying the ride.

Sawasdee,
Jack

P.S. Thanks to my brother Charti for giving me the necessary kick in the Aesop to finally blog my monkey.

9 responses to “Fire Walk With Me

  1. Hi ya Jack. Welcome to the wild world of Thai-Blogs. Looking forward to further “hear” your stories.

  2. Hi Jack,

    I can tell right now that I’m gonna like your style. Welcome to thai-blogs, and I’m looking forward to reading more

    EJ

  3. What’s this “sawasdee” deal?? How do you pronounce this…what ligo did this come from? Did you learn Thai from the same school as Wit?? Anyway…nice style dwoi!

  4. Hi Jack,

    Welcome to the club!

    Nice first blog I appreciate the ecclectic (ala gonzo) style stream of consciousness writing your mojo is working there 😉

    Komsun

    Sawasdee pronounced Sa-wat-dtee) is a Thai greeting eqivulant to the English Hello

    If your male you would say Sawasdee Krup with a polite male particle. Females would say Sawasdee Kha.

    I don’t know about Jack but I didn’t go to a school to learn Thai. Pretty much everything I know I learned on my own which is probably why I read and write Thai better than I can speak it. 😉

    Wit

  5. Hi Jack –

    With a resume like that I’m sure you have some interesting material for blogs on here.

    I’m especially looking forward to hearing about the “wonderfully seedy” world of bar ownership at Ratchada Soi 4 and also what I’m sure is the equally (delightfully?) seedy world at the nation’s broadcaster Radio Thailand. “In a late breaking scoop picked up by Radio Thailand, the Prime Minister said this morning that his heart was overflowing with benevolence for his fellow countrymen. With more on the story, here is Radio Thailand’s…” I can only imagine.

    Anyway, welcome aboard and look forward to reading your blogs.

    Cheers,BKK

  6. Thanks for all the positive feedback. I’ve got more than enough crazy material to share, the only problem I have is that I won’t be able to post them all publicly, but I will try to be discreetly oblique.

    -Komson, Sawasdee is a greeting/signoff I have been using for my emails since I started writing, as it means both hello and goodbye.

    -As for Radio Thailand, my official stance on the matter is that I am happy to have this fulfilling, well-paying job that allows me to explore my inner Goebbels.

    Sawasdee,
    Jack

  7. That was a pretty decent debut blog. Hope you stick around.

    Good stuff ..and you can write, no doubting that…

    Yours in question here has also done quite a fair share of acting here including quite a few TV commercials over the years. Glad to know another blogger with quite a bit in common.

    Cheers

  8. Yes, I agree with everyone above. Welcome to Thai-Blogs. We look forward to reading more of your work.

  9. Finally, Jack’s blog!!! Now I have something to look forward to to keep my sanity in check… until I can return to the motherland.

    thanks brother,
    Charti