Currently: I am cozily seated in my favorite chair in the house I grew up in, wondering how in the world I got here. In both the literal and figurative sense, I did not think I would be in this place at this time. Where I SHOULD be is back at home in LA doing all the half a million things I had planned for the precious time between Christmas and New Years… BUT Chicago weather seems to have other plans, and the snow I was hoping for all week finally came on the day I was supposed to leave… and snowed us in. Fantastic.
But sometimes we are given exactly what we need, and maybe a few more days of rest with my family in this dear house full of memories is a Christmas gift delivered just a few days late 😉
Which brings me back around to the current state of disbelief about how in the world I got here. Sitting in this house – looking out at the snowy expanse beyond our windows – gets me reminiscing about last year at exactly this time, when I reflected back on a very different year from a very different (figurative) place. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t exactly have the highest hopes for 2015. But how God has a sense of humor, and 2015 turned out to be the best year yet. So without further ado, let’s get into it shall we?
We rang in 2015 in a fabulous new friend’s DTLA apartment, enjoying gorgeous sweeping views of the city and foreshadowing a year of connecting with some truly badass, inspiring, beautiful women.
We then kicked off the year with a national commercial for Verizon that got a lot of airplay during the NBA Playoffs and got me a lot of street cred with people back home, proving once and for all how die-hard we Chicagoans are about our Chicago Bulls (and Blackhawks, and Bears (even when we suck) etc.) and that the only guaranteed way for people to see your work, is if it plays while one of these teams are playing. Hashtag not mad about it. Hashtag Chicago forever.
In early spring, Everything Before Us premiered at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival! Seeing all our hard work come to life on the big screen could only be made better by sharing the moment with the #WongFuFamily that is our incredible cast and crew.
We then took the film on a college tour – including my alma mater Northwestern in my hometown of Chicago 🙂
and were featured on Deadline, the Hollywood Reporter, E Weekly, and Indiewire. A huge thank you to all of you who bought Everything Before Us on Vimeo On Demand and for all your kind words and love for our little film. It was a true labor of love and the very best way to remember my first leading role in a feature film. ICYMI, you can read more about why this film was so meaningful to me here.
With my hunger for adventure in the great outdoors momentarily satiated, I left for Porterville, CA to shoot JILTED. The days were long, the temperatures rarely dipped beneath 100, and we spent a grand majority of that time trapped in a van with zero ventilation and a camera that basically doubled as a mini space heater… and it rocked, thanks to three of the most incredible cast mates I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Shout out to my three Kittens for being responsible for some of the best and greatest memories of my life. We made some true magic on this one, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you 🙂
August saw the premiere of Raven’s Touch, my second feature film released this year. It was such a treat being able to bring some of my Jilted loves as my “plus one”‘s 😉 You can now catch the film on iTunes!
In September, I escaped LA again for beautiful Big Bear to shoot Season Three of Living With Models. As a HUGE fan of Seasons 1 and 2 (I binge-watched them both in one sitting #noshame) and an even BIGGER fan of the incredible humans involved, I think it’s safe to say this experience was the tops. When not filming, we got lost down winding roads at golden hour, watched endless sunsets (and a few sunrises) over the lake, kayaked, played a heckuva lot of Farkle (while drinking wine/whiskey/both/anything) back at the cabin, and through it all, laughed more than I’ve laughed in a long long while.
Doesn’t get much better than this.
In October, I booked my first pilot – an MTV show called Little Darlings. To round out a ridiculously fortunate year of working with the absolute best humans, this experience did not disappoint. From the producers, to the director, to the crew, to the (ridiculously talented & hilarious) cast, to the head writer/creator of the show… everyone was such a joy to work with and made a week of night shoots feel like a breeze. It was hard not to get my hopes up in wishing for our pilot to get picked up…
And then, two weeks ago, in the middle of a group of dear friends (who had been praying for me every step of the audition/filming process) at my first ever trip to Disneyland… I got the news. We got picked up.
I’ll never forget the moment I looked up from my phone in disbelief to tell my friends the news. I’ll never forget the massive group bear hug I suddenly found myself in the middle of. How all of a sudden I was crying and laughing all at the same time. How we all shouted: “THIS REALLY IS THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!”
And these were just the big things. I wish I had space and time to write about all the little moments that made this year so great. All the mental pictures I took to add to these. All the people who make my life so rich with love and laughter-upon-laughter-upon-laughter. And through it all, how fall-to-my-knees-grateful I am every day to a God who loves little me in such an incredible way. I hardly am deserving of such blessing. And yet…
To all you dear, lovely people who made 2015 an unforgettable one, I love you. To all you readers and supporters and cheerleaders around the world, you keep me going. And to anyone who has even made it this far, you’re a champion. When next we meet, tell me you made it, and I’ll give you a much-deserved hug.
Entering 2016 from a place of complete and utter gratitude. Ready to see what God has in store for me this year. I’ve an idea there won’t be a dull moment 😉
Thanks for your support of me and this blog! Follow me in the new year on FB/Twitter/IG/Snap @HeyBVP!