Working late and cab charges

I had to work back til 10:30 tonight - it was totally unexpected. I went in thinking I would go home at my normal 5:30, but a deadline's a deadline and there was still a lot of stuff to do. I didn't mind, since I'm paid hourly. And at least I wasn't alone; there were probably about 8 of us there (including the manager). The manager arranged Thai for dinner for us which was really nice, but what really impressed me was the fact that we all got cab charges. This is not that unusual, but another guy and I are freelancers - the manager didn't HAVE to give us a cab charge; but he did. We could have easily just got the train home, but the fact that the manager did that for us really showed how much they appreciate us. Even when I told him I lived in Cabramatta he didn't balk (the fare ended up being $110) - that's a pretty awesome company.

When it rains it really, really pours.

About 2-3 months ago, I couldn't even GET companies to look at my portfolio. But all of a sudden I'm getting all this freelance work - I've had to cancel some cool projects because I'm already booked - and get this; I had FOUR job interviews today. While still working. But the most exciting news is, about 20 minutes ago I got an email from Wired UK for an interview. There's still a lot of hurdles - I don't have a visa yet, they need someone soon... but they're my favourite magazine and I've been knocking on their door for ages; for them to even contact me is bloody amazing.

America bound.

Tomorrow my brother and I are heading to the States for a two week holiday. My cousin Mo is getting married, so we'll be spending a week in Houston, a couple weeks in LA and a few days in New York City. What exciting adventures await the Tang bros.?! Tune in to find out!

On being unemployed...

It sounds good not having to work, but man it gets really boring after a while.

It's not like I can go and hang out with friends since every NORMAL person is at work, so I'm stuck at home not really knowing what to do with myself. Work on the graphic novel has slowed down a bit - my motivation's been a bit lacking as of late. Even though I technically have a job on Bubblegum Crisis (which probably starts in September) and I CAN live off my prize money, I've started applying for jobs to do in the meantime.

The good thing is I'm not living alone. I live with my parents (retired) and grandparents (extremely retired) but it's not the same - I need to interact with people my own age. But man job hunting's been REALLY tough. I know the economy supposed to have bounced back by now, but I don't think it's quite spread to the design industry just yet. You can really tell the difference from the last time I was job hunting two years ago. Salaries aren't as high and there aren't as many senior roles.

So if anyone knows of any designer/art director roles - let me know. I'm really expensive, but I'm really good!

It's super expensive living in Sydney

Wow somewhere during the last two years Sydney got REALLY expensive. It cost me $7.40 return to catch a train from Cabramatta to the city - off peak. You'd think that if they were going to charge that much they could at least upgrade the frequency of trains, safety, or at least un-urinise the smell.

Organising a hen's night in Singapore is REALLY difficult

So a good friend of mine is getting married this Sunday. We hung out last week and she told me that she wasn't going to have a bachelorette's. I decided right then and there that I would help to organise one. Here's lesson number one: FINDING A MALE STRIPPER IS NIGH ON IMPOSSIBLE IN SINGAPORE. Every website we found with a phone number or email, no one would answer. We came across a couple where they organise the entire party for you, or you could just go to the club and they would have dancers - but hey, they all closed down.

In the end we finally managed to find one - he pretty much monolopolised the market but it cost $300SGD for 20 minutes. Seriously if anyone is looking for enterprising opportunities in Singapore - try working as a male stripper. You'll make a killing. This guy wasn't very good, he kind of freaked out the hen with his dancing and little body. Which of course was hilarious for everyone else watching. He wasn't very good looking, and his costume was pretty lame (t-shirt, jeans, a party mask - the ones you buy for 50c at a party store and white gloves(?)), although I must admit it was super impressive when he suddenly ripped off his stripper pants. (The ones with buttons on the side.)

Every guy should own a pair of stripper pants.


So I uhhh won HP Space.

It took a while to hit me, but yeah I won the Pan-Asian creativity-based reality tv show HP Space :) Winning is going to have a huge impact on my life - not only will it open up more opportunities work wise, but it means that I'll be staying in Sydney longer than I intended. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was originally planning (I was hoping to move to New York in September 2010. But now because I won, I have to stay in Sydney for as long as the Bubblegum Crisis job goes for).

A lot of people have asked what I'm planning to do with the prize money but as boring as it sounds I plan on puting it towards an apartment. Graphic designers don't make that much money, so in all honesty this will probably be the only instance that I'll have this much money at one time. So I it'll be a waste to piss it all away on gambling and women! Ok maybe a little.

Winning has been a tremendous surprise for me. When I first found out I was being accepted into the show, I really really just hoped that I wouldn't be the first contestant to be eliminated. I was soooo happy when we got through the installation challenge (the first challenge to eliminate contestants), that everything else after that was bonus. It seems like all so long ago.

We film the show two weeks ahead of the actual airing date, so keeping this a secret has been incredibly tough. A couple of my friends asked me early on if I'd won and I lied saying that I only made it through to the final three. I wanted them to be shocked when they saw it on TV. And they were! If only I could see their faces, I was constantly laughing just thinking about it.

All up HP Space was a pretty crazy experience. It wasn't easy - and I'm not just talking about the challenges, but also relationships with the other contestants... even so it turned out to be a thoroughly worthwhile experience. I probably made many mistakes along the way (by the end of it a lot of contestants had turned against me), but throughout the competition I did the best that I could - and played it in a way that stayed true to my principles.

If I had the chance to do it all again, would I change anything? Probably not.

2009 - The year in Review

Wow so umm 2009's been a pretty eventful year for me. Lets get nostalgic! Bil bil bil bil bil!

2009 started out with a bang, as Michelle and I climbed Mt Kinabalu (the 3rd highest mountain in South-East Asia or something). Pretty awesome huh? Or at least it would have been, if we'd made it to the top. Instead we could only make it 3/4 of the way up, but you know what they say it's about the journey blah blah blah. Ah well it was still a good achievement :)

Not long that after I went to Tokyo and it was just as awesome the second time around. I remember wandering Shinjuku at night with Steve trying to find a vending machine that sold used panties... visiting Lock-Up; the prison themed cafe. Eating at my favourite ramen place in the world, and then Steve introducing me to a new ramen place which may be even better! Going to DisneySea, hanging out with Dan and Chito, attending a manga convention, seeing the Osamu Tezuka exhibition... Tokyo is one of my favourite travel destinations but definitely it was made all the more fun since I got to hang out with great friends. Thanks guys!

The Wii is more of a party machine, it's a bit sad playing Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. by myself, which is why I finally decided to buy a PS3! Definitely happy with my purchase - but I just wish I had more time to sink into these giant games (such as GTA IV), there's never enough time... and if I only knew that months later they would drop the price and come out with the PS3 Slim. Argh!

Another highlight for the year was when Steve and the Sefton girls finally visited Singapore! What a tiring, insanely fun set of days they turned out to be. There was much clubbing to be done, we went to Bintan (I'd never been until then) and it was just so great to hang out with them all again. It definitely made me homesick for my wacky friends back in Sydney.

2009 will forever be remembered as the year that I finally learnt how to swim and how to ride a bike. These have been on my to-do list for many years, so this was a tremendous deal for me... I'm so proud of you David Tang!

I moved into a new place with a work colleague and her boyfriend in October; an old unit in Farrer Park. The location's great, and the rent is really cheap! If only I'd moved into this place earlier; this is by far the best place I've lived in since moving to Singapore. Too bad I have to move out in like a month and a half time (more on this later).

After almost two years I had to quit my job as a magazine art director. It wasn't an easy decision - but the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of participating in HP Space was too big to pass up. I've been pretty proud of the work I've produced (and even managed to win a design award) but it'll be the people that I'll miss the most. Quite a few of my closest friends in Singapore are from the office, and I miss not being part of that world.

And of course the biggest event to happen in 2009 was HP Space; the reality tv show I took part in. It was by far one of the toughest things I've had to do; it was two months of intense work, very little sleep and insane levels of stress. But still it was a terrific experience, I got to work on some really cool stuff for the challenges. I'll write more about this in a separate post later, but for now watch the episodes and read my HP Space blog if you haven't already done so. The last episode airs next week.

Next week I'll be going to Phuket with a friend to celebrate New Year's, but other than that that's 2009 wrapped up. What a super productive and memorable year that turned out to be! And it's looking like 2010 is going to be just as massive; moving back to Sydney in early February, starting a new job, (hopefully) finishing my graphic novel about living in Singapore... I can't wait :)

Merry Christmas and a happy new year everyone!

Can I get in for free? I'm famous.

Hey guys,

So I got into HP Space; the Pan-Asian creative reality tv show I was talking about earlier. In fact, I'm typing from the HP Space room right now - hello world! For as long as I'm in here I have to keep a HP Space blog, so for the time being I won't be updating my LJ. Things are going well here, it's pretty stressful when it's challenge time - I get very little sleep, but at the same time it's fun. Some of the other contestants are really cool, and I feel that I've been able to learn a lot from them.

new episode airs once a week (with eight episodes in total) and a couple days later, they are uploaded to the HP Space website. Episode one is now up, but if you have time have a look around the website, there's lots of other stuff like video diaries etc. Good way to get your daily dose of Tang.

Maybe after this show I will be so famous that I won't remember you. Here's hoping...



My reality TV show audition video

A couple weeks ago I caught an ad for HP Space, a new reality tv show filming in Asia. Being a new show I'm not sure how it's going to work, but I imagine it'll be something like The Apprentice or Project Runway, the difference being that they were looking for creative people; designers, illustrators, artists, film makers etc. It sounded perfect, I had to enter.

So last Monday being a public holiday in Singapore, my friend Sharon came over and helped me film my audition video. What I assumed would take half an hour to film ended up taking about two hours. Going in I had a general idea of what I wanted to say as well and what gags we wanted to do, but when it came to the actual filming I started feeling self conscious. It probably took three goes before I could get the routine down - we were pretty happy with it, but the final clip had to be under one minute (currently it was double that). We kept cutting things out and reshot again and again, but one minute is not much to work with. And to make matters worst, we didn't know how to edit videos so we had to get it all in one take. So I might get my intro down, but halfway through I'd stuff up my lines and have to start again. Let me tell you, actors don't have an easy job - afterwards I was pretty exhausted!

So without further ado, check out my audition video.

If you can spare 20 seconds, please sign up and rate my video (and add a comment) - who knows, it could mean the difference between me making the show... wish me luck!