Happy Holidays, now what?

Cindy Chu and Santa Claws Jinxie Cat

A holiday greeting from Jinxie and I to you and yours this beautiful holiday season! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Pittsburgh was wonderful!  I got back home last week from filming on Those Who Kill, and it was great hanging out with my fellow cast mates James D’Arcy (Master and Commander with Russell Crowe), James Morrison (TV show 24, Jarhead, Catch Me If You Can), Chloe Sevigny (Big Love), Omid Abtahi, Ryan O’Nan, and Kate Boyer, along with getting to chat with my director Joe Carnahan (The Grey) about growing up in Michigan and his next project Undying Love, and rehashing scenes from Willard (starring the great Crispin Glover) and What Is It? with Glen Morgan.  I ran into a couple production people I’d met in Michigan, too.  My costumer Tony also worked on Red Dawn, and one of our craft services peeps was on LOL (starring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore).  Small world getting smaller.

While having the weekend off, the actors got together and watched some work from a couple of us, including Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, nominated multiple times for Best Original Song in the Oscars (listen to the soundtrack), and Showing Up, an interview style documentary about auditions that can be a very meaningful watch for more than just actors, really, but anyone who has dreams he/she wants to pursue and is afraid to try.  It was all very inspiring for me to be amongst these working actors and film professionals who are doing what they love, and making a living at it.  A few conversations with them about the perks of moving to LA got my internal clock ticking again.  It’s something I’ve been talking about for as long as I remember but I keep holding off, citing money as a reason.  Another reason is to get myself a little bit more into the niche market here in the Midwest and East Coast as THE young Asian actress to hire, but it’s still a matter of do I want to hit the big time, because if I do, I will need to make the move at some point.  When we Skyped last night, my sister said if I didn’t do by June 2013 she’d be very disappointed in me.  So, maybe LA this next year?  So many things to think about as we enter the post-Mayan calendar.  Looks like I’ve got to make some huge New Year’s resolutions…

For now, I will have to wait and see if Those Who Kill’s pilot gets approval once it’s edited, and then we’d all get to watch it on A&E.  If not, it was a grand experience working with the team.  Still waiting to hear back on an audition time for a big project I really want to land but all in good time.

Happy Holidays to you all!  Remember to enjoy life and follow your dreams!

xoxo,

Cindy

PS: Our family doesn’t really celebrate Christmas, but my second brother Mike and I are home enjoying family time with the parents.  Mike has been shooting on a Canon 5D for awhile, which is a full-sensor camera, while I’ve been shooting on a Nikon D7000 which is awesome, but a cropped sensor, and everyone in the film/commercial world I know uses Canons…  I was checking out Canons yesterday and IF I COULD, I’d love to upgrade to the Canon 5d Mark II one day, with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens one day…Maybe next Christmas, a gift for myself if I can kick ass at the whole acting career this year!  It’s okay to get yourself Christmas presents, right?  😛  (All my siblings and I invested in a new 40 inch flat screen for our parents this year.  A huge upgrade from their little 20 inch old-school big box TV…which my mama wants to keep for some reason…)

Cindy Chu Enjoying a mug of coffee at Zenith Antiques in Shadyside, Pittsburgh

Cindy Chu Enjoying a mug of coffee at Zenith Antiques in Shadyside, Pittsburgh

 

The First Presbytarian Church near my hotel, the Omni William Penn

The First Presbytarian Church near my hotel, the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh

The first coconut I ever cracked

The first coconut I ever cracked

Our honey wagon for Those Who Kill

Our honey wagon for Those Who Kill

One of the dining rooms at Zenith Antiques, Shadyside, Pittsburgh

One of the dining rooms at Zenith Antiques, Shadyside, Pittsburgh

Those Who Kill basecamp Pittsburgh

Those Who Kill basecamp Pittsburgh

Cindy Chu's little dressing room

My little dressing room on Those Who Kill!

Little theater in Pittsburgh, the Harris

Little theater in Pittsburgh, the Harris, where I watched Holy Motors

Baby It’s Cold Outside

In case you didn’t know I sing…I’m no Adele, but I can hold a tune.  😉  

Some holiday cheer for you all! ❤

Divergent Movie Casting

For those of you out there who are huge YA fiction fans (young adult, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the acronym), you may have already read Divergent, Veronica Roth‘s first book in a post-apocalyptic world series that takes place right in our own Chicago.

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For those of you who haven’t read it, I highly recommend it as a fun read.  I am currently on book two, Insurgent, and book three is in the works, with a projected release date sometime in 2013.  You can follow Veronica Roth’s tweets here.

The reason for this update is because it’s going to start filming in 2013, and Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist) will be directing, and Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman) is writing the screenplay adaptation.  One of the Dauntless faction members in the book is Tori, who is specifically an Asian in her 20s…So of course, I’m envisioning an audition for the part!  Just waiting on casting for more roles to open.  Currently, only Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) has been cast as Tris.

If Veronica Roth happens to come across this posting, please please put in a word for me to audition for Tori!  🙂

Here’s my reel, I can do tough!

And I’m totally willing to get super buff and in Dauntless shape for the part!  In fact, here’s a fitness tip for you all.  You can easily squeeze in some pull-ups into your day by installing a pull-up bar over your bathroom door and making yourself do one each time you go to the bathroom!  This one is nice because it allows you to still be able to close the door without it being in the way.

Pull-up bar

Great over the door pull-up bar, click the image to go to the product page! 🙂

Signed,

Future Tori!  😉

Pittsburgh Press for Those Who Kill

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has an article out on the new A&E crime drama Those Who Kill, where they interviewed the great Glen Morgan (X-Files).  

 

I’m beyond excited to work with Mr. Morgan, Mr. Carnahan, Chloe Sevigny, and James D’Arcy.  I’m still pinching myself like I’m in a dream!  

 

Anyway, I must get back to running lines for tomorrow’s filming on Needlestick!  

 

xoxo,

Cindy

 

 

My Body, My Craft

So in my last blog post, I said I would make one about my weight loss!  Here is a side-by-side photo comparison of me in 2008, when I wanted to lose weight and took some before photos, and last night, after going for a run.  This was when I attempted P90X or something like that… The difference here is about 30 pounds.  I feel that it’s quite obvious, but what you think may differ.  All I know is that at that weight, I wasn’t comfortable with my body.  I’m much happier today with where I’m at physically.  This is the lead up to the title of the post, “My Body, My Craft.”  Take a look below:

 

Obviously, I could use some more exercise in my life.  What I want to emphasize here is that the majority of my weight loss has been through DIET ALONE!  Yes, I get some physical activity in my side job working at a restaurant and walking around town, but I don’t do a lot of cardio.  I HAVE been doing pushups, pullups, pressups, squats, lunges, crunches and such.  But not even that often.  I know.  It’s a work in progress!  But the reason why I titled this post the way I did is because as an actress, it’s important that I look my best for my type of casting.  I don’t want to be the chubby, funny Asian friend.  I have always played the ingenue, and that’s the casting I want to develop further.  In order to do that, I’ve got to work for it, and get myself in the best physical shape I can.  I’m beginning an exercise program and if I can get some results, I’ll post photo updates.  But anyway, what I CAN tell you about today is the diet portion of my fitness journey.

The key to my 30 pound weight loss has been a SLOW CARB DIET (SCD).  I decided to follow this diet format after my friend Justin drastically changed his body in the time I took to travel around the world.  (I was gone for 4.5 months!)  In that time, he dropped from about 180 to around 145lbs, and went from wearing a size 36 to a 30 in pants.  He’s about 5’8″.  Those are some pretty significant losses.  Even though I saw how much he had changed and how great he looked (even though I didn’t think of him as fat before!!!), I really didn’t want to hear about how he did it.  It seemed like his diet was no fun when we went out to eat.  But as we were housemates, I saw firsthand how he was eating, and slowly, he introduced me to the basics, and eventually, I became receptive to the idea of trying it.  It was then that he created the Three Week Challenge with me.  He guaranteed that if I followed the SCD for THREE WHOLE WEEKS…I would see some results.  I kind of harumphed at the idea, mentally noting that I had been about the same size for several years now and that my body just wanted to be this size, basically mentally defeating myself.  And so I began, simultaneously doing the 10-day Zumba challenge, and recording all my measurements each morning.  I’ll go into more details shortly.  Anyhow, at the onset, I tried on a bunch of pants and dresses I had in my closet but hadn’t worn for years because they were too tight, and yep, they were still too tight.  Some of the pants could not be buttoned up, as in there were a couple inches of gap between the button hole and button because I was too wide for them.  My bulges.  At the end of the 3 weeks, I literally couldn’t believe it, but the pants that had been too tight were now…a little bit loose?  Could this be?  In three weeks, I lost about 10 pounds, and 1 inch off my waist.  In the time since, I’ve lost a little bit more, and am now sitting around 128lbs, give or take a couple, and my measurements went from 40/29/40 to 36/25/36. Alright, so I got a boost from doing the Zumba challenge at the same time but, you can expect similar results if you’re already working out regularly but have that last 10 plateau to get past.  Diet is so key here.

Cindy Chu before and after weight loss

Another before & after, September 2011, compared to July 2012…

Okay, so let’s get into the nitty gritty details of the diet.  Of course if you have any sort of health issues, you should speak with your physician before attempting this.  I’m not a doctor or trained dietician, this is simply what worked for me.  And if you want, you can do your own Three Week Challenge.  My best friend has dropped also from around 180 to 145, and she’s about 5’5.5″.  She couldn’t be happier that she asked me about the diet and stuck to it once she decided to join me in my fitness journey.  As a breakdancer, breaking has gotten easier for her with less mass to move around.  She doesn’t need to worry so much about spraining her hand anymore, which was an issue when she was heavier.  And she’s so hot now!  Not that she wasn’t before, but she got hotter!  😀  Oh yeah, the measurements…I weighed myself at the same time every day and measured around the thickest parts of my upper arms and thighs, both sides, then bust, waist and hips.  I kept a chart on my dry erase board, and also entered measurements into this great little iPhone app, called WeightTrack.  It charts your progress for you and is nice for referencing to see how quickly the weight is coming off.

Alright, so here are the basics to the SCD.  Our commandments, so to speak.

For SIX days a week, one must NOT consume, meaning NO-NOs:

  • DAIRY (MILK, CHEESE, YOGURT, BUTTER, CREAM, ETC.  A SERVING OF COTTAGE CHEESE IS APPARENTLY OKAY, JUST DON’T OVERDO IT)
  • SUGAR (THIS INCLUDES FRUIT JUICES, FRUIT, DRIED FRUIT, CANDY, SWEETENERS, YES–PUT DOWN THAT DIET!!!)
  • CARBS (BREAD, PASTA, OATMEAL, GRANOLA, RICE, ETC.)

But what you CAN consume in those six days, and for each meal, YES YES’S:

  • PROTEIN (SERVING OF MEAT, TOFU, EGGS, NUTS, ETC)
  • VEGETABLES
  • LEGUMES (BEANS BEANS BEANS!  DON’T HAVE TOO MUCH HUMMUS, THOUGH…)
  • RED WINE (WHILE IT’S RECOMMENDED TO ABSTAIN FROM ALCOHOL ON THIS DIET, A GLASS OR TWO OF RED WINE A NIGHT IS OKAY, BUT YOU SHOULD STEER CLEAR OF WHITE (SUGAR) AND BEER (CARBS, SUGAR)

And then the best part of this…there’s that ONE day of the week left…where you don’t have to follow the diet one bit!  You can pig out and have anything you’ve been craving all week.  So go have that cookie, and a pint, and a pizza, or an ice cream cone!  It’s your CHEAT DAY.

I personally found it helps to cook some meals in advance, like a veggie tagine, with some beans, and eggs for protein, or throw some meat in the tagine sauce.  Soups are great.  Eggs in the morning with veggies and black beans…Chipotle’s a good place for lunch, just get the burrito bowl without any cheese or sour cream!

I will testify THIS diet WORKS!  Results.  I achieved them.  And so can you.

Feel free to post questions you might have and I’ll try and answer them!  🙂  Altogether, the friends I’ve gotten to follow this way of eating have lost more than 100 pounds, when their losses are tallied.  Anyone up for the challenge?  Come back and post your results every week or in three weeks!  You may fit into that pair of jeans in the back of your closet again!  I just put on my old prom dress from high school when I was home for Thanksgiving!

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