Day 159 - Curtis (2nd person I approached)
June 08, 2014 - Today was kind of a strange day. I was feeling rather introspective. The last couple of stories have really stayed with me. It took me a while to get out of the house. While I was walking around I found it easier to get errands done and put off approaching anyone. The first person I approached was willing to chat, but didn’t want his story to be used here. I took my groceries home and just hung out for a while.
Curtis was eating alone when I approached him. I asked if he minded if we chatted while he ate. I don’t want to keep anyone from their food! He agreed to chat. Curtis was born at Vancouver's Grace Hospital. His father is originally from Hong Kong and was raised in Vancouver. His mother is from Malaysia.
“I’ve lived here all of my life. With the exception from age two to six. My family lived in Hawaii. I still started school here in Vancouver though. We just went back and forth. My family had a business there. I don’t remember much other than what I know I’ve seen in photographs,” said Curtis.
“I do remember the sunshine and how warm it was.” He has one brother who is six years younger.
School was never appealing to Curtis.
“I did okay, but I wasn’t what you’d call academically inclined. I was a social guy, but I didn’t hang out with any particular group. I was kind of a no-man’s man. I made a point of connecting with lots of people from all the different cliques, if you will. I knew a lot of people and was able to adapt and fit in with everyone. On that front, I loved school. It was fun, socially. I even organized my school prom. I’m really good at putting things together and I think I gained a lot of respect from the teachers for being able to pull it off,” he said.
After finishing high school Curtis went to Langara College, here in Vancouver, to study marketing and psychology.
“I took the psychology course because I had been told that it was an easy class. I learned the hard way that no, it wasn’t. School just isn’t for me. The classes, the studying. I left after one semester. At least I left college with a B average! I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and I didn’t see the point in just going to school. I wanted to work,” he said. Curtis had started putting together parties.
“I was getting the locations, the entertainment, booking the DJ’s, doing the marketing and publicity. I was doing it all. I was putting together a number of events and things were going really well,” he said.
“I was hustling. I started working in fashion and got a job in a clothing store. That lead to me creating a clothing line, which I did for about four years. I like being busy and I like pulling all the different parts of things together. It’s kind of similar to when I was in school and knew all the kids from all the different groups. Putting together events is just pulling from the various resources,” said Curtis.
After eight years of organizing parties and events, Curtis branched out into film work.
“It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve allowed myself to really explore my creativity. My family is in business and that’s where their focus is. I felt like I had not allowed myself to use my creativity for the first twenty years of my life. Now I’m acting, I have an agent and I’m also producing films,” he said.
“I’ve produced four independent short films, and I’m working on music videos as well. If you’re a musician, these days you need to have a video. There’s a lot of creativity in video’s. I feel I have good taste and have been able to produce some quality work.” Curtis is currently shooting an independent film, as an actor. His eyes widen and he smiles as he tells me
“It’s about an organ harvesting network in China and corruption. I landed one of the lead roles. We just finished shooting for the day, that’s why I’m here eating now. We still have a couple more weeks of filming to do,” he says. This is the most animated that he has been during our conversation.
I asked Curtis where he sees his future taking him.
“I’m trying to be ok with not doing ten things all at once. To enjoy what I’m doing now. I like to think of myself as working in entertainment. Whether I’m producing short films, or music videos or acting. It’s all entertainment. It’s still pulling things together from different resources,” he said.
“Now I have to show my parents that I can do this. They weren’t that happy about the path I’ve chosen. My mother is always supportive, and my father has always been motivational even when he didn’t agree. Now that I have them on board, I have to make it all work. I know I’m on the right path for me.” #notastranger