About Em: A Transcript of A One-Minute Interpretative Dance
…This is all you need to know about me, TBH. Chris and Jed - this one's for you.
Fade in. Smol Asian girl lies face up, limbs akimbo, on the ground in the middle of an empty stage. She breathes - deep, meditative, and content. She rolls over.
Interpretation: One time this guy told me I was extra. “But you know, the right amount of extra.” As much as I dislike labels… It’s kind of true. So when Chris jokingly suggested that my introductory post be an interpretative dance video with streamers and fireworks …and I jokingly said I'd do it... Well.
I’m too lazy to film this dance. Read this transcript instead.
A loud POP! Colourful streamers explode above the stage. She sits up, waves her hand and peers through the drifting streams. She gestures to herself with head bowed.
Interpretation: Hello. My name is Em. I’m a 25-year-old Aussie. I’m a karaoke fiend, lover of art galleries, and adventurous introvert. Yes, you can understand these things from my dance moves.
She sways her arms from side to side, then up and down, then in a circle.
Interpretation: I’m a recent med school grad. I've got a background in art history and a hopeful future in psychiatry. I want to integrate the arts with mental health advocacy, education and practice. That’s my number one passion, along with art and dogs. Like many of us, I've experienced intergenerational trauma, low self-confidence, anxiety and depression. I’ve learnt some lessons, but I’m still learning. I want to help others on their journey too.
She stops and blinks twice.
Interpretation: I was a mere lurker when I joined SAMH early on. It was amazing to see a community representing the wider Asian diaspora. More so that they were talking about mental health issues that I thought were so specific to my own life. 15-year-old me needed this but never saw it. This is so important. So when the modmins made a callout for new Listeners, I sent my application in immediately. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help people in the way I know and do best.
Imitation of the dancing guy emoji.
Interpretation: When the admins mentioned they were looking for help on a website, I was super excited. This could be a real movement for change in the Asian community.
She makes several strange miming movements, and then looks at you with expectation.
Interpretation: Sometimes I like doing weird life experiments and graphing them for lols. I thought, why don’t I do a series where I do one-week life experiments. I can try out evidence-backed activities that improve mental health. Like, cutting out sugar, doing yoga, volunteering, and more out-there stuff. I can document every day and review my experience. I brought this up with Jed and Chris. They seemed to like it.
She shrugs with nonchalance.
Interpretation: But, y’know. I like writing about a whole bunch of things in the realm of mental health. Lessons I’ve learnt, funny/weird personal life stories, things that inspire me, interviews of interesting people.
She wriggles her arms then holds an Asian squat for 17 seconds.
Interpretation: I’m taking 6 months off to volunteer, travel the world, and work on research. I may or may not talk to you from exciting locations. I’m squishing in as much life experience as possible before my "real life". (Rebel against your overprotective Asian helicopter parents, kids! ...But, yeah, easier said than done, I know.)
A sudden BANG! Fireworks explode all over, but it’s not fire, it’s DOGS. Pure light beings of all shapes and sizes rain down and swarm the girl with furious wagging tails.
Interpretation: I effing love dogs.
The girl disappears under a mountain of dogs. Fade to black.
Interpretation: Yeah, so, that’s me. Nice to meet ya!