A Star is Born: From Bagan to Hollywood
နေကောင်းလား။ (hello in Burmese, don’t ask me to pronounce it because I forgot).
Today I’ll tell of the time I was a movie star.
It all happened in a city called Bagan in Myanmar, famous for its temples…
I was traveling with a group of people I met along the way in Thailand and Myanmar. One happy day we were dancing in a temple, recording a video that we hoped it’d go viral and launch us into stardom, makes us the next big name on YouTube, second to Keyboard Cat.
I was pulling my most exotic moves when a guy approached us and asked if we wanted to be in his movie.
My dream had become true!
I thought it was gonna happen sooner, in India perhaps. I’ve always wanted to be the star of a Bollywood movie, but Myanmar it’s just as good.
I was gonna be a star, the next Shah Rukh Khan
Crazy thoughts ran through my head;
Where am I gonna buy my house and how many servants I’m gonna need?
Is it gonna be easy to have a regular life being a star in Myanmar?
The director talked to us (in Burmese) and explained us everything about the movie, we nodded and smiled agreeing to everything.
We moved to the filming location, it was us and the A listers of Myanmar.
After a couple of hours of “acting” the time for us to know who would be next star came.
There I was, standing, just waiting for the director to play god with my acting career. Not everybody is born to be a star, and sadly, neither was I.
They chose my Russian friend. I went from hiring staff to being an extra without dialogue.
I was tired of repeating over and over what the director told us to do. I’ve had enough. I was jealous, I was bitter.
I just stopped and interrupted the director. I was not gonna be disrespected on my set!
I started telling him (with my hands) that we were respectable actors from the US, Japan and Europe and we needed to get paid. I did the “ca-ching” sign with my hands, which the director seemed to understand.
He called me over, gave me a tray with 8 glasses of sugar cane juice, vowed and said good bye in Burmese.
I don’t even know the name of the movie.
In Myanmar I may be a star, maybe like Searching for Sugar Man, but I’ll never know.
Have you ever played in a movie?
Ever used sugar cane juice as currency?
Ever been close to become a star?