Edward Hong’s Egocheck #1521: A Conversation With His Subconscious

it’s time for my yearly checkup
except this isn’t for my teeth
or my Cinnabon-infused body
but for my fluctuating ego,
that can rise enormously with pride
and must check itself
before it breaks…itself.

The last time I did such a checkup
I spoke from the perspective of my self-hatred
but today, I require no such theatrics
for I will need only myself
to get real with myself
and bring into the light the nasty pride worms
that are starting to fester inside of me.

So to my subconscious,
let the interrogation begin!

As someone who strives to be an actor,
I have reached success in the past three months
where I booked a national commercial
and a regional commercial where I was flown out
treated like a quasi-star in Las Vegas
and enjoyed the sweet taste of working
while really, I was on vacation.
I have proved to my parents
and given them concrete proof
that I am an actor who can actually get work
and I have proven to myself,
that despite my average looks,
I have what it takes to be recognized
with my acting skills constantly growing
for I work hard, I train hard, I study hard,
from the acting school that has gotten me here
in the first place.

I am proud of you,
my external self.
But at the same time
I am noticing that you are developing
this faint trace of snobby air
that you are starting to believe
that your way of the actor’s career
is certified and fool proof
and that everybody else
who doesn’t follow your way
NEEDS to follow your way
if they wish to succeed.

So let me tell you this:
boy, please.

You just got two commercials under your belt
and you’re starting to think
you’re James Dean?
More like James Franco.

So stop being so smug like him,
being so smug with yourself
for you have a long way to go
and therefore,
you don’t have any legit qualifications
to give advice or “wisdom”

Am I crazy for talking to myself
and checking myself
for my own pride issues
and attempting to write it as a poem
(which is more like a strange rant)?

Not at all!
But speaking of poetry,
while it is wonderful that you are pursuing
your expressions through this art form,
keep in mind that if you’re a beginner
when it comes to being a professional actor,
you are even more so as a poet.

You criticize other poets for being fake
or for sounding too much like hip hop
and while your claims may be true,
you have only a YouTube poem to your name
that really is just about you talking about your Korean identity.

These poets, the ones that you criticize so harshly,
are making money and touring nationally,
from what they do,
so it is clear that they have talent
and the bonified skills
that they have honed in years of practice,
while you, my lovely external self,
have only practiced in front of your acting class,
and not in the real world of spoken poetry
and the visceral audience that will judge you
from the words that you spit.

You are only a teetering baby
in this world that you gaze with pride,
so before you can make any judgement,
practice hard and keep performing,
and always,
be true to yourself.

Thanks, my subconscious,
you never steer me wrong.



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