Coming up Next: Ada Long
I met Ada at Clubhouse. She is a translator and a self-confessed theatre buff, and a reluctant community leader.
Coming up Next features artists and creatives I admire, and the world is in awe their brilliance and imagination. I caught them before they have people to keep people like me away.
I turned to Clubhouse in January 2020 like most of the world did. It was an enigmatic place full of promises and danger. I met Ada by sheer chance, and soon we became friends. I witnessed her clubs grow, and it made me consider the path of professionalism in creative industries, design and art.
Ada graciously agreed to answer a few questions for this magazine. Her creativity, humanity and energy are what I want to stand to support, champion and care about.
Tell us about yourself, please
I have a lot of emotions and thoughts in me, and I'm always searching for the right way to express them. I save them all up to a toolbox, waiting for a delightful burst. Drama is my escape. When I'm on stage, whether on- or offline, I'll just open my toolbox and let them flow. Somehow that works. I'm no expert and not professional at all. I'm just glad I can finally find peace in myself. I guess the best part I've explored and represented is the female anger, which is so under-discussed in real life.
Tell us about your community on Clubhouse.
With over 1.3k members, Voice Theatre(VT) runs multilingual voice shows every week. We have organised 27 shows so far in various languages and dialects.
阴道之道 Is dedicated to the Chinese feminist play Our Vaginas, Ourselves(literal translation: the Path/Tao of Vagina), inspired by Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. Our members practise, discuss, and adapt the play frequently to promote awareness about gender equality and LBTQ rights and ultimately empower women.
In reflection, what you initially want to achieve and what it has become to you?
Initially, my friends and I just wanted a more eye-catching banner-sort-of-thing to get more traffic to attract more people to join us. Then the club developed so rapidly it was totally beyond our imagination. It was just a few of us, and we always needed to play multiple roles, which we quickly found exhausting.Now this has become almost a full-time hobby for me, which is painstakingly fulfilling.
I see myself as a naive child who merely gets a sneak peek of the drama world and admires whatever the curtain unveils. I enjoy the process of directing online shows, striving to provide a safe space for people like me, a platform to express freely, free from self-censoring and ill judgements.
Any advice to yourself back in time before you started all this?
Nope, she wouldn't listen to me after all(lol). She might be more motivated if I tell her she'd find love along her way, but I'd better keep that as a secret to save the fun.
Have you always considered yourself a community-maker? If not, how do you see yourself as a creative practitioner?
Not really. I always consider myself to simply do the job instead of a leader. So I'm quite surprised that the clubs grow so fast. I'm really thankful to my friends who have covered most communication work. I feel like an imposter to be called a "creative practitioner". I see myself as a naive child who merely gets a sneak peek of the drama world and admires whatever the curtain unveils. I enjoy the process of directing online shows, striving to provide a safe space for people like me, a platform to express freely, free from self-censoring and ill judgements. And I'm happy I get echoes in the community.
I know you didn't go to an art school formally. Would you consider taking a postgraduate level programme (with/without qualification in mind) to nurture your creativity? and why?
I'm not sure. I am sure that at this phase of life, I am not ready to learn "the real thing" of art. And I'm not really cut out for the academic world(lolllll). I'm interested in drama therapy, though, but I will need a lot of research before deciding on further study.
Web 2.0 offers unprecedented public power to gather and grow. Grassroot creativity can and does flourish without the 'art school' process. The boundaries of amateurism and professionalism are contested daily by work and process like Ada's. The value of art school is the privilege to contemplate, debate and fail. We gained from art school an entitlement to nurture our creativity publicly. Our work doesn't have to remain a hobby. We have the privilege to be seen as artists and makers and be supported accordingly. I wish one day we get to clean our houses properly to entice people like Ada in and listen to their wisdom.
If you know someone who would love this, share away, the more the merrier. If you know someone who would love this, share away, the more the merrier