Director Zhang Yimou. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Is your house clean yet?

Cleaning house before Chinese New Year wasn’t enforced in my family. We did however have two weekend family dinners to close and open the years. So, in essence, because the house had to be clean for company, I guess that custom was practiced circuitously. I, however, really got into the new year’s clean when I spent the holidays with my Japanese American cousins. Ever since then, Osoji has been a “goal” for me (being that I have had a bin of recyclables in my trunk for more than a month).

On New Year’s, I talked about Osoji with Rona Par Miyasaki, the beautiful dancer and alum of hereandnow theatre company. So there we were, a Filipina and a Chinese Hawaiian talking about practicing a Japanese custom. Isn’t that so Asian Pacific American?

Photo courtesy of Rona Par Miyasaki

I noted to Rona that perhaps she was looking for an excuse to clean house, being that she takes part in cleaning house for the Anglo, Japanese, and Chinese New Year. I didn’t ask if she jumps up and down to make sure she grows tall, as Filipino children do for New Years, nor if she bangs the walls with bread as the Irish do. In fact, however, I admire the attentiveness to cleaning as well as to getting a fresh new start.

Along with tchotchkes, broken appliances, and cardboard boxes, getting rid of routines and behaviors that aren’t working in your personal life is a great way to start the new year. Of course, balancing an OCD bent and introspection always help.

In the API arts scene here in Hollywood, I hope that they would lean toward more plucking out the programs and focuses that are no longer viable and helpful to their constituents. Let’s face it: if the programs are being led by the same person for 10 years or if their events bring in five people, how many people is that helping — aside from the coffers of the staff because of sponsorship money received?

Mutual goal: to elevate the status of APIs in the industry.

Assess. How’s that working for say, the Academy Awards?

Having had a career as an efficiency expert, I know that there’ll always be resistance to change. “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.” But what if it’s barely running?

A clean, fresh start is palpable. And even more so, when you’re at the height of your career.

Take Zhang Yimou, for instance. The director of Raise the Red Lantern and House of Flying Daggers releases his latest film A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop this week on DVD. A remake of the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple, Yimou takes a risky and new venture by putting his own spin on a lauded American indie classic. Combining slapstick comedy into a Chinese period thriller, the movie was a smash hit in China.

And here’s your chance to win a DVD, from our friends at Sony Pictures Classics.

Tweet @kenhyphen how you’ll get a clean, new start this new year. The best entry wins. Deadline Feb 10.

To learn more about hereandnow and get news of a women’s collaborative work directed by Rona Par Miyasaki, go to the company’s website here.

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