To Be Remembered
I don’t considered my name as one of the hard Asian names to pronounce, I was only told that it could be confusing sometimes due to how similar the two words are. Well, that’s for most of the native English speakers anyway.
It wasn't until my ship life that I realized how difficult it was for my fellow Pilipino and Indonesian friends to pronounce my name right. I didn't mind much, I felt bad enough that I couldn't remember all of their names. I mean...there are so many of them!
As a result, I got a few nicknames.
People in lido called me “The Juilliard Girl” because I always wore my Juilliard hoodie in the morning for breakfast.
The bartenders (and some people in lido also) called me “Shan-Tsai,” the name of the main character from a huge soap opera in Asia, everyone knows it and every country made their own version from the plot. I had very long black hair just like the Taiwanese Shan-Tsai did.
One sound engineer started calling me “Grumpy Cat.” Well, not because he couldn't pronounce my name but because of how I look grumpy all the time. This nickname actually traveled all the way back to our agency in NYC and that’s how they call me as well. It is still my picture on venmo today.
I like all of them. Really, non of them bother me and they even make me feel special.
“Sunrise” though, is probably the one that’s the closet to my heart.
That’s how the Men in Blacks call me, based on what my name means in Chinese. (Sheng – raising, Ching – sunny)
My first two contracts were on the same ship. I cannot tell you how excited I was on the first day of my 2nd contract – I was going back to the floating home that brought me into this dream! Our Production Manager gave us a tour after boarding, she introduced us to our stage technician R when she showed us our stage. I tried to hide my excitement when I saw him. "I think I remember him from my first contract!" I thought to myself. But I wasn't sure if he knew who I was, he wasn’t our stage tech so we didn’t talk much.
The next day, we got to the backstage to prepare for our first performance. R came to me and said, “So Sunrise, I am going to put the ipads on the stage and I will come back to get you all.” then left.
I was left speechless. What a way of greeting. I couldn’t help putting a smile on my face for the whole remaining evening.
From then on, I created a note on my phone for every single contract. It looks something like this:
Ana - Lido yogurt
Rudy - Lido tall
Eugene - Omelet and pasta
Wikan - Late night lido
Uly - LCS bar
Mardy - Lido
Theresia - LCS/mid ship housekeeping
Reggie - Pizza
Edleen - Lido Rise
Caroline - Lido/a little Chinese
Anthony - Billboard aftershow
Peter - Observation
Gede - DR/met in KODM, asked if we will give crew show again
Nick - Security
The list goes on of course.
It is good to be remembered. :)