This has been the second Asian night I’ve went to, the first one was in 9th grade. In freshman year, I sat in the middle back, but this year, I sat in the front left, off to the right of the middle of the row. Both times I get anxious when I watch - I get nervous and I sweat - it’s almost as if I’m on stage and I’m performing, because I would get extremely nervous and sweating if I was on the stage. It’s the same reason why I don’t like watching embarrassing moments in movies - I feel as if I’m the character. Why? I don’t know - I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t play an instrument, I don’t know how it feels I only know how it would feel, yet I’m still nervous.
Much of Asian Night was about dancing, yet I sat there wondering what made dancing fun to watch. I see people moving around to the music, making some hand and leg motions like crazy people, then they stop as the music dies down. This also explains why I can’t dance. As I think through it more, I see it more and more of it as expression, an expression by your body. Since I understand music already - why it’s enjoyable to listen to, I seek a link between dance and music. When I was more active, more carefree, and more hyper, I may have understood better and if I was still like that today, I would probably try dancing, but nevertheless it is definitely fun. Dancing to me now is going with the flow of the music, letting your body move to the beat, falling into a state of euphoric passion.
Passion - I love it. I saw it at Asian Night, and I respect it to death. It’s love for what you do; at one point when I was younger I loved singing - I’m too embarrassed to try it in public now. Still, I love the feeling when you do something that entertains others, it’s why I’m a game developer not a database administrator or a application designer. I enjoy entertaining others, not for praise but to see others having fun, giving them enjoyment they were looking for. It’s why I would do Asian Night if I ever felt the desire and the sense of comfort and familiarity, because I wouldn’t go up on stage to compete to win. When I watch people play with my demo sandbox, I want to make sure they’re having fun, I ask if there are any changes that I should make or if there are features I should add, because no matter how much I enjoy programming, in the end the program has a purpose, and fulfilling that purpose - the dispensing of entertainment - should be first, so in a way, I don’t love programming, but I love entertaining the audience. That is how game developers go astray, by losing the audience.
Still, it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of effort to produce even a viable performance or game. Just so much must be done and so much changes from the beginning to the end, and end which is only the beginning of the next show. To me it’s beyond dedication - I’ve had crazy nights programming for over six hours until the early morning - I, you - we - just want it to be as best as it can be, not one rung lower, not one step that’s unsatisfactory. Starting from scratch, as I suppose many participants of Asian Night had to do, is tough, there is no foundation there because you need to learn it, and you must learn it well because everything you do from then on depends on those fundamentals - simple motions form complex movements.
I saw that the days before the performance were hectic - the lack of time bearing down, the tension building from tiny details, and though I can’t personally attest to it directly, as I don’t actually release products, I’ve spent long stretches coding just to finish up and polish a game before I upload it. I test and retest, play and replay, making sure that the user - the entertained - would be entertained and not frustrated, probably like how the stage crew must test over and over so that everything goes smoothly. Was I nervous when I first uploaded my first game? Certainly - I didn’t know what to expect, but it was an extremely minor launch and I wasn’t even expecting reviews. I wonder how nervous the performers were while they were performing - I certainly would freeze if I was up on stage - a quiet kid in front of hundreds of people.
When I was sitting there, enjoying the show - though not to the same extent as some other audience members, I heard thoughts about the show. Were some sections unnecessarily long? Yes if you’re not looking for it, but I didn’t want any of them to end once they started - I didn’t want the music to stop or the story to end - just have it go on and on, until I love it more than I should. Was it too long? If I could sit for three hours coding and only coding, I should be able to give someone else attention for three hours. I sat there and took it all in, the excitement of the crowd and the beat of the drums, but was I excited? No, as I wasn’t particularly extroverted while I was watching - I have to consciously stop myself from analyzing a performance, and in the case of dancing, from trying to figure out some sort of pattern to what the dancers are doing.
Yet the parallels between different forms of entertainment continue - broken microphones and broken storylines, cheers and reviews, delays and more delays. The end sees empty chairs, broken hearts, and annoyed patrons. But performers are live, and that commands tremendous respect - live means no room for error, no time for laziness and no room for waste. That’s where the most passion is - when you’re finally live and you do what you’ve been preparing to do - when I went on stage, closed my eyes and sang. In the end it’s fun; stressful and tiresome, yet delightful, encapsulating your action with their reaction; entertainment from love.