"Dave is a master of productivity, a philosopher of motivation, a self-appointed self-help guru, and full-time brand ambassador." -AOL
I live in NYC, make new comedy videos weekly, worked 100 Jobs in one year, and I'm a former NBC Page.
Follow my latest endeavor:
Around the World in 80 Daves
I've been featured on New Year's Eve on NBC, The Today Show, Forbes, CollegeHumor and FunnyOrDie.
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After watching the Remembrance Day Parade, Steve and I left Front Street one last time to go to Grotto Bay, where we heard there’d be great snorkeling. We kayaked through two small islands to the beach we were told, then navigated with flipper-clad-feet over sharp rocks to the spot we’d been advised to explore. And yes, it was worth it!
Once we brought the kayak back to the shop, we explored the cave nearby. Inside, we passed by a couple of the rugby players who were swimming in the natural pool. Bermuda has more caves per square mile than any other country!
After that, it was time to go. Steve was too generous in letting me stay with him, but I hope the adventurous times we had together made up for it!
Replied to a casting call email today:
We need to ask you a few quick questions to determine if you might be
right for any of the roles being cast.
1) What decade were you born?
1. I was born in the 1980s. Back to the Future came out in the year I was born, although most of the movie takes place in a year I wasn’t born :(
2) What age range would you be best able to play?
2. I’d be able to play a college graduate to young thirties. I can look amazingly youthful without my beard. With my beard I look older. It also has the effect of making me look sexy to women, one of whom described it as a tractor beam. (However, I do not drive tractors. She was referring to the type of pull that the Death Star has on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: A New Hope.)
3) What’s your gender?
3. My gender is male and is non-negotiable.
4) Briefly describe any previous acting experience you’ve had, such as
student films, online videos, television acting, or live theater.
5) What is a daytime cell phone number where you can be reached?
A late Saturday night led to a late morning, but Paul woke me up in time for church, which started at eleven. These church members had met and invited Paul the week before, and they were more than welcoming to me as well. This church service, led entirely by Filipino expatriates, contained perhaps seven people besides Paul and myself. We sang many songs I’m familiar with from back home, and the message exhorted us to love godly lives in view of Christ’s imminent return. These people were abundant in kindness, and provided a meal for Paul and myself afterwards. One of the women was hesitant before the meal and said, “I’m afraid you may not like Feilipino food.” I said, “I’m pretty sure if you like it, I’ll like it!” The only food I’ve ever eaten in my life that I hated is chopped liver, and even then I’d eat again if given the chance.
Paul rode me around on his motorbike through some local sights in Bermuda, narrating along the way. First we went from Front Street (one of the main roads) to Paget Beach.
And my, that beach was beautiful.
Then we biked from Paget Beach to Admiralty House Park, where I met Steve for fishing. What an excellent tour guide!
I hadn’t fished in years, probably never since I was an adult, and never without a fishing pole. Steve provided line, hooks, and squid as bait. After baiting the hooks, we swung them like lassos and launched them out into the water ten meters or so. Steve caught a fish, then I another.They’re called squirrelfish for the squirrel-like sounds they can make when they’re alarmed, so apparently our hooks through their lips didn’t seem to mean trouble for them. They were too small for dinner, but photogenic enough to get their pictures taken.
Steve and I later went to an open mic night, perhaps the only one on the island. Since the next day would be Rememberance Day—November 11—more people came to perform. We put our name in as soon as we arrived, but by the time we got to the stage, the remaining audience favored rap music and their current drunken state. Bermudans, like most folks outside the U.S., U.K., and Canada, are completely unfamiliar with longform improvisation. That didn’t stop us from going onstage, and I wish Steve would’ve warned me about the kind of reception we’d get! The audience yelled out during our set, and one of them walked onstage during it, but we incorporated all of those things into our scenes. Soon enough, the emcee took her seat by the stage, as a sign to end our set—the only set to get cut off that night. As we walked home, Steve was unphased. He’s so used to trying new experiences, he’s grown accustomed to criticism. As the sole Taiwanese person in Bermuda and an outgoing person, it looks like Steve is used to taking the road less traveled.
As a highlight of the night, a man named Dave O’Shea recalled a WW2 story his father had related to him about getting lost behind enemy lines after he saw that his friend had been killed. When he was younger, he dismissed the story as his father being foolish. But when his father passed away, he began to appreciate the kinds of stories veterans had that hadn’t been widely heard. He then started interviewing vets who were willing to share, and has interviewed over 350 at this point.
When he got off the stage, I ran outside and waited til he was done commiserating with others. “Dave!” I exclaimed when I got the chance. “Great story. I have an odd question for you. I’m doing a project called Around the World in 80 Daves in which I want to travel around the world an interview 80 different Daves. I think you’d be a good subject.” We agreed to meet the next morning before the Remembrance Day parade.
Saturday morning we woke up and jogged to Admiralty Park. This was the same location we had seen the cliff-jumpers on TV the night before! British merchants used to store their cargo in the caves here before declaring it at port. Many families got wealthy from this deception and thievery, and the history has become more clear to their descendants in the present day. We explored one of those same caves that the merchants had dug out three to four centuries ago.
Like the cliff-jumpers in the GoPro videos we had seen the night before in the bar, Steve and I ventured to the edge of a cliff which hung over windy waters. From land we easily saw the ledge where we’d climb up, but after jumping our eyes failed to locate an exit, and we nearly felt stranded between the crags and crashing waves! Eventually, as luck (?) would have it, I spotted three people walking along the ledge where we ought to have climbed out before, and Steve and I pulled our soaked and water-wrinkled selves onto hard land.
We bused over to Horseshoe Bay where the waters were more calm. Whatever kind of rock it was—I think limestone—it was easy to cut into, and many locals and tourists alike had left carvings in the rock much like young lovers do in tree trunks. These rocks were sharp though, and specked our hands as we navigated around the outcropping. I kept thinking these rocks could’ve appeared in an old Star Trek episode on an alien planet.
At the World Rugby Classic later that day, we watched Argentina play Canada and Britain challenge Italy.
After the matches, a cover band played classic rock that we all danced to, and laden with a few drinks, we headed out in town for more.
My cranky and hungry self got eager for some food, and being after midnight, we stopped in a club named Cairo that served hummus, nachos, wings, and Dark & Stormys. Paul’s friend Will filled us Americans in on some of the political difficulties Bermuda has experienced lately—civil rights for blacks a few decades ago, the more recent exclusionary policies towards expatriates, and the church’s reactions regarding homosexuality. Will also kept giving me pita slices loaded with hummus and steak, ensuring me that he is now my friend for life.
Ever since I heard my friend Steve got a job in Bermuda, I’ve wanted to visit him. And since he held an open invitation to come stay with him, I took the first chance I got!
In early November when the temperature in NYC took a sudden dip to freezing, I packed my bags with bathing suits and Hawaiian shirts and flew over the Atlantic Ocean for the weekend.
Since I’m in constant motion in New York City, I decided to know and plan as little as possible about Bermuda before I came to visit. All I knew was that the country’s name kicked off a Beach Boys song and that the weather would be warmer.
Upon arrival, the first thing I did, of course, was brag on social media. Next, I looked up the country on Wikipedia and discovered it has an average income of $86,000, and a population of about 50,000 which is 56% black. As a New Yorker I’m used to diversity, but this trip marked the first time I’d be a minority in a country. Steve, however, may be the only Taiwanese person on the island, so who am I to talk about being a minority?
I noticed a few unusual things after arrival. Like any visitor, I realized that there weren’t enough signs to get me where I needed to be. Most of Bermuda’s bus stops are marked simply by a blue or pink pole, indicating a bus that’s going to St. George or Hamilton, respectively. Since my phone carrier cut off my international data within an hour of arrival, I had to—ugh—TALK to people to find out where to get the bus.
Steve arrived in the midst of a rainstorm, and we waited a half hour for the bus to St. George. Latitude-wise, Bermuda is on the same level as the Carolinas, but the Gulf Stream helps warm it up. I expected a complete temperature shift instead of the chilly wet rain, but Steve assured me we’d have a lot of outside fun the next day.
That night we dined at a place called Wahoo’s. It’s named after a fish, which I found out when we ordered a delicious plate called The Bermuda Triangle that featured Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Rockfish.
YUM! We also ordered two “Yellow Birds” each.
As we were about to go on the bus, Steve stopped by a workshop where we were immediately invited to join. I had no idea what was going on, but went with it anyway. Turns out, we played some improv games for a half an hour with adults of all ages. I’ve always used improv games as practice before a rehearsal or performing on stage, but these people had fun without an end goal in mind. Who does that? Way to challenge my New York mentality!
We took the bus back to a stop near Steve’s place, and then walked the rest of the way. There are hardly any sidewalks in Bermuda! The cars are smaller too and—you guessed it—drive on the left side of the road.
If you looked at Steve and didn’t know him, he has all the markings of being a bookworm. He’s a soft-spoken Asian guy with glasses. You’d expect him isolate himself in the math or medical field. Yet Steve astounds me with the effort he takes to cultivate his social life—and I thought I was social! He greets every stranger he walks by on the street. On weekdays after work, he takes dance and voice lessons. He’s part of an ultimate Frisbee team, and frequents clubs late into the night. And since it happened to be a Friday night, that’s exactly what we did.
Loud music, drunks, and crowds make the club lifestyle largely unappealing to me. But since we were in Bermuda, I needed to explore something else besides the inside of Steve’s apartment. Clubs, restaurants, and dive bars line Front Street, and we visited a few of them. The bar with cheap drinks got my attention because I can be happy anywhere but prefer keeping money.
That girl on the left is telling her friend not to take a photo at her most photo-worthy moment of her night. Oh BTW, this is the cheap bar I mentioned.
Bermuda’s island drink is called the Dark and Stormy. It’s simply rum mixed with ginger beer. (And ginger beer, to explain it simply, is ginger ale ten times the strength!) They also have the Swizzle, which is half rum and half pineapple and orange juice. Basically, they were tasty so we ordered a few. My attention kept getting distracted by all the GoPro videos they were showing on TV. We looked at young guys cliff-jumping and I said, “Steve, that’s what we’re gonna do tomorrow!”
In the course of the night we met Steve’s friend Paul, along with his friends he was dining with. They encouraged us to check out the Rugby World Championships the next day. “You picked a good weekend to come!” they told me. I smiled. Tourist season was over, but I didn’t come to be a tourist so much as to engage in the culture.
After a late night of club hopping and socializing, Paul led us to a nearby hotel. In its lobby hung pictures of the Queen in her prime, as well as a statue of Mark Twain, who had frequented these islands in his adult life.
Paul then led us through the back to the hotel’s beautiful courtyard. Without prompting, he started discussing the history of Bermuda to me as a guest. He gestured to a circular archway and said, “That’s a moongate. Have you seen Stargate?” he joked. A moongate, he explained, was a fixture of architecture that some British explorers had noticed in China and chose to replicate here in Bermuda. Honeymooners who make a wish and walk together through the gate are expected to receive good fortune. Steve and I would need good fortune after the nearly fatal mistake we’d make the next day.