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Tsatsa: My One Year Journey at Clarion

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Hi, my name is Enkhtsatsralt Enkhjargal. But as many of you know, I go by Tsatsa :)

I am leaving Clarion at the end of this week. It's a bittersweet feeling, really.

So many amazing things happened while I was here. And I wanna reflect on the past 12 months that I worked at Clarion.

I started working at Clarion last year June, and it happened so spontaneously. I came to one of Clarion's weekly film screening. And I met Clara.

She felt friendly and easy to talk to. At the time, I had just graduated my university with a degree in drama therapy. So when Clara told me about her theater classes, I was intrigued.

Drama therapy is about using the theater arts to enhance one's mental and emotional wellbeing. So I thought I could help her in the theater class, using my knowledge.

I started working with her on Sundays. She was producing a children's play "Neil Armstrong at the Moon Palace" with children aged from 7 to 13.

I was interacting with the children on weekly basis, and I loved the process of teaching and guiding them on theater arts.

Every Sunday, after we finish our rehearsals, Clara and I would sit down and talk about the kids, laugh about their funny behavior, and reflect on what we could improve.

Needless to say, working with Clara was so easy and I felt nurtured and guided by her.

Fast forward to end of August, we successfully produced our children's play and now I was working full-time at Clarion.

So this was the beginning of my journey at Clarion. And I am so happy that it happened so organically and so spontaneously.

Clara and Cynthia are the two people I interact with most at Clarion.

Clara knows who she is and I respect that. She realized that she was a poet at age 44 and she gave up everything to just do poetry for 10 years. I respect that.

I learned from her how to be true to oneself.

Clara is also very gentle and relentless in the face of adversity. Running a non-profit organization is a tough job, man. It's hard. Not many funding resources, limited support.

Yet Clara never loses her "cool". She is always gently persevering towards her goal.

That's amazing. I hope one day I can be as gentle as she is!

As for Cynthia, I really admire her ambition and creativity.

She was the one who came up with the idea of doing Gai Mou Sou. She was the one who suggested she and the Follies perform in the San Francisco Lunar New Year parade.

She is the one who dreams big.

And when I am around her, I feel this empowering feeling that I too can dream big.

Cynthia is truly inspiring.

These two ladies are the ones who run Clarion and I am so happy I got to work with them, learn from them, and laugh with them!

Also there are the Grant Avenue Follies. All of them are just wonderful people.

Over the 12 months, they invited me over to numerous dinners, went to San Jose for a film festival together, and had many adventures like dancing at Ferry Building during Christmas.

The Follies, Cynthia, and Clara are all very funny. I often find myself laughing ear to ear when I hang out with them.

One time, Avis came to me and asked me how to say "goodbye" and "hello" in Mongolian language. And I really appreciated that because it showed me how much she cares!

Another part of Clarion I appreciate is all the people I got to meet and know.

So many people come to our events, our shows, and over time, I have built really meaningful relationships with some of them.

Especially my co-artists in the ARTIST LAB program: Le, Laura, Xu, Serai were all just wonderful connections that I will always cherish.

There is the OG Alfred Wong who comes to our Saturday events almost every week, and he's been coming since the very beginning.

There is Tiana Wong and Jonathan Sit from Chinatown Volunteer Coalition who always support our events.

Filmmakers like James Q. Chan, Henry Rosenthal, Jeff M. Giordano, Ricky Coronado, Apo Bazidi, Tashi Tamate Weiss, Tam Ngo and Ngoc Le.

There is Colleen Quen who is the loveliest soul with an amazing fashion designer talent.

There is Bobby Ysip who laugh with me and we make stupid jokes all the time!

These are all the amazing connections I made through Clarion. I am so grateful.

Maan, thinking about these amazing people, it really makes me feel blessed.

And last but not least, I made my directorial debut at Clarion

Remember that I started at Clarion by working on the children's play production?

Well, in May 2022, Clara and I produced another children's play titled, "Bathroom Monster, Weed Dealer, and Beth" with our theater students.

For 5 months, we worked on Improv acting, body movement, pantomime, role play, character enactment techniques with our students Nola, Margaret, and Joyce.

Then in April, we invited the three kids to write their own play and we guided them through Improv acting techniques to come up with an entirely original play script.

The premiere was such a beautiful day, as it was the culmination of our 5 months of work. But also because, it was a "full circle" moment for me.

You can watch the children's play here.

I started Clarion with a children's play and I finished my time at Clarion with another children's play, one that was developed by my own hands and my own students.

I am for sure blessed that I was able to work at Clarion.

And Clarion was my first ever full-time job.

And the firsts, you always remember them. The firsts, they set the future direction for your seconds and your thirds. So for me, my first full-time job was a beautiful experience.

For that, I am forever grateful.

Thank you Clarion, thank you Clara, thank you Cynthia, thank you all the Follies for being my home, my work, and my heart for 12 months!

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