29 April 2016, Aside 15 @ the Red Room

This Halloween, get your “trick or treat” fix at Red Room’s Aside 15.

The theme for this upcoming Aside….Nightmare failures. Have you ever noticed that the best success stories often begin with failure? Why are those embarrassing flops, setbacks or radical changes of direction seem like the “required” first steps on the road to fame and fortune?

Here are some examples of famous “Nightmare Failures”:

Stephen King‘s first horror novel Carrie was rejected 30 times and thrown in the trash before becoming the prelude to hundreds of successful published books.

Ang Lee failed Taiwan’s college entrance exams – twice. He tried to go to acting school, but they said his English wasn’t good enough. Unemployed for 6 years living off of his wife’s salary, he had a bank balance of US $26 at the birth of their second child.

Thomas Edison was told he was “too stupid to learn anything” and it was only after 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing a light bulb that he finally succeeded.

Jack Ma failed his exit exams several times in elementary & middle school; failed college entrance exams 3 times; applied to Harvard 10 times and was rejected every time. Out of 24 people who applied for KFC when they entered China, he was the only one rejected. Out of 5 people who applied for a job on the police force, he was the only one rejected. His first 2 business ventures failed and then came Alibaba …zero revenue for the first 3 years.

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

~ Jack Ma

Come join Red Room on Saturday, October 29, 2016 as three of Taiwan’s own share their horror stories of personal and/or business failures. Listen to how they handled and overcame multiple obstacles to be where they are today. Be inspired if you happen to be facing insurmountable challenges in your life. RSVP here.

“I’ve had dreams and I’ve had nightmares. I conquered the nightmares because of my dreams”.

~ Jonas Salk

By Sharon Landon

Photos from Aside 14 can be viewed here:

Aside 14 August 13 2016

Aside 8 at the Red Room, March 2015

Aside @ The Red Room 8

Sound was the thread that connected The Red Room Aside 8, and the voices, the melodies, the tunes would carry us through time, space and individual experiences to a place we call creativity.

Our well-travelled troubadour, Rose Goossen, was the first to take the stage with her inamorata Madame La guitar. As soon as she started playing, her mellow tunes and vocals led my heart to sway. Between songs, she told us how she encountered her guitar and how they began their journey together across many countries, including a song-writing session as the sun rises on the Egyptian horizon. These stories of her musical inspirations made her performance all the more intriguing.

Later, the Red Room Muse Tina Ma gave us a fascinating glimpses of a bygone era in Taiwan and Chinese history with the compelling melodies of the moon guitar. I was put under a trance by words that I have heard of but couldn’t comprehended. Tina’s music presented itself as a form of language that spoke of a time in history that was re-lived as she unlocked our ears and our hearts. Her masterful command of traditional art and her wisdom left the room in awe.

Our bard David Gentile sat on the stage holding a mug of wine, his words and his philosophy flowing uninterrupted with his rhymes and his poetic meters. The spontaneity of David’s performance eased away the intimidating reputation poetry has had, and once again recaptured the musicality of language for his audience.

Another spectacular performance of storytelling was when Radio Redux brought the Mad Hatters Tea Party to life. I was hesitant at first to see how a simple voice reading could do justice to one of the most iconic scenes in Alice in Wonderland. But the rise and fall of the actor’s tones, in particular the curiosity and wonder of Alice, the fascinating absurdity of the Hatter and the sweet slumbering whisper of the dormouse had me edging closer and closer to the stage. Along with the clattering of plates and the clunking teacups set on saucers, it was a dramatic feast of sounds.
We return to more melodies.

Our Irish soul Dan O’Shea struck our hearts with the melancholy and beauty of a confessional song titled Nasty Little Heart. The song moved us not only with its honesty but also left us feeling exposed with our own selfishness and imperfections. For me, it is precisely this vulnerability and struggle that makes us human, and in those moments when we come face to face with our undisguised weaknesses, we see ourselves for who we are.
We also had a surprise guest Sophie Chen.  It was the first time I ever saw a performer singing and clicking on her Apple Mac like it was a musical instrument. Nonetheless, we loved this experimental form of sound mix. Her voice was incredibly powerful and made the perfect act to close the evening.

Like all Redroom events, Aside 8 was about opening our hearts to listen. And thanks to all the performers who poured out their hearts to us, what reverberated in the room that night was something called magic.

Claire Ku
[email protected]

‘red room, all grown-up’…Apelles Johnson

Aside was a new experience to me. I feel as though I am a regular red roomer, but aside felt different. Before the show started, one woman described Aside as “red room, all grown-up”. I wrestled with this definition for some time. I hated the idea of Aside being the “high end” red room, or the red room for “us”. This mentality was what I had searched a long time to escape, and I found an escape from this in Red Room’s personability. I didn’t like the idea of it being a separate event where only the high-end people were invited.

But then the shows started. And Red Room did not let me down.

Aside soon showed itself to be a space where people were pushed to engage yet it was not the engagement of the usual stage time and wine. Manav was insistent on people speaking with the performers, and some of the more regular red-roomers egged the questions along. It then becomes a marvelous space for people to feel comfortable with “performers” and humanized us in a way that breaks down the barriers between the stage and the audience. It allowed me to be seen as a poet and then offered an opportunity to talk with a poet. And a black poet no less. If stage time and wine is like high school, then Aside is like college. Its a place where you are in the room with a professional and allowed to learn from their experiences as you build your own future. This, I discovered, is what was meant by the saying “red room, all grown-up.”

Apelles Johnson

[email protected]

A brand new website for Red Room 介紹全新的紅房網站

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 12.24.37 PMRed Room has a new website Our events have been developing at such a rate, each event needs space of its own in which to regenerate and evolve. Our old blog has been absorbed into this new website and it’s a clean new interface that allows you access to all of Red Room activities.

We have also created an online forum <> which you can join by registering on the site.  Use it to  share information about your own events and activities with the Red Room community. For those who just love to help the Red Room, please share your unique talents and skills with the Red Room community by signing in to volunteer The Red Room is an open platform for new opportunities and expanding horizons and you are a vital part of this movement.

It is still a work in progress and as you continue to use it, it will continue to grow with you. We will keep refining it to fit all that you want it to be. Your input is valuable to us! We will welcome suggestions on how to make it more useful and functional. Drop us a line at [email protected] to share your ideas.


紅房擁有新的網站 (。我們的活動發展的越來越有規模,每一個活動需要它自己的空間來再生及發展。我們的舊部落格已經整合進入這新的網站,且現在是更清爽新的界面讓您可以更方便瀏覽紅房活動資訊。

我們也建立了線上論壇 ( 請您註冊與加入。用它來跟紅房社群分享關於您自己的活動與進行計劃。給熱心想幫助紅房的朋友們,請麻煩您填寫志工名單 ( ,不吝告訴我們您獨特的專長和天分。

紅房是一個開放性的平台,擁有著最新的機會和廣大視野以及包含您,您是我們的重要一份子。紅房一直在成長,我們會變得您心中最美好的理想樣貌,而也需要您的一同協助成長。您的投入是我們的價值!我們非常歡迎任何建議讓它變得更系統化及更實際。歡迎捎個訊息分享點子給我們 [email protected]