Friday, April 29, 2005

More Morty

So this past week has been pretty much a blur, shooting on every day except Wednesday. I also skipped my last class for one course, and haven't written the final for that - the professor (one of the nicer ones I've had) sent me a mail about that. I told him I'd get it to him ASAP, which I really am planning on doing...once I read the book I'm supposed to read for it. Well, re-read, I did read it but I can't really remember the pertinent details for the paper I need to write.

I also got called to audition for a reading for a play that was entered in a new play contest this company runs that's in the same building as Pan Asian Rep is in (let me re-read that sentence to make sure it makes sense...not quite, had to add a word or two and it's still a pretty horrible sentence. Let me try that again)

So, a while ago (about a year now, I guess - no, 2?, 1 year, winter/spring 2004) I did a play called KWATZ!: The Tibetan Project with Pan Asian Repertory Theater, which is the oldest Asian-American theater company in New York. The company's office is in this building on 8th Avenue which has offices and such all throughout it, as such buildings are wont to do. For whatever reason, there are several other theater companies which also have their offices in the building. One of them - Reverie Productions - runs a new play festival, and they called me and asked me (after getting my number from Pan Asian) to read for a play they have.

The biggest thing to draw from this, of course, is the business aspect. In the arts, you're told so much about your talent and about working on your craft. But in the end, when you want to make a living, it comes down to who you know - the personal contacts you gain as your career unfolds. These people become important because they will (hopefully) call you when they have projects that come up that you'd be good for, or if they talk to someone who needs someone that fits your description, they can volunteer you. Really, that's all an agent is - though an agent doesn't even have to like you to get you work. I'm sure it would help, but I'm also sure it's not necessary. You probably don't have to like your agent either, as long as you're getting jobs and getting paid (and thus, so are they). It probably wouldn't be the healthiest relationship, nor would it be fantastic for your career, but it wouldn't make any difference as to whether or not you were making a living. And I don't mean to say that talent and ability make no difference - even with a contact you do need to read or do whatever for whoever's in charge, just so they can see and make sure you fit - rather that it isn't really the most important factor. I knew plenty of people in school who were more talented than me, but I'm pretty sure I've done work that all of them combined, because a lot of them lacked the drive to really apply themselves and work to get jobs acting.

The play itself is ok. It's no Angels in America (but then, how many plays are); it's a cute play about these two people who fall in love, one of whom is an American ping pong player and the other being a Chinese ping pong player. It's set mostly in the 70s, with China just opening up again, and there's a number of cute little references to the differences between the two cultures. On the whole, it's a bit obvious, especially in terms of the whole, "Oh, if China were a democracy it would be so much better" premise, but I'm fairly certain that the playwright is not Chinese, so that's not too much of a surprise. That's not to say that the premise is wrong, simply that there's a lot more to it than just making the place a democracy. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia became a democracy, I'm not too sure that the citizens were better off immediately - even today, I really don't know if they're in a better situation. The same goes for the people in Iraq today - yes, they have a democracy. But aside from moral and intellectual platitudes, are they really better off today? Maybe, but maybe not.

I also have a bit of an issue with the fact that the American is male and the Chinese player is a woman, mainly because it's a stereotype (not quite the perfect term, but it'll server) you see continually in entertainment. It's ok for a Caucasian male to romance and pursue an Asian female, but how often do you see an Asian male paired romantically with a Caucasian female? Aside from stories of that Anna chick and the King of Siam - that includes musical versions and movies. I remember reading a comment - I'm pretty sure it was in a magazine article of some kind, though I can't remember which - that in literature and entertainment, the sexual power of Asian males ranks somewhere below Caucasian females and above retarded people. Asian guys just are not seen as sexy.

Can you tell I'm a little bitter about that? I suppose I am. It's just frustrating to always see the same type of roles over and over, to be asked to play that same character over and over. The solution, I suppose, is for Asian writers to write roles that are not these same archtypes - you see these efforts in recent movies like Better Luck Tomorrow and Harold and Kumar, and in the plays of David Henry Hwang - most of which you can only read, as they don't tend to be produced too often. In fact, I've never seen them being done aside from the original Broadway productions, most of which were in the late 70s and 80s. But for me, and for many other minority actors out there, it seems that the only way to get the role that you really really want is to write it for yourself. That's something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and which a couple people have asked me about/nudged me towards, but I keep running up against the same block: I don't have a clue what the hell to write about. Maybe someday I'll run into it, but for now I guess I'm stuck playing these roles.

Monday, April 04, 2005

My mistake

So someone ate the purple ones, but I still say those black ones ain't goin NOWHERE.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Random Thoughts

We had this big basket of candy in the apartment for Easter, with jelly beans, chocolates and the like in there. From what I gather, the peanut butter cups went first (no big surprise there). The next to go were the good colored jelly beans and the chocolates, also no surprise. The problem is that now there's a HUGE PILE of black, purple and white jelly beans sitting in there that no-one's gonna eat and they're probably going to sit there until Christmas cause no-one's gonna want to throw them out in case someone wants one even though no-one ever will because, let's face it, those flavors suck.

Seriously, who came up with those ones anyways? Who the hell was it that said, hey, you know what kids really want? Purple flavored stuff! What is that, anyways? Usually it's grape but I'm pretty sure it isn't in this case, and I'm sure as hell not gonna try one to find out. And white? What the heck is that? And don't get me started on black licorice. That shit's just nasty.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Fuck you you stupid errors, quit making me double post like a jackass.

Peelander Z

So, shot a brief clip for The Lounge, which is another ImaginAsian show, yesterday. The show itself is one of those shows where they air other things (movies usually, though in this case it's Asian television serieses) and have hosts to provide banter and to summarize the plot for viewers as they go. It used to have a male and female host, but I didn't see the guy this time so I don't know if he's still there. The female host is Emily Chang, who's both beautiful and charming, and who I would date in a second if she didn't have an attachment already (I think) and if I could actually work up the guts to ask her.

Anyhoo, for the stuff we shot yesterday there was a Japanese band on the show named Peelander Z, and they were pretty cool. For anyone interested, you can check out their site here.

Oh, and now that I think of it, I'd probably better put a link to ImaginAsian on the right too, so people can clicky clicky on that if I mention it and they don't know what it is.

Of course, that would mean that someone was reading this, and we all know how silly THAT is.