The Fairy Princess was having a good week – she moderated a very successful live reading for the Asian American Film Lab‘s Unfinished Works series, featuring a script by Jennifert Betit-Yen, and one by Alice Cox, both of which – The Opposite of a Fairy Tale and The Plains, were well acted and well attended, as well as Live-streamed.
Photo credit: Peyton Worley
She was able to view the phenomenal talents of Lesli Margerita before she leaves the Broadway show MATILDA for the new Broadway version of DAMES AT SEA
Trevor Nunn decided to respond to ‘critics’, and it was all things “get off my privileged lawn‘ and ‘after all I have done for you lot‘ and…in general, super fun, especially when Danny Lee Wynter in The Guardian asked – “If Trevor Nunn is staying true to history, where are the pox ridden actors?”
Or when Jonathan Owen at The Independent wrote
Critics have questioned the verisimilitude of the production which amalgamate Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy and Richard III and is sponsored by Norway’s largest financial service group DNB, Norwegian actor Kare Conradi was chosen to play Edward IV and two British actresses, Joely Richardson and Imogen Daines, play the French characters Margaret of Angjou and Joan of Arc
Critics have, tis true.
Nice one, England, standing up for Diversity on your stages!
In more good news on American stages her AVENUE Q buddy, Natalie Venetia Belcon is returning to Broadway in MATILDA – she will be spectacular (here she is singing HAPPY TIMES from The Music of Alex Wyse at NYTB @ The Duplex)
Broadway vet J. Bernard Calloway is in this NBC Pilot you may view online and vote for called “The Bar Mitzvah Club”
ABC Family is renewing a show with Rex J. Lee…GO REX!
Amy Hill’s character on UnReal stepped up and demanded more screen time in the fauxreality reality show about a reality show…which is great because she is SO gifted and TFP was like, “Are they actually going to USE her and all her gifts or…?” and it looks like that is where it is heading, so that is a WIN for Amy AND the fans of the show!
What TFP is saying is that, in general, in showbiz is diversifying, and in general, everyone gets – especially Asian Americans – how important diversity is on our stages and on our screens…well, everyone except perhaps fellow Hapa, Anne Akiko Meyers, the famed violinist – and here we go….
In a nutshell, British double bassist, Chi-chi Nwanoku and his Chineke Foundation, have formed Europe’s first professional all Black orchestra!
Not only have they formed it, but there is a premiere date of Sept 13, 2015 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall where the 60 plus members of the ensemble will be led by Tai Murray and conducted by Wayne Marshall. The foundation is attempting to “champion change and celebrate diversity in classical music”, as well as to be a catalyst of change in the industry.
Now, here is the thing that many Asian American artists who work in classical music, both as performers and behind the scenes do not often acknowledge – people expect there to be Asian and Asian Americans in classical music!
John Q. Public who attends classical music events regularly, he/she expects to see Asians and Asian Americans on the stage!
There is such great representation of Asian and API talent in the classical world that if TFP is feeling sad, she strolls past Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall and almost always, there is an Asian or API performer coming soon to a fancy concert hall near you that did not fail their parental expectations.
There are a ton of examples from Conductors,
to singers – check out Yin Huang in the movie version of Madame Butterfly
one could literally go on and on- and in fact, you will seemingly find more Asians and APIs in classical music regularly performing and being lauded than in ANY OTHER PART OF THE AMERICAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY!
People expect Asians and APIs in Classical music.
Quite similar, in fact, to the way that people who view classical music expect to see Caucasians performing. Asian and Asian American performers are actually sought out when they have talent in classical music – which, again, is TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE AMERICAN ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY IN ALL OTHER MEDIUMS.
One might even venture to say that Asians and API classical musicians of a certain level have a great deal of privilege.
Which is why it is so sad to TFP that Violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers, a woman who has released 32 albums and was the top selling traditional classical instrumental soloist of Billboard’s charts in 2014, could be such a brat.
She posted on her FB page something about fellow People of Color that was ‘questionable’ at best, and at the worst could be considered….
TFP leaves it for the reader to decide- but it is not good.
First of all, just from a mixed raced perspective, Ms. Meyers, you need to check yourself.
because if your parents had been married prior to 1967 in the United States of America, they would have been subject to the type of Bon mots that you so casually threw out and soooo much more, because America has not always been welcoming to what was termed “Mixed Marriages”.
Your website says you were born in 1970 and raised in San Diego, your Mom is Japanese and her Dad is American – they would not have been considered married at all. They could even have been arrested had they gone to a state where it was not legal for people of different skin tone to marry.
In point of fact, America has had a huge problem with Japanese people and no matter how insular it was in San Diego in the 70’s, TFP is fairly certain your Mom would have been victim to a bit of that good ol’ recovering from World War 2 kind of thinking – particularly given that it is a military area. It would not have been easy.
California repealed anti-miscengenation laws in 1948, ahead of the curve by almost 2 decades, but it could have put a crimp in their travel plans, no? Plus the day to day kind of stuff that she, and probably you yourself would have felt or seen could have made things uncomfortable…. on occasion.
Which makes it more annoying that you grew up and decided to turn around and judge people based on skin tone!
TFP knows a little something something about growing up as a Hapa kid, you cannot tell her it was all wine and roses.
In the sea of PoC, we all gots ta swim together Hunty, or no one is going to make it to dry land.
Second, according to your website, ahem –
“I regularly support classical music organizations around the world. Please support your local orchestra, concert society, chamber music festival, or radio station. Long Live Music!”
That is what you, Ms. Meyers, wrote for us all to do – support classical music organizations? And in order to support classical music, a realm in which you live and breathe the fanciest of air wafting from your amazingly fancy violin on lifetime loan…
you saw a news item about classical music and wrote- supportively –
“I wonder if you have to be black to be invited to solo with this orchestra? #reversediscrimination”
IS THAT SUPPORTIVE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC?
One supposes you were trying to make some sort of joke.
The only thing that is hilarious about this is that you hashtagged #reversediscrimination .
Only White People use that!
Hold up – REVERSE DISCRIMINATION – what say you? Aahmer?
There is no reversing discrimination, not even when it is shown by a very talented, pretty Eurasian lady on social media!
You looked at THIS photo which, btw, contains mixed raced people, aka people who, once upon a time, would have had parents whose marriages were also outlawed in this country…..
and then you mocked them from your seat of faux-alabaster privilege. Their orchestra has NOTHING to do with you or your 32 albums or your being named a top Billboard classical artist in 2014…you were, to put it mildly – offensive.
On the heels of all the violence that has been plaguing the United States, on the graves of the People of Color whose cries go unheard and who wind up wrongfully incarcerated or worse…you took a moment from the Chineke Orchestra- a moment that should have been a celebration heard around the world, and you shat on it.
Then when people tried to comment on your website, you took their comments down – which does not negate what you have done.
It compounds it.
From where TFP is sitting, it means that you feel you are above acknowledging that with actions come consequences. Just because you do not like what people have to say, does not mean that they are wrong. They called you on it. You are responsible for your own gaffs – take it.
You messed up. Even though you have a fancy violin and a Julliard education- you messed up.
What you should have done is written a statement and apologized. Here, TFP will write it for you.
To the Chineke! Orchestra,
I am writing to apologize to you for my social media outburst. I took what was supposed to be a proud moment for all of us in Classical Music, a celebration of Diversity that has been slow in coming and should be lauded – particularly by those of mixed race who enjoy privilege and success in our field and know how rare it is – and I tarnished it. As a Mother, I try to teach my daughters to not judge people according to the color of their skin and it is shaming to know that I failed to realize that i did exactly that on social media. I will endeavor to do much better, and I wish you every success at Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Play Wagner if it makes it more comfortable to write, but write something!
Give your kids a good example. Ms. Meyers everyone has already noticed.
Chineke Orchestra – TFP wishes you much, much success – and to negate Ms. Meyers comments – TFP suggests this – if you are a person of Mixed race heritage or a person of any kind at all – please buy a ticket and go see the performance because #BlackLivesMatter – in Art and in Life.
Let’s stand together – not because we are keeping invisible score cards of rights and wrongs, but because standing together is the right thing do to.
Compassion is infinite.
Expressing concern about an issue is not taking it away from other things.
Another person’s success does not pull down our own.
(Jeez writing about Hapas behaving badly is depressing….embarrassing too. Cuz, TFP is one as well, just ick. )
For exhibiting discrimination on social media and then compounding it by disallowing people to comment on it, TFP fines you 30 whacks with the wand – Ms. Meyers, get it together!
Also – KISS MY FAN, TAN, FANNIE