Archives for category: Diversity

The Fairy Princess has had a busy week – she was able to go to the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shoot Out Party, and hang with some of the very talented filmmakers and cast members. The AAFL is one of those organizations that TFP truly enjoys – under the direction of Jennifer Betit-Yen, the AAFL has it’s own YouTube Channel, which you can easily subscribe to.

AAFL helps bring diverse voices to the forefront – providing them access to information, seminars, screenings, workshops…anyway, it is a great organization, and TFP was thrilled to be able to support them.

She has been a fan a long time, and most recently co-hosted their “Focus On The Philippines” series –

You can watch all the winning films from this year’s 72 Hour Shootout (all the writing, production, and editing has to be completed within 72 hours) on their You Tube Channel, as well as on various local channels in your area.

Congrats to all the participants!

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So…yes, TFP was feeling in a good place about Diversity and Representation, after all…ALLEGIANCE has put up it’s banner on a theater and their box office will open September 1, 2015.

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HAMILTON is now on Broadway, previews, but….it is up – it opens ‘officially’ on August 6, 2015

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not to mention that SCHOOL OF ROCK is coming November 9, 2015 and features a fun, and diverse cast….

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Deaf West’s production of SPRING AWAKENING coming back to Broadway, it’s bringing Oscar Winner, Marlee Matlin with it for it’s limited engagement run that starts previews Sept 8, and opens Sept 27, 2015

There is some cool stuff going on on The Broadway, and people are noticing and commenting on it – both on social media and in the mainstream media – PoC are speaking up and asking why are we not represented, and being that there is no good answer, there has been a marked response.

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Which is why TFP was chortling at the placement of this particular ‘item”

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See that, right there? That on the bottom is an interview with TONY Winner, Lea Salonga, all about how encouraged she is with the diversity of Broadway, sentiments that TFP agrees with, it IS encouraging.

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Until you realize that right above it, ABOVE Diversity, there is the announcement of the casting of the revival of NOISES OFF at The Roundabout Theater Company, and as it is the FIRST story, that takes precedence – ie, it was deemed more important.

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Lea Salonga is hoping there is a shift, but her hope has been dashed as one can see because although she is a TONY WINNING LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL, who is opening a new show in the Fall of 2015, her interview was bumped from the ‘top spot’ by an announcement of a cast for a show that will not ‘open’ till January 2016!

Which is…wait for it…NEXT YEAR!

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Journey with TFP now, let us take a look at the cast for the revival of NOISES OFF and see why it should be the lead story….

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TFP is thinking something….

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Now, before everyone gets all up in a tilt -a- whirl about ‘well, King and I is up and Saigon is coming back, and if Allegiance is coming too…you have nothing to complain about if we want to have an all white play up....” and whilst that is a point, there are two issues at hand with this:

1. The above cited pieces are all musicals, not straight plays

2. The Roundabout has an issue with casting minorities.

The Roundabout, in a study cited by Playbill.com dealing with the 2012 season, was the fourth LEAST likely to cast diverse in New York City. So that is the point – if it was another company producing, perhaps TFP would not have noticed (not like there is blinding diversity in straight plays on Broadway) – but it was particularly egregious to TFP that once again, The Roundabout is choosing to not cast minorities. While they did not hold the ‘top spot’, they were fourth down on the list, which is…troubling.

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The first was the York Theater.

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In fact, the last time TFP had to write about The Roundabout Theater company it was because they thought that brown face makeup was no big deal….

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That is Andy Karl and TONY Winner Jessie Mueller all browned up for a production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, where they were portraying 1/2 Sri Lankan characters at The Roundabout.

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The kerfuffle over that incident was supposed to lead to a ‘closed door’ meeting on their Diversity in Casting…one can only imagine that it was not quite as successful a meeting as it could have been.

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Now, as stated, The Roundabout has little to no diversity amongst it’s castings – but that is a manifold discussion to have and here is what people who want to argue will say about it.

1. The Best Actors got the job.

No one knows if the ‘best’ actors got the job, because no one knows who was called in to audition for the job. In the case, and with this cast, it does seem that quite a few of them would have been a direct offer – which leads to the next argument.

2. They went with ‘stars’.

In the United States we have ‘stars’ of every different hue, and that it would in fact, be smarter to try and diversify the cast to get an influx of new audience members who would be interested in seeing varied countenances.

One would also have to point out, that not everyone in the cast – while all very talented one is sure – qualifies as ‘stars’ (that is not a diss, it’s a career trajectory point of fact) so the ‘stars’ thing is not a valid rebuttal.

3. The Actors require British Accents

Has one looked and seen the racial diversity of Britain?

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Not everyone in London looks like any odd Royal in a Can anymore – there are diverse faces in the UK, or have you not heard Lenny Henry’s speech recently?

 You may need a refresher….

Plus which, they might decide to do it sans British accents. Regardless, ethnic minorities in the UK have accents from the UK, and that is not a valid rejoinder.

The interesting thing is that in London proper at the Finborough Theatre, they are mounting the new play- WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, written by Steven Hevey and directed by John Young, and…well….take a look at the cast…Rita Arya, Gary Beadle, Ross Hatt, Paddy Navin, Matt Whitchurch, and Daniel York, yes,  a world premiere.

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They are in rehearsal and opens in August, full production….look at that, everyone working together, innit?

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And what is this new play, this very exciting, very promising looking play about?

“In a city buckling under the weight of a severe housing crisis, Ben and Asma have discovered a borough in London they can finally call their home. However with it’s earthy character and village feel, it isn’t long before this hidden gem becomes the prime location for every other trendy urbanite in the city. As they find themselves under siege from a brutal wave of gentrification, powerless to stop the many charms that had attracted them to the area from being erased, Ben and Asma reach out to the local community for support, but start to question whether or not the damage has already been done.

A timely and important play about the changing face of London.”

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Well DONE oh Finborough Theatre! London’s leading Off West End Theatre Company, and one can see why!

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Sadly we of The Broadway are casting London in 1982 still, she is gutted she cannot see this one.

Look, TFP loves this play, NOISES OFF,  she truly does – but this was a ‘no brainer’ in terms of what could be done to embrace the changing world we live in, and the world that this faux theater company is supposed to represent. The last time she saw NOISES OFF, she could not catch her breath from laughing so much, it is honestly that wonderful. She also knows that the playwright, Michael Frayn has gone back and rewritten things in the past in regards to this play, so the play itself is not set in stone, adjustments have been made in the past, and one assumes that he could make them again if he so chose.

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Now, one of the things necessary to know about this play, if you are unaware of it,  is that some of the actors play the crew of a theater company, and the truth is, the production crews of a play are diverse. People who work in theater ARE diverse.

Here, this is a photo from an anniversary of a show about puppets, and there is Producers, Cast and Crew in it, ahem.

Top L-R: John Tartaglia, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Beverly Jenkins, Producer Robyn Goodman, Erin Quill, Phoebe Kreutz, Producer Kevin McCollum Lower Left Photo: Star of MEMPHIS: J. Bernard Calloway Lower Rt Photo: Carmen Ruby Floyd & Erin Quill

Top L-R: John Tartaglia, Carmen Ruby Floyd, SM Beverly Jenkins, Producer Robyn Goodman, Erin Quill, Puppet Wrangler: Phoebe Kreutz, Producer Kevin McCollum
Lower Left: MEMPHIS star: J. Bernard Calloway
Lower Rt: Carmen Ruby Floyd & Erin Quill

In fact, one could argue that there is reason to have a strong South Asian contingent playing the crew based on the changing demographics of the United Kingdom.

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4. It is what their subscription base wants

Well TFP wants constant rainfall in California to fill the reservoir, but she understands that she cannot control the weather. In the case of the subscription base, arguing that people only go to theater to see themselves actually brings the argument back to the need for diversification. Also, one should give the subscription base more credit – they would still buy a ticket if the work was good, even if there was a face or two that did not look like they could share the same foundation shade.

No, no, there is no valid argument to ‘defend’ the lack of diversity in this casting except that it is what the director, Jeremy Herrin, coming from the UK and the director of the esteemed WOLF HALL, Parts 1 and 2, wanted. It is his right, he is the Director, and he had a vision. It is a classic British play, it is a farce, and he cast it as he saw fit – a ‘classic’ fit for a UK that existed in 1982, when the play was first presented.

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TFP was curious about Mr. Herrin, and his background, so she did take a look.

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Mr. Herrin hails from Scotland and has worked on several things with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Ah, the RSC…. they are the ones that produced The Orphan of Zhao, a play adapted from the oldest play in China – and did not have East Asians play Chinese people.

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TFP wrote about that once upon a time.

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Once can say this for RSC AD Gregory Doran….his point of view is as strong as it is alarming – and as invasive as Asian carp.

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Anyway, it did make TFP laugh that here we are, we pesky minorities, feeling like perhaps we are getting somewhere and things are changing, and yet…Diversity never made it to top billing….not even if the one talking held a TONY Award in her hand.

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Fifty smacks of the wand to the Roundabout Theater Company -continuing on in your own grand tradition….

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TFP  knows people vote in theater by purchasing a ticket….or NOT…she knows which one she will be doing.

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As for Playbill.com – TFP is going to hope this was just some alphabetical, random kind of thing…but the irony was definitely there….most definitely.

Thanks for the reminder.

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TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has been looking around at the television landscape, and she is greatly…ok, ‘greatly‘ may be exaggerating

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…but she has been much encouraged about what is happening in American Television in regards to API Representation.

First off, this week – HELL ON WHEELS on TMC – they have finally included the Chinese in their story!

For those who do not know – HELL ON WHEELS is about the building of the railroad across the United States of America.

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Now, TFP did like the first season, but she did not return for the second, third, and fourth because…while yes, she is Irish, she had a problem with the lack of representation of the Chinese on the show.

A show about the Railroad? With no Chinese? C’mon, HELL ON WHEELS, really?

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Only because..well…without the Chinese, the railroad likely would not have been completed. The first Chinese workers were hired in 1865. They were paid $28 dollars a month, and had to pay for their lodgings and food – unlike the Caucasian workers.

Historians estimate that there were 10,000 – 15,000 Chinese laborers working on the railroad at any given time after 1867, until completion on May 10, 1869.

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The number that died working on the railroad has no official number, but the work was brutal and back breaking, and one had the added danger of potentially being blown up.

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TFP has watched the first episode of HELL ON WHEELS this season, and now, in Season Five – they have (Finally) started to delve into the Chinese workers of the Railroad, represented for the most part by actors Byron Mann as Chang,

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Angela Zhou as Fong, and Tzi Ma as Tao. (More will likely show up, but this is only the first episode of the season)

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Their inclusion has given her a reason to watch the show again. In fact, they seem to be laying the groundwork to go into the Chinese Railroad Workers Strike of 1867, which should be both historically and dramatically interesting.

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In 1867, Chinese Railroad workers went on strike, demanding higher wages – from $35 to $40 per month, and a reduction of the work day from approximately 12 or 14 hours to 10 hour shifts. That did not go quite so well – the owners refused, so the Chinese upped their request to $45 per month.

The workers did not riot, they did not scream loudly, they simply did not go to work, and they thought they had the upper hand – except for that pesky racism that pervaded the country in regards to the Chinese.

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You know, the same kind of racism that led to that massacre in Rock Springs later in 1885….the kind where they do not consider you human?

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Yeah, that kind.

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Anyway, back to the strike – the owners refused to have food delivered to the camps of the Chinese Railroad workers- they also added an armed posse for ‘persuasion’.

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The Chinese eventually capitulated – it was that or starve to death. Thus ended the 1867 Strike.

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Some have mentioned to TFP that they are uncomfortable with Chang being a ‘bad guy’ because they do not like the idea of Chinese preying on their own.

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This is counterproductive to TFP in this regard – if we try and self-regulate what parts Asian American Actors and Actresses get to play, they will not get to play anything. Why? Because when the API community starts demanding only ‘certain kinds’ of roles that fall more in line with the ‘model minority’ thinking, that is the death knell for creativity.

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What we should want is for our Actors to have colorful roles.

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Asian American Actors and Actresses should have the ability to play roles that make us uncomfortable, roles that make us think, roles that inspire them. To wish otherwise is to rob them of their tools, and eventually of their livelihood. If you get rid of the API Actors, by constantly second guessing or trying to ban their productions, who wins?

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Not your children, who will grow up…as we all grew up…without almost any API representation on television.

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Not yourself, who will look to things like the casting of Tilda Swinton as a 500 Year old Tibetan Man, and wring your hands, but know that once again, there is nothing to be done.

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No one wins, it is that simple.

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Actors do not go to your job and say you cannot do it simply because they do not like the look of your job now, do they?

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In the theater, we say ‘you vote with your ticket’ ie: if you do not like something or you do not like what a show represents, or the message it sends, you vote by either purchasing or not purchasing a ticket.

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In television is it actually similar – you vote by changing the channel, By watching or by not watching.

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Before we decide, however – let’s just watch the show and see if it dramatically makes sense. If the characters are interesting. Not ‘moral’, not ‘good’, not ‘comfortable’, but are they interesting?

Because that is what ‘we’ should be concerned about – multi-layered, interesting characters with motivations, right?

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TFP’s opinion –  the character of Chang is completely within the realm of possibility – particularly when one reads part of this statement by Leland Stanford, President of the Central Pacific Railroad at the time:

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“….No system similar to slavery, serfdom or peonage prevails among these laborers. Their wages, which are always paid in coin, at the end of each month, are divided among them by their Agents, who attend to their business, in proportion to the labor done by each person. These agents are generally American or Chinese merchants, who furnish them their supplies of food, the value of which they deduct from their monthly pay. We have assurances from leading Chinese merchants that under the just and liberal policies pursued by the Company, it will be able to produce during the next year, not less than 15,000 laborers..…”

In TFP’s opinion, any time one is unable to connect directly with one’s workers, and relies on intermediaries, there is the opportunity for misbehavior. As is often said –

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The character of Chang is a wealthy businessman with several interests including, lest one forgets, a brothel. Most people would say brothel ownership is distasteful but Chang, as a character, is interesting.

TFP has no issue with it, there is a historical basis for this plot – she looks forward to seeing more inclusion of the Chinese journey in the United States on television, and how, dramatically, this gels with the rest of the show.

Look again at that statement “…are divided among them by their Agents

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Yaaaas Grrrl.now you are getting it….let’s just see how this storyline plays out this season, all right?

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One episode does not a season make…this could get very, very interesting….and we Chinese love to wish interesting times upon people, do we not?

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Roll on, HELL ON WHEELS, Roll On…

TFP out.

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There have been some super cool things that have happened for Asian Americans in the past few weeks – let’s start off with the biggest –

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TFP is very, very, very happy she has lived to see Marriage Equality – and she thanks the Supreme Court, who did the right thing, even if not everyone in the Court was particularly happy about it.

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This is a fun time to be a person with liberal thoughts and social concerns – right, Y’all?

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Passing Marriage Equality benefits the whole country, and guess what – if you do not have LGBT friends in your life, it will not affect you at all, and also…

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Congratulations to all whose marriages were validated by this decision, and she looks forward to all the marriages that are to come.

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Also in the news, and of personal interest to TFP because her extended circle includes the Bailars, is the emergence of Schuyler Bailar as the first Transgendered Swimmer to swim for Harvard’s Men’s Team.

TFP extends the warmest of wishes to Schuyler as he starts his newest journey, and as always, is delighted to know this incredible Family. #HapasRule

DANCE BREAK!

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Thus we are done with the Political and the Social news – and now on to Entertainment, which is NOT, for once, completely bleak.

FRESH OFF THE BOAT was renewed for a second season on ABC, which is history making. Yes, we will have a second season of the Huang Clan as they navigate the tricky streets of Orlando.

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More exciting news…the trailer of the new DR. KEN show on ABC has just dropped – and it is funny!

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TFP is very happy to see…wait for it…a second show about APIs hit the Network. Bravo ABC!

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We have FRESH OFF THE BOAT, and now DR.KEN – proving yes, Asian Americans are funny folks, and that there is an audience for these stories.

Take a Look:

Did anyone notice the Katy Perry song “Eye of the Tiger” on the trailer?

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Funny cuz it’s a play on the whole “Tiger Parent” thing- hey, if she can use ‘our’ stuff, we can use hers.

Finally, in some theatrical news…there is a new play being developed by writer, Daniel York over in England called “The Forgotten of the Forgotten” that is on the fast track to a full production.

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Daniel has been a vibrant and staunch advocate for BAME Actors in the UK.  As a Equity Union Representative and as an Individual Multi-talent he has helped push forward the #ActForChange movement which is has made the British Entertainment Industry aware, for the very first time on a country-wide level, how the disparities in representation on television and in films only add to discord and racial tensions.

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This is a great movement, because it started with Actors but it has grown bigger than they ever thought and should it continue to have the influence TFP believes it will, it will effectively change the British entertainment landscape.

Now, with Producer Gemma Lloyd, the hardworking Mr. York is in the final stages for a play that he has been working on about the Chinese Labor Corps in World War 1.

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This is a fascinating subject, one he has put tremendous time and effort into researching, and which was put up in a workshop format by The Bush Theater in London.

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What is most exciting to TFP about this project is that it is one of the unsung stories of Asians in the world, not just in Asia, and how their participation helped shape the world we live in today. This project is in full development. TFP could not be more excited to hear about Mr. York’s version – it was an idea that originated with him, and as such, will be as unique and special as he is.

TFP asks all the BAME Actors and Artistic Directors in the UK to support this very special project by purchasing a ticket to any future presented performances. Mr. York clearly is changing the theatrical landscape over there by bringing this subject to the foreground, providing a new voice and a new story for British East Asians to tell. He is the living embodiment of someone who lives a ‘life in theater‘, and to have such a visible contributing member is a good thing for all of us.

There you go – just a few “good things” that have happened in the past week for Asian Americans – let’s keep it going!

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The Fairy Princess and all of us know that a terrible thing happened in South Carolina. She is not going to mention the name of the domestic terrorist who committed this hate crime, because she feels that part of the reason this sociopath would do this terrible thing is because he wanted to be famous.

She would like, however to extend her sympathies and prayers to the victims of this crime and their families – both their immediate families and their Congregational Family.

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She did want to address one part of the ‘manifesto’ he wrote about why he did what he did -about Asians and racism, and then she will not mention anything about this terrorist personally, she will only ever talk about the Victims of this tragedy – however in a manifesto he wrote – the terrorist shared his thoughts on East Asians and TFP did have some thoughts.

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This is his quote:

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I have great respent for the East Asian races. Even if we were to go extinct they could carry something on. They are by nature very racist and could be great allies of the White race. I am not opposed at all to allies with the Northeast Asian races.

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Yes, he spelled respect incorrectly.

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However, to his point – are East Asians racist?

Of course they are. Everyone is racist.

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Everyone. Even if you are Liberal, even if you are Conservative. No matter what your skin tone.

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Those that say they are not are part of the problem.

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We do not live in a post racial society. We live in a society where people divide and judge based on skin color.

This is wrong.

Flat out, it’s wrong.

We have to talk about racism and we have to acknowledge that it is there – and that countless murders have occurred because of it. Throughout history the one things humans have become really good at is establishing an non-realistic sense of superiority based on religion and skin tone, and slaughtering anyone else who disagrees.

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There is NO racial superiority anywhere, Folks – that is the truth.

There is only circumstances under which one is born that lead to success or failure, and everyone judges that their own way. Some say it is based on salary earned, others in personal or artistic satisfaction, or the amount of children one has, or financial security, or home ownership, athletic prowess – and in all these things, success is garnered by personal hard work that began in childhood.

Some people have a childhood filled with plenty, some with nothing. Some have a childhood filled with abuse. Some have a childhood that lacks compassion, or trust. Some children have been forced to become soldiers. Some children have been raped. Some children have access to clean water and education, and many more do not. Quite a lot of people in this world have quite a lot to overcome to gain anything close to what the world views as ‘success’ – and yet still, there are small miracles of accomplishment every day.

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Learning to read. Feeding oneself and ones’ family. Starting a micro-business. Smiling. Saving an animal from a shelter. Stopping abuse. Showing kindness. Being generous of spirit even though you are exhausted from the process of living. Defining wealth in the number of friends and family, no matter what the finances are…this is a miracle too.

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These things are all accomplishments. Race can and does play a part in every single one of them. Race can influence our access, it can deny our growth as people. None of us are immune or impervious to things that we are taught, as children, about race.

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As a parent, TFP is trying to show her child, her Asian heritaged child, that one should acknowledge everyone. One should be kind. One should treat others as they expect to be treated. Mostly, as a parent, TFP hopes to teach her child that race SHOULD NOT play a part in how he lives his life – in his friendships, in his loves, in his work environment, in his world. To deal with people as individuals, and not as part of a group that is to be ignored or welcomed based on appearance.

This is what she is attempting – only time will tell if she will succeed.

But she would ask ALL parents, regardless of race, gender, and regardless of who they love, to join her in this. To try. To talk to their kids about racism, even if they are confident it is not practiced in their own home or amongst their personal relationships.

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You still have to guide them. You still have to talk to them about racism.

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We cannot deny racism. It exists.

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Everyone has it, like a terrible DNA in our bloodstreams – even if you think you do not have it – you DO.

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We can choose to combat it every day. We can try to not pass this dreaded fear of others along, so that it does not turn to hate.

So that it does not turn to violence.

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Does TFP think that East Asians are more or less racist than anyone else?

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Sadly, in this one area, we are all equal.

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The Fairy Princess has been seeing quite a bit in the press lately about a lady who tried to shed her own skin – literally – in search of another. While TFP is fascinated by this, there are plenty of people writing about it, so she does not feel the need, and also – she is not African American – but she has enjoyed reading the many points of view, and she is reminded every time that she reads one of the articles of something she firmly believes:

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She wishes Rachel Dolezal much luck in her new career – whatever that may be – as she has now stepped down from her leadership at the Spokane, WA NAACP, and at the same time, cannot help thinking…

Thanks for not choosing to try and go Asian, Ms. Dolezal, because we have been #EmmaStoned enough lately.

emma-stone-noddingAnd we’ve been Swinton-ed, and Johannson-ed. There is a whole lotta co-opting going on in Hollywoodland at the moment.

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TFP cares about Diversity – she is on and on about it all the time, and for the most part, she speaks, in her blog, about those who are underrepresented in roles, even when those roles are written for people with their particular heritage in mind.

She does that a lot. Which is sad.

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TFP decided THIS blog, she wanted to talk about another kind of Diversity – she wants to talk today about…wait for it – BIODIVERSITY.

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Ecological Biodiversity is the diversity of ecosystems, natural communities and habitats.  In essence, it’s the variety of ways that species interact with each other and their environment.   The forests of Maine differ from the forests of Colorado by the types of species found in both ecosystems, as well as the temperature and rainfall.  These two seemingly similar ecosystems have a lot of differences that make them both special.” – Natural Wildlife Federation

TFP is fascinated by nature and all it’s many forms. She has a multi-ethnic background that includes various countries, and she has visited them all – except Wales – she has seen the differences throughout the years in the landscape that man has wrought. Oftentimes not for the better.

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Fracking waste water  in Wyoming : toxic waste

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Which is why, when her friend, David Lee McInnis

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told her he was producing a documentary about wild wolves in the lower 48 States of America, she said she would do anything she could to help.

Because having seen this video about trophic cascade:

she could see that wolves are a vital part of our ecosystem.

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She has also never been asked to help fund anything that was not, at it’s most basic, a vanity project.

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This documentary  and it’s ambitions did not strike TFP as a vanity project. This is a time sensitive project that is of utmost importance to help draw attention to the importance of conservation and acceptance of wild creatures. The Wild Wolves are under attack, they need help – and they need it now.

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TFP called upon some of her friends, you may know their work – because they are awesomely talented – Anthony Rapp (If/THEN, RENT),  J. Bernard Calloway (Memphis, All The Way), Erin Quill (OBC Avenue Q), Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Aaron Ramey (Bridges of Madison County, The Visit) and Raymond J. Lee (Honeymoon In Vegas, Anything Goes) asked if they would come and help support – and they ALL did.

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TFP started referring to this project as #BroadwayHowls.

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Alexandre Manning (Zoolander) and Josh Burrow (Captain Morgan, The Crimson Mask) joined us, and what we came up with is the video you will see below.

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OPERATION WOLF DOCUMENTARY hopes to have the same impact on how the public views Wild Wolves as BLACKFISH did on how the public views Orcas in captivity.

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The Wild Wolves are fighting a battle they know nothing about, but which will decimate their numbers until they are unable to be anything more than an oddity in the wild. The only ones that can help are humans. This documentary seems to be a step in the right direction.

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The filmmakers have already been in the field, interviewing experts, and have the support of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in this endeavor.

TFP is asking you all, as a personal favor –  if her blog has ever spoken to you, or to an issue that you are invested in – to take a look at this video that David has put together for his project

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WHETHER YOU DECIDE TO GIVE MONEY OR NOTTFP just asks that you take a look.

Thanks for reading till the end – thank you to all of the Actors who gave so generously of their time and talent to help spread awareness of this issue.


If you have watched this, and it made you feel….the feelings…please take a moment to post it on your Facebook Wall or Tweet it with the hashtag #OperationWolfDoc just to let us know you have seen it.

DIVERSITY – it’s not just for showbiz – come and howl with us.

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The Fairy Princess watched THE TONYS this year with bated breath, and now, indeed – there has been a hit, a palpable hit in the lack of performers with API heritage – the blow dealt by Ms. RuthieAnn Miles!

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This is not the first time Ms. Miles has been mentioned in this blog, the first was for her portrayal of Imelda Marcos in the hit show at the Public Theater, HERE LIES LOVE…

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Then AVENUE Q had an anniversary, TFP and Ms. Miles were in the same group shot that TFP likes to call “The Ghosts of Christmas Eves Past”

L-R: Lisa Helmi Johanson, Sala Iwamatsu, Ann Harada, Erin Quill, Hazel Raymundo, RuthieAnn Miles

If you missed her acceptance speech – which is only the FOURTH TIME THAT A PERSON OF API HERITAGE HAS ACCEPTED A TONY AWARD FOR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IN 69 YEARS – here it is:

CONGRATULATIONS MS. RUTHIEANN

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Oh is THAT All you got – BETTER TRY AGAIN!!!!

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– for what this means for you both individually and collectively, to watch your win was indeed SOMETHING WONDERFUL.

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(If you would like to see her sing the actual song, please click on the link below)

http://www.nytimes.com/video/theater/100000003727748/in-performance-ruthie-ann-miles.html

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The Fairy Princess is in a bad damn mood. First, because she went to a routine trip to the dentist and was like “Hey, this tooth kinda hurts”, and twenty minutes later, she had no tooth – because it needed to be removed. Her Dentist was lovely and no reflection on his profession but she was thinking of two things while in the chair…

Steve Martin

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And The Wild West.

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And when she says the Wild West she was actually thinking “Thank goodness I don’t live in the Wild West where they would have tied a string to the tooth and the other end to a saddle of a horse and then slap the horse to giddyap and yank it out that way”

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TFP is not a rational thinker in the Dentist chair. She is thankful for modern dentistry, and her Dentist is great. However the recovery of a tooth removal is painful and so she has been lying like a lump on the bed taking painkillers and when she came across THIS bit of brilliant Hollywood Casting and it cut through the meds, it pissed her off so badly she started typing in a haze.

It seems that in the new “Doctor Strange” film that Marvel is producing there is a character called “The Ancient One who lives in a monastery in Tibet.

Technically, and according to the Marvel page on The Ancient OneThe youth who would eventually be The Ancient One was born over five hundred years ago in Kamar-Taj, a villiage in a hidden land in the Himalaya Mountains in the area now known as Tibet.” Ah TIBET….mystical land nestled deep in Asia…

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Ah, what’s that you say? You did not know, dear reader, that Tibet is in Asia?

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Let’s get a map (TFP loves a good map)

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See, there it is, plain as day – right next to China…oh heck, let us get another map to make that a bit clearer…

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As one can see…Tibet is located just between China and India, with Nepal kinda wedged in there between.

(Sorry, TFP cannot think of Nepal without Eddie Murphy in Golden Child, apologies to Nepal)

Specifically the village he was born in lies nestled in the Himalaya Mountains. Now, among other things, the Himalaya Mountains are of huge religious import – and that’s important to remember because in TFP’s readings of Marvel Comics (oh yes she reads them on occasion) they like to try and tie in bits of ‘reality’ to make the story lines set on Earth work – not surprising, it helps the reader get into the world of the comic more, however in the Himalaya Mountains, you are not only setting a story there – it is an actual place that is sacred.

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Yep, it’s sacred.

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Why, you ask?

Oh because it is the birthplace of Buddism in Bhutan. Yep – at Paro Taktsang…., not just for that reason, there are lots of monasteries in the Himalayas and of course, in case it needs more cred (it doesn’t), this guy lives there:

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His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama lives in Tibet. Although he has had to flee to India, so he may not be in Tibet now, but he is supposed to be in Tibet…anyway it’s CHINA’s fault if he is not, but he is supposed to be there. BAD CHINA!

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(Yes, TFP knows that is kimchi and kimchi is Korean. You can stop with trying to pull apart her logic now, read on.)

The Himalayas are a pretty cool place, and stories have been set there since Westerners have heard whispers of a far off place in the heavens where one could touch the clouds and never age. Perhaps it even inspired the advent of Plastic Surgery…who knows?

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MARVEL is adept and trying to intertwine premise and concept with (in certain comics) actual places, one could see by their rendering of The Ancient One, and even by the photo above of one of the World’s most revered leaders of religion and peace, there’s a general ‘look’ to those who dwell in Tibet.

Let’s look at some photos:

F201209280827391257017160  Tibetan_people tibet-girls It’s an Asian look, is it not? The People of Tibet? The People who would be born in the Himaylaya Mountain Region have a distinctly Asian appearance because…well...they are Asian, although they are their own thing, well, THIS article says it better than TFP:

The Tibetan people are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is now occupied by the People’s Republic of China. They number 5.4 million. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The Khampas of Tibet are originally from Mongolia. Tibetans speak the Tibetan language, which belongs to the Sino-Tibetan languages and has many mutually unintelligible dialects. The traditional, or mythological, explanation of the Tibetan people’s origin is that they are the descendants of the monkey Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa and rock ogress Ma Drag Sinmo. Most Tibetans practice Tibetan Buddhism, though some observe the indigenous Bön and others are Muslims.

So their roots are in Asia – as they are situated between China and India, essentially, I mean, we SEE you Nepal

– but you are kinda in the same situation, an Asian indigenous peoples. Asian being at the root of all of it – East Asian, South Asian, Asian makes up what the peoples of those lands – China, India, Nepal, and Tibet, look like.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT CAUCASIANS OR ANY OTHER KINDS OF FOLKS CANNOT PRACTICE RELIGIONS THAT HAVE THEIR ORIGINS IN TIBET!

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ANYONE CAN PRACTICE ANY RELIGION THAT APPEALS TO THEM.

RELIGION IS NOT ABOUT SKIN COLOR, DON’T GET IT TWISTED!

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REGION OF ORIGIN is different from RELIGION, even Richard Gere would agree with that.

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Debating over who owns Buddhism or any other religion is not what this is about – what this is about is what is going on with the Dr. Strange casting.

TFP wants to be clear – Tibet is a real and actual place, and the trouble with setting things in a real and actual place – even if you make up the village in which someone is supposed to have been born in –  is that there is an obligation there to embrace the people that live there by representing them in as honest a way as Hollywood can.

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That is an obligation that all creatives share – the ability to truly embrace the many influences we have and acknowledge where they came from and what they have shown us that have driven us to inspiration. Created a character based on the Tibetian way of life? That is beautiful – show us that beauty then. SHOW US why MARVEL Comics even allowed the inclusion of Tibet in the Dr. Strange canon of tales!

SHOW US TIBET!

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Why would you create a character from Tibet and then do everything in your power to make it appear that Tibet has somehow been invaded hundreds of years ago (according to their myth) by Caucasians who have graciously deigned to grant the Tibetian people the aid of their strength and wisdom?

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Now, when the casting of The Ancient One first came up, people in the business of show made guesses as to who was in the mix – that’s what it’s called – in the mix, like you can put a bunch of actors business cards in a bowl, swirl it up, blindly pull one out and cast a movie, you can’t do that…or maybe you CAN….(sometimes, that might be better – looking at you, ALOHA)

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Some thought maybe Chow Young Fat, and TFP would agree that he is perhaps more what she was thinking when they announced The Ancient One was going to be in this film. He is Chinese, and according to the map, as we have all seen – China is right next to Tibet.

They share a region and a border, and they violate this and do all sorts of terrible things, but again, Mr. Fat could be from the region of Tibet. Because the people of Tibet, again, just so we are all clear, are Asian.

Tibetan nuns pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in the US at Dharamsala on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. The exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama earlier sent a letter of condolence to U.S. President Bush. (AP Photo/Angus McDonald)

Tibetan nuns pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in the US at Dharamsala on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. The exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama earlier sent a letter of condolence to U.S. President Bush. (AP Photo/Angus McDonald)

They are their ‘own thing‘ but, their thing in an Asian thing.

Everyone on the same page, yes?

The same page that is probably a scroll with calligraphy that is measured in worth by the beauty of the brushstrokes? The page that may or may not be several hundred years old and written by a monk high up in the Himalayas because THAT is where Tibetian monasteries kinda live?

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Right, that page. That 1,000 year old page. Also in the mix for The Ancient One, were Morgan Freeman and Bill Nighy.

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This was troubling to TFP because as she has said before, you cannot sub in one minority in place of another.

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Representation is always an issue in feature films, which are, let’s face it, home of the aging but apparently always sexually attractive to women of all ages but his co-star is always 30 years young Caucasian Man. 

“Diversity” aka “Normality” is not really what Hollywoodland is selling. Ever.

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She understands that to some, Morgan Freeman and his incredible voice could be credible as a “mystic’ being with ancient knowledge, and of course Mr. Nighy has played supernatural mystical beings before so she understand the reasoning, and that would ALL be ‘for our consideration‘ except for the tricky fact that THE ANCIENT ONE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A NATIVE OF TIBET.

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Tibet the real and actual place, remember? So in TFP‘s opinion, of those three,  it ‘had‘ to go to Mr. Fat – because…well, not only is he a giant international film star with dozens of films and high visibility, he could easily be believed by the audience to be an Ancient being from a Tibetian Monastery who shares wisdom and other things with Dr. Strange. – Besides, everyone knows that Asian people age well, so if he’s 500 years give or take and only looks 50 or so?

Par for the course. (that was a joke)

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MARVEL thought they would throw us all for a loop and change the role of The Ancient One to a female – totally fine. Ancient Asian Women are just as easily residing in a monastery in Tibet – why not? In fact, had the role been changed to a woman, but kept the basic premise of ‘native of Tibet‘ going, everyone would have cheered, TFP would have been first in line.

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That was not to be, because everyone knows (ahem) that when you change a male role to a female role, the only thing one can possibly do is give the role meant for a Tibetian Mystic to a …..VEDDY VEDDY TALL BRITISH WOMAN!

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TFP’s head swung around so fast, it knocked the anesthesia right out of her bloody jaw.

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What’s that, you say? Tilda Swinton? Tilda, the Snow Queen Swinton?

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Tilda the Irish, English, Scottish heritaged woman is now going to portray a female monk of Tibet who is 500 years old?

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Does aging that long wash out your skin, cause extreme bone growth and drain the pigment from your eyes and hair? Are we now to believe that Tilda is the Tibetian version of a “White Walker” and can only be stopped from this absolute travesty of cinematic White Washing by something called Dragon Glass? Or by taking away her ‘back end’ recouping?

Does Tilda Swinton think she would make a fetching and convincing Tibetian Ancient One?

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Now some may argue that it is positive to re-imagine a role with a female, that was originally written for a male – and that IS true. Not as simple though, because you are swapping one underrepresented group in a role that was written for them with a group that while underrepresented as a whole, has more than the first group. Oh let’s cut to the chase – there are more Caucasian Women on our big screens than Asian Men, ok?

TFP  supposes that MARVEL is going to hit us all with some immediately created back story about Caucasian travelers in Tibet over 500 years ago, one of whom who happened to be pregnant and gave birth to a tall Caucasian daughter who they instantly turned over to the Monks because the Parents conveniently for the story die in an avalanche leaving the child to the mercy of the monks who raise her as their own….

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But not acknowledging the real and actual place that is Tibet when you are casting, is horrific in terms of Asian or Asian American representation on the big screen. Asian and Asian Americans who, in point of fact, buy comic books because as we all know, APIs have the HIGHEST disposable income of any particular ‘group’ within the United States of America.

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Bar none.

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We have, here in America, Actresses that are fully capable of embracing this role and of course, Internationally, there are even more Asian Actresses that are fully capable of portraying a native of Tibet – some even have a fan base to rival Chow Young Fat!

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Instead of appealing to an International Audience, which is financially viable, the good Execs at MARVEL have white washed this role because as everyone knows….Asian people cannot be super heroes because, well NO GOOD REASON, just that they wanted Tilda Swinton and thought no one would notice.

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How could they get it so right with AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and so wrong with Dr. Strange? Isn’t it the same company?

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Honestly, it was probably some executive that has noticed her past performances and thought, “She could totes be some mystic’ without recalling that the Mystic is a native of Tibet. (TFP definitely thinks ‘totes’ was in the thought and the casting memo)

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TFP cries FOUL on MARVEL Comics, and honestly FOUL on Tilda Swinton, because you see, Ms. Swinton is an advocate of all sorts of causes, one being EDUCATION, and in supporting EDUCATION, one imagines that she herself sees the value in learning, and in the course of learning, one reads and is taught to read maps.

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In reading maps, one begins conversations about the peoples who dwell on the places represented by those maps and it enhances the quality of one’s education to culturally broaden oneself, does it not? And by reading those maps herself, or even if she is only raising money to help others learn to do it, she very VEDDY easily could have learned WHERE Tibet is and WHAT it’s Indigenous peoples look like, and being a rather lefty moral person, upon learning that, she would refuse the role.

Only, she didn’t, did she?

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It cannot just be APIs railing against the dying of the light of representation, at SOME point, Caucasian Actors and Actresses have to take responsibility for accepting these roles – PARTICULARLY those who are ALREADY film stars and can obtain work WITHOUT having to take away a role from an ethnic minority.

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Ethnic Minorities are vastly, vastly underrepresented on our Hollywood film-scape, and ETHNIC WOMEN? Seriously, how many times does one have to point at zero to see that in major Hollywood Action and Comic Films, the number of Asian women represented is easily counted on one hand?

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TFP awards 30 slaps of the wand to MARVEL Comics and an EQUAL number to Tilda Swinton (whose work she has always admired, but who now, she will find tainted) who should have known better.

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IN FACT – and here is a secret Hollywood bomb, she now feels much more kindly to Meryl Streep who sat down exactly next to TFP in a deserted screening of MICHAEL CLAYTON on a Wednesday at The Grove, not a chair between them though the theater sat about 300, and laughed and laughed at Ms. Swinton’s performance with…wait for it…Jill Clayburgh. (and some man).

TFP didn’t like Meryl Streep for a long time because of that, but she has CHANGED HER MIND!

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CARRY ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF MERYL STREEP AND KEEP FOUNDING THOSE WRITING PROGRAMS!

TILDA…TFP has no words left for you and MARVEL COMICS EXCEPT

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The Fairy Princess had a good day, thus far – her child has decided to become a “Potty Pirate‘!

Before he is 21 years old!

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Parents of Toddlers will understand this.

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But enough about poop – let’s talk about Mr. Eddie Huang.

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TFP has been an active observer of Mr. Eddie Huang for a long time now – what with his book, his restaurant, and the television show that was inspired by his book.

The American Dream, right?

ABC kid moved from D.C. to Orlando, grows up in abusive household, identifies with Hip Hop music, goes to college,  becomes a Lawyer, stops being a lawyer, opens a restaurant, becomes famous chef, does food based shows, writes a book, book becomes TV show. There is even a clothing line in there somewhere.

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Recently though, Mr. Eddie Huang seems to be in  the midst of self-imploding and TFP is observing that as well.

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with, truth be told, a bit of sadness.

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Mr. Eddie Huang seems bent on becoming the most hated Asian American male in America, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop him. He hates Fresh Off The Boat on ABC because it does not include Domestic Violence. Well, OK, but Bruthaman, you sold it to ABC as a sitcom on a Family Block Night – most situation comedies do not include beating of the children.

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He talks about Hip Hop Culture and finding within it salvation, but then denigrates Black women who ask for clarification on some of his talking points.

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All in all, he seems to be having a self-admitted crisis, as shown in this article from Papermag:

Huang: Let me ask you this though, how have you dealt with acceptance and success? Because I have only recently been going through it, and I feel like acceptance is kind of the worst shit because you spent your whole life being the underdog.

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As TFP is reading the situation, he wants to be rich and successful, but he does not want to be seen as rich and successful, because being rich and successful means….um…. he can no longer enjoy Hip Hop?

tumblr_mi6bkiOVpc1s5gauno1_500He wants to talk and he wants people to listen to what he says, but then when they listen to what he says and they find it confusing or objectionable he is not responsible for what he said because he was not being a role model, he is an outsider!

HE DOES NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK, WORLD, IF YOU DISAGREE WITH HIM YOU ARE A HATER!

And with “Haters’, one is able to

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However, Mr. Huang is de facto a ‘celebrity’ now, so people pay attention to what is is saying, even while what he is saying is geared, essentially to promote his ‘brand’ of Bad Ass Hip Hop Restauranteur. And when you stay stupid sh*t as a ‘celebrity’, people pay attention.

So, TFP thought perhaps she should say a few things….

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Mr. Eddie Huang, you are not the only API to ever like Hip Hop…

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Love of Hip Hop comes in all forms

In fact before TFP fell in love with Musical Theater, she was ALL about the Hip Hop

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However, loving a music and a culture is no reason to be all

7742074_origTFP knows who you are. She gets your ‘brand’.

 You are a guy who grew up in Orlando with Immigrant Parents who became a lawyer.

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You always liked Hip Hop, and identified with that music.

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You left the law and focused on creating great food.

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That won you awards and attention and some food tv shows…

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After which you wrote a book and sold the book to ABC.

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And whilst on that journey you went from wearing a suit every day to

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Very impressive to be sure – to realize that you could parlay your love and identification with Hip Hop into a branding machine. It’s made you quite a public speaker and a fortune.

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But Mr. Huang, it’s time to stop being a douchebag.

Sometimes SILENCE is a good thing. Let’s role play –

REPORTER: Mr. Huang, how do you really feel?

FICTIONAL ZEN EDDIE HUANG: I feel really good, and…I have no comment.

You see? Easier than making pre-fab Ramen noodles on a hot plate!

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Here’s the problems, as far as TFP can see them:

1. You are trying to sink the first API family show on television in 20 years. Not OK.

2. You are dressing down, in print, the Executives and Writers who believed enough in your story to take a chance on it – even though chances of professional failure were high. Not Ok.

3. You co-opt, in the name of love, a style and a swagger, but then you treat the people whose struggle it comes from with disregard.  Especially the women. Not Ok.

If TFP‘s Korean American Husband acted like that, we would have had a visit from his Momz pretty damn quick.

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TFP is not ok with this laundry you are airing.

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TFP thinks you are struggling with the success of the show – and that is ok, very natural to have ‘Buyer’s Remorse”.

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But save that for therapy.

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TFP is thinking you need a Publicist.

APIs have the HIGHEST disposable income in America today – and you are a man that they have gotten behind.  What happens when the consumers of your brand find it too hard to support you?

No one likes a guy who is rude to women. No one likes a guy that takes what most consider an opportunity for many, and trashes it for personal reasons. TFP remembers when you took on Bill O’Reilly, which is hilarious because in some regards, you are using some of his egregious habits – loudly proclaiming your right to ignore criticism, carrying on about oversensitive people and their reactions to your voice. Who does that sound like?

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One supposes either way you ‘win’, if they show stays on, you get to keep cashing that check (oh yes, Children, he gets paid),  and if it gets taken off the air, while you lose a check, your swagger with the Hip Hop crowd gets even bigger, because you blew up your own ‘haus’.

One question, is the Hip Hop crowd going to step up when all the APIs go away because you took down their first chance to watch an API family on TV in 20 years?

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Are you fully prepared to take down a whole bunch of people with you in the name of your ‘swagger’?

Including three kids that look up to you?

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You keep going this way, not even Olivia Pope could save you. (Her show is based on a real person too!)

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And the rest of us? The APIs? We’ll all be

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So, do YOU, Mr. Eddie Huang, of course DO YOU, no one is telling you NOT to…but Dude, do what you need to to make “doing you’ a bit happier, cuz Homes….you a bit too fortunate to be this angry.

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TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has been staying out of the 99 Seat Theater Contract Debates. The reason being that she no longer works those contracts because it is not financially viable to work for a $100 honorarium for several weeks of rehearsal, every night, and pay a babysitter. Or eat. Or buy clothes.

Plus, they usually ask the Actor to donate the $100 back so they can make their budget!

For the record, TFP always said no on that.

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Thus, TFP spends more time on the East Coast where, to be quite honest, she has been much busier and has had the opportunity to work on some very cool developing musicals. Musical workshops where she was paid more for working on it for a WEEK, than she would be paid to ‘run’ a play in LA for six weeks. Or two months if it gets extended for good reviews and response. Repeat, more in 29 hours than in 2 months of rehearsal.

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Now, to those who say TFP knows nothing about running a theater company in LA, they should stop right now – she knows way more about running a theater company than the average actor. She was on the Board for a theater company in New York, she has worked with AEA as a deputy, and her husband was a Co-Artistic Director of an API Theater company in LA for 10 years. Which ran under the 99 Seat Plan.

TFP actually does know about the financial burdens on smaller theater companies in LA and guess what?

THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME AS FINANCIAL BURDENS OF ANY SMALL THEATER COMPANY ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES.

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There is no magical difference between Los Angeles theater and theater anywhere else, except in LA, Actors have managed to convince themselves that their talent and time has no value. Because that is what they have been told by Artistic Directors and Producers. They have been told, over and over, that should Actors get paid, LA Theater would end in a horrible explosion and the death of theater would be on THEIR shoulders.

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Actors have been convinced that they do not need to be paid for doing theater in LA, because they get more than enough money when they do Television and Theater roles…right, because those roles just fall magically from the sky like gumdrops in a Depression era movie starring a curly moppet who tap dances and has a lisp.

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LA Theater is not dying. TFP repeats, it is not dying. There’s life in the Old Girl yet….

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LA Theater has always had consumption on a certain level, and that is because, as is universally acknowledged, Actors in LA journey there to focus on television and film, and theater is something they do to

1. Get discovered

2. “Work on craft’

3. Have something to do

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Loving one’s job does not make it of less value. Loving one’s job is a huge bonus. If one auditions, and is hired, it is a job – a job that is part of a vocation, but a job nonetheless, and in this country, when a Union Member does a job – ANY Union Member in ANY Union, when they perform a task that falls under the title of ‘job’, according to the rules and statues of that Union – they get paid.

tumblr_inline_mf7xxos7T41ry4qimEveryone likes to keep busy. That is and was the reason for the LA 99 Seat Plan to come into being. TFP gets that.

After all, when someone asks you “What are you working on?” this –

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is not a fun answer to give.

But it does not mean that you, as a Union Member, should work for free. We got 99 Seat Plan Problems, don’t you be one…

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Actors Equity finally took a look at this situation and came up with a plan to get the Actors more than $100 total for weeks and weeks of rehearsal and performance.

They want Actors to receive…wait for it – NINE DOLLARS AN HOUR!

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May TFP take this moment to remind everyone that there are people who work in the Fast Food Industry who are marching in cities across the country, for a $15 an hour wage.

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So, one can do an Ibsen play and make LESS than flipping a burger, that is, oh what is the word TFP is searching for?

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 Of course, LA Artistic Directors and Theater Companies responded to AEA’s plan to pay Actors Minimum wage….

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Their stance is that LA Theater companies working under the 99 Seat Plan cannot afford to pay the Actors. The ones that people are ostensibly paying money to see, oh NO…THEY cannot be paid, that would break our theaters!

(Plus they have to pay for the theater rental, rights to the material, staff, designers, and stage management)

(Some companies are all volunteer, one imagines, but TFP has never been to any 99 Seat show where the SM and Designers did not receive some sort of salary for their contributions)

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And the crazy thing is – ONCE AGAIN, the ACTORS BOUGHT INTO IT!

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With what money, one has not a clue, but yet again, the Actors of LA have convinced themselves that the work they do is valueless. That the Union, their Union, which represents ALL Actors, ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY, a Union that has been criticized so harshly for allowing this contract to be in place in the first place, a Union that they were SO excited to join…they have decided this Union is launching a war against theater that can only be comparable to those shown with British accents on cable.

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So then Union Actors decided to protest their own Union for lobbying for them to get paid.

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The Union is not trying to kill theater. The Union is trying to protect the rights of all Actors that it represents.

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Since 1972, Actors in Los Angeles have been devaluing their own worth – because that is when Equity Waiver theater started happening. At that time, any Union member could waive their rights at a Union member, and perform for free – completely.

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It was amended and changed in 1987 and called the 99 Seat plan. This provided ‘basic’ rights for the Union Actor participating – rehearsal hours, mandated breaks, and that the Producer should purchase Insurance to protect everyone. It was amended in 2000, and that plan, the 99 Seat Plan, is what we have today.

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TFP quotes from the current 99 Seat Plan, as set forth by AEA:

B) The Plan is based on the premise that Plan Theatres utilize the work and talent of Equity Members without wage or compensation.

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The rest of the agreement is about safety, how to treat costumes, how many times you may be called back (3) without financial compensation, the ‘break’ schedule, the rehearsal schedule and what the duties of the Producer and Stage Manager are. However that line, B which is in the FORWARD section on Page 1 is really all that you need to know.

The Plan is based on the fact that they will not pay you. Everyone can get paid, except the Actors.

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There is nothing wrong with wanting to work for free – as long as you do not call yourself a Professional. If you want to work for free, if you want to work for love only, then you are an Amateur.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING AN AMATEUR.

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The word comes from Amo which is Latin for l love. Amateurs do things because they love it, they just do not love it enough to invest their life in it. Amateurs do not pay Union dues. Amateurs are not concerned about rehearsal breaks, or how costumes are kept, nor do they worry about Producers devaluing their work to keep them broke and grateful for ‘the opportunity’. They are too much in love with what they are doing, and that is called….community theater.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with Community Theater, and there is nothing wrong with being a Non Union Actor – but TFP has never met a Non Union Actor that does not aspire to join the Union, because being a Union member stands for something. LA Actors who are venting against the 99 Seat Plan and being awarded minimum wage, are not standing for anything – they are bending over.

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TFP is not saying that Producers and AD’s do not love Actors, of course they love Actors – just not enough to pay them.

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You see, they want Actors to believe that “Opportunity’ is enough. That if those theaters provide the opportunity for people to ‘be seen’, then of course, the talent should come free.

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The Fairy Princess believes that if tickets are sold, and money is made, then Actors should be paid. If TFP goes to see a show and buys a ticket, she would like to know that the Actors in the show are reaping some benefit from her dollars.

TFP believes that if monetary value is placed on AEA Actors and their time within the 99 Seat Agreement, then their time AND their talent will be valued higher, by both the Actors themselves and the Production Team.

TFP does not feel sorry for any of the theaters moaning about closing – not even the ones run by friends – and here is why:

They have had a ‘free ride’ from the Actors since 1972. It is now 2015. That is 43 years of contributions by Actors.

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It should be a goal of any theater company that wants to grow and expand, to want to pay their talent, and if there are any who are 10, 20, 30 years old who have NOT figured out how to pay the Actors, there is a problem there that is bigger than giving Actors $9 an hour.

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This plan does not go into effect for ONE YEAR beginning in June.

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Quite a lot can happen in a year…a baby can be born, a person can graduate from college, a tree can grow…and…financial plans can be redrawn and steps can be taken to make sure that a theater company can meet it’s goals and pay their Actors.

Will it be easy? No.

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But theater people are tough, and LA Theater Producers are some of the toughest.

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There might have to be more fundraisers.

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There might have to be those hideous Kick-Indie-Go-Go things which are insidiously replacing the old fashioned ‘get a day job you hate and save your money to do your project’….

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They might have to write more Grant proposals, or add people to the Board who can bring in the

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It will just take more work, that is really all it is…it is more work,  TFP knows that LA Theaters can do it

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Yes, many Actors may feel…

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But you should really be feeling more like…

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Remember, AEA Actors…if you feel that you absolutely cannot take minimum wage from a theater company, if you are ‘in the money‘,  you can always donate it back…

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Theater in Los Angeles will not die because AEA Actors will have to be paid, it hasn’t in ANY other City….

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TFP stands with AEA on this decision.

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Once tempers cool and reason returns, she hopes that the AEA Actors in LA, who fought against themselves and their own best interests, will realize that this decision is not the end of the world.

There are options – you can leave the Union, you can donate the money back to the theater company of your own volition, you can help the theater company you love raise the money it needs to pay you – what you cannot continue to do is give away your talent for free – because other cities who have Producers who currently pay AEA Actors to perform are ACHING to stop paying their Actors.

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What if Chicago stops paying their AEA Actors? What if Atlanta and Houston follow? What if NY Producers – who are whittling away as fast as they can at Tour salaries and benefits – what if New York, which has The Broadway – what if THEY decided to stop paying Actors?

Setting precedents that Union endorsed non-payment of AEA Talent is acceptable is dangerous. Sometimes things do not trickle down, they fall up.

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TFP out.

The Fairy Princess on a daily basis gets frustrated with young women in the public eye.

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She says that not because she is angry or unhappy about them being in the public eye, but because so often, they ones that wound up in the public eye at a young age have missed some supplemental education because value is placed on other things – things like singing and dancing and acting.

Don’t go crazy, it is TFP’s opinion based on observation.

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While TFP knows that singing, dancing, and acting does NOT prevent one from ‘thinking the big thinks‘ – if one does not realize the value of them, those ‘big thinks‘, then one can so easily laugh them off – the collective value of the big thinks.

Case in point – FEMINISM

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Now, TFP is of the opinion that every woman in the United States today is a feminist.

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This is a loaded statement – and people will ‘come’ for TFP, but WHY is she saying that?

TFP says that every woman in the United States and a large portion of Western Countries are Feminists because they stand, we stand, on the backs of the women that came before. We, the Women of the World, are, as is said in The Joy Luck Club – like ‘steps through time” – one after the other. We, the Women of the United States, are afforded freedoms and choices because of Feminist principles and activists, who fought for us in the past.

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With each age, women strive to come forward a bit more. Yes, we continually have to ‘prove’ ourselves – that we are smart, that we are useful, that we are good mothers, that we are ‘just as capable‘….yes, it is exhausting. This is not new, but it is a constant battle that we wage, secure in the knowledge that at least some of it, has backing in legislation.

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Women today have choices now that their Grandmothers could not imagine. Some women have choices that, given where their Mother came from and how she grew up, that their MOTHER could not imagine – and that is AWESOME!

DANCE PARTY!

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Which is why TFP was so disheartened to read this quote in the New York Times by Vanessa Hudgens,

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who will be starring in the Broadway Revival of GIGI.

Regarding her own feminism, “I used to be on the fence about it, “she said “Just because I feel like it gets to a certain place where it almost has the reverse effect, where it is so overpowering and so aggressive that it’s like rather than just standing up for female pride and female rights, it becomes, like, “I am the man’.

Out came the giggle, like a lace fan. “But now I feel like there’s this new wave of feminists coming up that are truly about equal rights for women. I mean, Beyonce is, like, killing the game, and I love her.”

You have been ON THE FENCE about Feminism because you think it is aggressive and makes you like a man?

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ON THE FENCE?

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You mean that fence that they used to use to keep women from voting, keeping their wages, deciding how many children to have, deciding to pursue education, and deciding to have the ability to start a business that was not based solely on selling their vagina to the highest bidder?

THAT is the fence you were on, Miss Vanessa?

No, Oprah does not understand...NO.

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Not good enough.

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Look, TFP rarely responds to young actresses speaking about Feminism – Cayley Cuoco gave a doozy of a statement when she told REDBOOK Magazine (when asked was she a Feminist)

“Is it bad if I say no? ….I cook for Ryan five nights a week and it makes me feel like a housewife; I love that”

TFP thought….

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Ms. Cuoco later had to apologize because she is a multi-millionaire who has made her living in one of the most color biased and gender biased businesses in the world, a world she resides in because of an uber amount of privilege and timing…and she made the rounds spouting that age old Publicist ‘cure-all’  – ‘My words were taken out of context.’

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No, they weren’t. Vanessa’s were not either. They were not taken out of context because, as is quite clear – because you have to know what the context IS, to be taken out of it. These young women of privilege and position have NO IDEA what Feminism is, and what it has given them, and so…they are talking out of their ass.

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Yes, TFP said “talking out of their ass’ er…’asses’.

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While TFP generally ignores things that silly women say – ONLY BECAUSE SHE KNOWS HOW MANY BRILLIANT AND SAVVY WOMEN ARE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD – she cannot ignore it when a person of Mixed race says them.

So Vanessa,

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under the bus you go, because Hapas are not allowed to spout this idiocy.

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There are SO FEW of us out there that EVERY time one of us gets an opportunity they have to, by default, be a role model.

Yes, it is exhausting. Yes, it is a pain in the ass. But what is so tragic is that 11 year old Hudson Yang is paying more attention to his words, as one of the stars of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT,

than you are, as one of the FIRST Hapas to be headlining a Broadway show at 26 years old!

You are a GROWN ASS WOMAN….and you should know better!

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“We”, the Hapas of Broadway have the leads in ALADDIN, and YOU – that’s it.

If Nicole Scherzinger comes in with CATS, that will be FOUR.

Now and in the foreseeable future....

Now and in the foreseeable future….

If we were to add the supporting roles of those in King & I, it would bring it up to SEVEN. (Much respect to Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, and Ashley Park).

SIX lead roles played by people of mixed Asian descent out of 32 shows on Broadway. With a possible 7th coming in.

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So no, Miss Vanessa…when we are only dealing with one out of six, one who has legions of teenage female fans, you do not get a pass when you give a quote that posits only BEYONCE as an ‘acceptable’ Feminist.

BEYONCE!

tumblr_mduldxRPA61qktr4to1_400Beyonce has a great gift with a ‘lick’ and is an amazing performer, but are her songs feminist thought inspiring?

If Ya Liked It then ya Should’a Put a Ring on it?

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Beyonce lives as a Feminist – she owns a business, she has her own money, she gives to charity, she is a mother, she votes , she expresses her opinions and is not mocked for them – all those things are benefits of Feminism. Yes, she lives her life as a Feminist, as all women in this country do –  but her songs-  they usually revolve around a man. She ‘owns’ her own sexuality, and that is a component of Feminism of course, but TFP does not really think of Crazy In Love as a rallying cry for Feminism.

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No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade – it is what it is.

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TFP likes Beyonce and her music – but looking for lessons of Feminism from the lyrics?

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Whitney Houston, now? Madonna? Lady Gaga? Pink? Those would all be yes.

TFP is now going to tell  you why, YES VANESSA…you ARE a Feminist – in case you are asked again…

1. You get to vote

in 1920 – a mere 95 years ago, via the 19th Amendment, women were allowed to vote in elections in the United States

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2. You are not the property of your Father as an unmarried woman (Women’s History In America)

“During the early history of the United States, a man virtually owned his wife and children as he did his material possessions. If a poor man chose to send his children to the poorhouse, (to repay his debts) the mother was legally defenseless to object. …Equity law had a liberalizing effect upon the rights of women in the United States. For instance, a woman could sue her husband. Mississippi in 1839, followed by New York in  1848 and Massachusetts in 1854, passed laws allowing married women to own property separate from their husbands. In divorce law, however, the divorced husband kept legal control of both children and property.”

As a young woman, not only would you be the ‘property’ of your Father, you would have to turn all monies earned, if you were ‘allowed’ to work by him, you would turn it all over TO him, because your money was NOT your own.

And if your Dad was Tom Cruise…it would have been…..

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3.  You are not the property, should you choose to marry, of your Husband – this was  ‘coverture”.

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Under coverture, you would turn over any and all property to your Husband as soon as you were married – you would have no say in it’s administration or disposal, and had no legal repercussions if he mishandled the funds. Likewise in the case of a divorce, the courts would favor dispersal to the husband with a small ‘jointure’ perhaps given to the wife at the dissolution of the marriage. Maybe.

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You may be familiar with this as the basic plot of DOWNTOWN ABBEY – remember? The Earl has mishandled the funds his wife brought to the marriage which saved Downtown, but cannot be passed on to Lady Mary because….you guessed it – coverture!

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4. You can have a ‘line of credit’ aka “a credit card’ in your own name.

That law happened in 1974 – and it was called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Yes, Vanessa – 1974 was when women in America could get their own credit card! Do YOU have a credit card? Then you should thank those Feminists, male and female, who worked together before you were born, to make sure you could drop into any store you like and buy whatever you want.

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5. If you do get married, and you suffer spousal rape, it is now a crime. This law was passed in 1993. You may even have been born, Miss Vanessa – prior to that, if your spouse was in the mood and you weren’t, too bad.

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6. You can run in the Boston Marathon…something that women could not do until 1972.

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7. You have access to birth control without being subject to ‘decency laws’ or risk being thrown into jail for lewdness.

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8. You can get a divorce (if you chose to get married) without having to prove anyone was ‘at fault’.

Prior to 1967, it was rather hard to get a divorce in this country because one needed ‘grounds’. Like, for example, if the Husband was beating the wife all day and night, and he didn’t want her to be able to divorce him, he could (through attorneys and the law at the time) deny that there was a ‘reason’ for the marriage to dissolve. The wife could move out of course, but legally, he was still her husband.

However, it was shockingly easy for a Husband to put aside a wife, because grounds like ‘adultery’ can be given – even if none occurred, and the court in general, found ‘for’ the Husband. Because of course, who would want to live with a cheating wife?

No Fault Divorce has many for and against – even Feminists are divided, however the fact is, if a woman or man is ‘trapped’ within an untenable situation and they want to walk away – they can.

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FYI, should you be getting married any time soon whilst on Broadway, it is worth noting that New York State was the last state to ratify No Fault Divorce – in 2010.

9. You do not have to wear a religious or state sanctioned outfit that inhibits your freedom of movement – you have a right to wear whatever you want to wear. You can thank Feminists of the 1960‘s for modern inventions like the miniskirt and so forth.

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10. You have the right to star on Broadway in a show about a young girl of 14 who is sold, by her Great Aunts, to an older man in his at least, late 30’s, who is then sooooo overcome by her youth and zest that he ACTUALLY MARRIES HER!

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Instead of, as was the custom in the era in which the show is set, signing a contract with her Family as to how many dresses, spending money, carriages, what kind of house she was to have, what the care and feeding of any children resulting from their sexual congress would be, and which gave HIM the ability to terminate, at any time, his support of a woman who was for all intents and purposes ‘ruined’ in the eyes of society because she was no longer a virgin. Also in the contract would likely be how many times per week she was to expect to receive his ‘attentions’, and perhaps even the times with which she must wait up till, before she could make the determination that he was not coming, so she could go to bed.

After her Swain was done with her, and the contract was terminated,  she would have to find another ‘protector’, as long as she still had her looks.  If she was lucky, she would receive a ‘settlement’ with which she could invest, if not perhaps she would be able to get enough ‘gifts’ that she would then be able to sell as she aged and became less desirable to wealthy men. This would continue until she succumbed perhaps, to one of a host of venereal diseases while all her former lovers were married to ‘respectable’ women and had long and productive lives. She would be left in ‘genteel’ or abject poverty till her death.

That is what happened to Courtesans – if you do not believe, TFP, go and ask Fantine, she is a few theaters down from you.

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That this current version of GIGI is being produced by women who have updated and changed the ages and have made this Gigi more palatable, (according to your Director, Eric Schaeffer “We had to get the perv factor out of it“), to modern tastes… is a result of Feminism.

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Because….de facto – you have Women in power positions on this production, addressing concerns modern women might have with the show – which is the direct result of people laying down in marches and protests, burning their undergarments, going on hunger strikes, marching, legislating, and in general, trying to assure that you, as a 26 year old woman of today, would never have to go through what women in the past have gone through.

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Do the freedoms given to you by women of the past alleviate your concerns that people might think of you as angry or aggressive?

Are there any that you would like to give back?

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The reason that we are all able to stand up for ourselves and decide for ourselves is because those are rights that were won before we even got here on this planet, by Feminists, also call Suffragettes, also called Interfering Women, also a slew of derogatory names as well as ‘Too smart for their own damn good”.  Not all of them were women, either.

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The women of the past have paid it forward to us, and now it is our job to continue to encourage young women to embrace being Feminists, to embrace thinking, to embrace striving, not to scare them by denying what it actually is – which is equality in all things. It is striving for equality – struggles that still go on today.

If one is going to be in a show about a Prostitute…

(which, don’t get TFP wrong, Musical Theater LOVES us some Prostitutes, they get ALL the best songs!)

….who is fighting for her right to decide her own future – then does it not reason that the star of that show should EMBRACE FULLY AND COMPLETELY THE NOTION OF FEMINISM AS IT STANDS TODAY?

quote-people-call-me-a-feminist-whenever-i-express-sentiments-that-differentiate-me-from-a-doormat-or-a-rebecca-west-196326IS THAT NOT WHAT THIS ‘NEW’ VERSION  OF GIGI IS ABOUT ACCORDING TO HEIDI THOMAS, the writer?

Women making their own choices?

You do know that the French Monks who invented Champagne by accident were actually not thinking of Happy Hookers and their Swains when they invented the bubbly beverage, right? Lerner & Lowe just made that up?

Duh_duh_duhLook let’s not drag this on and on and on because here is the short list:

You are Feminist if you have ever begun, as a woman, a sentence with “Well, I think….”

You are a Feminist if you have ever stated, as a woman, “I don’t like that….”

You are a Feminist if you, as a woman, have expressed your option to not have sex with a man who requests it

You are a Feminist if you have, as a woman, encouraged a little girl to dream about her future, and dream big

Those are four VERY SIMPLE examples of how one can be a Feminist.

hAB0D6F77For equating Feminism with trying to be a man, and denying that you yourself are the recipient of the benefits of Feminism – TFP sentences you to 20 whacks with the wand, a wonderful Opening Night, and a reading of The Personal is Political by Carol Hanisch, which you should then talk about with the very brilliant Ms. Thomas with whom you work!

The next time someone asks you – and they will again, TFP would appreciate it, as a person of Mixed Asian descent and as a WOMAN if you would simply reply

“I would not be where I am today without Feminism. Next question.”

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Tell ’em Hillary!

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