The Fairy Princess knows that it has been a time of extraordinary change for the AAPI community – and a lot of it has been good, while a lot of it has been paired with a continued onslaught of violence that makes one feel really isolated and vulnerable. Highs and lows are hitting us like we are in a batting cage having never swung a bat before, and it can be a weird place to walk in our shoes right now.

NOT IN THE HOUSE…

First off – some highs:

First of all, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to ZACH PISER, who ran his ‘last’ performance as EVAN HANSEN in DEAR EVAN HANSEN on Broadway. Zach has long been a beacon of light on Broadway and Off – TFP thinks longingly of his performance in Sweeney Todd as Toby, opposite another brilliant Mixed Asian Artist, Thom Sesma .

While this will not be the last time we see this leading man, it is the last time for a little bit. He began his ‘run’ on January 23, 2019 and ends it today on August 7, 2022. He has appeared on panels for BroadwayCon and Mixing it Up, and TFP is grateful for his friendship, even more for his talent.

Second – a short film TFP wrote and appears in, was accepted into the Cannes International Film Festival. It is part of a larger project called ENTANGLEMENT, produced by Voices of Women, which is a collab between Australia and the USA. As TFP herself is also a collab between the USA and Oz, it was a nice pandemic project to work on. The seemingly daily festival medallions are the work of the Director, Kaye Tuckerman, and the Producing Team, Sally Phillips Paradis, Laura Patinkin Urkin, and Lliane Clarke, who is the AD of VOW – thank you to all who worked on this.

Third – it is a big weekend for Fil-Ams, with the opening of comedian Jo Koy’s EASTER SUNDAY film. This was the Opening weekend for the film, which did gross $5.3 million dollars. The film cost $17 million to make, so all that means for Indie Comedies for Underrepresented Groups, is that y’all are going to need to see this film a few more times over the next few weeks – because this film is not dissimilar from MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING.

That film, BFGW, on it’s opening weekend made…$597,362. Ahem. It cost $5 million.

Currently it has made, $241,438, 208.

So what ‘we’, (AAPI America) is not going to do, is buy into white critics/daily papers saying the film is failing expectations – it’s not – it is just that nurses and their schedules do not always match up with film times.

They will go on their day off – expect these numbers to rise. They are dealing with Covid and Monkey Pox – they are busy, hey?

(That joke was for Jo Koy, who TFP has been obsessed with for a while).

Congratulations to Rodney To, Melody Butiu and Lydia Gaston, who are Talaga-ing their tushes off in this film.

To all the Fil-Am actors who have spent literally their entire careers having to NOT play Filipinos – this is a huge moment, it is a GIANT deal. It is everybody’s dream to be able to fully show their talents and trials in one piece – Mr. Koy fought for this film to be released on the big screen, and not streamed because he said that Filipinos should be able to go to the theater and ‘see themselves’ – well now is your chance.

TFP salutes you in Adobo. Get your life!

Everyone else – get a ticket!

FOURTHJohn Cho has a new film out on PRIME – DON’T MAKE ME GO

Co-starring Mia Issacs as his daughter, a Father facing a terminal illness, takes his teen on one last roadtrip – bring tissues. Also, for the ‘purity’ police – please note mixed race people come in all shapes, sizes, and shades – they are still Asian.

As they say in Australia – even if you have coffee with a lot of cream, it’s still coffee. Meaning, if someone has heritage, nothing you say is going to make them NOT have that heritage.

Fifth – if you are a fan of Rom Com’s that you can watch in the comfort of your own home, and who isn’t – you can turn on Netflix and see Rizwan Manji knock it out of the park in WEDDING SEASON, among the rest of the cast. It is on the Netflix since Aug 4 – and it’s in it’s ‘most streamed’ list at the top when you open it up – with the importance of South Asian representation, this ranks right up there – turn it on, Folks.

Now we are going to talk some ‘real talk’ – and that is about ‘white washing’ – and how it does not apply to everything you think it does…

White Washing is a term for replacing real and actual people who have wound up in a movie or play, who are of the Global Majority, with Actors who are of European descent. We see this with Ben Affleck playing Tony Mendez in ARGO, with Jennifer Connolly playing the real life character of Alicia Nash in A BEAUTIFUL MIND – the real Alicia was of Salvadoran heritage.

Currently James Franco of the no Latinx heritage whatsoever is holding down this inglorious tradition by announcing he will be playing…FIDEL CASTRO!!

‘White Washing” is usually done to those who fall within the Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous groups.

Hollywood has been doing it for YEARS, since Hollywood began, and yes it is annoying and hurtful.

It is ‘white washing’ when Scarlett Johansson did it, yes.

GHOST IN THE SHELL was egregious in many ways – first, the studio digitally tried to alter her face to make her appear more Asian. They costumed and wigged her in a way that, from a distance, one could possibly if they were legally blind, mistake her for Asian, and they left the character’s name as a Japanese surname. Thus ensuring that she would be perceived as being an Asian styled robot or whatever that mess was. They got called out for this egregious casting and digital yellowface, and it failed at the box office – which is a giant sin, so Hollywood did ‘get it’ – if you want to cast Asian roles, you need Asian faces.

What is not ‘white washing’ is the new iteration of BULLET TRAIN.

This film has a plethora of Japanese descended actors in it – are they all the lead? No. Because that is how film works, not everyone is a lead. What is cool about it, is that Brad Pitt, who IS the lead – is sharing space with AAPI Actors in a significant way.

Was BULLET TRAIN a film prior to this that they just ripped off?

No. It is not “THE DEPARTED”.

While there is a Japanese language film called “The Bullet Train” – that was about a bomb exploding on a train and it came out in 1976 – that is not this one.

This “Bullet Train” is based on a book called “Maria Beetle” by Kōtarō Isaka. The English language version of the book is called Bullet Train. The character that Brad Pitt is playing, that of an unlucky assassin code name, Ladybug, has never been ‘seen’ before. “Ladybug” is a fictional character – it is not based on a real person. “Maria Beetle” is being played by Sandra Bullock.

As “Bullet Trains’ exist in Japan, Japan is where the film is set – and what it is about is – a bunch of assassins who seemingly have missions that do not intersect, wind up having missions that actually intersect. Japan itself, is a character in the film – the culture and traditions and fighting styles are fully in front – but this is an International Film.

This is not a film where they buy the book rights and everyone is Asian but speaks English. To assume otherwise or to call this out for ‘white washing’ is using the term incorrectly – as it was never intended to be anything other than an International Film, for International Audiences. There are films that are Asian American and have a mono racial (within a range) cast and storyline – however BULLET TRAIN was never intended for that – or they would not have released the book in English.

If it was only intended to be seen by those who speak and read Japanese, the author would not have sold the rights to the story – because when you sell the rights – and there are entire branches in the publishing world devoted to this very thing – you have a very clear breakdown of what can and cannot be done with the source material.

There are various levels of approval that any material based on a published work has to go through,and as we see with the huge debacle about The Unauthorized Tik Tok Bridgerton Musical, if the lines are crossed, then lawyers are called. (OMG what were those women thinking when they did that…)

You cannot gatekeep something the original author has sold for adaptation. Adaptation means they are going to adjust the work to the medium it is intended for. It is not rocket science, folks.

The Cast is a wide range of heritages, they have gender representation, and multi-culturalism. To call ‘white washing’ on this film, is more about gatekeeping than anything else. While yes, there needs to be more films that star AAPIs and that is an ongoing process – but to say this film is ‘white washed’ is a bit of a reach.

Are all the actors of the same background? No. Should we want them to be? Honestly, that kind of thinking does not make sense to TFP, but if that is the way you feel – you are entitled to your feelings. TFP believes that the more diversity the better – the world of assassins are not known for only one type of person – honestly having different actors play different assassins makes it more interesting, but you can die on that hill if you want.

You will just be alone.

Here is the list of Japanese Descended talents that are in the film, whose lives and careers will be elevated because they are now in an international film where they are on screen with Brad Pitt

Hirokyuki Sanada, Andrew Koji, Masi Oka, Yoshi Sudarso, Nobuaki Shimamoto, Darren Keilan, Kaori Taketani, Harrison Xu, RiRia, Shota Kakibata, Naomi Matsuda, and Rebecca Lynne Morley

Congrats to the Cast – TFP wishes them much success and financial stability – and ‘purists’ please stop trying to yuck their yum, and take several seats.

You know, sometimes when TFP writes the blog, there is a method to her madness and this is one of those times – if you look at what she has ‘covered’ you will see that a lot of what ‘we’ get to be proud of and support is work done by Mixed Race Asian people.

Now, we are going to talk about this new musical COME FALL IN LOVE, which is also know as DDLJ in India, and is one of the most beloved films in Bollywood history. Originally written in Hindi language by the writer and director, Aditya Chopra – this film, since it’s release in the 90’s, has grossed 2 billion dollars.

TWO BILLION DOLLARS!

Which means, people like it. They do not ‘just’ like it – they love it.

First of all, international setting – two non resident (meaning non dwelling at the time in India) young attractive people go traveling through Europe on vacation, meet and fall in love, only to have to deal with the fact that Simran, the female character, has an arranged marriage waiting for her back in India at the end of this adventure.

Simran and Raj have chemistry, and everything works out, because it is Bollywood and because it is a musical, and because sometimes things just have to work out in films, as otherwise the world falls apart.

Now, in the original film – the skin tones of the actors matched because…it was a Bollywood film.

(There is a colorism issue in Bollywood films, but that is not going to be solved by this blog – TFP wanted to acknowledge this though – there is a propensity for fairer complexions in Bollywood films, though it is hopefully changing – it is not happening quickly.)

In this new version of the musical – they have made some changes and the changes have people having ‘feelings’ – and while TFP wants to acknowledge that it is fine to have those feelings – she is saddened by the fact that those ‘feelings’ are more about racial purity than anything else. As she is a mixed race person, she struggles with the fact that people are irate over the thought of couples who look like her parents in a rom com.

Here is the press release:

Aditya Chopra’s U.S. stage musical reimagining of his immensely popular 1995 Bollywood film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” commonly abbreviated to DDLJ, addresses the need for cultural unification in a divided world.

Produced by leading Indian studio Yash Raj Films, “Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical” aims to be a celebration of inclusivity and diversity in a world that is increasingly polarized. It explores how love can unify people and cultures and break down all barriers.

It tells the story of Simran, a young Indian-American woman whose future is set via an arranged marriage back in India to a family friend. But when she convinces her strict father that she should spend a summer of freedom and fun in Europe, she falls for the charming Rog, and her plans go out the window.

The Original Writer/Director, Mr. Chopra has decided because he is building a show that includes new songs and dances, new dialogue – only the basic story remains the same, vacationing twenty somethings fall in love – so it was time to re-imagine the story he wanted to tell. He has brought in people who are top tier Broadway people like Nell Benjamin (Book and Lyrics) and Rob Ashford (Choreography) and partnered them with esteemed Bollywood talent such as Shruti Merchant (Co-Choreographer).

Shoba Narayan, Broadway’s only South Asian Leading Lady, is set to appear as Simran. She will be back in ALADDIN on Broadway after this run at The Old Globe – with COME FALL IN LOVE booked to open on Broadway in March 2023. She has previously appeared in THE GREAT COMET, WICKED, and HAMILTON on tour.

Will she be amazing in this? Heck yeah.

The issue is the casting of Austin Colby, a British actor who is known in the States for being Hans on the tour of FROZEN.

Raj is now Rog.

Which everyone knows is an issue for people who love the film – even though Mr. Chopra said he wanted Tom Cruise for the original Raj, but just could not work it out.

Here is what Austin Colby stated to Variety:

“After watching ‘DDLJ,’ I was filled with joy, peering through a window into the rich world of Indian culture. It is overwhelming to fully process ‘DDLJ’s impact on both Indian and global audiences, touching hearts and changing lives. What an honor for me to be a part of bringing ‘Come Fall In Love’ to the American theater audience and entrusted with this responsibility by the original director, Aditya Chopra. Hearing him talk about his vision for this musical is inspiring and something I truly believe in.”

“That being said, I’m aware what my involvement in this production means to many people and I completely understand its impact. I’m not the Raj that Shah Rukh Khan made us fall in love with, nor will I ever pretend to be. I am excited to fulfill the creative team’s vision for this role and I truly believe in the story and how we are telling it. I hope audiences will trust Adi [Chopra] and the team’s original vision for ‘Come Fall In Love’ coming to Broadway and love this piece as much as we do.”

No one is saying you cannot love Raj, they are just hoping you will love Rog just as much.

There are a few reasons this casting happened – and one of them is green – that’s the color of it – green.

South Asian Broadway Ticket buyers are not a block that Broadway investors can rely on. We saw that with BOMBAY DREAMS– in the end, it is about ticket sales. Now, there are absolutely reasons why this has occurred – non-representation, access, and generational interests are real things – but we are still counting “firsts’ in South Asian representation on Broadway, which has to change if we are to move forward.

There is no assuming that just because people love the film, they will pony up the excessive Broadway ticket prices that fund eight shows a week. Mr. Chopra is an artist who is a business person, he has to make his money back for his investors and he has to serve the generations that are next coming, and those numbers are growing largely from Mixed Race Peoples whose Parents are diverse.

The next issue is that broader representation leads to broader audiences, and the Broadway is a PWI – Primarily White Institution. Change is slow. However there is much change coming down the road with three Broadway bound South Asian musicals – MONSOON WEDDING, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, and B’HANGIN IT rapidly approaching.

Go, invest – make ish happen.

If this is still upsetting you, go watch WEDDING SEASON on Netflix and calm down.

This is just another variation of a story we love. We are blessed with 50 Billion Batmans, and an Austen adaptation every year for the last hundred years or so – what is the issue?

The issue is – hypocrisy.

Because if you lauded BRIDGERTON for it’s inclusive casting – you cannot hate on COME FALL IN LOVE’s doing the EXACT SAME THING.

“Kathony” is a hashtag – and if that upsets you – you have to ask yourself why – because issues with Mixed Couples is a YOU problem, not a THEY problem.

Please feel free to make your case…however if you are going to start with the stuff that has been said to TFP in the past about mixed couples and mixed race people – you can zip it. No one is here for your racial purity BS.

Romance stories need conflict, and what innately contains more conflict than people of two different cultures and understandings who come together and work for their love story? What is the ‘unspoken’ issue when we see people of different backgrounds fall in love? We know there will be mistakes made and misunderstandings can lead to breakups in the story, but you root for them in the end. It will be the third character in the relationship, and that will add depth and layers of understanding.

Listen, if Henry Golding, another mixed race person, can vie for the affections of Dakota Johnson against Cosmo Jarvis in that veddy, veddy English chestnut, PERSUASION – what that shows is that there is room.

There is room for re-imagination, there is room for re-casting – there is room for going back and re-envisioning what you wrote over 20 years ago and seeing it in a new way.

Here is what TFP says, viewing it as a person who exists because of that kind of love story…

Cheers and Well done, Mr. Chopra – she looks forward to seeing you in March of 2023.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has not written since Uvalde, and there has been so many great things that have happened to AAPI’s and others in terms of representation, she is not going to bother catching you up – because you already know.

However she did want to congratulate AAPAC on their Honorary Tony Award for Activism. AAPAC, for those who may be unaware, does the Broadway Diversity survey for the past 10 years – yes, TFP knows the AAPAC members – which has helped people understand the sheer scarcity of roles in front and behind the stage for specific groups. TFP has used their research herself – and in fact, before they did this research and published it, she would literally go through the cast of each Broadway show and try and do a ‘count the Asians‘ type thing – it was as bleak as, well to quote Mame, “It was as bleak as my puberty in Buffalo”.

Now, thanks to their work and the work of others – it is slightly less bleak. Slightly. Although the current Broadway season would have you wondering where some groups of POC are.

However, THIS Fall, we have KPOP coming up AND next YEAR…The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa Fasthorse – which will be….drumroll…the FIRST Native American Play written by a Native American Writer on Broadway!!!!!!!!

Bravo!

For those keeping score it is 2022. The Pilgrims landed in 1620. That’s 402 YEARS of not being represented on the stages of America, other than as a punch line or a trope. Broadway is technically supposed to have started in 1735, so that is 287 YEARS of not seeing their stories on the stages that were built on land we stole. (We, being America)

The Thanksgiving Play is a satire piece and you can order the play, which TFP has, if you want to read it first – which actually is a great idea and will help support Ms. Fasthorse – so do that. Then buy a ticket, and wear three masks – one for you, and whoever is sitting next to you on each side.

Now to announce TFP’s Panels at BroadwayCon – on July 8th and 9th –

First up – FRIDAY JULY 8 RISE: AAPI’s and Pop Culture in Theater 3:40pm – the New Yorker Hotel, Grammercy Park Suite

Shoba Narayan (ALADDIN) and Kelvin Moon Loh (BEETLEJUICE)

Join two of the landmark performers for Broadway’s current age of enlightenment in terms of casting AAPIs in Musicals.

Shoba Narayan has been seen across the country in HAMILTON, as well as on Broadway in THE GREAT COMET and WICKED, and is now the first ever South Asian to play Jasmine in ALADDIN on Broadway.

Kelvin Moon Loh is an actor and a writer, who has been seen at The Public in HERE LIES LOVE, on Broadway in THE KING AND I and SIDE SHOW, and created the role of Otho in the original Broadway Cast of BEETLEJUICE and the re-homed and re-opened production back on Broadway. He is currently working on a pilot for Hulu that he wrote with Conrad Ricamora about LGBTQ Life in New York City.

Saturday, July 9 – 3:40 – 4:40 – The New Yorker Hotel, Grammercy Park Room

Writing our Way Out – When you are not satisfied with the status quo, you create opportunity! Scarcity breeds Creativity!

Our Panelists :

Helen Park (K-Pop), Daniel K. Issacs (Once Upon A (Korean) Time), Director, Ralph B. Peña (Founding Director Ma-Yi Theater Company)

HELEN PARK – is a South Korean born Composer who won the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award and the 2018 Richard Rogers Award, her work K-POP, premiering on Broadway in Fall of 2022, was nominated for 3 Drama Desk Awards. She holds an MFA from NYU Tisch and is an alum of the BMI Lehman Engel MT Workshop. She wrote the songs for OVER THE MOON, which was a Neflix animated film whose voices included Philippa Soo, Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim and others.

DANIEL K. ISSACS – is an Actor and Writer, who created the hashtag #AccordingToMyMother which morphed into a short film, and then a tv pilot – According to my Mother, which premiered in October 2016 at the NY Television Festival and won the award for Best Drama, as well as winning an individual award for Mr. Issacs as Best Actor in a Drama. As an actor, he has played the role of Ben Kim on the television show, BILLIONS, as well as recurring on HBO’s THE OTHER TWO. His play, ONCE UPON A (Korean) TIME will premiere in NY in August with the Ma Yi Theater Company, directed by Ralph B. Peña. He was most recently seen at The Public Theater in Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY.

RALPH B. PEÑA – is a Playwright and Director who was born in the Philipines. He is a founding member and the current Artistic Director of the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which is an OBIE and DRAMA DESK winning AAPI Theater Group in NYC. He has written FLIPZOIDS, THIS END UP, LOOSE LEAF BINDINGS among others. He won an OBIE Award for his work on THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO, he directed the world premiere of Hansol Jung’s AMONG THE DEAD, Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY and countless other works. Ralph is leader in the industry and has always been a staunch advocate of AAPI’s in theater and beyond.

Great! Everyone coming! YES!

Now, let’s talk some ish….about this new Mask Mandate that allows audience members to choose whether or not to wear a mask…

The audience should still wear them.

Producer Chris Harper, incidentally, seems like he heard this was coming down the pike and quickly decided to take his TONY Award Winning revival of COMPANY and close it – he seems to be thinking ahead to the rip-roaring fight he would have with Patti LuPone, among others, should he choose to expose them to COVID Part 72 in an unmasked audience.

Ms. LuPone has FU money – she does not have to do anything she doesn’t want to – and, frankly, she should have FU money and she should be able to do anything she wants as a multi-talent and multi-award winner. #TeamLuPone

There is no reason in the world that the audience of the Broadway show should not wear masks except that the Producers are trying desperately to bring more right wing audiences to theater, because they can afford the egregiously overpriced tickets to Music Man, and TFP thinks it is a mistake.

Superspreader Hugh Jackman brought Covid to the TONY Awards and could have taken everyone in there down! Here is a man that has every precaution in the world taken because he is so ‘valuable’, and yet, the ‘Rona got him – even with PCR testing and masks and all that.

No one is immune to Covid.

Covid does not care if you are good looking, or tall, or famous, or Australian – it does not care if you have been vaccinated or boosted or if you are red headed and left handed. Just to clarify, Mr. Jackman is a brunette… TFP has no idea if he is left handed, she was just going with it.

Likely Mr. Jackman did infect people that night – took out quite a few that no one is talking about. Everyone suspiciously silent on that, but YAY for the Understudies.

It seems to TFP that Broadway Producers aka The Broadway League have spoken through the guise of Charlotte St. Martin and said – “Hey Performers, we do not care if you get a life threatening illness as long as we have a packed house”– and performers – particularly those with independent means and income from other sources (which, by the way is quite a lot MORE folks than people realize because lessons to get that good are really expensive) are going to leave theater.

Those big marquee names that sell a show? Nope, they are not going to do a show – because it is not safe. Clearly the TV/Film industry does not feel the same as Broadway , they are still masking and testing – because if a tv show gets shut down, millions of dollars are gone. Broadway however, can ‘Hunger Games’ the Understudies till spouses are called in, apparently.

A Producer’s job is to keep their company safe to perform.

Always.

This is why there are equipment tests and stage managers and unions – all to keep the performers safe. So that the performers can do their jobs. Performers want to do their jobs. Audiences want to see them do their jobs – it is a win/win – so long as we are able to keep the houses masked.

A show is around two and a half hours maximum. Unless it’s Angels in America or some other cycle kind of play – people are absolutely capable of dealing with masks for 90 min and a bit longer. If they complain, please remind them kids at school, nurses and other medical professionals wear masks all day. Two hours and a bit? Should be no problem- ya big baby!

Masks have been shown to be effective as to keeping the risk down. Or the shows will be shut down.

How can immuno-compromised performers venture into the theater now? How can immuno-compromised audience members decide to go to a show?

You cannot SEE people with weakened immune systems. They are not always visible.

TFP thinks this is a mistake. The Broadway League should follow the science, or the Broadway League will kill Broadway.

Masks are not why audiences are staying away from theater.

Covid is why audiences are staying away from theater. Masks help alleviate, very slightly, the panic everyone is still prone to in regards to catching COVID – and taking them away – no one will come. No one will come to the theater – not the Actors who are wealthy enough to say no, and not the audiences who do not want to die. There will always be those who will risk it all – those who have no choice but to go to work – and they will be risking life threatening illness every damn day, but apparently, that is a risk Producers are willing to take.

During the plague in England, the theaters were closed entirely.

Have any fancy new ventilation, air cleaning systems been implemented on the Broadway that would prompt this move? No? What happened to all the money they were given as an industry bail out for lost income? Has everything been cleaned and updated and virus transmission proofed? TFP has not heard anything about that – so we are all sitting ducks the minute we enter the theater. Hence, people will not be able to enter a theater.

If that is what The Broadway League wants, they should continue with maskless audiences. See how many Covid cases come crashing down and how many they have to cancel per week. If by chance, a few shows survive? Ok, they lucked out…for now – but the morale in that theater will be low.

This will be every ensemble member on Broadway that doesn’t have FU money:

The Broadway League needs to change their minds – or the stars need to align – with one another and refuse to go to work till that move forces The League to make changes for them.

There, TFP has effin‘ said it.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess just put her almost ten year old on the bus. To school. An elementary school. She did not want to, because even though she is located in a “Blue” state, far away from Texas, people get shot here too. Thus far, no children at school, but let’s face it – it’s a matter of time.

In the past two weeks, 3 Korean women were shot at their place of business in Texas, 10 Black American, mostly seniors, were shot in Buffalo, NY while shopping, a Taiwanese American renowned Sports Doctor was shot dead at church while trying to prevent others at church from being shot and 5 Taiwanese American people were wounded, and now…we have the latest in a long line of tragedies – 19 Children were gunned down along with 2 of their teachers in Texas. Those children were mainly Latinx, as is the area, which is called Uvalde, and it is fewer than 80 miles from the border between the US and Mexico.

The reason TFP cannot say “all the Children were Latinx” is because their names have not been released, and that is because the damage done to some of their bodies that the shooter aimed his AR 15 rifles at, are so torn by bullets, that DNA swabs of relatives have to be used to identify them.

That work is ongoing.

It is time to stop screwing around. As a friend would say, “It’s been past time‘, and indeed it has.

TFP reaches people all over the world – and by the by – the world thinks America is crazy. We, yes, make a lot of money as our global superpowerness reigns over others and we step forward to take the lead in so many circumstances – but the people ‘we’ vote for refuse to stop gun violence because the NRA pays their bills.

That is not taking the lead. That is leading with greed. America is leading the world in gun related violence.

Just this last month we have found out that the Republican party wants to take away body autonomy from people with uteruses and, it must be stated, trans and LGBTQIA plus folx, while reducing their legal rights. They want to rescind marriage equality. We hold on to ‘child marriage’ in most states, so that a young girl can be forced into marriage with the permission of her parents, against her wishes. Now we have 21 more deaths to add onto their growing debt against America and it’s people.

Right now, America is a farce because we have let a domestic terror organization take over the Republican party, one lobbyist at a time. We became so convinced that it really doesn’t matter who is in charge, that we were not vigilant – and we let people like the Koch Brothers and the NRA buy all our politicians – and they are complicit, because they allowed themselves to be bought. We watch idly as Tucker Carlson and similar dreck spouting off on FOX News incite hatred and then shrug when there is a result.

There is a reason these gunmen aim at targets that are innocent. There is a reason that they believe FOX News – which should be listed as a Terror Organization, and be banned, as it is in New Zealand. They do it because all along, with it’s colorful graphics and it’s ‘us vs. them’ logic, they have been ramping up to this for years, and they are too far along now to pull back.

Unless America pulls them back. Mothers in Red States, you have to take a stand – for your children, and for our children. Fathers in Red States, the ability to hunt with a single shot rifle is a skill – tearing a deer apart with an AK47 is a crime against nature, and a cowards way.

When a similar situation happened in Scotland, they took away their guns. Likewise in Australia. Likewise in every Western Nation. Likewise in Eastern Nations. All over the world, automatic rifles have been taken away via access to purchase and background checks, from people who could potentially decided to murder someone.

In other countries, people may write their horrid manifestos of hate, but they do not have access to get the weapons that can kill 19 children in minutes, before they themselves have been taken out.

America will do nothing. Ninety per cent of America would like these laws enacted, but 50 Senators in Red states decided no, they won’t. They like the paycheck. Maybe they got into politics to do some good, but clearly they stay because bullying tactics to them, feel good.

There will be the usual howling of grief, and the Democrats will try and pass laws banning the sale of these weapons. However the NRA wants those weapons available if they decide to storm the Capitol Building again, so they will not allow that to happen. All those people killed in the past two weeks have been People of Color.

TFP repeats – the people gunned down and killed in the last two weeks have mainly been People of Color. Black, Asian, and now Latinx. America will do nothing.

This is not fixable by minority people.

Caucasian people in Red States are complicit in this crime wave against Americans. They have voted for these Senators that refused to budge on voting for gun safety laws. Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, who purport to be Democrats largely vote with Republicans.

TFP is going to say the part out loud you are not supposed to say…Republicans do not care about our deaths. Heck they fear our birth rates unless they get to take those children for their barren women and raise them to enact white supremacy from a body with melanin.

Republicans do not care about the deaths of Black Seniors going shopping, Asian women at work, Asian churchgoers, or Latinx Children. They shrug and think “well, let’s see you rise those population numbers now’, all the while forcing women to have babies, but refusing to vote to help them feed their babies formula. They want baby farms and guns, and they categorically do not care.

Therefore it is on you, White America – to decide you have had enough. To decide you do not want these stains on your conscience. These deaths on your hands. You did not shoot the gun, but you pulled the lever to vote for those who made it easier to get them.

To be clear, one shooter was Chinese (He had a white supremacist roommate, which is probably relevant), one shooter was Latinx, and one shooter was Black – only one shooter out of the four incidents this past two weeks was white – the one in Buffalo who slaughtered 10 people.

They all enacted white supremacy. The skin tones of the shooters do not match. What matches, is the access. They had access to weapons, they had access to vehicles, they picked a target, and they killed people. The targets they chose, for whatever reason, they had been lied to about, they had heard propaganda about, they had created terrible fantasies about how eliminating them will fix the world – they were all psychopaths, in whichever way they got there.

Yes, they are responsible for their own actions, and yes, they can ‘just’ be evil – not discounting that angle whatsoever. However the people who voted for Senators that hold us hostage, and the people who watch FOX News and quote Tucker Carlson – they allowed it. They continually allow it.

If you are a liberal leaning white lady in the South- it’s time to step up. You have to call ‘those relatives’ and you have to keep calling them till they vote Democratic to get you to stop calling them. If you are a liberal leaning white man in a Red State who has been largely quiet because you feel it is ‘not your place’, it is time to take your place. It is past time, plus- YOU KNOW, but it was not comfortable to you to have ‘those’ conversations, so you skipped them. You owe America at least 10 conversations on gun violence per week till we get these people out of office.

Let it be known and SAY it, ‘Oh, you vote for killing kids and seniors? Huh, would not have pegged you that way, but thanks for letting me know.’

You have to vote these Senators out. Parents must take the lead. Gay Parents, Straight Parents, Non Binary Parents, Trans Parents – PARENTS HAVE TO DECIDE.

America is relying on you. No doubt you will let us down – because you continue to do so, but perhaps you will surprise us.

When TFP told her child about the shooter in Texas, her child replied, “A teenager! Wow, he just gave all his goodness away then?”

It is not just him, my child. It is not just him.

TFP out.

The last few days there has been some news that has The Fairy Princess like…

Does this negate the fact that there are still crimes being committed against AAPIs within the lusty month of May? Most recently in fact – YESTERDAY…

Yes, yesterday...the day before today, 3 Asian American women were shot in a hair salon. In TEXAS. One wonders, if this overturn of Roe V. Wade had happened already, and one of those women had been pregnant, if she would have been prosecuted for being shot while pregnant. As we are, to the GOP, just baby makers creating a domestic supply of infants for infertile couples….Food for thought.

Thankfully, they will be ok.

Still, they were shot. In their place of business.

The police have yet to label it a ‘hate crime’.

The wheels of justice are slow to turn, and let’s face it, the wheels of the giant monstrosity that is the Entertainment World are even slower than that. Just when you think you have it figured out, things change.

An example is NYC having it’s FIRST AAPI parade this coming Sunday, May 15th! Starting at 10:45 am, proceeding down 6th Avenue from it’s start on 44th Street.

When you consider the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC was in 1762, and the first AAPI parade is this year in 2022….

Back to the biz…there was a giant dust up in television, with 17 shows being cancelled.

Nora from Queens, still on the air – Congratulations to BD Wong, Lori Tan Chinn and Bowen Yang.

Magnum, P.I., however, did not get the renewal!

Which seems crazy because it had great ratings…but it seems there was a disagreement between the studio that produced it and the network that aired it. This is why we cannot have nice things- so ‘we’ lose a show everyone enjoyed and all those filming jobs from Hawaii.

Sadly, Kumu, played by the brilliant Amy Hill, will not be back – but Ms. Hill will be heard, in the new Netflix series of Kung Fu Panda;The Dragon Knight, where she will voice the character of Pei Pei.

It is because these giant monoliths of networks and studios move so slow and then speedrace into a different moment, that some things seem to take an eternity.

Some are over before they have even had a chance to begin.

Like, as an example- WHY would ABC pass on the pilot JOSEP based on Jo Koy’s comedy? A sitcom about a Fil-Am Fam? Slam dunk! To TFP, anyway.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Fairy Princess wishes a Happy USA Mother’s Day to those who celebrate.

Whether your Mother is with you, is watching you from ‘elsewhere’, know that she loves you. If your Mother figure is not the societal norm, and rather ‘Chosen Family’, that absolutely counts and please call them and take them to Drag Brunch if you can.

Anyway, if you are a Mother, contemplating a gift they made at school, with the the myriad of conflicted thoughts about said gift and where it will sit and how long before it disintegrates – know that you are not alone, TFP sees you and acknowledges all you do, even if the Supreme Court Ultra Conservatives want to control your uterus.

By the way, you know interracial marriage and LGBTQIA+ rights are next, yes? It’s not just about body autonomy – that is just where they are starting.

Politics aside – we have a new (to general audiences) Television star, Mr. Raymond Lee, coming to us on QUANTUM LEAP, where he will play Dr. Ben Seong.

Here is what you need to know – Mr. Lee is a New Yorker. He has been working quite a while, in fact, TFP saw his work first at an AAPI Film Festival where he appeared in KTown Cowboys in 2010. He’s been in a few series before beginning on YouTube where he was in ‘Best Couple Ever‘. He did 2 episodes on SCANDAL, before landing several episodes of MOZART IN THE JUNGLE (TFP went crazy for that), in 2018 he did a show called HERE AND NOW, and then in 2021, he was a regular on KEVIN CAN F*CK HIMSELF. He also had a lot of co-stars and guest stars along the way – and Folks, that is how it works.

Now, he is starring on the reboot of QUANTUM LEAP which takes place 30 years after the O.G. star of the show, Scott Bakula, playing Dr. Sam Beckett, supposedly ‘disappeared’ and did not come back. So expect to see Mr. Lee bopping through time and jumping in and out of various people’s experiences. Congratulations to Mr. Lee and his team.

Also please remember this was not always a show where it was a ‘nice’ jump into a ‘nice’ person – there were a few hairy jumps for Dr. Beckett, and one assumes, there will be some for Dr. Seong – so not a WORD of complaint from us, get me? He is not part of an ensemble cast here – he is the LEAD, he is number ONE on the call sheet on a Network Show, and we have not seen that as frequently as we would like.

Remember DDK saying how chuffed he was to get to that point? Being the face of a show? That was LAST YEAR.

In regards to his role on “The Hot Zone: Anthrax“. The only other one who is that status, who is of Asian heritage, is Sandra Oh for KILLING EVE, which just ended.

FRESH OFF THE BOAT and DR. KEN are no longer on the air, so…yeah, this is a big deal.

Another giant piece of news is that in the MCU, Folks are no longer sleeping on the potential of Wong, played by British East Asian Actor, Benedict Wong, and what is cool is that there is a hashtag and articles already out.

Mr. Wong joined the MCU in DR STRANGE in 2016, participated as Dr. Strange’s sidekick in quite a few of the films and most recently appeared in SHANG CHI. If you are hoping for a spinoff series like Marvel has done for other characters – keep hashtagging and tweeting and ‘gramming about #WongForWong – apparently it is gaining traction enough that Mr. Wong felt comfortable sharing it on late night television.

Now since the CRA script kerfuffle has really been overwhelming the actual filming of the sequel of the mega hit, we have learned yesterday that the role of Astrid, played so wonderfully by British East Asian talent, Gemma Chan, is going to get her own spinoff. In the second book, TFP recalls it generally being about Astrid and her romance with tech guru, Charlie Wu, played by Harry Shum Jr.

(Legit, she kinda skipped around to read their sections)

This screenplay is being done by Jason Kim, he has an EMMY nod for the show ‘Barry’…and….he also has a Broadway musical opening soon – KPOP, which he wrote the Book for. KPOP opens on Broadway in October. KPOP has a book by Mr. Kim, with Music and Lyrics by Max Vernon, and Music, Lyrics, and Arrangements by Helen Park.

The story is a behind the scenes look at what it takes to be a Kpop star, and in fact, there are Kpop stars that are part of the cast. If you want to know anymore, you have to get your tickets.

Get them NOW.

The cast is as announced:

Luna, Julia Abueva, Will Brill, Major Curda, Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung, Jiho Kang, Amy Keum, James Kho, Bo Hyung Kim, Eddy Lee, Jully Lee, Min, Timothy H. Lee, Abraham Lim, Kate Mina Lin, Aubie Merrylees, Patrick Park, Kevin Woo, John Yi

Welcome to the Broadway, Folks.

As we close out this blog today, TFP wanted again to point out, during May, which is AAPI Heritage Month of how all these opportunities that people are seeing happen, are the result of years of work.

YEARS of work – and not just by the individuals whose names are on the front. There are educators, journalists, executives, bloggers, casting – as well as Artists, of course. There are people who do graphs and numbers, who provided valuable stats- hey whaddya know – your Parents were right, everyone needs math.

Nothing happens overnight- even if the internet makes you feel it does. It doesn’t. You are on your own path, and it is OK.

Thus, to add to the collective fun and the joy this month is supposed to embody- please watch this trailer of the Jo Koy film, EASTER SUNDAY

TFP wants to give a shout out to Lydia Gaston, Rodney To and Melody Butiu – Good to see them set up to shine on the big screen.

TFP hopes you get all that My Big, Fat Greek Wedding energy, and a sequel.

There are tons of books for kids that have been in the works and have ‘dropped’ as it were – and children are the future (Though if grown ass people do not get it together, the kids have 30 good years, and don’t act like that thought doesn’t keep TFP up at night). If it is important that your kids ‘see themselves’ and of course it is, make sure you give these, and the hundreds of others, a look see and help your kids see that they are deserving of ‘space’ in the world.

Happy Mother’s Day, Y’all

TFP Out.

The Fairy Princess has been on a self mandated break – because frankly, watching AAPIs get attacked via news reports, almost every day in the past few months, has made her very wary of engaging in any sort of debate because she has been doing this for ten years.

Yes, 10 years!

In her TEN YEARS of breaking it down for folks, it is super depressing to note that however many people she was able to ‘reach’, there was a far greater number who hate and would do violence to her simply because of the way she looks or where her family has heritage, she really had to ponder the worth of what she does.

The only thing that kept her hanging on was that Warrior got another season and starts filming in July 2022.

Sometimes it does not seem like anything has been accomplished at all. However that is defeatist and actually, quite a lot has changed, and not just her blood pressure.

Do AAPI’s have enough people on Broadway to represent the AAPI population of New York City at least?

No. Not even close.

However we do have Shoba Narayan in ALADDIN, Zach Piser in DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Manu Narayan (no relation) in COMPANY, Eva Noblezada and Kay Trinidad in HADESTOWN, Andrea Macaseaet in SIX, Kelvin Moon Loh in BEeTlEjUiCE, Marc Delacruz, Eddy Lee, and Preston Mui in HAMILTON on Broadway, as well as several AAPIs throughout their touring companies. In MUSIC MAN we have Ann Sanders in the Ensemble. In one of the ‘straight’ plays on The Broadway, POTUS, you can find Dr. Ken’s Suzy Nakamura as the Press Secretary and Lisa Helmi Johanson covering the role of Dusty.

Whilst downtown at NY’s Public Theater they just closed THE CHINESE LADY by Lloyd Suh, starring Daniel K. Issacs and Shannon Tyo, understudied by Cindy Im and Jon Norman Schneider. The Public currently have on the boards, SUFFS with Philippa Soo, Nadia Dandashi, Jaygee Macapuguay, and Mia Pak as Suffragettes.

Not to mention, but mention must be made of Conrad Ricamora in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS…

Plus, the cast of INTO THE WOODS at City Center, going up with a limited run till May 15th, has Ann Harada,, Albert Guerson, Brooke Ishibashi, Kennedy Kanagawa!

Ms Kristina Wong won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Show! For her show Sweatshop Overloard, about her Auntie Sewing Squad making masks during the pandemic!

Lia Chang, photographer , filmmaker, actress and archivist won the Prospect Muse Award for her excellent, artistic photographs

One also has to get excited about CITIZEN WONG at Pan Asian Rep in New York City – a new play about social activist Wong Chin Foo, a Gilded Age pioneer who was the first to fight US law banning any people of any race from the United States – imagine where we’d be now if he had not done that?

Get your tickets here: https://ci.ovationtix.com/252/production/1110862

Other news includes ….BHANGIN’ IT with a book by Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew slayed in La Jolla!

The new workshop production of COME FALL IN LOVE, direction by Aditya Chopra, with book & lyrics by Nell Benjamin, Choreo by Rob Ashford and Associate Choreo by Shruti Merchant which starred Shoba Narayan and Vishal Vaidya according to little birdies, went amazingly well!

Let’s say that again – there were TWO South Asian Musical Theater Projects happening one right after the other….TFP has never been able to write that about Broadway bound South Asian projects.

It’s slightly better.

What TFP does keep reminding people is that change is slow.

She just said that to a group of students up at University of CT. You might really want to jump up and down and scream your face off because you are on a schedule and opportunity is running late – and feel free – but real and actual change is slow. It takes time… building a career in musical theater, just as it does in television and film. Not to mention, building it so that Executives trust you with their project…it takes building those credits one at a time, getting better at auditioning, honing the acting…nothing happens overnight.

When TFP first began this blog, there were no de facto AAPI Film or Television stars except Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Tamlyn Tomita, Daniel Dae Kim, Reggie Lee, Grace Park, Roger Fan, Sung Kang, Parry Shen, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee and John Cho.

That was who was working.

Pretty much that was it.

Of course there were people who starred in films or who were on television shows who everyone predicted big things for, but the big things did not materialize in a lot of cases, and that’s not mean, that’s what happened. Guest stars and let’s be honest, mainly co-stars was where the majority of AAPI actors were relegated.

AAPIS got knocked down a lot – but we got up again, every time.

Over the past decade TFP has seen a lot of new faces – not a plastic surgery joke btw – some via reality tv, some coming from modeling, some coming from comedy, some from prestigious universities – the point is, there has been change and there will be more change. We will likely not ever be ubiquitous in the United States, but we will become more visible, which is all we are asking.

We have a diversity that is only beginning to be recognized – Rizwan Manji and Annie Chang on Peacemaker fills TFP with joy.

Ali Wong, Aparna Nancherla, Hari Kongabolu, Ronny Chieng, Romesh Ranganathan and Jo Koy make her laugh till she cannot breath and look, Jo Koy has a pilot that looks like it is being picked up.

Who does it focus on? Jo Koy’s family. So who is hired to play his family growing up?

Filipino American Actors! However, keep in mind, Jo Koy has been doing comedy for close to twenty years. This is what TFP means – he had to build his career – and now that it is going gangbusters, he has the opportunity to launch a show and help other Fil-Am Actors.

He has always been funny – America just needed to catch up.

That’s how it works. Same with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – it takes time, Folks.

To that end, and because TFP doesn’t want this part to be too ‘preachy’, she is going to ask you to celebrate AAPI Month by purchasing a copy of RISE for yourself and asking you to actually open the book, not just put it on the coffee table.

In here you will find, (TFP is very fond of pages 44 and 45), much of where AAPIs have been, and why noted journalists and bloggers and film makers who curated and contributed to it – (TFP mentioned pages 44 and 45, yes?)- predict greater moments to come.

TFP cannot show you better than to show you this book and request that you find out your past to foresee your future. You can follow the book on Instagram, to see signings and readings near you.

It was an honor to be asked to contribute – thank you Jeff, Phil, and Philip.

There is much to be grateful for – we can look to streamers and see ourselves!

It is exciting to see Bridgerton embracing South Asians in their storyline, and it must be said, very refreshing to see people with darker complexions being hailed in the storyline as ‘diamonds’ – because in Bollywood, they are not. HUGE. Everything that TFP hoped for when she wrote about the first season of Bridgerton.

The Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) have done a brilliant job relaunching International Film Goddess Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

May was looking ok – barring the attacks on the street and in the subways… and then few celebrities or their stylists seem to understand the concept of the Gilded Age and started putting their clients in their best Golden Girls drag (Mrs. Astor would have NEVER…), at the MET Gala…TFP was distraught

and then SCOTUS leaked…

All the while, a war is continuing in the Ukraine, the planet has 30 years to continue on if we do not change, and oh yeah, men will be completely in charge of female bodies if you live in a Red State.

That is correct – SCOTUS is planning an overthrow of Roe V. Wade, which grants people the right to a safe medical procedure, known as an abortion. Something that should not be happening, especially given the climate crisis the world is facing whether it wants to, or not.

The planet is dying. Read the report.

You can get all up in your feelings about this procedure, but TFP believes that if one truly did not want abortions in the world, then men would get vasectomies, which are reversible. That way, the man is fully in control of when he wants to procreate, and there would be no ‘mistakes’ because if one is taking care of one’s own reproductive health with authority and responsibility, there would be less unwanted pregnancies and less abandoned children.

Vasectomies are safe, as well as being about male health and thus will never be in jeopardy of not being covered by insurance. Nor will people who have uteri ever try to jump in and ‘mandate’ them in any way, shape or form – because people with uteri know that that ‘procedure’ is between the person with the penis and their doctor. Does not matter the reason for the procedure.

The Person with the penis has the sperm for full term, while the vessel…

In other words, men do not care about…hold up – Cisgendered Straight Men – do not care about access to abortion, because even if their proclivities wind up in an unwanted pregnancy, they can and do walk away.

Yes, there are some that care – if you are a cisgendered straight man and feeling attacked after you read this whole blog, trust and believe, you will feel the sting for all of twenty seconds – the rest of us LIVE there. You will be fine.

It is time for LGBTQIA+ peoples and Women and Indigenous People and People of Color across all boundaries to come together and vote.

Come together and fight.

Body Autonomy is first on the list, next is Marriage Equality, and your ability to gain access to vote.

There are no ‘both sides’ – we are past that, America. We have to get them out of power, we have to get them out of even having a dream of a semblance of power. We cannot mess around any longer – the planet needs change, the people need change, the future must change or there will be no future.

TFP is choosing violence for her first blog in a while – because she remembered to NOT act, is to let evil win.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess knows this last few years have been rough – if you are in Show business, as she is – it has been particularly tricky. In fact, she was wondering if her wings had been ‘clipped’ as it were, by the pandemic – because if entertainment takes a permanent dive, particularly live entertainment – there would be nothing for her to prattle on about, and effectively – nothing to write about.

Plus which, there are now AAPI Movie Stars, and Television Stars, Hollywood is beginning to get it!

TFP’s blog is TEN YEARS OLD this year – A DECADE!

Whilst Broadway is still super under-repping not just AAPIs, but Latinx and Indigenous Performers and Creatives – there IS hope.

You know what gives her the most ‘hope’?

Female Creatives. Female Creatives who understood TFP‘s message long before anyone else besides marginalized performers. They did not need to be told twice, they understood the assignment – and it is leading to breathtaking productions around the country that are diverse and inclusive and speaking to everyone.

(Talking to you, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Rachel Chavkin, Tina Landau, Tisa Chang, Mia Katigbak, Leigh Silverman, Lainie Sakakura, Jennifer Phang, Maurissa Tancharoen, Lynn Chen, Larissa FastHorse, Camille A. Brown, Liesel Tommy, Dawn Monique Williams, Diane Rodriguez, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Patricia Cardoso, Christine Henry, Lorna Ventura, etc etc)

Makes TFP‘s little Grinchy heart grow two thousand times bigger.

TFP thought, “Ok, perhaps it is time to wrap it up, given the current state of the world is just screaming, perhaps she should get out while the getting is good?

Thank goodness for Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League – whose members are the Producers of Broadway, because she issued this absolutely insane and egregious statement when Playbill asked her about the current state of Broadway

Which had TFP, a former Broadway Understudy for a TONY Winning Show like…

Now of course, of course, when there was pushback on Twitter and elsewhere on Social Media – St. Martin quickly issued an apology…

However, the statement itself has TFP thinking that it is time for Ms. St. Martin to ‘exit stage right’ as quickly as possible. No one who calls themselves a Producer, much less someone who is speaking for the Producers during a friggin’ PANDEMIC, would ever issue that kind of statement.

Producers raise money and put up shows. Then they do it again. Then they do it AGAIN. They can pick someone from obscurity and give them a chance at a life they had only dared to whisper to the mirror in the their teen bedroom into a brush, they can ALSO fire your ass and make sure you likely never work again by whispering in some ears.

They have a lot of power. Broadway does not exist without them. TFP is venturing to guess that Ms. St. Martin had to deal with some very irate members of the League, who know the value of their understudies. The fact that the retraction happened as quickly as it did, is proof something went down behind doors.

Broadway also does not exist without Understudies and Swings and Covers. They are the ‘emergency brake glass’ of Broadway and elsewhere. Producers know this. Sometimes the search for the Understudies and Covers and Swings is more arduous than the search for the original company because these are people who have to have the mental and physical capability to jump from role to role without a qualm.

In fact, TFP was in a show which was struck by sudden illness, and the Understudy had not even been put in rehearsal yet – however he learned the role in a few days, and wound up doing several performances. She had a conversation with the Producer off the cuff, and the Producer told her “I told them when we auditioned folks that we had to have him. He saved the day in the other show I did, and here he is doing it again.”

Understudies and Swings, unlike lead performers who only have one role to learn, often have to learn several ‘tracks’ within the same show.

She remembers seeing her friend in THE PRODUCERS on Broadway when he went on for one of the leads – then after the show he let her know he ‘covered’ all the larger male roles in the show – 5 tracks!

It is an absolute skill set to be able to keep track in your brain of which harmony you are supposed to sing because of which part you are ‘on’ for -not to mention blocking and costume changes. And of course, Choreography!

Think Charlotte St. Martin has ever covered 5 tracks?

To the ‘layperson’ who has no idea what TFP is talking about – she is going to ‘splain it in HAMILTON.

You are part of the Cast of HAMILTON (Disclaimer: TFP has no idea if these are the tracks assigned to the understudy, this is just an example for the non-biz folk)

Say you usually go to your job and do “Bullet’, (which is the track that Ariana DeBose did originally).

Let’s say the track of “Bullet” is the main Understudy for Eliza, but she also ‘covers’ Peggy and Angelica in dire emergency. That performer is required to know 4 tracks cold – they know this when they get the job.

Oh, here is Ariana in WEST SIDE STORY, in theaters now…

However this next night, you get to the theater and you hear that “Bullet’ is being done by your understudy because You (Regularly Bullet) are going on for ‘Eliza’ (Which is your main u/s track) for this evening’s performance.

By the way, you hear this when you walk into the theater at 7:30pm for an 8pm show.

Fine, you are prepared, you enjoy this track and you have done it before, the show goes great.

That is the job – that the show goes great – EVERY TIME. Awesome.

The next afternoon for the matinee, you are again, not playing Bullet – you are now “And, Peggy“. Regular ‘Eliza” is back on, so you are free to go and do your third track. Why you ask?

You are “And, Peggy” because the Actress that usually plays “And, Peggy‘ has food poisoning and is currently ill in the dressing room. You are pinned in a wig and a mic and a yellow dress, running blocking and lines in your head. You have never run “And, Peggy” outside of a rehearsal that has only been with a Stage Manager telling you where the other actors are standing, and perhaps another understudy or two standing in for the roles they are understudying.

And, Peggy” – GO!

Show goes great.

For the next couple of days everything is fine and normal and you are back to ‘Bullet”, except that Angelica is filming a soap opera during the day and it ran over and she cannot get there by ‘half hour’ so guess what – you are no longer “Bullet“, you are badass Angelica and in an orange dress. This one you have an hour to prep because you wanted to get to the theater early and stretch. Which is great, because this is the track that you are only supposed to cover in dire emergency, however two dancers collided with one another and they are out with sprained ankles.

However, you are a pro, and this is again, not an issue – the show continues, no one asks for refunds, and all are happy. Particularly the Producers, who pat themselves on the back for having the great good fortune to have such amazing performers in the show, who have this capacity.

This ‘story’ is not uncommon. Happens every day. With Covid that was ‘Just Covid’ that was then “Delta Dawn” that is now “Omicron, the Rebirth” – it is happening more than that. Nothing happened at all for 18 months remember? Everyone was clamoring, “We have to get Broadway back!”

However it could not come ‘back’ because no one was allowed to be near one another. Now with proof of vaccination and a rapid test CPR, there is an option of Broadway being ‘back’ as a theatergoer or a performer or a crew member or a front of house person.

Only if you have the vaccine and the booster folks!

If you want “Broadway’ and theater in and of itself ‘back’ – you need Understudies and Swings and Covers, oh myyyy.

Any Producer knows this – that the woman heading up the most powerful theatrical producing entity in the Country where the musical theater art form grew into what is the current day Broadway musical does NOT seem to know this, is a problem.

That she initially felt that understudies would not be prepared, when they train to be ready at a moment’s notice, is honestly, a theatrical crime.

It seems her opinion about understudies comes from more of an audience perspective, “I wanted to see Kristin Chenoweth, but she is out and her understudy is on, oh boooo” – which is literally the wrong mindset completely. When you see an Understudy go on, you are seeing the highest level of theatrical agility out there – you are seeing a thoroughbred.

TFP loves seeing understudies.

TFP has been a lead and she has been an understudy and trust and believe, it is way less stressful to have a run as a lead of a show, than being an understudy. One role vs several. Does keep you on your toes though!

It is a fact, as she stated above, that Ms. St. Martin does NOT create theater.

Clearly this is an issue, because in the words of the late, (Sob), great Sondheim, theater is ‘Bit by bit, putting it together” – that is what Producers do – they put it all together.

Sometimes they put the creative team together from the beginning, sometimes they come up with the concept and hire people for it, sometimes they just provide the money and rehearsal space – whatever they do to “PRODUCE” it, ultimately it brings the show to life.

TFP has a real question – If Ms. St. Martin does not create theater – why is she the mouthpiece for those who do?

Theater is not her background, and yet she joined The Broadway League as Executive Director and is now the current President since 2006!

Yet, she had to have a ‘sit down’ with Broadway understudies to find out what they do?

WTF does not know what an Understudy does if you are in theater?

Which got TFP to thinking – what is Ms. St. Martin’s background anyway?

TFP thought it would be great to go to the League’s website and see…here is a link to the whole thing, but this is a most telling ‘clip’.

TFP is not attacking Ms. St. Martin, however a working knowledge of what an Understudy does, should be required for the position she has. Perhaps the position she has is more administrative, and the skill set she took from the hospitality world is easily transferable, however she should not need a primer on the mechanics of what makes a show run.

Since she has been working with the Organization since 2006.

She should understand the how to’s of what needs to happen to get a show up and running.

Understudies, Swings, and Covers keep the show running in the worst of times. They keep shows running in the best of times. They are the reason catastrophes, or accidents, or illness does not sink a long running show – there would be NO long running show without understudies.

Producers know this.

So come get your girl….

TFP gives a thousand whacks of the wand and a primer on producing for Ms. St. Martin.

If you dare make an ‘educated guess’ – perhaps have the education to make one.

TFP out.

PS. If you click the link below, please see Hugh Jackman give it up for the Marian Understudy, Kathy Voytko and LISTEN to what he says…

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZM8T9JYmB/

Yesterday, The Fairy Princess woke up and watched, via Internet, one of the more interesting and well acted pieces she has ever seen, via Internet, at The Edinburgh Fringe.

It is called “Every Dollar is a Soldier/With Money You’re A Dragon “ and it was a commissioned piece by the Arts Council England, hosted by Chinese Arts Now, written by TFP‘s overseas ‘brother from another mother’, Daniel York Loh – it mixed gaming tech, newly composed music with British East Asian musicians, dance, and drama – and frankly, it was enthralling.

Coming off that delightful piece, imagine how dismayed TFP was this morning to see that the Royal Botanical Garden’s Kew Garden’s location was producing The Wind In the Willows, which is a production paid for by British tax dollars – just as “Every Dollar is a Solider”, only with a much more troubling result.

See if you can guess why TFP would be upset – and keep in mind – these performances are in a public park and designed for children….

What could TFP possibly be annoyed about in this scenario?

Well, first – this is a story about animals.

Thus there is no need for Edwardian or Victorian (aka white white white faces only ) mores and that esthetic should not have made their way into a public park.

England honestly does not look like that anymore, and more to the point – their children do not look like that anymore.

If this is paid for by the tax payers, and the goal is to educate and delight children, how do you justify this?

Especially when this is the makeup that the actors are wearing?

Pretty sure greenface does not have an ethnic component.

This is how they are ‘selling it’ at the Kew Gardens:

Let TFP get this straight – it is about animals, it is magical, it is interactive, and there are no People of Color in this show that was directed by, it must be said, a white man?

This is when TFP does get mad – not at the actors cast, she gets mad at the people in charge.

This is the Director who did this, and it is to him that TFP directs this knowledge.

Sir, please look at this graph, about the population of the U.K. and tell us how your production serves the children of London.

TFP got this graph off of the official government site, and she also screen shot this little nugget of information:

40.2% of London is not white.

40.2% of the children that come to see your show, will not see images of themselves, in any way.

Which means they will feel, on some level, excluded from this oh so very English story.

This show, set in the beautiful Kew Gardens in Southwest London, is designed to ‘save’ the examples of biodiversity that exist, that is their mission – watch:

Isn’t it hypocritical in a place devoted to biodiversity, that there is no diversity on the stage? A stage set in the middle of a park to educate – and yet, what is going on there? Examples of privilege. Examples of exclusion.

Perhaps some of the kids, not seeing themselves on the stage will, like Daniel York Loh, grow up and create really brilliant theater. Daniel HAD to do that – and of course others like Lucy Miller Sheen and Madame Miaow and all the very amazing East and Southeast and South Asian talent – well, the BAME talent you have over there – they HAD to do this because from the GO – from when they were CHILDREN, people like YOU excluded them from the story.

This production is actively hurting the psychological development of 40.2% of your audience, and their Parents who have to ‘explain’ all this when they get home – because of blindness and lack of forethought.

Theaters should reflect their audiences. More people would come

Oh but wait, you say – Kew Gardens has a Japanese Garden installation in August.

So what?

It’s framed as Japanese Gardens, no?

Which is not British.

It’s like The Mikado in a garden – you will showcase all the wonder and creativity of the Japanese concepts of gardening and proportion, but as it is ‘foreign’, it will likely not touch the feelings of belonging that British East, South and Southeast Asians and others in the BAME group need to feel.

That work should start in childhood.

We collectively have a real shot at making the world more accessible and inclusive for our kids, and theater for children is one of the ways in which we do that.

Just think of it this way – whatever your thoughts on Megan and Harry – think about Archie and Lilibet – if THEY came to see your show, would they see anyone on the stage that looked like their Mummy? Would they see anyone on the stage that looked like the friends of their parents or the kids they will attend school with? Or their honorary American Aunties and Uncles? Or the diverse people that attended their parents’ wedding?

No, they wouldn’t.

Seems to TFP, a ‘Royal’ Garden should do better than that, doesn’t it?

When you see what taxpayer dollars can encourage – like the interactive piece “Every Dollar is a Soldier/With Money You’re A Dragon” and how progressive that is, and then you see something like the cast of The Wind In The Willows – which ignores 40.2% of the London population, but proclaims their own genius at education and diversity – well, one step forward and ten back, innit?

TFP fines you 1,000 whacks of the wand and for heaven’s sake – go to diversity training, ya wankers!

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess is thrilled right now to be able to say the following:

  1. Happy Opening Night to PASS OVER on Broadway. Buy tickets here.
  2. SNAKE EYES – the feature film starring mixed race star, HENRY GOLDING is in theaters and avail to rent ON DEMAND and various other platforms
  3. Sandra Oh has a show that has just dropped on Netflix called THE CHAIR and it is a subversive and snarky peek into the world of academia – although it is NOT a documentary. So – for those of us who do teach at Universities, it is not meant to do anything but entertain and provide a star vehicle, and honestly – YES to that. The load of representing need not be consistently load bearing to be entertaining.
  4. SHANG CHI had a premiere in Hollywood and will be available for the first month to only be screened in movie theaters. If you feel ‘safe enough’ to do so, please see it in theaters, and for those of us with children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated – it will be streamed after the first month, so no – you will not miss it. It stars former Kim’s Convenience star, Simu Liu – and from what pals say – it is a welcome addition to the Marvel Universe.
  5. TFP would also like to pre-emptively welcome back the companies of WAITRESS, SIX, WICKED, HAMILTON, PHANTOM, LION KING et all – to rehearsal, as they all have scheduled openings in September.
  6. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of the Asian American Film 72 Hour Lab’s Shootout – where they crew and cast and writers come together and shoot an entire short, edit it, and so forth in 72 hours. TFP has been to the Award Ceremony and while she is sure things are slightly different this year – it is amazing the amount of art that was accomplished.
  7. WARRIOR which moved to HBO Max, has been greenlit for a third season!
  8. Adele Lim has a new movie starring a bunch of AAPI women on a road trip
  9. Courtney Kang’s new show, Dougie Kamealoha, M.D. drops on Sept 8. on Disney+

All those things are amazing, all those things are such a nice relief from what has been terrible news from across the globe – earthquakes, troop withdrawls, new COVID cases from those, primarily who would not get a vaccine – thus insuring that their genetic material continues on only if they already have progeny OR somehow they survive OR they do society at large the great benefit of eliminating their gene pool of stupidity.

Darwinism is harsh, y’all.

TFP is honestly still reeling from the death of her amazing friend, TV, Broadway, and FILM Actor, ALVIN ING from COVID complications – aka he fought it for two weeks and then passed from heart failure the day before he was going to be moved from the COVID ward. They texted back and forth the night before, and she was so thrilled he seemed like ‘himself’, and then…

What makes her angry for her friend is that he was fully vaccinated and more to the point – he was LIVING AS LARGE as any person could given pandemic circumstances. No one knows how he caught it – he should not have. Vaccinations are now readily available, and what is clear is that if more people had been vaccinated – he would still be with us. While in hospital, he was reviewing sheet music and going over song choices for his 90th Birthday concert with full orchestra.

This is a video TFP shot herself, when he was speaking at the luncheon to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Flower Drum Song.

It seems amazing to TFP that Alvin could pass away, she still struggles with it – and while his ‘official’ obituary lists many of his accomplishments – two Broadway runs of PACIFIC OVERTURES, Broadway run of FLOWER DRUM SONG with the revised book by David Henry Hwang, National Tour of CITY OF ANGELS – what it did not list is how RARE it was that Alvin, a ‘local boy’ from Hawaii, came to New York to get his MFA from Columbia University in Music, had the happenstance to fall into a series of ‘Fortunate’ events – despite Asians not being able to be cast as Asians at the time – and how he built his life and career around changing that narrative.

There would be no TFP without Alvin Ing and others of his generation. If they had not been determined to change the world – there would have been no opportunity for any of ‘us’ who came after.

REST IN MUSIC, MY FRIEND.

You are our Hundred Millionth Miracle. TFP will see you again.

Now, on to the SAG AFTRA Elections...and TFP really did not want to write about it.

We should be able to have non partisan elections in our Unions without it turning into a knock down drag out fight.

However that is not what is happening, and much like…honestly Alexander Hamilton in Act 2, TFP has been asked to share her thoughts on what is at stake in the latest upcoming election. She is NOT TELLING YOU HOW TO VOTE, she is telling you which group she is supporting as a longtime Guild member.

It is about Healthcare, but it is also about what do we want moving forward. Actors have seen their industry – and yes, all, it is a damn INDUSTRY, a job creating machine – decimated and then slowly building back over the past 18 months.

Our Insurance plan, which TFP broke down a while back – does very little to support the working class actor. It bounced people off the plan to cut costs by raising the deductible, raising the amount one has to earn in order to have the coverage in the first place – and it looks like there is no going back. Health care costs are rising, no one seems to be reining in insurance companies, and essentially, if you happen to be a working actor – do not depend on SAG AFTRA for your heathcare unless you are working regularly on a television show. Remember – they threw off Oscar Winner, Hillary Swank!

Health care is going to be an eternal obstacle and the best way to handle it, TFP believes, is to back those running who have extensive contract negotiation experience. Those who have been on, been off insurance, those who have had true health crisis on insurance and off – a variety of experiences support a wealth of knowledge.

However this is not the only issue facing the Union. We have to look at streaming revenues – most recently brought into the spotlight by ScarJo’s lawsuit against Disney. While hers seems to be a misinterpretation of what the actual contract stated – you can read it a number of different ways – the ‘danger’ of reduce fees based on a non theatrical release is valid. You, as the Actor, stand to make less money. This model needs to be re-examined. We need to go back and look at internet fees and commercial fees – we are in an ever ongoing battle with studios and producers over what is fair and equitable.

Which will never change. Better to have a solid group of people who have worked a wide, wide range of contracts.

Safety is an issue – and always will be.

Protection of minors is an issue – and always will be.

Sexual Harassment is an issue – and very sadly – always will be.

Intimacy Coordinators, recently added to the negotiations – is a welcome and much needed change – and always will be.

We have representation issues – yes, STILL – and we have a resentful bunch of folks who miss ‘the way things used to be’ who ‘blame’ minorities – wrongly – for their lack of work. This is an issue. It is a deeply embedded issue steeped in supremacy and privilege and there is no quick fix for this problem.

Leaders of the Union should look like the change we want to see. They should be inclusive and diverse.

Even when the ‘representation issue itself’ is solidified to a certain degree because it is supposed to highlight a particular group – there are still issues, as we have seen with RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, MOANA, IN THE HEIGHTS, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, and there are, even within those projects, issues of colorism. We, the PGM, have to have wins that are in the larger public eye, but we also have to acknowledge missteps that have occurred and yet while HAVING the discussions, NOT DERAIL the entire project because of the toxicity of some of the discussions that could make the larger audience for that piece, wary of even going to see it.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Keanu Reeves cannot be in everything. Oh that they could.

Who will lead these very important ongoing discussions? Hopefully those who have experienced discrimination and marginalization – not those who have to have it explained to them and require explanation as to why it is an issue.

Yes, it’s exhausting. Our union deals with exhausting issues because show business is exhausting. It is also, to many actors, kind of boring – and so, they vote for their friends.

That may have been fine in the past, but that is not fine going forward – TFP has friends she admires in both groups – however, she shares who she is backing as an individual and the reasons why, for those who have questions still.

Your way to make your voice heard as a Union member, is to VOTE.

After thought and analysis, TFP is endorsing the platform put forth by UNITE FOR STRENGTH.

They are more diverse, incorporating members not only of different ethnic backgrounds, but also the LGBTQIA community, age, body type, in lived experiences. The union is changing – TFP wants people who reflect that change, who ALSO have lots of experience in different contracts.

After having read the candidacy statements, she truly believes that UFS has the broader mindset with people whose long term careers within the SAG AFTRA structure. Which gives them the capacity to make decisions based on experience in both production – so many of them have self produced efforts – and performance.

She is… wary of people running for office who, when they did not get their way, sued the very union they are members of – not because she does not think challenges to leadership should be made – but because in the midst of dwindling revenues – they had SAG AFTRA having to engage in very expensive arbitration – and who paid for that?

SAG AFTRA MEMBERS.

Yes, mailed postcards are a waste, you know what else is a waste? Locking the Union in arbitration! Having a known confrontational history with Guild staff and other Members is also something leadership should not have in it’s wheelhouse of party tricks, yet here we are.

Frankly, at the current moment, TFP sees no benefit in supporting a group headed up by a straight white man who has been well known as an actor since his late teens & a straight white woman who is of Hollywood ‘royalty’ – both of whom have attacked the Union again and again.

She cannot see the benefit in supporting that candidacy. She does not think they reflect her, nor her beliefs in what will be of most benefit moving forward.

TFP is endorsing Fran Drescher and Anthony Rapp – and all the members of the Unite For Strength platform because it is time our union looked like us. We need moxie in this Union. It is time we broaden our thoughts as to what ‘qualifies’ a person to run for office – and people with experience running their own production companies, self producing and creating work while having to use grit and awareness to carve out a career in this business, which, in other times they would have been firmly locked out of – seem a better bet to TFP as we move forward.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has seen a whole lot of tragic stupidity as this last year and a half have rolled by.

She has seen her business come to a standstill.

She has seen friends leave the business completely and move out of New York. Truly talented people called ‘enough’. They have now been ‘lost’ to the business because of actual living space, a regular paycheck, and a change at what life looks like when you do not have to make it to the theater by half hour.

(Half Hour is 7:30pm) (or 1:30pm) (Half hour before the show)

She has seen people in the business die. Horribly, horrible deaths from COVID-19.

HEALTHY PEOPLE DEAD – because someone came to the theater, and passed disease through their breath. They left behind families, who are now broken, all because no one knew it was around at the time.

We KNOW the Delta Variant is here – get the shot. No one cares about your ‘reasons’ for not. Death is on the line.

She has seen leadership, and lack of leadership,and then leadership again – …you know who you are.

Here is what – if you do not have a rule that all Theater Professionals and those who enter the building and those who work in the building MUST be vaccinated and show proof – we are going to experience COVID-19 Groundhog Day, THE MUSICAL!!!

More people will die.

More people will become ill and suffer lifelong weaknesses that will prevent them from living their life as a normal human.

People will get infected and ‘take it home’ to their kids under 12 that are still unable to BE vaccinated, and then THOSE children – who have not yet fallen in love with theater – could develop life long illnesses affecting vital organs.

IF YOU LOVE THEATER, IF YOU WORK IN THEATER AND YOU DO NOT GET VACCINATED – AND THEN WILLFULLY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA TRY AND CONVINCE OTHERS THAT YOU PERSONALLY KNOW MORE THAN SCIENTISTS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS…

Your personal beliefs do not matter.

Yes, that is an affront to most Americans – because we are told, over and over again, that we do matter – however…

YOUR BELIEFS are NOT worth OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES.

This DELTA Variant is not plucked from the timeline – it is what happens when the environment in which the original virus is exposed, combines with local factors and becomes EXTRA deadly.

Yeah, this one is EXTRA deadly.

It’s more powerful.

It’s more easily spread.

There is no guarantee that you will not get the COVID-19 DELTA Variant, even if you are fully vaccinated but GUESS WHAT? We already know that from the flu shots.

YES!

WE ALREADY EXPERIENCE VACCINE INSUFFICIENCY from the FLU Shot – but if you have the FLU shot and you get the FLU, you will not die.

IF you have the COVID 19 Vaccination – and you get the Delta – YOU WILL NOT DIE.

You will just get sick.

Guess what? An outdoor performance in Central Park had to be cancelled because someone tested positive for COVID-19!

Outdoors is supposed to be relatively safe – if everyone is vaccinated.

THEY STILL CANCELLED.

Clearly, people who have been vaccinated can get the virus.

Therefore ALL performances must have masked audience members with proof of vaccination.

All “Houses” must require vaccination to work within those walls.

Will some still get sick – YES DAMMIT!

But not 600K in one year.

TFP is calling on the Theatrical Leadership to make hard, fast rules about admission into the audience, the crew, the company, and anyone who enters the buildings – that vaccination proof is required. The Unions must require vaccinations in order to work. All the Unions.

MAKE THE MEMBERS GET THE SHOTS.

This is a note too for the Labor Unions in general – Police, Firepeople, Medical Professionals – if your members do not get vaccinated, they must be put on furlough with no pay, no ability to apply for benefits – until they show proof of immunization.

We cannot screw around any more.

People who on the signed note from a Dr who are unable to be vaccinated, or who did get the shots and are still not able to consider themselves immune from this killer virus – they need the protection, the herd immunity.

We are too smart to go through this bullshit again, aren’t we?

If you ARE NOT SMART ENOUGH to NOT go through the same damn thing – well, sorry Karen, sorry Karl – you don’t get to come to see the show.

You don’t get to work.

That’s it.

You have to think of the larger picture, and not be an asshole.

TFP does not care what kind of politics you have – this is not about politics – this is about SELFISHNESS.

This is about ARROGANCE.

Theater is not a ‘right’ – you have to earn it. You earn it through experience and talent and determination – or you earn the $$$ to buy a ticket.

What you will NOT do is say that your $$$ is worth more than anyone’s life.

What you will NOT do is decide that your fear of a day or two of side effects is worth more than your fellow cast member’s LIFE.

It is not. Ya BIG BABY!

If TFP could wave her wand and impart herd immunity to the world – she would. If it spared even an ounce of suffering – not just for her and hers, but for you and yours – and all she had to do was get jabbed in the arm – she would do it – oh wait a MINUTE….

SHE HAS DONE IT.

SHE HAS BEEN FULLY VAXXED SINCE MAY – AND SHE STILL WEARS A DAMN MASK TO PROTECT OTHERS!

THIS ONE IS NOT ON TFP – it’s on YOU, MF-er!

If you don’t get the vaccination – you don’t have a right to walk around in common areas. That is it.

Polio and Measles are two things that vaccines helped eradicate from our society – and if these moronic anti vaxxers had social media then? We’d still be seeing deaths and crippling repercussions from those two diseases.

If you don’t get vaxxed – stay the hell away from TFP – she fines you a wack of the wand from the 10K Covid Deaths of the past week or so – all non vaccinated people.

Maybe that will knock some sense in your heads!

TFP out.