This past weekend, The Fairy Princess was flown to Washington, D.C., to work on a journalism piece about the rise of Hate Crimes since the 2016 Election.

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Whist TFP was in D.C., VP Elect, Mike Pence was in New York City going to see…

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where the audience responded with some applause but also,

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See for yourself…

This is not an unusual situation for VP Elect to find himself in – after all, he has been booed at baseball games and quite  a few other places.

VP Elect Mike Pence has been booed   for defending Military Moms, for complimenting the Governor of Ohio… heck those last two he was being booed by ‘his own people’  – he is a man that knows how to handle it. 

People, not just New Yorkers, do not like him.
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At the conclusion of the show, the actor who plays Aaron Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon read a statement directly addressing VP Elect Pence, which was written by the show’s creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, the show’s Producer, Jeffrey Seller, and the show’s Director, Tommy Kail.

The rest of the Cast bore witness. 

There was booing from the audience, the Cast urged them to be quiet, so the statement could be read. 

The Cast did not boo.

Now, aside from the Orange Hate Pumpkin that is our President Elect who decided to tweet bad things about the show and demand an apology which is not warranted...

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there are many, on both sides of this issue taking issue with the treatment of Mike Pence, saying the actors overstepped, that the show should be boycotted..

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Like they could even get a TICKET

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Like, you just casually turn down tickets to HAMILTON?

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People who say that speaking truth to power is not the place of the theater – to them, TFP says – please brush up on your theatrical history – you are absolutely and categorically wrong.

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What the Cast and Crew did was follow a long standing Irish tradition called “The Noble Call’.

Here is an actual Irish person from Ireland to explain it to you:

A Noble Call occurs after the show – an actor in the show, or an invited guest, is invited to address the crowd on matters of the day.

It is considered, in Irish storytelling and theater, that everyone has a song to sing or a tale to tell in a unique way, and it is one’s duty to share it, by the sharing of it – using it to ‘call’ to others there, that it is Noble. 

This is a tradition that is ingrained in the Irish storytelling tradition.

TFP knows this because…wait for it, she is Irish.

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Ireland has, as do most other countries in the world, a much longer history than the United States.

As in, here is a ditty that is so oldthey don’t even know how old it really is…but Ed Sheeran is singing it now –  low those hundreds of years later – that is what is so very awesome about Irish music and theatrical tradition.

(Yes, Ed Sheeran who wrote that Justin Bieber song)

Ireland has been an invaded country and a politically divided country since almost the beginning- but the plays and songs and stories and artists and actors and dancers from Ireland, or with Irish roots – have given us all hopes and dreams in some of the most brilliant words and music and performances of all time.

Since wandering players were brought before the Kings and Queens of Ancient Ireland, artists and musicians, fools and artisans, have been speaking truth on the matters of the day.

You may recall the absolutely captivating Noble Call done at The Abbey Theater by Drag Queen, Panti Bliss, on the oppression that LGBTQ people can be exposed on a daily basis by ‘nice’ people, the sort of people you would feel comfortable leaving your children with.

Panti Bliss’s Nobel Call was filmed in 2014.

In 2015, Ireland legalized marriage equality.

Theater can make a difference.

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In fact, theater has always intended to make a difference, and it has always been used to speak truth to power – what is The Crucible if not an indictment of McCarthyism and it’s trials of Artists in America?

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What is Angels in America if not a call to arms for LGBTQ activism?

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Wise words by Playwright, John Patrick Shanley are assure us that it is right to ask the questions, it is just to find things immoral, it is powerful to look for honesty.

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The Cast and Crew of Hamilton did what they were supposed to do, by long standing theatrical tradition.

The cast of Hamilton is inclusive – it has people of various backgrounds, various sexes, and sexual orientations.

The policies that Mike Pence has backed in his work – are not inclusive, we of the theater, and we of the world, should not forget this.

We cannot forget what Mike Pence has stood for.

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We cannot forget the positions Mike Pence has taken towards our people.

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Now, whilst the Orange Hate Pumpkin was dodging and tweeting about a Broadway show he has not seen , trying to take the spotlight off the fact that he admitted he was wrong and paid $25 Million in damages in the lawsuit filed by former students of Trump University -(and as a lawyer’s kid, may TFP just add) he does not want you to remember that people do not ‘settle’ because they are nice folks.

People settle  because if they go to trial and get a judgement against them, it is likely to be much larger than what they were willing to pay. They settle and get the other side to sign something saying they will not reveal what was revealed, or they will not write a check,  and then they walk away shouting that there were never any judgements against them.

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So while that smoke and mirrors thing was happening – Mike Pence was being ‘the cool guy’ and announcing that what happened at HAMILTON did not offend him at all.

He liked the show, and that, since he is a ‘big history buff’- he had a great time and that he will encourage representation of all Americans when he sits at the hand of the Father.

This almost makes him appealing.

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But we cannot forget what Mike Pence is.

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The actor playing Hamilton is an Openly Gay, HIV Positive, Cancer Survivor who took care of both of his Parents when they were stricken with cancer.

VP Mike Pence would approve of electrocuting him to attempt to ‘make him straight’ – because that is a part of ‘conversion therapy‘, and Mike Pence is for conversion therapy. 

Mike Pence is also for denying serviceslike baking a cake – to someone if they are perceived to be Gay or if they state they are Gay. 

His is also, obviously, against marriage equality.

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There are women in the cast. 

Women whom Mike Pence would deny access to health care, deny contraception, deny basic control over their own bodies.

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There are People of Color in the cast. People whose lives matter – and the policies that Mike Pence has backed, marginalize those people. 

Policies that the Orange Hate Pumpkin has thought of as a good idea – such as stop and frisk, and torture – endanger us.

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The GOP announced plans to de-fund Medicare and Social Security.

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Mike Pence is anti-union

The people in that Cast are members of Actor’s Equity – which just won a decisive battle for them in the Off Broadway contracts.

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The people in that cast  are under attack from the GOP in a way that has not been seen in this country in a very long time.

This Country is under attack from the GOP in a way that has not been seen in a long time.

Mike Pence is a step behind the man who has a short temper, a large business empire that he does not seem to be stepping away from, the man who has appointed hatemongers to positions of privilege – that man will make mistakes.

One or ten of them may become impeachable. (Conservatively)

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Then we will be stuck with Mike Pence – and that is actually scarier.

The Orange Hate Pumpkin won because he was a ‘maverick’ and an ‘outsider’ – honestly, we do not know his record, because he does not have one.

Mike Pence is on record denying rights. Mike Pence is on record trying to control women’s bodies. Mike Pence is on record trying to bust up unions and saying that torture is within the realm of possibility.

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TFP was just in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and it was tense. She talked to ordinary, non-show folk people, and people are scared of this new team coming in.

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HAMILTON‘s Noble Call – it was warranted.

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It was in the very best theatrical tradition.

It spoke truth to power.

TFP commends the Cast on their composure.

 They have a great deal to risk – they are comprised of marginalized groups – many may not acknowledge their claim on American rights, many may not choose to hear their plea for representation.

Mike Pence is pretending to, and that is not comforting at all. 

His record shows he cares very little for representing all the people, his record shows he only represents people who look like him, who think like him, who worship as he worships.

They have the Presidency, they have the House, they have the Senate.

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We have the Theater. We have the Artists. We have the freedom to speak truth to power – until they take it away.

The Cast of HAMILTON spoke for all of us – even if you think they did not speak for you, they did.

TFP thanks them.

She thanks them as a minority, and she thanks them as a person whose Irish Grandparents came over on a boat, escaping oppression, because of their religion.

She knows her Grandparents would not even be able to comprehend what a ‘blog’ is – but she knows that they would definitely understand a “Noble Call’.

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See you all at #BroadwayCon

 

The Fairy Princess is feeling this kind of way about the National Election

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For those who may read this blog and who voted for the Orange Hate Pumpkin who is now putting a White Supremacist in the White House…which one supposes would make it the whitest of houses indeed, TFP has something to say – and this will not be long, and it will not be overly harsh and she has stated it on social media, so this is just an expanded version.

You may not consider yourself Racist.

You may not consider yourself a Misogynist.

You may not consider yourself a Homophobe.

However if you voted for the Orange Hate Pumpkin, TFP considers that you are.

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Cuz you endorsed it – with your vote. You voted against reason and science and rational discourse – you voted for hatred.

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Hatred did not bother you, it was not a deal breaker – and that is why you are a racist misogynistic homophobe.

Because you voted for it.  You endorsed it.

You have showed who you are, and TFP is doing you the courtesy of believing you.

You voted against TFP‘s Family and Friends, and their Families – you voted against Parents and their children and the kicker is – those who voted for HRC were voting FOR your Families – even if we disagreed, even if we didn’t know you. We were voting for you.

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A vote is something that you exercise because you want the country to turn in a particular way – and the way you want it, Trump voter, is full of a lot of hate. You cannot dispute economic reasons – Nobel Prize winning Economists said it would be a disaster.

Before you get up in arms about how you voted and your reasons why – they don’t actually matter, because sh*t just got real.

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There is a White Supremacist who is going to be Chief of Staff. They are appointing a Climate Change denier as Head of the Environmental Protection Agency. They are going to phase out Medicare. They are going to force members of a religion to register themselves.

Which violates the First Amendment, which reads:

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The Hate Popsicle that is a certain blonde spewer of vileness even suggested taking away voting rights if all four grandparents of a person, were not born in the United States.

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Now, TFP is actually a dual citizen of a fairly lovely country and so, if she is deported unlawfully because none of her Grandparents were born in the United States…well, at least she is not going to a conflict area. She is either going to be going to Australia or Ireland because…that is where both sets of Grandparents hailed from.

How many Americans could claim that all four of their grandparents were born in the United States? All four.

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There are many reasons that Hillary Rodham Clinton did not appeal to different demographics but the one area that people seem to be ignoring is education. It seems that there has been a lack of teaching critical thought, and if we do not all step up to that challenge, we are only going to sink down into the tar like the dinosaurs we have now become with this election. Everyone is so concerned with trigger warnings, that critical thought is going by the wayside, and that is one thing we have to stop.

There has been quite a bit of justifiable weight given to news pundits normalizing hatred – which they did. There has been quite a lot of weight given to Bernie Sander’s supporters and the vileness they spewed at Sec. of State Clinton during the primaries.

Calling someone a ‘corporate whore’, when the candidate is a woman, is not running a clean campaign. Calling someone a ‘bitch’, even if you yourself are a female, is not running a clean campaign.

By the by – no, Sanders did NOT denounce it right away – so look, there we are, 2 Caucasian men called upon to denounce hatred against females and minority groups and there – with both Trump and Sanders, no immediate response.

Sanders later told his supporters to stop, but they had already shown the way in to creating a nice wall of misogyny for Sec of State Clinton to have to scale.

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There has been quite a bit of weight given to Third Party Candidates and people who were just too damn lazy to get to their polling place, or who thought that waiting in line is a drag, or that they were just ‘not that into it’.

You did not have a candidate to ‘believe’ in? So what? Life is rough. Life is not about you and your precious feelings – life is about making the better choice for society.

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Life is about sometimes you have to ‘suck it up, Buttercup‘ and vote for someone who would keep us going in the right direction, who had been working for women and children for thirty something years and who knows how to make things happen domestically and internationally

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…or someone who repeatedly lies, but who happens to have a penis.

There is NO moral high ground here for anyone to look over the disaster the United States – which, we should really start by changing the name, no? – is going to become under the Great Hate Pumpkin and his tiny hands minions.

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TFP has had six friends report acts of confrontation and verbal assaults since the election – one accompanied by physical assault on a child  at school – on their social media pages. Without sharing too much of their personal stories – they are all well educated, tax paying, society minded, contributing adults, or in the case of the child, the Parents are. Some are white, but members of a minority community, some were of Asian descent, and some were of mixed race.

These were in Coast areas – so imagine how bad it will get in the middle of the country?

However – before we all totally and completely despair – TFP has a thought.

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The people on the front lines of changing America and American thought for tomorrow are…wait for it…Librarians and Teachers.

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YES!

Librarians and teachers can actively combat the lack of critical thought that is a pox on our houses right now. Librarians and teachers can introduce this thing called…wait for it…books.

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Books about other cultures, books about humanity, books about exploring, and kindness and manners – all those qualities we are desperately lacking right now in many areas.

Diverse books can help us all. Here is a list for teachers, that is pretty good – and here is another one.

Children are like seeds, you have to water them so they grow to be an actual plant. Librarians and teachers, along with parents, have an opportunity to show them worlds through books, that they have not dreamed of yet. Better yet, we should give librarians and teachers a mandate – to open one child’s mind, per day. At least.

Let us support Librarians and Teachers – approve their budgets! Pay them what they are worth! Pitch in, Parents and Community Leaders!

Creative and critical thinking is required to be a human. They are required to grow.

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Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton were not born with silver spoons in their mouths. They got to where they are now because of education.

Because they read.

Just like, in fact, this guy.

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So while we, the adults of this nation have royally screwed the pooch on this last election – inciting hatred and all kinds of bad behavior – we do not have to pass it along.

We have to help our Librarians and Teachers, and support their ability to teach subjects like science that is actual science, and math that is actual math, and reading that is not just about one book, but about ALL the books.

After all, if David Duke’s stepson, Derek Black can change his mind, so can anyone else.

We can all, perhaps take a page from the book that TFP reads, and has read to her child since it was given to him at about 3 months old.

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Because as Oscar Hammerstein wrote all those years ago – you’ve got to be carefully taught.

And it seems like much of America, has been – much to the shame of us all.

The Fairy Princess is still trying to make sense of this most recent of National Elections, so she has been sitting at home in a pantsuit eating leftover Halloween candy – obviously very productive.

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She does not want to accept the bigotry and racism and sexism that caused  people to vote against their own interests (Unless you happen to be the 1%), the environment, education and basically, people of minority status.

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She has already had two friends, in Coast cities, confronted by supporters of the Great Hate Pumpkin, and that is two friends too many for her to stomach.

She could go on and on, but she is going to do something else here – she is going to reach out to a bunch of kids that wish to do a play in their home community of Blue Hill.

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In Nebraska. Blue Hill, Nebraska – population 986.

You see, the kids of Blue Hill’s High School have been working on The Laramie Project, which is set to be performed this coming weekend – and well…as a result of the election, and because the Great Hate Pumpkin has not asked his supporters to tone down acts of violence and confrontation – these kids are being ‘asked(and one assumes not politely) by some, to cancel their show that is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard by two disenfranchised white young men in Laramie, Wyoming.

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Matthew was killed because he was Gay. He was beaten, robbed, and then driven to a deserted area, strung up on a fence and left to die.

His story has a resounding message for today.

TFP, as many know – does not back down from a fight. She does not. It makes her many things, a nasty woman?

Proudly.

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Educated?

Definitely.

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Compassionate?

Hopefully.

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This is what she wants to say to the people of Blue Hill and to the kids in the show.

(TFP hates ‘open letters’, so we shall forgo the “Dear Blah Blah Blah’. Open letters are as much a pox on our houses as anything else. TFP thinks – just write what you mean, so that is what she is going to do.)

Art can do many things in the world that acts of violence and rhetoric can not.

Art can lift people up. It can help them have empathy for those around them – whether those around them who need compassion are dealing with issues stemming from age, or unemployment, or lack of opportunity, or racism, or sexism, or disability, or LGBTQ discrimination, or either physical or sexual abuse – ART can help.

It can show people in the audience – whether in an art gallery, a museum, a symphony space – what it feels like to have another point of view – even if just for a moment. Art leaves people with emotions they did not know they had

In fact it is good to remember here that when civilizations have passed, what we the inheritors of the earth learn and identify those civilizations by, in fact – is the Art.

Great writers tell us stories of history and legend, and we are the better for it.

Great Painters and Sculptors ‘show us’ the world of their time, and we revel in the view of this looking glass through time.

Great Composers leave us their works for hundreds of years, so that we may viscerally feel what they felt and heard. Folk Artists pass along themes meant for simpler moments, quiet moments some of which have simply traveled through individuals over the course of eons.

Great Artisans show us through their crafts, as clearly as a photograph sometimes, how people lived and what they relied upon to make their lives bearable.

Art is what makes life bearable.

You cannot control what other people think, or how they vote, or what is in their heart – but when you share Art that comes from your soul – in this case, a play that you have all worked on diligently – you can show them what is in YOUR heart.

You can show them the purity of the message of The Laramie Project – that turning your head away from bearing witness to evil is the wrong thing to do. That ordinary people can make extraordinary choices to pull us all together when hatred tries to rip us all apart.

You can show them that no one should be scared to be who they are or fear getting killed for it.

You can show them that tolerance, one of the most basic tenants of any religion, is the way forward to healing any divide.

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Now, one should know that TFP has a personal connection to this piece, of sorts – other than having seen it and being a part of the Broadway community etc, etc, etc.

TFP worked with The Matthew Shepard Foundation for several years, helping them obtain ‘fancy’ items for their annual fundraiser. She has met Mrs. Shepard and talked with her, she helped get TMS foundation to endorse a film she was an Associate Producer on – The Sensei.

Not only is she more than familiar with this theater piece, this theater piece inspired her to help. Much as Matthew’s story inspired The Sensei‘s Writer/Director, D. Lee Inosanto to create the film.

That is what theater does. That is what Art does. It gives inspiration.

The kids of Blue Hill have TFP‘s complete support and admiration for tackling a show of this nature in High School – that they want to do this show, want to explore these themes means that the Parents and Teachers of Blue Hill are raising extraordinary people.

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Why let a few disgruntled people ruin the creation put together by these very compassionate and thinking leaders of tomorrow?

Artists – they put themselves ‘out there’ with their work, and push back happens – so even as these High School Students experience the joy of performing, they enter the pantheon of those attacked for free thought, and they should take comfort in knowing that they are not the first to have been berated, nor will they be the last.

TFP trusts that the good people of Blue Hill will stand behind their students, their very extraordinary students at this time. She knows that all Parents, all Educators only want what is best for ‘their’ kids – and what is best is that they grow, not only in height, but in dignity, in compassion, and artistry.

Break A Leg, oh Students of Blue Hill – the Broadway Community supports you and your choices – and we cannot wait to meet the people you are on your way to becoming in the future.

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Students of Blue Hill – Places, please.

TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess wants to remind you, the Theater Going Professional of a few important things coming up on the calendar – so this will be as brief as her tolerance is for those voting for a 3rd Party Candidate or the Orange Hate Pumpkin.

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See that roundhouse kick?

If you are voting third party, that’s to you from me, Pinky Lee.

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So first – PANEL DISCUSSION TONIGHT on THE MIKADO

This one is sponsored by NYGASP – as in New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players in New York City, probably the oldest and most established G&S company within these United States.

On the panel – Dr. Jonathan Jenkins Ishikawa – Professor of Espistemology at University of British Columbia who is also a G&S performer and expert, Kelvin Moon Loh- the Assistant Director for their new version of Mikado and an experienced Broadway performer himself (King & I, Side Show), Scott Watanabe, Actor (Allegiance, Broadway Bounty Hunter), Associate Director and Director of this new version of The Mikado, David Auxier, as well as the Producer/Exec Dir of NYGASP, David Warren.

And…this one:

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Moderated by the esteemed Robert Lee, Professor of Graduate Musical Theater Writing at NYU’s TISCH School of the Arts.

Should be fun.

-Ish.

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Here are the details:

November 3, 2016 –

The Kaye Playhouse (68th Street between Park & Lexington Ave)

6pm

FREE

THE SECOND PLACE AT WHICH YOUR AEA PRESENCE IS REQUIRED is actually November 7th at 2pm.

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AEA needs their members to be present to VOTE (all about the Voting, Kids – think of it as a POTUS warm-up) so that AEA members can continued to be PAID and not be forced to self-sabotage.

Yes, this is about people who are Union Members, who wish to remain people who can afford the gas and coffee and rent and everything else as well as being a working actor, showing up to vote on whether or not to have the other side’s POV shoved down their gullets every time they get a AEA communication.

This sounds crazypants, no?

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Yeah, it totally does – however there is a movement going on by those who are in the “Please let 99 Seat Theater Contracts go right on not paying their actors minimum wage because it’s LA and everyone really just does theater because it is either fun or because they make simply scads of money doing television and they don’t care about the money’ contract.

They want to change the Union By-Laws so that they – they who are sucking up much needed AEA Funds in lawyer fees to defend us all – they want to change the Union By-Laws so that any propaganda they send out has to be included in all  AEA communications with members.

So they do not have to pay for the support of their own argument.

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Again, they are trying to force our Union – that we all fought to get in to, that we all pay dues to – to include their anti-Union rhetoric in all communications.

They want us to do their work for them. At our cost. At the Union’s cost – written, telephone, or electric communications must include their views if this By-Law gets changed.

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That is not what a Union does. Hate to break it to you Pro-99 Folks, but Unions represent ALL the peoples in it – not a crazy faction that is actively campaigning to not be paid.

You know what suffers when Union Members do not get paid?

Everything. Pension plans, Health plans, services, Administration.

All of it suffers – and there is NO WAY that The Fairy Princess would EVER – and she means EVER advise or condone Actors and Stage Managers to actively sink their own ships and fight for the right to be bamboozled and hoodwinked by some charlatan “Producers/Actors’ in Los Angeles who want nothing more than to reinforce the notion that everyone else should make money except the Actors because our talent on stage does not deserve compensation – but of course THEY all still get paid. Just not the Actors.

All you need to do to attend is go to the Actors Equity webpage and sign up in advance OR JUST SHOW UP BEARING YOUR AEA CARD.

It’s going to take 2 hours of your day. Cuz meeting, then voting.

You think “#FAIRWAGEONSTAGE” is a good premise?

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What about #FAIRWAGEEVERYSTAGE – that’s right – on ALL Stages our members deserve to be paid – every single one.

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So do not let them hijack your imput – you go and stand on line and vote against changing the By-Laws to support an Anti-Union agenda.

NOVEMBER 7, 2PM

If you are attending the meeting in New York City, note that the location has changed. Please come to:

New York Hilton Midtown

The Sutton Room, 2nd floor

1335 Avenue of the Americas (53rd Street)

New York, NY 10019

C’mon Folks – this stuff is important.

That is why details matter. Not just the big vote – ALL votes.

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Also – NATIONAL ELECTION FOR ALL US CITIZENS ON NOVEMBER 8TH!!!

Do not throw away your shot!

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TFP out.

The Fairy Princess is counting down the days to November 8th like…

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let this be DONE already!

Randy Rainbow is the only thing getting her through this election season…and if the USA knighted people, she would write him in as a candidate, because…seriously though…

Now, TFP never has officially endorsed anyone – did not have to, this blog is only 4 years old and President Obama was doing great- but she will now. 

With 11 days to go in this election, it is her opinion that  ANYONE who could vote for the Orange Hate Pumpkin over one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for office who also happens to be a woman, well….ANYONE who could vote for THAT guy?

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Let’s just say that not only will Houston have a problem if you try and list all your reasons why you think he’s a good candidate to TFP.

Done with the election BS, and done with all the arguing. TFP does not want to hear about your trust issues that stem from your Mommy issues that stem from your innate need to think your opinion is more precious than civil rights of everyone else in this country. If you did not get enough love in your childhood, go watch CHICAGO a few times and remember even Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly could not do it alone.

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TFP sat through 3 Presidential debates, one VP debate and endless Social Media rhetoric and she’s finished with it all. Her friends are all well aware, as is probably all of the Twotter, but she is now, and forever, just like CATS…supporting the Democratic candidate.

TFP does not care about your third party ‘does not know where Aleppo is, sunk all their mutual funds into big oil candidates’.

They don’t know squat, and they are not qualified.

If you want to know who TFP supports for the highest office in the land – it is former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

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Now here is some Asian American Broadway News….

Our favorite School of Rock-er, Miss Isabella Russo is leaving the show in November. She opened this Original Musical on the Broadway in the role of Summer, and is leaving it an older and wiser pre-teen.

TFP is sure you are going to hear much more about this multi-talent, and that is all she is going to say at this particular point. (But it’s good)

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MISS SAIGON is coming back to Broadway and they are having their OPEN CALL in November.

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An OPEN CALL – which was pretty much pioneered by the first production of MISS SAIGON low those many years ago – is when people can audition for the show regardless of if they are a member of the Stage Actor’s Union, ACTOR’S EQUITY, or not.

Please note, that you will have to join AEA should you land a role in the show.

Here is the ‘official’ notice from the Casting Office of Tara Rubin, which was sent to TFP earlier today:

“MISS SAIGON”

Producer: Cameron Mackintosh
Music: Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics: Richard Maltby Jr. & Alain Boublil
Adapted from original French Lyrics by Alain Boublil with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler Director: Laurence Connor
Musical Supervisor: Stephen Brooker Musical Staging by Bob Avian
Additional Choreography: Geoffrey Garratt
Production Design: Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux Costume Design: Andreane Neofitou
Lighting Design: Bruno Poet Sound Design: Mick Potter
Orchestrations: William David Brohn
Casting: Tara Rubin Casting

Coming to Broadway Spring 2017

OPEN CALL IN NEW YORK

Friday, November 11th
Sign in for Men: 9am – 10am
Sign in for Women: 10:15am – 11:30am

Dance Call:
10am – 11am – Men 11:30am – 12:30pm – Women

Actors MAY be kept to sing later in the day.
Women should please come prepared with a legit soprano song and bring your book if you have one
Men please come prepared with a song that shows your range

Pearl Studios
500 8th Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC

SEEKING:
ASIAN AMERICAN ACTORS

FEMALE ENSEMBLE – ASIAN; Strong Sopranos with excellent dance ability to play prostitutes, bar girls, refugees, Go-Go dancers.

MALE TUMBLERS – ASIAN; Advanced acrobats and tumblers; singing ability a plus, to play barmen, officers of South Vietnams Army, inhabitants of Saigon, vendors.

What to Bring:

Picture and Resume if you have one

Now, TFP knows that there is some reactions to MISS SAIGON that people have and she has some thoughts on that- which she has covered in the past.

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However – she will defer to TONY Award Winner Lea Salonga (Now doing FUN HOME in the Philippines), whom TFP interviewed last year in regards to ALLEGIANCE:

TFP: …I think if you are looking at MISS SAIGON and only see prostitution, you are missing the point.

LS: You are missing the point.

Y’all can click on the link and go and read the entire interview – but basically – if you are saying you will not perform in a musical that mentions or shows aspects of prostitution, fine – but if you are only upset about Asian prostitutes being portrayed and not protesting equally shows like THE LIFE, or LES MISERABLES, or CABARET, or BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS…or the endless list of musicals that deal with prostitution – OLIVER, GIGI..then you are not really protesting because of the portrayal of women.

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You are protesting a show that you do not want to see based solely on the fact that it has Asian performers – and that is ridiculous.

If  the Asian American Broadway performers or in this case, those who wish to be Asian American Broadway performers, want to go and audition for this show- it is their right to do so.

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In theater, you vote with your ticket. You do not want to see the show – do not audition, do not purchase a ticket.

Those who choose to audition…may the odds be ever in your favor.

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SPEAKING OF SHOWS THAT GET PROTESTEDTFP is appearing on a panel in regards to the new NY Gilbert & Sullivan production of THE MIKADO that is rapidly approaching.

The Mikado in the 21st Century:
A conversation with New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players will host a public forum on November 3, 2016, at 6:00PM onstage at Kaye Playhouse(68th street between Park and Lexington Avenue). The forum continues a dialogue between the Asian-American theatrical community, the NYGASP staff and creative team, and the Gilbert & Sullivan audience.

The program will feature speaker Dr. Jonathan Jenkins Ishikawa, professor of epistemology at University of British Columbia who is also a Gilbert & Sullivan expert and performer.

The discussion will revolve around broad issues such as the existence of orientalism in our culture and the need for diversity in casting, as well as the need for change in performance practice of The Mikado specifically.

The panel will share steps NYGASP is taking with the new production they are mounting this Dec 28-Jan 8 at the Kaye Playhouse. The discussion will raise questions of how a repertory company imagines new ways of presenting a classic work while maintaining the work’s artistic integrity.

The event will be moderated by Robert Lee, professor of Graduate Musical Theatre writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Panel members include Assistant Director for the new Mikado production Kelvin Moon Loh (Broadway’s The King and I, Side Show); actor Scott Watanabe(Allegiance, Broadway Bounty Hunter); actor Erin Quill (The King and I, Flower Drum Song, Avenue Q); NYGASP Associate Director and director and conceiver of the new Mikado, David Auxier; and Producer/Executive Director David Wannen.

TFP is pretty sure you are all going…

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because of course, TFP did ‘help‘ NYGASP come to the decision to table their production of THE MIKADO that was in their repertory, by writing a few (this one, and this one) pointed blog posts, based on the fact that she had actually seen their past production of the show.

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That was then, this is now – let’s all get together and slug it all out and sing some high notes and patter songs in a civilized manner.

Won’t you join us?

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TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has learned, as have many others (Angry Asian Man, Racebending,) – that a super secret first draft of Disney’s promised live action version of MULAN has surfaced, and…it had a white guy saving the day.

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Yes, apparently those screenwriters were a bit too in love with the show, MARCO POLO – (which should of course be called, KHAN),

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and they decided that a Roman soldier somehow found his way to China, (Obviously he got a ride from Matt Damon and slept on Tilda Swinton’s floor as he made his way through Tibet) fell in love with an under-aged Chinese girl, (because that old trope is not as gross as we all think it is) and they he is able to train her so that she can go and save China.

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A white guy ‘training’ a Chinese teenager.

Anyone with the ‘ick’ factor on high alert?

Anyone? Bueller?

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Anyway, those screenwriters have already been taken off the project, and it has been handed to others who deal in dinosaurs – and Disney has avowed that they are not going to give Mulan a Caucasian love interest, but here is the question TFP wants to pose – are they going to go so far off the template for this live action that the songs and the basic story line – which is compelling on it’s own – is not even a part of the landscape of this film?

Well then, what is the point?

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Also,  what about using Asian American talent in front of the camera, much as you did with the majority of the voices of the film? In point of fact – Disney used a great deal of Asian American voice talent on the second MULAN film as well, so it is not like Disney does not know they are out there. They have been pioneers in the past, so TFP thinks it HIGHLY unlikely that they would not continue in this manner, but well…Hollywood.

Not to mention the fact that, well…we have had quite a few more APIs on Broadway since that first film,

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so there is rampant talent available.

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In fact, Disney has recent TONY Nominee, Philippa Soo, singing in their new MOANA film.

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Also Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson, who has Samoan heritage has a lead role which requires singing.

NOT TO MENTION THAT the Original Voice Actors and singers of MULAN all look crazy hot and talented like they have been all along...

This whole argument that Asian people have to be ‘schooled’ by a white protagonist as to how to save their own country – a country which, by the way, managed to build that Great Wall so well it is able to be seen from SPACE – is annoying.

Why do they all of a sudden need help? They were making amazing art, poetry, and paintings while most of Europe were wearing homespun and living as serfs.

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If the other musical projects that have been adapted for live action all incorporated the songs in a great cinematic way – why cannot this new live action MULAN be sung and acted by American performers who both appreciate the greatness of Alan Menken’s songs, and who grew up in love with this film and the voice actors in the first place?

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Make the cast international if you wish, ok fine – but keep this Asian story with Asian talent. Because…we do not want to see this kind of thing happening with this story…

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Scarlett Johannsen, Emma Stone, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, Tilda Swinton....the list actually goes on and on back to the beginning of America cinema.

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It has to stop.

Please make it stop.

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No matter WHO eventually writes whatever draft gets the nod to go ahead – please remember that not only do Asian Americans have an innate attachment to this film, the Disney audience in general has an attachment to this film – and TFP is fairly certain that loving an animated film that is without a white protagonist saving the day means they will love a live action version with the same kind of focus.

TFP knows that this first draft is not going forward and likely there are going to be many revisions with this new team, but she is just so agonizingly tired of having to reiterate that representations of Asian peoples and their history – even history that has been ‘liberated’ (ahem), from it’s land of origin, are staggeringly important.

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TFP wants her kid to be able to see Asian people in American films where they are celebrated and loved, as much as she personally celebrates and loves her kid.

Isn’t this “all for the kids’ anyway? What is the end goal here? Isn’t it fostering integration and expanding minds and finding narratives of various cultures worthy of examination and study? Isn’t it?

A lot of people are finding that audiences have no issues with learning about the variety of heritages within the United States, in fact, they enjoy it.

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Otherwise, it’s going to be a total sh*t show – why not call Justin Lin or Ang Lee or someone who does not have to start from the ground up, and see what they can do with it?

Or someone who directs musical films? Bill Condon? He is doing a bang up job on Beauty and the Beast – can’t we book him ahead of time to give us a glorious live action piece?

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Can’t the stupidity go away? Isn’t it time yet? If not – when WILL it be time?

TFP is looking at noon next Friday, to be honest, oh powers that be.

TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess has been watching these Presidential Debates like

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She has also been directing a show, teaching a class, and getting ready to appear in a show at Feinstein’s/54 Below THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT at 11:30 PM called MUSE MATCH – where they take a composer, match them with a singer and have a night of original songs. TFP is working with Andrew David Sotomayer, who has written a great, thoughtful number, and all the proceeds are to go to a charity that deals with the gun violence.

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She will fully admit that the ONLY way she is getting through to Election Day is watching Randy Rainbow videos and hugging small children.

Amazing.

Can he get a medal for these? He should totally get a medal for these for cultural contribution at times of extreme stress.

Speaking of the Arts in terms of extreme stress – how about asking kids and their parents to pay for being in a school play?

Yes. Harford County, once again, has reiterated that to participate in school plays, the Parents must pay a fee of $100 in order to do so. To play sports, the students/Parents must also pay $100.

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In fact, the school board hopes that they can get 500 kids to participate in their plays so that they can then pay for the Swim Team!

Now, just paying the fee does not guarantee a role, nor does it guarantee that any coach will play the child on the team or in the pool. Nor should any parent pay ahead of time, because on the off chance you paid, should your child not be ‘chosen’, you will not get a refund.

What does it guarantee?

Nothing except that the school in some small way makes up for it’s incompetent administration of the school budget which is collected from tax payers – and which ‘used to’ be enough, but is no longer enough to fund extra-curricular activities.

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Again – this is the Arts and Physical Activity we are talking about. This concerns the health, happiness, and well being of the children who are forced to attend in this County because this is where they live.

Now, picture yourself either a single parent, or a family on a strict budget. You would like your child to participate in an after school activity, in part, because it would give them something to do after school, and keep them in an academic adjacent setting.

In other words, they would be safe after school.

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Parents no longer all get an option of running to meet the bus the minute it stops and ushering the kids home to cookies and milk. Most Parents have to work. Most school districts realize that, and after school activities are, in part, to develop life-long habits based on physical activity and the Arts, but ultimately to keep kids actively engaged in a positive way.

Because kids without focus can get into trouble – and that is not just stats and studies, that is personal observation from where TFP grew up – which was a very nice Upper Middle Class suburb in New York.

 Any ‘kid’ who is bored, who is unsupervised even peripherally by an adult, is likely to get into harmful situations.

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(Photo Credit – Howard Sherman)

The kids who do not have an activity after school that is supervised by an adult, have more than enough time to learn how to be rude, be aggressive to one another and to any adults that happen in their way, and frankly – they do not learn to contribute to anything. They learn how to be selfish, because they only have themselves to consider.

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When you are in a play, or on a team – and TFP has been participants in both kinds of activities – you learn how to work with others. You learn how to think both as an individual, and to how to contribute to the end result as a whole.

Plays and Musicals are generally not dependent upon one individual, it takes a village – building sets, costumes, setting lights, learning lines, learning staging – none of that happens in a vacuum.

Sports is similar – you can be an outstanding individual player – but that may be in only one position – you cannot play every spot at every time.

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One develops not only your ‘outside’ interests in these activities, but they contribute to mental happiness and happier students perform better in schools.

Penalizing the kids because the Adults that are ‘in charge’ are not able to handle the job that they accepted to do, is the wrong attitude.

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Now the School Board will start yelling about Unions and Insurance and Overtime and Electric Bills, New Uniforms…all valid points.

All valid points – but a more valid point is – what is the end goal?

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Education.

Education is the end goal.

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Engaged kids perform better – test scores go up. Do not all High Schools and Middle Schools have to maintain a test score standard upon which Federal Funds are granted to them? So if you take away activities that foster individual achievement and goals, which lead to better test scores, aren’t you sinking the academic ship here as well as the after school activities?

Obviously the School Board in this case did not participate on teams or in plays to understand what is actually at stake here – what is at stake are human beings.

Human beings whose minds and bodies could remain closed simply because their Parents have financial strictures in place that cannot accommodate an extra few hundred dollars.

To attempt to make money for the district on the backs of the Artsy kids so that you can pay for the Swim Team to keep the pool open, seems ludicrous.

It seems small minded and honestly – perhaps the School Board should stop penalizing the children who want to participate and their parents – stop looking at them as a ticket to fix budget shortfall and instead get a competent accountant in there to figure out this mess they have gotten themselves into.

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For choosing to try and make money on the backs of kids, instead of giving those same backs wings so that they can fly into their future – TFP fines the Harford County School Board in Maryland $100 and 100 whacks with the wand – that $100 is their ‘participation fee’ for being idiots.

If you cannot administrate – get someone in there who can and fix this issue.

Your job is not to be the keepers of access to education – it is to PROVIDE education that the tax payers have already paid and voted on.

Do your jobs!

TFP encourages people in the Arts and in Sports and Human Beings in general to go to website of the Harford County School Board and write to the School Board.

Particularly if you are a voter in Harford County, MD.

(Which is looking way less fun than Harper Valley, PTA right now!)

TFP out.

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The Fairy Princess hates when things go down over a Holiday weekend – in this case, LABOR DAY.

Like, CAN WE NOT HAVE ONE DAMN HOLIDAY WHERE SHE DOES NOT HAVE TO OPEN UP TWITTER OR SOMETHING AND SEE PEOPLE OVERTLY PRACTICING RACISM IN THE CREATIVE ARTS?

Apparently not.

Vera, your thoughts?

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This will be quick, because TFP wants to take her kid to the Children’s Museum…but here it goes – recently the show that has likely run the longest in San Francisco – a city known for it’s diversity and open minded attitude – Beach Blanket Babylon – posted a casting notice on their website that was, let’s face it, pretty awful.

They have taken it down, but here is a screen shot:14237770_10153647760981567_3227100291063088177_n

TFP was thinking lots of thoughts….

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She tweeted them – hey, it was a HOLIDAY WEEKEND!!!!!

There was also an article by YOMYOMF

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and Tweets sent by a number of API Activists, like for example, the written word warrior, Jeff Yang…

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Thus after much furious social media backlash, Beach Blanket Babylon has taken down their casting notice and apologized.

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Here’s the thing – ok fine, all well and good you apologized but there are a few salient points:

  1. How long was that casting notice up there, and how badly did it make actors who wanted to audition, who were not Caucasian feel?

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  1. Never crossed anyone’s mind that stating preference by skin tone is wrong? Your Graphic Designer said nothing? Your Web Person? Artistic Director?  You find nothing wrong with asking the “magical People of Color’ to be twenty times better just to get your notice? NO ONE THOUGHT THIS WAS SUSPECT?

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  1. Though BBB is not an AEA house, there is what we call in the performing arts – and in every other business (Looking at you, Wells Fargo) – a thing called ‘Standards and Practices‘ – meaning, there is a need to adhere to the current industry standard of advertising for roles.

Yes, if the character is African American, or Asian, or Latina, you may say that the character has that background – but you may not- because after all, AEA is a Union, (remember it was Labor Day ) Unions are not allowed to practice discrimination based on race or religion, disability, or gender – and as AEA sets the Industry standard for theater – BBB should adhere to that example.

Been running over 40 years? It’s time to join the world of 2016.

Also, where are the ASIAN AMERICANS IN THE CAST?

In SAN FRANCISCO? Seriously, what is the implication here – you cover Pop Culture and APIS are not a part of it?

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Have you tuned in on ABC at all?

FRESH OFF THE BOAT? DR. KEN?

Ring any bells?

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Here is the other thing that has TFP scratching her head – there are 5 PoC in the current cast of BBB – how the heck do you think this whole thing makes them feel?

Presumably management likes them, presumably they auditioned and felt great about getting cast..how do you think hearing that one of the reasons they got their job is because they could ‘pass’ is going to make them feel?

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Let’s just keep it real for a second, BBB – yes, you apologized – but you did not actually think about what you did – you knee jerk apologized and you are going to try and turn it around on all the folks who read it and say yes, you didn’t realize, and you were trying to be funny.

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You were trying to be funny about basing qualifications on skin tone, and not on talent.

You were trying to be funny about racism practiced openly and without shame.

What you did was invoke the worst kind of privilege – the kind where the Creative people judge Performers of Color based on looks FIRST, before their talent will be considered.

TFP does not buy this fauxpology.

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The show started in 1974, if you have not changed your attitudes to Performers of Color and Ability since then, perhaps it is time to leave the beach?

San Francisco, the dynamic city in which you live – in which you probably take a walk through Chinatown regularly, order out Indian Food, go down and sample chocolate brought to you by Italian Immigrants, the city that fought so hard for LGBT rights…San Fran does not need this sh*t.

San Francisco is better than what you did with your casting notice.

You took it down, but did you learn anything?

TFP hopes so, she really hopes so.

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Because…Beach Blanket Babylon also has a cast running in London.

So what is going on across the pond? Same thing?

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TFP wonders.

For abject stupidity and racism written down where everyone could see it – TFP fines Beach Blanket Babylon 50 whacks with the wand – grow up and realize that your sense of humor is dated.  We don’t tell Performers of Color that they have to enter through the back door and they need to use separate bathrooms in 2016 – or have you not checked out the winners at The TONYS this past year?

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Check yourself before you wreck yourself, BBB – because you are on your way to making yourselves obsolete.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has, let’s face it, been very active in writing about productions of THE MIKADO in the past.

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What’s THE MIKADO, you ask?

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It is an Operetta written by Gilbert and Sullivan, and, frankly, it has some of their most lilting melodies and lampooning of British mores that they ever wrote.

It is also set in Japan.

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Which, as it has turned out over the years, has led to a whole HEAP of problems with yellow face portrayals, racist stereotypes run amok, and general ill will from Asian Americans at large, and Asian American Performers specifically.

After all, it’s great that you love us and all – but stop trying to skin us and wear us like a coat.

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One might even say, that because THE MIKADO has so frequently been performed by both amateur groups and professional rep companies with the aforementioned issues – Asian American performers have stayed well away from being involved in any production of it.

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The exception being of course, the Doris Baizley/Ken Narasaki play “The Mikado Project’, which later turned into a film directed by Chil Kong, which stars, among others – Tamlyn Tomita and Rizwan Manji.

After the furor that was let loose last year, on NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players by both TFP and other bloggers and activists, their production was cancelled – they said they needed another year to work on their concept, and wouldn’t you know…it has been a year!

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TFP was told by a friend who was at the callbacks (which, for non-theater folks is, essentially, those who have made it to the second or third round of auditioning) that everyone coming in was VERY diverse.

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After speaking with someone associated with the Production upcoming, TFP can confirm that YES, they will be having a diverse, multi-racial MIKADO, however, they would like to have more Asian Americans come in and audition.

NYGASP is actively pursuing diversity in recruiting new company members“.

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Likely because of past issues with this particular show,  few APIs came in to audition – which impacts casting -and will lead to, again, anger and disbelief and listen…no one wants to write another blog on THE MIKADO and ask the question of WHY WHY WHY don’t they have more APIs in the cast in a show that is set in Japan – even if it is a mythical Japan.

(BTW, the concept of how they are going to deal with the whole ‘mythical Japan‘ was run by TFP, and it sounds very much in the spirit of G&S, and smart, just in talking through it – TFP is ‘with” NYGASP on this concept – and that is a sentence she never thought she would write !)

The issues are a few with the need for more APIs singing the Gilbert and Sullivan canon –

  1. The Singer must sing classically – no ‘pop/rock’
  2. The Singer must audition w/appropriate songs
  3. The Singer is actually auditioning for a spot in the repertory company of NYGASP, not limited to just a spot in this current MIKADO.

Take a look at number 3 – APIs are actually auditioning for a spot in the Company.

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Which means, next time they do IOLANTHE, or PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Which, is TFP‘s favorite), or RUDDIGORE – there are likely to be APIs in the cast, as they make it a point to use members of the Repertory company.

Which means, times are changing! Where New York City leads, others will follow – and it is great to know that positive things CAN happen.

Which means that the concept of Asian Americans playing Asian characters on stages in New York City and beyond, is happening.

Which means, Asian Americans will actually be able to relax a bit and not have that instant reaction that often accompanies the announcement of a MIKADO production.

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So listen Kids, NYGASP is having another day for MIKADO auditions and it is THIS COMING FRIDAY.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2016

Now, NYGASP does NOT use an independent Casting Professional for their shows – they announce auditions and people submit themselves for a time. That is the way it has always been, and that is the way it will continue to be.

Do not take it as a ‘diss – it’s not.

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Singers who have classically sounding voices and backgrounds, you must contact them at  auditions@ngyasp.org in order to submit yourself.

They want:

ONE verse of ONE Song, in English – preferably from the G&S canon, but not required.

Accompanist provided.

Photo and Resume.

NYGASP has a special agreement with AEA Assoc, however the Company auditions both Union and Non-Union Members by appointment only. All AEA Members who request an audition will get one.

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Look, Asian American Singers of Classical Background – this is YOUR shot – there was nothing like this when TFP graduated from CMU, that she will swear to.

This is an opportunity that has been hard won by folks you will likely never even meet. So many API journalists and bloggers and activists have worked on and at this issue for YEARS – do not throw it away by not attending this call.

Did TFP help tear down this castle of a production that was NYGASP’s last vision of THE MIKADO?

She did.

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Is she willing to help get the word out now and help rebuild the flying buttresses of operetta?

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She is.

But, as the song goes from CHICAGOI simply can not do it alone‘.

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Please submit yourself and go in and sing your damn face off. Even if you cannot for schedule reasons do this particular production – Brian Stokes Mitchell it.

Make them hear you.

Audra

Otherwise, when we see a ‘typical’ MIKADO come the Fall, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

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They have taken the notes – they have API Consultants and Creatives behind the table, they have a new set design and so on – it is now up to us.

You wanted representation on those stages – brush off your vocalizes and go and represent.

TFP out.

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The Fairy Princess is enjoying her summer – she has done several workshops (NOT LABS) and has another one coming up for a musical she has seen through 2 years of development called I SPY A SPY, which is pretty brilliant (Contact Producer Eric Krebs if you are interested in investing), and her kid is in this new short film, BALANCING ACT

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as part of the YOMYOMF short film competition.

The interesting part of the film competition for TFP is that the dialogue was four lines written by David Henry Hwang, who is also having a pretty good couple of months – his new play, “Soft Power” is premiering at CTG in Los Angeles, AND…there is an AND…he was named the chair of the American Theater Wing!

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Wait – there is MORE good stuff of note for the API Theatrical Community – we have EJ Zimmerman holding down as an alternate Eponine in Les Miserables, Ali Ewoldt as Christine in Phantom of the Opera, Aaron J. Albano and Gina Pazcoguin in CATS for the foreseable future, Jenna Ushkowitz coming in to replace Kimiko Glenn in WAITRESS, Ari Afsar is playing Eliza in the Chicago cast of HAMILTON…little Isabella Russo holding it down at SCHOOL OF ROCK along with Jaygee Macapuguay who plays her Mom…and our stalwarts at ALADDINAdam Jacobs and Courtney Reed.

That makes it 10!

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Out of 29 Broadway shows currently running.

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The incoming Broadway season looks to be brought to you by Clorox –  even shows that would seemingly incorporate diversity – you know, ones that have international story lines about planes landing in a small town during 9/11, do not include APIs in the cast.

Guess Asians and Asian Americans don’t take planes.

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HAMILTON did not fix anything in terms of casting. It’s an amazing show, but it is a one off, and we all have to realize that essentially, while last year was a great season, this next one coming up…kinda not.

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TFP attended the Opening Night of the Asian American International Film Festival last  night in New York City, and the whole film festival is devoted to opening people’s minds and eyes to ‘see’ API people and their stories – and TFP suggests you check out their roster of films.

THE OPPOSITE OF A FAIRY TALE, which is about Elder Abuse will play Sat night at 8pm.

You should totally try and go see some of the films and their API faces and varying points of view, because you are not going to see too many on The Broadway any time soon.

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Anyway, into the fray of the unbearable whiteness of theater comes another entry – and this one is definitely taking their cue from Hollywood and it is…wait for it…PRINCE OF EGYPT.

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Now, this is a Dreamworks concert project based on one of their Animated films from years past, and it is being made free to the good people of Sag Harbor, NY. by Artistic Director Scott Schwartz of the Bay Street Theater.

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He is the son of TONY Winning composer, Stephen Schwartz. Stephen Schwartz wrote the songs for the film and some other shows you may have heard tell of like, oh…WICKED and GODSPELL and PIPPIN.

It is part of their stage reading series, and ostensibly, they hope to present it free to the public in Mashashimuet Park both for their enjoyment and for the Producers to see if the show has the legs they think it has. Truthfully, TFP thinks more Producers should do this – have large public presentations and see if shows ‘work’ sans multi-million dollar sets – more often. It would probably save a lot of money. And sequins.

However here is the issue. The show takes place in Egypt.

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Egypt is in Northern Africa. It is super close to Saudi Arabia. It has one boarder on the Mediterranean Sea. It had port cities for trading, and was not far from Greece, not even that far from Italy.

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THE PRINCE OF EGYPT is the story of Moses and how he began life as a pampered Prince of Egyptian nobility which he was adopted into and who led the Jewish slaves out of Egypt as an adult.

This show takes place in the time of Ramses the Great. Ramses was born in or about 1305 B.C. and died in or about 1213 B.C.  This is an Artist rendering from the time of Ramses.

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There are many, many theories about what race Ancient Egypt was –  TFP is not going to break it down except to say – they have tested a lot of Mummies, and there is DNA evidence of origins in North Africa and then, as one proceeds onwards in time, after invasions and such, more diversity in the DNA that includes other races as we classify them today.

Here is an example of Ancient Egyptian artwork that was found in a tomb to carry the pharaoh to the next life, you can see there are a variety of skin tones – which is not surprising. Port cities tend to have diversity, and Egypt if you look at the map above, was really quite close to many countries all of which would have had a variety of shades of people.

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In general, while there is HUGE debate over what ‘race’ Ancient Egyptians were, specifically – it is safe to say that they were “People of Color”, with all the range of skin tones and features that roots in Northern Africa and a general diaspora that included trade with foreign peoples, would lend itself to.

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None of the information listed above is surprising if one has, at all, studied, even casually, the history of Egypt.

What is surprising is that the cast of THE PRINCE OF EGYPT  for this concert   appears as though it was cast in the 1800’s. It embodies a Eurocentric vision of what Ancient Egypt was – which encompassed the  incredulity that People of Color would have their own nation with their own rulers- their own Kings and Queens.

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This view also had with it the refusal to believe that those ruling People of Color would enslave lighter skinned people to help them build pyramids and so on.

Left to right in the following roles – Casey Cott as Moses, Stark Sands as Ramses, Shuler Hensley at Pharoh Seti, Solea Pfeiffer as Tzipporah, and Marin Mazzie as Queen Tuya.

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This does not seem to, other than Solea Pfeiffer, to embrace anything other than the Hollywood status quo – which is that Egyptian means Caucasian when it is casting lead roles.

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That this is happening post HAMILTON and in light of all the recent troubles that have plagued the nation – Orlando, Philandro Castile, Alton Sterling, the Policemen shot in the line of duty both in Dallas, Texas and in Baton Rouge, the most recent debacle of shooting behavioral therapist, Charles Kinsey while he was with an autistic patient – it seems, how shall TFP put it?

Insensitive to the current climate of our Nation.

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To be fair, the last time, in 2015 that Bay Street produced a concert version of this piece, they did use TONY Nominee, Norm Lewis and TONY Winner, Patina Miller.

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TFP is not entirely sure what happened with this new concert – perhaps it was due to schedules or friendships… or that there are no People of Color with amazing voices available to come out to Long Island and sing a concert in the middle of the summer for some rehearsals and one performance…

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We will likely never know.

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Here is the real problem with things like what is going to go down in Sag Harbor – let’s put it in national context.

Sag Harbor, in the summer, is pretty much the dwelling place of ‘the 1 per cent’ – aka, rich people. Now, some will argue that year round residents are not all rolling on their beds awash in hundred dollar bills, and there is some truth to that – but not in the summer.

In the summer, there are high end rentals and there is a lot of money floating around – if TFP had a show that she wanted to go to Broadway, what better way to find investors than ‘give it away’ in the park for a bunch of millionaires sitting on blankets drinking wine?

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It is a genius strategy.

However – they are taking the story of two ethnic groups – Jewish and Ancient Egyptian which had Northern African roots,

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and they are whitewashing the ethnicity out of the story.

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When, in point of fact, we need MORE representations of diversity on our stages than ever before – people need to acknowledge that America is not a one raced nation. We are a melting pot- we do not need walls, we need understanding. We need more conversations about how we train people in high stress positions and we need to openly talk about racism both within America at large and then within smaller ethnic groups.

We also need to reach people who favor an Orange faced racist for President, and remind them that the world does not all look like Sag Harbor in the summer.

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Theater is supposed to enlighten as well as entertain. Removing ethnic faces from ethnic stories is not what is going to help America stay on track as a world power – it is going to deepen the divide.

Plus, these are educated people – don’t we think one or two or twenty is going to do a double take when the leads walk out?

Give the crowd some credit – these are the people that buy HAMILTON tickets! Like, they pay ridiculous amounts to a ticket broker without batting an eye, they don’t have friends in the cast that can get them house seats!

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TFP really likes Stephen Schwartz, she would probably like his son if she met him, and she  very much likes Sag Harbor spent many, many hours of her youth  there- but this casting announcement leaves her with a bad taste in her mouth.

Which btw, is NOT a reflection on the performers themselves – they did not cast themselves and they are all brilliantly talented – but, as one FB friend pointed out – didn’t we all skip on the feature film, GODS OF EGYPT because they did the very same thing?

This simply shows that what we all celebrated – the diversity of last season’s Broadway – did not trickle down whatsoever.

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Trickle down did not work – again.

No, we cannot ‘solve’ the various theories on what happened in Ancient Egypt to any one ‘expert’ opinion – however we could decide as a friggin’ theater community to have “Hamilton-esque” casting on shows that have their roots in countries other than Europe!

Otherwise what are all these damn panels on diversity and inclusion for?

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So the theater companies can all come and apologize AFTER they have done EXACTLY what they wanted to do, but they are annoyed ‘we’ called them on their blindness to diversity?

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WHEN IS EVERYONE GOING TO JUST START DOING WHAT THEY HAVE SAID THEY ARE INTERESTED IN DOING?

WHEN?

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For whitewashing Egypt – TFP fines The Bay Street Theater  50 whacks of the wand – while we were not in the ‘room where it happened‘, from this casting, we can see what may not be happening at all.

And KISS MY FAN TAN FANNIE!