The Fairy Princess has been trying quite hard to remain positive these last few posts…because the ‘real’ news has been fairly hideous – whether you are concerned about riots in Egypt, or Child Trafficking, or Russia hating LGBT people….(Which is ludicrous, because of course, Russia is like…the Gayest Country on Earth…if you are famous for BALLET….that’s pretty Gay, Russia…pretty Gay), so she has not been posting about theater, because, well…she thought everyone learned their lesson.
I mean, she gave a speech at LA Stage Day about the death of Yellowface, and she was totally encouraged by the fact that the audience at LA Stage Day was receptive. Not only were they receptive, the wider, Internet audience that technology makes possible was ALSO accepting of the fact that it’s not cool to put on makeup and bad accents and make fun of Asian people simply because you are too lazy or stupid to do an actual and thoughtful portrayal of Asian culture WITH Asian actors in those roles.
I mean, weren’t we all clear on this? GEORGE? What do you think?
I mean, any educated person would have to take note that demeaning a heritage you know nothing about would be…well… stupid. Any educated person would know that. Educated people, for example, who have just received an Ivy League education at an institution that is known for having high artistic standards….a place like, well…let’s just say it….YALE.
Yale is a pretty fancy place – it’s graduates include Presidents, Physicians, Performers, Playwrights, in fact, the Fairy Princess’s own cousin holds a PhD from Yale….so she’s been there, and yeah…pretty fancy.
(In case you are reading this post in say….Scotland…or more specifically Edinburgh, it may be worth sharing that Yale Drama School – which is a Masters Program of Study, has some pretty famous Alumni to boast of….much like my own alma mater, Carnegie Mellon….which was founded by a Scot – Andrew Carnegie. GO SCOTS! )
Now, when you think “Yale Drama”, who comes to mind?
Or well, this guy….
He won a TONY Award for writing this play:
And DHH is not the only Asian American to have attended Yale Drama….how about this guy?
Or THIS guy…..
And lest you think that Yale Drama is male dominated…
So…as you can see, Yale School of Drama has some fairly distinguished Asian American alumni who are gracing our stages and screens, large & small, today. And Yale School of Drama is NOT what this post is about – because obviously they are forward thinking and embrace diversity in it’s students and alumni. And Bravo to that!
However, there are a LOT of people who attend Yale and they are entitled to pursue Acting, Writing, and Directing just the same as anyone else. Their resumes still say….Yale. The word entitled is a very big one here, and it explains the reason for this post.
Though these bright minded individuals do hold degrees from Yale University, they do NOT hold Degrees from Yale School of Drama.
They do not have the training, they do not have the sensitivity, and they do not have, perhaps, their pulse on the beat of the cultural landscape of American Theater to know that there is a…and well…given the subject matter, The Fairy Princess hesitates to use the word, but it is applicable…a REVOLUTION in American Theater in regards to portrayals of Asian peoples.
Nobody binds our feet and leaves us in a corner ANY more….
Which is why it was all the more shocking to hear about THIS
You see…this is the Cast of BEIJING CAKE currently playing at Edinburgh Fringe, and….it’s a play about China….do they look Chinese to you? I see….
And HERE is a map of CHINA…real, actual, China….it’s not made up, it does not exist only in pure imagination…it’s right THERE…you see?
And here is a…well…a Chinese person…one who is actually, supposedly portrayed IN this play:
Though none of the Cast appears to BE of Asian descent, appearances CAN be deceiving so let’s see their Kickstarter video, because perhaps that would show them to be a sensitive, thoughtful bunch, who can cheerfully bring us all up to speed on the Chinese experience…http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2114703258/bring-beijing-cake-to-the-edinburgh-fringe-festiva
Yeah…not so much. Although the repeated GONGS throughout the kickstarter video are a nice touch….
The Fairy Princess has hit a wall….
She has hit a wall because this is a project that is coming from young people! In their twenties! And Whitney Houston always told us that Children were the future!
Whitney lied. These children are as whack as crack.
The Fairy Princess is FRUSTRATED.
Remember what happened the FIRST time she got this frustrated? (MR KAUFMAN? REMEMBER?)
OK here is the deal….this show at The Fringe is billed as a comedy, it’s billed as hilarious…and apparently, those who have done the billing are the playwright, director and Cast themselves, because when core members of the British East Asians attended the show this is what they saw….
You know who should be upset about this? More than The Fairy Princess, more than the British East Asian Artists?
And here is why...they make Yale Alumni look like culturally insensitive a**holes.
Cuz ya wanna see how they bill themselves….?
Yale, Yale, Yale…and you know what – Yale is actually a very sophisticated school with quite an international reputation. And now this bunch is going around the world to spread Yellowface makeup, made up Chinese and…well…racism. I mean, they do not even seem to be aware that Chinese can be broken down into various dialects like Mandarin and Cantonese!
REALLY? Because even ELMO knows what Mandarin is!
THIS is what they came out of YALE with? An entitled sense of being able to make fun of Asian people…an entitled opinion that they are able to portray us, to speak on our issues, to mock a language that is thousands of years old?
OMG Yale – you failed. You were supposed to educate them to take their place in the world and hold forth the tradition of excellence that you are known for. They ran off waving their sheepskin and decided it was a great idea to mock the Country that holds America’s dollar by the proverbial balls.
What a great endorsement for a Yale Education! I’m sure their Parents will be thrilled that they PAID for their kids to learn that you can step all over Chinese people at tens of thousands of dollars per semester! The one who will be absolutely the MOST proud?
The Director’s FATHER….
Because EVERYONE knows that Oscar Winning Screenwriters really want to be known for having Daughters who perpetuate stereotype utilizing Yellowface and made up Chinese adjacent languages! What a shame, when you, yourself, are so meticulous in your brilliant work. But perhaps, she is a late bloomer. You have faith in her.
The Fairy Princess….not so much.
Let’s break it down people, these Actors and this Playwright and this Director are from groups that have ‘Minority’ written all over their names and faces and gender…possibly even their sexual preferences, who knows or who cares, but it’s possible. So if you are, yourself, a member of a Minority group, how DARE you mock another one? Forget what you obviously did NOT learn at YALE about cultural sensitivity, what the heck were you learning at home that makes this in ANY way ok?
Well now, they are probably upset….they are saying HOW DARE I call them on this racist play that they love doing. Who am I to expect them to strive for excellence and artistic bravery? Ok Kids…fine, but let’s turn this around….because turnabout is fair play, yes?
Now…if Asian American actors were to go over to Edinburgh, slap on some Blackface make up and talk like Amos & Andy – would that be ok?
If Asian American Directors and Writers got together a made up a mockery of the Hebrew language which they THEN set it to the tune of “Yiddishe Mama” would that be ok?
Cuz The Bottle Dance from Fiddler On The Roof is just Jerome Robbin’s choreo…we could learn it
(BTW, The Fairy Princess knows every damn word to Fiddler On The Roof and made her Mom take her to see it 5 times in a row when she was six years old and then she memorized the Cast recording…but she ALWAYS knew that it was a show she would NEVER do)
But we are not going to. Because we have standards.
I would have thought that you would have them too…being that you know….you went to Yale and all….so many whacks with the wand…you need to grab a mirror and take a good look at yourselves and HONESTLY wonder how you EVER thought that this was in ANY way ok….. OH….and BY THE WAY….
KISS MY FAN TAN FANNIE