Archives for the month of: August, 2021

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.


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?


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.