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As you know…The Fairy Princess has had some things to say about casting, particularly theatrical casting – both in the USA and abroad.

I'm thinking...I'm thinking

I’m thinking…I’m thinking


Just a few things (thing 1, thing 2, thing 3). We’ve gone from Chinese people being eliminated in Mythical China, to Chinese people being eliminated from a Chinese play that is set in real, actual China but shown onstage in the UK, to South Asian people being mocked on Broadway…it’s been a busy year for neglect racism.

Or as I call it in terms that render it more a medical condition, and therefore treatable – Lazydirectitum aka Castingidiotum aka Artisticdirectorless

There have been several theater conferences on the issue – a forum hosted by the venerable East West Players in Los Angeles, “Open Door” in the UK hosted by British Equity, and most recently one held in Chicago hosted by Silk Road Rising Theater Company.

There was also a ‘talk back‘ at La Jolla Playhouse, and an upcoming March ‘closed door’ meeting at The Roundabout theater company, and now, FINALLY there has been some real, definitive action – a Master stroke has been dealt and it is a doozy.

A.C.T. – the American Conservatory Theater has taken aim at that pesky windmill of neglectful racism and in two, bold and daring moves, they have put the theater community on notice.

What is this you say? Wait, could it BE? Could there be a light at the end of the railroad tunnel? Is it possible?

The light shines brighter in San Francisco

The light shines brighter in San Francisco

YES, my Children, they have done it.

ACT is doing 2 shows with…wait for it….Asian people.


President George W. Bush can't believe it EITHER

President George W. Bush can’t believe it EITHER

Boldly going where few have gone before in recent memory, ACT is doing Stuck Elevator in April 2013 – a new work based on a real undocumented Chinese Delivery Man in New York, who was stuck in an elevator for 81 hours. Poor guy.

(The Fairy Princess was stuck in an elevator once, in New York City, but it was only for forty five minutes and no one wrote a musical about it because all it would have entailed was The Fairy Princess sitting her butt on the elevator floor waiting for someone to realize she was missing, so it is good that no one ever optioned that particular story from her life.)

The Fairy Princess is gobsmacked! She even knows two of the folks in the cast – Raymond J. Lee (He’s in The Mikado Project trailer, rapping A Wandering Minstrel )

and Joseph Anthony Foronda.

Joseph Anthony Foronda & Erin Quill in 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song at AMTSJ

Joseph Anthony Foronda & Erin Quill in 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song at AMTSJ

Both of whom are exceptionally talented, and with whom The Fairy Princess is very honored to have shared the stage and screen with.


ACT is not done!

What? What you say? I KNOW, I know…you are very excited.


Ok that’s enough. Stop now. Because you will never, ever, never ever EVAH guess what ACT has planned!

They are going to take that same translation of The Orphan of Zha0, yes, the VERY one that The Royal Shakespeare Company had commissioned from James Fenton –

RSC's Poster

RSC’s Poster

and….AND.…They are going to put a Chinese American Actor in the lead role!

DROP MIC! Grab a towel and let a peon wipe your brow, ACT, THIS is Victoria Beckham ‘MAH-JOR’!

Gregory Doran must be so pissed! (And not in the British ‘pissed’ = ‘drunk’ way, but pissed off)

He’s saying “What, what? The Colonies? They’ve done what? And who is in the Cast? Who? Shown me up, have they? Made legitimate casting decisions based on text, have they? Upstarts! Well I NEVER!”

Yes. We know that, Mr. Doran.

You never. Because you did not feel that British East Asians should be in a repertory season, so you just thought it was better to not bother with them at all in a show set in China, that you went over to China to do research on. Because even though there are conservatory trained Actors in the UK, no one would ‘buy’ them in a Brecht play, in your opinion, so you just felt…eh, why bother?

Oh, you are back Mr. Doran, sorry I was doing a gig of happiness – well, I’m Irish, sometimes you have to…

Do you want to know who they cast Mr. Doran?

Those pesky people at ACT?


BD Wong, Actor

BD Wong, Actor

You know what? When The Fairy Princess puts them one under the other, the photos, doesn’t that little boy seem like he could possibly grow up and be TONY Winner BD Wong?



You see, Mr. Doran, That’s the point. The point is – is that there is going to be an Asian American Actor portraying an Asian person!

He’s not going to be a dog puppet….

Joan Iyolia & Chris Lew Kum Hoi in rehearsalPlaying the dog, sorry, dog puppet at The RSC's Production of The Orphan of Zhao

Joan Iyolia & Chris Lew Kum Hoi in rehearsal
Playing the dog, sorry, dog puppet at The RSC’s Production of The Orphan of Zhao

He is not going to have to ‘learn’ how to tape his eyes…..

Saigoned, So wrong

Or use a terrible accent…..


He is just going to get to be the Lead, in a production that is set in a country, where, historically, his Family may have been from.

It is mind-bogglingly simple. It is the Casting that need not speak it’s name. It’s a home run.

So what, Dear Reader can we do to support this bold and brave casting choices?

We can all buy tickets and go. That’s how you vote in theater, with your dollars and common sense.

Look, you may be reading this as an Asian American Actor, or you may be reading this as a theater fan, or you may be reading this because you are going to post on the comments how awful I am and how I know nothing (opinions are indeed like a**holes, everyone has one) but for whatever reason, you are here. Don’t waste this beautiful opportunity to be part of the change of American theater. Buy at ticket to these productions – and you know what?

KEEP BUYING TICKETS – go to the theater, go to film festivals – GO, GO, GO! Even if you don’t like the first thing you see, or the second – when you see that the theater community is reaching out, reach back.

One of the biggest obstacles in including Asian American performers more into our Theater culture is that ‘no one‘ will buy tickets to see an Asian American as a lead. Prove them wrong. You’re someone, aren’t you?

I don’t have a crystal ball

Ok I lied, I have a crystal ball (Photo by Dr. Michelle Ko)

I borrowed it.
(Photo by Dr. Michelle Ko)

But if I did, I would tell you to keep your eyes open because this is a very encouraging and exciting thing.

Which is great, because recent reports have been upsetting.

Although, I must admit, if American Theater is going to keep this up – The Fairy Princess may never ‘have‘ to blog again – and wouldn’t it be loverly?

Clang, Clang, Clang San Francisco – well done!


TEN Waves of the Wand to ACT – and the Artistic Director, Carey Perloff.

The Fairy Princess wanted to take a brief moment and congratulate the British East Artists on their award of Nee Hao Magazine’s Man and Woman of the Year Award.

The fight for recognition in theater or for those in the UK, theatre, is so very complicated and exhausting, that it is truly, truly a wonderful thing to see their work recognized in a way that the US Asian Americans have yet to be, though AAPAC is doing great work under the leadership of Pun Bandhu.

Here is the article from Nee Hao and as part of the “international support’ team, I am absolutely thrilled.


February 5, 2013 8:03 pm

After much deliberation from the judges in reviewing a pool of impressive candidates, a decision was made. On February 9, the winner of the first-ever Nee Hao’s Man and Woman of the Year Award is to be received by the British East Asian Artists (BEAA), a collation of amazing men and women from diverse professions involved in directing, acting, writing, broadcasting and filmmaking. Normally the award should go to an individual man and woman, but this year an exception is to be made because of the special achievement of this group. A full list of the other finalists will be in articles to follow.

The Judges’ Decision

BEAA was selected by a stellar line of judges comprising of:

  • Dr. Catherine Xiang In charge of Mandarin section at LSE; responsible for Asian Languages, liaison for Confucius Institute Business, London

  • Raymond Wong MBE, the Honorary Chairman of the Bristol Chinese Association

  • Dee Lo, presenter and co-producer of BBC Radio Chinatown in Manchester

  • GK Tang, the founder and entrepreneur behind based in the North East

  • Ben Donn, Entrepreneur and founder of V Town Events based in Manchester.

Editor of Nee Hao Magazine Steven Ip, who was not part of the judging panel, had this to say: “Their courage in breaking barriers to incorporate more East Asians into the arts and cultural sectors is truly inspirational. Fighting racism, prejudice and underrepresentation, the BEAA truly deserves universal recognition; I am proud that Nee Hao has played a small part in recognising their contributions”.

Gathering together in 2012, the BEAA campaigned against the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) adaptation of the Chinese play “Orphan of Zhao”. The RSC only cast three British East Asian actors in the play, reflecting a lack of the organisation’s dedication to equal opportunities-casting. The pressure exerted on the RSC through BEAA’s efforts in rallying up online support resulted in a written statement by the RSC to review their policies. Although it is impossible to recount all the individuals involved in the initiative, notable mentions have been made regarding Daniel York, Anna Chen, Dr. Broderick D.V. Chow, Kathryn Golding, Paul Hyu, Michelle Lee, Chowee Leow, Hi Ching, Jennifer Lim, Lucy Sheen, and Amanda Rogers.


Victor Wong, Executive Director of the Chinese Canadian National Council, who co-nominated the group stated:

“Through their efforts, the BEAA successfully challenged the racist assumptions and stereotyping of the theatre industry. Their efforts to break the glass ceiling of “invisibility” in the UK also benefits the British Chinese and East Asian communities in general, and especially for young people at the beginning of their careers. The BEAA were able to attract international support and also engaged with important allies including Equity representatives, media, funders and political representatives”.

Yinsey Wang, contributing editor of Nee Hao, who also supported the nomination of BEAA, stated of the Nee Hao’s Man and Woman of the Year project:

“We wanted this award to support what we feel is lacking in the British East Asian community: unity. The BEAA has shown dedication to a truly unified cause and enchanted the imagination of the British East Asian. As a British East Asian, I feel empowered to know that together we can make substantial differences in Britain, and can even engage the serious problems that affect the heart of the international community, such as racism, underrepresentation and misunderstanding”.

BEAA continues to create extensive ripples in the arts and culture of Britain, providing a forum for creatives to share and develop their work. Nee Hao is proud to celebrate this year’s men and women from the BEAA that have outlined 2012 as an important step forward for all British East Asians.

For more information about BEAA, visit To read their 30 October 2012 statement, click here.

A statement by BEAA is to be made at the awards ceremony and shall be reported on after the festivities of Nee Hao Magazine’s Chinese New Year Show in London, which includes a fashion show, performances, a charity raffle in support of Chinese orphaned and abandoned children, and delightful culinary creations.


The Fairy Princess also wanted to take a moment, and recognize the passing of a true Artist and Pioneer for API performers, particularly those of us who fall into the even smaller category of “Eurasian’ aka “Hapa” aka “Mixed Race” performers – Kevin Gray, known for his work in Miss Saigon, The King and I, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and many more – died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 55.


(If you click on the names of the shows, you will find articles from on his many successes)

Here is an interview of Kevin when he was doing The King and I at The MUNY

When I looked at my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I was staggered by how many of my friends had worked with him – friends of all different backgrounds and so many different kinds of shows – he touched them all through his work and his friendship. He was a pioneer simply because he was a wonderful performer and his talent was second to none.

This is not an obituary of Kevin, it is simply a thank you – I am not qualified to write one for him, but Theatermania and Playbill have done so, and if you click the words there, you will see them.

The Fairy Princess wanted to acknowledge that though we are all still fighting for recognition on our world stages, there was a brilliant warrior fighting that same fight, simply by being a standout in all he did.

Rest in Peace Kevin Gray – many thoughts and prayers to your Wife and Family.

And, Thank you.



Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, 8:09 AM PacificBUNTY BERMAN PRESENTS
V/T: THE NEW GROUP – Acorn Theatre
Artistic Director/Director: Scott Elliott
Book and Lyrics: Ayub Khan Din
Music:  Ayub Khan Din andPaul Bogaev
Choreographer:  Josh Prince
Casting Director: Judy Henderson
Casting Assoc: Kimberly Graham
Rehearsal: February 24, 2013
Preview: April 10, 2013
Open: TBD
Close: June 1, 2013
NOTE: We are open to seeing actors who are non Indian but who can believably play Indian characters.
[BUNTY BERMAN] Male. 50. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. Mr. Show Business! A Bollywood producer/director who’s charming, resilient, resourceful, and going broke after a series of flops for his studios. He’s loyal to the point it ensures his dream’s survival. A self-made man who came from the humblest beginnings,  and built this studio with his best friend and the leading man of his greatest films, Raj Dahwan.  Boss to Nizwar and Dolly.  Must sing.
[RAJ DAHWAN] Male. 49. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. Made his way to Bombay to be part of a new business set to boom: cinema! He was convinced by Bunty Berman he had what it took to be a star and went on to be the greatest Hero in Indian film. However, fat, over the hill and over the top, Raj is now a laughing stock facing forced exile but this Hero doesn’t want to go quietly into the night…even if he should. Must sing.  ROLE CAST

[NIZWAR] Male.  38. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. Bunty’s right hand man and frequent collaborator, a screen writer with a Communist streak in him a mile long. He’s generally a voice of reason for Bunty but an admitted coward with big ideal but questions whether he has the guts to realize them.  A loyal and devoted employee.  Must sing.

[SALEEM] Male. 21. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. A spot boy, a general dogsbody/servant, usually attached to the stars of the movies. An orphan from the streets who believes he can one day become a star. Earnest, a romantic, and filled with integrity, but empty of the belief in himself to reach for his dreams. Until he comes under the mentorship of Raj and gets to show Shambervi there’s more to him than just tea.  Must sing ROLE CAST

[SHAMBERVI] Female. 20. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. Smart, ambitious, and knows how the system works: a Heroine only has a small window of opportunity to make her mark and ensure a career for herself. She’s got all the talent in the world but is being dragged down by Raj’s decay. She’s not looking for love but is thunderstruck by the handsome Saleem when he consoles her over the studio’s woes. Her own woman in a time when it wasn’t so popular or accepted to be one. Must sing.  ROLE CAST

[DOLLY] Female. 38. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities.  Bunty’s long suffering secretary who has a deep affection for her boss. Dolly handles the day to day operations of the studio and puts more sweat into making it run smoothly than anybody. She’s level-headed, strong willed, the voice of reason with more of a spine than Nizwar but is no less loyal to Bunty.  Must sing.

[SHANKAR DASS] Male. 55. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. One  of Bombay’s most successful gangsters. He came up the hard way, crawling and murdering his way to the top. A hard man who has recently become obsessed with a torch song singer, the enigmatic Sandra de Souza, who he hired to be his own night club’s headliner in hopes of winning her but finds his attempts always spurned. The rebuffs to a man who is used to getting everything his own way is driving madder by the day. Fueling his rage is the suspicion his son, Chandra, is having an affair with her.  ROLE CAST

[CHANDRA DASS/SANDRA DE SOUZA] Male. 29. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. Grew up hating his father because of the way Shankar treated Chandra’s mother. And Chandra’s got the cunning and the drive to take his dad’s top spot. But more than just that, he has plans to become the biggest star in India under his persona, the stage siren Sandra de Souza! He intends to make his father’s lust for Sandra a weapon and the platform of Bunty Berman’s studio as the perfect launching pad to achieve his dreams as Sandra. Must sing.

[MOHAN BATT] Male. 30s-40s. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. One of Shankar’s henchmen. Loyal to his boss as long as he doesn’t have a better offer on the table. Brother of Mitlal.

[MOTILAL BATT] Male. 30s-40s. Needs to be able to play South Asian but open to all ethnicities. One of Shankar’s henchmen. Loyal to his boss as long as he doesn’t have a better offer on the table. Brother of Mohan.

SYNOPSIS: Set in a failing 1950s Bollywood studio, with songs in the style of Hollywood’s Golden Age, this sparkling and hilarious new musical from the author of New Group hits East is East and Rafta, Rafta…. Movie producer Bunty Berman has long been the toast of Bombay, but now Raj, his biggest star and best friend, is losing his lustre. When their new movie bombs, Bunty must navigate through divas, mobsters and ambitious tea-boys to keep his studio alive. A world premiere from the company that created Avenue Q and The Kid.
NOTE: The New Group is an important Off Broadway Theatre in New York City Our web site is:

Here I sit in the Colonies, and I have just read The National Arts Council’s letter to Mr. Victor Wong, who is the Executive Director of the Chinese Canadian National Council. Mr. Wong quite obviously wrote to the RSC in light of Artistic Director Gregory Doran casting China with a coat of white paint. And good for him! Bravo! I toast Mr. Wong with a cup full of maple syrup whilst wearing a Mountie hat! Thank you Mr. Wong.

(My Canadian Chinese Cousins will be duly impressed by this. I don’t really know them, we are apparently related through a Great Grandfather with multiple wives and concubines, but what are you going to do? That’s China for you. A First Cousin married a Canadian actually, with my same name, awkward, but she has a fabulous company for Ex-Pat Canadians in Oz called Oh Canada !)

The letter is from Nigel Hugill, I will pull a bit of the text.

Selection of letter posted previously
on FB Group site

What has occurred to the Fairy Princess, sitting here twiddling my toes in the lovely, balmy LA weather, and having just been to The Ovation Awards (LA’s Theater Awards) last evening is, that the Royal Shakespeare Company is very uncomfortable with language.

What’s that you say? But what is theatre if not language? The theatre is language and costumes and sets all designed to tell a story to make you think. There are plays that make you think about a variety of subjects – about love, or sex, or money – plays are designed to make you think. On occasion, there are plays that make you think about issues that you are uncomfortable with.

The Orphan of Zhao is one such play for The Royal Shakespeare Company.

It’s all very “words, words, words, I’m so sick of words” And it is not, actually the words Asian or East Asian or Casting or Diversity or Multi-Cultural – those words they are willing to fling about like ramen in a food fight.

What is getting their goat is one other word, and it is not supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.

The word is….wait for it…apology.

I mean, yes, to apologize is to throw yourself on a sword a bit, Mr. Doran, but it’s not necessarily fatal. AND…I happen to have one right here, as a matter of fact:

In Chinese, a sword is called
a “Dao” – I am going to call this one…Zhao

Just kidding, just kidding – don’t throw yourself on a Chinese sword Mr. Doran, you would be vastly uncomfortable and definitely need a tetanus shot.

What is odd to me about this whole situation, is that the Brits are known world wide for some very particular traits – Beautiful Princesses

Princess Diana, just stunning

Princess Sophia of Hanover,
(she was smokin’ in the 1650’s)

Learned Scholars,

William Shakespeare
well, I suppose he’d prefer no women
a’tall in these shows – isn’t it funny to
look back on all these theatrical prejudices
and laugh….

Sweeney Todd (the legend, not the musical)


and..what is that other one…don’t tell me, don’t tell me….oh yes, ETTIQUETTE!

Isn’t the British standard held up for the rest of us because of their love of protocol? Doesn’t everyone have to have a card to leave on a silver plate with the butler while we wait to gain entrance? Isn’t everyone on baited breath to see if they will be received by the Host should they be having an ‘at home’?

It does not take a village, nor a an upbringing by a starchy, staunch Nanny to know that when you own a dog and it takes a big poo on the street, your obligation is to pick up the poo. (Preferably in a small plastic, recyclable bag which you then deposit forthwith into a receptacle of the trashy variety)

I like to think he is saying “No East Asians in China? That’s LUDICROUS!” Because in my fantasy this lovely English Bulldog ‘gets it’.

But THAT is not what Mr. Nigel Hugill is deciding to do. He has decided that all this kerfuffl-ing is not something he need immediately be concerned with. He is taking it under advisement. He is now off to don a smoking jacket, after checking his stocks on the “Change, and toddle off to his Club to enjoy brandy, cigars, and the company of his Peers.  Poo on the streets? Didn’t bother Mr. Nigel, he just stepped right over it.

Mr. Hugill – the Fairy Princess is not on the British Arts Council, nor has she fluttered her wings across a West End Stage (and this whole thing has really stuck a pin in that one, wouldn’t you say?). However, you need a few smacks with the wand if you think that the British ‘love affair’ with East Asians has, in any way, given you any leeway in this situation. You don’t have a heck of a lot of credit with us, you are in foreclosure for the following reasons:

Exhibit A: The Mikado – yes, originally written to protest British mores, but that’s not the way it’s usually done is it? Nope, usually done in “Yellow Face”

Exhibit B: Jonathan Pryce in MISS SAIGON

Mr. Pryce explaining how he
changes his eyes to play Asian.
The Fairy Princess loves to hate this photo

Yes he did Miss Saigon in Yellow Face, till the Yanks yelled about it – so off went the prosthetic eyes, and off almost came the ENTIRE US Production as Cam Mac jumped up and down and raged about the right of his team to cast someone who was not Asian, as a Eurasian.

Well. Well. I am actually Eurasian so….you all were half right, or rather half wrong in that case.

But now we are on to Exhibit C – The Orphan of Zhao

I have a lovely friend who is a Broadway Veteran, who happens to be multi-racial, who said to me: “I don’t believe in people saying they don’t see color. How do they drive? What they should say is that they do not react to color, that they choose not to acknowledge it.”

There’s been all this back and forth about who is right and who is wrong and who is responsible for Artistry and so on, and it is time to call it a day. I would rather play with a Corgi and drink Earl Grey and forget this tiff with those of the British Arts Council and it’s minions.

Thus, The Fairy Princess is going to be magnanimous. She is going to ‘break it down’ for Artistic Director Doran and all the Members of the British Arts Council who are happily looking down upon the East Asians from their Ivory Tower of Pomposity. Ready? Here you go:


Take a page from the book of La Jolla Playhouse, they apologized. Seriously, Moises Kaufman apologized.

See, once you do that, everyone can move on.

Digging in your heels and sulking that you were right, does not make it so, it makes you look like Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Here’s what you say:

Dear (Insert a respectful address, if you can bring yourselves to, won’t you?)

We at the British Arts Council and The Royal Shakespeare Company have heard your complaints. Given the vast amounts of attention that our Casting of The Orphan of Zhao has warranted, we have had time to look at the issue from all sides. While we believe fully in the talent of our current Cast, we do think that we made a mistake.

Casting a play set in feudal China with a majority of Caucasians, was, in fact, the wrong thing to do.  While it was not done with malice, and cannot be undone, you can rest assured that the RSC and the British Arts Council will do everything in their power to make sure that this is never done again.

We value our UK Citizens who have East Asian heritage, both those that are in the Performing Arts and those who are valued Audience members of the RSC. We hope in the future, to go forward, working together, both to expand our  knowledge of world plays and to respect the heritage from which the play came.

Our deepest regrets for any hurt feelings, we never intended that this be the result of what we hope will be a long collaboration with China, bringing their stories to our stages.

Yours truly,

Vastly Superior Public School Attendee blah, blah, blah, multiple letters from her Majesty blah blah

Seriously, just do that. No, go ahead right now and DO THAT.

Why? Because you are a Leader, and Leaders are not afraid to admit mistakes – they are only afraid to repeat them.

I would like to quote Terrence McFarland’s Ovation Award Speech, from the event I attended last night. Terence is an exceptionally thoughtful and erudite man.

Terence McFarland,
Exec. Director
LA Stage Alliance

“I am reminded that we, too, as theater makers, are in service.

Twenty years ago on the Taper stage a group of artists came together and served.
They were a bellwether in the perception shift of a plague and redefined what was possible to accomplish in a single, epic play.

Margaret Mead’s quote seems apt: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

I challenge you, citizens, to embrace the sentiment inherent in Kushner’s infamous line from Angels in America:

“The Great Work Begins.”

And thus, The Fairy Princess challenges The British Arts Council and the RSC to allow the Great Work that they currently DO, to embrace what has been mentioned previously, and allow their future Great Work to include more East Asians.

It is possible to do Great Work when dealing with those whose heritage includes The Great Wall.

The Great Wall of China.
YEP, THAT China.

ESPECIALLY if the show is set in CHINA, FEUDAL CHINA!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to go to sleep. Truly. I have an almost 6 month old, and sleep is much appreciated by all who dwell in …my dwelling. (Well, that’s where we dwell, so that would be about right, wouldn’t it)

Where ELSE would a Fairy Princess live?

But thanks to the Socialest of Social Networks I was sent links. LINKS! Before I went to bed! Now I can’t sleep! And what were they of, may you ask? Rightfully so. They were about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Orphan of Zhao.

Now we all know what happened in China oh so many years..well, I mean we all know EXCEPT the Royal Shakespeare Company. They don’t think Chinese people happened in China at all. (Did you see that baby in the trailer?) As far as the Royal Shakespeare Company is concerned, what happened in China is that the Royal Shakespeare Company did not want to get confused with D’oyly Cart,

so rather than do a shuffling and scraping Mikado and take down Japan, they were going to have a cultural smackdown with China and erase the Chinese people.

(Oh, notice that the set designer has put Asian faces on his little stick figures in the design? And how Doran said he could place it anywhere, Nazi Germany or such, which would have made sense with his Casting, but he chose to keep it in China….just…just…well, just cuz)

It’s like watching Hollywood adapt a film based on a Manga comic book!

(“You are the last of your kind” Oh…the last white boy, oh dear…has anyone checked Cleveland? Or Harrow? I’m pretty sure there are a few left.)

But let us not dwell on Gregory Doran, as he is veddy veddy British-y busy, what with his Ring Cycle of Repertory, and lollygagging to China to swipe their masterpieces – let us move on to the reviews.

Historically, the British Critics have provided scathing and yet, ultimately quite accurate reviews of their theater. They never fail to tell us if someone has discovered a penultimate performance within themselves or whether a James Bond franchise is an appropriate place for a Dame, or anything vaguely like a Dame.

I love Dame Judi so much, I would
almost be ok with her playing Chinese…
wait, no, that’s a lie, that’s a lie – but
I still j’adore her.

But this is what tilted The Fairy Princess’s tiara today, and it is a doozy – none of the reviews have given more than a glancing mention to the fact that there are no Asians in Asia!

Are they confused? Do they not know it’s set in China? When they hear Emperor, are they looking for the Holy Roman one? Are they turning in their seats, paging through their programs looking for Hapsburgs and getting confused?

No, I don’t think so, as every review first off mentions that this play, this Orphan, is “The Hamlet of China”. Perhaps it is calling it “The Hamlet of China” that is confusing. Maybe they are stopping, mentally, with the word “Hamlet’ and imagining Danes of all kinds trying to wash out damned spots? When really the only damned things they have washed out of this play are East Asian Actors with lead roles.

(There is one Maid and 2 Dogs that are played by East Asian Actors, but the Maid is murdered and the dogs are really puppets. I can’t imagine they are verbose, the dogs. Unless they are pulling Timmy from the well. Like Lassie.

Lassie…why does that kid keep falling
down a well? You need another kid.

Who was played by an actual dog. And yes, they had wells in Feudal China, because…WAIT FOR IT… just like every other human on the planet – Chinese people require water to live. Ah, the similarities are astounding!)

The Critics are siding with The Royal Shakespeare Company!

“East Asians you say?
In the THEATRE you say?
What, what? Never do, Never do,
Fetch me my snuffbox and an inkwell
I must write the Prime Minister”

The East Asians who were not even asked to audition and who then rose up in Interweb protest on several valid points have been dismissed summarily as ‘sour grape actors’! One Critic even went so far as to tell us that ‘the best actors got the job‘.

How do we know that?

We know some very fine Actors were cast, it is after all, the RSC, but what we do NOT know is how many East Asian Actors were called to audition for a play set in Feudal China. Artistic Director Doran says that he called ‘lots and lots’. What a very precise number, did he go to public school?

In an informal survey, out of the approximately 100 or so Actors who were of East Asian descent that they could have called, the RSC called eight.


I have more fingers and toes than that. As do you, hopefully. Go check. Go check now. Ok, look at your hands,

So MANY to choose from, but just
pick TWO, and now count…I’ll wait

now take away your thumbs and any hope of evolution….

Well, I’ll be a Monkey’s Uncle
looky thar, no opposible thumbs! Great!
Now count again – I’ll wait….

Yes, that many Actors of East Asian Heritage were called in for a play that boasts 17 parts and takes place in China.

Please place your thumbs back on your hands.

The Guardian said “while I would have liked to see more Asian actors on stage, this should not diminish the power of an extraordinary theatrical event.”

Quite right. It IS Extraordinary that there were not more East Asian Actors on the stage. It is, indeed, a powerful statement that the major critics are perfectly fine viewing “The Chinese Hamlet” without Chinese people.

I wonder what ELSE the Critics would be perfectly ok with?

Stealing tuppence from children? Firing a nanny for sliding down banisters? Forbidding Mrs. Banks to attend Suffragette meetings? Asking Cook to mind the children? Doesn’t that all lead to anarchy? A ghastly mess?

Here is the point, and the Fairy Princess will make it ONE MORE TIME – so that the Critics and Interweb Racial Identity Stalkers Who Post Crazy Crap will get it –

You cannot just decide to co-opt Asian stories, keeping the costumes and character names, making the set and props ‘authentic’ and then conveniently leave out the faces that go along WITH those other things.

And remember, the World is watching – how do I know that? I read The Huffington Post.

THE HUFFINGTON POST here in the States said of The Orphan of Zhao “In a play designed for Chinese characters, the bias seems to reach absurd levels of discrimination.”  Thank you Ariana Huffington – OPA!


Aren’t racists tired? I mean, here in the States they are all crying over Election results and threatening to depart our shores to go to England or Australia. (As an Aussie, I find that offensive since Oz has Universal Health Care, a National Voter System, a Female Prime Minister etc.)

It has GOT to be just EXHAUSTING being so afraid of other people all the time, even while you insist you must tell their stories, use their identifiable costumes and structures to build the world of the play…. and it’s just not cool, Folks.

Five spanks of the wand to the British Critics, save two, because when they could speak up and make a difference and raise awareness, they chose to kow tow (yeah, I said it like that) to the “Establishment’ and try to push the East Asian Actors under an Oriental Rug.

To the Critics at The Guardian BBC, The Express & Star, and everyone EXCEPT  The London Evening Standard who said The fuss about casting was justified…. and The Stage –You can all KISS MY FAN TAN FANNIE

(And Congrats to the British East Asian Actors who look to be getting their Forum to talk about all this in the open – you fought the good fight, and you must stiff upper lip it and carry on!)

Last week, David Henry Hwang congratulated my lovely pal, @MsLisaChang on her recent blog posting about the Royal Shakespeare Company. Much merriment was had by all, and I realized though I had written quite a lot about a variety of subjects, I had not put in my bio so no one was really sure of who was writing.

So here goes – (Oooh, maybe I should write it in the third person….first person is soooo awkward for bios). Otherwise this is going to sound like a songwriter’s endless “And then I wrote…” cabaret – and while life IS, and I have done a lot of it, I think the third person is the way to go. I’ll put a photo up though, so we are all clear who we are talking about:

Erin Quill - The Fairy Princess

Erin Quill – The Fairy Princess

ERIN QUILL holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She was in the Original Broadway Company of AVENUE Q.  She was in the 50th Anniversary Production of  FLOWER DRUM SONG as Madame Liang. She toured as Lady Thiang opposite Debby Boone in THE KING & I. (She is obviously very grateful to Rogers & Hammerstein)

She has also appeared in NON Asian specific roles in musicals such as – Godspell, Pippin, Closer Than Ever, Anything Goes, and some straight plays, the NY Comedy Festival, The NYMPH and so on.


As a blogger, she has been instrumental in bringing to light the disparity of Asian American (among others) representation in entertainment, with a focus on, but not limited to, the American theatrical stage. Her writings have had an impact in several instances – particularly in the rise of theater conferences about the lack of API representation, the cancellation of the All- API production of SHOW BOAT, the replacement of The King in Dallas Summer Musical’s production of THE KING AND I, the issue of blackface and yellowface makeup in Opera, Operetta, and Broadway shows, and so on.

Her speech at LA Stage Day was the most highly viewed internet video from that particular conference, and has even been adapted (crediting Ms. Quill as the writer) into a performance piece in the U.K.


In August of 2015, named her as one of the most useful women on social media in theater.


Her work has been linked to, quoted, or been source material for pieces on Diversity in Entertainment from such papers/internet outlets as: National Public Radio, The Huffington Post,,, The New York Times, The LA Times, Backstage,, The Wall Street Journal, The International Business Times, The Guardian, The Stage, and various papers around the world. Her blog is read internationally, and as of August 2015, has over 130,000 views.

An active cabaret performer, her show “They Shoot Asian Fosse Dancers, Don’t They?” has been seen in Los Angeles, New York, and at the Sydney Cabaret Convention. She has been seen at Therapy, Splash, Birdland, Don’t Tell Mama’s, The Ritz, and a ton of other spaces she can barely recall and which you likely will not care about – however she loves singing for her pals, Scott Nevins & Ryan O’Connor on their Musical Mondays at Eleven in West Hollywood.

One of the Musical Theater workshops she is most proud of having been a part of is Jason Robert Brown‘s Honeymoon in Vegas, where they expanded the role of Mahi from a few lines to the sidekick of Norbert Leo Butz’s character, Jack Singer with a great song.

Ian Paget, Erin Quill, Raymond J. Lee

Her TV Credits include NYPD Blue, Damages, NYC 22, The Following, Nurse Jackie, and several pilots.  Her Voice Over work is showcased on the E! Show, Starveillance. She did a pilot for Bravo called DISHIN’

and another called SCREENING PARTY, based on the book by Dennis Hensley. She plays a cop in the film, MAN ON A LEDGE (which got her an email from her Cousin in Australia, and other things like screen time)

She appeared on SIRIUS Radio as a sidekick to Dennis Hensley who was Guest Hosting.

She appears in and is a Co-Screenwriter on the Feature Film, THE MIKADO PROJECT, now avail on DVD on

You can read The Huffington Post‘s review of the film, HERE

Her second feature script as a writer, QWERTY is in Post Production, and another feature script, K-TOWN, P.I., has been optioned. Erin has written on Diversity based on her experiences working as a Casting Assistant, a Commercial Director’s Rep, and her being chosen by both FOX and CBS Networks for their Diversity Showcases. Her article “Why Are There No Asians On Television” was widely circulated and one of the highest read articles on the website

Asiance Magazine profiled her as an Irish Asian, read the interview HERE

LA Times Review of Closer Than Ever, read it HERE

Asianweek Guest Blog by Erin Quill for Closer Than Ever, read it HERE

LA Times Review of the Play, The Mikado Project, read it HERE

She has done fundraisers for Broadway Cares/EFA, Desert AIDS Project, Los Angeles GLBT Center, Sparkle Concert in Palm Springs, Celebrity Doodles in Palm Springs, The Trevor Project,  The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Victims of 9/11, and many more.

Review of Sparkle, read it HERE 

EQ is thanked in a few books – Screening Party by Dennis Hensley, 101 Must See Movies for Gay Men by Alonso Duralde, Queens In The Kingdom by Jeffrey Epstein & Eddie Shapiro, Exile In Guyville by Dave White – because, just like Sharon Stone in The Muse, she’s a muse. All of those are avail on and you should buy them, because my friends are amazing.

She started her blog at the request of her Husband, Chil Kong, probably so he did not have to listen to her rants at home. When her post “Moises Kaufman Can Kiss My Ass & Here’s Why” hit over 20,000 views, he demanded a thank you. All right, all right – Thank you.

Chil Kong & Erin Quill

So now you know.

Erin is represented by The Luedtke Agency in New York City.

Authors Note: A day after this was published, I received an invitation – to sit in the audience.


Life is not fair. We know that. A day or so ago, I had to explain it to my dumpling of a niece, who wanted a cookie, and I had to turn her down. I don’t know if she wanted it as a ‘reward’ or if she just wanted it because Oreos are among life’s little treasures, but her Mommy told me no, and I received sad Toddler face.

Recently I was reminded…again (though honestly it is almost daily) how we cannot look for reward for doing anything. You just have to do things because you have to, in order to be able to look at yourself in the mirror.

I imagine Plastic Surgeons everywhere use this image as a threat

Now, I have been mulling this all night, I didn’t sleep very well because I found out that even though I ‘started’ the party, and even though I let everyone know where the party was, and who was not invited, and EVEN THOUGH it began a new fresh conversation about who gets to come to the party….

They are having another party and I am not invited.

This is the second party to ‘discuss invites’ that I am not invited to. Although having my opinion and stating it on the record, or the colossal behemoth that is inter-webetary travel, is what started this very beginning. Which is, as Maria always sang, “A Very Good Place To Start”

Which means that the people who now want me to not say anything, seems to include the VERY people I was talking about.

Say it, don’t spray it!

Or perhaps it’s more “Thank you SOOOOOO much, Voldemort, we’ll take it from here, please go morph a piece of your soul into a rock and let a little Boarding school chappie find you in a few dozen years’

Anyway, having a conference is always a good idea.

So is crediting my blog. I stand by what I wrote and I stand by the resulting sh*tstorm that happened in a mythical land called Ja Lolla.

So is sending me a Edible Arrangement.

Leave the fruit, take the cupcake

So this Lady Who Lunches is off to raise $$$ for some people who have never let me down – Broadway People – and I hope you come out and support


And nope, I won’t be at that conference – it’s invitation only. Guess who is not invited to talk about Diversity?

The gal who co-wrote the screenplay for this:

Now avail on In fact – screw the Edible Arrangement – buy the DVD

Tamlyn Tomita, Erin Quill, Yuri Tag

‘Once upon a time’…. is usually how fairy tales start, and it is the basis for a life lived in the entertainment world. Actors, who are not famous, are rarely asked their opinion, because…well, no one cares who I am voting for in the next election…

Ok, maybe HE cares who I am voting for

Ok, ok, ok, people who want to have the ability to achieve the American Dream care how I am voting….

Memories…light the corners of our mind….
(Listen, Babs is back in Bklyn, I’m sentimental)

WHOOPS! Not that American Dream….

Jonathan Pryce, dreaming of winning his TONY
Which…he did, thanks for that Antoinette Perry

(Ok, shaping up to be an American Nightmare…holy Nightingale is that offensive!)

Anyway, I am not famous and no one really cares how I vote other than people who troll the internet looking to argue with me who believe that right is might or Mitt is it or whatever the heck ‘it’ is.

It’s my vote, and I’m going to go my own way. Hopefully more than 47% of us feel the same, I would be happy with  51%.

Showbiz IS an American Dream, and it’s a luxury for those of us who live and work in the Entertainment community to do so on a consistent basis.  We generally do not say much beyond the 140 characters provided for us by App Geniuses, and sound bites are often pre-scripted by people funnier than anyone currently appearing on the Shopping Channel.

But here’s a way that we can share a ‘vote’ if you will – this coming Friday night, as a tribute to Barbra Streisand’s return to New York and specifically Brooklyn, I am sharing the stage in a Benefit for Broadway Cares/EFA. It’s a “One Night Only” thing

HOW can you NOT buy a ticket?

And I want you to come, if you can – if you are in New York and you are People – if you are People who care about a Person who sang about People Needing People, and if you are a Person who cares about HOW MUCH of a difference you can make just by attending a show that you are guaranteed to like ANYWAY kind of person. Just one special person.


This is a charity that came together for the best of all possible reasons – to help sick people. People who need more than the usual amount of help, in a climate where health care costs are skyrocketing.

Broadway Cares – and so, I hope, do you.

This is it, my personal invitation – please come.

Let’s Vote with our Hearts, all 100 per cent of them.

Come to the show & your heart will grow three sizes that day

Ah Tuesday, it seems so innocuous…it’s just there, the morning on which I recover from singing at Musical Mondays – last night bedecked in sequins and feathers, ok the feather part was new, usually I just look like Honey Boo Boo’s older Asian Auntie.

However, it seems that things can happen on a Tuesday, Virginia, oh yes they can. On Tuesday, while catching up on social media time suck, one of my friends posted this article from a waaay far right, so far right they are actually in the ocean, so far right, they circle the globe with their far right-ness and smack themselves in their own ass website, that I thought it was a joke.

It’s called   14 Outrageous Secrets that a Homosexual will never tell you

Needless to say, I was intrigued – after all, I have heard it ALL, Grrl – there’s almost nothing that a Homosexual at some point has NOT told me. Sometimes, I pretend I am Madonna’s son Rocco, and I start screaming “Stop Talking, Stop Talking!”  I wish I could find that clip from the DRIVEN special on MTV to show you. It’s kind of amazing, because at some point, haven’t we all wished we could yell at Madonna to stop talking? Or at least stop talking with an English accent – I mean, she is not from the mythical country of Europea!

Anyway, I started reading, and immediately I started laughing, because I thought this was a ‘joke’ blog. You know, like The Onion – but…it’s not. So I thought, as good Fairy Princesses should, I would go through it and, well, discuss – His statements have been ‘bolded’, and my answers are beneath.

‘1. Homosexuals Bleach Their Anuses – probably to cover bruises or lashes from sadomasochist sessions”

It’s Los Angeles – we bleach everything. The entire city often seems sponsored by Clorox. Anal Bleaching in LA is like getting your teeth capped, or a photo facial – both women and men do it – and truly, I know more women that do, because straight men like them to wear thong, tha-tha-tha- thongs.

Hair? Check. Teeth? Check.
Anus? I’ll leave that to a tatted up Rock Star

‘2. Mutual Masturbation is the Primary Reason for Gym Membership

Dude – I worked at a Gay Gym. The primary reason for Gay men buying gym membership is so that their long term partner doesn’t poke their tum-tum and say, “Hey, you’re looking a little chunky, Monkey”.

You know what the difference is between Straight men joining a gym and Gay men joining a gym?

Gay men GO to the gym.

C’mon, you’d totally ‘hit it’

Also, the classes at a Gay Gym? TOTALLY BETTER than at a Straight Gym!  Yeah, straight gyms rarely have the latest equiptment or Showtune Spinning or AfroBrazilian Dance or anything other than Step Aerobics with Jane Fonda’s choreo from the 80’s. That is why Straight women go to Gay Gyms – better classes, cleaner facilities, no lines at the bathroom, and no one lewdly giving them the eye while they try and stretch out their hamstrings.

‘3. Homosexual Marriage will usher in an epoch of international terror.’

I have been to several Gay Weddings. Unless you are terrified of a tasteful flower arrangement, or think that they are hiding anal bleaching kits in the amuse bouches, there’s nothing to be scared of. Unless you are the Caterer and the food is bad, then you SHOULD be terrified – I mean, this is a GD Gay Wedding – there are STANDARDS!

And btw, Entertainment at Gay Weddings? Awesome. Like, Broadway superstars stopping by to throw down a tune or two Awesome. And if they can’t make it, call me…

4) Heterosexual women are far less likely to get married if they socialize with gays.

I am a Fag Hag, I am Married, I have a kid. I am also thanked in 5 Gay Books, and am even on the cover of one:

I am totally thinner now, fyi

 ‘5) Same sex desires are purposely being spread from humans to the animal kingdom.’

I watch Animal Planet and National Geographic. Animals that are homosexual in the wild include dolphins, monkeys, giraffes, penguins, sea gulls, koalas, cattle, chimpanzees, caribou, bison, brown bears and cats (not the musical, but…well, it IS a musical).  I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list….

6) The radical liberal agenda of early television shows lured many youngsters into the dark world of promiscuity.’


I would have gone with “Designing Women” myself….

7) Gay bars operate along the same principles as Muslim terrorist cells.’

What Gay Bars has he been going to? He should come with me, I go to some really fun ones.

‘8) Today’s youth generation is using sex as a weapon to destroy American values.’

He blames the Twinks.

First of all, how does he know the word “Twink”? Methinks he doth protest too much. Perhaps he has been tap tap tapping on the bathroom stall floor? Let’s be honest -Sex as a weapon is usually the domain of Mistresses and Wives who know their Husbands are cheating.

I blame Twinks for stuff too, but mostly for things like calling Steel Magnolias ‘that old timey film from like, the twenties, right?”

For not knowing who Greta Garbo was!

OR for insisting Lady Gaga is better than Madonna! UH….there would BE no Lady Gaga without Madonna, cuz if none of us elders learned to “Express Ourselves”, Y’all couldn’t line dance to “Born This Way”.

‘9) Hardcore sodomy is the most common way same-sex adherents achieve gratification.’

To which I reply “Sodomy, it’s between God and Me..” and every other lyric from RENT.

Also – Comment dis tu Rough Trade, Mr. Billings?

’10) New York Magazine is a hotbed of secret homosexual propaganda.’

This one?

Maybe this one?

A straight guy did this makeup

’11) The foulest excesses of sexual congress known to mankind are held among a highly exclusive group known as the “bears,” but the mainstream media refuses to investigate them.’

Investigate Bears? Why? Bears are sweet, besides you ever see a Bear with Forty Foot…

Sorry, sometimes I inadvertently Sondheim. But why investigate? Are they missing? Here’s some you can find right on the shelf. Go ahead, investigate them. To do it REALLY well, you have to buy their books.

Here’s what I have to say about ‘Bears” – best bunch of guys you will ever know. Bears will  give you a hug when you need it. Bears will invite you to dinner parties and won’t judge when you have seconds.

Now, have I been to ‘raunchy’ Bear parties? Yes – and it’s always an accident. I have also been to Fraternity Parties – and this is what I have to say about that – as far as I know, no woman has ever been raped and gotten pregnant at a Bear Party. I cannot say the same for a Fraternity Party, because it happened to a friend of mine.

Bear Party v. Fraternity Party?

Bear Party, paws down.

12) Glee is intentionally recruiting children into the world of homosexuality.’

I don’t like mash ups of Show Tunes and I find Rachel insufferable. However is it ‘recruiting’? No. If it was recruiting, there would be a piece of paper to sign up – and the last time I checked West Hollywood, I didn’t see a list. I was there Monday.

’13) Rachel Maddow is a liberal, a lesbian and a lousy newsreader.’

SHOCKING, he is  threatened and yet attracted to Rachel Maddow? Yeah, she is kinda hot – as are most brainy women.

14) Cat ownership is a sad substitute for healthy, Christian relationships.’

This one had me ROLLING on the floor! I am NOT a Cat Person, I’m allergic. But how is this an Outrageous Gay Secret? Everyone knows that Cat People are weird – that’s why they are Cat People. Are Gay Cat People weirder than Straight ones?

Well…as I say, I watch Animal Planet – the people that are hoarding the cats? Straight people. Also, their cats are ferrell and gross looking. I have seen tons of Gay Owned cats, and ya know what? They are better groomed than I am! And I wear sequins!

Look – his whole article is ridiculous, steeped in prejudice and fear. The Fairy Princess takes a dim view of dim people. You know who cares about ‘the Homosexual Agenda” in my mind?

People who are closeted, self loathing homosexuals.

You know who is NOT worried about “The Homosexual Agenda”?

Everyone else.

How is this in ANY way Christian? That’s like me saying I am a Deep Sea Fisherman because I eat sushi. To quote Dolly Parton in a really bad movie “Get down off the Cross, someone needs the wood”.

The Fairy Princess believes that if you read the Bible, you will see that part where it says we were all created in God’s image. All. That means everyone. That means, actually….the Deity has a bit of a flair.

Think about it.

I said, on my initial post, that I might write, upon occasion, about people who cannot parent in public. If I had a dollar for every parenting theory out there…I would probably have about $10,000, but I’m not debating Tiger Mom-ness over breast feeding an eighteen year old. I will leave that to the experts.

Forget “Parenting” this kid is going to be attached to his Therapist

I am writing this post as an Aunt. I am the Auntie to one of the most adorable kids on the planet and I take her, very often, to the library. Why?  I like to read, and  I wanted to share that with her. Since she was about five months old, I have taken her to the library and read her a few books – in fact, she’s been there so often, that all the librarians greet her by name – she’s the Mayor of the Children’s Section.

She is also only 15 months. She’s little.

Recently I took her to the library, and there were other kids in the section – not unusual, it’s the library. There were two children there whose ages I would put at about four years old, and they both had adult supervision, well, kinda.

The little four year old girl had a Nanny, who was doing her best to remind her how to behave – and that little girl was fine, until she met…oh let’s call him…..Zeke. (I don’t know anyone with a kid named Zeke so that’s why I’m picking it)

This is what I imagine Zeke was channeling

Dear old Zeke had a Mom, she was right there, sitting on the couch next to him, not paying any attention to him. She was thumbing through TIME Magazine, texting, and in general, letting the world know how annoyed she was at being heavily pregnant. A condition which I was sympathetic to, having given birth myself about a week prior.

Zeke’s Mom was uninterested in Zeke – she was letting a Nanny, who Zeke did not know, who was there with other kids, try to get him to sit down. Nanny had an infant in a carriage, so she was distracted and it was hard for her to keep both four year olds contained.

Zeke decided to start hurling the books across the table, because that seemed fun. It seemed fun to him, and to the other little peanut he met there, let’s call her Apple. (I’m choosing Apple because I don’t know Gywneth Paltrow). So there are Zeke and Apple, playing caber toss with children’s books, and on the other end of the table is me, and my little Niece who has two working eyes, which I was hoping she would not lose at the library.

I was keeping a keen eye on Zeke’s physical prowess, which drew the ire of his Mom. Now, it’s interesting to note, she didn’t give a rat’s ass about the fact that her son was behaving in a way that could possibly hurt other kids, nope. What she was concerned about was ME. My eyes specifically. The fact that she looked Caucasian and I do not, may have played into it. She had quite a few things to say about my eyes.

I have been asked if I am Anime

“Why do you keep looking at him!” she said. And, actually, I didn’t know she was talking to me, because I was involved with my niece, and reading to her – only looking up when a book came too close or when the screaming reached higher decibels.

Me: “I’m sorry, are you talking to me?”

Her: “WHY do you keep looking at him? Like, you keep looking at him, rolling your eyes. You should keep those eyes away from him. Don’t you dare roll your eyes at him”.

Me: “I was not rolling my eyes. He’s throwing books, I don’t want her to get hurt, some of them were pretty close”

What she was implying was, that I was rolling my eyes because of her lack of parenting. (And let’s face it, I was – but on the INSIDE because I was way more concerned with ducking that flying copy of  the latest Newberry Award Winner.)

Her: “Oh. That wasn’t what I thought you were going to say.”

Me: “And what did you think I was going to say?”

Her: “Nevermind”

I suppose she thought I was going to yell at her about her lack of parenting in public.  Or perhaps because my niece looks Caucasian and I do not, she assumed that I was the Nanny, and would not dare to speak to one of the Moms. Which happens quite a bit, because my Niece and I have completely different coloring – she is blond and blue eyed, and I…am not. Mom was ready to tell me off, she was gearing up to be confrontational, and honestly, she picked the wrong person.

I frequently joke that I was ‘raised by Gay Wolves’ and if someone sasses me, I am not above a ‘shade throw’ to put them in their place.

Excuse me, Detox, someone would like a word….?

However, I had a 15 month old with me, and my first job was to make sure she made it out of the library in the same condition I brought her in. With both eyes and no bruises. So I just stared her down. Like I thought she was crazier than a rat trapped in a coffee can. I stared so hard I thought I was in a movie about people with extraordinary abilities that are metaphors for being Gay. I was “Storm”.

Hell to the No! Put that book back on the shelf!

She finally moved herself to call Zeke to her side, ostensibly to ‘help’, which it did not – because Zeke began screaming at the top of his lungs. He broke from his mother, grabbed a book, screamed, and then threw it in our general direction. I grabbed my Niece, and a few books, and started to take her to another section.

At which point, that Mom started screaming at me, asking me why I was leaving, when she was trying to ‘help’ by corralling her son.

Soooo many answers ran through my head, and I have watched enough Reality TV to know the ins and outs of table flipping. I had a choice to make, as an Auntie and as a human being – do I take the high road, or do I let his very, very rude woman have it? I wrapped myself in my inner sequined dress, boa, and five inch heels, I levitated with umbrage.

I replied, “I am leaving, because your son is misbehaving. I do not want her to learn that his behavior is acceptable in the library, because it is not. He is throwing books, and you are letting him – which is dangerous. You are texting and reading a magazine. You are not parenting right now, when now is the time to do it. Ostensibly before you have to send him to military school for bad behavior. I am moving her to a safe distance now, Good day.”

I was Dustin Hoffman, dressed as a woman, bidding good day to Dr. Brewster on a mythical soap opera.

I grabbed my Niece and we went to a quieter section and successfully read several stories. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the woman quickly gather her son and loudly take her leave. Yelling the whole time that she was leaving. My Niece and I watched her go.

In retrospect, I think I was more Julia Sugarbaker.

The other lady there, who had been largely silent – the actual Nanny, also gathered up her charges. As she took her kids out, she stopped and looked at me, and gave me a thumbs up.

I pretended that I was Mary Poppins and that while neither of us were ever to speak of this most infamous of days – a day of raised voices in the library, I understood her thumbs up. Spit spot.

Parenting is a job. I know, because I have it. On that day in the library, at least one of the Moms was ‘unemployed’.

On a final note – my 15 month old niece can spell. Because I read to her, and spell things when I take her places. She knows what the P-A-R-K is. Also that she likes to S-W-I-M in the P-O-O-L.  I like to think that I teach her something new every time I see her.

On that day, she learned that you do not have to curse to be a B-A-D  A-S-S.