Archives for posts with tag: Elementary

The Fairy Princess likes change.

SCIENCE! IT WORKS!

SCIENCE! IT WORKS!

Although the current New York weather, aka The Great Blizzard of 2015, is potentially going to be a nightmare of frigid proportions

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TFP still enjoys change.

Also, she like s people who can hear about something, acknowledge that there is a problem, and change their mindset so that the problem can be solved. It does not even have to have a name this problem, but if you like, go ahead and name it…

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Nevermind, the problem TFP was concerned with already has a name, we call it “Yellowface”.

And, occasionally it looks like this:

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Or this:

Actor Lambert Wilson as The King of Siam in a French Production of King & I

Actor Lambert Wilson as The King of Siam in a French Production of King & I

Or this:

Jered McLenigan as Anthony - Photo by Mark Garvin

Jered McLenigan as Anthony – Photo by Mark Garvin

Seriously, TFP could post photo after photo of this kind of thing and what it is IS (for those not in the know), is a Caucasian Actor donning makeup and clothes to portray an Asian person, and in this day and age in 2015, it is not cool.

TFP honestly gets no joy in writing about this phenomenon again and again, it’s like riding a rocking horse so fast you get motion sickness, and no matter HOW many times you write about it and no matter how many people acknowledge that it seems in poor taste,  it happens again, and you are back on that damn rocking horse and you feel a bit like…well….

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Like no one is hearing you.

Such was the case when TFP wrote this post about a production of The King and I that was happening at Dallas Summer Musicals this summer, when they announced the casting of a Caucasian King.

TFP was pretty annoyed…images

She wrote her blog and said what she had to say, as she does from time to time, and quite a lot of people read it, thanks to the internet thingy and a very fired up Orville Mendoza

 AAPAC, (Asian American Performers Action Coalition) also wrote a letter.

And guess what?

We had a response from Mr. Michael Jenkins!

Mr. Michael Jenkins, head of Dallas Summer Musicals

Mr. Michael Jenkins, head of Dallas Summer Musicals

He read many of the emails sent about this issue, was no doubt told of the strenuous objections posted on the Facebook wall of his organization, and here was his response:

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TFP was delighted to hear that Dallas Summer Musicals will re-cast their King!

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And now, here is her ‘charge’ to the API denizens of the Dallas/Ft.Worth area – GO TO THIS SHOW AND…..

MAKE IT RAIN

MAKE IT RAIN

That’s right, TFP wants You, Asian America, to PROVE that you will stand with those who will represent you and your stories and BUY A TICKET.

Be prepared, you may have to PAY FULL PRICE!

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Yes, really.

Because what you are paying for, is a top notch production on a world class stage full of Asian Americans who will be singing and dancing their hearts out and they NEEDS TA GIT PAID!

Why?

Because APIs buying tickets and supporting the hiring of APIs onstage leads to great things for our community – more visibility.

Right now, we, the API Community are in a wonderful, starting off place, we have shows on television where we are represented – Karen David in GALAVANT, Reggie Lee in GRIMM, Maggie Q in STALKER, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Masi Oka in H50, Ming Na Wen and Chloe Bennet on AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mindy Kaling in THE MINDY SHOW, Lucy Liu on ELEMENTARY…and we have these charming kids ready to premiere on Feb. 4 on ABC….

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But we are not on everything. We are not at the Oscars. We are not at the Golden Globes. We are not at The Tonys in a discernible way.  We are not at the big award shows on the podium winning awards, you know, the shows that ‘everyone’ watches and grows up dreaming about being on. There is a path to that, and we are still at the beginning.

Look, in order to get more of us on television, we have to ‘prove’ we are bankable, and that proof starts at the ground level. If we were to steal a phrase from a popular tv show, APIs in show business, we need you, the (much more sensible) APIs not in show business, we need you to be ‘our person’.

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If you are an Asian Pacific Islander living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, even if you do not like musicals, even if you have never seen a musical, if you can afford the ticket price, buy one and go – show them that Asians on the stage means Asian butts in the seats.

Because all the theater wants is a full house, and they do not care what color the people sitting in them are, as long as they are S.R.O. (Sold Right Out)

Yes, they made a misstep in the casting in the first place – but the show was not up yet, TFP and Orville Mendoza ‘caught’ it in time to make a difference, but we cannot do it alone. We have to have the support of the general API Community to show that our faces on the stage matter!

Yes, Mr. Jenkins may not be aware that Yul Brynner’s Russian heritage included Mongolian and that Lou Diamond Philips has Filipino heritage, which makes them both men OF Asian heritage, which means they were perfectly suited to play The King, yes – yes we know.

Yes, they have cast many APIs before in various shows, and really did not understand what the message they were sending was…(maybe they thought it was like Weight Watcher points and they get to spend them when they want to splurge or something, and btw, casting APIs is not like WW points at all)

BUT NOW THEY DO.

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LESSON LEARNED.

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MOVE ON.

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BUY A TICKET.

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Or you will have wasted all TFP’s time and outrage, and many others. We, the Actors, cannot do this alone. We cannot fight for all of ‘our’ representation by ourselves, we need your support!

BUY A TICKET.

Tickets

SELL IT OUT.

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CAN YOU DO IT?

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MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THIS:

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That is all.

Finally, Mr. Jenkins, Dallas Summer Musicals, and Glenn Casale, The Fairy Princess thanks you for taking the time and conversation amongst yourselves to make a change in your thinking. She appreciates the big step you took in acknowledging that a mistake was made, and she thanks you for taking the time and effort and financial cost to fix it.

She also wishes Mr. Jenkins a healthy recovery and a great summer season with which to enjoy it.

Christiane Noll and Paul Nakauchi as Anna & The King

Christiane Noll and Paul Nakauchi as Anna & The King JUST AS AN EXAMPLE

Remember, APIs of Texas, we can help you from afar with changing things, but you have to stand WITH us in this ‘battle’ and buy a ticket.

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TFP out.

Here in the States we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving – which is when we are all supposed to look at relatives and friends at a giant table, before gorging ourselves silly, and say what we are thankful for. It could be…well, anything.

You could be grateful that you hosted this year, and thus avoided hours and hours of insane traffic. You could be grateful that you got all A’s this semester. You could be grateful that you look ten years younger than your old boyfriend who by interesting co-inky-dink has shown up to be seated directly across from you, which does not bother you in the slightest because you are blissfully happy in a stable relationship with a killer job AND a cute little non-yappy dog who wears holiday gear on his head with no problem.

Howdy, Pilgrim

The Fairy Princess has been to a lovely party this evening where she caught up with friends old and new…and she has decided to make a grateful list. Partially because when you have been feeling under siege for an extended amount of time, it is hard to see what good things are happening. However, good things ARE happening and I wanted to just take a moment and red-necked-nize, as Honey Boo Boo would say.

(Look at me, I’m all “Anne of Green Gables” with my ‘glad list’.)

I loved these books as a kid,
Anne of Green Gables by
LM Montgomery

1. I am grateful that my post about La Jolla Playhouse’s production of The Nightingale brought attention to Casting Discrimination in American Theater. (That is self-congratulatory, but one is not going to kill you – just go with it)

You know we are p.o’d when
you get graphics!

2. I am thankful that La Jolla Playhouse hosted a talk back with it’s Creative Team. This is the first time that the Asian American Acting Community has had the opportunity to have dialogue on this issue. Could it have been more…ya know…more? Well sure, of course. But the message was heard, and in their next two shows, there were Asian Americans in lead roles.

Cindy Cheung & Christine Toy Johnson
at La Jolla’s talkback…they look so pissed off
I feel like I need to go practice piano & bring home an A
TIGER ACTRESSES!
RRROOOOWWRRR

3. I am thankful that the Royal Shakespeare Company and Artistic Director Gregory Doran perpetrated a cultural theft upon China – because otherwise how would the dialogue that opened up Internationally, between the American and UK Asian Artistic communities have occurred? Do I think that Gregory Doran handled his criticisms poorly? Ummmm, let me think, give me a minute, oh wait – YEP. YEP I DO.

The Orphan of Zhao…by way of
Exeter.

(Has that guy apologized yet? Cuz, I mean, I WROTE IT FOR HIM)

4. I am thankful that for the first time, there will be a talk held by British Equity on the issue of Casting East Asians in theater and television on the British stage.

Good thing British Equity is going
to look for the East Asians…because
apparently they have been misplaced

5. I am thankful that East West Players, the longest established Asian American theater company, and the oldest ethnic theater company in America, hosted a Forum on representation. They did not have to, but they did.

6. I am thankful that the LA Stage Alliance helped East West Players put that forum together, and that it was on the web, and I could see it in New York, as I was unable to attend.

7. I am grateful my six month old has cut one tooth.

Here he is a the CAPE Poker Fundraiser
with DWTS Carrie Ann Inaba and H5o’s
Ian Anthony Dale – This kid is a playah

8. I am thankful that shows like GRIMM, GREY’S ANATOMY, HAWAII 5.0, DWTS, NIKITA, GLEE, THE MINDY PROJECT, HOUSE M.D., ELEMENTARY, WALKING DEAD, THE MENTALIST, GO ON, COMMUNITY, DROP DEAD DIVA, ROYAL PAINS, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and SULLIVAN & SON have Series Regulars that are APIs.

(I am probably missing some, for which I apologize, the Fairy Princess only has 1 set of eyes to go with 1 set of wings)

9. I am thankful that there have been recurring roles for APIs on ONCE UPON A TIME, NYC 22, SCANDAL, PRIVATE PRACTICE, just to name a few.

(Hey Show Runners, wanna bump up those folks and make them regulars? How hard could it be?)

10. I am thankful that my Family made it through Hurricane Sandy.

11. I am thankful that there are shows being written like ALLEGIANCE, which set box office records for The Old Globe Theater in San Diego, proving that Asian Americans on stage, telling their stories, can be moving and universal.

12. I am thankful that the one of the things I make really well – is one that is welcomed during this holiday season, no matter where I go. (Irish Soda Bread is not for all occasions)

Crumb topping…YUM!

Have a Great Thanksgiving no matter where you are – and if someone tells you to ‘kow tow’ or to shuffle your feet, or
to ‘do it again with an accent’ and you don’t feel like doing it – tell ’em the Fairy Princess says to –

KISS YOUR FAN TAN FANNIE!