Recently, I posted this on instagram:
There are a lot of things I'm not, and there are a lot of spaces I don't belong in. I'm not a leggy dancer, I'm not white, and I'm not perfect; these are a few major impediments to me getting work often times. These things keep coming up.
I know these things.
There are, thankfully, a lot of things I know.
I want to bring awareness to how not being white and not being male really holds you back. I know there are no rules saying technically most shows are white, but you always see who the director casts. Any time there's a show about a family that's not explicitly Asian-looking, my heart sinks and I know no one wants to "risk" (apologies for air quotes) bringing an Asian daughter in the house.
I really hope this post doesn't come off as plain bitterness. I am truly blessed for he opportunities and successes that have come to me, but I know the difference between fucking up and not being considered once I walk in the room.
Everyday, I am thankful for theatre spaces "taking risks" (there are those quotation marks again) with diverse pieces. I am thankful for specialized spaces, original works, and those who are just good enough at storytelling to embrace a colorful society as relevant. I am especially thankful for those who feel as isolated as me, as excluded as me, or even just as fucking miffed as me. People like us, with struggles like us, are making spaces for ourselves, even if we have to carve them with our own hands.
Of course, underneath all this, I face the same thing every actor faces: we're all sometimes strapped for cash, we're all just trying to book something, we're all fucking tired. I'm still young, so I'm still very okay with figuring out what's not right for me only after unsuccessful auditions. I'm going to make a lot of mistakes, and that's great. I'll just keep learning.
More things for me to know.