I had a very successful run of David Henry Hwang’s, Yellow Face. The story challenged my acting abilities; and, the rewards for me are…I am a better actor; and, I have a deeper understanding of racism in America — not just to Asians but to all people that aren’t part of the majority machine. Ironically, I learned that racism also happens within races, which I call intra-racism, such as, but not limited to, Asians discriminating against Asians. We all have a face — yellow or otherwise; and, we all wanna be part of the American dream that strives to accept all people regardless of the colors of our faces.
The nice thing about being a working actor is that, unlike a my Corporate America jobs, actors working with each other on a project know that the project will end; and, it’s that knowledge that forces us to strive for our best work, as artists, in a short period of time. It is that knowledge that time will soon expire for us that quickly enables us to establish relationships with each other in a short period of time; because, once the project ends, we will all split up from being individuals coming together as a team, striving for a common goal, to a team that splits up to individuals seeking our own respective goals in life.
As a member of the board for Firescape, I not only worked on my skills as an actor in Yellow Face; but, I was also working on ensuring that Yellow Face was positioned in a manner that yielded the highest opportunities to do well financially. Yellow Face, to date, has been our most successful show because we built a team of skilled and dedicated people that created new marketing systems for our production and supported the talent, so that they can focus on working on their art.
In a total, from start to finish of Yellow Face we all worked together for about four months straight: rehearsals and performances.
As a result our efforts on and off the stage, we were all rewarded in the following areas:
– We got an award from Theatre Bay Area Critics Circle;
– The critics wrote positive reviews on our show;
– Firescape hit the theatre community’s radar; and,
– We now have a larger population of viewers coming to view our productions.
Most importantly for me, as an actor, I became a better actor. All my past experiences in life, the awesome directors of Jeff Sun and Rob Zimmerman, my acting classmates, and my acting instructors, Rob Zimmerman and Peter Alas, all helped me create my characters in Yellow Face. All my experiences and training allowed me to quickly take and execute direction from the directors; so, I can create the best characters on stage.
After the closing show, I set up a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Original Joe’s.
We all enjoyed a well-deserved celebration of great food and company.
I will miss the cast and crew of Yellow Face and being part of a talented team.
Now, I’m back to being an actor striving for my own individual goals.