still transferring blogs over…
Friday, December 14, 2007
Where do I fit in?
Story of this Asian American…
Trying to find his way
In the Hollywood landscape
In L.A. we call it “the business”
You want to keep up you better get up your fitness
Cause this hustle is rough
Don’t rely on talent cause that aint enough
As if they would even know it if they saw it
They’re too out of touch
& you ask me who “they” are
The one’s who think they create stars
F*ck those stars they can suck my d*ck
In my neighborhood there were no Brad Pitts…
That’s just a piece of a poem I’ve been writing in my head and it’s been swimming around my head tonight because I’ve been watching a bunch of movies lately. See, in L.A. its almost “award season” which happens early next year, which means the Oscars and Emmy’s and also an award called the Screen Actors Guild or SAG Awards in which actors get to vote on the best performances of their peers. This year I got the privilege of being on the nominating committee, which basically means I get all of the this years movies free on DVD to watch and vote who I think should be nominated for best performances. The cool thing is I get to watch all the new movies, some that haven’t even hit theaters yet and they all just get delivered to my house.
There have been so many great movies and performances this year, from American Gangster to 3:10 to Yuma to Lars and the Real Girl… and I just finished The Great Debaters. I love movies and I love getting the chance to watch them. The thing that gets me sometimes, the thing that wrenched my gut is, sometimes as I enjoy all these films and stories, I wonder where I fit in to it all. I mean, predominantly, the films are White stories and actors and they are superb, great and some are just average and even more are just bad… but they exist and they are there to tell their story. There are even Black films and actors, although significantly fewer then the White ones, telling there stories, some just as good, some just as bad. But I often try to look into the film and see where I can be in it, often times there is no role for me in them. Crazy thing is you love these films because the speak of the the universal feeling felt by all of mankind and me being apart of this mankind not only wants to experience the feelings through the Hollywood films but I also want to express my feelings and perform in our films, in our stories.
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to complain because I know in my career I have been more fortunate then most in this town, White, Black or other… It just as a person I want to be included. As an actor I want to do what I do best… I want to act and tell these stories.
See, I’m Filipino-American or Asian-American, however you may want to classify me, but the fact of the matter is I’m American and although I love Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or any of the amazing cinema coming from Hong Kong and Japan, it really doesn’t have much to do with my life experience, not much more really then it does yours. In my career I’ve always gravitated to African-American Films, one because they casted me and excepted me, one of the sad truths of Hollywood casting is, “if you aint white, you black…” simply meaning there are White roles and then there are other. I often fit in the other category. And even “the other” role goes to a White guy. But I was always embraced by Black film makers, maybe because I was urban and a product of the Hip Hop times I grew up in or maybe because they all were going through the good hustle we all are in this town. And its not to say I never work in White Hollywood, because I do and will continue when the role come up that I’m right for.
I’m just thinking out loud tonight and watching some amazing films that I wish I could of been apart of and looking forward to the films I am about to shoot and opening a new genre of Asian-American films… With every role I play, I crack the door open a little wider.