On the subway, I ran into a giant. I didn’t realize it at first until I had to pass him and my elbow/shoulder brushed against his bum (accidentally!!!) Then I had to keep checking him out because his head was grazing the top of the subway car. He had clothing that fit him on, so I assume he shows at Mega-Tall-Man stores or gets a custom fit. I am not interested in what he eats, of course, because I am not interested in gigantic depictions of food, quite the opposite. His head was enormous, in proportion to his figure, and I had to stop staring at him because he began to fidget. Even giants can get self-conscious.
May I just say that the technology the Times site uses is so freaking cool? This link shows the Picassoâ€™s malnourished ironing lady has another painting beneath â€“ you just click your mouse and brush away the top layer to see whatâ€™s beneath. Is that not SUPER cool?
What is this girl going to do? She was good in Twilight. She got nominated for an Oscar for that George Clooney movie Up in the Air, and now what. Husband and I saw her as girlfriend in End of the Watch, and she was serviceable but not memorable, which I don’t think is good enough to help her last. Her talent is still well beyond Kristin Stewart, the star of Twilight, but Kristin Stewart is pretty bad and her saving grace to be in cinema is the fact that she’s beautiful. This girl is pretty, but more normal…I just don’t know where she’s going to fit in.
Why do I need to keep writing about this BS? A few months ago, there was a huge stink over a LaJolla Playhosue production with Chinese characters in a story set in China â€“ and all the lead roles were cast with Caucasian actors. The same just happened at the Royal Shakespeare Company. I have watched panels and watchdog groups pull up their big boy/big girl pants and wagged their tongues at them, which they should. Iâ€™ve seen actors of Asian descent, who work regularl, by the way, get distraught in public, banging their heads against the wall as to why this keeps happening.
Frankly, Iâ€™m tired of it — both the offense and having to be offended. I told my friend Becca, why canâ€™t we just accept, yes, itâ€™s racist and then move on? Generate our own work? Be thankful we can produce our own work, understand that being an actor is tough for everyone, and choose the attitude that best serves you? And she reminded me, you canâ€™t just let it go, because then theaters and directors think itâ€™s okay.
But then a few days ago, I just watched SNL with Christina Applegate do a sketch on iphone factory workers, all Chinese, played by actors with black wigs and Asian accents, and I canâ€™t find one piece of criticism for this? Seriously? Am I the only one who watches SNL? All the coverage for this skit discussed how the wit was cutting toward Americans, and the content was NOT racist, butâ€¦.dude? STOP CASTING WHITE PEOPLE AS ASIANS! It is really annoying! Iâ€™m saying donâ€™t write about Asians, Iâ€™m saying HIRE SOME DAMN ASIANS ALREADY.
Here is one sample article that talked about the tech aspects of the sketch, and not the blatant fact that there are no Asian actors on stage. No one has noted the casting, and you know why? Because no one has noticed. People do not even see it. THAT is disturbing to me.
A common casting director complaint is that they try to cast Asians but can never find any, to which many Asian actors respond “take my iphone! Here’s a thousand right here!” That exchange is common and I think it’s because there is still segregation in our society. The SNL is particularly hard because they get the majority of their cast members from the UCB system in L.A. or New York, and Second City in Chicago. These are improv schools that gives the training that translates well to sketch comedy. You have to go through like 10 classes and get on a team, and basically, you need to get obsessed, and I do not see any Asians in that route.
Still, as offensive as white people playing Asians is to me, I think Latinos have it worse.
The sketch is here. It’s pretty good, well-written. But these are jobs, people! SNL players make six figures easily! I know lots of Asians actors who would swallow their pride, put on an dumb accent for that dough.
When I was growing up, my mother really wanted me to get this eyelid surgery that puts a fold in the Asian eyelid. With that fold, you can do so many things! You can conquer the world! You have an obvious place to put your eyeliner! Thereâ€™s a word for that fold, which for the life of me I cannot remember. Oedipal? Marsupial? Something like that. If I were a scholar or more concerned with getting things right (rather than getting things in the vicinity of right), maybe Iâ€™d google it for you. It was a source of great angst in my young development; I felt my mom was sending me a message my face wasnâ€™t good enough and my mom just wanted me to do this thing that would help me. After much contemplation and gabbing about it and time, I eventually realized it wasnâ€™t something to take too seriously or personally, everybody was doing it, etc. etc. etc. From the sometimes inelegant way my mom talks to my child, someone she loves more than anyone on earth, I gleaned that it is most likely she loves me very deeply as well, despite her cave-woman-communiation skills.
Anyway, all of that is just background for my point today. Dudes, I am aging, you can tell from my face. And one of these developments includes a marsupial fold on my eyelid. I now have a place to put eyeliner. If I actually evolve to the point where I wear makeup, this will be convenient. Everybody wins!
I just wrapped up watching True Blood, Season 4. To tell you the truth, Sunday night, utterly convinced my office was closed on Monday for Columbus Day, I stayed up late to watch all the episodes (it was due to the library yesterday), had some wine, and made a lasagna that I started baking at 12:30 a.m. Earlier that day, I had been to my friend Etta’s birthday party (she just turned two) and I made fun of all the parents who had to work the next day. Around 2 a.m., I remembered an email about a Monday meeting and I wondered if maybe I had to work after all. I texted a co-worker, and yeah, I did. Doh!
Doesn’t matter. My point is I like True Blood (but emo, don’t watch it. you won’t like it — a lot of sex, violence, and supernatural species). The actors are all stunning looking and like 12-pack abs, but even the most beef-cake-y of them have degrees in acting from such prestigious institutions like Carnegie Mellon and Julliard. The first season involved vampires and shape shifters, and they eventually added additional concepts — psychics, black magic, fairies, witches, mediums, and like a half-horse-half-man character. It’s a high-budget show, and essentially, the basic story is a love triangle, but I am impressed in the way the series juggles multiple story lines and brings in all these other-creatures-ideas but isn’t confusing. Like I watch someone with pointy ears, I’m not mistaking them for a vampire, you feel me? That seems very skillful to me. The characters go through the ringer, surrounded by danger and unpredictable violence ever single moment. My only beef is that none of the major characters ever die. Every time a major character receives a mortal wound, they drink vampire blood, which has incredible healing powers, and bingo, they walk with an extra bounce in their step. To have no characters expire, when the writers have so convincingly built a world full of threat, just feels like a cop-out.
Anyway, this is a product from Alan Ball, the guy who came up with Six Feet Under, a terrific series about a dysfunctional family in the undertaker’s business. It was a show where each episode opened with someone’s death. In interviews, he has said that he came up with the idea when his sister died and he needed a way to cope with that. Death is inevitable, Six Feet Under posits, we all gotta go some time, but curiously, with True Blood, he has opted for an almost completely opposite approach where everyone lives forever. It’s his world. Maybe he got tired of loss. Can’t say I blame the guy.
I have thought a lot about the passion job. To me, it’s kind of like the passion fish (which I thought was the ultimate fish fishermen strive all their lives to catch, but only turns out to be a 1992 film by John Sayles. Anyway, let’s go with my original, incorrect thought.) The very presence of this concept tortures people to be unsatisfied with their current conditions, because somewhere out there, they believe, is their perfect life.
It’s not that passion jobs aren’t possible, but I just wonder if some of that thinking is kind of like how the movies depict romantic love — extremely idealistic, effortless, and uncomplicated, and where there’s a wind machine. Real life does not function that way. Yes, there are lawyers who quit to become bakers or yoga instructors, but some of them, I would guess, found that although they went to follow their bliss, it didn’t turn out exactly as they hoped. (Making a living as a baker or a yoga teacher in this town is extraordinarily difficult.)
Sometimes, a job is just a job, know what I mean? And that’s not a bad thing. There are activities I do love, but I do them for free and I think I’d find them far less compelling if they became monetized and required. (Politics and other limitations would make it less fun for me.)
Finding the right job can be complicated. Different types of work have worked for me over my lifetime so far. When I was in my twenties, acting was the be-all end-all, a line of work I loved with a religious passion (a requirement b/c how else would you deal with the undercooked parts, long hours of hussle, and no cash?)
There are some people I’ve met who believe that work is something you hate, and they have jobs that they hate, with long hours and simmering resentment of being underappreciated. They will probably stay in those gigs, because they don’t know that life can be different. And to those people, I say, Ay caramba.
Anyway, this Georgetown professor has been getting some PR because he writes about how the concept of the passion job can actually be destructive. He preaches, let the passion follow you, as opposed to chasing it all around town. Interesting idea. Click here for his article.
And I finally, I would like to suggest watching RuPaul’s â€œYou better work.â€ He was born a poor little black boy in Detroit but wanted to grow up and be a cross-dressing model (I did no special research for this. It’s in the song) and he did it! Not that we have to all achieve such heights, overcome such obstacles. I just mention this more because those are INCREDIBLY difficult circumstances to be born into, so no matter what our work struggles are, it can always be worse.
In closing, sashay, chantay. Chantay, chantay, chantay.
I have heard people exclaim hallelujah when their children no longer needed diapers, they hated that part of babyhood so much. I honestly have never had an issue with it. But you know what I’m really over? Baby pooping up the back, baby pooping the changing table, baby pooping through their clothes, baby pooping on your clothes. That part is not really so awesome. With three kids in diapers, it sometimes feels like I change a thousand diapers on the weekends. Bonus: I smell it so much that the odor of poop has lodged itself in my nose. I always smell poop. Even if I’m outside my home, at work, or whatever, I like smell it. Sometimes, Husband is like “Wife, where is your wedding ring? Hello?” And I’m like “Husband, I don’t wear my wedding ring with diaper changes, because it’s a Thomas English muffin, you feel me? Lots of nooks and crannies.”
Thank goodness these little poop machines are cute.