The ABC's Guide To Getting Famous
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ming Peiffer
October 11, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Playwright and Performer.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
When I write, I try to tip-toe along that invisible line where poetry and everyday speech intersect. I like experimenting with language. Shows that pack a verbal punch. I like for my ugly characters to speak beautifully. I like to make the old sound fresh. I like surprising endings and mysterious characters and weird segues and time jumps. I like raising questions that can't be answered. I also tend to have a lot of dark stuff in my plays, but I don't really know what that's about.
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Maybe it's because I played sports growing up, but I crave that rush of adrenaline you get while you are onstage with everyone watching out for your next move. I thrive on the feeling that you cannot mess up. It's like passing lines back and forth like a tennis ball, and the stage is your court. I don't know. Nothing beats live theater.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
This show began as something else entirely. It began as a look into my life as an Asian American actress. But while working on 3 different theatre projects this past summer, all involving Asian American artists with whom I constantly discussed the state of Asian Americans in the theater, Kat Yen (my director and collaborator) and I sat down and talked about how this was a much bigger issue. A much bigger project. One far beyond the scope of my experience as a bi-racial playwright and performer. In the interviews we conducted we heard the most funny, demoralizing, sad, happy, racist, surprising, and enlightening stories from so many talented Asian Americans. It seemed unfair to keep this strictly a solo show. So now, it's a sort of hybrid piece filled with footage from the interviews Kat and I conducted in addition to my text. A film documentary/solo show.
Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
Daffy Duck. I think he has an image problem too.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Diversity is a broad word. Racial diversity. Socioeconomic diversity. Religious diversity. Regardless of which diversity one focuses on, it is not only important, it is crucial.