Fri Feb 23, 2001 - Performing arts for Chinese-Cdns in town
I've been playing Bejeweled, Symbolic Link and Alchemy on MSN Zone. I'm not very good though.
MSG sucks! I was gorging on a cold plate of jellyfish - with a bit of oil, toasted sesame seeds, and what I thought was salt - until I had an MSG attack. I am that sensitive. My eyes suddenly became dry. My nasal membranes and throat also became slightly irritated. I just don't understand why Chinese restaurants and hot food take-out outlets prefer using MSG over mere salt. It's so hard to find a top notch restaurant that proudly advertises that they don't use MSG. The only MSG-free Chinese restaurants are rather small and don't cater to a primarily Chinese clientele.
I had a collection of small, coloured drawings that a patient of my mom's had given her many years ago when I was young. For all these years, I had kept all of these in a nice fragile box that she had also given me. My niece found them and liked them so I gave them to her, thinking that she would also treasure them. But after all these years, everything was shredded to smithereens. The niece ripped up all the drawings because she wanted to plug up some plastic jar/ container. Period. I'm not going to let her touch anything that I don't want destroyed. Not til she's like 7 years old or something.
I was reading someone's blog on how he wasn't doing well in school GPA-wise
because he was dyslexic and as hard as he worked, he still couldn't perform
well in exams and such. I empathized with him. Yet, what he wrote didn't compel
me to read more. Is it because I'm just like everyone else? As much as
I'm a downer and constantly enjoy ranting, I would rather not read others who
do the same but those instead whose lives are more successful and upbeat?
Egaads, how terrible. I'm one of those people that I bitterly bitch about - people who are there for you when you're
up but abandon you when you're down.
I read Winnie's review of Frank Chin's play Year of the Dragon, presented by East West Players in LA. It reinforced in me on another level my desire to live in a metropolitan city in North America with a large Asian base. It's just easier to find people who understand you, who not only validate your background but who treat it as a big deal in all aspects of society. Even in Vancouver, with supposedly the largest Chinatown in North America after San Francisco, more needs to be done in supporting Asians in the performing arts.
One of the reasons I never really tried out for drama in high school, aside from the fact that I was too bogged down with academia worries and sports, and that the school I attended in my senior years preferred musicals instead (I can't sing), and that the school district suffered a teacher's strike one year, was that I couldn't relate to the plays being put on. There was some play that was set in England. I just had little interest in (or remember much about) the characters and plot. And rumour had it that for the Anne of Green Gables musical, the drama teacher wanted the big roles to go to Caucasians only. This in a school with predominantly Asian students. If only the teacher had the foresight and cultural aptitude to produce a play written by an Asian and that was about Asians.
There just isn't a strong equivalent of East West Players in Vancouver. Sure, there may be some fringe groups presenting some plays, e.g. Mom, Dad, I'm Living With A White Girl, etc. (And the film director Mina Shum hails from East Vancouver. Plus, we do have a weak Asian Film Festival here annually. In addition, we celebrate Asian Heritage Month in May and we have the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop here in Vancouver.) However, I'd love it if there was a strong repertoire company that presented plays with and about Asians. There are many talented Asian-American as well as emerging Asian-Canadian playwrights out there, but why haven't I heard more about people in Vancouver showcasing those plays?
So far, the only thing remotely connected to what I'm talking about that I've found on the web is this theatre-acting group in Toronto called Loud Mouth Asian Babes. Check out their projects, one of which is the Yoko Ono Project. (I'm sure John Lennon was talented and made many females swoon, but don't you agree that he was physically very unattractive?)
Oh wait, after plowing through all this diatribe, I've found hope...read this article.
[I just found out that there are courses devoted to Asian-Canadian poetry taught at the 2 local universities here. Not sure about fiction though, but I'm sure an Amy Tan novel might still be read in first-year English, and Denise Chong's book The Concubine's Daughter is still being read in a B.C. History class. There's also a class at Berkeley taught by Marie Lo (a former Vancouverite?) on Asian-Canadian authors. Anyway, the demand for Asian-Am/ Asian-Cdn lit is there, as there are so many Asians majoring in English literature nowadays.]
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