At the risk of sounding like a cornball client testimonial for an overpriced life coach, I can finally say that after swimming upstream for fifteen years, I’m finally living with full faith that everything is going to work out ok. The world is still a mess but I finally feel like I’m in a position where I can do something about it. I can speak up and create from a space where I’m not so panicked about my own livelihood that I can actually just make really good art that people will respond to. I can create creative community and spaces where people can find liberation in small doses. And I feel like there is an audience that really gets what I’m saying.
Will I save the world? Nah. But I will put a few good dents in the system.
The lesson? Don’t ever give up. Just keep finding new ways to crack the code. And the way to do that is you owning what you do the best. And stop waiting to be rescued. And take every opportunity that comes as a big deal because everything is an opportunity. And work your ass off. And pick yourself up after multiple nervous breakdowns. And give up alcohol. And read lots of self help books. And stop dating losers.
But mostly, don’t ever give up.
12 hours after I got back to LAX from the Philippines, I got an invite to be on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show”. This involved getting on a red eye flight after already having had traveled 40 hours by plane. But their make up artist cleaned me up real good and I got a few meme-able moments during the panel.
Then I got back to the West Coast where I celebrated another trip around the sun (my birthday). But first, earlier in the day, I did this interview with Halo Halo TV in Los Angeles!
Then headed to San Francisco for the WORLD PREMIERE of The Wong Street Journal. It was a homecoming of epic proportions. All FIVE SHOWS SOLD OUT the Monday of show week. We added a SIXTH show– that SOLD OUT in 24 hours. I got a commendation from San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. And the audiences seemed to get what the heck it was that I was laying down.
This may have been the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. And I’ve done a lot of stupid.
I scheduled a vacation BEFORE my World Premiere of the Wong Street Journal, rather than after. A world premiere is a lot of work and while I haven’t had a real vacation in a couple of years, I am hoping I am not pacing around the beach trying to find wifi to promote my show.
At the time when I spotted the $400 RT tix to Manila (except it flies from NYC, adding more $$ to the trip), it seemed like a good idea. But now I’m like running and running and running out the door to get everything done.
THE GUILT IS KILLING ME!! I CAN’T STOP WORKING!!!!
Ever since my infamous blog post for xoJane about white dudes with Asian fetishes I’ve pretty much been running around non-stop. Even in Gulu, Uganda, the locals remarked how I never slowed down. I actually hate slowing down. I kind of love the adrenaline. So I’m not sure how well I’ll do in a situation where my job is to RELAX.
I’m typing fast that’s how unable to slow down I’ve been.
2. Marched for 4.5 hours, across 10.5 miles because #BlackLivesMatter
So much of the last two years have had me re-evaluating my work and relationships with the Black community (both in America and Uganda), considering what privilege I have even as someone who is of a marginalized identity here, and what privilege I can cede to recenter the most silenced of voices within the Black community. I’ve been thinking how my own work and humor (which is drawn so much out of my own life and politics) contributes (or hinders) the liberation and re-centering of black lives consistently left behind by the progress of social justice movements.
3. Got a lot of writing done at Montalvo Arts Center!
I spent most of this summer in the middle of the woods (in Silicon Valley) in a gorgeous studio, writing down everything I remembered from my trip to Uganda and creating the spine for my new solo show. I ended up with 250 pages that looked like one hell of a memoir. From those pages, I pulled the best stuff to turn into this play I’m making now… The Wong Street Journal.
4. Made a second reality tv show that’s ACTUALLY family friendly.
Check out this really ridiculous episode of MYX TV’s Eat Your Words where I make sushi with character actor Rodney Kageyama.
5. Gave the Commencement Speech at UCLA (again!).
If you ever wanted to see me dressed like Harry Potter crying like a big baby, here is your chance. Colorlines picked up on the speech which gave it a nice boost, but their scintillating pull quote had Asian men screaming at me online. (Yay, what’s new?)
6. Wrote some real badass essays. Some of which my academic friends say they’ll teach in their classes!
My cat Octavia is the second cat I’ve had to get a mention in the LA Times!
9. Gave a lot of Keynote speeches. Stanford, Duke, UC Berkeley and DeAnza College. What a freaking honor. Here I am at UC Berkeley’s QACON…
10. I might be the only comedian to ever have sewn the New York Stock Exchange out of felt and then performed with said set at the Comedy Central Stage.
Post conflict Uganda? Microloans? Rap? An end to poverty? Chinese people who turn white once in Africa? This new show is the most complicated thing I’ve undertaken since that funny show I made about depression.
11. Continued to build partnerships with my friends in Uganda.
Some people called it “the creepiest Kickstarter ever.” I called it the truest manifestation of love. When I heard Jeremy Lin would be moving to LA to play for the Lakers, I immediately registered our wedding on The Knot and I tried to raise $5400 to buy two courtside tickets to woo his love. After a hellish 30 days of insufferable cyber-begging, I fell just $304 short of my goal. Sure I was devastated, but that did not stop me from raising our children….
AND JUST SO YOU KNOW… Internet lists are LEGIT SOURCES OF NON-SUBJECTIVE NEWS.
15. I hosted Mr. Hyphen 2014!!!
It was like the sketch comedy absurdo spirit from high school was with me! Here are some highlights from the greatest community beauty pageant of all time…
Introducing Jeremy Lins.
Introducing George Takeis.
2015 will have a lot of good stuff to look forward to… The Wong Street Journal is previewing all over the country and has its WORLD PREMIERE in June! I just booked a ticket to the Philippines in May (found a RT ticket for under $400!). I ‘m really really close to some super big things that I will announce soon!
This is where my life was always supposed to be. I just had to kill the critics in my head. Happy New Year!
I had a (hilarious) nervous breakdown on Reality TV trying to prove to Sensei Yuji Matsumoto of Kabuki Restaurants that I could make sushi better than them.
Me and 657 year-old character actor Rodney Kageyama were challenged to make sushi on MyxTV’s “Eat Your Words.” We are judged by Master Sommelier of Kabuki Restaurants, Sensei Yuji Matsumoto. Did my one day sushi making class at Santa Monica Community College put me on par with master sushi chefs? Find out in the Episode BELOW!
Please tweet me @mskristinawong and #eatyourwords so I know you are watching!
I originally started as a judge on the show but because I was so harsh, Eat Your Words told me I had to really prove myself as a cook.
Here I am on Episode 3 as a Judge… If you ever wanted to see food described like bowel movements, this is the episode to watch!!
I’m finally in that part of the story where the Hero moves out of the crisis and towards the rising action. I’m going to climax soon my friends. And I’m going to enjoy it for as long as possible because I’ve been working way too hard just to get the foreplay part going to let it spark for just a second.