13 Ways Wong Killed It in ’13
December 26th, 2013 → Leave a comment
Prepare for my circle jerk of one. I hate it when people humblebrag, but screw humility, I earned this.
For the last few years, I’ve wanted off the hamster wheel of live touring. I wanted to build a bridge into a stronger (more sustainable?) Hollywood career which would leverage my skills to a bigger audience. “Taking a break” from the road means taking a pay cut. That’s not easy when you are a homeowner (3 years now!).
Exhaustion forced me to take fewer gigs this year and renew myself. I finished the improv training program at UCB, took a sketch and screenwriting class. I spent time outputting essays and short videos. The pay off for that transition has been AMAZING. I had a rough patch between April and late May when a financial planner (who was basically my parents reincarnated into a Jewish Lesbian) forecast doom and gloom in my retirement years if I continued my freelancer’s existence. It was a big enough scare that I started looking up nursing schools to apply to. But miraculously, in the last six months, the world threw me enough signs to stay the course.
13 Greatest Hits of ’13.
1. My play ran for three weeks in Miami!
I kicked off the New Year in Miami where my play CAT LADY was produced by Miami’s Mad Cat Theatre Company (Artistic Director: Paul Tei) and ran for three weeks to rave reviews. My parents came to Miami to see the show! I rarely get to run any of my shows over several weeks so it was a treat to get to live in Miami that long and see the show re-envisioned by a new cast and director. It was also interesting to revisit that work after a year break from its previous production.
2. I returned to the UK and did shows in Manchester and London.
After last year’s (really tiring) run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I reaped in two show offers in Manchester at Contact Theatre and a show at the BGWMC in London. It felt great to be back in the UK! I also got some time off to explore Berlin and Amsterdam.
3. I took my public adoration of Jeremy Lin to a whole new (possibly illegal) level.
I have a history of crashing the Red Carpet as Fannie Wong Former Miss Chinatown Runner Up. But at this year’s LAAPFF premiere of LINSANITY (The Jeremy Lin Documentary), it seemed necessary to let my man know that I was serious. Just because I have not met Jeremy Lin doesn’t mean I can’t consummate our marriage.
4. My self-marriage was saved by the nose of a dog.I have no clue how people stay married for so long because I had been married to my wife, Kristina Wong for 5 years and have wanted to strangle her multiple times throughout our tumultuous self-marriage. On our 5th anniversary, I put our marriage up for public vote. The votes for divorce or staying together were tied. And thanks to a tie-breaking dog vote, my marriage was saved.
5. I stopped dating losers.
Somehow losers come to me like hoarders to a yard sale. I am guilty of being lazy, frustrated, and complacent enough to keep them around. Can you blame me? The dating pool in Los Angeles, especially of those candidates brave enough to date a traveling badass performance artist like me is polluted with loserinos. I finally decided on a zero tolerance policy on people with anger issues, no ambitions, extreme brokeness, or an inability to commit. And with that change, everything got better. In all parts of my life.
6. My essays went viral.
I thought the world was over talking about race. Nope. All that is old is new again.
With the exception of two transgressions in Amsterdam and Uganda, I’ve now been sober for two years. I knew I would continue on this non-alcoholic journey but wrote the following essay as if I really needed public input. It didn’t got as super viral as the other two essays, but it’s good writing. READ: I Miss Being a Drunk.
7. I made a bunch of shorts.
In Los Angeles, the dismissive advice given to artists is: “Make some videos and put them on Youtube.” Yes, it can be done, it’s also totally exhausting and a lot of work. Below… my work…
Inside the Background Actors Studio…
What’s the Worst Thing you Can Call a White Person?
8. I killed it on FXX’s Totally Biased.
The Asian Fetish essay I wrote for xoJane caught the attention of the staff at FXX Totally Biased! I’ve decided that any time I get invited to do TV, I must treat it like the last invite I’ll ever get. I flew to NYC to shoot the show and laid down the best Five Minutes and Fifty-Eight seconds of late night TV ever seen.
9. I have an awesome new Hollywood manager who gets me!
It turns out that the executive producer of Totally Biased (who is also Kamau’s manager) had been a longtime fan of mine since my fake mail order bride site in 2000! She even saw Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest live in 2008. After my TV appearance, she took me on as a client. So far it’s been great! I’m already working with a cool college booker and have some amazing network meetings lined up next year! And whereas other Hollywood managers have not always been able see how my live work translates to TV/Film– she gets me and has a ton of ideas for the future. It’s really great.
10. I made a rap album in Uganda.
Not only did I go to Uganda by myself for a month, I made a rap album with local rappers while there. “Rap Album in Uganda” was never on my bucket list, but after this feat, I can die happy!
11. My film was picked up for distribution by Cinema Libre.
My director Mike Closson and I worked so hard to make this film happen. Our new distributor at Cinema Libre carries some amazing documentary films. We are glad to be a part of that family!
12. I spit on TV and told white ladies to suck it. And it was political.
In our new age of news media, I have been declared an expert on “White Guys with Asian Fetish” and when courted to be an expert interviewee for the above interview, I threw it down. Full force.
13. I booked a co-star role on a Nickelodeon Kids TV Show.
In my ultimate Bob Saget moment, I capped off a year of raunchy, political commentator work and booked a co-star role on a squeaky clean children’s TV show pilot. I had to fill out standard background check (so the production could confirm I wasn’t a criminal or pedophile). Even though I’ve had no brushes with the law (surprising, no?) I ran to the first AD and asked in a panic, “Will my non-pornographic Youtube video of me spitting and telling white ladies to suck it get me in trouble?” He patted me on the back and said, “You should be ok.”It was a ton of fun! And I look forward to this pilot getting picked up and airing forever and ever.
14. The LA Times interviewed me for a profile story.
My TV appearance on Fusion caught the attention of the LA Times who upon web search found this site and the large body of work I’d been making over the last decade. We did a three hour interview and the reporter even interviewed my friends. That profile should run soon!
Anyway, that’s the brag-a-thon. And if I have my choice, it’s going to keep going. 2014, let’s do this.