15 Things that happened to the WONG in 2015
December 17th, 2015 → Leave a comment
It’s that end-of-year blog where I pat myself on the back and I make you watch.
1. SOLD OUT SHOWS of WONG STREET JOURNAL!
My newest show is the best one yet. I sold out previews in Orange County and Burlington, VT. Then sold out all five shows (and the 6th add-on show) before the San Francisco World Premiere run started. In Los Angeles, I sold out three shows at the REDCAT. This show is a hilarious hit and 2016 will have me all over the country with it!
Check my new media reel. So fancy.
So this was awesome. Twelve hours after being in flight and travel for 40 hours, I got on a red-eye headed back in the direction I just flew from to talk about yellowface casting in Aloha (a movie disaster that not even Bradley Cooper could save).
3. Wong DaFunkee Professor at Cal Arts!
My first time being on an institutional payroll in TEN YEARS. I was asked to teach a class at Cal Arts in the MFA Creative Writing Program. I named the course Cake or Death: Making Performance in Post Post Post Post Post Post Post Post Modern Times. My students made site specific performances and invented fake twitter profiles and were assigned a lot of reading (much of which got skimmed over… ahem). Yo, I tip my hat to teachers everywhere because managing a classroom is a lot of work!
4. Led a mind blowing comedy workshop on Skid Row!
Thanks to an Artist-in-Residence award I received last year, I learned a lot about working in this very special community. We made performances about the issues of police brutality, systemic racism, and the poverty they are up against daily. I feel so honored to have new talented colleagues, some who are also hard working community organizers.
5. What the Frack Jerry Brown videos!
Fracking is like eating a bunch of toxic waste and then taking a dump in your drinking water, then drinking that drinking water. I was so glad my friends at Movement Generation invited me up to Bakersfield to meet people whose live right by fracking sites and make these commercials with them that will hopefully lead to a ban on fracking in CA. These spots aired during the commercial breaks of The Daily show in Sacramento last month.
6. I went to the Philippines
I found a $400 flight leaving from NYC and flying the wrong way around the world to the Philippines and one a crazy whim, I bought it.
Here is a blog by famous travel blogger Anton Diaz about my first day in Manila.
7. Buttload of awesome press
8. I didn’t get a single grant or fellowship I applied for but so what?
2015 was an exceptional year in bureaucratic rejection. I applied for a a ton of stuff only to get a ton of rejection letters back, thereby ending a long multi-year streak of grant success. It didn’t stop me from being an artist and I still managed to turn out one of the highest gro$$ing years of my career. The hustle my friends. Always, the hustle.
Without revealing too much detail, my new web series is going to be HILARIOUS and we shot several episodes worth of content in two long days. I got a bunch of all-stars too like Asa Akira, Amy Hill and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons to be in it!
10. Helped raise about $2600+ in (documented) donations to support microloans in Uganda!
Bukenya at his KPFK interview.
I decided a long time ago that as a working artist I would not forever sit on the “taking/begging/asking” end of the economic equation. I wanted to be able to give to artists and organizations I care about. I wanted to be able to mobilize my resources to support other organizations. When Bukenya Muusa, who I worked under in Uganda came to Los Angeles, I introduced him to my community, got him on the airwaves, and coordinated $2600 in cash donations and sales of merchandise made by women in Uganda! Thank you friends! All of it will go to support the self determination of Ugandan women.
I started writing a new play about Vermont and China at New York Theater Workshop’s theater residency in New Hampshire. (That’s a lot of places to engage in this play about place!) Right now it’s looking like a musical.
12. Three Queer Weddings in One Month!
September was the month of #LoveWins. After having one completely traumatizing hetero wedding experience early this year, my chosen queer family reminded me that weddings could be awesome and need only be guided by love love love and not pomp and circumstance to be awesome.
13. Funeral for the White Man’s Penis at MOCA!
My comedy and visual art got some play at the Museum of Contemporary Art this year.
14. Hella Tours all over the country!
This year my art had me racking up airline miles. Artist life brought me to Chicago, Burlington, VT, New Hampshire, Baltimore, NYC, Sacramento, Dallas, San Francisco, Indiana, Poughkeepsie and Portland (where I write you now!).
15. Wrote some amazing essays
This essay for San Francisco Magazine broke their publication record for most read/shared non-gentrification essay. It actually found its way to my mother before I sent it to her– that’s my way of testing to see if something has really gone viral.
My Comedy Central appearance went by faster than I thought imaginable. I wrote “How I Failed to Save all People of Color from Oppression in My Six Minutes on The Nightly Show” to decompress about how high pressure it is to be on those panel shows, esp as the only woman of color.
”Sew Privileged” my essay about crafting my set for The Wong Street Journal appears as part of the RACECRAFT online exhibit.
Sad stuff that happened: Jeremy Lin still has not proposed to me. I had to put my cat Octavia to sleep last week ($$$ and tears). I never cleaned my house the way I swore I would. Other stuff.
Stuff I’m looking forward to next year: Now that The Wong Street Journal is up and running and not in that pregnancy phase, I look forward to touring the whole country/ world with it and getting rolling on other madness.
Thanks for hanging in with me. It trips me out when I realize how long I’ve been at this and I finally have realized that I’m not quitting ever.