I LOST THE FREAKING PULITZER PRIZE TO HAMILTON.
April 19th, 2016 → Leave a comment
While I may have lost the Pulitzer Prize to Hamilton, I should probably get an award for “Longest Dragging Out of an Inside Joke Between me and Performance Artist Brian Feldman Whilst Misleading the Internet About The Quality of My Work”
Here are the transcripts of the three speeches I prepared to give. Because I was neither a winner or nominee, the only speech I could deliver was the “concession speech”.
Pulitzer Prize Concession Speech
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
This is a quote on losing from Donald Trump. A man who I will not be voting for in the upcoming Presidential primaries, or ever. In fact, I completely dislike him. But I think it’s a good quote on losing.
I lost this battle today. Specifically, I lost an opportunity for my mother to have ultimate bragging rights that her daughter was a Pulitzer Prize winner, thus redeeming all the grief I have caused her all these years by choosing art as my profession. I lost an opportunity to be the first Asian American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in the prize’s 100 year history. Most significantly, I lost an opportunity to stand out as the only Pulitzer Prize winner on Tinder.
My sincerest congratulations to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton. I have no idea if your Broadway Musical Hamilton is more worthy of a Pulitzer Prize than The Wong Street Journal. I don’t say this as a slight to your work, I say it as someone who cannot sell enough blood and organs to buy Hamilton tickets that are already sold out through the end of this year. But I am sure Hamilton is amazing even though, you didn’t sew your set or become a rap star in Northern Uganda. And Lin-Manuel. I congratulate you on this well deserved honor.
I appreciate so many people for supporting me on the road to be a Pulitzer Prize contender. To my friend, the conceptual performance artist Brian Feldman whose play Dishwasher was in direct competition with mine for this award. I thank you Brian for daring me to send my hard earned $50 to apply for the Pulitzer and for not once acting out in ways that were competitive. That we were able to stay friends on this long road to the Pulitzer is a testament to our friendship. To my director Emily Mendelsohn, you share this loss with me, but I believe we are victorious in other ways. To my commissioners, thank you for your support. I hope the fact, that I did not win this honor, does not stop you from giving me lots and lots of money down the road.
I lost the battle today. But I did not lose the war. I will continue to write my stories and the stories of marginalized people into existence. I will continue to perform. I will continue to talk about my genitals and bowel movements on social media and it will be profound. It will be meaningful to humanity more than humanity itself.
Pulitzer Prize Acceptance Speech
Wow. This is an incredible surprise. My life has been marked by a series of failures and near misses. Brushes with greatness. And intense falls from Grace. I’ve not won a lot in my life. And I credit my mother’s intense gift for guilting me, into what has kept me going. All we can do, prize or not, is keep going.
There were so many people who encouraged me to this moment. My friend, the great performance artist Brian Feldman who encouraged me to drop the $50 to apply for this award. Brian’s conceptual performance “Dishwasher” was in direct competition with “The Wong Street Journal” for this prize, and sadly the Pulitzer Committee could not announce a tie. I hope there are no hard feelings Brian. To Emily Mendelsohn, who directed this play. Who knew, we’d find ourselves, on the top of the world today? To my commissioners, I share this honor with you. And to my mother. Finally, the gods have answered your prayers to the gods and you no longer have to hang your head in shame when asked what your daughter does for a living. You are now the mother of a Pulitzer Prize winner. Now go forth Mommy, and start texting your friends. Because my success is all you have. And my success today, is everything.
It’s an honor to be the first Asian American woman to be the Pulitzer Prize winner in Drama in its 100 year history. We have always existed. Our labor has always existed. Our stories have always existed. We stand on the backs of mothers and grandmothers who sacrificed everything so that we could live in full expression of our lives. And from this point forward, the world will recognize that we aren’t going out quietly. Ever.
To Lin-Manuel Miranda whose play Hamilton is sold out on Broadway until the end of the year, I am stunned that the committee picked The Wong Street Journal over your masterpiece of Hamilton. This is an upset that you nor I could have anticipated. But, I guess it’s clear who the winner is. Suck it Lin-Manuel! My play is cheaper and better than yours. You never heard of me before! You heard of me now sucka! Who’s the Ham 4 Ham now, biatch?!
Pulitzer Prize Nominee Acceptance Speech
The great 90s actor, and former ex husband of Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton once said…
“Getting the nomination is like gravy. Winning would be like whatever is better than gravy.”
Today’s nomination is not only gravy, it is what is better than gravy. Gravy that drips across the mashed potatoes of my 15 year professional career as a performance artist. It is a gravy that is moist, flavorful and incredibly validating. And today, finally, I lick that gravy. I swallow that gravy. I let that gravy drip down my chest like at the end of a video I downloaded on Pornhub.
My mother was never content with me being in second place. I know this because she had told me this my entire life and I was constantly reminded that 2nd place was like the B-average of life. And when I explained to her a few months ago what Hamilton was, she reluctantly relented that being named a nominee to Hamilton would be a sufficient honor. Today, I am so honored, to be sufficient. To be a Pulitzer Prize nominee. To be able to sit in the waiting room of an audition for Geico, and tell my fellow actors, “Hey, I’m a Pulitzer Prize Nominee. Now I’m going to try to book this commercial for insurance”.
I share this honor of this nomination with the conceptual performance artist Brian Feldman, who encouraged me over Italian food last year to spend $50 to apply for his award. I thank my mother for praying to the gods for this. I share this with my director Emily Mendelsohn and with my commissioners.
I share this nomination for all the Asian American women in this country who so often pass through life anonymous, our work unseen, or strife unheard. This is for you and for all the marginalized women in the world who deserve to be named, to be acknowledged by history, to be nominated in the game of life.