17 Things Wonderfully Wong in the Rapture of 2017!

January 3rd, 2018 → Leave a comment

It was the longest fucking year ever.  I’ve never seen a rapture drag out like 2017.  As is my yearly tradition, I sum all the good things I can remember between ripping my hair out with every news push notification.  I make this list mostly because my fragile ego needs all the public witnesses it can get.

1.  I was the star of my own television pilot!  (But… It didn’t get picked up.)

The big secret of 2016 was that I got a deal with Lionsgate and TruTv to make a pilot presentation!  Yes girl really.  It took over a year, and a lot of meetings and running around to make happen.  I was the star and co-creator.  I had a team of people supporting me.  I navigated a lot of network politics.  And I shot a fantastic freaking pilot.  When I got the call that the network passed on it, I briefly went into the woods with Hillary Clinton.  But the whole year of anticipation for what my life might look like if it did get picked up made me really appreciate what I’ve already built for myself as an artist.  The depression was momentary, and I found myself returning to my work with more joy (though goddamn that network money would have been nice).

2.  I wrote a play for a hotel room in New York City.

 

I was asked to be the artist-in-residence at the Washington Square Hotel By Design firm CMYK.  I wrote a play called “Kristina Wong’s Discharges from American History”.  Basically, I had a company of “historic re-enactors” re-enact all the American political scandals that have gone down in hotel rooms.  It was invigorating to have this deadline.  I spent weekends at cafes reading Anthony Weiner’s texts and then putting them in play format.  It was an immersive play for 8 audience members at a time but a cast of 14 actors (all honors students from Arizona State!)!  We enacted the Trump Russian Golden Shower scandal as the finale.

 

3.  I went to the motherland for the first time– Hong Kong and CHINA!

My Fannie Wong, Former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up performance was invited to be part of an exhibition of international artists at the Parasite gallery in Hong Kong.  Read an article about it here!  I visited the approximate areas where my grandparents were from (didn’t have much to go on), sweated my ass off, saw a lot of China in a matter of weeks and almost fought a family of four at Shanghai Disney (for good reason, nobody knows how to stand in line in China).

Big takeaway? China is not a relaxing vacation.  It’s an interesting trip.

4. I did a run of The Wong Street Journal in Los Angeles!

When I came back from China, reality set in.  Whoops, I really didn’t get that TV show did I?  I’ve learned from years of excitement and disappointment that the key to jumping past a depressing meltdown is to get super busy.  So I finally did a final run of Wong Street Journal in Los Angeles for all the stragglers who missed it the first time.  Thank you Bootleg Theater!!!

5. I became a Twitter superstar!

I would really rather have not gotten to know the bowels of twitter the way that I did.  But post-election depression had me tweeting so much that I made is to this list of the “Top Ten Trump Twitter Trolls”.  I gained about 20K new followers just from tweeting back at Trump and his cronies every time he tweeted.  Because Journalism has devolved to quoting tweets, my tweets got quoted in dozens of tweet round-ups.  I was a thing.

6. I also got blocked by Trump, his three kids from his first wife, Anthony Scaramucci, Sebatian Gorka….

About halfway through the year, Cheetolini couldn’t take it anymore and blocked me.  And with that went my brief stint as a twitter star.  The death threats also began to die down as soon as I was blocked.

7. I was the Artist-in-Residence of the UCLA Labor Center!

I facilitated a workshop which incorporated the curriculum of the Labor’s Center  #YoungWorker project.  I took the data that specifically affects young workers in Los Angeles and made it a community theater curriculum!  Half of our participants had never performed in public before!   I have a submitted an application to do a similar project in 2018 or 2019 with the Dream Resource Center for undocumented immigrants.  Excited!

8.  I did a performance for my largest indoor audience yet– 8000 incoming UCLA students!

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Nothing will help you make peace with your past like sharing your deepest darkest secret in a stadium full of people.  I felt like I really validated a lot of people’s experiences in the room with mental health. 

9.  I booked two national commercials in two months!

After a complete dearth in Hollywood bookings, I got two biggies back to back.  The real money will come if they air, but now I can be less cynical about not having a face that can sell corporate blah blah to America.

10. I gave a speech for my largest outdoor audience yet– The Los Angeles Tax March!

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Being a twitter warrior comes with celeb perks such as getting to be funny at an outdoor march.

11. A lot of great residencies and shows around the country!

Lewis and Clark in Portland!   Harvard!  Wellesley! Virginia Tech!  The Milton Academy outside of Boston, MA!  Did I miss something?  In LA, I hosted the celebration of SIX DECADES of dance at my alma mater, UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department.

12. I got picked for a City of Los Angeles Master Artist Fellowship and also other big big things.

With fellow YBCA 100 Honoree– Jill Soloway!

I was named as one of the YBCA 100– celebrating the innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders from all over the world who are using their platform to create cultural movement.
I was honored by Kearny Street Workshop FOCUS Award– for my work as an artist!
I also got picked to be next year’s Artist-in-Residence at the San Diego Airport!

13. I put out my web series… finally!

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After sitting on the footage for this as long as we were, we finally premiered to the world a few months ago.

It seems that you get all of 10 seconds to go viral in 2017.   We got big coverage from Cosmo, Huff Po, AJ+ and others.  And just as quick, the internet forgot us the following week.  But I was getting recognized in public and that’s all that matters.

14. I got freaking PUBLISHED yo.

The Wong Street Journal is published in the Contemporary Plays by Women of Color, the second edition!  I bought the first edition when I was in COLLEGE.  Now I’m in the thing.

15. Shot at amazing video game-changing project with young Asian American girls!

Just this week we shot a video with Asian girls ages 7-10 called “Radical Cram School.”  They weren’t actors. It was a chance to see if it was possible to get Asian girls that young to think about racism and sexism and how to dismantle it.  We shot a companion music video called “Asian Girl Blues”.   After we finished, one of the producers texted me, “Do you think this is actually a tv pilot that could be something bigger?”  I think YES.

16. I cleared my home of crap then filled it back up.

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I got into a really weird and not-profitable hobby that is selling old clothes on Poshmark.  Way back in the early days when I was out of school trying to supplement my income, I sold crap on ebay.  So I told myself I wouldn’t go back to junking.  The truth is, I will always make more as a performance artist.   It started as me just clearing old costumes and clothes from my home. But something was incredibly soothing about finding something that someone might like, posting it online, getting a sale and then shipping away something forever for all of a tiny profit. It was so soothing that I began to obsessively fill my house with things to post online to sell.  Now I have a few hundred things I need to post and my bedroom is a temporarily storage port for crap headed around the world.  I justify this as entrepreneurial hoarding.

17.  I declared my intent to run for Public Office before the year 2030!

Because nothing matters anymore and art has had to get secular and reasonable to compete with the absurdist climate of the world, I think the only way I can out-shock the state of this country is to just run for public office.  I have a short list of things I might run for.  The process will likely use the same skill set I have as a performance artist

Do I have new years resolutions?  I only resolve to work even harder and smarter than I did in 2016.

 

Category: Blog

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