I Survived 2018 and Here are the Highlights!

December 31st, 2018 → Leave a comment

2018 like 2017 was a rough freaking year.  My eyebrows are inexplicably missing of late (likely from stress).  I couldn’t stop looking at pictures of buffets today (Google says that maybe food fixation is about an eating disorder or anxiety).  And a bunch of beloved people in my community passed this year.  And in the last few months I had an unimaginable number of stressful situations charge at me.

I look at pics of me from January and now and I have aged…  Oh god, how much I’ve aged.

But I have some great memories from this year and despite the exhaustion, that’s what I’m taking with me.

Here’s a look at 17 Highlights of 2018:

1. I was a presented by the US Consulate in Nigeria!


By a chance recommendation, I was invited to perform The Wong Street Journal at the Lagos Theater Festival in Nigeria in February, presented by the US Consulate.  Nigeria is a five hour flight from Uganda, where the show was researched. Lagos is so incredibly vibrant, filled with fantastic people.  Because I was presented by the US Consulate, I was treated like a CELEBRITY.  I met the most famous comedians, actors and change makers in Lagos.  In the picture above from left to right is Abisoye A. Akinfolarin (CNN Heroes Nominee), Chigul (comedian and actress who was on a billboard outside my hotel!), Mandy Uzonitsha (Nigeria’s grandmother of stand-up comedy), Basketmouth (Hella famous comedian) and Ali Baba (godfather of Nigeria’s stand-up comedy scene).

2. I was on late night television in Nigeria!

I had such a good time in Nigeria.  Every hour was packed.  We were shuttled around in an armored car, sometimes with an armed guard!  I was on a lot of radio including this podcast with My Africa Podcast.

And I went to fancy parties at the Consulate General’s home where I used cocktail napkins that had the United States Government seal on them!

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I was on Nigeria’s version of the Daily Show hosted by Okey Bakassi.  You can read about this first  show in the New Yorker.

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And literally, hours before I left town, I squeezed in one late night appearance on Ali Baba’s “Seriously Speaking”.  We had come from watching Femi Kuti perform at the New Africa Shrine where he touched my finger!

3. I returned to Uganda where I made music videos!

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After five years of making and touring The Wong Street Journal, I returned back to Gulu, Uganda– where the stories first began.  I reunited with the folks I had met there– Nerio Badman and the other rappers on my Mzungu Price Album.  I went to Nerio’s home village.  We shot THREE music videos.  (We shot four actually, but I will never let the fourth video see the light of day).  And it felt like a full circle way to come back to a story I’ve lived aloud in front of audiences over the last three years.  We also recorded a rap song called “Nigerian Prince” that we wrote and recorded in an hour and a half.

 

4.  I was a Dandy Minion in Taylor Mac’s 24 Hour History of American Music.

Because this was a year of extremes, I had the pleasure of being both in an African village and in “Taylor Mac’s 24 Hour History of American Music” in the same week.  If you don’t know MacArthur Genius Taylor Mac or of this 24 hour drag-stravaganza performance, you aren’t living.  As someone who makes work that can tour, it was amazing to be part of something so long and extravagant.

5. I helped Asian American women talk about sex and it was like for the greater good of social science!

I’m beginning to see how being a performance artist can actually be useful for more than just exposing my worst.  I worked with social science professors to talk about Sexual Health experience with what will hopefully be future focus groups for studies.

6. I launched my newest performance work… “Kristina Wong for Public Office”!

I debated dogs.  Opened a campaign headquarters in Chinatown. And gave the most insane campaign speech ever.

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I received the COLA Career Artist Fellowship grant from the City of Los Angeles to create a new work and I decided

7.  I launched my web series Radical Cram School!

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8. I got hate from Nazis and then made this response video!

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Turns out Nazis didn’t take to my series very well.  But I didn’t let them have the last word.

9. I did this amazing theater project with undocumented immigrants!

Thanks to the Artist-in-Residence Award from the Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles, I was able to make this original theater piece with the undocumented community.

10. I am a finalist for the Sherwood Award!

The winner is announced at the end of January.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

11. I was the Performing Artist in Residence at the San Diego Airport!

12.  Engagements all over the freaking country!

Arizona!  Wyoming!  Boston!  Knoxville!  Portland!  Santa Barbara!  St. Louis! Miami!

13.  I wrote a bunch of essays!

I Give Up On Trying To Explain Why The Fetishization Of Asian Women Is Bad  (Huffington Post)

Movie review of Crazy Rich Asians (Grok Nation)

How I finally stopped worrying and embraced makeup (Grok Nation)

14.  I filed to run for an actual elected political office!

 

15.  I’m simultaneously attempting to crowd fund for Season 2 of Radical Cram School. 

In the spirit of a year where I’m literally on top of myself, I simultaneously running for Public Office while raising money for my unrelated web series.  It’s a lot like how many friend many years ago was hella pregnant while trying to open her cafe in the Castro– I don’t recommend this.

But right now, I’m pretty desperately asking the world to help me meet the bare minimum of $16K in fundraising so I can get the greenlight.  We’re going to have more music, more puppets and guest Aunties, Uncles and non-genderconforming mentors join us.  Get in on a revolutionary series that will piss off the Nazis!

16. I NET $5000 in sales on Poshmark!

I went a wee bit too far into my resale obsession this year.  I sold hundreds of items out of my bedroom.  Which yes, also meant that I acquired hundreds of items in my bedroom.  It wasn’t so much as profitable as it was as soothing as picking away at a scab, letting it rebleed and then picking at it again.  There was this great joy when I could pack something up and send it out of my home forever.

17.  I was in a few films and things!
It turns out that there weren’t too many “Get Out the Vote” PSAs for the Asian American community.

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I also am in Jess DelaMerced’s short film “PHONY” that is executive produced by Paul Feig.

 

Ok, I’m tired.  Happy New Year.

 

Category: Blog

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