Wonder Woman Review

I saw Wonder Woman Thursday, June 1st, at an early showing with one of my best friends, Erika. I knew when I saw the trailer that this was a film that I wanted to see with one of my girl friends or my mom. This film is an iconic moment, especially for women. So it was no brainer to share this moment with another woman.

Before the movie started and while the previews were playing, I felt myself growing nervous yet excited for the film. I was nervous, because overall I had not enjoyed most of the DCEU films. However, I will add that I did enjoy Man of Steel on the first viewing, but after my heart eyes for Henry Cavill lifted, and I was able to actually focus on the other elements of the film, I realized that Man of Steel was not the film we deserved. I must say though, I did enjoy Suicide Squad for the most part.

My nerves are running!! Because I wanted DCEU to finally have their victory they deserved, and also I wanted female superhero fans of all ages to have a female fronted film to be proud of.  So the film finally begins with of course DC’s new logo, and I have to say that I do like their opening logo showing all the various DC characters and not just the trinity.

The cinematography in this film is breathtaking; I was floored by the Louvre shot…and my god, when we first see Themiyscra…this film grabbed me. Seeing these glorious and beautiful Amazonian women training and sparring against each other and the scenery was just…overwhelming in a good way.  I knew then in my heart that we were getting the female fronted superhero film that we deserved.

Lilly Aspell as young Diana is such a heart warming performance. She is furious, curious, determined, and adorable all in one. I can see Lilly having a bright future just like Dafne Keen and Millie Bobbie Brown.  Though Lilly’s part is small, she is a show stealer just like Gal.

One of the good things about Batman Vs Superman was Gal Godot’s moments as Diana/Wonder Woman. Personally, I think Gal is the best thing about BVS.  If you were captivated by Gal’s brief but powerful performance in BVS, then you will be in awe of her in her solo film.  Gal is powerful, funny, charming, graceful, and truly wonderful in this film. If you had doubts about her ability to be Wonder Woman, you’ll no longer have them.

Chris Pine has always been charismatic to me, but his role in this film definitely elevates him to a whole another level. Steve Trevor is definitely someone who you would want on your side. I adored him deeply in this film, and I enjoyed his and Gal’s chemistry so much.  Let’s just say, I’m a shipper.

There is so much heart and love in this story, while it also has some of the most amazing action sequences I have ever seen in a film before. The funny moments don’t feel forced at all; the vulnerable moments are so touching; the action sequences, especially the No Man’s Land sequence, will bring you to tears with how beautiful and empowering it is. I cried at the No Man’s Land sequence, because this is the female fronted superhero film I have been waiting for. It was amazing to see Diana in action and by herself, and doing it to ensure innocent people’s safety.

Diana is so full of love and hope. She wants to bring peace to the world and save it; she has such determination and is so pure, yet she is the most powerful warrior in superhero cinema. Patty Jenkins, the director, and Alan Heinberg, the screenwriter, handle Diana with so much love and care. Patty, Alan, and Gal are a dream team. I truly can’t wait for them to reunite for a sequel.

A most worthy mention is Robin Wright as Antiope. Robin Wright was fearless and resilient as the general of the Amazonian army.  Watching her lead and fight along side her Amazonian sisters was truly a highlight of the film for me. I hope we’ll get to see Robin in more action roles.

Wonder Woman is an excellent film, and I highly recommended seeing this film. It warms my heart how well the film is doing at the box office and by how many people are loving it. I do hope this sends a clear message to Hollywood that people want female led superhero films, and female directors directing superhero films.

Bring on more girl power.

 

 

Astrology and spirituality

If you follow me on Twitter, then you’d probably know that lately I’ve been diving more into astrology and learning more about it. I’m not 100% relying on it, but I’ve been using it to examine myself, and also just trying to be more spiritual.  And can I say, I’ve started to discover more of an inner peace within myself? And also, I’m slowly (but surely) allowing myself to just go with the flow.

I don’t have a religion, nor do I mock anyone who does. I’m not writing this to disregard anyone’s religious believes. I’m only writing this to share my own, and maybe hopefully connect more with those who actually care about the things that I write on here.

Growing up in a racially diverse family as well as a religiously diverse family, exposed me to different people of different racial backgrounds and religious backgrounds. Growing up this way, I think made me much more open minded and understanding of different people, and I’m thankful for this! However, I’m not going to lie, religiously, it made me very confused.

Which was the right religion? If only one religion is right, did that mean some of my family would go to hell? What if no one in my family isn’t apart of the right religion? You know all of those sort of questions brewed in my head. This lead me to becoming agnostic. Meaning: I do believe in a higher power, but I do not have a religion. However, still with that decision being made, I still wasn’t very spiritual which was something that I deeply needed, but didn’t realize.

Astrology had always been something that intrigued me, but again, I took it all with a grain of salt. Yes, I’ve always known that I do possess a lot of the qualities associated with a Gemini: talkative, creative, indecisive, forgetful, and adaptive. Some may call me flirtatious, but honestly I’m terrible at it! However, I didn’t really look much into it than knowing the sign that comes with the month and day, you were born on. My French teacher was super into astrology like to the point where she’d try to sit people in class based on their signs to avoid conflicts in class. She would ask us about our crushes and what their signs were…which every time, I told her about my crush, it was always a sign that I wasn’t compatible with. And let’s just say….my dating life in high school was non existent.

Maybe,  there is some truth in astrology. Maybe, it was my out look on life and the energy, I was putting out into the world. Maybe, it was just all apart of how things are meant to go. Or maybe, it’s a combination of all three. And that is what I believe. I think there is a truth to astrology, a truth to the energy you put out into the world, and also that there is already some sort of set plan for us. If you believe something different that is 100% okay!  As I said earlier, I made the decision to take time to learn more about astrology.

Learning more about astrology: like your moon sign, your sun sign, etc. I’m still getting the hang of all the different terms and really learning everything about astrology. Examining a natal chart and learning what each piece means has made me examine myself more: the good parts and bad parts of myself.  It has caused me to take a deeper look at myself and the way I connect with others on all levels.  I started writing more in a journal I have; I started watching different Tarot card readings on YouTube for more insight. I’ve even began to start mediating!

And, I’ve found an inner peace sort of. Or starting to at least.  From looking at my natal chart, I’ll probably always be indecisive because my moon sign also happens to be Gemini. Obviously, I still worry about things and how they’ll turn out; however, I’ve also become more okay with going with the flow and letting things be and fall into place. In certain areas of my life where I tried to force things, I’ve stopped, and I’ve really relinquished so much of wanting to shape things and let the universe and or God do their work. I know I can’t be passive either, but I’ve been more okay with letting things be. Also, I’ve been working really hard on putting out more positive energy into the world.  Since I’ve been doing that, I’ve slowly started to see things change in my life. And most of it has all been positive.

Of course, life won’t always be amazing because that’s how life goes. However, I’ve been changing my mind set/out look on life. And man, does it make such a difference. Again, I don’t know if it’s 100% because of astrology, or that I’ve been more positive and trying to go with the flow more, or if it’s just what God and or the universe has intended for me, but which it is, I’m happy. I’d like to believe it’s a combination of it all.

Sorry, if this feels more like me just speaking out into the void and not putting together a more concise point. But I just wanted to put this out into the universe sorta.  Whatever your religious or spiritual believes are embrace them cause it could bring you more wonderful gifts than you expected.

 

 

 

 

2017 so far!

I promised that I’d try my best to write more on here, and so far I’ve been failing in doing that. But it’s actually been on my mind a lot more, so I think that’s an improvement. I thought I’d give an update what I’ve been doing so far this year!

In January, I started writing for The Marvel Report. I’ve mainly written news bits on the site, but I’ve also written an article on what I’d like to see in a season 2 of Iron Fist. And an article on Brie Larson, Intersectional Feminism, and Captain Marvel. Being apart of The Marvel Report has been a lot of fun so far. I’ve learned a lot of things from writing the articles and such.

Also in January, I returned to coaching volleyball with one of my best friends, Jason. He was head coach, and I was assistant coach. It’s only an 8 week program that basically runs from the first week of January to the last week of February. The girls on our team this season were so much fun, and just getting back into coaching was everything. Hopefully, I’ll be able to coach again next season.

I’m still co-hosting DCTVClassics. You can subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher radio. It’s been such a joy doing DCTVClassics. We had some members of Team Starkid recently on our Podcast! And Keith, one of my co-hosts, also got to chat with Al Gough (co-creator of Smallville and Into The Badlands). It’s been a blast doing this podcast. I’m still live tweeting the CW DC shows for the West Coast airings over at DCTCPodcasts Twitter. You should follow along if you aren’t!

Speaking of live tweeting, I’m now also live-tweeting Into The Badlands over at the The Nerds Of Color Twitter. It’s such an amazing show with really badass stunt choreography. If you aren’t watching ITB, you should! Season 1 is on Netflix and is only six episodes. On Sunday, AMC will be replaying the first 3 episodes of season 2 before episode 4 (new ep) airs. I live tweet the East Coast showing!

I’ve had a lot of fun this year hanging out with my friends when I can! I tried this really awesome donut place called California Donuts. Their panda donut is so yummy! I highly recommend. Tons of Ramen! Boba. I tried this ice cream place that rolls your it. It’s called Chelo Creamery.  Another place, I’d recommend.

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As always, I’m constantly writing and coming up with ideas. I’m still working writing a few of the projects I mentioned in my post about 2016. And I’m still doing voiceover work for my friend Andrew over at Vlasinda Produtions. Please check out his work, if you can. I do have a few more voice projects lined up with him for this year, and probably more will pop up.

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I do have an announcement coming soon! I can’t wait to share it with you all, but if you aren’t following me on Twitter, you should! I’m on Twitter as HiBritneyMonae ! I don’t know when I can share the information with you all, but it should be in the next month or two. So be on the look out for that.

Well that’s it for now! This has been my year so far: The Marvel Report work, Podcasting, Live Tweeting, voice over work, and trying to have a social life. I’m so blessed with everything that has happened so far, and I can’t wait for what else is in store!

xo,

Britney

Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017

Wow, 2016 was a difficult year, but there were some great moments. 2016 was hard for me personally, because I found out at the beginning of 2016 that a good friend of mine had passed away.  I took it pretty hard, though I did my best not to show it. However, I realize I probably came off disconnected and or distant.

Also a few people who shaped my childhood or at least within the last 10 years of my life had passed away: Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, Debbie Reynolds, Prince, and Anton Yelchin just to name a few. This past year was filled with a lot of hurt and loss.  There were great moments though!  And I don’t want to make this whole post about pain and sadness.

I pushed myself a bit more in 2016 than I had before. Well at least in some areas I did.  I applied for a T.V. writer’s workshop.  I didn’t get in, but the fact that I had actually pushed myself to apply to it was such a huge step for me.  And I firmly believe that everything (good or bad) happens for a reason. I’m going to apply again though this  year.  Also, I launched this blog/website in 2016! I don’t post on here as much as I’d like to, but I hope this year that will change.

In 2016, I also got to do quite a few voiceover work for, my friend, Andrew’s short films.  I didn’t get to do as much acting as I was hoping to though in 2016. Like I said though, everything happens for a reason. However, I did get to do a lot of writing. I started writing a web series (that’s still in the writing stages).  I wrote a short film that I hope I’ll get to film either closer to the end of 2017 or at the beginning of 2018. I wrote a spec script that was apart of the application process for the T.V. writer’s workshop. Also, I started writing a script for a full length, and I finished a first draft for a pilot.

The coolest thing that happened to me in 2016 was getting to be apart of DCTVPodcasts network, where I co-host a podcast called DCTVClassics, and I live tweet the CW DC shows for the west coast feed at the DCTVPodcasts twitter.  I got to be a guest on two podcasts (The Flash Podcast & Legends Of Tomorrow Podcast)  as well in 2016. I’ve made some really great friends being apart of DCTVPodcasts. And in general, in 2016, I had some great friends outside of the DCTVPodcasts fam.

In the beginning of December, I got to meet up with some of my nerdy POC twitter friends and hang out for a bit. It was one of the best nights of 2016.  We had so many laughs! Can’t wait to see them again. It’s nice knowing as a WOC nerd, that I’m not the only one.

That essentially wraps up my personal life in 2016. But here are some other highlights of 2016:

For live performances in 2016: I got to see Spies Are Forever  (a musical) twice; I went to one of  the Little Mermaid Hollywood Bowl shows! Also, I got to see Hedwig & The Angry Inch. I had a great time at each show. So many talented people. I did see a rock show in 2016, however, the lead singer was heavily under the influence, so it was hard to understand what he was singing.

For new music: Beyonce and Bruno Mars’ albums were amazing !  I discovered CHVRCHES in 2016 as well. So good!!

For T.V.: Stranger Things, The Get Down, Easy, Love, Luke Cage, Speechless, and Crazy Ex- Girlfriend are my favorites from the new shows that debuted in 2016! I highly recommend every single show listed there, if you haven’t seen any.

Films: Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One, Other People, and Fundamentals of Caring are faves that were released in 2016.

I hope for 2017 that I’ll be able to do more creative projects and collaborations. I’m excited for more podcasting!  And I hope that in 2017, I’ll be much nicer to myself. And love myself more.

Hopefully, 2017 will be a much more happier year for everyone. And I hope that people will be more loving and accepting.

I’ll try my best to keep this website/blog updated. If you aren’t follow me on twitter @HiBritneyMonae to see what’s going on in my life.

Happy New Year!

xo

Britney

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting News!

So it’s been about a month since the last time I posted anything, but I have some great news to share! It was a bit difficult not share the news, but it was definitely good practice for future things that I may have to keep secret for a bit. (I don’t have any secret news anymore for now)

DRUM ROLL!!!!!

I’m a host for a podcast called DCTVClassics through the DCTVPodcasts channel.

I’m very excited for what this journey will bring into my life, and hopefully it will lead to even more wonderful opportunities.

You can read all about it  Here !

I hope all will follow us on Twitter and Facebook! And subscribe to us on Itunes or Stitcher Radio!

There really isn’t anything else worth sharing right now, but hopefully you’ll follow me along on this journey!

 

Mary Jane, Zendaya, race bending, and representation

If you haven’t heard by the recent rumor (that is most likely true) in the Spider-Man: Homecoming casting news, well I’d assume you live under a rock. In case, that suits you, I’m going to fill you in.

Zendaya (“Shake It Up” , “KC Undercover”) is one of the cast members of Spider-Man: Homecoming.  We’ve known for a while that she had been cast in the film, and the only thing we knew about her role was that she was playing “Michele”. To me, that was a code name, because if you don’t know anything about the audition process with Marvel they will often change a characters name with a different name. I.E. Simone Missick who is playing MISTY Knight in the upcoming Netflix show, “Luke Cage”, she was given sides to read for a character named “Missy”. When Simone was cast a few of the comic book movie news sites all reported her being cast as a character named Missy which most knew that’s code.

So what iconic character from the Spider-Man comics has a name that begins with an “m”? MJ. Mary Jane Watson. And this was the news that has dropped a few days ago, that in fact, Zendaya’s “Michele” is actually Mary Jane Watson. Yes, the famous red-head that ends up winning Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s heart.

Of course there was tons of excitement/joy , when the news dropped. But unfortunately, there was and still is racists complaining about Zendaya (who is biracial) as MJ. And there’s those who like to say, they aren’t racist, but want a white woman in the role.

Yes, the character in the comics has been a white woman ever since the character debuted in the 1960s.  However, is she a character that her being  (full) white is essential to her? I don’t think so.  Having  natural red hair is also not a trait only white people have; there’s plenty of  POC that have natural red hair. And also hair dye exists. Kristen Dunst who played MJ in the first Spider-Man franchise is naturally a blonde. She either dyed her hair or had a wig on for those movies, so why can’t Zendaya do the same? She clearly is. But also, red hair on MJ isn’t her defining characteristic.

Mary Jane Watson is supposed to be that really pretty girl in high school  who’s also fierce, witty, and charming. That is what’s supposed to be her defining characteristics. She’s supposed to balance out Peter, who is yes witty and charming in his own way, but he’s a total dorky nerd.

But obviously, there’s a bigger problem that needs to be discussed. Race bending when it comes to live adaptions of comic books. Iris West on  The Flash TV show, and also now in the DCCU film is played by black women, one of whom, is biracial like Zendaya. Valkyrie is appearing in Thor 3 and is also played by a biracial actress, Tessa Thompson.

Iris West, Mary Jane Watson, and Valkyrie are all three originally white characters in the comics, but now in live action, they’re WOC. Also Heimdall (Idris Elba)  and Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) are originally white characters. However, those 5 characters, don’t have anything about them that screams why they MUST stay white in live action adaptions. Other than staying true to comic book material.

However, a lot of the people who are upset with the castings of MJ, Iris West, and Valkyrie, aren’t upset about the casting of The Ancient One in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie. The Ancient One is being played by Tilda Swinton( a white woman) who in the comics is originally a Tibetan old man. Why is there a problem with MJ’s casting? But not as much of a problem with The Ancient One?

Are comic book characters only allowed to be white? Yes there are existing POC comic book characters who have remained POC in live adaptions, but still, there are way more white characters in these adaptions than POC.  As well as the actual comics; but yes we’re seeing more diverse characters showing up in the comics and films. Still, there will always be more white characters than POC in the films, shows, and comics for a while.

Erasing an originally POC character and making them white is like adding another jelly bean to a bowl that’s already filled to the rim with jelly beans, when there’s a bowl of M&M’s that isn’t even half way filled.

I can understand the argument of keeping Danny Rand/Iron Fist white because he’s one of the white characters where his whiteness is brought up in his own comics. However, I also fully understood those who wanted to see the character reimagined as an Asian-American. I was fully on board with an Asian-American Iron Fist. However, Danny is a great character and yes his whiteness is often why he has certain enemies that he has, but one has to recognize his character still does fall under the mighty whitey trope. You just have to be able to understand and recognize when a character is still problematic.

Black Panther and Luke Cage are two characters where their blackness and where they come from is essential to their characters, so erasing their blackness would diminish the characters.  Making Mary Jane, Iris West, Valkyrie, Heimdall, and Nick Fury black doesn’t take anything away from their characters. Because what makes those characters special is their personality traits and their actions, not the color of their skin.

Representation matters. Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Manuel are so important. They’re black girls who are proving that black girls can be swimmers and gymnastic champions.  I know to non black people, that sounds like such a funny thing to say, but for black people it means a lot. Black people for many reasons and most historical and racist, were made to feel that swimming and gymnastics aren’t meant for them. Also ballet!  When people see people who look like them or have the same sexual orientation as them, doing amazing and wonderful things, it makes people feel empowered.

With Valkyrie being played by Tessa Thompson, so many brown and black girls will see, this beautiful WOC being a warrior and a love interest. It’s very rare that a woman of the black diaspora gets be a badass superhero warrior and also a love interest.  That is extremely important.

Iris West being played by Candice Patton and Kiersey Clemmons is extremely important to black girls just as it is important that they get to see Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Simone Manuel, Serena Williams, and Misty Copeland. Stop trying to diminish the importance of this.

I do hope that more non black POC will get to have representation as well. We do have a long way to go in representation for all groups that isn’t white straight male, but we’re getting there.

A long way to say thank you

Recently I’ve been re-watching Glee. I stopped watching Glee weekly during season 4 because the continuity seemed not matter anymore to the writers, and also the feeling I had during the first three seasons just wasn’t there. However, I’d check back in every now and then, like if the Warblers were back, that time Darren sang We Can Be Heroes, and the last episode that I officially watched of Glee was “The Quarterback” the tribute episode to Corey Monteith (Finn Hudson) who very unfortunately died three years ago.

So I decided to re-watch the show, cause I never finished it in it’s entirety.  And mainly cause it’s been three years since Corey died, and it still bothers me. Of course, I never knew him personally nor did I ever get the chance to meet him; however, there was a light about Corey that radiated such positivity that it was hard not to love him.

Like I said, Glee was very dear to me during the first 3 seasons. I know this has been said several times by many people, but Glee changed my life for good. And no, my life isn’t where I’d like it to be, but I know Glee has played a pivotal part in my life these last several years.

Ever since I was a kid, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: I want to be a performer and a storyteller. I went on a few auditions as a kid, but none of that panned out, or things would most likely have been very different for me. In JR High, I was in Choir. I didn’t go on with it in High School, because despite not being that great of a singer, I just didn’t feel welcomed. I sort of stopped performing for a while until junior year of HS, when I was able to take two electives, so of course I took drama and also joined the drama club.

My high school, however, didn’t have a glee club. There was a show choir company that took kids from various high schools, but still nothing like Glee. I was unable to join that show choir anyways cause of the cost. However, I think if there was a glee club at my high school with a teacher like Will Schuester , it would have made the rest of life easier…in some aspects at least. Anyways, the two years of drama class and club, meant a lot to me. I once again, felt like I had a purpose.

Then the end of senior rolled around, and I knew I was going to be going to Citrus College, though it’s a community college, I knew the reputation of their Musical theatre and theatre department. I had been going to musicals there since I was like 3, so I knew the talent those students would have, and I doubted my talent. I felt like I wouldn’t be good enough, so I just decided to major in Commercial Music, so I could eventually become an A&R. However, I was miserable. I liked the classes towards my major, but it wasn’t the same joy I got from when I was in drama in High School.

And then I started watching Glee. It made me ache for being apart of a performing group again. I still doubted my talent when Glee had open auditions for season 2 which were the auditions that Darren Criss ended up doing that got him the part on the Glee. I didn’t audition. I regret it, but again, I still believe everything happens for a reason.  When Darren Criss showed up on Glee that’s really when everything for me changed. Long story short, I discovered  Team Starkid that Darren Criss is/was a member of. They did the Harry Potter parody musicals; I watched the  musicals ,they at the time, had on their Youtube channel . And that was it. I knew that I had get back out there. So the upcoming fall semester, I changed my major to Theatre. Enrolled in Acting 101, Musical Theatre Techniques, and Beginning Voice. I also auditioned for the Glee project.

Since then, I’ve taken multiple acting classes, even took a tap dance class, and took some screen writing classes. I’ve done some voice over work for my friend’s short films that he posts on Youtube. I got to do some background acting on two student films that have done really well. I actually have gotten to meet a couple of people who worked on Glee, and have gotten advice from one of them, which their advice has also made a huge impact on my life.

And two months back, I applied for a TV writer’s workshop. I know to some people those things seem small, but to me, they’re steps in the right direction. I’m still learning and growing, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and hopefully what I’ll accomplish in the future.

But without Glee or Team Starkid, I would probably be extremely unhappy with my life. And I also most likely would still be in fear to even attempt to try to make my dreams come true. I know there are more things that I need to push and aim and try for, but  I’m not afraid to try anymore.

So yes, this is my long way of saying thank you, but thank you Glee and Team Starkid. “My life has changed because I “knew” you. My life has changed for good.”- Wicked.

 

 

Marco Polo and Asian representation

Are you watching Netflix’s Marco Polo? If not, do yourself a HUGE favor and watch it.The show follows Marco Polo and his time spent with the Mongolian Empire and it’s leader, Kublai Khan.  Honestly, Marco Polo is one of the best shows I’ve seen. Yes, there’s a lot of great Television/Netflix/Hulu/Amazon shows out there, don’t get me wrong. However, Marco Polo is to me on a whole other caliber.

From the amazing cinematography,  to the beautiful costumes, and to the rich in detail sets of the show: it is so easy to be transported to  and mesmerized by  the world of the show.  The writing, directing, and of course acting of the show is just phenomenal.Also, this show has some of the best well written female characters ever.  I am in awe of this show

The thing I love most about this is that the Asian representation is stellar. I know not every Asian culture is highlighted on the show, but however, seeing many  Asian actors and actresses on the show is refreshing. It is a start.

If you haven’t noticed, Asians have the lowest representation in Hollywood, which I hope is something that will change.  So to have a show that is predominately Asian and to be so well received is rare in Hollywood. Off of the top of my head, I can only think of three shows that has a predominately Asian cast: Fresh Off The Boat, Dramaworld, and  Marco Polo. The talent on Marco Polo and FOTB is really great. And I hope that I’ll get to see actors and actresses of those shows cast in more film and TV in the future. Remy Hii needs to be cast as superhero honestly.

And that’s why the hashtag #AAIF was very important and discussed a serious problem that Hollywood and even literature seems to have with Asian stories and casting Asian people as leading characters. If you don’t know what #AAIF is, it is in short about reimagining the Marvel Comics’ character, Iron Fist as Asian American, for the upcoming Netflix show Iron Fist. This didn’t happen, but it sparked an important in conversation, and this hashtag is actually what ultimately led me to watch the show Marco Polo.

One of the points that #AAIF discussion brought up is that many non-Asian people are obsessed with Asian culture, yet don’t seem as invested in actual Asian people. I definitely think that its true, and it needs to change. We have seen many movies or read many comics or books that revolve around Asian culture, yet the main character of that story is white.  As if to say, the only way for people to understand Asian culture is have a white person show us.

And that brings me to my only problem with the show Marco Polo. I do not care about Marco. He’s the least interesting character in the entire show, and it’s not that Lorenzo isn’t talented, it’s just Marco fades into the background when I compare him to the other characters of the show.

I love Mei Lin, Jingim, Ahmad, Hundred Eyes, Kublai, Byamba, Kokachin, Chabi,  Kaidu and Khutulun. All of those characters are so complex and compelling, and I’m emotionally invested in all of them as well.  However, I’m not emotionally invested in Marco, which I don’t know if that’s what the writers were trying to go for, but again that’s the same problem I have with OITNB. I don’t care for Piper who is the main/central character of the show, yet everyone else, especially POC characters are much more interesting.

I believe we can have stories about Asian culture and Asian people without having to have a white person be our connecting character to that world. However, Marco Polo still is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. And the Asian representation is amazing.

 

 

 

Spies Are Forever-review

Since the Tin Can Brothers released their cast album for Spies Are Forever on Monday/Tuesday, I thought I’d write my review finally. I was lucky enough to see the musical in person twice while it ran for a few weeks here in Southern California between March-April.

Spies Are Forever is a musical with music and lyrics written by TalkFine and the book by The Tin Can Bros. The musical is directed by Corey Lubowich, and the cast includes: Curt Mega, Mary Kate Wiles, Al Fallick, Joe Walker, Joey Richter, Tessa Netting, Brian Rosenthal,  and Lauren Lopez.

The musical is essentially a parody of the Spy film genre that takes place during the cold war. The main character is Agent Curt Mega played by Curt Mega who has come out of retirement after his partner had died and has decided it’s time to Spy Again 😉

Everyone in the cast gives an excellent performance; the songs are super catchy, and the whole show is such a blast. I had to wait 3 months for them to release the Cast Album(soundtrack) which felt like a long time especially, since I still had bits of the songs in my head, but was dying to remember the songs in their entirety.

Mary Kate Wiles plays the femme fatale, “Tatiana”, who is well rounded and full of emotion which is very rare often times with femme fatales in spy movies. Her character’s song “Prisoner Of My Past” sounds like a Russian Lullaby, but with a sad tale. I could also see this song being used a theme song for  Natasha Romanoff aka Marvel’s Black Widow…well at least bits of it. MKW is also one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. She has an interesting web series coming out soon. She talks about it here !

Curt Mega proves that he can definitely be a leading man. He’s charismatic, has great comedic timing, a fantastic singer, and has an acting range that is pretty impressive that will definitely continue to grow. “Spy Again” is a song that really shows off Curt’s vocal ability and one of my favorites from the musical. Curt is one of the kindest, most humble, and hard working person, I’ve ever met. He has many things coming up and also you can check him out on Youtube .

Al Fallick  ,to me,  was a personal stand out. He’s incredibly funny and reminded me a bit of TJ Miller. Al plays “The Informant” and “Susan” which are both very funny roles that I won’t spoil for those who don’t want to be spoiled! I definitely can’t wait for what Al will do next.

The entire cast is honestly wonderful and I’d be here forever, if I talked about each of them. There’s a lot of great songs in the musical which you can check them all out on Itunes!

“We Love the Prince”, “Not so bad”, and “Spies Are Forever” are all stand out songs to me. TalkFine definitely proved that they should be writing more songs for musicals. I’ll definitely be listening to this album on repeat for a while.

The first two parts of Spies Are Forever is up on  Youtube if you’re interested in embarking on this journey. Spy with me.

 

Spies Are Forever is a refreshingly entertaining  original musical that I hope will have a huge impact on the world…or at least the world of musical theatre.  I’d love to see this musical tour, so other people can enjoy it in person like I got to.

 

The Quirky/Geek Girl

Being a woman/girl of color and also being into geek/fandom culture is definitely not easy. We don’t see ourselves represented in media unless you’re asian and also have porcelain skin. What I mean by this is: WOC playing characters who are geeky and or quirky. We have some representation in TV/film that have superheroes, sci-fi, or fantasy, but not as much as there should be. That conversation, I’ll save for another day.

Shows like the Big Bang Theory  and New Girl have characters that you would definitely say are considered “geeky”, “nerdy”, and or “quirky”, but none of them are WOC, especially brown skin or black skin WOC. It’s as if people….Hollywood don’t think we exist. The only two black girls that come to the top of my head that have played the quirky girl is Zoe Kravitz and her mother, Lisa Bonet.

I used to hear a lot, and sometimes I still do, that “oh it’s cause you’re half white” as an explanation to why I enjoy superheroes, sci-fi, fantasy, and most of the music I listen to. That isn’t the case. I’m friends with plenty of black girls (who aren’t mixed) that love all of those things as well. And their personalities fit the quirky girl that we usually see being portrayed in film , TV, and written about in books. Yet again most of those characters are played by white women/white passing women.

Zooey Deschanel is Hollywood’s poster girl for the geeky-quirky girl. There is nothing wrong  with her. But it is tiring to constantly see white women as these characters, or the default image in someone’s head as what the geeky-quirky girl looks like. And it’s frustrating cause WOC especially black girls who fit the characteristics of a geeky-quirky girl are seen as a weird anomaly.

Some people and Hollywood deeply believe that WOC especially black women/girls aren’t consuming media that have superheroes, sci-fi, and fantasy. They also don’t believe we listen to music genres such as: alternative , pop punk, punk, indie, singer-songwriter, classic rock, hardcore, etc. It’s automatically assumed  we only like is  hip hop, rap, and R&B. Or gospel music. Some of us do. Some of us don’t. Some of us have an eclectic taste in music.

Even people within the geek culture/fandom world don’t treat us like human beings. We aren’t taken seriously. Some of them don’t have a problem being flat out racist towards us in an attempt to push  us away.

Why is it so hard to believe that black girls can be  quirky and or geeky?

We exist. We are here. We deserve respect and to be taken seriously.  We aren’t anomalies.