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.

 

 

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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.