Saturday, June 23, 2007

Asian Excellence, in Award-Show-form

Is is just me, or is the concept of the Asian Excellence Awards... well, sorta horseshitty...?

There was a time when I was fairly involved in the Asian-American New York theater scene. There were good aspects of the experience for me. There was also a lot of hypocritical soapbox bullshit.

I just find the idea of the Asian Excellence Awards sort of sad. A popularity contest in a ghetto. It's cool to see more diversity in entertainment, but... another fucking award show? It's almost as pathetic as a Food Network Award Show.

Award Shows are excuses to get people dolled up and in front of cameras. Calling it "Asian Excellence" gives it a sheen of something empowering, but it is so fucking shallow. And ultimately, I think it helps to marginalize Asian-Americans.

I don't want to be known as great Asian-American writer. I don't want that fucking qualifier. I'm not going to follow in the footsteps of Frank Chin or David Henry Hwang. Not that I have anything against their work, but "race" isn't something that's going to be in the forefront of my work. Even the play I'm going to have a reading of on August 1st—CHINADOLL OVERDRIVE—isn't a play about race.

Everyone's got their thing. ASIAN EXCELLENCE AWARDS is clearly about egos being stroked. The very idea of it just makes me wince.

Read Tak Toyoshima's Secret Asian Man. Go ahead and pass it along to a friend.