Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Day of Meeting Heroes

Yesterday started at 5 am and ended at 2 am – phew!

6 am call for Grey’s Anatomy – another episode as a trusty nurse. My scene was in the OR, so the hair stylist braided and pinned my hair so the shower cap wouldn’t look like a muffin top.

I knew I’d be sharing a scene with the amazing Sandra Oh, but then discovered upon arrival that I was also working with Keong Sim (who just played Mike Chang’s dad on Glee) and Oscar-winning director Jessica Yu. Asian day on Grey’s!

The highlight was telling Sandra what an impact her performance in indie feature Double Happiness had on me. It’s a story about a dutiful Chinese-Canadian daughter who wants to please her parents without sacrificing her two loves – acting and a young Callum Keith Rennie.

I told her I’d seen Double Happiness when I had just decided to become an actress and was facing parental disappointment myself. Seeing the film had given me courage to continue following my dream. She was so excited to hear this and gave me the biggest hug. How often do you get to thank the people who help shape your life experiences? Incredible.

After wrapping, I squeezed in an hour of writing before heading into Century City for more meetings with entertainment lawyers. I felt a bit silly walking in with my tightly braided hair, but I was afraid of how it might look unraveled and there was no time to chance it. More fancy, fancy offices. One even had complimentary lotion in the bathroom with a message – “Have a smooth & relaxing day.” Why thank you, I will!

Finished the last meeting, then flew back across town for a VIP reception before a tribute to Ang Lee at the DGA. A friend saw me and immediately said, “Look at you with your corn rows!” Embarrassing.

People were excited to congratulate me on my news, but I was just as excited to hear their news too. One friend had just wrapped post-production on her first feature film as a writer/director while another told me a few behind-the-scene tidbits about her recurring role on one of my favorite FOX shows. So great! While I don’t define myself solely as an Asian-American artist, there are times that I really love being part of this community.

Ang Lee is hands-down one of my favorite filmmakers. I love how his films span different cultures and worlds, yet remain connected by common themes of breaking out and finding one’s true destiny. I met Ang briefly (eep!) and mentioned I was an actor and a writer and he nodded in approval, saying he told his son who wants to be an actor that he needs to become a writer too so he can write his own parts. We posed for a quick picture – hope to get it soon!

The main event was hopelessly cool – industry pros like Taylor Hackford, James Schamus, & Emma Thompson heaping praise on Ang, followed by a panel discussion in which up and coming director stars like Shawn Ku and Kevin Tancharoen showed their favorite clips from Ang Lee movies and discussed why his work is so impactful. Ang was humble and adorable – so inspiring to hear a true creative who is also Asian. See, we’re not just math and violin…

Ducked out early for my final stop of the night – the launch party for my Web comedy Mixed Blooms. Thanks to all the awesome friends who came out to support! Snacked on tiny mac & cheese bakes while watching the first two episodes. Seeing my face on all the marketing materials was weird, but everyone seemed to find my worried face hilarious. Check out the first episode here!


  1. Cornrows? No.

    I think you minded about your hair more than anyone else. :)

    So glad we could all congratulate you in person!

  2. Ang Lee's son Mason Lee appeared last year in play "Year Zero" at NYC's Second Stage Uptown. It was a 4 character play about Cambodian-Americans in CA. He played a 16yo and did well among the more experienced cast. Loved Sandra Oh in "Sideways" and she also appeared, a couple of years ago, in a play at NYC's Public Theater. Enjoy reading your "inside" Hollywood posts.

  3. a day to remember, huh? thanks for the shoutout too!