Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tasty Asians at Tasty Words

The Moth isn’t the only storytelling game in town. Actress, writer, and comedian Wendy Hammers created Tasty Words in 2002 to provide a space for friends and artists to tell their stories.

I attended my first Tasty Words last year and introduced myself to Wendy afterward. She invited me to submit a piece for an upcoming Asian-themed show she was dreaming up. Hooray for being Asian, I thought! I sent her a story the next week.

Last week, Wendy’s dream was realized – the first all-Asian Tasty Words! Featuring an all-star lineup -- Eric Mark, Annie Kim, Anzu Lawson, Fu-Ding Cheng, D'Lo, Jude Narita, Amy Anderson, and Suzanne Whang.

And yours truly!

The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood was our performance home - a terrific space with a huge lobby filled with trendy art --

I arrived early to test drive my piece and get a feel for the stage. Here was the view!

I wrote a piece called "Over It" about how I'm over identifying solely as an Asian-American because I'm really so much more than that. I was worried it was too controversial, but it went over beautifully with the audience.

Oh, the audience! So supportive and so receptive. Performing for the Tasty Words audience was such a rare opportunity because Asian-American artists are often only performing for audiences seeking Asian-American material. But this was a mainstream audience seeking good storytelling. And I think we delivered.

Everyone's stories were diverse in subject and point of view. From Anzu talking about rubbing Steven Seagal's feet to Fu-Ding talking about dealing with hostile tenants in the Nixon era to Amy talking about spanking her child for the first time.

Suzanne brought the show to a close with a hilarious and heartbreaking story about her grandfather. I laughed and cried in the same breath. It was fantastic.

I was so grateful to be included with such spectacularly talented artists. We greeted the primarily not-Asian audience in the lobby afterward and posed for pictures.

I finally got to tell Amy about seeing her do stand-up when I first moved to LA and how she made me laugh so hard I could barely breathe. She told me that my name had been on her radar too - what what what? It was a mutual admiration society all around.

Thanks again to Wendy for including me in the lineup! Here's to gracing the Tasty Words stage again very soon!

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