Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm a Dad!

Image courtesy of FOX
No, I didn't have a baby nor do I have one on the way, but I do have a baby-sized victory that I'd like to share with you.  All of my commercial auditions so far have consisted of a role with the modifier "Asian" in front.  Asian businessman, Asian scientist, Asian man, etc.  But the most recent audition I went on was for the role of "Dad".  Not Asian dad or ethnic dad, just dad.  I consider this a victory for many reasons, but mainly because we are all just PEOPLE and someone in Hollywood is beginning to realize that.

My getting called in to audition for the role of plain ol' dad may have happened for a couple of reasons:

1. My agent is awesome and submits me for projects as long as I fit the description.  She once sent me to a Goodyear tire audition that turned out to be a NASCAR commercial.  It was rather hilarious as the casting people didn't know what to do with me and ended up sending me home.  "There's no Asian people in this spec," said the casting assistant, "but from one Asian actor to another, I think there should be."  The audition called for a tall, athletic man with a great personality and a great smile.  That's it.  I can't fault her for sending me.  =)

2. The casting director that brought me in for the "dad" audition is one that I have been building a relationship with for the past 2 years.  I'm building a relationship with his staff as well and I'm always professional and at my best.  I don't know for certain if any of the above actually helps, but it definitely doesn't hurt.

When I arrived at the casting office, I was the only ethnic person in the room.  We were being paired up into families; a husband, wife and one or two kids.  The casting assistant paired me up with a nice lady and an adorable little girl, but offered to pair me up with a more ethnic family because she thought it would "help" me.  Help me?  Was it so unbelievable that an Asian man and a Caucasian woman would be married?  Yes, the little girl was Caucasian too, but she could have been from a previous marriage.  Is that too far fetched?  Am I over thinking this?

I think being paired into an "ethnic" family would actually hurt me because the unprinted fine print reads: "Limit one (1) Asian person per movie, scene or TV show, unless it's the 'Chinatown' episode, then the use of many stereotypical immigrant Asian people is permitted."

Once the nice lady and adorable little girl were told that I would make their family complete, the lady leaned over to the little girl and said, "It's ok, we adopted him." to which I quickly and confidently replied, "No, I think you meant to say that you married me."  I wasn't going to let her pervert this innocent, impressionable little girl who probably doesn't really notice or care about the differences in people and who definitely did not have the word "racism" in her vocabulary.  Not on my watch, lady.  She had no response for me and just laughed nonchalantly.

I ended up auditioning with the same lady and little girl as the casting assistant who was conducting the auditions actually preferred the combination.  The audition itself went off without a hitch.  We were pretending to make an announcement at a press conference as a family.  We had a podium and a microphone that was way too tall for the little girl.  When it was her turn to speak, instead of lowering the mic to her level, I lifted her up to the mic and held here there while she delivered her line.  I thought it was a cute touch, if I do say so myself.  It also got me more camera time.  Zing!

There were quite a few mini-victories that day, and I'm going to chalk them all up as progress in reaching my goal of being seen as a leading man.  I can't wait for the day that I get called in to an audition for the role of "Man".

One day at a time, one person at a time.  Keep fighting the good fight, my friends!

Subscribe to this blog on Kindle!