The Right Way to Deal

Welcome to our Mockumentary/Public Service Announcement about racism. We try to combine special techniques/effects, and acting + cinematic shots to make our video believable and informative. Our target audience is the general public.

We are showing how ignorance and stereotyping lead to mental stress and produce negative psychological effects i.e. the emotional pain suffered by the victim.
We want to explore why people commit these verbal crimes and how they can be settled. We are giving insight into the reality of racism and discrimination.

All of us have witnessed and suffered these stereotypes and we want to show how just how hurtful they can be. Personally, each of us encountered a situation concerning stereotypes. Kenny – walking down the street and being called offensive racial slurs i.e. General Tso. Sion – walking down the street and being called a dirty Jew. Quan – walking down the street and being asked to do math homework. Ngawang walking down the street and being called Chinese when in reality he is Tibetan.

We are writing an original script in which we devise different scenarios of how verbal racism is used and how do victims react to it.

Our questions are:
1) How is our acting? Believable?
2) Do you think we had enough integration of “different languages”?
3) Is there anything really distracting to our main point?

Contemporary part 2-ish

I appreciate a good comedy. I also appreciate a great message. From Charles Isherwood’s review of “Hand to God,” I think i would appreciate watching this exciting new and odd play.

Isherwood describes the play as a frisky new comedy that takes deceptively innocuous form. This statement alone made me extremely interested in the comedy. “Hand to God” is basically a play about sins and urges of regular people, but the twist is Satan appears in the play – in the form of a sock puppet.

Yet, what really stood out to me about the play was the puppets. In a previous Fresh Paint post, I felt that contemporary theater and new ideas/technologies could be overused and water down performances, but I was wrong. I watched the play/musical “The Love Letter That You’ve Been Meaning to Write New York,” that I was skeptical about, and I loved it. Now, I am ecstatic about the use of puppets in plays, or anything else that would enhance the experience of the play. Technology is the future of modern theater – ranging from puppets to projected subtitles (like in Chinglish), and I fully support it now. Comedy and new techniques are what people should look forward to, which is why Isherwood’s review of “Hand of God” is so appealing.

On another note, as I continue reading these reviews and articles, I find it unnecessary to critique the critics after doing it so many times. I think that the immersion into the arts culture evolved me by creating preferences to certain writers. Whether you’re a Ben Brantley or a Charles Isherwood, I think these Fresh Paint posts changed a lot of us.

Be smarter

According to the average person, I am Chinese or maybe even Japanese. I eat noodles, I eat rice, and eat sushi. I am the same as every other slant-eyed individual. I am Asian. Yet, I think its not that bad. Racism is obviously a problem, but honestly, stereotyping is not as harmful as much as before.

As a Vietnamese person, my ethnicity is not the most well known. Every new person I meet in school, on the streets, or even at a conference, asks me if I am Chinese. I do not blame them. As our society grows, I actually feel less individualistic and more in common with any other person around me. Sure, culture is important, but am I really different from the other Asian people? I demonstrate the same values, eat the same foods, and enjoy the similar activities as many other Asian cultures.

I think that stereotypes are less potent in our society when we a lot more sources of entertainment that are not afraid to touch on these topics. Satire and comedy embrace the stereotypes of Asians, Blacks and Whites, but they let us laugh.The problem is when the ignorant take these ideas and take them literally. This is when racism occurs. We can no longer laugh at the comments and rather be offended and this is why the stereotyped are so defensive. In all seriousness, I just wish that people were a little less serious and could take a few jokes and let them stay as jokes. All cultures are unique in their own way, but as a group of people in a society, I think its possible to share our cultures without conflict. Being a bit smarter in our words and in our actions can save everyone a bit of emotional pain.

Cultural misinterpretation is just interpretation that missed.

A Fall of Just Words

Alastair Macaulay’s dance review about The Fall For Dance Festival highlights the best and worst performances of the festival. The festival itself was a mixture of great free-flowing and expressive dancers accompanied by evocative musicians. Macaulay focuses on three performances and describes the strongest parts.

I really enjoyed his descriptions of the dancer Lil Buck. In short, he is fluid. Macaulay describes Lil Buck’s dance as “dazzling ripples along his arms and through his shoulders” and these words strike me. When I read these words over again Macaulay successfully paints the image/performance in my head – and that is what makes this a convincing review. Also Macaulay incorporates YouTube links in his reviews to make it much more interactive.

Yet, even though the review itself is great at displaying these images. I cannot comprehend how Macaulay derives these conclusions from what he saw. I feel that dance reviews are not exactly the most useful type of art review for everyone. Dance is interesting – but a dance review is just a heap of metaphors and adjectives. I guess that after reading so many theater reviews, I feel that these dance reviews are lackluster. I hope that I can see what Macaulay is seeing when we watch it on Wednesday.

Packed with powerful words and images, but nothing enticing.



Like a cool cat…

Here’s my attempt at a playful podcast! Listen to me face humiliation – and learn from it

Bold Differences

The play of the Barber of Seville and the opera are essentially the same. However, the differences between the two lie in the direction. The opera, due to its musical nature, is much more bold in characters and more animated. The video of Figaro’s entrance made me feel like Figaro was a much bolder character than in the play. In the play Figaro felt more like a whimsical jester, while the opera makes him feel like a more pronounced, witty man. In addition, some of the most obvious changes are the introduction of some characters in different scenes. Berta was not in some of the scenes in the play. Also, Fiorello was not seen in the play version.

Along with the introduction of Fiorello in the beginning, the whole scene in the beginning was different form the play. The Count had his own band playing music in the square, and it made him seem much more courageous in his actions (in the beginning). In the play, he seemed less direct in the opening scene. Also, the Count’s behavior is different in other parts. During the ending scene, the Count pulled a pistol on Bazile to convince him to sign. This was actually alarming to me because in the play he was more refined by giving Bazile a purse of money.

The last difference I noticed was the ending. The opera ending felt more like it was summarizing the love between Rosine and the Countm, while the play had a more witty and funny end by ending it with Figaro saying that what happened was a “Futile Precaution”

New Fusion

Whether it is from London to Tokyo, or Los Angeles to New York, art absorbs the stylistic and cultural influences from where they originate.  However, these styles are not immune to change, and that is the underground rapper ASAP Rocky’s quest. In Jon Caramanica’s article he talks about and highlights the upcoming debut mixtape of ASAP Rocky, as well as ASAP Rocky’s rap style.

While this article is not a review, Caramanica basically analyzes and compliments ASAP Rocky’s unique mission to break free from rooted styles of NYC rap and to integrate rap styles from all over the country. He emphasizes that, for generations, NYC rap has donated its style to several rappers through the US, but now is the time to take these evolved styles from around the country and improve on NYC’s rap scene. Caramanica thinks that ASAP Rocky’s mission will change the future of the NY rap scene.

Although I am not a fan of ASAP Rocky’s music, his ideas of integrating new styles of rap to create a new New York style are very interesting. If art experiences the merging of more cultural styles, or even new techniques, then art will evolve and grow into something fresh. Would it not be interesting to see a fusion of Kabuki theater and something western? Currently, I think we can see a similar growth in art with the fusion of traditional art and modern technology. From musicals to art installations, technology creates new artistic experiences – something fresh like ASAP Rocky’s own music.

However, I do have one problem with ASAP Rocky’s idea. Many people respect and enjoy the New York style, and there are many people that do not welcome change. Also, according to the article, ASAP Rocky’s mixtape has many song styles, except one from New York. Is it right to suggest that this is “progress”?