After a performance, I met the man who would later be my acting coach who helped me get into my acting conservatory. It was apparent to me that there were many others who were in support of me becoming an actor and making a name for myself. I am forever grateful to those teachers and mentors who instead of saying, ‘Why you?’ said, ‘Why not you?’
It’s a bummer interracial love is still such a big deal. To me, it’s quite normal. I grew up seeing couples that were interracial. Who cares if it’s a black guy and white girl, or an Asian guy and white girl, etc.? Odds are, every combo exists out there somewhere so why not put it on the screen? Shouldn’t art imitate life?
I grew up accepting that my nationality was not depicted on TV or film. To be honest, it was something I didn’t acknowledge as a kid. But once I realized my love for acting and the possibility of pursuing a career in it, I quickly noticed the absence of Asians in general and thought, ‘Well, I’m gonna try to change that.’
Where are the Asian leading men? Well, we’re being kicked to the ground; we’re not being supported. We’re not considered sexy or masculine, this or that. When you start hearing something enough, you start to believe it. But our world is changing, and I think we’re starting to see that that’s not the end-all-be-all.
I think this is the most exciting time to be alive right now. We have a black president. There are transgender movies and media out there now. Gay characters are playing non-stereotypical versions of themselves. I feel like as a society, or in television at least, we’re rising up. Even in society, we’re rising up.
I was raised in a dominantly Filipino family. I didn’t know I was ‘mixed’ until I got older and started asking questions about my grandparents, the origins of our middle and last names. We were kind of textbook Pinoys. A lot of the Filipino stereotypes that were joked about by me and my friends rang very true with my family.