Over six months into this pandemic and I’m still having trouble sleeping. Maybe it’s COVID-related (ask me anything about being a “long-haul” COVID patient) or maybe it’s just stress and anxiety about the general state of our country and the world. WHO KNOWS?! My new tactic is to really revel in all the little things that bring me joy each day. Things like…now that it’s fall, I can break out my snazzy red cowboy boots again! And…I was cast in THREE new projects that you can watch right now: the short play “Analyze Zoom” at Mile Square Theater but actually online, another short play “Sisterhood, Totally” as part of Theater Mu’s virtual TwentyPho Hour PlayFest, and the new scripted podcast “The Weirdness” from Gen-Z Media! More info on how to watch these projects is below. I so enjoyed giving my comedy muscles some exercise, and I hope these pieces bring some laughter and light to your day <3
Finally, a request: as the photo above indicates (in case it wasn’t abundantly clear from these newsletters!), I am an Arts Worker. It is not my hobby; being an actor is my job. Since the beginning of the pandemic, most arts institutions and workers have been totally out of work, which means no income, no access to health insurance (since it’s tied to our work), and no relief in sight. The Arts and Culture sector adds $877 billion in value to the U.S. economy, more than transportation, agriculture, and tourism. It’s 4.5% of our GDP, employing 5.1 million people. And we need help. (If you’d like more stats, check out the volunteer-run Be An Arts Hero campaign.) Please consider calling or writing your Senators to encourage them to support the DAWN (Defend Arts Workers Now) Act, which will allocate proportional relief of $43.85 billion to the Arts. I want desperately to get back to work, but given the nature of this global pandemic, it won’t be safe to gather en masse in a theatre again for a LONG while. Some theatres and institutions need support to be able to weather this storm, and most individual artists do too. There cannot be a full American economic recovery without the Arts.
Featuring me and Sheilagh Weymouth, with an epic cameo by Rita Wolf
Produced by Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, NJ
Priyanka is living at home with her parents during quarantine. Her therapist has told her she needs to establish a daily routine to get out of her funk. But Priyanka’s routine has recently been upended and she’s forced to reveal an embarrassing secret…
Click HERE to purchase a ticket* and enjoy this peek into therapy in the times of COVID (and my regression to my 16-year-old self!). Tickets are on sale until this Sunday 9/27, but you’ll receive a link to stream the performance whenever you want starting this Friday.
*Ticket sales support Mile Square Theatre AND our playwright, my dear friend Nandita. How? Most theatres pay playwrights a percentage of box office sales – and this is her first play to have a box office since the pandemic started!
TwentyPho Hour PlayFest
What happens when you gather 6 playwrights, 6 directors, and 18 actors in a digital space and give them 24 hours to write, rehearse, and present 6 NEW 10-minute plays to be performed on Zoom?
Theater Mu found out this past weekend, during their first TwentyPho Hour PlayFest! I had so much fun as one of the actors on this crazy ride – we had just 6 hours to rehearse the piece! – and it was a total joy to be part of such a stellar group of Asian American artists (click HERE to see the full list).
I channeled my…killer instincts…in “Sisterhood, Totally”
Written by Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay
Directed by Rick Shiomi
Featuring Sushma Saha, Phil Wong, and me
Though we performed live this past Saturday, the performances are available to watch HERE* until this Friday, 9/25. All the pieces are beautiful, but mine starts at 31:00.
*Though it’s free to watch, please consider making a donation if you can to Theater Mu, one of the few theatres devoted to Asian American artists and stories.