angry reader of the week: emily chang

What is up, people? Time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Emily C. Chang.

Who are you?
I am Emily Chihua Chang, aka daughter of Taiwanese/Chinese immigrants Patrick Taichong and Angela Hueimin Chang, aka little sister to Stephen & Ju Ju, aka spoiling auntie to little buddha Ethan Chang, aka crazy cat lady to Pilsen & Twiggy Changs.

What are you?
I'm an actor/performer and writer foremost, but I also wear the following hats: director, producer, filmmaker, singer/musician, host, voracious eater, interior design obsessor, editor, journalist, grammar nazi, multitasker extraordinaire, and peeler of apples in 1 swirly peel.

Where are you?
Right now, I'm in sunny Los Angeles in my lovely 1920s art deco apartment. In spirit, I'm in New York City, freezing my ass off waiting for the M14 in the Lower East Side but loving it. Oh, and while we're at it, let's picture a coconut creme donut from Donut Plant in my hand.

Where are you from?
New York City by way of Chi-town (South Side!) by way of Dirty Jerzey by way of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

What do you do?
I'm acting in Los Angeles in both TV and film. Maybe you've seen me in an indie called Colin Hearts Kay, or back when I was a host of a wacky show called The Lounge on ImaginAsian TV (what I called the BET for Asians), where I introduced those Korean dramas to American audiences (you know, the one where the guy falls in love with the girl, but she's in love with the other guy, and then the other guy dies, so he finally gets her, but then he goes blind, and then it turns out they're brother and sister? Yeah, that's the one). You might also have seen me on some random commercials, TV shows like 90210 or Ringer, or some Comedy Central stuff. I won an Emmy for hosting a docuseries on business in China called On The Frontlines, which I hosted with the amazing James Fallows (of The Atlantic). I also was a vampire hooker for True Blood's ad campaign, but I was wearing fangs and airbrushed white (the modern day whiteface).

If you go to film fests or have Comcast Cable, may have also seen my short film, The Humberville Poetry Slam. It was a comedic mockumentary that I co-wrote/directed about a small town spoken word poet (starring the uber-talented Giles Li as Liberty Fu). That was based a lot on my experience touring nationally with a group I co-founded in college called I Was Born with 2 Tongues. We were this radical/angry/funny/outspoken group of 4 poets (Korean/Chinese/Taiwanese/Filipino/Cambodian) and an upright bassist who were lucky to be super active during the Asian American artist renaissance that happened, pre-Def Poetry Jam in the late 90s. We talked race, politics, anger, Asian fetishes, white liberals, conservative Republicans, revolution, han, hip-hop, family, immigration, diaspora. Or, as my mom was telling people, "my daughter is a rapper."

Currently, I'm wrapping up my next short film, a dark comedy called Mouthbreather, about a reclusive cat lady who receives an obscene phone call. You know, some real classy art film type stuff. I also spend a lot of time obsessing over how to design a living space with beautiful Eames and Herman Miller stuff on a Craigslist budget. Donations welcome.

What are you all about?
I'm all about finding stories that illuminate the human condition. Isn't that what noble actors are supposed to say?

No, but really, I'm all about creating art that moves people, whether through film or theater or music. I want to make stories that resonate in some way, make people see something about themselves or others that they didn't before, feel empathy for each other. I wanna make people laugh, make them cry, make them angry about something. I wanna get people to DO something, to not just sit back and watch the world happen.

I'm kind of also all about the movie sandwich. Meaning, spending an afternoon sandwiching 3 very disparate movies together (a recent favorite example was Alien / Joy Luck Club / Aliens ). Because only I choose worst quality crab, folks.

What makes you angry?
Oh man. Apathy. Apathy about U.S. or world politics or even what's going on in your community pisses me off. "I'm not racist, but..." makes me mad too. Pretty much, if you said that? You're racist.

On that same note, I get so angry when people simplify race and racism into a black and white situation, both literally and figuratively. There's more to this discussion than just that. Just writing this and thinking of examples is getting me angry, yeesh.

On the other hand, not having a sense of humor makes me angry. Isn't that hypocritical of me? There's a fine line being a critical thinker and being oversensitive. I have to have a sense of humor to deal with the crap that life hands me sometimes, and I think that could be really beneficial to a lot of people too.

Also, people who confuse "their" and "they're" or "its" and "it's." LOL and LMFAO both make me feel ill and sad for humanity.

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