Hey, everybody! It's time for another edition of the 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 Tess Paras.
Who are you?
Tess Paras. It's short for "Maritess" which is also short for "Maria Teresa." The evolution of my name from something very Catholic and Filipino, to something most everyone can pronounce (read: Western) is something I think about every day... Aaaaand here is where most people stop reading. Please... just... love me.
What are you?
I am a female human. I am a Filipino-American. I am fun at parties.
I'm an actress/writer/singer/dancer. People who read this blog might recognize me from the Aswang episode of NBC's Grimm or from my YouTube sketches -- "Typecast" or "What if Catcalls Were Cheeseburgers?" or from this awesome short about Manny Pacquiao.
My friends would say I am neurotic and go to the gym a lot.
Where are you?
At my kitchen table in my tiny apartment in Los Angeles. Wearing a bathrobe. Over a three-piece suit.
Where are you from?
I was born in Houston, Texas. I grew up in Oak Park, California and then moved to New York City. I moved to Los Angeles five years ago.
What do you do?
Generally, my time is spent making things. Right now, I'm finishing up a pilot presentation I co-created/wrote/produced. I'm also brainstorming my next YouTube sketches. I do go to the gym a lot (see above). I'm certified to teach this drumming workout that is sooooo LA.
Tomorrow, I go back to work as the character "Jayma Chan" on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I'm stoked to officially be recurring on the show! Crazy Ex was co-created by the brilliant Aline Brosh Mckenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and superstar comedienne Rachel Bloom (one of my best friends IRL!). Massive props to both of them for creating a sharp, hilarious, feminist, musical t.v. show that includes a Filipino family! They've created such a funny show that depicts both ethnic diversity and women in an honest, yet playful, way. Everyone involved is stellar and I feel so lucky and thankful to be a part of it!
What are you all about?
My friends and family. Coffee. The Hamilton Soundtrack. Instagram and Twitter (@TessParas).
When it comes to what drives me, I guess you could say, I'm all about asking "Why?"
When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist but I was also equally passionate about performing. Along the way, I figured out that I am truly happy when my life's work combines the two. As an actor, I'm always asking why a character would behave a certain way, talk a certain way, take a certain action, have a certain belief. With comedy writing, we can examine a scenario, ask why it is the way it is, and then use humor to challenge it. In general, I get excited when people shake things up and challenge the status quo.
My creative heroes are Shonda Rhimes, Louis C.K., Jon Stewart, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mindy Kaling, Jose Antonio Vargas... I know that wasn't the question, but I'm just sayin'...
What makes you angry?
Lack of empathy. Lack of recognition. Lack of communication. Lack of accountability. Lack of fresh produce. Racist microaggressions. Mansplaining (the action). Mansplaining (the word). When you have an idea and no one listens, and then a guy says it louder, and EVERYBODY IS ALL INTO IT. Also, I hate cigarette smoke.