Asian Americans being sexy. It's a rare thing to see in the media. We're usually kept on reserve to play the sexless friend or dying immigrant (see #NotYourAsianSidekick). And if we are allowed to be sexy, it's typically as some unattainable mythical creature, who's always down to fuck and has nothing else going for them. Or you're a Chinese Olympic diver named Ning Zetao then everyone just wants to touch your abs. We become objectified and glorified sex objects.
In Artists at Play's production of The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching, we blow that shit up and bring it back to reality -- that Asian Americans can be fucking sexy ... in a real way.
Diana and Max, The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up, meet at 9 years old, the day Diana's dad and Max's mom start fucking (older Asians get some action too!). The play jumps back and forth in time over 20 years, as Diana and Max fall in and out of love with each other, trying not to make the same mistakes as their parents.
The Two Kids puts two Asian Americans at the center of a love story, and what makes them sexy isn't their hot bods or some kind steamy sex scene -- it's everything else in between. It's the underlying sexual tension between two people denying their desire for each other, the cute way they make each other laugh, and the way they choose to love each other. Diana and Max are sexy, because they're human.
Unfortunately, we don't have the privilege of seeing representations of ourselves in the media where this understated type of sexy is normal. We aren't mainstream. We're so far from mainstream that we can't even play ourselves in a fucking movie, as Hollywood has proven with its constant whitewashing of Asian roles. Plays like The Two Kids, where Asian Americans are the focus, tend to fall on the fringe and get labeled "That Asian Play."
What's so spectacular about The Two Kids is that it's much more than that, it's not fringe, and it's deserving of the mainstream. Playwright Carla Ching perfectly crafts a story that let's Asian Americans take the lead. The characters she creates allows for a truthful representation of our community, which is hard to find. (Hollywood thinks it can get away with Emma Stone playing Hapa!) The audience can see themselves on stage through Diana and Max, two people who aren't just sexy for their sex, but also for all the things that make them strange and unique. And it doesn't matter what races or backgrounds fill the theatre, because these characters are relatable to us all on a human level. But for those of us who happen to be Asian American, it means something that these characters are too.
Artists at Play is lucky and proud to present this brand new play featuring Asian Americans that are true-to-life characters who are flawed yet endearing, who fuck and fight, and are just normal layered human beings. After all, that's who we are, and it's about time to see more of that. Can't wait for you to meet The Two Kids...
The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching, directed by Jeremy Lelliott. Featuring Julia Cho and Nelson Lee. August 18-September 11, Thursday-Saturday, at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Tickets $20-32. Friday, August 26 at 8:00pm is AAPI Community Night ($25 tickets with code "AAPcommunity"). More Info: http://bit.ly/AAP2Kids
Julia Cho and Nicholas Pilapil produce theatre with Artists at Play. Julia is also an actor, and Nicholas a writer of plays and songs. You can follow @thatjuliacho, @nicholaspilapil, and @AAPlay on Twitter.