Angry Reader of the Week: Tim Chiou

"I try to do more loving than hating, but there are plenty of things that make me angry."

What's up, internet. You know what time it is. It is time, once again, to meet 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 Tim Chiou.

Who are you?

Tim Chiou.

What are you?

Actor. Gamer. Ninja. Lover.

Where are you?

Los Angeles is my home. Though these days, I'm practically living in Costa Mesa because of the show.

Where are you from?

I'm a SoCal kid. I grew up in Cerritos, went to UCLA. I was really fortunate to have grown in up areas with diverse communities around people who went on to do some great things. But I was born in Iowa, where my parents went to University.

What do you do?

As an actor in LA for over 10 years, it's hard to come up with an original sounding answer to this. On my best days, I create characters and help tell stories that audiences engage with, potentially broadening their perspective on the way they see straight Asian-American men, or even themselves. On my worst, I'm a cliché. It's an interesting time to be an Asian American actor right now, because Hollywood is starting to embrace the idea of APIs as stars. And it definitely seems like there's been success. But I also think we are just at the tip of the iceberg of what we could be seeing on screen, and on stage.

What are you all about?

Shaking things up, breaking conventions. Of how we are perceived. And how we perceive our ourselves.

I love the show that I'm working on now: Poor Yella Rednecks by Qui Nguyen, the sequel to his smash hit Vietgone, based on his parent's real life romances and adventures as Vietnamese refugees in Arkansas.

It takes an immigrant story, something that so many of us are familiar with, but flips it on it's head. Instead of distancing our parents' story with time and language, we jump right into their heads and hearts through modern vernacular, comic book bravado, and bunch of raps. They are just as witty, crass, brave, and foolishly passionate as you or I, and did it all when times were way harder. When you watch this play, you end up seeing your parents becoming superheroes, and seeing yourself in them. It's exhilarating. Those of you who saw the original Vietgone understand why it became such a phenomenon. This is a direct sequel, and just like a Hollywood blockbuster sequel, there's more of everything: more fights, more music, but it's also darker. And there's puppets. Basically, if Vietgone was Star Wars, this is our Empire Strikes Back. (Oh yeah, this is also supposed to be a trilogy, maybe more.)

What makes you angry?

I try to do more loving than hating, but there are plenty of things that make me angry.

People who think it can't be done, and then jump on the bandwagon once someone else does it. Told ya, bitch.
People who say, Asians don't talk like that. Get tha fuck outta here.
People who drive slow in the left-most lane. Move over.
People who complain about the lack of visibility of Asians in media, but don't support them. Come see our show.

by Qui Nguyen
directed by May Adrales

at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, CA
March 30 - April 27

Mad discounts available, and we on the big stage now, so let's fill up these houses and show these people we can represent!

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