Angry Reader of the Week: Jeff Chan

"I flunked my Chinese classes growing up and am a disgrace to my family."

All right, internet friends. You know what time it is. It's time 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 Jeff Chan.

Who are you?

I am Jeff Chan. My Chinese name is Chen Zhi Hao, which I still can't say correctly, because I flunked my Chinese classes growing up and am a disgrace to my family.

What are you?

I am a filmmaker living in Los Angeles. I co-wrote and co-directed the indie romcom Plus One starring Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid, which is out now! I'm also the inventor of Milk Soda, which is a concoction I made as a 7-year-old by combining milk and seltzer water. It's still the most brilliant thing I've ever created. Nothing could ever top it.

Where are you?

Sitting on my couch watching the Women's World Cup -- USA vs. Sweden. Well, I'm not really watching it; I'm typing my answers to these questions. But the game is on, and I'm sort of listening to it. The volume is very low because my roommate is also in the room doing work. But it sounds like the US team is winning, which is great!

Where are you from?

Ridgewood, NJ! It's a suburb 30 minutes outside of NYC. My dad runs a furniture store in Chinatown, so I would go there a lot growing up. Then I went to NYU for Film & TV and then came to Los Angeles about 4 years ago.

What do you do?

I write and direct films and TV. Along with Plus One, I've written for Hulu's Pen15, directed for TruTV's Adam Ruins Everything, and co-wrote/directed the Vimeo short films Pregame and Post-Party. I also spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get Milk Soda to market.

What are you all about?

My biggest goal is to introduce fresh perspectives on the Asian American experience into the mainstream. Audiences have made it clear that they have the appetite for more stories with Asian actors told by Asian filmmakers, and I definitely want to be a contributing voice in the conversation. I mean, yes, I did invent the most important beverage of our generation -- a bubbly dairy drink that is both refreshing and rich with protein -- but there's more to me than just that.

What makes you angry?

I went to a panel the other day and saw a bunch of high-powered Asian executives speak, and one of them said something I really loved. An audience member asked, "What's your advice to someone who's just starting out in the industry?" And the executive's advice was simply, "Don't be a bummer." There was some laughter, and then she explained further, "You can have a lot of big ideas about what you want to change, but no one's going to let you if you're just grumpy all the time. Find a way to deliver your message while being a positive presence in the room."

That stuck with me, because there are a lot of things that make me angry (most things), and if you give me a couple shots of whiskey and an hour, I'll rant and rave about it all day -- hell, I could go for 3 hours on Asian male emasculation alone. But the executive is right, people don’t want to be shouted at; they want to come to ideas and realizations on their own. And so I look at my work as a bit of a Trojan horse. Bring the gift of entertainment, humor and spectacle and someone will open their doors, just for you to sneak in all your influence.

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