angry reader of the week: jessica ko

Once again, 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 reader actor-slash-a-lot-of-other-labels Jessica Ko, coming at you from NYC. Meet Jess...

Who are you?
Somehow this question stresses me out, so I'll just answer simply, "Jessica Jae-Mi Ko."

What are you?
Well, in a nutshell -- and I usually hate nutshells, but for Angry Asian Man, I'll make an exception-- I'm a Korean-American actor/writer/singer/artist/thinker/bookworm/activist/volunteer/hypochondriac/pop-culture-junkie who LTLs and has a penchant for obsessively re-imagining interior design concepts and multifunctional uses of furniture and objects for my insanely tiny shoebox of an apartment.

Where are you?
Where else would a sane person put up with living in a tiny shoebox of an apartment and pay a disproportionately, astronomically high amount of rent?-- why, New York, of course! Lower Lower East Side/residential Chinatown represent!

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, entered the incubator for adulthood at Northwestern University (with the Angry Man himself) in Evanston, Illinois until I got spat out in the "real world" of New York.

What do you do?
When I'm not toiling away in the waiting rooms of casting directors and the Actors Equity Audition Center or 30 seconds to a minute in the actual audition room, I mainly ruminate on life (mostly, stressing out about what I'm doing with my life), discover as many good cafes/coffee shops in the city as I can (boo to Starbucks!), write, sketch, paint, go to meetings and help plan events for nonprofits-- particularly for Crossing Borders, which aids North Korean refugees in Northeast China--, go to rehearsals for a show I'm currently in, continually look up casting calls, explore and enjoy the city with friends (even after several years, there's still always something new to discover here)... and watch an obscene amount of TV (but I'm working on cutting that amount down).

What are you all about?
The quotes below are my way of attempting to summarize what I'm about and striving to be about, because they say it better than I ever could:

The first three are by Madeleine L'Engle, from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art and The Rock That is Higher:
~"All of life is story, story unraveling and revealing meaning. Despite our inability to control circumstances, we are given the gift of being free to respond to them in our own way, creatively or destructively."

~"Story makes us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving. Why does anybody tell a story?... We look at the world around us, and it is a complex world, full of incomprehensible greed, irrationality, brutality, war, terrorism-- but also self-sacrifice, honor, dignity-- and in all this we look for, and usually find, pattern, structure, meaning. Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth."

~"In art we are once again able to do all things we have forgotten; we are able to walk on water; we speak to the angels who call us; we move, unfettered, among the stars."
This is from Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, which I highly recommend to everyone, not only to the artistically inclined:
~"...be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
And this final one is by Dr. Cornel West from the documentary about human trafficking and modern-day slavery, Call and Response (go to www.callandresponse.com to find out more):
"If you're committed to truth, you're committed to love, then you're committed to fairness. If you really love somebody then you hate that they're being treated unfairly... so you end up fighting for justice, even as you start playing your guitar... Justice is what love looks like in public."
What makes you angry?

More specifically, when prejudice, racism, and ignorance are spewed against my fellow Asians, women, or just your average fellow man.

When children are left to fend for themselves.

Human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking; the plight of North Korean refugees; the fact that there are still people who don't know about these things (not angry at the people, just angry at the gap in the relaying of the information).

Apathy. Stupidity. Greed. Bullies. Abandonment. Unkindness.

Basically... Haters.

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