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11.20.2009

angry reader of the week: kristina wong



All right, sexy people. Time to meet another 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 our dear friend, the wacky Kristina Wong.

Who are you?
I am the one and only Kristina Wong! (Ok, well, maybe not the one and only Kristina Wong.... But I'm the Kristina Wong who gives the other Kristina Wongs a bad rep because I make a living humiliating myself in public and I make sure that people know that my name is Kristina Wong after their initial horror sets in.)

What are you?
I am married to myself. I'm not sure if the Right-wingers would approve but I'd like my rights, my wedding registry, and my tax break too! Someone fight for my right to marry myself legally!

Video proof from my wedding ceremony in an Ethiopian restaurant is here...

Where are you?
Right now, I'm writing you from my house in Silverlake which is in Los Angeles. Though almost half of the year, I am traveling the country peddling my thoughts to live audiences. I also gave up my car last year in August (specifically, the car gave up on me). So you may also see me at a bus stop in Los Angeles or on Facebook updates trying to hitchhike with friends via facebook updates.

Where are you from?
I grew up in San Francisco. The actual city, not Cupertino, thank you very much. I lived in a part of the Sunset District that defies all the laws of the Sunset District called "Golden Gate Heights." Everyone gets lost trying to find my childhood home. The Sunset District is known for its checkerboard layout, the houses that all look the same, and its heavy population of Chinese American families. I think that the twisted and impossible-to-find spot I lived in the Sunset is a great metaphor for how I feel about my relationship to the rest of the Chinese American community. I'm the twisted, misguided mess that lives way up in the hills but has a great view of the rest of the city!

What do you do?
I make a living writing and performing original one-woman shows. The last show I made was Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and has toured everywhere from Alaska to New York. I'm very proud of that show and we're actually in the final edits of my very first concert film!

That show was my attempt to save all (yes, all) Asian American women from the high rates of depression and suicide. We unfortunately, hold the title for having the highest rates of said statistic. Creating and touring that show has been a mind-blowing experience filled with tears, amazing creative breakthroughs, and laughter. I'm amazed how funny the show is despite the horrible topic. I'm also very proud that it's been a catalyst for so much dialogue around an issue that nobody really talks about.

I also do alternative comedy replete with unitards and Powerpoint demonstrations. I just put up a show last week with my comedian friend D'Lo. It was called "Whoring for Hollywood"-- a modern minstrel show send-up of "the Hollywood showcase." I also put up a fake academic panel called APACUNT (www.apacunt.com) in NYC at the National Asian American Theater Festival with Katie Pearl, Alice Tuan, and Soo-Jin Lee last month.

I also freelance write. I used to freelance for Playgirl which folded but seems to be making a comeback (pun intended) thanks to Levi Johnston's peener. I've written for feminist anthologies and also gave the commencement speech at UCLA's English Department graduation last year.

You may have also seen me parading around Asian American community events as "Fannie Wong, Former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up"-- a faux beauty queen who signs autographs and takes pictures alongside the real Miss Chinatown court.

Occasionally, you will see my on your TV set hawking some kind of product (but look carefully, because I will be dressed as an Eskimo, a Japanese milkmaid with huge hands, or some warped version of myself). I'm also in a few indie film projects.

Right now I'm working on two new shows. One is about living in Los Angeles in Los Angeles without a car after my vegetable-oil running Mercedes caught on fire. I've been showing parts of the show all over LA and in San Francisco. It's pretty interesting, especially as an Asian woman to do the carless thing. I have a show in Santa Monica on December 2 and it's FREE! The other show is CAT LADY... about my cat Oliver's spraying issues, cat ladies, and male pick-up artists.

I also have a website that in its hey-day was poppin' (wow, I've never used "poppin'" as a word until just now): Bigbadchinesemama.com. People can submit to be one of my mail order brides.

What are you all about?
I'm always trying to make good, funny, timely, well-executed performances that don't pander to the lowest expectations of audiences, but also, aren't so elitist in their delivery and content that they fly over everyone's head.

What makes you angry?
I'm really trying to work on my "anger." Sadness + Aggression + Frustration = Anger. I spent my first year at UCLA so angry at "the man" that I got an ulcer. I realized, "Wow, my anger is more oppressive than what's oppressing me." So ever since, I think I've been trying to create work to add to the spectrum of dialogue, rather than just be reactive and lose my voice screaming.

But since you asked, these are two things that make me angry....

1. That I did not make Angry Asian Man's 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 list because he thought I was too old for the list when I actually wasn't and now it's too late. Well, screw you dude. I am making Kristina Wong's "Most Influential Angry Reader of Angry Asian Man's Blog under 31!"

2. As self-deprecating as I am in my creative work, I dislike being referred to as a "starving" or "struggling artist" because I would never describe myself as that. When artists call themselves "poor," "struggling" and "starving"-- they are their own self-fulfilling prophecy. I also think that it diminishes the cultural value artists have to the world when they allow the focus of their identity to be on their finances and not their work. Seeing as how artists are the last hope we will have to save the world, we need all the empowered artists we can get. So stop calling yourself "starving"!!!