angry reader of the week: christopher wong

Hey! 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 "reluctant artist" Christopher Wong, director of the documentary Whatever It Takes.

Who are you?
Hi, my name is Christopher Wong, and I'm an independent-minded, spiritual, and passionate man who is often shy, confused, and still trying to figure out how to navigate this thing called "life". I've been married for almost 11 years (sheesh, that's a long time!), and have a 5-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.

What are you?
I'm a second-generation Chinese American. My father speaks Cantonese and is from Macau, and my mother speaks Mandarin and is from Shanghai. Because my parents spoke to me in English when I was young, I don't speak either dialect. Sigh.

Where are you?
Los Angeles. Westside. Near UCLA. (Go Bruins!)

Where are you from?
I was born in Los Angeles. I stayed in L.A. for the first 18 years of my life, leaving for college on the East Coast. After graduation, I lived in NYC for quite awhile, but I just couldn't take the extremes of hot, cold, and really rude people. Am I unfairly stereotyping a whole city? Yes! (sorry...)

What do you do?
I like to refer to myself as a "reluctant artist." I originally planned on working my whole life for a Fortune 500 company, getting a house with a white picket fence, and living most other aspects of the American Dream. In college, I majored in Economics, and I've worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of NY as a bank examiner. But after about six years in the banking industry, I finally realized that I was a lousy banker, didn't enjoy what I was doing, and I jumped ship. At the time, I was watching a whole bunch of documentaries and I decided that I should start taking some video production classes from the local community college. After working over five years as a production assistant, camera operator, and editor, I finally ended up as a documentary filmmaker.

What are you all about?
I guess I just really like listening to other people's stories. To be a good documentary filmmaker, you basically need to be interested in the lives of others, and willing to insert yourself into their shoes for awhile. I'm especially interested in tracking the Asian American experience, and documenting those of us who are doing significant things in the community. (Not that I want to just look at the positive side of things though, because I certainly realize that there are plenty of Asian Americans not necessarily engaged in anything that's helping anyone else!) Basically, I really want to make films that show who "we" truly are, because our stories have been ignored for way too long.

What makes you angry?
White people taking roles specifically made for Asians. New York Yankee and Boston Red Sox fans. People who litter. Drivers who don't use turn signals. Film festivals that program my film for morning screenings. Getting pocket aces cracked by lower pocket pairs. (That's probably enough for now...)

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