The Man in the Mirror (Or The Anglo-Heteronormative Male in the Mirror)


2017 has me thinking more about a number of issues: race, systems of oppression, human nature. I wrote about many of these issues as a San Francisco Neo-Futurist in the form of short plays for their ongoing show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. I've decided to share a few of these short plays on my actor website. To learn more about the Neo-Futurist aesthetic, click here

I "wrote" this play to give voice to the thoughts I have on race and representation. People smarter than me have already said it better than I could, but I could contribute by giving a fresh platform to their wise words. In the performance of this play, there was a distinct build. Through Junot Diaz's words, I expressed the rage, confusion, hurt, alienation, realization, and hope, that all lives inside me. Through Diaz's words, I experienced catharsis. Post-catharsis, I delivered Constance's words. 


The Man in the Mirror
Or The Anglo-Heteronormative Male in the Mirror

Katharine Chin © 2015

GO.

Four Neos wrap up Katharine, head to toe, in butcher paper or shiny gift wrap leaving room only for her nose and mouth to breathe. The effect should make her look mechanical or monstrous. 

KATHARINE.

THIS IS A JUNO DIAZ. QUOTE:

"You guys know about vampires?

You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. And what I've always thought isn't that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.

And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn't see myself reflected at all. I was like, "Yo, is something wrong with me?” That the whole society seems to think that people like me don't exist?

And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."

Neos stop wrapping and walk offstage.

KATHARINE.

THIS IS A QUOTE FROM CONSTANCE WU:

Katharine starts to rip the paper off of her.

"I wouldn’t say that just visibility is important. I would say visibility as the stars of a show is important. That says that our stories matter. We’re not here to do the taxes of the white person, or to be the chipper best friend to the white person. It’s important to see Asians in those leading roles because it changes what I’m calling the anglo-heteronormative status of TV."

CURTAIN.

A love letter to Millennials, from a Millennial (2015)


2017 has me thinking more about a number of issues: race, systems of oppression, human nature. I wrote about many of these issues as a San Francisco Neo-Futurist in the form of short plays for their ongoing show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. I've decided to share a few of these short plays on my actor website. To learn more about the Neo-Futurist aesthetic, click here


A love letter to Millennials, from a Millennial
Katharine Chin © 2015

Katharine is flicking paint on a large sheet hanging from the line. Occasionally she might write some buzzwords like “snowflake, selfie, Generation me, trigger warning.” She paints throughout the following speech, back to the audience, a little shouty. “Younger Love” by Panama Wedding plays from a portable speaker.

GO.

KATHARINE.

Hey jerks,

I admire you. I really do. I admire your sensitivity, your deep sense of empathy and commitment to social justice. Even you, armchair SJW! It’s pretty amazing that our biggest fault is being TOO sensitive to the feelings of marginalized people. That’s pretty OK with me. Hopefully we’ll be the sweet sensitive type that toughens up with time. Sexy.  

Don’t let Gen X and Baby Boomer criticism get you down. They were just as narcissistic when they were our age. (Just look at TIME Magazine covers through the decades.) But we did grow up with the Internet. That thing is cray slash AMAAAAAZING.

Draws a hand on the sheet.

And at the end of the day, they can’t put us in a box. They can’t explain us away with generalizations. For every Zuckerberg who gives away 99% of his Facebook shares, there’s some shitty dirtbag fuck twat just waiting to wreak havoc on humanity. And most of us? Most of us fall somewhere in between. Trying to make sense of life, stay alive, maybe fall in love and or just have some fun between now and our inevitable ends

So keep taking those selfies, keep sending those (slowly enunciated) sexts. We’ll be old and cranky before they know it.

Love,
Me

Dips hand in paint and high-fives the hand on the sheet.

CURTAIN.

Best of 2015, Two Ways

We, the San Francisco Neo-Futurists, performed our Best of 2015 show to sold out crowds on 12/18 & 12/19. Here's an image from our last night. What a wonderful way to end an eventful year!

And more delightful news to close out 2015: the Magic Theatre's production of Fred's Diner earn a spot on Robert Hurwitt's Top 10 Plays of 2015 list. Check out his summary and the other top plays at the SF Chronicle article. Encore Theatre's production of Hookman was one of Chad Jones' favorites of 2015. Read the full list here.