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
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.
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.
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."