“My whole life, when I was growing up, not one race has ever accepted me, … So I never felt connected or attached to any race specifically. I had a very American upbringing, I feel American, and I don’t speak Spanish. So, to say that I’m a Latin actress, OK, but it’s not fitting; it would be insincere.”–Jessica Alba in 2007
Erica Gimpel, a biracial beauty inside and out, is one of our all-time favorites at the Mixed Remixed Festival. She’s internationally known for her role as Coco on Fame, and she’s starred in countless shows since then including Profiler and Veronica Mars and dozens more. A talented actress, singer and dancer, Erica is now taking her talent to new heights with a one-woman show, Sister, running in Los Angeles for the next three weeks. Don’t miss it! Read a review of the show here.
FOR TICKETS: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1219639
“I was a lost child . . . I wasn’t accepted in the black community because I was Korean, and I wasn’t accepted in the Korean community because I was black . . . I was ashamed of [my mother] who instilled everything in me. I let the kids get the better half of me.”–Hines Ward in 2006
“I go into Asia and I’m the Western Asian girl. And I go into Hollywood and I’m the Asian girl who’s not Western enough. So there’s definitely a fine line to be walked, but, to be honest, if I walk into an audition and people are worried about what ethnicity I am, I’m not doing my job. I need to come in and be Maggie, and they need to fall in love with that person or what I’m bringing to the table instead of focusing on those issues. And they do, and it’s really hard to be a woman walking into a room and be ethnic and have them not care. 90% of the scripts I get are for White girls. And Asians may think I look really Western, but Westerners think I look really Asian. So I am in this sort of, pocket of, this big questionable pocket, so I definitely need to go in and really make people see more than that. And it’s not easy.”–Maggie Q in 2007
“You know, I don’t play the race card a lot. I’m half-black, half-white, and I’m proud of – my skin is brown. The world sees me as a black man, but my mother didn’t raise me as a black man. She didn’t raise me as a white guy.” –Shemar Moore
If you’re in New York, you don’t want to miss this one-woman show with Cush Jumbo at the Joe’s Pub, Josephine and I.
After a stunning Broadway run in The River with Hugh Jackman, Jumbo is owning the stage as the iconic Josephine Baker.
“I don’t need to be put into a box,” the English/Nigerian actress has said. Go see this show by an emerging and talented mixed actress who is dedicated to telling our stories!–Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder & Executive Director
We are huge fans of Key & Peele who accepted the Mixed Remixed Festival’s Storyteller’s Prize at the Mixed Remixed Festival in 2014. We absolutely love this New Yorker article written by another favorite of ours Zadie Smith.
Here are some of the gems from the article out this week:
- “The one thing that you don’t figure out as an improviser or a sketch performer is ‘What am I?’ ” Jordan Peele observed. The essence of his talent is multivocal, and he has, in the past, attributed this to his childhood anxiety at having the wrong voice, which, in his case, meant speaking like his mother—that is, speaking “white.”
- “They make you say what race you are, where you check out, and I think that’s ultimately an unhealthy tradition,” says Jordan Peele. His eyes, naturally rather narrow, widened dramatically. “It is crazy that as a kid we’re taught, ‘What is your identity?’ We’re asked that!” Key, who sat at the other end of the trailer, going from having hair to being bald to having hair again, is similarly struck by the irrational nature of racial categories. “The limbic system is alive and well,” he said. “And it’s going, ‘I need to find a category. I need to find a category. If I don’t find a category, I’m not safe.’ ”
Key: “Jordan and I are . . . we’re biracial.”
Peele: “Yes. Half black, half white.”
Key: “And because of that we find ourselves particularly adept at lying, er, because on a daily basis we have to adjust our blackness.”
“My parents are so cool. My mother is Chinese, from New York, and my father is Irish-American. There was always a reverence towards my heritage and history. I honestly didn’t think about it ’til I moved to Los Angeles . . . It’s a difficult thing in this town . . . It becomes a problem for producers to think outside the box. It’s upsetting, because out in the world it’s totally normal. Hollywood is very slow to the party.” –Michaela Conlin in 2010
Madison Keys has been on fire. She lost in the semi-finals to Serena Williams but put in a solid effort. Lately she’s also making headlines for claiming the middle-ground in matters of race. She is quoted in the New York Times as saying: “It’s something that’s always there obviously, but I’m very much right in the middle,” she said. “I don’t really think of it. I don’t really identify myself as white or African-American. I’m just me. I’m Madison.”
The statement has created some flack from fans and detractors alike. But why? Why can’t she claim the solid middle ground on race when she is both black and white? She wants to speak to the whole of her experience and America’s race labels don’t tell her complex story. Agree or disagree?–Heidi Durrow