Equitable Representation in Entertainment
Growing up I didn’t see many people who looked like me on TV or in films. As a kid, my parents hoped my dreams of becoming an actor were just a phase I was going through. They insisted that acting was just a hobby and not a viable career goal…until I saw someone who looked like me onscreen. I was sitting on the floor watching Ally McBeal when suddenly an Asian girl appeared on my TV screen. It was Lucy Liu. I FREAKED OUT. I ran over to my mother who was lying on the couch behind me reading a Korean newspaper. I jumped up and down, pointed at the TV and screamed, “Look!!! Look!!! SHE’S DOING IT!!!” I was beyond ecstatic. Seeing another Asian American female onscreen suddenly made my “dream” feel like a possibility.
I moved to LA straight from college wide eyed and full of hope. As an Asian American actor at that time, opportunities were not readily knocking on my door. Granted a lot has changed since I first started out but we’ve still got a long way to go. I am so thrilled that there is so much discourse happening on diversity in media now and I hope all this talk leads to a strong call for action. As they say, actions do speak louder than words. That is why I felt compelled and inspired to create susaneLand, an original comedic web series based loosely on my life. I hope with my new series featuring an Asian American female lead and diverse cast I can help “color correct” the current landscape of entertainment. In susaneLand, people of color exist and are not peripheral in the world.
This project is my most ambitious creative undertaking to date. I am currently crowdfunding to make this a reality. It has been quite a humbling experience. I consider myself a strong independent woman but even strong independent women need help and I am not ashamed to ask for it. If you support women of color and their creativity in executive positions, I need your support. If you support women of color in comedy, I need your support. If you support equitable representation for diverse people onscreen, I need your support. Together we can make a difference.
With susaneLand I hope to level the playing field and inspire other original storytellers to do the same. A comedic series that champions diversity is a win for all. Equitable representation for women and people of color in media matters. It mattered to me when I was a kid seeing Lucy Liu on TV for the first time and I hope susaneLand will matter to at least one kid who dreams of a creative path to actually go for it and follow their heart and passion.
Although everyone in my family is in the medical profession, I’d like to believe we’re all healers. My RX just happens to be laughter.
LINK TO CAMPAIGN: https://igg.me/at/susaneland