quotes and sayings
3 min readApr 11, 2022

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  1. My first Asian role model was Michelle Kwan. Her beauty comes from within. She’s also really beautiful on the outside. But when I first saw her ice-skate, her performance was so moving and beautiful that she just glowed.
  2. If the writing is good, then the writing is already funny. All you have to do is make this funny writing true to the very deepest of your heart, and the fact that you are capable of making this true will be hysterical.
  3. I was emotional. I wanted to be taken seriously. I was pretty emo. I was reciting Shakespeare monologues when I was 10. I still know the whole ‘To be, or not to be…’ monologue, because I knew it when I was 10.
  4. Public service is about serving all the people, including the ones who are not like you.
  5. If the expression of and advocating for your values makes you lose a job or a person, then that person/job sorta just… wasn’t your heart’s tribe.
  6. I’m okay with not having a super-secure lifestyle because if you’re doing what you like, you don’t need stuff to fill any empty holes.
  7. The more you know about somebody’s back story, the deeper you can delve into that well, and the more your comedic choices resonate full-body instead of just being quick, quippy one-liners that are just like a bunch of people trying to be clever. Because after a while, cleverness is just really obnoxious!
  8. When I was a 12-year-old middle-schooler in Richmond, Virginia, my local newspaper published an op-ed that I wrote all by myself.
  9. It’s my privilege to be able to play somebody not myself. I’m an actor who creates characters based in voice, movement, emotional quality, speech.
  10. Usually, I’ll be auditioning for the third lead, and there will be Latina actresses, Indian actresses, African American actresses because it will be like, ‘Let’s check off this box. We have our lead white girl, and we need an ethnic slot.’
  11. My family is Chinese-Taiwanese. I’m from Richmond, Virginia. The community in which I grew up was pretty white. The storybooks you got at school featured white children and an animal, or animals, and as you got older, the novels you were assigned were about, like, the problems of white boys and their dogs.
  12. I don’t aspire to just play things that are like me. Whether the accent is Taiwanese or British or Canadian — that is the very craft in which I was trained. It is my absolute privilege and honor to do that.
  13. I am definitely trying not to take films that are mostly about dude problems, not because I don’t think they’re worthy problems, but there are a lot of people who will take those.
  14. I passionately support Hillary Clinton for president because she has devoted her life to public service and has been willing to learn and change along the way by listening to the people she serves.
  15. All the networks have always been willing to have ethnic people as the third or fourth lead or the best friend to the white person. But to actually let a black family or an Asian family carry a show, that’s something where there hasn’t really been a precedent set in terms of a real financial gain.
  16. A lot of times, people think of Asian culture as some mythical world instead of modern people with modern occupations with modern problems, modern tools. Like, we’re not all just talking Taoism and kung fu — some people are just trying to get over their breakup with their boyfriend, and they’re Facebook-stalking.
  17. In terms of pure acting, my role model has always been Philip Seymour Hoffman; I really always loved what he did. I love what Mark Ruffalo does. When I was younger, I liked Cate Blanchett a lot. These are all actors who are given stories and allowed to carry the whole story.
  18. I’m constantly paranoid that I’ll be unemployed for the rest of my life… and have to go back folding shirts at the Gap, which you know… you gotta do what you gotta do.
  19. The one dream I have is to do a musical. I love singing, but most people don’t know because I don’t sell myself as a musical person. My dream is to play Audrey in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ — it would be so interesting to have an Asian Audrey because it’s all about achieving the American dream in a sinister, success-driven way.
  20. I’m not a naturally social-media inclined person. I still prefer phone calls to texts/emails. I… hate texts.

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