Tonight I sang “Part of Your World” to my infant daughter and for the first time, I didn’t feel like I was singing a song I wasn’t supposed to. And I told her that if they remake the movie in 25 years, maybe she will get to be Ariel. And the best part of all that was it felt truly deep in my heart 100% POSSIBLE.
College was weird. I had a couple acting professors who I really connected with, one in community college and one after I transferred to university. Nobody else, really. I felt cornered in college because of my race. I was never given a song to sing with a boy, always 3 girls and one of them was the other non-white student in the class. And we sang a song about being whores. Material I didn’t want to sing was forced on me because I was Asian.
I was always asked to perform Asian monologues. WHY THO? I’m an American. I was born and raised here. Why couldn’t I perform any of the countless monologues about anything else but what I looked like or where my parents came from?
Halle Bailey cast as Ariel hit me in the heart. I loved The Little Mermaid growing up. Ariel was my favorite Disney princess until Pocahontas came along (because I kind of looked like her). And of course in the back of my mind, I always thought I could never be the pretty lead. Maybe I could be the friend.
Right now, it doesn’t feel like “Maybe you can go to the Philippines and become an actor.” No. She…WE can stay right here.