Professor, Ucla, Asian American Studies discussed on WTF with Marc Maron Podcast


Enough of us here to Ed to find solace in protection one of US gets attacked. LP A couple of us to watch back so they start in San Francisco discarded Cisco Yeah and then He. He was a busboy at this restaurant in Sausalito. This French restaurant and and then he ended up in Paris. Chris Perez studying French. I don't know I I don't fully in this part of your dad's why vague a little bit busboy. Themselves also Ledo and then Perez. Yeah and then Paris and I think the owner of the restaurant and Sausalito had something to do with him. He really liked my dad right and then he and then he ended up in. La went back to Korea. Met My mom who was still in college at the time and when she finished she came down it. Does he know French. Yeah yeah they'll do it. Yeah Yeah and we're what he ended up doing. He ended up Well he he. For a good part of my childhood he worked for this stuffed toys company just like in the offices and apparently I was named after one of his CO worker. He liked at the stuff. Yeah at the stuff toy factory and then he and then that company moved and he didn't I want to move the family out to another state so so he ended up just working a bunch of different jobs and then eventually he ran one hour photo. His own one hour photo franchise no no just one little shop one little shop on Main Street and Santa Monica and and and you know the digital age just kind of pushed him out at out. The bitter one hour photo. We had our time he was was just bad timing. Yeah like just all you know. And then and then he Now he he works He's actually had a souvenir shop and working with family members and on Hollywood boulevard really. Yeah he can't stop working. He doesn't doesn't want he doesn't want what about your mom. My Mom. She's retired and she she ended up working at UCLA for like thirty. Plus years as an accountant Fr- uh for the students store. So that's that's where the family got the the health insurance sitting area. Your mom had stable. She had the stable job. Yeah and she she. She was there for a long time. When I was a student there she was working there sibling older brother? Yeah he's a he works at a Orthodox with a at an optometrist office. In Los feeless. So you you're the you're the only one that's in show business You only one. Yeah and now what what. How did that Like because it seems to me that certainly people I've talked to children of immigrants. Yeah there's a lot of pressure. I've talked to several to to sort of really kind of like be the one that you know. That really becomes a success in. Yeah unquestionable way. Yes yes we we we weren't you have sacrificed their lives for sure I did. You did did. Yeah Yeah I mean I got a lot of that pressure growing up what they want you to do. Come on Mark Dr Low. We know this do lawyer. That was it that was it because I don't know is. Are Those still good jobs. So they still considered good jobs jobs. I mean I know the respectable the doctors are at least I don't know his lawyer really something parents went there do still they make money. I guess I mean they're they're safer for bets in terms of. Yeah if you if you if you follow this path right these classes security. They WANNA know on. They don't want it to be questionable. Sure they know that. If you take these steps you will get to this place. Yes yes if you're I mean you start a start up in an actor. Comedian like there's no path I I'd like to think that most of the judgement that parents have about that stuff is concern like more than anything else you know. It took me Nia long time to realize that you know I think early on. It was a lot of jobs. Just you don't believe in me. You don't think talented you know which they didn't but but ultimately maybe it comes from a good place it totally see they. Yeah they love us. Don't want us to to you know be broke and a burden on them. Yeah burden on them. All of those things I want is for a good part of my adult life. So when do you were you did. Did you make any movement towards being a doctor or a lawyer or did you Well when I was in college at. UCLA I I would. I was not going to be a doctor or a lawyer but I thought maybe I'd be a professor and I thought of I was thinking King of Asian American Studies History things that I was interested in at Ucla and You know I would. I would as a professor published books. You know that sounded pretty good so yeah I saw them so I I kinda started gearing myself towards that route even though at at at the time I had a CO founded this theater company on on on the college campus and I was spending most of my time doing that stuff really. Yeah so so you you studied you. Did you did study like A. What would I majored in English in like creative writing? Yeah and and then I minored in Asian American Studies. I ended up doing two two years Masters Program in Asian American Studies and they can always going to become this professor of evasion American Studies when what is the reach of that when it seems like it's pretty broad so yeah so what. Do you study exactly. Well I mean my like the primary interest was actually in like media an Asian American kind of representation in in and and the depictions of Asian Americans in media so it was always like geared towards this this interests that I had in my heart. You know you're putting the the philosophical foundation of your acting career. Yeah and then. Meanwhile I was doing this theater company company. It was this Asian American Theater Company Avenue that That That I was I was involved with on and I had co founded on campus. What was what was that called? It was called el-sisi or it was called La the coyote be that cares theater company. And and it's still going on to this day really. Yeah it was it was. The wrong was a member of that company. That's crazy. Yeah Yeah how are you older. Like older yeah then ally. She joined after I graduated. So because you guys do that. Great movie together and and And she's written for fresh off. You guys have a long. He didn't know each other in college. We didn't know each other when she was in college. Yeah and and I was just just out of out of Grad school and you know still kind of hanging around that theater company because I was comedy driven thing it it was. It was for sure but it wasn't kind of conscious like we're going to comedy. I think that was just kind of our natural. That's what we'd liked to do. And and sort of the intent of it was to to sort of bring Asian Americans together to at the time it was primarily these what we called South South campus majors which was like Asian American kids who are majoring in math and sciences and becoming doctors right you know and and who who kind of wanted to to do this right thing. Just kind of as a hobby so we had a lot of these these These kids who raining Yeah yeah who are or at least like artists who were trying to please their parents. Then we provided them this kind of outlet to kind of like I was at the time and and and yeah we just put on we wrote all our own original like plays and and material and you were performing at the school performed at the school. We did a show every quarter and it was. I mean that was that was pivotal for me that that was when I was like okay. I know I WANNA do this. I know like I'm supposed to be a professor fesser now but this is what I really WanNa do. And we'll see what did you do. Did you maintain did you keep that sort of the spirit of like Your Knowledge College of a lack of representation being one of the driving forces. Yeah yeah I I think that time it was definitely a you know you're in. I was in college. I was uh for the first time in my life surrounded by Asian Americans and very kind of Suddenly conscious to these things whereas growing up. I didn't think about right now. I didn't need weren't surrounded by Asian Americans growing now. Now I mean I had a couple of Asian friends that I grew up with but it was predominantly everyone else is a part of La That was very mixed but there weren't a ton of other Russians. Yeah so so. We grew up knowing about about race because we also you know different different backgrounds. But it wasn't like this kind of conscious Asian American an identity right and and so. Did you find that at the time when you're in college. I wave of that awareness culturally for me. Yeah General I I 'cause I what do I. I don't know much of anything that you know. You start to realize as as a white person and one that you you know now you have to admit a certain amount of privilege because it's true but you don't thinking those terms your rent. Yeah Yeah and I don't think it's racist but you're just sort of like you take everything for granted you just going through life. Yeah yeah as a white person you without. Everything's working out well. That was me growing up too though I was just this is great. Yeah I I'd Watch A. I'd Watch Indiana Jones and put myself in the boots of Indiana Jones own. Sure not not short round. You know what I mean like and I ran. I thought short rounds funny. That's not me. I'm Indiana Jones income. Grow up a little bit step out in the world. And everyone's like you're short round like no. I'm Indiana Jones. You don't get it. I got the hat and everything. Yeah I got the hat and the win- ah but you did feel you come up against that. You felt and in college. Yeah in college and I think that's what led to the formation of that theatre in college in in which sense in the sense that Because you just being in the population of college ah in actually enacting. 'cause I don't know when bullying happens and that sort of separation we're younger. Everybody sort of integrates great. Yeah but I I when you do get to college. It's odd because you start to add groups aggregate. Yes whatever reason. Yeah Yeah and you felt that their first. Yeah I mean growing up I I got bullied. Yeah bullied it wasn't always like at least in my mind because I was Asian. But you know. In retrospect that might have played a part out of it right now but But yeah I think just being around a community that was that was thinking of these things right that was thinking being of issues of representation. Yeah because it seems that you everybody gets characterized a certain way and lumped together her. Yeah but it's weird because even you saying like all these kind of these kids that were trying to please their parents by doing math majors. Biology majors had an outlet pursue. Something there was something. So the whole sort of like I think that that expectation of immigrant parents kind of helps set sort of the context of how Asian Americans are judged in a way.

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