Interview with Cold Tea Collective

Cold Tea Collective is a new media platform set up by some enterprising Vancouverites to share the stories, perspectives and experiences of North American Asian millennials. At present, they have been hosting written and video stories to their site, but they will be expanding into podcasting. They recently invited a pair of Gen-x’ers (aka Diana and Kuan) to talk about the upcoming production of Self-ish at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Here’s an excerpt:

Kuan Foo: I’ve always been interested in the idea of the self, how we define ourselves, and the things that we draw upon to anchor ourselves as we move through our daily lives. One of the reasons it’s called Self-ish, with the hyphen very deliberate, is when you break that word down, when you think about “self-ish” it sort of means that you’re not quite yourself. And I think when you go into the grieving process or when you’re going through a trauma, or when you’re being selfish, you’re not quite yourself.

Foo and Bang approached the creative project as not only an opportunity to express their own personal experiences with grief, but to also write a multi-dimensional character for a POC actor. Both expressed a need for more complex characters to be played by diverse actors on screen and on stage.

Diana Bang: Kuan pulled a lot from his own life experiences, but he also knew that he was writing for me. I brought the Korean-ness to it, with my mother being Korean, and little details here and there to make it more true to life. But as Kuan said, it’s a universal story. I was trying to bring my whole self to it: My vulnerable side. My flawed self. My selfish self. And my loving self. It was trying to bring my whole person to the character, and that’s what I want to do with acting. In terms of representation, we want to see well-rounded, full, flawed, Asian Canadian characters, whether on TV, on film or on stage. We just want to see someone who’s human.

Read the complete interview here!


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