Dear Pork Filled Productions (née Pork Filled Players) AKA “The PFPs”,
Happy 20th Birthday from your Canadian cousins!
Twenty years is long time to be doing anything – not to mention doing it well. For the past two decades, through the vehicle of comedy, the PFPs have been an industrious, energetic and inspirational megaphone for diversity, amplifying stories that need to be told and gleefully staking out a place for the marginalized. And they’re not even old enough to drink yet.
If we had to pick three words to describe the PFPs, they would be “Yummy”, “Funny” and “Generous.” The next three words would probably be “Important” followed by various sloppy, kissing sounds and then finally “Generous” again, because that’s important enough to mention twice. You simply cannot tell the story of the PFPs without talking about their generosity – the generosity of their spirit, the generosity of their talent, and the generosity of their mission.
We first encountered the PFPs at a sketch comedy competition held a long time ago in a faraway land (well, actually 2003 in Vancouver, Canada). We were a bunch of rookie upstarts in khaki pants with the ridiculous name, Assaulted Fish. They were the polished veterans. They sang! They danced! They ate fire! We were immediately struck by two things: number one, “Holy Cow, these Americans are really funny!” and number two, “Wow, they’re super nice people, too!” And also a third fleeting thought, “Who’s this Roger Tang guy who seems to be lurking around in the background all the time? He doesn’t ever seem to be doing anything…”
Ah, what fools we were.
It could have ended there but it didn’t (and this is where the generosity part really starts). Unbeknownst to us, the PFPs were keeping tabs on us; not in an obsessive, creepy way, but enough to know that we had lasted longer than the usual two-year mayfly existence of most sketch comedy troupes. And here’s the thing: they invited us down to Seattle to perform with them. Not once, not twice, but year after year after year. They shared their stage with us. They shared their audience with us. They even shared their living quarters with us, despite the fact that not all of us are regular bathers. But more than anything, they shared their mission with us. Watching the PFPs in action confirmed for us that it was possible to use comedy to tell powerful, inclusive, entertaining stories through our unique perspective as Asian North Americans. We all have stories to share, and they’re valid and worthy and most of all, ours to give voice to.
Over the years, it has been thrilling to watch the PFPs evolve from a sketch comedy troupe to a full-fledged theatre company. Similarly, it has been exciting to see the individual members change and grow in their artistry even if their paths eventually led them away from the main group.
Little did we know on that day so long ago, when we first saw them march across the stage dressed like Dim Sum, that this would lead to a personal and professional friendship that has so far lasted for 15 years. Congratulations PFPs, and thank you for the memories, the opportunities and the comradeship.
Here’s to 20 more years!
With love from
Diana, Marlene, Kuan & Nelson
AKA Assaulted Fish
Need a Fish fix this coming week? Check out Nelson and Diana at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Nelson will be appearing in Meditation Park, the latest film from Vancouver director, Mina Shum (Double Happiness), starring Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy). (Showtimes: Sept 28, 30 & Oct 11)
Diana will be in Entanglement, starring Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Jess Weixler (The Good Wife). (Showtimes: Sept 30 & Oct 7)
As an added bonus Diana’s sister, Andrea Bang (Kim’s Convenience) will be appearing in Public Schooled. (Showing Oct 2)
“We only need one more to form a proper coven.”
Yes, it is April the 2nd and the brief annual window for playing mean pranks or spreading fake news stories via social media with complete impunity has closed for another year. However, it’s not too late to catch the April Fool’s edition of THE FLAME storytelling series on April 5th at the Cottage Bistro. Guest hosted by the inimitable Morgan Brayton, this year’s show features the tallest and shortest members of Assaulted Fish (that’s them up above in case you didn’t know). Details below!
7-9 PM, April 5th, 2017
Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street, 7-9pm.
Admission by donation.
Our very own, Diana “sister of Andrea” Bang is taking part in a discussion on “Asians in Movies” as part of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Catch her Saturday, November 5, at 12:15 PM as she shares her adventures as actor, comedian and all-around cool person along with panel of industry worthies including Jeff “father of Hudson” Yang.
Details of this and other industry panels here.
VAFF’s film line-up is here.