Many thanks to Colin Dabkowski of the Buffalo news whose article started the conversation that am so honored to be a part of.
I feel very humbled reading this article. It started out as just a regular phone interview about The Little Mermaid - what's the show about? How is it being on the road? What can audiences expect? And then my conversation with journalist Colin Dabkowski from the Buffalo News turned into a much more in depth conversation after experiencing some racism the week before over my casting as Ariel. What was going to be a simple promo for the show, turned into this conversation that I am proud to be a part of. It's never easy being up on a stage in front of thousands of people everyday baring your soul, pushing through exhaustion and just hoping that they'll like you. When you are in a show, much less as a pinnacle character of it, there's a huge fear that if the audience doesn't like you or isn't with you, that you are doing them a disservice or ruining the show for them. For me personally with this show, I've often also felt the added pressure of feeling like I have to work even harder to get the audience to like me or be with me because I'm not what they might have expected to see as an Asian American actor. When I auditioned for Mermaid, I was just excited to get to sing Part Of Your World with a live accompanist - I didn't think I had a real chance in booking it because I'm Asian. Looking back at that now, that thought makes me so sad. No one should feel like they aren't enough because of the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes or any factor outside of WHO THEY ARE. And as I go out on the road city to city as an Asian American playing Ariel, I hope that it will inspire the next person who is out there auditioning for something to believe that THEY can be cast in a role based on their work and their talents. I want to believe in a world where racism and bigotry no longer exists. I want to believe that we can truly have equality in this world - and the arts are a damn good place to start. I am so endlessly grateful to Glenn Casale for believing in me more than I had
believed in myself and for continuing to stand beside me with this. I am so proud to be a part of this company and I am so proud to be an Asian American artist. I didn't by any means set out to try to be the face or voice of anything - but I am humbled to be fighting for a more loving and equal place in the arts and in this community.
ABC 7 Buffalo TV Interview/Videos
Refinery 29 Article
So proud of 11 year old superstar, Visesia Fakatoufifita, for her phenomenal portrayal of Annie at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle! Her undeniable talent and golden heart are inspiring so many people (me at the front of the line!) as she flawlessly sings, acts, dances and leads the professional company. I am honored to have been a spark of light for her as she continues on to what I am sure will be a very full and vibrant career!