FIRST THOUGHT: Growth Spurt
Fun fact: Kids laugh as much as 300 times a day, compared to adults, who only chuckle 17 times daily. So, do we lose our sense of humor as we age? Do we grow more jaded, and thus, lose our funny bones? I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that if you’re funny, people like you. The key to a great joke is to know your audience, remember key details, vary your voice and employ a well-placed pause. Probably the most essential characteristic that any funny lady possesses is to ease into the awkwardness. Just remember: Being perfect isn’t funny, so embrace what makes you, you.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 4 Percent
It’s a fair assessment to say that no matter your sex or race, you can be funny. Heck, even animals will make you belly laugh. In the show Master of None, the characters explain how there aren’t any realistic roles for Indian characters. Many roles are played by white peeps, and many actors are required to use a fabricated accent. Katherine Hepburn did it in the 1940s and Jake Gyllenhaal did it in 2010.
Of the 242 scripted TV shows that ran in 2017, only 4 percent of series regulars were Asian or Pacific Islander. The status quo in Hollywood makes zero sense when you compare it to the true diversity in the United States. So, keep an eye out for stories depicting women of color and share them with us. Add some of these Asian-american-led shows to your list: The Mindy Project, Brown Nation and All-American Girl.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Ali Wong, Asian-American Comedian
Guys. I am obsessed with Ali Wong. I saw her on stage a couple years ago, and she’s as much of a goddess as she appears on screen. Seriously. After you add her Netflix comedy specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife to your queue, take a stroll down Ali’s life as an inimitable funny lady.
Ali was the baby of the family. Her Vietnamese mother and Chinese-american father raised the family in San Francisco. During college at UCLA, Ali studied abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam. There, she connected with relatives and learned Vietnamese which, she jokes, she isn’t exactly the most proficient in.
Ali’s background isn’t the only thing that makes her a unique comic. She’s a wife and mother. On her wedding night, she performed at a club in her wedding dress. Her Instagram posts are usually either of food or the struggles of wrangling her two kids on a day out. But make no mistake; Ali isn’t struggling. She married a doctor and discloses that now, she makes more than he does. She’s been recruited for a vast array of opportunities, from writing on the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat to starring in an animated Netflix series with Tiffany Haddish.
Seeing women cover issues like miscarriages and breastfeeding is still a rare thing, but Ali manages to do it in a real, honest way. She shares that when she had her baby, her manager wondered if she’d lose fans for not being “hardcore” enough, to which Aly replied that getting a C-section and having a baby is as hardcore as it gets. Preach, girl. As a female, Asian-american comedian in Hollywood, Ali isn’t letting anyone else take the reigns of her path.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Another woman of color powerhouse in Hollywood, Shonda Rhimes, said:
"You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them."