Quote of the Day 3-6-16 (George Takei)

Posted: March 6, 2016 in Livin' in the USA, Quotations, Science Fiction
Tags: , , , , ,

George Takei“I was living in New York and I was doing fairly well, because I’d been lucky enough to get a part in a play. It was a musical called Fly Blackbird, and it ran for almost six months. However, when the play closed I began really struggling. I got nothing , no roles, no auditions, nothing. And when you’re struggling, you do whatever you can to survive. So my roommate had an aunt that catered these posh parties in Sutton Place, and for unemployed actors, these things were great. You’d go in for one night, hang up jackets, serve some food, clean up and go home. They paid well, and I always used to bring home the leftovers as a kind of bonus.

“At the same time, it was very hard for Asian actors to get cast in anything other than the role of a servant, and I’d made a vow to myself that I’d never play that sort of demeaning character. I felt like I had a real responsibility to try and fight that stereotype. In fact, in the middle of all this struggling, I actually turned down a role on Broadway because it was just another Oriental servant’s role.

“However that night I was back there in Sutton Place, with my little black bow tie and my little white jacket, standing at the front door, accepting all of these fur jackets and lugging them up to the coat room,. I was able to survive this paradox by telling myself, ‘This is not real. I’m really an actor.’ Y’know, I convinced myself that in real life I was just pretending to be a servant. At the same time, acting as a servant would have somehow seemed far more real, and far more degrading.”

–George Takei, quoted by William Shatner and Chris Kreski in Star Trek Memories

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