So after my run as an Author Events Intern at Asian American Writers’ Workshop, I still had the email plugged into my cell and kindle, even though I was supposed to remove it (mea culpa). But it was a good thing cuz I saw an email asking the workshop to put out a call for submissions for the In Full Color WOC monologue show for March which is Women’s History Month. They were low on Asian and Middle Eastern submissions, and I was more than happy to fulfill that quota as a Filipina American.
I never wrote a monologue before. Never read that many either. I didn’t even know what a monologue was honestly, cuz I had no idea it was supposed to be addressed to someone or something, whether it’s their therapist, the audience, or God himself. I was mixing it up with soliloquy which is the character’s unspoken thoughts to the audience.
I read a few books from the library and they were SO much fun to read! They’re succinct and pack such a punch and only last a page or page and half at most! It was this delicious swallow of drama, hilarity, and poignancy. I was moved. I still need to return and finish reading some of the books.
But when I tried to look up monologues on youtube, I was disappointed by the dearth of Asian American women. Even watching the 2011 top 12 one minute monologue video, there was what, one minority actress? Definitely no male ones. And this is in California. Like what?! They were well-acted but I want to see some of my representation. When I tried to look up filipino/filipina monologues, they mostly come from the same class in the Philippines.
Where is everyone? Should I have looked on Vimeo or something?
So this put more fire to my writing and I knew what I would talk about. Something else that doesn’t get represented in media as well:
And when it does, it’s usually pretty bad. Though my piece did show dire occurrences and thoughts.
It’s about a Pinay woman who is in front of the TV and experiencing a break from reality.
Just got my first ever proof (period) of "Aswang Presidente" for the "In Full Color" #woc monologue anthology! It looks real good and I like that they changed the title from "Aswang President" to "Aswang Presidente" since it adds more otherness to the piece. Seeing this is such an amazing feeling. Like I'm worthy to be read and published. Just to know that I will be seen and maybe by someone who will want and even need to read this makes me so happy! There's not enough published Pinay writers out there in my opinion and I feel proud that I'm part of the ranks. Lord know I needed to see someone who reflected my face and experiences on the printed page and elsewhere. I hope I feel this emotion, this high, this fever and rush, for the rest of my life. #monologue #excerpt #awwyeah
Above is a partial proof. I wasn’t chosen to be part of the In Full Color show that’s running right now. But I was honored to be asked to be part of the In Full Color anthology. I can’t believe Aswang Presidente is the last entry. What a lovely surprise.
I never been in a print publication that wasn’t from my school. I never been in an anthology before. This is so amazing!
And I can’t wait to see the show technically today and watch these talented ladies perform live. I’d love to see their words and experience them. It’s going to be wonderful!
Honestly, this piece is based on my life. I don’t want to get spoiler on you. I think I’ll wait a week or two before I write what went through my mind as I was composing it.
Only that it was completely clear to me what I had to write. I couldn’t think of a scene more relevant and more important for me to communicate than this.
I hope I always feel that way about all the things I write from now on.