Celebrity 'David Chin' on Identity and Mixed-race Heritage
"Who Am I: The search for identity"
"... I always had problems approaching women,
thinking that they would reject me because I was Asian.
The thought of being rejected for something
I couldn't change just devastated me.
So I tried to be "white" and assimilate into
the culture, but that wasn't good enough.
I wanted to be something more.
Then it happened ... I was Asian on
the outside, but black on the inside.
I finally had an identity ...
But my insecurities still persisted
and my ego was still fragile.
I still had something to prove ...
Many years have passed since ... and in a lot
of ways I am a completely different person.
But even as an adult, I still carry some of the
same fears and insecurities I had growing up
--- and I still struggle with self identity."
Last Saturday in acting class I `decided
to try something a little different ...
I wanted to surprise my new acting coach
and classmates with a Jamaican accent.
I've been playing around with the accent ever
since I ... saw the movie "Cool Runnings"
(their accents are terrible in the movie) ...
The thing that annoyed me though is that he
told me to try the accent again next week,
but the next time wear a Bob Marley t-shirt.
I guess my "asianess" was throwing him off and the
only familiar Jamaican thing to him is Bob Marley.
Although, to be fair, before reggae became
popular in the early 90's, Bob Marley was
the only Jamaican thing I knew as well.
But now that I have researched it more,
I have discovered that Chinese immigrated
to Jamaica way back in the early 1900's.
Chinese people make up a small percentage
of the population and there are a lot of
Jamaicans with Chinese heritage.
For example, the emerging hot
dancehall reggae artist Sean Paul.
I'm thinking of making a t-shirt for the
next time I do the Jamaican accent in class.
It will say "I am Jamaican", or
"I am a Chinese Jamaican".
Maybe that will help my acting coach realize that
I'm doing a Jamaican accent and that not all
Jamaicans are rastas or wear Bob Marley t-shirts.
I'm also trying to learn some patois to really mix it up!