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I was a very happy child, so to speak. But, since we didn't have video games or television, and very little radio, in terms of a form of entertainment, I used to read a lot and I would draw a lot, and those two things used to occupy my time.
I came to America to become an architect. And somewhere along the line while I was still in school, I was lured into theater, and that's how I became interested in theater. My first play was something called 'A Banquet for the Moon.' It was a weird play.
I had no idea how difficult Sondheim's music would be. All through the rehearsals, I kept flubbing. There were so many tempo changes. I could never get through the opening number without any mistakes. One day, I went up to Hal Prince and offered to leave the show. He laughed it off. He said, 'Don't be silly. That's why we have tryouts.'
Of course we've been fighting against stereotypes from Day One at East West. That's the reason we formed: to combat that, and to show we are capable of more than just fulfilling the stereotypes - waiter, laundryman, gardener, martial artist, villain.
No matter what happens, we couldn't let people say Asian-American actors can't act.
I go into a young film director's office these days and he says, 'Hey man, I know who you are. I grew up watching 'McHale's Navy'. And I think, 'Oh boy, here we go again'.
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