Ryan Alexander Holmes Interview Transcript

Masami: [00:00:00] Dude, it’s so nice to meet you. Finally. I feel like I’ve seen on Instagram so much. your content is just hilarious. I scroll through, I’m like, oh, I gotta watch this one because it’s so on point it’s so much fun. so I’m so glad to meet you things coming on the podcast, man.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Thanks. Thanks for having me. same for you, man. Nice to meet you. I’ve seen you in the work that you do. I think I talked to you on a clubhouse, right? That’s the first time we like

yeah, man.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: It’s it’s good to, yeah, it was months back. It’s good to, we still haven’t I haven’t met in person, but this is like as close as we can get for now.

And it feels like meeting in person. Cause this is how I’ve been meeting people for the past year. So nice to

meet you.

Masami: It’s just like, when’s it going to end like this,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah. Yeah.

Masami: I feel like it’s just a norm now, which is but

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: just like annoying.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: The introvert in me is I hope this stays, it’s like we get this and we get the other thing too,

Masami: Yeah. I just want a hybrid. the general meetings with managers and stuff like that. Just on zooms. I don’t have to go to get a coffee and

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yes.

Masami: parking.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: [00:01:00] Parking in like traffic. Oh my God. Auditions are awesome too. as an actor I don’t want to go, I don’t want to drive to Santa Monica from Pasadena. Oh my God.

Masami: I don’t want to put shoes or pants on

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

three minutes for a, like a three minute audition, maybe even less like auditions take less time than that. Sometimes you drive all the way out there for three minutes, but

whatever.

Masami: And wait in line.

line with all the other

Ryan Alexander Holmes: In that awkward rating room where no one’s talking and everyone’s like nervous. Oh my God. No, thanks.

Masami: Yeah. So you’re in LA, right?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah. Yeah.

Masami: How would you, which part of the town are you in?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I’m in, I’m actually in Alhambra which is like right under where I grew up. I grew up in south Pasadena, San Marino area SGV. yeah.

Masami: there. yeah.

I grew up, I’m in K town now, but I grew up in the inland empire. So

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Oh the I E maybe

Masami: yeah,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I lived on the outskirts. I lived in Rowland Heights for three or four years. That’s where my

where my grandma’s house.

Masami: yeah, we [00:02:00] played in marching band over in Roland, Olin high school.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Oh, snap.

Masami: We do that

Ryan Alexander Holmes: What instrument did you play?

Masami: I played trombone.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Nice, dude.

Yeah,

Masami: I was first chair. I

Ryan Alexander Holmes: that’s awesome. awesome.

Masami: fun times. Yeah, So I’d love forI know I’d love to hear your intro. I know you’re an actor you’re out here.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah. been on other shows, dear white people. was it

For the people,

Masami: for the

Ryan Alexander Holmes: all

Masami: yeah, I think that’s really cool.

but I’d love to hear some of your intro, how you your patient identity and generations. you know what tell him, tell me, introduce yourself, man.

I’m Ryan Alexander homes. I’m an actor, the proud Afro Asian American I’m black and Chinese. My, my father is from the south. My my mother is from Taiwan and I think I’m a content creator too. And I think this past year made me one in a way that I never thought that I could be before in terms of telling my truth and telling my [00:03:00] experience, because I really had to reach down deep.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And I think quarantine allowed me to do that because I was spending a lot of time just reflecting with myself. And how I want to navigate in this industry is entertainment industry, because there is no auditions, the industry shut down completely. There’s no audition. So I’m like, okay, as an artist, who am I?

And so I reached down into understanding who I am and in terms of my identity and how the world has seen me and how I felt constricted to act a certain way because of that and combating that.

Masami: Yeah. I think that’s what drew me into your account and you in general, just like you were so honest with it, and I had never heard the perspective. I don’t see a lot of content being built

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Okay.

Masami: the Blasian identity, just feeling so I’m like proud of it. And also just speaking about both sides, like constantly, and I

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Yeah.

Masami: perspective, only someone like yourself can upon and then to create, use that as content, put down social [00:04:00] media, put that out into the world.

no learn, listen, and also enjoy. Because I think that’s that we need to see more of that. what was your process about coming into that identity? You said you had a deep reach deep down and what were, what was that like?

to be honest, it came from pain, honestly, emotional, psychological watching George florid be murdered in HD. If I’m being honest, that’s what reallyand having no one to really be in a physical proximity to debrief about those feelings that brought it brought up in me.

here’s a man being literally murdered by the police, by people who are supposed to protect us. And then to see the blow back from my own age community, and seeing the anti-blackness in the Asian community and as being an Asian, I can just couldn’t allow that to happen. Like I needed to let the Asian community know those certain individuals how I felt being an Asian and hearing Asians talk about my people, black people that way, because [00:05:00] it felt like I was being erased completely.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: It felt like black people were being, talk down to as a monolith. And being that bridge, being both black and Asian, I felt like I had to express myself. I had to really deep down unencumbered tell how I truly felt. And it was very raw and it was very emotional. And I posted it on my social media.

I reached out to outlets and they Asian outlets that I didn’t think would post it, posted it. And what I received. So much more support than I thought I was going to receive. it was like 90% support, 10% eight. And I really was just like, I’m just going to express myself and say how I truly feel instead of hiding it.

Because we’re taught to hide how we feel and be polite. And I was like, no, I’m just going to tell how I really feel for the first time basically ever publicly, how I feel about this and all the support that I got validated, [00:06:00] the feelings that I had before. These people understand what I’m going through.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Why do you understand what I’m going through? Because you know that the community does that to people like me. and why am I? And the also the hate that I received validated like, oh, this is very real. This is very real. And there are people that literally hate me. Because I’m black in my own Asian community.

So it was like, it was freeing really oh, you do hate me. Oh, but there’s this whole contingent of people that is overwhelmingly supporting me. I feel this connection with the community that I never felt before. And now there’s no turning back and I feel a freedom that is very liberating.

I feel I owe it not just to myself, but to others that are like me, not just Blasians, but mixed Asians and Black people, just humans. the more that I dive into my identity and expressing myself just as a human in all the aspects that I’ve hidden or felt ashamed about the [00:07:00] more the message becomes universal.

The more I get messages of encouragement from people that I never thought that I. affect or touch her or make them feel something.

Masami: Yeah.

it’s only so much truth to that being like, I know this black, Asian anti-blackness in the community,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: about it. We want to see it. when we hear it, where do we want to say something? We, don’t want to upset our parents or something like that. But I think that’s something we, do need to talking about work towards a new future and, I’m sure like, an African-American yourself, like you’ve seen now both sideshaving so much discrimination against it’s just terrifyingin itself. we know where, at least I know where the real root of all of it is. So I don’t, I’m not, my anger is not really directed towards the Asian community or the black community, because I know that the system perpetuates this hate. And that’s just facts, right? Like I have compassion for my community.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I have compassion for the people in my own community who community who feel [00:08:00] like they hate me when that hate is not even theirs. The hate was never theirs. It was implanted. It was conditioned into them, And I’m sure if I meet them and I start speaking Chinese and we start sharing our cultural customs with each other, they’ll be like, wait, what is going on?

Masami: This is weird. what my ideological view of the world and you is completely being shifted, Yeah.

Yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: Now you’ve come and you’ve started to, you said you come into this identity, you really embraced it into its full glory. Now you forgot, we’ve heard you say hundred percent black, a hundred percent African-American and a hundred percent Asian Blasian Afro Asian. what do you find in the power of words and

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Hmm.

Masami: for yourself?

and what does that bring to you? Like you, if, for me it sounds, it feels like strength, like knowing

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: it, and believing in it even putting it out there to the world instead of hiding it

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: people assume what they want to assume and just Yeah.

Okay. you’ve definitely come out very prominent in this way.

So what, how, what do you find power in [00:09:00] doing that?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Words are powerful. They’re extremely powerful. And there’s that saying that, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I just, that’s just not true. That’s just not true, man. Words are so powerful. and we have to understand that in order to talk to ourselves in a way that’s empowering to ourselves, right?

Because it’s not just people saying bad things about us, it’s us saying bad things to ourself. If we really take a step back and examine our inner critic, a lot of that inner critic came from allowing those words that came from outside of us to be internalized without our permission. So for me, I’m very creative in the way that I reframe those narratives that were projected onto me.

Aye aye. I I see how saying I’m half this and I’m half that and internalizing that the wrong way can be [00:10:00] detrimental to my understanding of who I am. So I don’t say I’m a hundred percent Chinese and a hundred percent African American because I’m like bad at math. you know what I mean? I just say it because I really truly feel that I’m fully, both, and I can’t allow myself to think otherwise.

I don’t get upset when someone says, oh, you’re half Chinese. I don’t rage against them and then correct them. that’s not how I say it to myself. You can think that way about me. I might even say I’m half Chinese and half Black Black but my understanding of myself is that I’m a hundred percent both.

Masami: Okay. We’re not half or something. You can’t divide me

Ryan Alexander Holmes: No,

Masami: and

Ryan Alexander Holmes: no.

Masami: half that’s. No, way.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Like my Asian half is not saying something in my brain to my black half. That’s not how this works.

Masami: I don’t know. I just saw that video of you on the other. I was like, this is so hilarious. like in the show notes, but that was so good. because you can switch back and forth. And I saw [00:11:00] that tune as I do the accent. And I was like, they had asked, do you find that racist that you’re an Asian accent for it?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: once you can understand the context, no,

not at all.it’s interesting too, because here’s the thing, cause it does get complicated. Like a lot of Asians who look traditionally Asian, do accents, and they get flack for it. but not to a certain extent, right? Like they’re accepted like uncle Roger, I don’t have any problems with that.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: That’s a part of his heritage. Do you know what I mean? and so when I do it and I get just heinous remarks, I’m like, why are you saying these heinous remarks to me, ask yourself. Because there are plenty of Asians that don’t look like me that look like the stereotypical version of what an Asian is to that person.

That’s attacking me. I just ask them, why are you attacking me so much harder? that’s not a reflection of what I’m doing. That’s a reflection of your mind. And so like once again, the reframing of things, because [00:12:00] people, if you don’t understand yourself, you don’t understand the world and how it operates.

You can allow those people to silence you. I’m not going to be silenced. If I want to do these certain things, I’m going to examine how the world sees me. But first and foremost, I’m going to examine how I see myself in the world.

Masami: Yeah. And I think there’s the there’s this idea from the outside, not from your perspective, is that the perception and the presentation someone would assumes certain races and stuff, but we need to get past that to seethere’s more, there are more agents and morelegions out there who are building on this.

When are we gonna get past the fact that you just, because

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Okay.

Masami: Asian, you’re not Asian.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: And you don’t look a certain way.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah. It’s also examining what an Asian looks like. I had to really think about that when people say I don’t look Asian, I’m like, that’s just blatantly not true. it’s just not true because I literally am Asian. So I look Asian. It’s very simple. I [00:13:00] am Asian.

Therefore I look Asian. It’s basic math. It’s basic science. Do you know what I mean? And just because you’ve never seen an Asian that looks like me does not mean that I do not look Asian.

Masami: Yeah. someone, if you say, Yeah. I’m Asian and black and they were like what your agent or whatever at that point, it just goes, you’re Asian

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Yeah.

Masami: it like,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Masami: that now I’m changed my mind.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: and that just comes with representation. Do you know what I mean? it comes with, and that’s what I learned too, as an artist, if you truly want to do something that is, I hesitate to say groundbreaking, because it’s just, for me, it’s just, this is who I am. So I’m just going to show it right.

for, I think a lot of artists, they have to go outside of what the status quo is, but for them it’s the irony is that it’s just them being who they always were to begin with. So I feel like that’s what I’m doing to a certain extent. It’s just all, I’m just fully [00:14:00] embracing myself. And the more that I do that, the more people are like amazed.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: But to me, I’m just like, yeah, I’m just showing myself, the world makes you not want to show your individuality. Because of the teasing, because of the words that people will say about you, because of what you think might people might think. But once you let go of what people might think and the pain that might cause understanding that pain is not yours to begin with, you have no reason to inherit something that is not yours.

Then you just start being free and you’ve experienced what free freedom and artistry really is. And it can be very isolating at first, but once you get used to that before, and the habit of it that it just becomes instilled in you, it just becomes a way of your life.

Masami: And I feel like you find find the right community. to find the people who are believe in you, who identify with yourself

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Exactly.

Masami: You find other people are like, I get you and then they’re just with it. And then you [00:15:00] all become really thick community that you’re

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Exactly.

Masami: now, and you’re not fake it.

And that shouldn’t be one inside of the other. You’re not code switching this who I am now?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: it’s Yeah. I so glad you said that, because that is another thing you, I really don’t, I don’t feel like I could do this alone, but maybe I could, it would just be really hard. Like I, the community that I’m surrounded by for simply just embracing myself and sharing that and in my own, humorous, wayit is so powerful and so impactful for me.

And it gives me so much more support than I would have alone. and pushes me further into blazing my own path, right? that community pushes me even more to be my own self and my own individual, which is so interesting because that’s not what community was for me before community was like a race yourself to fit in the community that I’m a part of now is put yourself as [00:16:00] deep in yourself and invest in yourself as much as you possibly can.

And we will be here for you to pick you up. If you fall down to tell you that you are important and that you are unique and that’s fine.

Masami: Yeah, keep telling me more about you and what makes you yourself?

I think that’s

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And that’s what community is to us. Yeah.

and moving on to some of your acting career, you’ve got such a huge personality and you make all the content on Tik TOK and Instagram, that’s just enjoy it.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Okay.

Masami: brings up a good points. like, what are we learning today? and in such a, in, it’s enjoyable it’s something that, to see more of that also hits on topics that we don’t hear about.

So what draws you into acting and what draws you intothis career path, which is crazy career path to just take either way, because it’s just random. what

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.and can do continuing to do it for yourself without, fulfilling production it’s you and your phone.

Masami: gets you to do.

it’s this industry. I haven’t been doing it for very long. I [00:17:00] graduated in 2017 from drama school. And even in, just in those four years, it’s just been such a, it’s a steep learning curve for sure. And it’s very Securitas and I have shaped an understanding of the industry so far in my four years.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: That there are not going to be. I can’t, here’s the thing. I can’t rely on people outside of myself to give the, give me the opportunities that I know that I want. I’ve been blessed though, to be part of the shows that I’ve been on Shauna, the Shonda Rhimes show, black creator writing from a black perspective, playing a black character on her show and dear white people, I met Justin Simeon on set and I talked to him and I talked to the writers and I got to be a part of a black set, blew my mind because theater and film had been before up to that point, everybody’s white, like not anything else.

Just everyone’s white, all the people [00:18:00] in power, the writer everyone’s white. So for my first experiences in the industry to be like that super blessed,

right.

Masami: Your first experience.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah, my

Masami: It’s

Ryan Alexander Holmes: experiences.so I think that definitely has shaped me and gave me hope and pushed me forward into understanding like, oh, there’s people that look like me that are writing from their perspective and from their heart and writing their own style, incorporating their own sense of humor.

And I think that shaped me into creating my own content from my own perspective about things that I want to talk about. I remember I met Marlin Wayne’s cause I was paying for haunted house too back in the day before I even went to drama school and I got an opportunity to meet him and talk to him.

And I was like, Hey, I want to be an actor. What do you think? And he’s he like looked at me and he was like, don’t do it. And there was a long pause. And then he laughed and he’s I’m just kidding, man. If you, if your heart wants you to do it, but just understand that it’s not an easy path and you have [00:19:00] to not just act, you have to, You have to direct, you have to create your own content. You have to have your own sense of style and humor and grace and incorporate that and start from there. And, it’s been several years after that and I had forgotten bits of that, or I had forgotten like the power of that conversation I had with him.

But talking with you now, I’m realizing like, oh, that actually impacted me a lot because that’s exactly what I’m doing now. And it definitely took quarantine to really tell me that because I was just waiting for my phone to ring from a manager and my agent who are amazing. And I love them. And we have a personal relationship, which is unusual.

I realized for most actors.

 

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I still cannot rely on them to submit me and find the projects that I want to do. I got to go find the projects and meet the people and then be like, Hey, manage your agent. Can you get me in the room? And, usually the answer is, [00:20:00] yes, because I’m right for the part, because I went out and found that part for myself, so it’s a symbiotic relationship and you can’t put all the onus on them and they don’t want that.

That’s not how this relationship works, And and now even so I’m creating my own content I’m writing my own, shows and solo shows and really empowering myself to understand. Oh, this is I could be, assignment knowledge. I could be Trevor Noah. I could be Dave Chappelle.

These are pathways that had already been blazed. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I can just be myself, and Rami was a huge inspiration for me too. here’s a dude who is Muslim American, and he’s telling a story about what that means in terms of sex and alcohol and drugs and being so different in terms of what the norm of the religion that the country you’re in and then dealing with sort of the racism that came after nine [00:21:00] 11.

So I’m like, oh, you can show that on TV. Now I’m so used to like being, erasing myself just to fit in oh, I could just talk the way that I talk and that’s fine. I still don’t see the industry sort of the industry is always playing catch up and that’s fine. now I’ve realized I can just create my own stuff.

and I can change the industry. I don’t have to wait for the industry to change.

Masami: yeah.

back then we have to, lot of work. having to do it every day, keeping, keep it consistent finding new ideas, putting them on doing all the editing, all that kind of things. But I think what you’re doing is, the right thing to do, it’s can’t rely on the managers and agents.

They’re great, but they can, they have also have other clients that they have to put on. And even as writers Yeah, Writers, we have to. I think it gets lost that writers need to also build their own career portfolio doing something other on the side that relates to itrelates to the project.

So you’re not necessarily building like a short film, but what are you doing a part of the community that you’re trying to build up? how are you investing in yourself and your time into all these different parts? And if you’re [00:22:00] doing, if you want to be content creator, how are youcreating content that looks what you’re trying to build your narrative your personal brand keeps things going and fallen.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah,

exactly.

Masami: important. going on that, like with, what’s been your experience about roles being being multi-skilled. And code switching insides being looked at one, way or the other, what’s been your experiencegoing for auditions have you across any Blasian roles that are actually been right for you or, one one ever. and I auditioned for that, got a call back for it, but it was interesting because.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I don’t even know how I just felt like, in the beginning of any representation of something that hasn’t been represented before, like me being a Blasian, I didn’t see other Blasians in that, the producers that were there or the casting directors that were there, or the director who was, leading me through it.

So a part of me is just ah, also part of me is [00:23:00] oh, this would be amazing to be able to be myself.

Masami: Yeah.there is that push and pull, I applaud that for happening now. And I do think they’re doing their best, but it’s just a little, I feel a little kind of way when there’s no not any, not that there was no Blasian people there, there was no black people there too.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: So I’m just like, w how, what who is in charge of making sure that this is completely accurate, Will I have say in this, if I do get this to be like I’m Blasian and I would never say something like that, so, so with bringing on that representation comes the responsibility.

That’s what inclusion is, right? It’s not just oh, we want to put a Blasian character in here. They’re going to pat us on the back for doing that. who else are you bringing on? That’s going to be able to tell that narrative accurately and heartfelt from a place of sincere love for that demographic And you hear stories all the time, like Kim’s [00:24:00] convenience,

Masami: Was just thinking about

Ryan Alexander Holmes: right? The actors talking about that and being like, look, there was no, there was, we didn’t feel supportive. We didn’t feel like there was a community that was looking out for us and making sure that we weren’t playing a stereotype or, it just feels some type of way. But at the end of the day, I understand this industry and sometimes you have to sacrifice that and just do it. And so when you talk about mixed race, I auditioned for mixed race things. For sure.

Hello. The times is very clear that this person is not mixed that wrote this because it’s it’s just, I can feel it because this is my whole life. This is my whole experience, Yeah.

Masami: Yeah. I think that’s and when you do that, when you don’t have representation in the writers room, the producers, the directors, all of that stuff, it puts a lot onus on the actor.

Did them bring in and

they don’t end up having the end, the final say, so if they say no, or no, I don’t feel like that.

Masami: Or that doesn’t sound right. what are you, who are you to [00:25:00]

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Right.

Masami: like?And

Ryan Alexander Holmes: project, that’s what it is. But this is not a typical project, right?

Masami: yeah, And then not only does it, put more representation, burnout for yourself, like you have to hold up all legions and all mixed race in that room, if there’s no.

one else, you’re also doing types of work

So

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Masami: a consultant to help them,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: no,

Masami: paying you to help them with that writing process.

are we being ethical when we’re doing that and putting the,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah,

Masami: at the end of the day, what it should have happened was representation in the writer’s room that they can really tell the story and the showrunner,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: exactly.

Masami: if your movie or show to say that

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Okay.

Masami: being able to tell that show authentically and

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yes.and then it trickles down.

Yeah,

yeah

Masami: convenience, that when he went he left, that became toxic. Rather than So I think that’s a, it’s a huge point to bring

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah. we see that very blatantly with Adele [00:26:00] Lim and crazy rich Asians that she was brought in to make the narrative accurate and also to be a key writer, but they paid her one eighth of not just a man, but a white man, And so it’s just like why

Masami: Yeah. And that was after, I don’t know what

Ryan Alexander Holmes: she’s doing double the work.

Masami: Yeah.

I don’t know what the payment was for the first one, but it was for after, like after crazy occasions blew up

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: awesome that then they offered her one eighth. And

after you made a huge successful movie

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah, that’s a good point to bring up. Yeah.

Masami: right.

So you obviously had the backing on this, but yet that happened. and then what

Ryan Alexander Holmes: man.

Masami: too, is that it happened for that week. And then it’s. I here, any

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yes No resolution.

Masami: she just

Ryan Alexander Holmes: That’s

Masami: it

because I’m like she walked away, but then what happens to her? Does she get more opportunities after this? Are people going to uplift her or is it just oh, she walked away. We’ll just find another Asian woman to feel her place and [00:27:00] pay her maybe even less, Or are they gonna, they gonna build a little bit of Blacklister? Cause she’s

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah. yes.

Masami: she, didn’t want to take the pain okay.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: who’s why, and that’s the thing it’s it’s rough, right? Because if other Asians stand up for her, they might be blacklisted as well.

 

Ryan Alexander Holmes: if the whole community stands together, You can’t blacklist entire community, or maybe you can.

Masami: It’s maybe they will follow it. Isn’t they don’t have enough of us. So they don’t need us,So I get

Ryan: get what’s at stake, so it’s I don’t really blame anybody in that situation. Did Adele Lim do what was right. She definitely did for her own integrity. And maybe that’s better

Masami: Okay.

Ryan: than suffering an understanding that you’re getting paid way less than you’re worth and becoming comfortable and used to that.

not even for herself, but the whole community in general, if she’s

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: like that, we need more people like that. If we

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: to say no, like that’s not right, I’m going to drop out of the project that’s fine. Do it. And as much as in my hurt, you’re going to, you’re [00:28:00] going to have to take some stands.

at some point I think that’s really important.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: staying on that topic of crazy rich Asians.

Masami: yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And when you talk about representation in the mixed community, Or being multi-racial and auditioning for roles that are designed for multi-racial people, I think of crazy rich Asians. I think of Henry Golding’s character and how in my mind and how the system operates and how in my mind and how the industry operates and how people see things, especially my own Asian community.

Masami: I hate that. I know that maybe I don’t know, but I have a very strong inkling that if I was to play that half-Asian character, that Henry Gol ding is playing that, that wouldn’t be acceptable to a lot. A lot of people in the S in the studio would not back the movie, if that was the case, And why is that? And also, do I ask myself, how can I change that or do I just create my own. Or do I do both, Yeah I [00:29:00] think that’s the conversation to have too. that quote. AndI could see that being played off so many different ways in negative lights, whether it’s in the community and both sides. And Y if you’re an Asian movie, why he doesn’t look Asian, I’m

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Masami: but he is. And that’s, you need to get your own mind

around that.probably the argument would be that well, they’re going to Malaysia all the whole family, whole cast. Change, but at the same time, I think there’s a huge opportunity have like ablasion family,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah

Masami: the whole, both sides of the family.

it a secret until you see the family.

 

Masami: what

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah. Like, what? yeah.

Masami: family looks. You mean she’s Like, an Asian girlfriend or something

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.this is

Okay.

Masami: And that would be instead of, the thing is too, I’ve seen. see. I think of when I think of like an Asian black couple, the only thing I could think of off the top of my head, I think it was Norbert I that, I think it

Norbert It was

right. You’re right.

Yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.[00:30:00]

Masami: and, but it was all, it was like a joke, right?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: That movie is very problematic. I watched it. I literally watched it last week for the

Masami: gosh.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And it’s so problematic, man, but it’s, I couldn’t help, but laugh. Like it’s funny

to me.

Masami: is funny

but that’s the only, that’s my thing is that it’s the only time I’ve seen that kind of relationship. And I want to see more, but not be a joke because what

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: more like, whoa that’s

Norfolk was norm. It was like he was adopted Eddie Murphy, his character, Eddie Murphy’s black character. Like the main character was adopted by this Chinese man. Played by Eddie Murphy. Yes. The stereotypical way that you could possibly play an Asian man, like that movie would, he would be dead, definitely canceled for that movie.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Like for sure. In this current

Masami: Yeah. I haven’t seen in so long. I just, stuck in my head, but yeah, I didn’t

Ryan Alexander Holmes: your job will drop, your

jaw will drop and you’ll be like, oh my God.

okay. Cause [00:31:00] now that brings up a whole new topic that even think about what we were going to talk about at all. Is does that count as yellow face?

 

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yes.

Masami: yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Like I can’t even defend, hit him. that is definitely yellow face.

Masami: flame the yellow face.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: that very often just makes me like, huh?

Uh, that definitely wouldn’t pass now. Yeah.

hopefully when

it’s a tricky, it’s a tricky thing because I don’t know if you watched the Chappelle. Stand up where he liked does the Asian accent. but what’s crazy is at the same time that I knew that was problematic at the same time. I’m like, when he’s talking about like, when he was doing that voice and being like, why can’t I do this?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: This is how I feel inside. I was like, that’s me.

 

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I’m not, I’m an Asian man. Like I’m a Chinese man and people are upset when I like express my Chinese-ness, but that’s how I feel inside. And that’s how I was acculturated. You know what I mean? So it’s, I just say that, cause it does ironic that somebody doing that and [00:32:00] some in a problematic fashion made me feel so seen in a way I’ve never,

Masami: yeah.

and that’s cool too. Cause like I’ve never heard that perspective and different groups of people to say for you to say that it you feel seen in that way, even if there’s well different, it spoke to somebody

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah, it’s also comedy. You know what I mean? it’s different when it’s a comedy. I would also like to hear other Asians perspectives, but I also understand that my perspective as an Asian is a perspective of an Asian. So I also happened to be black, So I don’t, I, I personally didn’t find a fence in it.

If I’m being current percent honest, I’m like, that’s a funny joke to me because it’s not supposed to be taken seriously. It’s a joke, and when I think that the line crosses when you’re making fun of that

Masami: community.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And he wasn’t doing that.

I didn’t think he was either. It’s more this is how I feel. This is the way. And

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: okay,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Because he knew he was doing something problematic. He knew that [00:33:00]

Masami: yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: right.

Masami: but Yeah it was like that white dude, he went on stage after an Asian guy

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah, just ridiculous.

Masami: it was just completely racist

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: in making fun of being agents that have Yeah. there’s just this way.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I just,

it’s funny because he’s making fun of the person that would say that Dave Chappelle, he’s making fun of the person that would say that he’s not the person saying it. And that’s why it’s funny. Do you know what I mean? It’s a deeper level of comedy, and people might laugh at it and be like, is it okay to laugh at this?

But they’re still dying, laughing because they’re there, what Dave Chappelle had done when he constructed the joke was implement that. I’m in on this joke with you when we’re making fun of this person that does not exist, but it’s outside of both of us. That’s what we’re laughing at. that’s what makes it different than that actually racist white dude, who was, when I listened to that, I was like, I got, I just got so angry.

Cause I’m like,

Masami: yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: this is funny and you’re and other people in the crowd are laughing. This is [00:34:00] the, this is even humor. This is base level racism, there’s no nuance. There’s no, levels to it. It’s just you’re racist.

there’s a non-profit by Jewish community. It’s called it. Started with. It starts with word and you start saying things you dehumanize, it gets more and you start to think, oh, they’re not real people, how it becomes

Masami: it also this other great clip.

I think it was in the nineties or late ninetieswith Sarah Silverman

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Hmm.Gaia low-key on the bill Meyer show the Meyer. I forget.

bill may. Yeah. Oh my email. and silver. So Sarah Silverman made this joke on her. let’s keep doing this. she was giving, she was going, she was sent jury duty and they’re like, I don’t know what you’re doing.

Masami: And her front was like just say you’re a racist that you don’t like black people or something like that. And just no, I don’t. sound right. Yeah.

She didn’t, she doesn’t okay. I got it. I got it because it’s like general reason why you should be on it. yeah, I forgot what the whole joke was like, but I love [00:35:00] chinks. It’s

Ryan Alexander Holmes: said that word though. She said the word,

Masami: oh Yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: my God.

Masami: they allowed to the shelf that’s thing. That’s interesting as well. but there was, but that was the joke on her show. And then on the bill Meyer show they had the debate, right? So the guy yoke is huge in the activism world in entertainment, especially back in the day.

he’s a personality,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: he really fought against them. Like okay for you to say that at all?

why can you make that joke? And so definitely a clip and I’ll, we’ll put a link in the show notes and we’ll

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: it’s something to watch. Cause it’s, and there was another uh, one from

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Like that’s not, funny.

Masami: Yeah. It’s like, where’s the joke. She’s no, but it’s a joke. Like where’s It David spade. Yeah. David spade on

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Okay.

Masami: And he’s just just sitting there quiet. He’s just listening. Cause he knows he’s a comedian side. He wants that line. He’s both.

It’s ah, rough. but like at Saint in the day, when you start doing that same words and humanizing people in one way you need to say, I love checks. It’s that’s it It’s

Ryan Alexander Holmes: It was, andit was her saying it as [00:36:00] herself. You know what I mean? Not like some person said this or this is what I would have said. Had I been that person? You know what I mean? She said that as

Masami: yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah. yeah.

Masami: cool. It’s definitely something to watch. anyway, we’ll get back into the other one. what were some of your inspirations growing up? Are there any blocking agents that you were like, oh And you just want to be more like, or What’d you go with.

no, there were no black and Asians growing up. It was just choosing which one I was into at the time I was very into Jackie Chan very into Jackie Chan as a kid. I think, he was probably him and jet Lee were very much a part of my childhood. And then of course, like a myriad of black entertainers.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: But I just didn’t see the bridge between both until rush hour was my shit, man, because it was like, here’s two, here’s the funniest man of that era. Chris Tucker and here is like a living legend. [00:37:00] Chinese Kung Fu martial artist movie star coming together and it’s all love, like the jokes all love, It’s like how I grew up with some of my Asian friends. Like we go back and forth. Yeah. Maybe as an outsider, you’d be like these two people are saying the most heinous things to each other, that aren’t politically correct, and it could be viewed as racist, but like you could tell that they’re really good friends, and to see my reality reflected on them screen was very empowering for me, and Chris Tucker, like steak, not rec VA being very embracing of his black culture and not erasing that

Masami: Okay.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: the presence of a, another, or a Chinese person and vice versa. They didn’t erase any of themselves. They were fully and completely themselves. And I think also the production encourage that.

So I really do think that even rush hour is even though it’s a comedy, and it’s, maybe it’s not supposed to be taken seriously. I definitely took it very seriously as [00:38:00] a kid, because that was the only representation that I had to see both of my communities, because it represented what my family was, we joke and we clown each other, but it’s all love, and we’ll be the first to call something out if it’s okay, you crossed the line there, but I love You

Masami: Yeah,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: know what I mean?

Masami: sure. Yeah. that you don’t see enough and I’ve heard a couple of projects come through and okay. I’d love to seemore representation in the writers room for this project, or getting it a little off. do we need more parts about it? Asian American versus Asian, like Jake, Jan, from China.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: more,

Asian American side and what that solidarity is cause

besides the third world liberation movement you’re coaching on knock ex is there was black lawyers for the Japanese incarceration who fought against it. I want to see me more of a solidarity in history

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.

And we’re not taught it at all in our educational system. And that is, it, it really isintentional it’s intentional and a lot of people [00:39:00] don’t think it is because this is just the system that we’re living. It was founded that way on purpose by a certain group of people. And that certain group of people made the foundation of this country.

So if you don’t acknowledge that things are not going to change, we will continue not to learn our own history because the system was set up for us, not to it. The system was set up to lift a certain group of people, and we know who those people are. Don’t need to say who those people are. And it’s unimportant to really label that. It’s just the group that was in power, right? The group that was in power, founded a system to proliferate them staying in power and then and proliferating their image of power. And the longer that we don’t acknowledge that the longer we don’t change the system and make it diverse in all its beauty in the way that our country has changed.

to really represent our country as it is now.

Masami: yeah, and I see it the same way. I feel like politics and Hollywood are [00:40:00] just one in the same, right. People empowering the gatekeepers. They’re the ones who get to make the decisions. They say no to the ones that projects they don’t want because not many people can’t have everybody talk to them because they have their managers and agents.

And there are people below them. They just say, no, just keep everybody out. I don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear it.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Masami: to say no. And I’ve

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Masami: I wanna write this product. and it makes the government look bad. We’re not going to do it. And

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah

Masami: artist

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.

Masami: tell the

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yes.doing things like that is we’re gonna, as we start to change and see this change, we’re gonna start to see reflect more of America’s reality diversity, in storytelling. Because I think that’s, what’s, I think that’s of Hollywood is to show us what’s real instead ofpropaganda of

Masami: is, what it is.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah,

Masami: And what these people are.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: exactly. we judge other countries for the propaganda that they produce. I think we’re all starting to wake up and like really take a critical look at our own [00:41:00] media and our own entertainment and be like, oh wait, we do the same kind of thing. It just, in a different way,

Masami: Yeah. Yeah. w as we start to wrap up, what are some other movies, TV, inspirations that you’d like toshout out that maybe we should watch that you feel like that rush hours, standard.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: rest hours, like classic. Yeah. and then make you see you talk about what you’re talking about. like the word what’d you say the words first, it started with words. Yeah. It started with words. When you think about that, you understand how you can get these biases implemented and conditioned into your brain over and over again, to think of a certain group of people in a certain way, that dehumanize, that is a dehumanization of who they are.

And I think rush hour is a way of doing the reverse of that, right? here’s a funny humorous movie that is [00:42:00] about an Asian character who is completely embracing his Asian-ness and black character is completely embracing his blackness, getting along together in a buddy cop film, It is completely changing the way that people feel about these people, but it’s not hitting them over the head. it’s not an educational movie. It’s not a, intellectual movie. It’s not a preaching movie. It’s just here’s two human beings being human beings. And that’s why I love it because there was no hoo rah, around the film being like, this is, we got to champion this because it’s back in Asian solidarity.

It’s just nah, just what it is. And people accept it for what it is. So I love that approach. But other movies in documents is that I think that people should watch are definitely 13th by ever DuVernay and will Smith’s new documentary on Netflix that talks about the 14th amendment and how POC solidarity always existed.

They just keep erasing it from history. [00:43:00] We’ve always loved each other and we’ve always been there for each other, but they keep on making us have to revamp again and again, because they tear us apart for me. On purpose because it’s easier to control us. but in terms of movies and TV shows, man, I haven’t really been watching cause I just been creating my own stuff because I just, the more and more I dive into who I am, I’m like, oh, like a lot of this does not represent me.

And I see I have a more critical eye when I do watch it. the, and aside now too, is that there’s been so many TV shows and movies about black suffering and pain and brutalization. And I just will not subject myself to that anymore. It’s not helpful. It’s not helpful for me. It’s not helpful for my vision of black people and what I want to see for us.

but going to go on a completely different route warrior. Oh my God to see this dude, who’s also a mixed race. I think he’s half Japanese, half white

Masami: Yeah, a

Ryan Alexander Holmes: playing a Chinese [00:44:00] character. he beats the shit out of these two white poles, racist policemen in the very first episode, like in the beginning.

And I’m like, oh my God, is he gonna live? is he gonna as the next slot, like scene going to be him being young and it wasn’t. And I’m like, oh my God. So he’s just out here beating racist asses and then lives to keep on beating them up if he wants to like, that’s what I want to see. You know what I mean?

I want to see Asians standing up for themselves. I want to see people of color standing up for themselves and I want the story to be triumphant because that’s what we need to see. And also that’s the truth of it because we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t do that. But the story is that is constantly perpetuated is that Asians turn the other cheek they’re quiet and they don’t fight back, which is just bullshit lies because we always have, that’s why we persevered in this country, and the same goes for all other POC.

So when I think about stories being told, that’s the story. Those are the stories that I want to be that I want to be told and that I want to [00:45:00] tell.

Masami: yeah.

Yeah,

And I think what I’d like to see too, is you standing up for yourselves, but standing up for others? I think that’s a really huge point. Cause I think a part of that I mean that first scene he was standing up for the person who dropped his food on the go. I would love to seeagents sticking out for something that they didn’t have to be involved with instead of being a bystander,

involved, if someone’s getting hurt and be involved where no matter who it

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.and that’s, but that’s, what’s going to come up new and as you’re writing your works, we’re going to start to see more of

Yeah,

Masami: they’ll more stuff like that. and so what’s next for Ryan? What else do you got going on? What’s what’s new.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: man, I’m going to just keep creating this content and making people laugh. And at the same time, educating people and making them feel seen and see where that takes me. I do have projects that I’m working on, but you’ll see them when you see them.

Masami: and where can people see them? Where

and follow

my Instagram is Ryan, Alex, H R Y a N a L E X H. And that’s also my tick tock.

Masami: Got

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: on. And one last thing, [00:46:00] what’s got a last message or words for people, black and Asians

the entertainment. And what should they be away from our conversation today?

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And this also applies to people who aren’t mixed, but especially people who are mixed, embraced all the parts of yourself completely. And don’t let anyone tell you who you are, figure that out on your own. and that also includes your family. That’s not saying that you disconnected from your family or you hate your family, or you don’t talk to your family, just, especially if you’re mixed and even if you’re not, if you, if your mom is one ethnic background and your father is another, but you’re both, you can’t and expect them to know what you’re going through from a personal perspective, right?

You have to figure that out on your own. And if that means, finding other people that are like you and reading their stories, ordiving into, what people have told you and reframing that in an empowering way, flip it, flipping the script, as they say.[00:47:00] Do that right. But love yourself at all costs.

Masami: Yeah, thank you. Yeah. I’m also a mixed

I’m Japanese American and have four, a hundred percent each of white. and yeah and my parents don’t totally get what I’m going through.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: So what can you say that again? your,

I’m a Japanese

Masami: and a Caucasian

and white, like a quarter German quarter, just nixed European,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: then what do people say to you when they see you and you tell them that?

the most, the biggest thing. Asian, I had to tell them yesterday, say oh, are you Asian? Then you can see my mask or

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah only that was most, most people pretty good. The most people just assume I’m Asian. in some way are you? one dude it was scary time. was definitely looking for the Japanese side.

huh.

Masami: name? Like George? what’s your last name? CAUTI some Japanese names. what’s behind your eyes. Why are you jabs? Never show emotion. Like he was definitely looking for

Ryan Alexander Holmes: I’m sorry, is he Japanese?

Masami: No [00:48:00] big

Ryan Alexander Holmes: he said

that is

Masami: yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: basis.

Masami: I,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: a feeling you got. yeah,

Masami: feeling of

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.

Masami: coming up to me And he was big tall dude. I had to look up, but

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.dad told me don’t never throw the first punch because then that’s when it’s become an assault. I was waiting for him to throw something

it.like Dodge and come back,

Yeah.

Masami: take the, I’ll take the last punch,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: just be like to go.

Watch the eyes, see where they’re going. But

Ryan Alexander Holmes: And then that, yeah.

Masami: and am I in my Hispanic friends, stepped in for me. he stepped in between us. He pushed him back. I was frozen. I was

I was like, I’m ready to fight. But I, my legs shake and demeaned like,

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah,

Masami: this is going to be

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.

Masami: And I remember that time.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Wow.

Masami: most extreme it’s been

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.moderate, extreme is like a dude a office. And he’s. you’re

Okay.

Masami: you’re like, no, I’m Japanese American. Like dark for a Japanese

Ryan Alexander Holmes: do they say these things? I know why they say these things because they just never were educated and [00:49:00] understanding or had to understand who we are like.

he’s being curious and it’s oh, this you wanna bring up conversation there? And he’s a good dude in general. So you’re not gonna pass it off and

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah,

Masami: going to get on that. it’s just one of those things it’s

that’s the thing that makes us feel like you’re looking at me for and analyzing

and what I am or what I’m not.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah. it’s a constant battle to not internalize that. and there are tactics in which to do that. And some of them are like clapping back, in a way that’s not disrespectful. It’s just sucks that you think that way know, it doesn’t have to be mad. It doesn’t have to be a, it’s just wow, it’s unfortunate that you think that way and then go right back to your work.

You know what I mean?

And it’s oh, what did I do? And, but if you get upset and you show that to them, now they have a reason to paint that monolith either even a deeper color, The dive even deeper into their otherization of these of the people that they see that [00:50:00] are different from them.

it’s, I’m all right about putting that same energy back on them in a way that’s not disrespectful and it’s totally, has nothing to do with me. It’s just a reframing. A reframing, it’s a switch switching of the frame. It’s a flipping of that script and it, in a way that’s non-lethal and non-threatening right.

Masami: Yeah.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: That gets not mine. You’re trying to put it on me, boom, and getting right back to you. You know what I mean?

Masami: Yeah. I would just ask questions. Like, why do you w what made you say that?

what do you think? What do you think Japanese look like?

but

Ryan Alexander Holmes: then

Masami: so,I agree with that tactic, but at the same time, it’s if you have time to do that, but that’s not your job and you’re now you’re wasting energy. Maybe not wasting energy, but expending energy on something that is not for your direct benefit, especially when you’re doing something you’re working on your job.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Or you’re trying to do something to set yourself forward,

not to turn around and to educate this too is just it’s not my job.

and I’ve heard that argument too, and we’ll wrap it

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah,

Masami: but

Ryan Alexander Holmes: no, [00:51:00] it’s all good.

I, that at one point I do see it’s as much as it’s not my job, it’s also a part of my responsibility because it’s going to be this, person’s not

Masami: doesn’t

not ethnic or

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah,

Masami: who else is going to get it from? He’s going to get it from me

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah.

Masami: other person who’s going to feel the same way. It’s not

Ryan Alexander Holmes: You’re right. You know what? You’re absolutely right. For me, it’s more priorities, priorities. My priority is myself. First and foremost, then my people who are marginalized in the industry that I’m trying to come up in. And then it’s helping those other people that that are working in that same industry that, that don’t see us as humans.

And don’t even know they don’t see us as humans. If I have the time, I’ll give it to them and I’ll give it to them compassionately, especially if it’s, well-intentioned, but they’re saying something that’s like very problematic. If I have the time, I’ll do it. But my priority is to myself.

Masami: And to, to the people that I’m in this industry with that are like me, We’re going to drop it there.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: The end on that high note, man. Ryan, Thank you. [00:52:00] so much for being on the podcast and speak with me. True pleasure.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: Yeah.

Masami: super talented and smart and this whole thing. So it’s just

Ryan Alexander Holmes: you.

Masami: to you.

 

know, I hope to see you in LA I’m we’ll

Ryan Alexander Holmes: oh, we’re definitely meeting, man. I mean with soon it’s soon we can grab a drink soon.

 

Ryan Alexander Holmes: yeah. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Ryan Alexander Holmes: right.

 

Masami: to out one second. One sec.

 

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