Samantha Wan & Amanda Joy Interview Transcript

Masami: [00:00:00] Thank you so much for coming on this is so cool. I’ve watched your show. So I’m super excited.

Samantha Wan: Ah, thank you so much for having us

Masami: How are you both doing it’s been a wild year and things have been so great in some ways and in others. Just doing a check-in, how are you both doing

Samantha Wan: Ooh It feels like a big question right now I don’t know Cause are you David Are you in Toronto No you’re not in

Toronto

Masami: no I’m in Los

Angeles

Samantha Wan: So we’re in Toronto and Toronto just got put back into a lockdown for a stay at home order for six weeks

Amanda Joy: We’ve been in the longest locked on in North America

Samantha Wan: And so they’re now police traveling the streets now ticketing people if they’re outside their home shut down we’re and yeah that was just this this weekend a couple of days ago it’s it’s it’s yeah definitely You can

feel it

Amanda Joy: A little heavy here

at the same time like as much as that sounds awful and like police are ticketing for just going outside or curfew also sounds like the right thing[00:01:00]

Samantha Wan: Yeah Yeah I agree And I also like I think many people feel like this actually should have happened sooner so it wouldn’t be so bad right now

Like

Amanda Joy: a lot of the concern comes from how they’re going to choose who to take it

Samantha Wan: and to approach And the fact that they now have permission to just approach people on the street that opens the door to a lot of Just

it discrimination You’re just just go We don’t have beat around the Bush here

Masami: This is the podcast and not do that So no exactly If this kind of a problem And so like I saw Korea do that everyone was getting tickets and inside but at the same time here if you haven’t policed come and do that you don’t know about Canada but Toronto and specifically if you’re just having police out no police presence is great So just they need something Just like here’s tickets Just tickets no one with a gun no one

with a

taser

Amanda Joy: Yeah maybe if it was city workers it wouldn’t be so bad

Masami: Yeah exactly awesome not great for those locked down but it [00:02:00] is a true pleasure to have you both on this podcast for strong Asian lean today

Amanda Joy: Pleasure to be here

Masami: Let’s get into the intros please introduce yourself I want to make sure you have the time to say where you’re coming from What’s your hometown what’s your career background Like and I think they would love to I would love to know and I’m sure the audience would love to meet you I don’t think enough know about you So I would love to have you introduce yourself

Samantha Wan: Oh this is so funny on audio It’s always like who’s going to go first and do you want to go first

Amanda Joy: Sure That is English your audience Isn’t familiar We’re both Canadian Asian Canadian actors producers writers working up here we created a show called second gen That’s been airing on Omni and previously Aranon city as well my name is Amanda joy I’m an actor writer producer and I’ve been told I’m I’m funny way So I think that’s a part of me yeah And just happy to be here Happy to be talking about the show Happy to be talking about the industry and happy to be talking about [00:03:00] representation

Samantha Wan: I’m also I think cause people can’t see us I’m I’m Chinese Canadian and Amanda is also Filipino well as well I just ran like Chinese Amanda you’re a

Amanda Joy: Yeah I’m happy I’m happy I’m mixed I’m Filipina and Chinese

wow That’s so silly We’ve been making a show for three years and I had to had to like take pause for a moment like wow yeah also yeah so Right A producer actor director as well in the kind of in the in the scheme of things I mean I think Amanda’s more into writing I’m more into directing but we you know we sh we should share a lot of things just as the creators of the show together yeah and me I started in theater going to theater school then you know Realized I need to make a living more so and yeah it did my first ever film with Amanda joy and that’s how we met

Amanda Joy: Oh I guess I should say how I start I started as a kid model and doing commercials My my one of my [00:04:00] first television gigs was a Marine line commercial I got cut out of because I got scared of the deer

Samantha Wan: Was there a deer in your Marine land commercial

Amanda Joy: So there was like a petting zoo part of the Marine life of Marine land So I was not a very smart kid and I picked up some food off the ground and put it in my pockets cause I was just like you’re a kid and you collect everything And then I guess the deer smelled it So they were insanely interested in me and I was insanely not interested in them so it the director had to chase them away with a megaphone And that was my first commercial job

Samantha Wan: It’s amazing You’re still in film the

in film and I’ve gotten over my fear of petting deer Yeah Yeah I did the whole wacky theater school thing I remember my first week of school I went to the national theater school of Canada and there like so many great things like Shakespeare and all that stuff But also my first week they’re like You’re a tree And I think we had to pretend to be a tree two hours and we were [00:05:00] treating different places We were treating Africa the way we were treating the Tundra there was a point where they’re like you were a tree in a pile of shit growing out of the manure And I was like okay this is too much

Amanda Joy: See your life was this song from a chorus line

Samantha Wan: exactly It’s like okay this is what I’ve chosen to do Yeah And then once we got out into the real world I was like I’m ready you know you graduate And you’re like yeah I’m so ready to get into the industry And then as a man and I both found out like our first roles were like geisha and mail-order bride And I was like okay okay This is the world that we are in right now when we first started

Amanda Joy: Yeah I remember us both showing up to the audition for the geisha and just being like

boy

Samantha Wan: It was like so gung ho I like now I’m like Oh Lord Sam like even like tried to dress up like was so desperate for such like yeah like a role that was like Hey do you want to be this token And I was like yes because what else is there

Amanda Joy: that’s how they get us[00:06:00]

Samantha Wan: Yeah

Masami: so rough I feel like that’s I think it’s a lot of people’s experience in to their industry is the stereotype roles And there’s always that the pull between I need the job I need the work I need I need the practice and experience And the other side is this is awful This is not how I defend myself neither of you are Japanese So going out for geisha is don’t know the difference but we know it was like this is feels weird It feels wrong

Amanda Joy: I think it was specifically geisha saved by white people also like in some sort of parallel saved by white people As most TV shows go

Yeah that’s just its own thing in itself you both talked about being Chinese Filipino in both being Canadian now how do you find power in yourself in naming that identity and there’s some people in like myself I didn’t think I was Asian for a long time and didn’t accept it Didn’t in it And I think I read someone article one of you said that it felt the same way you talk spend a little more on that what how do you feel in this now to say this for yourself in this industry that Asian-Americans are coming up

I th [00:07:00] I think for me I it may have been the the article where I was saying like I what I grew up in Vancouver that’s where I Did most of like my middle school high school experience I mean I’ve I’ve jumped all over the place before that but I just say I’m from Vancouver because that’s where I did my formative years And there’s so many Asians I would say that my school is majority Asian actually in high school I never about it I just never thought about being Asian and then once I came out of theater school that identity became like a huge at first because of they’re like well what can you go out for casting And that all of those things And at first it was like Oh no I’m pigeonholed with this identity that I’d never even considered myself until now someone had to put me in a box and put my picture up And now now it feels empowering Like now it feels so great I would say especially because Amanda and I have also been able to To like stand up and tell our [00:08:00] own stories Like when I started from not knowing to like it’s sucking to now it being amazing And you know I have Sandra’s t-shirt of like it’s an honor just being Asian Like I truly feel that I truly thankful for the community and the comradery around that and and my culture

Amanda Joy: Yeah I definitely feel like growing up there’s a point in your life where you understand what race is and there’s a point in your life where people start putting it on you And prior to that you may not feel Asian or you may not feel that you’re racialized until you go out into the world and it becomes clear to you that people see you differently and I think like Sam saying it’s empowering coming into your own and saying yes I’m Asian and I but I would definitely say for me it’s more of it’s not a straightforward line because there are times where I’m just I feel so empowered and so happy and so proud that I’m [00:09:00] Asian And then there’s this other side of me that wonders What would it be like to move through the world without being racialized what would it be like to not have all of these extra barriers or these extra things put on you What would it be like to just be a writer to just be an actor to just be a producer not to be the Asian writer the Asian actor the Asian producer what What would it be like to be seen as neutral And so I waver between these two feelings and sometimes I feel guilty for wandering but I also feel like it’s a normal thing especially when that weight of when there are times and especially in this industry when there are times when that weight of racial inequity really comes down on you where you wonder what it would be like if it wasn’t there

Samantha Wan: Yeah I still feel like it’s okay to like I like that you say that because I think it’s okay to also have a complicated relationship with your culture sometimes too background I mean that was also my case growing up as well in in the sense of like I’m a proud Asian person but also like when I was young sometimes there were [00:10:00] things that Like I didn’t like that my dad did And then he would be like well that’s the culture And I was like well then I don’t like the culture Like I it was there was also like a thing I had to come to terms with too for myself And I think yeah I do think we don’t talk about like the the the the complicated relationship that can be with it And that’s okay too And you can still be proud still have like this reckoning with it as well as we grow

Amanda Joy: We grow

Masami: So eloquently put that complication between understanding your identity wanting to have your identity Like how would you move around the world if everybody saw us as equal or as the same but then what does that mean And in some ways being agents also our superpower is it being that person who can be unique in ourselves and we’re even unique between different agents love the way you put that both shoot

Samantha Wan: It’s okay I will also have construction It’ll be like a symphony of construction going on

Amanda Joy: There’s been like this parade of trucks that have been driving by over the last few days waving Canadian flags out the window and honking And [00:11:00] I at this point I’m just too scared to Google it I just don’t want to know

Samantha Wan: Oh no Oh no I hope they’re not Anti-vaxxers I’m just like Oh I’m

so I

Amanda Joy: like there’s a list of people I hope that they’re not And you what the likelihood because their trucks and they’re waving Canadian flags at the window I’m going to guess they’re probably on our list

Samantha Wan: I don’t know so far It’s hard It’s not this I don’t know I don’t I don’t people don’t often wave like flags around here There’s not like it doesn’t it’s like the Confederate flag where it’s a big thing Canada We’re very bad at being nationalistic So to see a flag being Whoa happening

Amanda Joy: it’s not weird If someone flies one outside their house it’s a bit weird If they drive in a line of trucks waving them out the window and honking It’s a bit weird

Masami: flags too right It’s not just like a nice little flag and conservative No it’s like in your face gonna wrap you around three times in a burrito

Samantha Wan: Where do get

Amanda Joy: until I look it up I can just think that they’re just saying Hey it’s great [00:12:00] here

Samantha Wan: yeah I wishcheer up

Masami: Come to Canada We’re not America That’s great Tell us when you both met you mentioned a little earlier but I’d love to know a little bit that story

Samantha Wan: Yeah so Amanda and I both met on a independent horror film called the devil’s mile And we were both Japanese school girls in it the ones that like get kidnapped and we honestly even saying I’m like well that kinda sounds not great but it actually was a great experience And the fact of like we everyone we met on that set was so wonderful and we ended up bringing a lot of them onto second gen with us But I think the biggest turning point when we both met on there was there’s a point where we get kidnapped put in the trunk of car And because it was an independent film it was a real car and we got locked inside they lost the keys sitting in there curled up being like there has got to be a better for us to live

Amanda Joy: Three of us in there Cause there was a camera

Samantha Wan: [00:13:00] Yes We also fit a camera the Raider and a camera and then two of us in the car So you know it leaves you a lot to contemplate or while everyone is running around asking where the keys on you’re sitting in the dark in a trunk of car it’s motivating really

say

Amanda Joy: makes you really glad that everyone is wearing deodorant That’s great for

the hygiene

Samantha Wan: Yes So that’s where the bonding happened and the inspiration happened yeah that’s how we that’s how we kind of met And then Amanda kind of wrote a a pilot script and then I produced it and co-directed it with Joe who had done this Like I said we literally stole everybody from this Independent film we still have the camera guy the director to help me learn how to direct it still like the lighting people everybody and they helped us shoot our first what again we thought was a pilot We have no idea where like something that’s 22 minutes long that’s a pilot Right and we shot that and cut it down and use that for pitching And that’s kind of [00:14:00] the beginning of of this started of second gen

Masami: Wow that’s a wonderful story to to have if we’re with you forever that bonding moment I’ve been on some of those sets you just here you are and then you’re all trapped in this little place and have to say okay this is how life is and then you go to the next set and then you’re like this is we’re going to do this again

Samantha Wan: Yep Yeah for sure And also our DOP Dave lamb who we met on that set is our DLP on second gen And he’s also a Chinese and like he’s makes a big difference You know top-down how like he’s also hired a crew that is Diverse as well And so I’m really proud of the people that we’ve also brought brought along with us and we’ve all

Amanda Joy: Yeah And I think along with that is when you have two creators of color who are bringing in people that they know that they’re more likely to know people of color working in the industry the great thing about that was that our crew for so much of the show has been much much more diverse I would say it’s the most diverse crew I’ve [00:15:00] ever worked with We have it’s like majority I would say our crews majority BiPAP and I haven’t seen that on a on any other TV series

Samantha Wan: Yeah And if they’re not BiPAP then they’re female as a team lead Usually in general was kind of it kind of balanced it out that that way if they weren’t BiPAP and they were going to be female and like yes we had some white males We’re not excluding you guys but yes that was our team and it made a big difference

Masami: It’s amazing I think that is so rare it must feel great And I want to get back I want to go into that a little deeper but let’s backtrack a little bit cause I know I’ve watched the show I binged right through the season three I loved it haven’t been I haven’t been able to get to my VPN and get the wet season one and season two but I haven’t seen any of my friends I’m telling everybody you should watch this show It’s going to hit Netflix one day and you’re just gonna be like it

And so

Amanda Joy: ah shucks

Masami: And had just those friends who just love social justice and equity and just diversity in their show was just about it [00:16:00] I loved how it just hit so many parts I would love to introduce this show a little more to our audiences I want them to watch this It’s fine at some way tell us a little more about second gen how the idea came about and and what made you start this show and what was some of that journey like

Amanda Joy: Of it relates to some of the stuff that we talked about going out for these stereotypical roles and understanding that we were never going to play characters who were multi-site Dimensional people We were always going to be the geisha and the white savior story If we didn’t take it into our own hands And a lot of the show is just drawn from real life experiences things that we experienced growing up things we’ve experienced in our communities with our friend groups things we’ve experienced as women in the workplace It’s everything that we put into second gen and every Idea that we have comes from a place of truth and also comes comes along with our the idea that whatever story we tell we want it to only be able to be told in [00:17:00] this specific way in our show

if it’s something not specific to our experience then it doesn’t make it into the show

Samantha Wan: Yeah like in the sense of so for context for people to it’s it’s about to like childhood best friends who grow up and try and make it out in the city So you know we’ve been compared to like a broad city type of thing but think then the stories that we pick are there’s kind of three major lenses that we look at We look at what is it to be second-generation So there a cultural difference in this story a way to culturally approach it there a generational difference you know between our parents and ourselves as millennials and that and then as women is there a gender difference So we kind of look at maybe similar stories that you maybe see in other shows but but there is a very specific viewpoint that we have you know so In season three like I think for em and I this is our favorite season We talk about like yellow fever talk about workplace diversity we also have like a tantra workshop but also like how [00:18:00] does being Asian and culture even even influence that like your discussions at home right It’s different So that’s that’s the viewpoint that we kind of take on everything

Amanda Joy: And just for context I’m M

Samantha Wan: Sorry Oh my goodness Yes Amanda is M

Amanda Joy: the funniest thing is that the men that were Samantha and Amanda and our nicknames are Sam and Dem So in either case people mix up our names all the time

Samantha Wan: Yeah So yeah when you hear it and that’s Amanda Sam is is

Samantha

Masami: Both your names are technically both Jen right

Amanda Joy: Yeah And that came from a joke We were talking about how You if 20 Asian girls 15 of them will be named Chen I think less so now but definitely growing up in the nineties

Masami: I probably know at least two so yeah it’s I thought you did such a wonderful job touching all these topics there can talk about diversity and racial harassment all these things in so many different ways I think people one of the first things people go through is like drama of that [00:19:00] trauma that the hardship of it you had said in comedy is definitely and has historically been a tool for challenging society what did you mean by this society through comedy

Amanda Joy: So we have to look at this like in the context of audience and I think definitely if you’re trying to convince people or show people a point of view there’s something that will make people shut down As soon as you start Telling them you’re going to teach them something or that they need to understand something When you present it as comedy and you offer the chance to laugh I think people are more willing to listen and they’re more willing to let their guard down I think that they’re more willing to to S to see things From perspectives they might not have considered before because they’re willing to go along for the ride with a character that makes them laugh with a situation that makes them laugh in a way that they wouldn’t if they felt like they if for some reason they felt like they might be being lectured or if they felt defensive So it’s a really [00:20:00] good kind of sneaky way to to disarm people But I also think that in telling these stories I try to be conscious of Of who the audience is I don’t want to just be telling stories to educate people on racism I also want to be creating things for audiences that are like me audiences that can relate to what’s happening and that can watch it and laugh because they’ve seen it before because they’ve experienced it too because they can see these moments from their own history and their own lives And they can see it presented In a different and a funny way while drama also has that power the power to educate and the power for people for marginalized audiences to relate to for me my natural inclination is to lean toward comedy And I think that’s just how instinctually I operate as a storyteller Although I do like writing drama as well

Samantha Wan: Yeah I also feel like when we’re we’re writing and when we’re in the writing and you know coming up with stories people are like Oh how do you [00:21:00] find this lighter viewpoint But it’s also kind of I think naturally how we survive like when bad stuff is happening like I survived through dark humor We survived through dark humor Laughter like we’re making jokes about being caught in in a trunk of car Like we’re we’re we’re laughing at it because that is actually genuinely how we how we as people make it through So that is also just like our genuine lens I think when things get really dark

our survival

Amanda Joy: There was this great idea that I read in on a book Oh gosh I can’t remember the title now but they said it was about racial inequity and they were saying if every indignation you experienced puts you in a ditch you’ll never get through your day we all have to find ways to deal with this And I think just like Sam saying for us humor is one of the ways to get by so that it doesn’t destroy you so that it doesn’t put you off your game every day

Samantha Wan: Yeah Comedy is only like well at least the comedy that we love is the funniest because it’s so honest you laugh because you’re like Oh my [00:22:00] gosh that’s so true So that’s that’s why comedy and like this kind of yeah the revolution of it is I think so powerful because comedy is the funniest one it’s surprising and true that someone was willing to say that someone was willing to point that out

Masami: Yeah And there’s something to be said about people who can take a moment that is so true Either hurtful or some way and just a viewpoint of the life and turn it into something that makes other people smile even if it’s just your own smile I don’t know I definitely wish I was comedian I wish I was a better joke teller but I think it’s necessary for this world for how people who can show us a different perspective on life and so much of the educational work as it were is really just about shifting the POV of making somebody see a situation from a different perspective And so having the co the main character is being women of color having it being written by women of color and having the [00:23:00] events be truthful to our experiences we automatically offer that educational element without having to try And we can just worry about making people laugh

Samantha Wan: Yeah And being out there I think that the thing is too like we have a kind of heightened sense of humor So like even in the workplace diversity kind of thing it through like this insane maze where she’s going to like the same place over and over again seeing the same woman like it’s also like finding a heightened way and fun way of doing it that think it keeps it really fun for us

Masami: Samantha and a TV’s junkie article you said I think it’s obvious how broadcasters directors and creators can contribute to diversity down to the viewer who is what changes as broadcasters mine you need to vote with your dollar What did you mean by that And what does it mean to have more diversity in our lives and in our workplace

Samantha Wan: Yeah So what I meant by I by the by the viewer being able to vote with their dollar is because that is ultimately what changes producers a [00:24:00] broadcasters mind because they’re ultimately looking at it being a business and making money So the only way you get to the solution is through taking your money away and deciding where you put your money on on what you’re going to watch And so that’s what I mean by You as a viewer can participate in this revolution by deciding even even if you’re just watching Netflix like deciding what to watch for a little bit like what is what is being watched because Netflix looks at those looks at those like who what’s being watched the most And then they order more based off of that And I think you know the Like another example right now I’m so mad about like what’s going on with Minari and like the golden Globes and you know how it was under best foreign film And it was just I I couldn’t believe it and like the best way I’m like Hey what can I do And yes get up in arms on online and stuff like that But too [00:25:00] I’m like okay to go pay to watch Minari because it’s like she’s going to watch it I’m going to pay for it I’m going to put my money towards it because that is the only way these people listen I’m I’ve been shocked at like the higher ups how much kind of don’t Feel they need to listen to the uproar sometimes when sometimes they do but they only start feeling like they have to listen once their pockets change that’s how and that’s how we make change is by us voting with our dollar about what’s important to us important on

Masami: You’re totally right It’s all about the the numbers for them The only color they see is green

Samantha Wan: Yeah business I don’t blame them but like if if we keep buying if we keep buying the same white stories there’ll be like well why would we change that That’s the consistent one Like we have to you know we we also have to change our our viewing I mean I kind of blame them a little but

Amanda Joy: I [00:26:00] blame

Samantha Wan: W we blend them but we have we also have to like keep contributing in that way and changing the narrative ourselves together

Masami: Yeah And I think a part of it it’s still a contested thing where playing with our dollars it was so weird Cause I didn’t want to pay for Milan And I didn’t cause the thing was the thing is that I protest with my pocket book as well so the idea was none of the Asian creators none of the main upper levels here So why should I that into it when I’m telling you that’s not what I want and yeah It’s not that I want for the Hong Kong yeah someone did have did change my mind and understanding what this meant was we only get three Asian films a year that you have to put the money into it even if you hate doing it like this to see it to see that Asian faces the Asian story like most of it’s Asian to put in there like it gets votes And so it’s ah dang it You’re right So it’s definitely that too And with the Netflix thing it’s not even paying with your pocket book paying with your viewership It’s you have to put play it on Cause they’re not advertising things to you at our age And necessarily [00:27:00] I had to change our whole algorithm just to find more Asian things because it wasn’t being advertised to

me

Samantha Wan: Oh did you just like click on a lot of Asian things Like how did you

change the algorithm

Masami: clicked on it I watched him I played certain things If I didn’t really want to watch it I was like I just play it and play in the background stuff like that You just things search things it it definitely helped me I’ll see more things now but

Amanda Joy: so what’s so insidious about the algorithms is that they’ll change the thumbnail based on what you

Samantha Wan: Yes I know all of my thumbnails are people of color and I’m like but you know this show

Amanda Joy: Yeah That’s exactly what I was going to say is that they now all of my thumbnails are the minor person of the minor character of color And then I click on it and it’s another show about white people

Masami: You had three full seasons check in Jen I think that’s amazing in itself And I’m so mad that I haven’t heard about it earlier what have been some incredible changes you’ve witnessed throughout your series of being writing it getting it together and getting it on air what’s been your experience

Amanda Joy: I think definitely the biggest change was how much [00:28:00] control over this over the show and over over the stories that we were able to tell that that we managed to get throughout the series because at the beginning we didn’t have a ton of control and we didn’t have final say on our stories of course an always it’s always an ongoing negotiation There are a lot of stakeholders and a lot of people that you work through but I would definitely say that the level of control we had In season one was nowhere near where it was in season three and season three is my favorite

Samantha Wan: Yeah You’ll see the huge difference if you watch these ones So anyone watching now watch season three first because that is what Amanda and I are proud of

Amanda Joy: and then work backwards

Samantha Wan: back right

Masami: what did you want in season one that you weren’t allowed to have that they made you change if you can comment on that

Amanda Joy: It’s a combination of factors and when you’re quite young and you’re new to making shows and everything you just don’t want to get in anyone’s way and you’re not Always able to voice [00:29:00] if you feel like something is problematic or if you feel like a story is not being told in a way that you feel good about And there are definitely many moments in season one and where I do think that we did voice some concern maybe not enough I don’t know Cause we were quite young that that made it through that I’m I that I don’t feel comfortable with

Samantha Wan: Yeah Like we we were like 23 24 years old when we did that first season And yeah I mean you’ll you’ll you’ll naturally see if you look at season one and look at season three even who’s who’s telling what stories is different There’s in season one it’s more of a friends thing where you can see that there’s two boys and then two girls a season two and three are just two girls Like so it just really focused more in on On us And and again it’s not like a Oh they made us do it like cause that was part of our our premise But then we slowly realized like Oh no it should be more focused on the two Jens [00:30:00] And I think another really big thing that came through in season two our episode that did the best like a girl Was really about social issues and then had written it I had co-directed it and up until that point people were nervous about us really leaning into social issues And that was something we were passionate about because that episode done well we were allowed then an episode in season three to like for it We were like great That was the that was your popular episode That was our favorite We’re going to do that again like this year I was directing and Amanda was writing more scripts So even just visually and on the paper we had we just had a lot more control even just in little things in in jokes and things of that what we thought was funny

even in our

Amanda Joy: Yeah that everyone is always trying their best and everyone is always trying to make the most funny show possible But when you don’t have the creators of [00:31:00] color having the F having the final say on the scripts which was The case in the first season small changes in small word changes If they’re coming from someone who doesn’t necessarily understand the intricacies of the experience or the or elements of intersectional prism or just even conversations that are being had in the community small word changes and subtle changes to stories that might not be noticed by other Communities have a completely different meaning in our community And so I feel like that was part of it as well

Masami: Yeah matter right We’re everything that we say has a meaning and impact on somebody else we should understand our intentions and our impact on others And that’s really important that words do that And so if you’re making film sets that are and scripts that don’t feel right to certain people And then that’s where we have to try to being on a diverse set cast and crew what was the major difference that you felt that you feel [00:32:00] like sets should feel like this

Amanda Joy: There’s a bridge of understanding You don’t have to cross you’re not constantly educating people and you’re not constantly trying to smile when someone said some awkward racist thing that is such a common thing that happens on in the wider industry where you just have to smile and pretend that everything’s fine Despite the fact that you know people are spouting microaggressions around you So there’s definitely that you feel more comfortable You feel you stop being as racialized Of course we’re all still people of color But when everyone’s a person of color you don’t feel as out of place you

Samantha Wan: Yeah There’s also this thing too that really helps as a creator when you have more of color on a set because then you are not the only person catching the cultural things you’re not the only voice for your culture

Amanda Joy: Yeah

Samantha Wan: like literally like Dave and other camera people were helping me with my Cantonese and being like Sam that character was drawn So terribly you got to fix it [00:33:00] Like it’s nice Like Amanda and I are doing so much right We’re we’re writing directing acting that keep also keep culturally like appropriate Like everything in our brains is really hard and we don’t we can’t speak for everybody So the more voices we have on set the more people that are catching stuff the more people that are making suggestions I mean we also keep a very open set to like talk come talk to us

Amanda Joy: Yeah I think when you are the only person of color sometimes the onus can be put on you to represent the experiences of everybody from if not every racialized group from your racialized group And that’s unfair that’s not something that’s put on white artists They’re not asked to speak for all white people They’re not asked to catch everything that might hurt or offend other white people So it it definitely takes some of the burden that is unfairly placed on our shoulders A lot of the time

Samantha Wan: helps too with our comedy because it is from our point of view to have other people with the same point of view So at least we know they’re finding it funny

Cause [00:34:00] sometimes

I’m like okay okay Okay They find it funny too They get the joke Like we had we’ve had very specific even like language jokes and things like that that like it’s really great to have people who are of the same background finding it funny Cause you know that was also a bit of season One of like Oh no what we find funny They don’t find funny Are we wrong Like in that way

Masami: Yeah there’s this validation right it’s validation that you seeing something that I feel like this is wrong And I feel funky about this And if nobody else in the room says no that’s fine you’re the only person there’s somebody else colors in the room and validates that point You don’t feel like you you feel like you’re accepted You feel like that viewpoint not crazy It’s so valuable and on a film sets there’s collaborative movements

Amanda Joy: Yeah it’s also less weird but if you have to point out something that’s problematic because then you’re not the only person

Samantha Wan: Oh my gosh Yes everyone’s nodding together and there’s also a certain community where I think I mean also we we [00:35:00] pick people who have a and a good attitude but there’s also a community too of like people who want to lift each other up you know we want to see everyone I just felt like that was so prevalent like having a stronger and BiPAP Not not that that doesn’t happen but like just because we’re like we just want us all to succeed Okay How do I help you Like vibe

Masami: This being a female led show Your series of I feel like is a breakthrough for Asian female storytellers And especially in comedy what do you want audiences to know and understand about it Being Asian women or Asian women in comedy that we might not realize I’m an Asian man East Asian man So I only know so much like what is something that you feel that a lot of audiences don’t realize you’d want them to know

Amanda Joy: Yeah intersectional prism to me it seems like such an obvious thing but you’d be surprised how many people don’t understand it still or don’t realize that it exists that you can experience oppression [00:36:00] As a woman and you can experience oppression as a person of color And you can experience oppression as a member of the LGBTQ community that it’s not there Isn’t just it’s there Isn’t just an Asian experience It’s very different to being an Asian woman Than to being an Asian man just but and then even within that it’s very different to be different Asian women We all have unique experiences but definitely there there are things that we share as Asian women that are different from other groups I don’t know How do you feel Sam

Samantha Wan: Yeah I I I’m just thinking about like as an Asian woman in comedy like the I’m always thinking about like roles that I’m writing roles that I’m playing in things too because of the Asian women type especially in comedy to like be a dragon lady Like and it it doesn’t always have to be

Amanda Joy: Yeah Or be a nerd or be like a person who can’t speak English or

Samantha Wan: Yeah it’d be really demure Like you got if you’re going to you’re going to either be demure or you’re going to be a dragon lady [00:37:00] like that’s the only way to get comedy out and in some ways and sometimes that is appropriate and is funny but also like there the embrace of like what is just me as a person What do I think is funny I think that’s the stereotype working against as a female Asian comedian that a contemplate sometimes if that’s clear not really sure if that was clear

Amanda Joy: Yeah And also that there are different things that people deal with depending on what kind of Asian they are That like the experience of lighter skin East Asian people is very different from the spirits of Southeast Asian people and especially darker skin Southeast Asian people that there are intricacies in these And we do try to address them in the show as well

Samantha Wan: I think also too for any of my like our Asian female out there you have two hits going against you for it Trying to speak out about like trying to like be really loud one being Asian They’re like okay you know the model minority be [00:38:00] quiet be grateful then you’re also a woman you’re like be quiet be grateful So like that voice is very loud It’s it takes a lot of effort personally and it’s very loud and still in my head to be like No speak out You deserve to be here Yep You’re going to S maybe someone’s going to think you’re a bitch Maybe someone’s gonna think you’re annoying And like I just to really acknowledge for Asian women out there that like you’re going against two really hard things right now Be kind to yourself It’s going to be

and sometimes you don’t you’ll make yourself go in circles cause you’re not sure Am I speaking out too much Am I not Are people reacting to me because they have biases And so you have this additional level of neuroticism that you have to deal with because you’re constantly worried Are people reacting this way because of this or because they have a bias

Samantha Wan: Yes And then that’s also why it helps to have like white helps for Amanda and also like multiple [00:39:00] BiPAP people Cause you can check in and be like I don’t know was that right wrong Because it’s microaggressions right now Right That you’re trying

Amanda Joy: And just to go back to that model minority thing as well I don’t progress I think our parents’ generation in many ways had to smile and put up with it and had to be and couldn’t didn’t feel like they could speak out and that that was their way of surviving And I try to be really careful when we talk about these myths and talk about these these are these tropes that were put on our people and especially on our parents’ generation and just consider that people have different ways of surviving And for that generation a lot of it was silence

Samantha Wan: and that can and that can be respected And we can also talk at the same time I think we can hold we can hold the duality is something too like right now holding duality as as women as as BiPAP as

I don’t know

Masami: it’s so much thoughts in our heads and certainly heads How much do I have to pretend How much my code [00:40:00] switching it’s I’m sure it’s exhausting it’s exhausting for people of color but for people of color women of color just so much more and women of color who have different identities that are against the quote unquote norms it just feels so It’s a lot It’s a lot I think we should have more conversations about this and more respect for people who have to go through so much and give let them be

Amanda Joy: because I think people expect that we’re going to be angry or sad all the time And yeah There’s moments where we’re angry and sad but I feel like the overwhelming emotion that I feel from racism is just being tired

time. Anyone else sleep. Like I just, I witnessed six hours of microaggressions and I just want to nap.

Masami: Yes Oh we have a few minutes here what’s next for the both of you season three hasn’t not been renewed is there a season for w what kind of other shows

Samantha Wan: unfortunately there is no season for that This that was our last season but [00:41:00] Amanda and I are very proud with how it ended I’m definitely being a new a new series different as well I can’t talk about it yet

yeah, I’m working on a number of different shows right now. and just trying to put more good out into the world and showing things from different perspectives and, trying to be trying to create a more equitable society through the media that we’re putting out. And I think that ultimately is.

Amanda Joy: Is my goal as an artist is I feel like that’s my calling in life. so it’s something that I’m bringing to the new shows that I’m working on and have been lucky enough to be working on.

Samantha Wan: And you’re allowed to say one of the shows you’re working on aren’t you it’s no already announced

Amanda Joy: Oh yeah. So I’ve got actually a two shows premiering tonight. the Parker Andersons and Amelia Parker, which will be premiering on super channel in Canada. It’s about a multi-racial family. Black father, a widower who remarries a white divorced woman, and they have kids from their previous marriages and they live in Chicago.

So it’s about their family coming together and [00:42:00] exploring this new dynamic while also, living as a mixed racial family in in America.

Masami: Awesome I can’t wait to tune in what’s the one message you’d like to Share with future agency entertainment

Amanda Joy: I hope you don’t have to deal with as much as we did. I hope that the work that we’re putting in makes it easier for you. that’s my hope at the end of the day. but other than that, be truthful to yourself. Be okay with feeling hurt some times, be okay with being angry and be okay with being tired sometimes and do it.

You need to do to survive and don’t let anyone, make you feel guilty for speaking out or for not speaking out, you also have the right to be silent when you need to, and, just take care of yourself and nourish yourself as an artist. And as an individual before you worry about yourself as a professional, because.

If you don’t take care of yourself, none of that other stuff matters.

Samantha Wan: Yeah I feel like I feel like the a lot of pressure to be Crusader [00:43:00] and to be a perfect Crusader sometimes And I think all that matters is that you’re trying in your own small ways and sometimes trying is just taking care of yourself And also if you have doubts sometimes or if you’re like Oh man I did the wrong thing That’s okay I think it’s okay to think we have to be kind to ourselves of like of with also making mistakes and not doing it right You’re just trying and that’s

all right And like the and the and the doubt monsters in your head if you’re like Oh my gosh I’m still doubtful about this Does that mean that I’m not confident or that I’m not worthy or anythings like that all have the doubt monsters live there They’re going to be there forever It’s okay It doesn’t change It doesn’t change your your you know your ability to Speak out I still when I write an email you know to somebody and I’ve been producing for a while have to go through and take out all the stories and all the apologies and all the things it’s just it’s a thing And I’m kind of about myself to [00:44:00] that

And they be

Masami: that’s so great Yeah Do you know those sorrys and just wanted to know just I’m doing it

Samantha Wan: Just take it out like know that that’s part of the thing That’s part of the deal in process right now and that’s okay But then you know take a moment and take it out

Masami: Awesome That’s some great advice and and I just enjoyed really speaking both of you So don’t want to keep you too long but this was really great Thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your thoughts I have so many other questions we’ll do this again some other time but I really enjoy your show

———-

yeah, I’m on Instagram and Twitter. I’m at not Amanda joy.

Samantha Wan: And I’m on also Instagram and Twitter, mostly on Instagram. I’m at the Samantha one w a N. yeah, I for sure would love to come back. This is really great. Thanks for the talk.

Amanda Joy: Thank you so much for having us.

Masami: Walk and come back anytime I’ll be in touch. All right. Have a great week enjoying whatever you’re doing and eat some food, drink some water and just have a great day.

 

Amanda Joy: Thanks. Take care.[00:45:00]

 

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