Asian Australian actor/singer and poet Chris Fung, has made a Facebook post about all the on stage theatre opportunities he has had in the U.K. and how the opportunities were dismal in Oz, if you wanted to play characters who are not Asian/Chinese.
Fung has recently debuted as King Agnarr in the original London cast of Disney’s new production of Frozen – The Musical on the West End. This is pretty major, considering he is an Asian Australian man playing the “father” of 2 white girls. This is likely something which will never be seen in Australia.
Here are a few excerpts from his post worth highlighting:
“After an exhaustive period of 4 years unsuccessfully auditioning for drama schools in Australia, I ended up leaving to take a job just 2 years into one of the silly things. Turns out that the school would years later be recognised as the very best in the nation.”
“I KNOW what it is to bend every iota of my daily industry towards a goal for seemingly no result. I KNOW what it is to politely knock on doors til my knuckles bleed to be met only by a chorus of silence, to be seemingly told by an entire arts sector that the inn is full. I must feel lucky to have 4 larger auditions a year. . . Am I just not good enough? Do I need to get better? Is Australia truly racist or is this simply my own imagining? I looked and SAW so few faces like mine on Australian stages and screens. Is theatre in Australia always going to be so overwhelmingly white?”
“Is a career in the arts possible in Australia for someone who looks like me? . . These are the questions that had me leave. . . I figured, if I’m going to be rejected anyway, let it be by the best. Let me see and understand the standard at the top of the mountain. I NEEDED to know if I could cut it. London, the theatrical creche of the world. London, gateway to the world, home to titans. London.”
You can read more on his experiences on his Facebook post.
Header images via Chris Fung Facebook, via Joe Griffiths-Brown