I had a tough week that culminated with an entertainment industry professional requesting that I do black face.
Let me explain. I happened to be at an audition for a Spanish speaking project, a rare opportunity due to my white skin. As I sat there going over the material, the monitor approaches us, humiliated, with a small jar of bronzer and some cotton pads. He says to us, "they want you to put this on before you go in." I could tell the boy was just a messenger, and he himself was horrified at the request. Nevertheless, I looked at him like he had three heads and I was about to eat one of them. He apologized and walked away silently. The other girls and I tried to laugh it off and go back to our material.
You know how I was able to laugh it off? Because it's happened before. I have had a manager ask if I can wear darker foundation to appear more Hispanic (by the way, there is a scene in White Alligator comprised of this experience).
This happened after I already had a friend stare at me in shock for a few minutes after I told him I was born in San Juan, and I heard another industry professional explain to an actor taking direction that a Hispanic character's motives for cheating on his wife were "cultural". All in a week. And this is the norm. I took the edge off by treating myself to the Klimt exhibit at the Neue Gallerie on Sunday.
I leave you with this fascinating article about a man who's lived in the US his entire life (like me) and is still trying to fit in, just like you and me. Hell, at the end of the road, we're all in the same boat...pursuing the American Dream.