Having only started, Home of the Urban Chameleon a couple of months ago I am still having new revelations about the importance and intended purpose of this blog. We always encourage you to click on the link How The Urban Chameleon Came To Be, to get the back story of how it all started but I thought I would share my evolving perspective.
The other day my husband and I were having brunch with two friends, one of which is a working Black actor in the “business”. I find that actors of color often give some of the best perspective on being a person of color probably because they are cast in stories based on just that… color. The discussion was brought back to how after studying acting in college when it was time to graduate the white boys in the class couldn’t possibly begin to understand how significantly different their journey as an actor would be from a Black actor. White boys get to play an array of different types and even get to make films like Brazil, About Schmidt, Waiting for Guffman, A Clockwork Orange and have television shows like Seinfeld, a show about nothing. In fact casting directors may more often say to a white boy hmmm, he’s not good for the role of Jimmy but how about John, or Bob, wait have we explored him as Steve, how about Tim, okay maybe Roger?” A Black man or women may hear something closer to, “Oooh we’ve already cast that part.” Yes that one part.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can recognize progress that’s been made. For instance, the fact that Will Smith is the top Hollywood star and making films that traditionally would have not been given to a Black actor is remarkable. I will also be running to the theater to see the film Imagine That, this Friday, which stars Yara Shahidi (the young, gorgeous, Black and Persian actress) and Eddie Murphy; for anything that promotes a person of color having an imagination is like a no brainer for me I’m so there.
However, it’s still slim pickin’s for actors of color (and I’m especially not just talking about Black actors), which means it's slim pickin’s for the kinds of stories that reflect our lives, our diverse, dysfunctional, complex and amazing lives.
We encourage you to continue to e-mail your stories and thoughts and share your multiple perspectives so that we might be able to inspire more options than just that one part. The idea behind Home of The Urban Chameleon is that we are so colorful that we’re complex, and so complex that it is more than color that defines us.
Thanks for reading.
Your fellow Urban Chameleon.
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