Welcome to The Life of Felicia Hom

Currently revamping for the Internet audience's pleasure!

A Short Screenshot of my Acting

Acting is one of my long-neglected childhood passions and dreams and I have only recently come to resurrect it.

A Brief Glimpse of my Journey around the World

I've been to over a dozen different countries and traveled mostly by myself. It was one of the most enriching and independent experiences of my life. Above is Cesky Krumlov.

I Ain't Gonna Live Forever!

Here is my inaugural intro post, posted in December 2010. I have since moved back to Los Angeles.

Acting Is my Long Lost Love

Or so I wrote back in October 2010. Pictured above is me as Titania, in rehearsal for BITE's Shakespeare Reveries.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Can You Do an Asian Accent?

A couple months ago, I was really pumped up for an audition in a great office. When I went in the room, I was asked, "Are you okay with doing an Asian accent?"

Naively, I wasn't expecting to hear that, even with the role being for an Asian nail salon worker, but I automatically replied with, "I can try." Not exactly confidence inducing, I know, but I wasn't expecting to break one out as it wasn't specified in the breakdown. Silly me. I have reservations about doing Asian accents professionally since I haven't properly trained my tongue for them, but I gave my best attempt at a non-stereotypical Mandarin Chinese accent. I'm not sure I could consciously Ken Jeong it, though the project genre probably was a Ken Jeong kind of comedy. (By the way, I've always felt like Dr. Ken Jeong has me beat forever, being a working actor doctor and all.) In my personal life with friends, I have no problem breaking out an awful stereotypical Cantonese accent. You know what I mean-ah?

Needless to say, I didn't book the role and I'm sure there were other actresses sitting in the waiting room with legit Asian accents. Of course, American television networks don't really seem to care how legit the Asian accent or even how good the actual foreign language is (Have you heard the Chinese spoken on TV??), so I don't really know what I'm ranting about with the legitimacy. I suppose that is good news for us Asian American actors who don't speak an Asian language or the accented English language as well as real Asians do. For those who don't know what I mean, I define real Asians as the Asians who were born and raised in Asia.

In any case, at one point I was really against the idea of doing Asian accents because I thought it would be linked to something racist. And yes, if the accent/character is so stereotypical and awful, it wouldn't be something I would want to do unless it was my own project and not some non-Asian person's comedic vision of what an Asian should be like. Long Duk Dong, huh? However, doing an accurate, non-demeaning portrayal of an Asian person with her accent would actually be a mark of good acting. Versatile actors would be able to speak with an authentic accent.

If you'd like to see me make my best attempt at a non-stereotypical Chinese accent, you may view this pilot of a series intended for China VTV. Did you know that doing the Mandarin Chinese accent can be really hard for a Chinese American like myself? The Cantonese accent is the one most widely imitated - Russell Peters got that one down. Legitimately doing any accent, however, needs real work. I know I'll have to work harder at being a real Chinese, but the fact is that I'm not a real Chinese and I never will be. However, here is my real Chinese imitation which I am by no means claiming to be good or authentic. But I tried, that I did.

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