Diversity is something that the entertainment industry is starting to embrace in a real way. A variety of fresh voices are beginning to be heard, no matter what the color, gender or sexual orientation of the artist.
Two recent examples include Sandra Oh, the first Asian actress to be nominated for an Emmy award as a Leading Actress in a Drama Series; and playwright Young Jean Lee, the first Asian-American woman to premiere a play on Broadway.
This is a big step that others Asian artists are definitely looking to follow. One such actress hoping to ride the diversity wave is Kathy Huynh-Phan
Originally from Canada and now living in New York, Kathy has experienced the bias first-hand, but believes things are changing. “When auditioning for leading roles, it’s a constant uphill battle to convince casting directors that their leading lady could be Asian,” explains Kathy. “Even if they don’t have a clear idea as to what they want her to look like, they probably haven’t considered someone like me. I hope that continues to change.”
Just this year, Kathy starred in Hang Nguyen’s series Sideways Smile
, about a woman discovering who she is and her sexuality. She also starred in Yuan Yuan’s comedy short Customers Only
, about a single mother’s struggle to find a bathroom. Kathy is currently rehearsing the original stage play Lordes
. Directed by Katherine Wilkerson and in Association with Columbia Theater, the production is based on real-life African-American poet Audre Lorde’s struggles with gender, race and sexuality.
Previously, Kathy emerged on stage in The Boat People
and The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine
. On screen, she has appeared in several film festival favorites, including Jake and Julia
, A Cute Girl’s Guide to Halloween
The daughter of Vietnamese-Canadian immigrants, Kathy earned a B.A. with Honors in Theatre Studies, specialization in Devised Theatre from York University in Toronto. She went on to complete the acting conservatory program at the Atlantic Acting School in New York City.
Connect with Kathy Huynh-Phan on Instagram: @gathmasterflash link