ISSUE 01: Randall Park
THE YELLOW PAGES is a weekly newsletter recommending Asian and AAPI films, music, writing, and other inspiration — all the artsy things I wished for growing up!
I honestly did not think I’d be doing this. Starting something new that requires so much work, I mean. I already have a whole other newsletter I barely have time to update more than once a month. And I’ve got a bunch of other projects I’m trying to do right now for 2023: pitching a TV show, writing a couple scripts, relaunching a podcast, working on a book proposal…
The last thing I thought I’d be doing (on a total whim) was checking to see if “YellowPages” was taken on Substack, then quickly whipping together a logo. But here we are, a mere 48 hours later, and I’m launching my first post with the one and only Randall Park.
I think the reason this happened is the same reason I make anything happen. I feel called to do it. I recently heard feedback from someone in show business who I was trying to work with. Essentially, their response was:
I would usually be down for any Asian-American voices, but not Lynn Chen’s.
OUCH. I’m Lynn Chen!
So yes, that stung. But at the same time, I get it. I’m not for everyone. And even though this person was Asian-American themselves, they shouldn’t have to be in business with me just because we both check the same racial identity box.
I’ve grown up in this industry. I used to be the token AAPI performer at all my auditions, and the decision makers were mostly white. Now I’m one of many, and the producers, directors, and creators actually look like me. I’ve watched things change a lot throughout the decades, and I’m proud that we’ve come to the point where we have a lot more to choose from.
I want a place to share all the amazing things I’ve been watching, reading, and hearing from Asian and Asian-American voices. I want to learn from others in the AAPI community about what inspires them. There is so much out there right now. There is so much that has always been here that I need to be reminded of.
Some of it might not be for you, but some of it just might be. I hope you’ll stick around to find out.
Randall Park (he/him/his).
What do you do?
Actor, writer, director, producer.
How do you identify?
Korean-American, Asian-American, Angeleno.
Do you identify as “yellow?”
Sure! Though I don’t know if “yellow” is quite right. Some Asian folks have been embracing “gold,” but I don’t know if that’s quite right for me either. Maybe “mustard” is the most appropriate? Also, I love mustard.
Book: Stay True by Hua Hsu.
Graphic Novel: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine.
Restaurant: Daichan in Studio City.
THE YELLOW PAGES is a resource to my younger self and all of you. Products linked through this post may earn a commission. Please consider further supporting by leaving a comment, ❤️ing this post, upgrading to a paid subscription, or gifting one to a friend. And check out my other Substack newsletters: TRYING SO HARD (monthly career news/life updates) and GEN X TASTE (weekly fashion/beauty/lifestyle posts).
(My husband Abe introduced Randall to these addictive snacks.)