The Forgotten began subconsciously when I was still in high school. I had fallen in love with all things theatre and acting, but was particularly drawn to period dramas. But growing up as a huge movie buff, I never saw women who looked like me in film. On the rare occasion when I would, they’d be in extremely stereotypical roles: the geeky assistant; the masseuse; the nail salon artist. Always the quiet submissive, the fragile porcelain figurine. It seemed to me – even during those formative years – that Asian-Americans were (and many times still are) at the very bottom of the Hollywood food chain. In a recent study of what are generally considered to be the 100 greatest films of all time-only 4% of the roles in those films were Asian.
At the onset of my college career, I was actually a history major with plans to pursue a career in education. However, my passion for acting quickly grew and overpowered my desire for a steady profession, and four years later I graduated with a theatre degree. Still, I was always drawn to this idea of combining the two worlds of history – particularly my history – and theatre. In my studies, I often wondered about the history of Asians coming to America – particularly Filipinos. They are often called “the forgotten Asian Americans” because so little is known about them. They’re almost completely neglected in any sort of US historical literature. I’d wager that most people don’t know that Filipinos were the first documented Asians in America; arriving in Morro Bay in 1587.
Admittedly, the genesis of what eventually became The Forgotten, was borne of a desire to work. My producing partner (Stephanie Edmonds, “Anne”) and I wanted to create roles for ourselves; roles that would not only get us in the right rooms, but that would make us feel proud. Layered, vulnerable, strong female roles that had meaning and purpose. Leading roles are scarce in Hollywood; most especially for Asian-American women. I knew this was the time to bring my love of history into the mix and to tell this story: the plight of Asian-Americans living in the old west, trying their best to make it in an unknown land, during a very divisive time.
Right now, in our current climate, is the best time to be creating content of this nature. No longer will we be invisible in this society. No longer will we serve as the backdrop of someone else’s story. Now is the time to tell our story. Because if we don’t, who will?
Synopsis and Character Breakdown
The Forgotten is set in the Old West, post Civil-War. It’s a story of two women from completely different worlds, coming together. The short in particular, explores their first encounter. Though there is a familiarity there, the scene is wrought with tension due to the loss, abandonment and obstacles they’ve had to endure up to this moment. But we soon find out why these women need one another, now more than ever.
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