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Jadin Wong




Thursday, May 13, 2010
I recently found an old worksheet that my husband had written on several years ago when we were going to try out for The Amazing Race (yes, I love that show).  In response to the question "What famous person does your partner most remind you of?", he answered Josephine Baker (pictured left).  (That is so cool to me.)  Anywho, that got me to thinking about all of the people whose lives I've envied over the years.  Not the whole of their lives, but just parts of it.  You see, I'm the type of Brown Girl that is fascinated by culture and gets immersed in every environment I'm in so much that I just want to BE everyone interesting in that environment.  I'm not sure I'm explaining it properly and it might sound crazy, but it's true.  And it's me (so don't judge).  Like when I'm in France, I want to BE French.  Or when I'm watching someone on Househunters International buy a house in some obscure part of the world, I want to BE in that obscure part of the world.  Or when I had my first dolphin encounter in Hawaii, I wanted to BE a dolphin.  LOL.  I'm sure you get the idea.
I typed all of this to say that right now I want to be Jadin Wong (pictured to the right and below), a Chinese-American performer (that reminds me of Josephine Baker in a lot of ways).  Although she just recently passed away (at 96 years young!), she seems to have had an extraordinarily colorful life having run away from her strict Chinese family as a teenager to go to Hollywood to be a dancer.  She performed in Hong Kong, Paris, Cuba, Germany and New York and entertained American troops during World War II.  She studied with Balanchine and trained in classical ballet and jazz.  (She even performed ballet right into her 90s, where she was caught by an interviewing journalist doing splits and pirouettes as "morning exercise".  What a hoot.)  She appeared in dozens of movies and ultimately opened a talent agency specializing in finding jobs for Asian-American performers in movies, TV and Broadway.  "Jadin Wong ... defied tradition and broke racial and gender stereotypes to pursue an unconventional path," said Sue Lee, director of the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. "We owe much to her brazen nature for carving a path in show business for Asian Americans today."  [Source: Sfgate.com; Wiki] 
I wish I could've met her.  But in some ways, I feel like I have.
I wonder who I'll want to be next...

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