web series

#RepresentYourStory: Chance Calloway, “Pretty Dudes” creator

Chance Calloway Twitter

#RepresentYourStory is back! Our latest entry into the #RepresentYourStory series is Chance Calloway, the creator the web series Pretty Dudes. In case this is your first foray into the world of Pretty Dudes, here’s the jist. Four good-looking, yet shallow guys (Xavier Avila, Tae Song, Kyle Rezzarday, Yoshi Sudarso) try to help their other good-looking friend (Bryan Michael Nuñez) find a lifelong partner and hopefully break their “pretty boy curse”—being extremely handsome and attractive, but unlucky in love. The web series, which you can watch here, is funny and charming, and I’m happy to have Calloway provide us with some of his own experiences and how he overcame them. Hopefully, what he’s learned throughout his life when it comes to overcoming differences can help you in yours.

You can find Calloway on Twitter. Pretty Dudes releases a new episode each Tuesday, and you can also keep up with Pretty Dudes on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook. You can also support Pretty Dudes through a donation via PayPal.

If you want to participate in #RepresentYourStory and read past entries, click here to read more about the project and where to provide your answers!

Where does your story begin? What first caused you think you were different?

Watching The Cosby Show in a room full of cousins when I was six/seven, and the reaction I got when I said one of the guest actors, a male, was “cute.” My mom pulled me outside to tell me why I couldn’t say he was cute. He remained cute to me.

What external and/or internal factors reinforced your idea that you were different?

Being a gay man who the other Black boys at school called the f-word, and being a Black man who the other gay boys at school said they just weren’t into.

How did you internalize your supposed difference? Did you accept it or struggle?

Struggled for a long time. Suicidal and depressed for the majority of my life.

Have you come to terms with your supposed difference? If so, how did you come to self-acceptance? If not, what issues do you still find yourself wrestling with?

I have. I had friends who accepted me before I did. And that made it okay for me to be who I am.

What would you say to someone else struggling with the same or similar difference you have?

You are not malformed. You are not a mistake. You are a piece of work, soon to be a masterpiece.

What would you tell your former self? What insights have you gained now that you wished someone had told you back then?

We make too big of a deal about our differences. Life would be so boring if we were the same. Differences create a kaleidoscope of beauty. Embrace that.♦

“Being Asian in Hollywood” is now a free e-book!


Recently I posted my longform article “Being Asian in Hollywood,” featuring several members of the Hollywood community. I’ve now compiled the article into a free e-book, just for JUST ADD COLOR readers.

The design of this e-book was inspired by the beauty and talent of Anna May Wong, and photography featuring her decorate the pages of this book in homage to her. Wong is someone who wasn’t featured prominently in this article, but it’s due to her sacrifice, and the sacrifices of other Asian actors in old Hollywood, who paved the way for today’s current crop of stars.

Here’s a look at some of the pages that you’ll see inside:

Download Being Asian in Hollywood here or click the cover in the site’s sidebar!

There’s levels to this s***!: 5 parallels in Luke Cage


I’ve thought about Luke Cage a lot since viewing the first season on Netflix. Part of the reason is because I’m knee-deep in #ShadyMariah stuff, which includes Theo Rossi himself signal-boosting my ShadyMariah post.

So Shades knows I exist. That’s cool.

The other reason I’ve thought a lot about Luke Cage is because there were tons of parallels and foreshadowing moments that I didn’t realize until weeks after viewing. Ill run through a couple that have come to mind.

1.  Cottonmouth throwing Tone off the roof.

When Tone gets thrown off the roof, Cottonmouth was actually predicting his own death—death by freefall.

2. Mama Mabel’s a direct foil to Mariah, and Cottonmouth is more like Mama Mabel than he realized.

Mariah is shown saying to Mama Mabel’s picture, “I’m not like you.” I dare say she isn’t. I’ve already explained this in my ShadyMariah article, but to go deeper in what I was writing about, Mama Mabel doesn’t kill someone unless they directly betray her and her money or if they insult her. Remember when Mama Mabel cut off that boy’s finger and then had Cornell kill him? The boy insults Mama Mabel, which made Mama Mabel immediately furious. This reaction is the same one Cottonmouth had when he killed his goon for suggesting that he was handling the Luke Cage situation wrong. How dare he suggest the “Benign Neglect.”

Meanwhile, it seems like Mariah’s tenure in politics (and maybe just her own temperament) allows her to see beyond just her own ego, unlike Mama Mabel and Cottonmouth. Mariah seems like she’s someone who creates a collective, but unlike Mama Mabel (who was also a stalwart figure in the community), Mariah wants to take people out that affect her people as well as her status.

3. Both Shades and Mariah tell Cottonmouth to sell the club

Shades’ insistence that he and Mariah think alike has its foundations in moments throughout the series, one of which being that both Shades and Mariah tell Cottonmouth to sell Harlem’s Paradise when it seems like Luke Cage is going to ruin their money laundering. Even more interesting is that they each tell him this without the knowledge that one of them has already said this. Even before they begin vibrating together, they are already on the same wavelength, with Cottonmouth being the concrete wall blocking the signals.

Related: Monique’s Luke Cage reviews | Tor.com

4. Shades and Mariah are both loyal to a fault

Both Shades and Mariah are loyal to their people. Too loyal, probably. They only leave or attack when a core tenet of the relationship has been demolished. Shades stuck with Diamondback even though Diamondback’s mind was gone. Shades only left Diamondback when Diamondback betrayed him.

Mariah’s favorite thing to tell Cornell is “Family first, always.” She lived by that tenet, but Cornell’s own out-of-control ego and resentment of Mama Mabel makes him forget that once he starts feeling stress. First, he nearly his Mariah with a bat until Mariah breaks something herself and yells at him to snap out of it. But even then, she sticks by him. It’s only when Cornell blames Mariah for her own sexual assault that Mariah breaks and pushes him out of the window.

Shades and Mariah’s loyalty further show why they’re tailor-made for each other. Each one will go HAM for the other if threatened once we get into the second season, I’m sure. There’s going to be some real Bonnie and Clyde stuff going on.

5. Luke’s a hero, but he’s also kinda a villain through his own inaction. 

There’s quite the villains gallery in Luke Cage, but do you know what started everything? Luke—he didn’t tell Pop (or the cops) about Chico and Shameek when he had the chance, which created the series of events that led to Chico and Pop’s deaths. He saw Chico’s gun, and he knew they were up to no good. Yet he didn’t care enough about them or anyone else to stop them. All he cared about was himself and how he was going to stay low. Sure, he hasn’t killed anyone, but, since Luke respects his black heritage, he should know what Martin Luther King said about those who see but don’t act being just as culpable as those who do commit acts of violence.

What parallels and foreshadowing moments did you see in Luke Cage? Give your opinions below!

Comedy Troupe Skewers Police Brutality with Hilarious Viral Video

Black Magic Live
Black Magic Live

Everyone’s been talking about police brutality, from Colin Kaepernick to movie stars to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Now, you can add a Los Angeles acting company to the list.

Black Magic Live, a production company monthly sketch show in Los Angeles, recently created a video to call out police acting outside of the law. The skit features police officer characters who are getting help with their shooting problem, thanks to Nicorette-esque gum and patches. Take a look at the skit for yourself.

The skit has already hit over 15,000 views and has been featured on the front page of Funny or Die. Black Lives Matter’s Patrisse Cullors has also called the skit funny and obvious satire.

While the skit has taken a stand on police brutality while getting in a few laughs, the skit also caused a bit of controversy after it was revealed that one of the players, the black police officer, is an actual police officer. A police captain, no less. Click here to read all about that controversy.

Brie Eley, who has been interviewed on JUST ADD COLOR before, is also a member and one of the producers of Black Magic Live. Eley’s latest short for her sketch comedy group 4PlayPassword Deals, has recently been announced as one of the eight finalists in the 2016 NBCUniversal Shorts Fest.

Make sure to follow Black Magic Live on Instagram  and Twitter .

What do you think about this skewering of police brutality? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

Upcoming Animated Series “The Weeklings” Promises More Representation in Cartoons

Flydra Creative
Flydra Creative

I love cartoons and I’m sure you love cartoons. But despite the plethora of amazing cartoons out there, there still isn’t enough diversity in the genre. The Weeklings, though, plans on changing that.

The Weeklings is an animated series featuring characters based on the days of the week. “Set in a surreal world in which anything can happen, the series chronicles the everyday adventures of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” states the show’s Kickstarter page. “Each character has the personality of how each day feels.”

The show is created and directed by African-American animator and founder of Flydra Creative Jabril Mack. The series will “advance cultural representation in animation by highlighting cultures and ethnic groups that are not traditionally shown in cartoons.” From the official press release:

Los Angeles-based animation studio, Flydra Creative aims to increase cultural representation in cartoons with their latest project, an animated comedy called, The Weeklings. Set in a surreal world in which anything can happen, The Weeklings chronicles the everyday adventures of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Each character personifies the characteristics of the day of the week they are named after. While Monday’s eccentric personality is off-putting to many, Friday’s natural charisma draws everyone in!

Creator and director of The Weeklings, Jabril Mack, wants to give people of all races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations the opportunity “to see a little of themselves in a cartoon”. He intends to combat the lack of cultural representation in mainstream media by drawing diverse characters everyone can relate to.

“The goal of the series is to celebrate diversity”, Mack says. He and his team at Flydra have spent the last year researching holidays and celebrations from all over the world to bring to life for the show. Characters like Diwali (inspired by the ancient Indian festival), Quinceanera, (inspired by the Mexican tradition), and many more will allow The Weeklings to highlight cultures and ethnic groups that are not traditionally shown in animation.

Check out the official trailer and clip from the show:

If you’re loving what you’re seeing, there’s a way to help make The Weeklings a fully-realized project. Flydra Creative has set up a Kickstarter for The Weeklings, and with 21 days left in their campaign, they’ve already met their initial $20,000 goal. However, the more money they get, the better The Weeklings can become. Make sure to check out their Kickstarter and donate what you can. The campaign ends Nov. 7. Make sure to follow The Weeklings at its website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What do you think about The Weeklings? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

Asian Entertainment Television to bring the #RepresentAsian to streaming media

Asian Entertainment Television
Asian Entertainment Television

You, like me, have been following #WhitewashedOUT, #UnderratedAsian, and other hashtags that focus on the lack of Asian/Asian-American representation in Hollywood. The fight for representation rages on, and Asian Entertainment Television plans on doing what it can to help provide a streaming platform for Asian and Asian-American actors and stories.

Related: Recapping #WhitewashedOUT and the excitement for “Crazy, Rich Asians”

Asian Entertainment Television, founded by Sinakhone Keodara, will give viewers a huge library of movies and TV to choose from. To quote the site:

Asian Entertainment Television is a revolutionary streaming media platform. We provide for you the widest range of movies, documentaries, web series, and more by Asian American actors, filmmakers and writers 24/7.  Be part of the revolution.  Join and help us improve the representation of Asian Americans in the media and normalize Asian American presence in Hollywood. #RepresentAsian

As you can see from the hashtag, social activism is at the heart of Asian Entertainment Television. Keodara has stated that he wants to use the platform to uplift and provide Hollywood with “its Asian Superstars.”

Sinakhone Keodara at Founder Meet Funder Event (Provided photo)
Sinakhone Keodara at Founder Meet Funder Event (Provided photo)

According to Keodara, Asian Entertainment Television will act as a pipeline for Asian American filmmakers and actors to tell multifaceted stories the way they want to, not the way Hollywood’s powers that be wants to. Asian Entertainment Television will also act as a “global Asian village square,” where viewers will be able to find stories that reflect all parts of the Asian and Asian-American experiences, including stories featuring Middle Easterners, East Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asian, and Black Asian. Also featured will be stories of being gay and Asian, another aspect of identity that Hollywood fails to routinely represent.

The fact that all parts of the Asian experience will be represented is something that really resonates with me. Too often, Hollywood (and America) paints “Asia” as just “China,” when there is much more to it than that.

Here’s more from Keodara himself.

Related: 3 Ways the Live-Action “Mulan” Film Could Be a Hit, If Disney Listens to the Advice

Make sure to follow Asian Entertainment Television’s website as well as its presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. One of the films bound to be a part of Asian Entertainment Television’s original streaming programming slate, Keodara’s “Where Our Worlds Meet,” features Keodara, Steffinnie Phrommany, and Bryan Espino; take a look at the teaser trailer right here.

Where Our Worlds Meet – Teaser from Sinakhone Keodara on Vimeo.

I’m excited to see where the platform goes. Also make sure to keep up with Keodara, who also helps raise awareness about removing cluster bombs from his home of Laos, which was bombed between 1963 to 1974 in what is called the U.S.’ “secret war”.

What do you think about Asian Entertainment Television? Give your opinions in the comments section below.

#YourBigBreak: Is Your Web Series a Fit for Issa Rae Productions?

One of the most common things in the media is the focus on the difficulties finding opportunity. Much of this is on Hollywood’s end, what with its bad, antiquated, stereotype-steeped practices. But a lot of difficulty also comes from not knowing where to look, for from people not giving others a leg up. Here at JUST ADD COLOR, I’ll do my best to highlight opportunities for those who are looking for that big break. This article is highlighting just one of those opportunities.

Issa Rae made a name for herself with her hilarious The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl web series, and now her production company, Issa Rae Productions, is looking for new talent. Check it out:


Good luck to all who apply!