Gina Rodriguez from Jane the Virgin started Movement Mondays on her Instagram to garner support for working Latino actors. She points out that studios feel more confident in hiring Latino actors for high-profile roles if the numbers back it up. TV shows and movies with Latino actors need to pull in higher ratings and more revenue.
This approach is the same for all minorities and extends beyond the acting community—into all aspects of creative professions. Inspired by Gina, I am starting the series Monday Meetings to highlight Asian movers, shakers, and makers. We should be seeing them and hearing from them more often—not just sporadically.
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Meet Dana Tanamachi, whose work has spawned the ubiquitous chalkboard lettering. Like most things that are meant to be, it seemingly happened by chance. She decorated a friend’s wall at a party, which became such a big hit that she was asked to design the backdrop at other parties. Soon businesses in town discovered her work through Facebook pictures and friends of friends. On her last day at her studio job, Oprah Magazine gave her the official seal of awesomeness and commissioned her for their cover page.
Dana is a true example of how you can spin straw into gold; she only needs a tape measure, rags and dollar-store chalk to create her masterpieces. Let’s add insane talent to that recipe of greatness. Since we’ll never be on her level, you can own one of her amazing designs here and ask yourself what you’ve done with your life by looking at her other work here.
Top photo by Sharon Radisch for Trouve Magazine. Bottom photo from Tanamachi Studio.