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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Law & Order SVU’s B.D. Wong Shares Acting Tips with Iowans

Quad-Cities Online reports that B.D. Wong, who Law & Order SVU fans know as forensic psychiatrist Dr. George Huang, spoke this weekend at the North Scott Senior High School in Eldridge, Iowa. He shared his information about his life and shared acting tips.

Law & Order actor speaks at North Scott in Eldridge
By Anthony Watt

B.D. Wong, of Law & Order fame, shared tips about acting and told some stories from his life for Quad-Citians during the weekend.

Mr. Wong-who plays Dr. George Huang, the forensic psychiatrist Special Victims Unit off-shoot of the series-- made appearances throughout the Quad-Cities as Quad City Arts' Cary Grant Artist in Residence.

Friday, he spoke at North Scott Senior High School in Eldridge and took questions about his life and his acting experiences, including how to get ready for auditions.

Preparation is the key, Mr. Wong told the audience of about 60 people, including many theater students. The more prepared actors are with the song or script they will use use for an audition, the better off they will be.

"You're the instrument that you're playing, and if you're cramped up in some way, you're not going to play the instrument right," he said.

Other questions included the kind of music that influenced him: the swing, folk and Broadway musicals his father played when Mr. Wong was a child.

Another was the actors who influenced him: George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek series, because he played one of the few dignified Asian characters on television at the time.

Mr. Wong, a Chinese-American, was born in San Francisco. He said he struggled with the lack of Asian-American faces in the media, and the stereotypical portrayals of those that were visible in the media-often as cooks, servants or "wacky exchange students."

"His passion for his occupation comes through," said Joni Kuehl-Schneider, 42, Long Grove, Iowa, who was there with her daughter Anna, 14.

Anna, who is a drama student, said she liked the variety of his experience from movies and television to musicals and other theater because it shows the kind of talents an actor has to have to do those things.

"I though it was interesting to see someone who is pretty much famous to me," she said.

Mr. Wong graduated from San Francisco State University. He was named Bradley Darryl but shortened the name to initials.

He is the only actor to receive the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Clarence Derwent Award, and the Theatre World Award for the same performance -- his Broadway debut as Song Liling in "M. Butterfly."

His other accolades include critical acclaim for his part as the intellectual, blanket-dependent Linus in the Broadway revival of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

His film credits include "Father of the Bride," "Jurassic Park," "The Freshman," "Seven Years in Tibet" and Disney's "Mulan."

He'll soon direct his first film, "Social Grace," a movie about an Asian-American woman's struggle to break into the New York debutante circle.

Television roles include the HBO film "And the Band Played On" and the sitcom "All-American Girl," and he was seen in a 2007 mini-series about the life of Marco Polo, "The Discovery of the World."

Openly gay, Mr. Wong had a long-term relationship with talent agent Richie Jackson. In 2000 they had twin sons born through a surrogate mother. One of them died 90 minutes after birth.

In 2003, Mr. Wong wrote a memoir about his experience with surrogacy. His relationship with Mr. Jackson ended in 2004.

The first Cary Grant residency was in the 1987-88 season, after the sudden death of actor Cary Grant from a massive stroke before he was to perform in the Quad-Cities.

Many who had bought tickets to his performance elected to keep them and devote the money toward establishing a residency. Cary Grant's widow made a gift toward that endowment. Artists of the stature of Tony Award-winning Edward Albee have filled the residency every two seasons.

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1 comment:

samfan said...

He seems like a very good person. I really like him on SVU. Great posts this week!