Tessa Beligue, This is NOT a headshot
THE STORY BEHIND MY NAME:
LIKE ANY GOOD KOREAN-AMERICAN GIRL, I'M MORE WHITE THAN YELLOW. SO HERE I COME AMERICA TO BLOW YOUR MINDS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN AMERICAN.
Yea Bin (pron. Yeh--as in "egg" Bin) is Diana Oh's given Korean name which literally translates into "Artistic Light." Diana isn't even Yea Bin's real name. It doesn't show up on any legal documents, passports, driver's license, checks, or bills and yet Diana is who Yea Bin identifies with even though her name Yea Bin (which once again literally translates into "Artistic Light") was handpicked by her clairvoyant father when she was born.
So how the hell did Yea Bin become Diana only to lose such an appropriate title and head down a mean street of cultural identity crossroads during her quarterlife crisis?
Simple. At the age of 5, since no one at her elementary school could pronounce her name, her parents asked her what she wanted her American name to be, . Yea Bin's answer was, "I don't care, I just want to be a princess." Hence she was stripped, re-labeled and finally able to be fully assimilated into the authentic first generation experience as newly titled, Diana Oh. She reclaimed herself, Americanized, lost all knowledge of her fluency in Korean, and got cast in tons of roles for white women.
Bottom line to this all, being a "ra ra sis pum ba I'm an ASIAN!" type of performer or writer is not her artist's statement or life cause. She makes what she likes. People likes what she makes. And she doesn't get too much in her head about it. Unless someone says to her, "you can't be in this play/movie/musical not because you're not talented, intelligent and charming, but because you don't look white, and can't be the Asian daughter of this quirky white family, even though you sound white, act white, and if I close my eyes are white"--which thankfully hasn't happened yet. Oh but when it does, expect one hell of a song, or play, or other public retort of a fiery "go fuck yourself" tantrum to hit the stage written and performed by none other than yours truly, Diana Oh.