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Conversation with Lynn Chen

Discover this Upcoming Actress of Many Talents
In this in-depth interview with this hard-working NYC-based actress

Page 5 of 8



Bruce Lee Montage, click here for more info

BRUCE LEE - learn about a great Asian American male star by clicking HERE.

Anna May Wong

ANNA MAY WONG - read about the first Asian Pacific American female movie star by clicking HERE.

  Philip Ahn's common look on the show KUNG FU

PHILIP AHN - discover one of the pionnering Asian Pacific American artists by clicking HERE.

  US ASIANS: Could you share your experiences how you got the part of roles listed such as the following:

  • Character of "Jen" in the Justice League Productions
  • "Kristen" in the production of "Cattle Call" with Director Ruben O'Malley
  • "Sophie" in the Emperor Mine Productions of Sunny Day
  • Backhouse Production of "Up to the Roof" and the
  • PBS production of Lohengrin (Children's Chorus)?

LYNN CHEN: Most of these roles, I got through people I knew.

Ruben O'Malley, who was the DP for "Fortune," asked me to come in and audition for "Cattle Call." It was filmed on a sound stage last year, but (I believe) the project is on hold because there are additional shots needed to complete the project

My friend's production company was doing "Up to the Roof" and they asked if I'd play the DJ - a tiny part of the production.They shot those scenes at Studio 54. I got to wear a fuzzy pink Kangol hat and huge yellow glasses and scream - which as fun.

"Lohengrin" happened simply because I was alredy in the stage production at the Metropolitan Opera House and they aired that particular show - I was eight at the time. I recently got the DVD and had a good laugh . . . my brother is in that same production and his hair is sticking up.

US ASIANS: Could you share your experience(s) and what you had learned (as an actress) in your Industrial Film experiences such as:

  • Pearson Education US Version (Amy Lee) Walkabout Productions
  • Oxford University Press (Voice-Over) Full House Productions and
  • The Future is Now (Principal) Cyclotron Productions)

Lynn Chen

LYNN CHEN: Most of the Pearson Education industrial shoot was shot like a television show, with multiple cameras, over a few weeks. The other parts of it were done with teleprompter, much like “The Future is Now” industrial I did. Teleprompter roles are great – I enjoy reading lines off copy and not having to memorize anything, similar to the reason why I love doing voice-overs…voice-over work is my favorite. You go in and out looking like crap and you’re still doing your job.

US ASIANS: Who are your role model(s) as an actor and why?

LYNN CHEN: I’d like to have some of Audrey Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart’s skills…they made some incredibly cheesy lines work.

US ASIANS: What specific skills of Audrey Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart would you like to have?

LYNN CHEN: Intensity and grace

US ASIANS: Do you remember much of your experience of performing alongside Rudolf Nuruyev at the Metropolitan Opera House as a child of five years old?

LYNN CHEN:My debut involved walking on stage, watching Nuruyev do his thing, and then walking off. I remember he was really sweaty.

US ASIANS: Are you still dancing, at the present time?

LYNN CHEN:Not professionally. I like to take dance classes sometimes and have been known to boogie down on occasion.


Lynn Chen's father was the founding president and a member of the Board of Directors of The Kunqu Society, Inc., which is a New York-based company devoted to the to the preservation, study, and advancement of Kunqu, a genre of Chinese musical drama.

WHAT IS KUNQU? It is recognized as the high model of Chinese musical literature. Possessing rhythm and beats, spoken Chinese is a tonal language which contrasts high pitches with low and muted pitches, thus setting apart sounds representing the masculine force, yang, from those representing the feminine force, yin. Owing to this linguistic phenomenon, music has always been inseparable from literature. And since music has exerted such a tremendous influence on Chinese poetry and poetic essays, these literary oeuvres can generally be termed as the musical literature of China.

WHY PRESERVE AND STUDY KUNQU? Though music and literature being integral parts of each other, literature has been better preserved, because most of it was written down. Music, on the other hand, most of which was passed on orally, rarely survived the different chaotic times and special circumstances. This accounts for why so many fine poems, which were at one time popular songs in China, are but written words today. Many of these once singable literary works can be appreciated and analyzed today only as literature, but no longer as music.

WHAT IS KUNQU THEATER? It is singing, dancing and acting to poetic works by masters of Ming and Qing dynasties, the Kunqu theater towers as the predominant dramatic force in China from the sixteenth century down to the present day. Indeed, with the libretti of most Kunqu plays so marked by poetic splendor, a Kunqu performance is often treasured by audiences not only as a riveting theater of singing and dancing, but also as a fine reading of high literature.

WHAT IS A KUNQU PERFORMER? They are a singer, dancer and actor - all three in one, and the pivotal element on the stage. All motions and emotions are expressed by the elaborately made up and resplendently robed actor through dancing, singing and acting against a stark background on a bare stage with minimum props.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS BEHIND THE KUNQU SOCIETY'S PURPOSE? In view of China's increasing Westernization, and consequently of the steady diminution of its cultural heritage from its glorious past, the survival of Kunqu, the crown jewel of performing arts in China, is crucial to China's cultural self-identity. It is for this reason, and for this reason only, that the Kunqu Society is devoted to studying, preserving and promoting the art of Kunqu. Click HERE to visit the Kunqu Society, Inc.'s website.

In Asia, UNESCO honored Kunqu Opera as one of six masterpieces oral history. The other selections being Kutiyattam Sanskrit theatre (India); N˘gaku theatre (Japan); royal ancestral rite and ritual music in Jongmyo shrine (Korea); the Hudhud chants of the Ifugao (Philippines) and; the cultural space of the Boysun District (Uzbekistan). For more information, please click HERE.



Click HERE to continue
Read about Lynn's views on other subjects by clicking on the subjects listed below
  Part 1: Background Information (Family and Personal)
  Part 2: Training as an Actress and a Singer, YPOK2 and Linklater
  Part 3: Eric Lin's "Fortune," Priorities, Entertainment Role Models, Contact Info, Print and Commercial Work
  Part 4: Film and Television Work, Her Dance Career and Theater Life
  Part 5: Past Theater Roles, Industrial Films, Actor Role Models and Father's "Kunqu Society"
  Part 6: Fav Films & Directors, Life on "All My Children" and Ivan Shaw
  Part 7: Her views on diversity and the status of "Asian American Cinema"
  Part 8: Fav Asian Pacific American directors and films - along with her overall aspirations




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