Trailblazing: A Pioneering Filipino American For The Next Gene...

A #FilipinoAmerican Story as told by trailblazing actor, Dante Basco. Read his full story below“Being cast as Rufio in Hook changed my life. I’ve done a lot of cool things since. Being the voice of Zuko for Avatar: The Last Airbender has been unexpected. Being part of The Debut was a proud moment. I got to represent my family and friends when the Filipino community had not had a face or voice onscreen for a very long time.There’s some pressure to be a Filipino Hollywood actor—and a person of color. For a lot of people, I’m probably the only Filipino kid they have seen onscreen. It’s a big deal. I know that other Asian Americans also find some resonance in the characters, who remind them of themselves in a very personal way.There has been so much joy, but also some anxiety, about the work. I have a fear of failure, of not doing well, or of getting fired! I’ve been lucky to have been a working actor for over 30 years. I live the life I want to live as an artist and actor in Hollywood. But Filipinos have fewer roles available than other Asians. We’re the minority of minorities! You’ve got to learn your craft, get really good at it, so it’s undeniable. See, the better you become, the luckier you get.This is a lifestyle, not a job. No one sees the 20 years of acting classes, the years of dance classes, the endless auditions you didn’t get, the times you didn’t get called back. Many will never understand why you’re staying up all night for this character or writing songs or programming a beat or learning a dance routine. There’s all this stuff that people deem regular but is a matter of life and death to us as creatives.I’ve set up an Asian American arts collective to cultivate the next generation of creatives. The world has changed. I’m really hoping that my legacy lies not just within my own work. There are so many beautiful artists—we’re filmmakers, singers, actors, writers, poets who are all Americans who happen to be Asian. I want to create opportunities for them and the great work they’ll be producing.” About: Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Community celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation.

Posted by AARP AAPI Community on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Trailblazing: A Pioneering Filipino American for the Next Generation

A #FilipinoAmerican Story as told by actor Dante Basco.

“Being cast as Rufio in Hook changed my life. I’ve done a lot of cool things since. Being the voice of Zuko for Avatar: The Last Airbender has been unexpected. Being part of The Debut was a proud moment. I got to represent my family and friends when the Filipino community had not had a face or voice onscreen for a very long time.

There’s some pressure to be a Filipino Hollywood actor—and a person of color. For a lot of people, I’m probably the only Filipino kid they have seen onscreen. It’s a big deal. I know that other Asian Americans also find some resonance in the characters, who remind them of themselves in a very personal way.

There has been so much joy, but also some anxiety, about the work. I have a fear of failure, of not doing well, or of getting fired! I’ve been lucky to have been a working actor for over 30 years. I live the life I want to live as an artist and actor in Hollywood. But Filipinos have fewer roles available than other Asians. We’re the minority of minorities! You’ve got to learn your craft, get really good at it, so it’s undeniable. See, the better you become, the luckier you get.

This is a lifestyle, not a job. No one sees the 20 years of acting classes, the years of dance classes, the endless auditions you didn’t get, the times you didn’t get called back. Many will never understand why you’re staying up all night for this character or writing songs or programming a beat or learning a dance routine. There’s all this stuff that people deem regular but is a matter of life and death to us as creatives.

I’ve set up an Asian American arts collective to cultivate the next generation of creatives. The world has changed. I’m really hoping that my legacy lies not just within my own work. There are so many beautiful artists—we’re filmmakers, singers, actors, writers, poets who are all Americans who happen to be Asian. I want to create opportunities for them and the great work they’ll be producing.”

About:
Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Communityommunity celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation.

NextDayBetter Storyteller: Candice Quimpo