Being an Asian American actor isn’t easy in Hollywood. (Just read Roger Fan’s write up here.) The film “Why Am I Doing This?” follows the lives of two best friends trying to make it in Hollywood, while juggling relationships, family and the impending feeling of doom that they’re never going to make it. Here’s a synopsis:
TONY CHANG (Tom Huang), is a struggling Asian-American actor who can only seem to get auditions for parts as Chinese delivery boys or sushi chefs with bad accents. He loves acting, but everywhere he turns seems to be a dead end for his career. He feels even worse when he runs into his friendly actor nemesis, the famous TIM CHUNG (Teddy Chen Culver) whom he hates because Chung and John Cho get all of the few good Asian male parts that are available. Tony’s best friend and roommate, LESTER NILES (Anthony Montgomery), is a struggling African-American stand-up comedian who’s trying to make it doing comedy showcases and open mikes while working a day job as one of the most hated men in Los Angeles… a meter maid. His stand-up is purely observational and political, with a straight-up style like Jon Stewart or Seinfeld. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone in the industry, as well as his half-brother and manager KENNY (Joe Torry), want him to be the next Martin Lawrence, and push him to do angrier, edgier kind of material.
Together, Tony and Lester support and help each other in their fight to keep the Hollywood dream alive while still trying to deal with family and getting the girl. The film follows them and those around them as they all learn a little about themselves in a story that’s about more making it in Tinseltown; it’s about learning how to be true to your soul in the background of living in a city where cultures and race are forced together, ultimately effecting how you live.
Why Am I Doing This? Trailer (with music by Far East Movement “Round Round“)