“It’s either I’m not Asian enough or I’m not White enough- what do I look like to you, a freaking alien or something? What do you want me to be?”

Mesti-So?! Is a quirky yet insightful short film directed by Ross Willett and written alongside Ron Nery Jr. The short was produced for the AT&T SHAPE Expo, where contestants can utilize the iconic Warner Bros. studio lots. The Embassy Courtyard / New York Park exterior sets make an appearance.

Ron, a working actor, narrates his acting struggles through a series of auditions. Specifically, as an ethnically-ambiguous actor, also known as the Mestizo. He goes from one audition to another, constantly told that he isn’t enough of a particular image. Even his friends assume that his unlucky auditions are excuses for not being good enough, to which he explains, “Because I’m a Mestizo.”

In Mesti-So?! the image standards of the entertainment industry deflect, rather than reflect the value of an actor’s image- which is why Ron suffers from either not being Asian or American enough for a role. Yet in Mesti-So?! Ron’s perspective credits his his worth as an actor in spite of all image standards: “Well no one said it was gonna be easy, it shows just how much you’re willing to lose- IF you lose.”

To tackle a controversial issue of typecasting in the film industry, specifically as an actor, isn’t a simple task. Yet Mesti-So?! Credits the potential of an actor in spite of all image standards. Furthermore, the short film unravels a quirky yet transparent tone that acknowledges both the labor and the fruits of an actor’s persistence. Especially, of an actor who doesn’t seem to fit one casting mold, but persists in spite of image standards.

Tiffany Porter

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