Dear David Yee of fu-GEN,
I am an Asian-American student and actress living in Midlothian, VA and am
also a sophomore in high school. I am extremely dedicated to my studies at
my school and theatre and try to take part in the arts community as much as
possible. You can check out most of my work on: www.natashayliu.com .
Growing up, I had a somewhat difficult, but happy childhood. I am a first
generation Asian American, and my parents have always had to struggle to
provide for my 12 year old sister and I. As a child, I never had what all
my friends in school had (big birthday parties, brand name clothes, piano
classes, etc), but was thankful I could live in a good community and have
supportive friends and family. Currently, my mother is an on call CNA and
my father is a waiter. Though they are extremely supportive of my dreams,
they cannot help much. I've always held myself back fron my aspirations and
dreams to be able to save my family money. To be able to take private
classes in theatre, music, and dance I have been working at a restaurant so
I can pay for them myself.
Recently, I applied to the Interlochen Arts Academy ("the world's first and
foremost boarding school for the arts), an extremely prestigious,
internationally renowned boarding arts high school in Michigan and was
accepted! Unfortunately, even after the school itself gave me $34,000
towards tuition, help from my grandparents, and help from my parents, it is
still not enough to be able to go there. The total tuition for one year at
Interlochen is expensive; it is $48,520 and there are also extra expenses
(travel, technology fee, etc) that add up to around $4,000.
My grandparents stepped in and paid a mandatory non-refundable $2,500
deposit for me to able to have a chance to fundraise and have my spot held
at Interlochen. I am doing my best to try to raise the money, so I won't
let my grandparents down and lose the money (it is a substantial amount of
their retirement savings) and to be able to grow much more as a student and
an actress at Interlochen. I started an online campaign to raise funds to
be able to go to Interlochen at: www.indiegogo.com/projectinterlochen
Furthermore, I plan on teaching and helping people in the community what I
have learned through the amazing experience, if I am able to go to
Interlochen. I also hope to continue learning from the individuals in the
I was wondering if you could check the campaign out, spread the news, or
make a contribution, if possible. If not, I understand.
A quick breakdown of the cause is below and, again, more information can
also be found below in the link.
*Needed*: Businesses, organizations, or individuals who are willing to
spread the news or contribute, if possible. Each little bit helps and even*
$1* contributions are highly encouraged!
*The Cause*: I am trying to raise enough money to be able to go to a
prestigious arts high school called the Interlochen Arts Academy.
Many renowned artists such as: John Groban (who even talked about his great
memories at Interlochen in a Regis and Kelly interview!), Felicity Huffman,
and Norah Jones have trained there. To add on knowledgeable and dedicated
teachers in the theatre department like Larry Reiman (a member of the first
graduating class at Juilliard who was selected by John Houseman and
Michelle Saint-Denis) and William Church make the theatre department at
Interlochen an extremely strong one.
*Who and What Inspired Project Interlochen*: People like Ellysa Herr (an
young actress in Farmington Hills, Michigan that needed 25K who fundraised
to be able to go to Interlochen) and Sylvani Wolf (a talented, young dancer
who fundraised to be able to take a summer dance intensive) who didn't give
up when they could not reach their dreams due to financial difficulties.
*The Campaign *(detailed information can be found here as well as a
campaign video, if you are interested)*:*
Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Have a great day! If you
have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
fair reader, there is a frustrating dearth of Asian North American students enrolled in post-secondary arts programs. obstacles are legion, from parental pressure to accessibility to perceived viability as a career. i like this girl's moxie. and moxie counts for a lot, around this office.
i just saw the Kickstarter campaign for a wrist-watch that works with your iPhone. in less than 30 days, they've raised nearly NINE MILLION dollars... for a campaign that only set a $100,000 goal. it's the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever. and it's for a fucking watch. surely we can raise a fraction of that for a girl's education. her dreams and what not. surely that's better than a watch with Caller ID. right?
i urge you to help out the young miss liu. think of it as an investment in the future of Asian North American theatre. she might not be as cool as a phone-watch-gadget-thing... but, to be fair, she also probably won't be involved in future manufacturing scandals involving child labour or environmentally hazardous materials. just saying.
here's the link again: www.indiegogo.com/projectinterlochen