Kristina Wong’s “Kristina Wong for Public Office” is coming to ARC

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TOM FOWLER PHOTOGRAPHY

(Photo courtesy of laweekly.com)

Thomas Cathey

Politician, performance artist, comedian and writer Kristina Wong will perform her show, “Kristina Wong for Public Office”, at American River College on March 12 in celebration of Women’s History Month. By performing at ARC, Wong says she hopes to use her entertaining and comedic style to shake up the landscape and encourage more students to get involved in politics.

 Wong, who entered into the political field by earning a position as an elected representative on the Neighborhood Council of Koreatown in Los Angeles in 2019, was never interested in conforming to the standard of the typical politician.

“I don’t lie about how it’s very bureaucratic and it’s a miracle that I haven’t resigned or strangled someone over how boring and unproductive it can feel,” Wong wrote in an email to the Current. “But I think that if we get over the idea that a politician must ‘look’ or ‘behave’ a certain way, and that we can actually bring our very unique passions and energy to organizing and leadership, we can get people to make the social change we need.”

In 2016, Wong was on the verge of signing on to work on a show that would be broadcast on TruTV.

“The premise was that I would stage ‘naive, but well intended public performance art stunts to confront all that political apathy,” Wong wrote.

But the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election put a hold on that project. 

“We sold the pilot idea to TruTV when Obama was President, but shot it when Trump took office,” she said. “From the short period between pitch to shoot, playing self-satirizing over-the-top activist became irrelevant.”

Since the television series did not come to fruition due to the change to the political system after the 2016 election, Wong decided to get into politics herself.

“I ran in two local elections and now I am an elected rep on my Neighborhood Council of Koreatown. I won the second one. And here we are,” Wong said.

For Wong, performing her show during Women’s History Month holds extra significance.

“What’s more significant is that not only is this Women’s History Month, this is the 100th anniversary of voting rights for women,” Wong said. “One of the more interesting things I’ve learned about women running for office, is that they actually win at the same rate as men, when they run. This really encouraged me to run [for public office].”

As an marginalized Asian-American female politician who has an unconventional campaigning style, she acknowledges that any potential failure could hold more weight than someone who doesn’t possess a marginalized identity.

“My strategy to confront this was just to really make a bulletproof show that was really well thought out and constructed and FUNNY and to be the campaign that is honest in my failures and vulnerabilities…” Wong said, “the way I wish all these super wooden politicians would be when they campaign.”

“Kristina Wong for Public Office” will take place from noon to 2 p.m. and will be held in Raef Hall, Room 162.