Interview with Kristina Wong (KW) and Noah Levine (NL):
RS: Tell me about yourself a bit, your background, family, main events in your life, etc. It's up to you how much you'd like to share with our readers.
KW: I grew up middle class in San Francisco and am a third generation Chinese-American. I often joke that I was raised Puritan. My parents are both retired now, but my mother was an accountant and my dad sold insurance for many years. So it’s beyond odd, or maybe not that odd at all, that I ended up in this very creative profession.
I think compared to the people I grew up around, I was always odder, more emotional, and constantly questioning the world around me. Somewhere between never having a good therapist, knowing I’d make a really stressed out doctor when I grew up, and wanting to crucify every ex-boyfriend who ever wronged me — I became a performance artist.
NL: I was born in New Jersey, where I was exposed to theater as a kid because my parents did some small-time local stuff, fell in love with it, did it in high school, majored in it in college, and now here I am, working the South Florida professional circuit. Good times.
RS: Who do you consider to be the most talented comedian of all time?
KW: Lucille Ball. I sometimes feel like I’m living the R-rated version of her life without the sound stage, the hot husband chiding me, or the cameras.
NL: I could never just pick one. Here are several I can think of on the spot: Michael Ian Black, Matt Braunger, Bill Burr, Louis CK, Christian Finnegan, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Daniel Tosh.
RS: Do you enjoy performing? Was there ever a time that you almost fell into something else?
NL: I hate performing. It's the worst. I wanted to be a rich big shot lawyer but my parents made me be an actor instead.
RS: What three possessions would you like with you on a desert island?
KW: Journal and pen, hot lover with no emotional issues or a real doll, and a hammock.
NL: Airplane, fuel, licensed pilot.
RS: Is timing the most important part of comedy in your opinion?
KW: I think it’s a tie between timing and being able to mine the most mundane of subject matter for humor. Sex and dating are topics that have been over mined. But cats? Not enough humor on cats! Ahem....cough...
RS: What are your projects within the next two years?
KW: Theater about my own life and crises has got me a bit burnt out, so I’m slowly approaching a new solo show called “The Wong Street Journal” which is going to be me explaining global poverty and economic theory to audiences.
NL: After this show I'll be in Thinking Cap's production of Aphra Behn's restoration comedy "The Rover" at Empire Stage in Ft. Lauderdale. In May I'll be in the encore production of Kim Ehly's "Baby GirL" which was a big hit at Empire this past summer.(The venue of the encore is still on the DL!)
RS: What was the last book you read? What are you reading now?
KW: I am finishing this book called Sleeping Naked is Green about a woman who makes one major lifestyle habit change per day to reduce her carbon footprint. It’s OK. I’m in the midst of pitching a book based on “Going Green the Wong Way” (my last solo show that Mad Cat did the world premiere of) and the next book I’m going to pick up is Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates. I adore her writing.
RS: Please give me a website where readers can find out more about you.