June 17, 2013— -- Playwright Kyong H. Park was born in Santiago, Chile of Korean parents. His work deals a lot with his identity as a Korean Latino living in the United States.
For years, Park tried to obtain his 0-1 artist visa, the one granted to an "Alien of Extraordinary Skills." In order to prove that he has these skills, he spent all of his time and money writing plays and getting as much of his work produced as possible. But this quickly wore him down until he felt burnt out. By the time Park was granted his 0-1 Visa a few months ago, he felt as if he had to give up his art because the toll was too much. "I have come to terms with who I am as an artist, but also, I've come to the realization that I may actually not be able to go on," Park said.
Although Park was born in Chile and is of Korean descent, he says that he associates most with American culture. "I think I am more American than people want to acknowledge," said Park. "I grew up in Chile and went to an international American school. I grew up with a lot of American culture in an American educational system." When asked to describe himself, Park said, "I am a Korean, Chilean playwright director, who is also gay and an immigrant."
As a part of our "Hear Me Now" series, here is an excerpt from Park's autobiographical monologue, called "Once More, Then Never More," about the search for his identity as a multicultural artist.