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What Should I Do for a Living? Starring Jenny Yang
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Episode 5
What Should I Do for a Living? Starring Jenny Yang
With the comedy clubs shut down across the country, comedian Jenny Yang reinvents the venue by hosting stand-up in one of her favorite online gaming worlds: Animal Crossing.This LAist Studios podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10% off their first month of online therapy at for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.


ERICK: Alright, you ready? Ok.

[Clears throat]

ERICK: So I’m sitting at a table between my mother and father. She’s a born again Christian. He’s a lapsed Catholic. And I’m … being pulled.

See I want to take the dog for a walk but it’s cold out. Moms thinks a walk would be good for me. No haciendo frio frio. But Pops is worried I’m going to catch a cold. Un resfriado. They’re both trying to protect me. But all they’re doing is personifying this duality in me that itches something awful.

It’s the winter of 2017, and just 150 miles north of us, with most of humanity blissfully unaware, SpaceX is getting ready to launch a 229-foot-tall rocket called Falcon 9 off the Santa Barbara coast.

Back home, my mom is clearly winning the argument and making some out of this world tamales rojos while doing so. So pops decides since it’s “No está haciendo frío,” he’s going to go outside to put up the Christmas lights.

The Falcon 9 launches, leaving a tail of exhaust plume that catches, depending on which of my parents you believe, in the crisp or icy Southern California stratosphere, pulling rays of twilight to create a striking visual of what looks to me like a bright white halo.

The effect captures the imagination of millions. Social media goes bright with videos, photos and theories — And my whole family goes out to the front yard to see the spectacle.

Pops sees it and says, “Must be Koreans bombing us.” And goes back to putting up Christmas lights. Moms sees it and says, “Must be God showing his magnificence.” And goes back to making tamales.

These are the people who raised me, in a valley between faith and cynicism, to be both a 229-foot-tall rocket and the starlight that makes it glow.

I’m Erick Galindo and this is Wild.

I Got Everything (Instrumental) by Mz.007

[Jenny Yang “What is Sex Bit” Comedy]

ANNOUNCER: Put your hands up together for Jenny Yang.

[Audience Claps]

JENNY: I have to confess to you I grew up a very good girl. I do not know the Mandarin Chinese word for sex. I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese, you guys.

JENNY:Ni hao. Ha.Ha.Ha.

[Audience Laughs]


But to this day, I do not know the Mandarin Chinese word for sex.

I decided I’m going to ask my mom. Okay, so this is how it went, imagine this all went down in Chinese: Okay, like “Ma, what's the word for when two people go to bed together?”

[Imitating mom] Hmmm. Sleeping

[Audience Laughs]

[You hear the voices and laughter fade…]

ERICK: When the world shut down, crowded laughter disappeared. Tickets stopped selling, clubs cancelled tours, stages gathered dust — some comedians stopped working. But Jenny — someone who has pivoted her entire life — found herself pivoting once again.

ERICK: I wonder how much, how much of stand-up is the live audience? Like what percentage of the joy you get from telling jokes is the reaction of the audience.

JENNY: I'll tell you this when the live audience is gone, you feel that real quick.

You get that answer real quick.


ERICK: This is Jenny Yang. She used to be a political strategist and an activist, and she was great at that. Now she’s a successful stand-up comic and TV writer. It seems like a leap to pivot from politics to telling jokes for a living but it kind of makes sense if you know where Jenny came from.

JENNY: I remember being five years old and being fascinated by how there's actually walnuts that would fall to the ground on American streets, like food just falls to the floors? In public? This is America. Wow.

ERICK: Yeah, it’s crazy. We like have parks where we just swim in water and food falls from the trees.

ERICK: Did you grow up in San Gabriel Valley?

JENNY: No. Well, I first landed in the San Gabriel Valley in Rosemead when I was five and then my dad, we moved to America from Taiwan because my dad worked for China Airlines at LAX and then my mom for a time being was a garment worker in Chinatown in LA and so we first moved to Rosemead because that's where our people were, and like, you kind of get acclimated, but after maybe six months, he was like, “I'm not going to make this trip down to El Segundo and LAX.” So we moved to Hawthorne, then we moved to Torrance for the most part, yeah.

ERICK: Did you come from a big family?

JENNY: Um, no, I would say um, because of immigration, I don't consider myself having a big family. It was like my mom, my dad and then my two older brothers.

To me, my family obviously is also in mainland China and Taiwan. My dad's side and my mom's side. When people ask me if I have, if I come from a big family, I always say no, because I always was jealous of the other kids who had like uncles and aunties who could show them things. I was like five years old. My brothers were much older. My parents didn't know English that well. Like I figured out a lot of American cultural shit. Like I had to navigate that. Like I was five years old. I learned English faster than any of the other people in my family.

ERICK: From watching the Simpsons or what?

JENNY: Oh my god, just like watching cartoons like I was ugh... I'm probably older than you, like, Animaniacs you know what I'm saying like, Yo, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.

ERICK: Oh man, the way Chip, the way they ate sandwiches on Chip ‘n Dales... I was like, how come my sandwich never looks like that? Like I'm eating a torta you know, my mom’s making tortas and I’m like, why can’t I have a square sandwich, mom?


ERICK: Were your parents funny ? Like how did you, what inspired the transition to stand-up?

JENNY: Yeah. So I don't know. People ask me this question a lot. And I always find it so funny, like I don't know about you, because like your first language is Spanish, right? Like, do you feel like you ever have like a firewall between your Spanish brain and like America brain?


JENNY: That's how it was for me, like home life was so separate from outside life, because I didn't have a lot of Chinese speaker friends outside of home. And so I think in my brain, it was very, like, walled off.


ERICK: For sure, yeah.

JENNY: So like, for example, I didn't realize my mom was sarcastic, you know what I'm saying, until like, five years ago.

JENNY: You know, I just thought, Oh, my mom's mean, you know what I mean, or like she’s just like, that's how she talks to us. But like, in American, it's like, oh yeah, sarcasm. It's like when people say what they don't mean and they try to do that to make a passive aggressive point, you know what I mean…

JENNY: So like stuff like that, I realized, I was like, Oh, my mom was fucking hilarious. She is always commenting and talking shit. Especially cuz she could talk shit in Chinese outloud, and no one will understand.

MUX STARTS Blowout Instrumental by Cadence

JENNY: So she'll all just be like, making fun of people what they're wearing. Like, like my mom, like for example, my mom told me a story.


It was like the beginning of the pandemic, okay. And you know, everyone was looking at Asian people sideways, because they're like, “Oh, you have the Chinese flu”, right? So she's at their local Ralph's, all right, and she's like, has her mask on. And this is at the beginning, before everything was required. remember? Like, there was a soft moment where there was like, “No, not everyone has to wear a mask,” but like all the Asians rolled up like we know this, and then they like pulled out their masks.

JENNY: So she went to the Ralph's and she said she felt people turning away from her kinda like non Asians, like lots of white people. And then she was like, laughing to me about it and then she's like, you know what I'm gonna do next time, I'm gonna go to the supermarket and she's like, “我會寫下來, "我沒有生病", 然後穿在我的衣服上,” which basically means like, “I'm gonna write down on a sign. I am not sick and wear it on my shirt."

[Erick laughing]

JENNY: I was like, dang, mom. See, mom's got jokes. I was like, “Why is she sarcastic like this?” I didn't even realize that.


ERICK: Yeah, yeah, oh man, that’s so cool. Is there ? Like for people that don’t know, what's the difference between like, is there a difference between your Taiwanese family and your mainland Chinese family?

JENNY: Oh, 100%. Like, I don't know, most people listening probably aren’t hip to the geopolitical issues.

But like basically the quick version is, is like…

MUX IN: Flock Instrumental by Thomas William Hill

JENNY: in 1940s, Mao, Chairman Mao came to power and the communists took over. And so basically pushed away the KMT or Kuomintang or Nationalist Party, and they like took refuge in a tiny island that was just off of the East Coast. And that's Taiwan. They probably did some stuff to indigenous people too, which is messed up. But you know, that's neither here nor there and then established Taiwan as we know it. And so in a weird way, Taiwan is kind of like a 1940's time capsule of China, if that makes sense. And then China kind of developed on its own course. I think similar to sort of Hong Kong issues, right, where you're like China, but it's not, there's that same identity and political conflict. And so for me being from Taiwan is very specific. My Taiwanese family is my mom's side and they were there multiple generations probably originating from China even though there might be some mixing with indigenous but yeah, it's like, that's its own thing. Because for so long, it was closed off, you know what I mean, they did not let a lot of information pass between mainland and the rest of the world, much less people and so finally, when they opened up, I remember visiting a number of years ago just like as a grown ass woman, like ooh, I want to know what Mainland's like.

JENNY: And it was kind of freaky because like so poor still but then in like cities like Shanghai, it's like so rich and people it's like a gold rush for people to go from like farming to just Super skyscraper capitalism in like less than a decade.

It's a, it's a whiplash affect culturally.

This is the stuff I think about like I always wondered like, “Oh, what is gonna do to like the mainland Chinese people to like develop that way. But I feel like my family on that side too also is a part of that, that growth.

So that has been your moment in China and Taiwan, geopolitical history.

[Jenny laughs]

MUX OUT: Flock Instrumental by Thomas William Hill

Transition sound

SHAKA: Wild will return after this commercial break.

__________ MID ROLL BREAK _____________ 11:45

SHAKA: Now back to the show.

Transition sound


ERICK: Damn. Jenny’s smart. It’s not just high IQ though. Her brain just switches gears from cracking jokes to very important history. And she says it in a way that makes sense and even feels entertaining.

ERICK: But on the real though, you you actually began your career in politics, right?

JENNY: Yeah, yeah. I got very politicized in college, like a lot of people. So I was like, oh, class analysis, race analysis, gender sexuality analysis, you know, and then perform poetry because that's what you do when you're a student activist in college… (Jenny laughs) And then came back to LA and I worked for nonprofits and Asian American communities. Went to grad school UCLA for urban planning, worked for a labor union that represented LA County public employees. So I know LA in deep, in multiple layers, and I love it.


JENNY: But I think at some point, I was like man, this world is not, is not good for my creativity, and life is short, YOLO, you know, that whole thing. And I was like, I'm getting burnt out from working for the labor union, giving much of my valuable 20s to the movement. And then I was like, I need to perform.


So that's how I got into comedy.


ERICK: I think it's interesting. Do you remember like the moment you were on stage and started telling jokes? Like, can you describe that a little bit for me ?

JENNY: Um, so there's this L.A. space called Tuesday night cafe, Tuesday night project. It's probably one of the longest running open mic and multi disciplinary performance art spaces in Little Tokyo.

[Tuesday Night Cafe Clips ]

*MUSIC* Sometimes I lay awake in my own bed, I hope that I’m still dreaming...Alarm clock’s saying, it’s 6 am, but I don't want to get up and get ready.

So can we turn that up just a little bit more, please. Okay cool. Yo! I come to you humbly as an artist with no imagination..., as long as.. in the crowd with no... okay. I’m a lovable...

JENNY: Because I used to perform poetry, I had become a regular there, sometimes co-hosting. And it was sort of like my home performance space. And when I realized, I'm a burnout on this political career, if I go back into work, and I don't have an outlet that's creative, I'm going to punch somebody.


JENNY: I like decided I will be open to creative possibilities and what the universe tells me. Because in the past, people would tell me, I'm a certain way, but I would like deny it, you know, like, Oh, you'd be very good at this or whatever, like, creatively. And so finally, one day, like the 20th time I was at a party, I was telling a story. I made people laugh. Someone just stopped and looked at me like very seriously. There's like a, like a dramatic pause...


JENNY: like, you know what, Jenny,”you're, you're funny, like a comedian.”

[Jenny Yang Hollywood Bootcamp Comedy Clip]

JENNY: This is Jenny Yang's Hollywood bootcamp. You are the first class of my next genship interns. Only the strong will survive. Do you want to work in Hollywood?

INTERNS: Queen, yes, queen.

JENNY: Well, I'm sure you’ve heard the horror stories. Well, they're all true. Hollywood is a desperate succubus leeching off the energy and innocence of your dreams. Everyone wants the glamour. No one wants the work. Embrace the suck.

INTERNS: Queen, yes, queen.


TRANS MUX : K.P. Instrumental by The World Famous Upsetters

JENNY: And I was like, what? And I heard it and I was like, Okay, before the end of the year, I'm gonna do stand-up comedy. I just said it. And so yeah, I like, I had no like, googled it, maybe? I had no idea what I was doing. I like wrote all of these notes. I was like, what's a joke? I don't even know what a joke was. I remember going up at a Tuesday night cafe show and I was like, I'm so nervous guys. I was gonna throw up, but I didn't. And I was just like, so here's some stuff. I pulled up the paper. I remember I like… there was like bathroom jokes. There's like poop jokes. There was like, you know, I compared my my boyfriend's balls to dingleberries and Chinese medicine balls. It was all the worst hits of like beginner stand-up comedians, you know, bathroom humor.

ERICK: Was there any sort of feeling like “Oh, shit, this is great.” Or were you just like, “Oh man, this is hard?”

JENNY: I thought, man, this is the hardest thing I've done in forever. It's so challenging. But I could feel the, the tingling magic of what the upside could be. I was like, if I could do this well, there's a huge potential.


[Tuesday Night Cafe comedy clip]

JENNY: To all the people who appreciate a little something from my homeland, Taiwan.

Tapioca milk tea is what I like, I just want to rap about it when I'm on the mic…..It’s real smooth, kind of creamy...

JENNY: Because it's very freeing. You know, it's just you and you get to talk about what you want to talk about. And all you need. The price of entry for a stand-up comedian is just to make people laugh, right? And so if you can make people laugh, you get to make them think about things you want them to think about, expose them to worlds and ideas that you think is important. So that's very powerful. And it's like five minutes to one hour, whatever your, whatever level of comedian you are...For that stage time you get a captive audience, you know? Especially if you're funny. But yeah, that's what I realized.

Mux OUT K.P. Instrumental by The World Famous Upsetters

ERICK: What was your approach to like finding your voice? Did you, did you view life as more of a satire or like this, this ironic comedy?

[Dare To Be 2015 comedy clip]

JENNY: My freshman year of high school?


JENNY: I rewrote the Snoop Dogg rap songs... for trigonometry class.

[Audience Cheers]

JENNY: Extra Credit, you guys. Extra credit. I know. I know. Let me break that down for you. Basically, what that means is I did not make out with a guy until I graduated.

JENNY: I would say that if I were to think of a consistent thread of how I think is satirically. It's making fun of something that exists. Something that usually has a social consequence or political consequence...

[Facebook Andrew Yang comedy clip]

JENNY: The Coronavirus has a lot of Americans scared of Asians. So Andrew Yang says we can't make them be less racist. We just have to be more American. Let's see if that works. Come on. I'm ready to be more American. No takers? USA, US..

JENNY: You know, so if you look at my videos, if you look at most of my tweeting, which is a lot of stuff for public consumption — I care about being a part of the conversation and so if I believe that... as like the public conversation moves and shifts either through broadcast media or through social media. And I notice that there's an element of it that's just bending a little too sideways, I get mad, you know, to me, I'm like, no, it shouldn't, it shouldn't shift that way. I want to lend my voice to maybe push it back the other direction, if possible.

ERICK: You had all this momentum going into 2020, right. You've been on this career trajectory, and then this pandemic happened. And it sort of takes you away from your audience, right? Like it takes you away from what you love to do. Like I can’t imagine, what that must of felt like.

JENNY: Oh my god, I feel like depressed like everyone else. Because I was worried... I you know, honestly, I wasn't as worried about my livelihood, because luckily I was employed. But I think I was upset creatively because I was ready, I was raring to go. Our mutual friend, Javier Cabral was booked as a guest on a live variety show that I was like putting on. I had sold tickets for it. He was, he was booked on it. And I was upset that I wasn't able to fulfill creative visions that I had of like trying stuff out. But honestly, I would say that was maybe like 40%. But the other 60% of my upsetness was at the world

PAUSE At being like, man, there's so much suffering happening right now. Frankly, I felt like

there was a lack of leadership in our public elected officials. And so I think that upset me

the most — sort of feeling of helplessness.


JENNY: I think after about a month of crying and like, you know, getting obsessed with anything I could to like take my mind off things. I think I realized,

I got to go toward the thing that I know is soothing me, which is making fresh pasta, playing Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch and being on zoom with friends you know.


JENNY: During the first month of the pandemic, I was so blown away by how quickly some comedians pivoted and were just like “All right, next week, what's up, we're gonna do Instagram Live stand-up comedy,” and I was like, I even did one and I remember watching being like, this is the saddest...You’re like on Instagram live, there's no audience. It's just you and whoever you're like duo talking with and maybe they're laughing, maybe they're not but like, it just felt like you were just telling jokes into a hallway.


Try that... try talking to a hallway, see how that feels.


ERICK: I’m good. I mean I talk to myself all the time, but I get, I get what you're saying.

JENNY: Half of a live comedy show for stand-up comedy is about the audience laughter. 100% crowd participation. Even though you're not like sticking out as one single voice, you're giving feedback. You're giving energy, There is nothing like it. The closest thing we could figure out was to have a big zoom meeting where some people were unmuted so that you could hear their laughter. But it's not the same.

Transition MUX Tuesday Instrumental by Toranpetto

ERICK: At this point in the pandemic, everything was closed including comedy clubs where Jenny Yang thived. But she was really enjoying the way humanity could stay connected through something else she loved: video games.

Then this idea hit her to combine three things she loved to do: stand-up and social justice--- and her love of the video game Animal Crossing.

JENNY: Yeah, comedy crossing is a stand-up comedy show that happens online. It's in a big zoom meeting. Once it happens, it’s over. There’s no recording that you can watch. There’s no rebroadcast of it. But the, the weird part of it is, once you get into the zoom meeting, you watch a shared screen from my computer of me playing a Nintendo Switch video game called Animal Crossing, which is basically like Sims but with like cute ass Japanese art characters and animals on an island. Honestly, it’s like the thing that saved me, saved my sanity in 2020 as a personal gamer person playing the game, but also as an outlet that is able to keep people's attention and still be able to bring stand-up comedians on and for me to have a place where I could bring people together.

ERICK: It wasn’t just the novelty that made her zoom show stand out above all the others - Jenny was talking about the stuff that mattered.

JENNY: I launched this show online right around the time that George Floyd was murdered. And what helped out was like I always knew it was going to be free. But I then, that gave it even more of a focus in a way for me to feel like I could do something about something awful that was happening in the world. So immediately from the jump, like first show in June, we said, this is a free show, come one come all, but if you can donate, a bulk of that donation will go to any number of the Black Lives Matter causes and funds that were popping up at the time. And as we know, sadly, there were way too many causes and funds that needed support. And so every week, we've been able to support another fund.

So yeah, we raised like over $30,000 for Black Lives Matter causes since June.

ERICK: Is that a cause that you find like that is very personal to you?

JENNY: Yeah, I think to me, as someone who very early on realized that a sense of justice and social justice and economic justice was important and sort of being very aware of how racialized everything is, from an early time being a little immigrant kid. Then having then finally, the language and the analysis in college. You know, the movement for Black Lives, even though it's coined that now has been going forever, we're just living the, we are living the descendants of the civil rights movements from before. You know because of social media, we've been able to see in much sharper relief, the injustice and the frequency of it, you know, maybe it hasn't increased, maybe it's always been there. But now that we all have cell phone cameras, we could actually see it and share it. And it's heartbreaking, right? The just, I think just the if you're, if you're alive and you're not upset by the the sort of, you know, firehose of of injustice and sadness and violence that is, you know, hitting people, especially people who are black, you're not living


JENNY: You cannot have a pulse if you're not feeling it.

JENNY: It wasn't that long ago, you didn't really have to talk about politics. People could kind of slide under the radar and just be like, Oh, shit, that's like something that's happening out there for the really activist people. I don't need to say anything. I can just keep my opinions to myself. But, in the last five years or so, right? Whether it's Trump being elected or whatever, there's become this sense of urgency that you have to come on down on one side of justice or not.

ERICK: Right.


JENNY: I think even prior to that, for me, that didn't happen with George Floyd. That happened more so in terms of my public persona, in 2014, when Michael Brown Jr. was shot in Ferguson. That was a wake up call for me because for me, I thought, “I'm pivoting from working for the labor movement. Okay, I'm now work in Hollywood guys, maybe on social media. I'm not going to talk so much about my political stuff anymore.” I get the privilege of doing that now that I'm a comedian and I could talk about the dick jokes and the dating jokes, you know, and maybe I felt a little pressure to be safer because who knows I don't want to ruffle feathers on maybe I don't want to like turn people off who might be able to hire me for something, you know.

JENNY: It wasn't until Michael Brown Jr. was laying there in the heat. His body disrespected, undignified, and the subsequent treatment of that death...It upset me so deeply, I said, fuck this, I'm going to talk about this shit 24 seven if I need to, because this is the sense of urgency, I feel about it, and people are going to know about it.

ERICK: Right.

JENNY: Interestingly enough, a lot of people DM me because of that. Because I would summarize the latest news on my social media in a concise way. And they would say thank you, I'm not able to read all this stuff, I could just check your social media and I could find out what's happening. And so that was a big lesson and a turning point for me in terms of my social media presence, which apparently means everything these days.



ERICK: A lot of people might brand you as kind of like a woke comic, or...Like is there such thing as woke comedy? Is there feminist comedy? Are those words that you kind of try to stay away from or do you embrace that ?

JENNY: I think every comedian you talk to will want to say they just want to be known as funny and a comedian. But we're also whole human beings. And you know, it's like I love, Hari Kondabolu loves talking about it this way. He might be sort of dubbed as a woke comedian. Comedy is not like just capital C comedy. There's like so many branches and tastes. It's like music, you know what I’m saying like, do you like Pantera versus Ariana Grande?

ERICK: Sure. Those are two. I couldn't name a Pantera song or an Ariana Grande song. But they both dated Pete Davidson, right?

JENNY: Oh, yeah, of course. Who hasn't?

JENNY: Uhh [laughs]

JENNY: To me, I'm just a human being trying to be a comedian. And also trying to talk about things I care about, which is what most comedians do. And if it happens to be stuff that you might categorize as woke or social justice, then feel free.

[Mom Comedy clip]

JENNY: What’s the word for when two people go to bed together and they really wanna be there? And you and I both know it doesn’t matter whether or not they're married.

[Audience laughter]

JENNY: She’s like..hmmmmm….white people.

ERICK: Do you feel as a comedian, you have a social responsibility? Do you feel like as an immigrant, as a, as a child of immigrants, or as just like, as a person?

JENNY: Oh, my God, as a person? Are you kidding me? I believe you can do shit, wherever you are. You know what I mean, you don't need any title in order to act or care about the world. You know what I'm saying? I think that's the biggest fallacy that people will sell in order to keep people from getting involved,right? Be like, “No, you got to be 100%, Black Power, fist up non stop political purity,” in order to do anything. And that's just not the truth, you know? Unless you're starting out a commune that's off the grid. Alright. No one is politically pure. And so it's just a matter of how do we live? And how do we continue to try to do better and care for each other together, you know? And so that's all we can ask for.


JENNY: So to me, you know, for me to speak out about stuff, it's just to be alive. You know what I’m saying, but I also happen to be a stand-up comedian. And so I know I can make people laugh. And it's a marathon and not a sprint.

[SEGMENT E : Outro]

Trans mux

Austin: While details are still coming out about this devastating act of violence, there is at least one fact that we do know, six out of the eight people murdered were of Asian descent.

ERICK: You know what’s wild? Sometimes I feel like I’m on that rocket headed out to outer space, the ground going from under me and I can’t really hang on to anything.

The way time was kind of destroyed by the pandemic really made me understand that feeling much more clearly. Because sometimes, especially when wild shit happens, time is just broken man.

This altered time-space coupled with the sheer loss of life, and just bad shit in general that seemed to happen over and over again during the pandemic makes it hard to hang on.

Jenny Yang and I spoke in the winter of 2020, right before I and huge parts of Los Angeles got COVID. And it feels like the world has been pivoting much more ever since.

So much happened after that including a rise in anti-asian sentiment and high profile incidents of violence toward that community. One particularly heartbreaking incident happened on March 16th in Atlanta.

Austin: After all, last night's killing comes at a time when reports of hate crimes against Asian American Pacific Islanders are at a record high, especially against women and six of those victims were women….

Even that feels like forever ago. But I don’t ever want to move on at the speed of a Space X rocket. Not by forgetting, at least. Remembering is an important part of getting better. And there are marginalized communities in El Paso, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Jersey City, Atlanta and so much more that do not have the luxury of forgetting.

And I get it, remembering shit hurts. A lot at first. Then less and less.

Thanks to the starlight of hope and love my mama gave me and the lessons I take from Jenny Yang, I know the fight for a better life for all of us is a marathon not a sprint.

MUX OUTRO Get It Instrumental by Michael Zoah

Now here’s Jenny Yang one more time reading the names of the Americans we lost to racism and gun violence on the 16th of March.

JENNY: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Julie Park,

I Got Everything (Theme Song) by Mz.007

Transition to I Got Everything (Instrumental) by Mz.007 (plays through highlights and credits)


Cesar Hernandez: My highlights this week are I woke up with a sore throat and I was scared that I had the Rona but ya boy took a test and it turns out I was negative.

Lexis Olivier Ray: I made myself a meatball parmesan sandwich. And it was bomb. Didn’t realize you could make meatballs in like 45 minutes.

Laura Tejeda: Today I slept in until about 10 am.

Cesar Hernandez: Andddd… I’ve been helping my sister with her high school homework and she’s been doing better in school.

Linda Chavez: For me it’s been a long journey of unpacking feelings of not being good enough, not being worthy and I think a lot of those feelings came from childhood. A lot of those things within our families, within how our families function due to the systems that they were brought up in.

ERICK: That was Linda Yvette Chavez— who overcame a lifelong struggle with imposter syndrome to become a director during the pandemic. That’s on the next episode of WILD.


Read this week by Megan Tan

This episode of Wild was written and produced by Erick Galindo, Shaka Mali, Marina Peña and me, Megan Tan.

It was sound designed by Lushik Wahba and engineered by Eduardo Perez.

Our producers are Victoria Alejandro and Lushik Wahba. Marina Peña is our associate producer and fact checker. Shaka Mali is an associate producer at large and our announcer. I’m Megan Tan, the senior producer. Erick Galindo is our host and editor. Jessica Pilot is our talent producer. Our executive producers are Antonia Cereijido and Leo G.

Thanks to Cesar Hernandez, Lexis-Olivier Ray, and Laura Tejeda. Shoutout to Marisa Klug -Moratya for shooting our album art and Steve Rosa for the assist.

The theme song is I Got Everything by Mz.007

Our website,, is designed by Andy Cheatwood and the digital team, and by our marketing team, who also created our branding.

WILD is a production of LAist Studios, which includes Taylor Coffman, Kristen Hayford, Kristen Muller, and Leo G.

This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

MUX OUT I Got Everything (Instrumental) by Mz.007


WOO! I nailed it. I think...

This is Erick G — I’ll catch you next time.