Rae Dawn Chong
I was born in Edmonton Canada to a single mother. When I was 3 months old I was placed in an orphanage. I was adopted by my biological fathers mother Grandma Chong. I went to live with the Chong’s who at the time owned and managed 3 night club in Vancouver Canada until 1967 when we moved to Detroit Mi. Tommy Chong, my father was a musician in a band signed to Motown, Bobby Taylor and The Vancouver’s. We got our Alien (Green card) status to migrate from Canada because of Motown, thank you, Barry Gordy. Landing in Los Angeles in 1969 starting from scratch, my adopted mom Maxine worked as executive assistant to the chairman of Exxon Oil. She supported everyone, my sister, my Dad and his girlfriend and I. Maxine Chong is a saint.
My father went on to form the comedy duo “Cheech and Chong.” I started performing at 2 dancing and singing on stage with my father’s band but was discovered at 12 years old singing at my elementary school graduation. From that moment I went on to act in television and film for the next 41 years making over 70 films; Quest for Fire, Choose Me, Color Purple, Commando and the more recent Jeff Who Lives at Home, my latest Knock Em dead to name a few. I also starred in a television series Mysterious Ways NBC/PAX . Today I live in the seacoast of NH where I write, and produce and teach acting. I am currently developing a drama series called The Celebrant that I hope lands on Netflix. It is an hour long narrative about a celebrant who serves the people of the Seacoast. The Celebrant pilot was shot in October 2013 after a successful Indiegogo campaign which raised 50% of the budget, we gap funded the rest with private investors. I wrote, directed as well as starred in the piece; it also features Tim Reid (WKRP, Franks Place). We hope to land distribution shortly. I am also developing another series about friendship between a wealthy kid and his best friend who lives beneath the poverty line, a soap opera that focuses on the complexities of youth, friendship and life between the two worlds. Badgers Island is in pre-production as I write this. I have studied with various acting masters including Barry Primus at The Actors Studio. I am on the board of the NH film festival in Portsmouth. I volunteer at our local elementary schools Moharimet and Mast Way, teaching acting to 3rd and 4th graders. I also teach an adult master acting class with the focus on acting for the camera. I have been writing since 1991 when I wrote my first feature film “Boulevard” that was produced and shot in Toronto by North Star. I have had three other scripts produced for both film and television.
I am heartened by the many platforms available to us as content creators today. There is nothing stopping us from getting our stories made. I have three more projects in development and hope to continue creating and teaching and exploring the infinite world of media, film using the social universe. My first love is storytelling, sharing through witnessing the human condition because as an actor it is our job to communicate through the written word. I take this very seriously and think it a value to all. Without our stories we have nothing to soothe the soul or stimulate its expansion. In the end we all want to be challenged to grow and to be loved.
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