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Meet Liz Fields

Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Fields.

Hi Liz, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a Chinese-Australian- American writer and filmmaker (and reformed journalist) who has traveled to 40 different countries around the world and have been influenced by all the various cultures I consider myself lucky to be part of. I spent most of my childhood and early 20s across parts of Southeast Asia and Australia before moving to New York to pursue my master’s in journalism at Columbia University. After graduating, I hustled several unpaid internships by day while also bartending at a horror themed bar at night where skeletons danced and sang and Frankenstein rose from the dead on the hour, every hour. It wasn’t for nothing. I got my big break in journalism at ABC News and was later poached by one of my editors to help him launch VICE News.

When I started at VICE, there were only about three reporters spread across every single beat imaginable to humankind. I think I was covering politics, the Black Lives Matter movement, the rise of ISIS, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Cannabis legalization, the dark web, and probably dozens more topics and areas. After a couple of years, I helped the company launch their nightly news show on HBO and moved into the video and documentary side of things. During this time, I also got to document the insanity of the modern American condition as a 2016 presidential campaign embed. After leaving VICE, I researched, developed, produced, and wrote content for a variety of outlets and companies, including a Netflix series on the global drug trade, a revenge-thriller indie flick, and a very campy rom-com podcast. My TV pilot script, Vampire Facial, was also selected as a finalist at the 2020 Austin Film Festival. I am currently writing a TV script based on my experiences hunting meth dens in the Golden Triangle. You never really know where life will take you!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Smooth waves do not make skilled sailors. I don’t know where that quote came from. Maybe Pope Francis or Will Smith. New Yorkers tend to wear their struggles like a badge of honor. They say things like “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” and “I never go to Times Square…” And for a little while, I bought that narrative too. Grit and grime and working hard made me who I am today. Having said that, it’s SO nice to be living in LA where I no longer accidentally step in puddles up to my armpits and have to do the subway thing. Now, LA traffic — that’s a whole other story… Jokes aside, the biggest struggles in my career have been speaking up and speaking out as a woman of color in very male-dominated industries. After “Crazy Rich Asians” and “The Farewell” (both amazing films by the way) were released, some people threw up their hands and declared: “well, that’s it, we’re all equal now — we have Asian leads in an Asian ensemble.”

Some people I’d socialize with in Hollywood also started to tell me “how hard it is to be white and male right now,” while others told me how lucky I am to be an Asian woman. They simply didn’t believe that racism, prejudice and misogyny towards Asians still existed. Despite the events of the last year or more where we’ve seen increasingly violent attacks on the Asian community and the recent and horrific shooting in Georgia, some people still don’t believe those things exist. Our struggle to be seen and heard continues, both in Hollywood and beyond. That’s why it’s so important to me to continue to speak out against Asian hate and intolerance through my work and in my personal life. But it’s also really important to acknowledge and firmly declare that Black Lives Matter, trans lives matter, our unhoused community in LA matters. All these issues can be addressed at the same time. And I know that everyone is very tired at the end of an interminably long quarantine, but I believe we can continue to lift each of our communities up by supporting one another in this struggle together.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I currently write and produce a range of non-fiction and narrative content for various clients and companies. For example, right now I’m writing a mini doc series on drag for PBS and also writing, directing and producing a fictional podcast. My writing voice has been cemented by all the unique and diverse experiences I’ve had in my life and I’d say that what sets me apart is my ability to always find the funny in the tragic and use humor as a way to explore themes of identity, injustice, love, and the human condition. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a project you’d like to collaborate on!

What are your plans for the future?
I have a few projects in the works I can’t really talk about — but watch this space (and my website) for details!

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Photo: Dennis Kwan Photography

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