I am still in the process of discovering my character’s story every day. I am an Asian immigrant who sings in Haitian, and then I blend into the Harlem group very early on in the show. But one thing that is certain is that I really love the scenes I have with the rest of the Harlem group. The immigrant scenes are a little more unsettling, because the animosity from other groups of people and among the immigrants is very real. When I am an immigrant, I am in a completely unfamiliar place full of people who find me strange and disgusting. The fact that I am an Asian immigrant among Jewish, Italian, and Haitian immigrants makes it a much direr situation for my character. Other immigrants form groups among themselves because they can communicate with each other easily. I would imagine my character does not speak any of the major immigrant languages represented in the immigrant song. And Ivy and I established that although both of us are Asian immigrants, we are not from the same country and we don’t speak the same language.
During the second immigrant scene, I am all alone. I decided that my husband died during the trip when we were stranded and Haiti and I have somehow made my way to America alone. Ivy tries to ask me something, but I don’t understand and we find each other useless. I see other immigrant families settling down, but I have no idea what to do and where to go. The buildings and trollies and cars scare me a lot—I have never seen things so big and fast before. This is the America that my husband and I promised to see together. I try not to think about him, but now that he is dead, I have no one else to rely on. What would we have done if he were alive? I realize my bundles I’ve been carrying so tightly against me lest I lose it are extremely heavy. I set them down, and a sense of helplessness overwhelms me. I have to sit down and cry until Katherine approaches me. She consoles me and tells me that she is alone too, and that she has heard about a factory in this area that hires women, and maybe we can find a place with other women to live. We go looking for the factory to ask for a job, but it’s not easy. Both of us are not familiar with the city, the people, and the language. We see two prostitutes, who get into a skirmish with some people. It was interesting to see, but now I see them walking out with money. I tell Katherine that if we join the prostitutes at least we won’t be starving. The prostitutes gesture towards me, and Katherine pulls me away and shows me J.P. Morgan, and how he became wealthy. But winter comes, and we’re still in bad need of food and shelter. I run to the prostitutes and hope Katherine would join me—at least we’ll have a place to stay and a rather steady income.