The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #204: Breaking Cycles (and Chairs!) with Kulap Vilaysack

Actress and comedian Kulap Vilaysack knew she had a complicated past. She was happy to put it in a box until a time she felt ready to confront it. That time came in her early thirties, when she started working towards starting a family of her own.

Kulap wanted to know why her relationships with her mom and dad turned out the way they did. She decided to make a documentary about her search for answers. But making the film meant she would have to be vulnerable on camera – something she, an actress and comedian, didn’t have much practice doing.

Tune in to hear how Kulap examined her childhood trauma and family secrets as an adult, and what it was like to turn that experience into an incredibly personal documentary film.

Baby Kulap in her birth father’s lap. She saw this photo for the first time after starting the documentary project.

Learn more about Kulap’s’ film on the Origin Story website, or watch it now on Amazon Prime. Kulap is on Instagram at @IamKulap and Twitter @Kulap.

Since making Origin Story, Kulap went on to found Laos Angeles, a Los Angeles based, progressive and inclusive movement featuring the Laotian Diaspora. Photo by Somlit Inthalangsy.

Correction, Aug. 8, 2019: This episode states that the Danielson family lives in Washington, DC. They live in Minnesota. It also implies that both of Kulap’s parents are from Savannahkhet, Laos. Only her mother is from that city. Also, Kulap has not experienced 6 miscarriages. It’s 5.