Alec Mapa is an award winning actor, comedian, playwright, and journalist whose career on Broadway, television, and in movies spans more than 20 years. If you think that’s a long time, just imagine how Alec feels. Luckily, he’s Filipino, which means he’ll look thirty when he’s fifty, fifty when he’s seventy and by the time he’s eighty, he’ll be too pooped to care. But enough with the Asian Math! Here’s the story on Alec Mapa.
Alec’s professional career started shortly after graduating from NYU when he starred in Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly. He performed in the Broadway production for nearly a year, opposite Tony Randall, before hitting the road with the first national touring company. Alec was certain the minute the tour landed in Los Angeles the worlds of movies and television would all come to the theater, discover a brand new talent, and make him a big fat star. He was wrong.
Alec was unemployed for nearly three years in Los Angeles, was flat broke, had a nervous breakdown and had to start all over again. He turned his career crises into a hilarious one-man show called I Remember Mapa, produced by the Mark Taper Forum. Alec’s tragic-comic monologue of triumph and loss won the LA Weekly award for Best Solo Show, enjoyed a successful run in Los Angeles and has since played to sold out houses in San Francisco, New York, Toronto and Seattle. By speaking about the horrors of being unemployed, Alec found plenty of work as an actor, guest starring on shows like Friends, Roseanne , NYPD Blue, Seinfeld , and Melrose Place. Honest, you can look it all up at http://www.imdb.com.
Alec had the distinction of playing network television’s first gay Asian series regular character on the short lived CBS sitcom Some of My Best Friends. Alec then spent four seasons on the UPN sitcom Half and Half. His Wisecrack! Comedy special debuted on LOGO in 2005 and has played in heavy rotation ever since. Currently, he can be seen on reruns of the hit ABC comedy, Ugly Betty, as well as Desperate Housewives.
Alec has always returned to the theater. Other Broadway credits include Timon of Athens and A Little Hotel on the Side. Off Broadway, Alec appeared in Dogeaters and A Language Of Their Own , both with The New York Shakespeare festival/Public Theater.
As an out gay actor of Filipino descent, Mapa has long been a worker for causes benefiting AIDS and the gay, lesbian and Asian-American communities, including The Human Rights Campaign, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), Project Angel Food, AIDS Project Los Angeles and Lambda Legal, among others. For his dedication, Mapa was recently honored with the East West Visionary Award, the Rand Schraeder Distinguished Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Center of Los Angeles and the Davidson/Valentini Award from GLADD. He was also nominated for a Maggie Award for his editorial columns for The Advocate Magazine. Mapa was selected as the 2005 Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and was one of Out Magazine's "Top Out One Hundred" in 2004. Is it any wonder he’s “America’s Gay Asian Sweetheart”? Of course not, it’s no wonder at all.