Fil-Am actress Tess Paras is 1st Asian female director of Viacom-CBS “Showcase”

Tess Paras Showcase
Tess Paras plays Erin Chua on Season 3 of Amazon’s Just Add Magic. Photo from Tess Paras website.

Filipino-American actress Tess Paras is set to be the first Asian female director for Viacom-CBS’ upcoming 2021 Virtual “Showcase.”

The Filipina celebrity, who starred in CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and Amazon’s “Just Add Magic,” will executive produce and direct “Showcase,” a hybrid comedy show known for Broadway-worthy live performances highlighting diverse talents.

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Tess Paras is an actress, writer, and director based in Los Angeles who stars in commercials, television, improv, and sketch comedy. She was associate director for CBS’ “Showcase” from 2019 to 2020 and has been vocal about championing Asian American representation and inclusion in Hollywood.

The part-Filipina comedian also made the parody video “Typecast,” which she herself wrote, produced, and starred in based on a sketch she did for the 2014 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase.

Tess Paras shared the announcement about her new project to her followers in an Instagram post on January 12 adding that this year’s “Showcase” will be going virtual in the form of a filmed sketch show.

“Big News! I’m excited to share that I’m the first female #Director & EP of CBS Showcase (also the 1st Asian-American Dir. & the 1st #Filipina Dir.!) Been directing #SafeSet socially-distant sketches here in LA and over Zoom & FaceTime in CHI, NYC, PA, Boston & D.C. w/ a cast of 16 stellar comedians!” Tess Paras wrote.

Joining the Filipina executive producer and director are production team members Frank Garcia-Hejl as producer and associate director, Tyler Davis as producer and associate head writer, and Tien Tran who will executive produce and return as head writer.

“We realize how lucky we are to be able to create comedy right now. Figuring out how to make an ensemble out of this cast that’s spread all over the country has been nothing short of a challenging feat and I can’t wait to show you how we are doing it!” the Fil-Am actress added.

The creative team members are all previous participants of the television network’s “Showcase” which is annually attended by senior-level executives, showrunners, and casting directors of Viacom-CBS to give talented actors a chance to make it big in the entertainment industry.

Alumni of the “Showcase” include Emmy Award winners Kate McKinnon and Tiffany Haddish as well as Diona Reasonover (NCIS), Justin Hires (MacGyver), Geoffrey Arend (Madam Secretary), and Fil-Am Nico Santos (Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians), among others.

This year’s group of performers and event dates will be announced by Viacom-CBS at a later date.

Fil-Am directors making history include Isabel Sandoval, a Filipina trans woman, who took on the lead character role in her film “Lingua Franca” which she herself wrote, and Diane Paragas who helmed the award-winning film about Filipino immigrants, “Yellow Rose”.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino-American actress Tess Paras, the first Asian-American, and Filipina to direct the ViaCom-CBS’ “Showcase”!

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.