As a working actress for more than three decades, Chicago native Lauren Tom — who grew up in Highland Park — has seen her opportunities as an Asian-American entertainer greatly improve. The actress, now in her second season starring as Celia Mack on the popular Disney Channel series “Andi Mack,” explained that she feels “so blessed and proud to be part of a series that is all about diversity. We have three Asian women in lead roles on the show. This definitely helps to move the Asian community forward.” Tom is equally proud of having been in the groundbreaking “Joy Luck Club” film in 1993, which had an earlier, similar impact. “I have definitely seen a big change for Asian actors and actresses. I grew up in Highland Park, where literally, we were the only Asian family in town. I had to suffer through all that ‘ching, chong, Chinaman’ business. I had no idea who they were talking about, until I saw other kids pulling their eyes into slits. Then I got it. “Frankly, living in Highland Park, I just thought I was a white, Jewish girl, like everyone else,” quipped Tom. Following her big break in her late teens — landing a role on Broadway in “A Chorus Line” — Tom spent her early acting years on the stage. “The theater is more color-blind in casting than film and television. The theater is more about the auditory, where the audience is listening more to the actors’ words from the play, rather than looking at images, which is what TV and film is all about.” Arriving in Hollywood, Tom got a somewhat rude awakening. “Out here, 98 percent of what you look like determines what roles you’re going to get.” That realization had a big impact on Tom and led her to concentrate on voiceover work in such projects as the animated “Futurama” television series. “Voiceover work is so freeing and wonderful. I have gone from playing a 90-year-old Jewish woman to a 5-year-old black boy. The world is wide open in that field!” In the live-action “Andi Mack,” Tom is obviously very much an on-screen presence. This Friday’s episode is a critical one for her character. In the last season, the audience learned that the character of Bex — who Andi Mack thought was her sister — is actually her