As San Francisco becomes overwhelmed with Giants and World Series fever — especially as they are now one game from winning their first World Series since moving from New York — I’ve begun reading news articles about start pitcher Tim Lincecum’s ethnic heritage from my fellow Filipinos. As it turns out, Lincecum’s mother is Filipina, according to this article from Bleacher Report back in February discussing both him and Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino sportsman most people identify as being, well, Filipino.
While it’s all well and good that we have another Filipino to claim as one of our own, I find it curious more among the Filipinos who are proudly declaring his heritage while for him and for other mixed Filipino Americans in sports such as Natalie Coughlin, their heritage isn’t something that they focus on. Maybe it’s because they look passably white that most people don’t look at them as being Filipino — most full-Filipino families don’t exactly push sports on their kids as a career path, but as something to pad their high school and/or college resumes, but given that Filipinos in the United States have high rates of cardiovascular disease and obesity relative to other Asian Americans as Genghis wrote a while back, one would think that these would be great role models for both health and sports in our community.
(Flickr Photo Credit: SD Kirk)
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Out of Atlanta comes a story written by Rodney Ho about The Chin Chens, a new Asian American sitcom about a family with a Chinese American father, a Vietnamese American mother, and their three children. According to the article, the parents “own a successful chain of nail salons and Chinese restaurants.”
The creator and lead writer is named as Will Hollins, an African American, who is “trying to mine humor from Asian-American culture in a sitcom he’s calling The Chin Chens.” Though is doesn’t star any well-known Asian American actors or actresses, the cast includes seasoned actors such as Vickie Eng and Vince Canlas, as well as first-time actors. The synopsis and some of my thoughts, after the jump. Continue Reading »
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
All time gold medal winner speed skater winter Olympian Apolo Ohno appeared on The Colbert Report earlier this week to talk about life after the Olympics in Vancouver in February this year, as well as promoting his new book, Zero Regrets.
Seems like he is trying to enjoy life, do stuff he hadn’t had a chance when he was training and hasn’t thought about whether or not he’s going to compete in 2014.
Jeremy Lin’s debut as a Golden State Warrior was tonight, made all the more convenient for Asian Americans as it was also Asian Heritage Night at Oracle Arena, with a Q&A session with Jeremy Lin. How did it go? Well, since I wasn’t there, let’s ask Twitter, shall we? Good.
Embarrassing attachment? Please, Ric — you’ve never grown up with Asian parents; you have no idea what embarrassing attachment is like! We just like to follow our favorite basketball prospects to Denny’s, and still expect them to be neuroscientists when their NBA career is over. YOU WILL BE A NEUROSCIENTIST, RIGHT JEREMY LIN?
Daniel Dae Kim is me. That’s what I think when I see him on TV. “That’s me up there.” I can relate to him because I know he can relate to me.
And when I see him appear at API events or contribute his time to worthy causes, I think, “Then so can I.”
I’m also proud. Proud to see APIs present and willing to be visible in support of our community.
I felt that way this past weekend at the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Celebrities such as Daniel, Iris Yamashita, Karin Anna Cheung, Lynn Chen, Leonardo Nam, Chris Tashima, Joz Joz Joz, Quentin Lee, David Henry Hwang, and so many more showed up to be present. Whether or not they were cognizant of it, the fact that they were there was incredibly impactful. It caused excitement and inspiration, but in a way they were saying, “Here are my shoulders. I am here to lift up the API community.”
“Then so can I.”
Kelvin Han Yee was inspired by the recent videos for the Trevor Project. He sent me an email asking for help to organize a PSA arising out of the API community. I jumped on board without hesitation. There was also a feeling that if we were going to ask the API community to come out to let gay teens know “It Gets Better” then we should utilize the occasion to tackle two other timely topics as well: anti-Asian violence, and Getting Out the API vote.
It’s scheduled for Halloween day, and we’re hoping that a significant portion of the community will offer their shoulders in as many ways as possible. This is not a solo project; in fact, all who responded to the preliminary (and very last minute due to the upcoming election) alert offered their assistance in procuring people as well as taking a hands-on approach.
We’re asking attendees for the camera shoot to prepare two minutes — two minutes to save lives.
From attending these API film festivals and reading API web sites and viewing the vast array of API net video content, I know that the API community can be amazing, especially when we pull together. And so more people will think “Then so can I.”
But also think as a community, “Then so can we.”
If you’re in Los Angeles and are interested in participating, you can find more info after the jump.
Over here in nerd world, we can’t stop talking about AMC’s new television show, The Walking Dead, based on the popular comic book series by Robert Kirkman. We also can’t stop talking about the upcoming zombie apocalypse (which will certainly happen sooner or later) but that’s a whole other issue. Newcomer Steve Yeun was on G4’s Attack of the Show earlier this week to talk about his role as Glenn, how he was cast in the show and his Korean parents!
I was able to catch up with Steve where we got to be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER (not really) and talked about picking his career as an actor over his parent’s expectations, the popularity of zombies in American pop culture and more. It’s always fun and refreshing to meet new APA actors in the Hollywood scene, and I can’t wait to see where this show will take him. Check him out on The Walking Dead which premieres on Halloween (October 31st) at 10P on AMC.
8Questions is a bi-monthly interview of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community leaders. It is a spotlight on individuals who have dedicated their careers to issues surrounding the APIA community with the goal of bringing much deserved recognition to their work and cause(s).
Jennifer Sanderson is the director of The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). She has dedicated her time to create opportunities for APIAs in the entertainment industry through networking and education.
In addition to her work at CAPE, Jennifer is also a filmmaker. She draws from experiences growing up with an Asian Mother and Norwegian “Redneck” Father from Montana.
Jennifer spent many years in San Francisco, where she established herself as a voiceover agent and actor. In 2005, she moved to Montana, where she taught short-form narrative script writing and pre-production while attending graduate school. In 2009, she won a Montana ADDY Award for best television advertising campaign that she co-wrote, directed and produced.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Jennifer has enjoyed various production roles for the 81st and 82nd Annual Academy Awards, MTV Movie Awards, AC360, Radio Disney, Yahoo Music, and Larry King and in the story department at Magical Elves.
Jennifer graduated with from the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon. She is also a Disney College Program Alumn. She holds a MFA in Filmmaking and a MA in Fine Arts from the University of Montana. She is still active with the University of Montana’s Business School, helping to recruit guest instructors and promote their Entertainment Management Program. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys fly-fishing, boating, and hiking.
CAPE is dedicated to advancing diversity and creating social change by actively developing, promoting and positioning Asian Pacific Americans for key artistic and leadership roles in the entertainment industry and media arts.
What is the mission statement of your life?
Enjoy people and life. Don’t stress out…it only gives you wrinkles.
If you haven’t heard of the site, Kickstarter is “a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors… powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.”
If you’re interested in supporting the API literary community, definitely check out this fundraiser!
TheHill.com’s Pundit blog writes a piece on galvanizing the Asian American Republican vote: “… Getting the Asian vote should be a strategic imperative for both [polical] parties. Right now, it seems that the Republicans are winning in that department.”
People complain that there aren’t enough Asian Pacific Islanders on TV, and it’s true. So when someone actually makes it, we should celebrate and recognize them. That’s why I’d like to highlight the über talented and beautiful Dyana Liu, the newest star of the Cartoon Network’s second live-action show Tower Prep. Her character, Suki Sato, is NOT the stereotypical dragon lady, geisha, or awkward nerd (although her character is very intelligent). She’s as three dimensional Asian American female as I’ve seen on television for a long time.
Full disclosure: Dyana is a good friend so I’d watch anything she was on even if it was BAD. But Tower Prep is actually pretty good, and I’m not the only one saying that — check out these positive reviews on Variety and the LA Times. And I’m pleased to say that Dyana has been getting some coverage as well. This article from Alloy lists her as one of the 10 characters they’d like to room with at boarding school.
Tower Prep is on the Cartoon Network on Tuesday nights. Check your local listings for times.
Dyana Liu is a Taiwanese American from Ithaca, New York. According to her IMDB bio, she is a descendant of the Han Dynasty emperor, Liu Bang. You can also hear her voice on the Nickelodeon show Fanboy & Chum Chum. My interview, after the jump! Continue Reading »
The omniscient TV writers, Michael Ausiello and Andy Patrick of Entertainment Weekly got the scoop on some of the new characters on the roster for season 4 of True Blood — and one of them is a girl named Naomi! She’s described as “an Asian American cage fighter who, outside of the ring…er, cage…is hot-’n’-heavy with one of her female competitors.”
It appears that the show is adding another lesbian layer to the mix. There’s nothing wrong with that — especially if it involves cage fighting. I am picturing G.L.O.W. with fangs and less clothing.
For those of you who don’t watch the show, this new character should give you enough reason to start watching. I mean, c’mon — it has vampires, nudity, cage fighting and now an Asian American character. What more can you ask for?
Starting with my first piece on Scarlet Chan, it is clear that I hold tremendous amount of love for K-Town–so much that Joz and I will be taking turns covering every single of the reality TV show cast. For those of you still wondering, the show has yet to be picked up but Eddie Kim, one of the producers of the show, has informed me that the announcement will be imminent so we will definitely let you know when that comes. For those of you wondering why there is so much fuss over a show that has yet to be picked up, it is because this reality TV show is causing a tremendous amount of buzz just for creating so much controversy within the Asian American community, despite being looked eagerly upon by the mainstream media. Joz recently did a piece on Steve “Mohawk” Kim and today, all attention will be on the smooth dancing machine, Young Lee.
I have yet to meet Young but from watching this MTV spotlight, it is apparent that dancing is his passion, as he is one freaky fresh dancer. And clearly very horny, which is totally awesome from a bro point of view because it’s about time a show depicted Asian men other than being asexual nerds. From what we can see of the spotlights so far on the male cast members, all of them surely know how to get it on with the ladies. Despite the troubling concern (or a new stereotype as Disgrasian would like to put it) that they can’t seem to keep their shirts on, I’m actually totally okay with that. If I could have the balls to just take my shirt off in a club, I would totally do it.
I definitely share his admiration for Jennifer because she’s one sizzle-tastic beautiful woman but I did find it interesting how he would describe her as “half Asian, half American” as the Asian American Studies side of me instantly kicked in and wanted to yell out “it’s half WHITE, dang it!” But Young gets a pass for totally rocking the Michael Jackson. I eagerly look forward to seeing future MTV spotlights on the remaining cast members.