President Trump Is Here: White Lies + Life Is Already Worse (AKA White House Pages And Mortgage Help For The Middle Class Already Cut)Friday, January 20, 2017
Well - what the fuck do you have to say except I hope you were all lit today during something I never intended to watch.
Why would I want to watch Trump get sworn into office? It's like giving a birthday present to the the guy who's gonna cut off my nuts at some point - not gonna happen (the birthday present that is because I'm sure my nuts will get sawed off at some point - or at least maybe a snip?).
And what do we have going on already?
How about mortgage cuts for Middle Class Home Buyers?
Oh - that's gone now. Thought you were gonna save $500 a year - a nice cool 10K in savings over 20 years of your mortgage (if you didn't resign already)?
Yeah - not gonna happen thanks to the President Of White Lies.
And what about the White House supporting communities and ideas that are a part of this country and world?
Yeah - not gonna happen either.
You've been cut from the White House site.
Maybe you can find yourself somewhere on a Russian site?
Yeah - not important.
If only I could say the same thing about the president of the U.S....
Seriously, just see the film. Take some time and see Denzel Washington and an all star cast (mainly the same as on the stage) deliver with August Wilson's work on film.
I remember meeting Bryan the first time as he was speaking at a film festival I was helping to program. It wasn't a lot of money. A small stipend and parking, a place to sell books. I saw him again at a reading when I was meeting another friend from out of town. Bryan has always been there to help give his unique voice to programs and events and to the communities he believes in and is a part of - and that only covers just a little bit - there are so many other projects and initiatives he's been involved in that I only know about from a surface level.
He's won so many awards - recognized for his work and what he's done.
He's a NEA Literature Fellowship winner.
But doing what he does, and I don't know Bryan as well as others, those meetings and group interactions (a jukebox group) and different posts - I imagine it has to be like anyone else. Sometimes there's an ebb and flow. The work and the projects have to be there and sometimes it can be feast or famine.
And sometimes the perfect storm hits.
From the Youcaring site.
Award-winning Lao American poet, Bryan Thao Worra, is currently moving between public libraries, coffee shops, homes and other temporary spaces. Last year, he struggled with minimal writing gigs that put his total income well under the poverty line, as his health conditions continue to be problematic. Bryan’s hope in his next chapter is to travel across the states to continue his work researching, writing, and documenting. He’ll need space, time, and the means to get around and allow him to do what he does best: creating and writing. As his friends, we're raising funds to help him get back to being Bryan. We need funds for a used car and to assist with living expenses that will help get him through the rest of this year. Help us help him and continue to do what he most passionate about. For himself and our community [...]
We know very little people who have not been impacted by the presence and inspiration of Bryan work. Bryan would tell a room full of young writers that, “I write because there are others in this world who aren’t able to.” And “sometimes a cup of coffee gets you a cup of coffee,” he often jokes. Few friends are like the legendary Bryan Thao Worra. He knows the art of wordsmithing that holds weight, meaning and a pathway to our hearts and minds. He's transformative and shifts worlds to better places than it once were through his poetry alone. He opens up doors to our consciousness to what’s possible-- social change through the arts and imagination. His generous ability to advocate and blaze pathways for the arts and fellow underrepresented Asian American communities is unmatched. He has inspired hundreds who’ve come to know him as a writer, mentor and above all else, a damn good friend. This year is Bryan's 10th anniversary of his first book and it’s overdue time that he is deserving of our community’s help to lift him back up as much as he has lifted us.
If you've been impacted, touched by Bryan's work, I would urge you to consider supporting the youcaring initiative going on right now for him - any amount (or in-kind donation) can help.
Go to the fund page @ youcaring.com to donate.
Like I've always said - if we don't hype ourselves - who else will sometimes?
This - this is golden.
Get your tix now and be a part of history.
Los Angeles — Producers Koji Steven Sakai and Quentin Lee have teamed up with Viva Pictures to produce and distribute a live and filmed stand-up series titled Comedy InvAsian featuring the nation’s six top and unique Asian American comedians each performing a one-hour special at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on February 10 —26, 2017.
Signed talents include veteran Laugh Factory comedian and Kollaboration founder Paul Kim who will open the series on Friday, February 10. Young Japanese American comedian Atsuko Okatsuka (Comedy Central Asia, Disoriented Comedy, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival) will perform on Saturday, February 11. Gay Chinese Canadian Broadway Musical Youtube sensation Kevin Yee (Mary Poppins Broadway, Blue Whale Comedy Festival, Quincy Jones' boy band Youth Asylum) will perform on Sunday, February 12. Veteran Filipino American comedian Joey Guila (Showtime, Filipino Kingz of Comedy Tour) will perform on Friday, February 24. Transgender Vietnamese comedian Robin Tran (The Comedy Store, The Comedy Comedy Festival) will perform on Saturday, February 25. Finally, veteran Japanese American comedian and actress Amy Hill (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Great Indoors, All American Girl) will close the first season of Comedy InvAsian with her one-hour special on Sunday, February 26. The filmed proceeds of the live series will be edited and produced into Comedy InvAsian’s first season of a digital television series with six one-hour episodes for distribution.
In an era where diversity in entertainment is a necessity, Comedy InvAsian is the brainchild effort of producers Koji Steven Sakai and Quentin Lee to showcase and celebrate the diversity of Asian American comedy in both genre and representation to the world.
“In our filmmaking career, we have met and become friends with so many talented comedians of color from producing Dwayne Perkins in Take Note to directing Randall Park in The People I’ve Slept With to working with Paul Kim in the Comedy Ninja Film Festival to directing Amy Hill in White Frog and The Unbidden. Comedy InvAsian will celebrate the talent and comedy of a group of select and diverse Asian American comedians which should prove to be just the tip of the iceberg,” said Koji Steven Sakai and Quentin Lee. “We’re excited to be working with proven accomplished Director’s Quentin and Koji who are passionate to bring Asian American comedy to the world,” said Victor Elizalde, President of Viva Pictures Distribution, LLC. who is distributing Lee’s latest feature The Unbidden and has also recently co-produced the first successful all Spanish language comedy stand-up series, Sigue la Risa, which currently airs exclusively on Netflix in the USA & LATAM.
Tickets and information on Comedy InvAsian will be available on the website:
East West Players' Celebrity Benefit Reading: Parminder Nagra, Rizwan Manji, Marc Anthony Samuel, and Sherri SaumThursday, January 12, 2017
Sounds like it should be a great time - definitely get out there are support EWP if you can.
For Immediate Release
January 12, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
Contact: Patricia Tumang
(213) 625-7000 ext. 12
PARMINDER NAGRA, RIZWAN MANJI, MARC ANTHONY SAMUEL, AND SHERRI SAUM STAR IN A CELEBRITY ONE-NIGHT-ONLY BENEFIT READING FOR EAST WEST PLAYERS DIRECTED BY LILY MARIYE ON MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2017
East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce One Night Only: The Secret Play Project, a special one-night-only benefit reading on January 30, 2017, which will be directed by award-winning director, writer, and actress Lily Mariye, and starring celebrities Parminder Nagra, Rizwan Manji, Marc Anthony Samuel, and Sherri Saum.
“We wanted a unique one-night-only experience for our audience with a little air of mystery. Audiences will only find out in person on the 30th what play this star-studded cast will be reading. Just be ready for a great evening of laughter and surprises,” says EWP Artistic Director Snehal Desai.
Best known for portraying Neela Rasgotra on NBC’s hit series ER, Parminder Nagra was also a series regular on NBC’s The Blacklist, playing the CIA operative Meera Malik, and in JJ Abram’s Alcatraz on Fox, playing Dr. Lucy Banerjee. She will soon be seen in Season 2 of the critically acclaimed Sky Atlantic and Pivot drama, Fortitude, also starring Dennis Quaid and Michelle Fairley, set to premiere in January 2017. Most recently, she completed a guest arc on ABC’s Agents of Shield. Her breakout role was in the international hit Bend it like Beckham, playing the spirited Jess.
Canadian actor Rizwan Manji is best known for playing Rajiv Gidwani on NBC’s Outsourced, and has played regular or recurring roles on shows like NCIS, 24, Better Off Ted, and Backstrom. He has appeared in films like American Desi (with Kal Penn), Charlie Wilson’s War (with Tom Hanks), The Mikado Project (with Tamlyn Tomita), and The Wolf of Wall Street (with Leonardo DiCaprio).
Marc Anthony Samuel is best known for playing gay nurse Felix Dubois on General Hospital, and has appeared on NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Best known for her groundbreaking role playing lesbian adoptive mother Lena Adams Foster on Freeform’s The Fosters, Sherri Saum has been nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for playing Keri Reynolds on One Life to Live and Vanessa Hart on Sunset Beach. Saum has guest-starred on How to Get Away with Murder, Heroes, Gossip Girl, and the Law & Order series.
Actress Lily Mariye played nurse Lily Jarvik on NBC’s hit series ER, and has since pursued writing, directing, and filmmaking. After being chosen as a director for the ABC/Disney/DGA Creative Development Program, Mariye directed her first television episode for ABC’s Nashville, which Entertainment Weekly praised as, “…the best episode of this season of Nashville so far—and by quite a long shot.” Mariye recently directed Amazon’s Just Add Magic; “Leap of Faith”, her second episode of Nashville for CMT; and “Diamond in the Rough”, an episode of Freeform’s The Fosters, after directing her film debut, Model Minority. She is currently participating in the 2017 CBS Director’s Initiative.
“I’m thrilled to be working with East West Players for the first time as a director,” says Mariye. “I acted in many staged readings at East West Players, back when the theater was in Silver Lake. When EWP’s new Artistic Director Snehal Desai asked me to be involved as a director, I jumped at the chance to come full circle, and I look forward to nurturing my relationship with EWP and directing more projects in the future.”
“Lily is an incredibly charismatic and visionary director, who has used her creative experience as an actress and writer as a springboard to direct for TV, film, and now theater,” says Desai. “We are thrilled to be working with her for this special one-night staged reading to benefit EWP’s award-winning productions, engaging arts education programs, and initiatives to support and showcase Asian Pacific Islander artists, directors, and playwrights.”
One Night Only: The Secret Play Project, a special one-night-only benefit reading, will be held on January 30, 2017 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cocktails will be served in the courtyard at 6:30 p.m., and the reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. The play will be announced on the day of the event. A post-show VIP reception will take place at 9:00pm at Far Bar.
General Admission tickets start at $50. VIP tickets (includes the hosted bar, show, and VIP reception at Far Bar) are $75. Tickets may be purchased at https://eastwestplayers.secure.force.com/ticket or please call (213) 625-7000, making sure to mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. The date, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.
For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.
Seriously - get your tix while you can.
More info for the tour down @ https://www.dumbfoundead.com/#tour
CAAM + Watch These Award-Winning Music Documentaries About Asian And Asian Americans On Xfinity On Demand This MonthThursday, January 12, 2017
January titles include three award-winning music documentaries by and about Asians and Asian Americans. CAAM is thrilled to present Harana, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings, and A Song For Ourselves. To watch the films, go to xfinity On Demand: multicultural/Asia/Cinema Asian America/New Releases. You can also search for the films on On Demand by their titles.Check out the full lineup down @ the CAAM website.
I don't know. If this doesn't at least make your head bob...
Are you made of stone?
Avex artist Beverly.
I don't think I posted this up before - definitely been growing on me.
We shouldn't really be surprised because you know - he's the founder of Chinese Americans For Trump...but - this is some middle of the road karate kid squashed like a grape fortune cookie hot messiness:
"We try to block the bad stuff Trump says about China,” said David Wang, a 33-year-old Diamond Bar resident who founded Chinese Americans for Trump and serves on Trump’s Asian American advisory board. "To be honest, I think he’s just testing the waters".
Sometimes you just have to have it your way?
I haven't done a best of or in review for a little bit and it's not looking like it's happening this year - but maybe next year I'll try something new (or old) again.
Left Too Early
When I look back at 2016 - one of the moments that will always be remembered is the passing of Keon Enoy Munedouang aka TMM, The Minority Militant.
His memory. His posts. The way others remembered him.
It never went unnoticed to me what month it was either...
He'll be missed by many - and I'll miss him.
I'll miss what I had gotten to know as well as the promise of what could have been.
When I got back from his funeral - because I owed him that - I wanted to write something so visceral - I wanted to light everyone on fire who I didn't think cared and should have, either about TMM himself and the loss to the blogging community, or the fact that I was grieving his loss.
But I didn't.
I knew it wouldn't quite be right. I may have touched on things - but not in that way.
Here's some of what I did write though on a FB post:
...I found the Internet. I found writing from a journalistic, news, and op-ed point of view. I helped start an online press, one of the first independent student run ones in the country [...] I always went back and forth between wondering if I should do social work/arts for a living or something else that could fuel that. Tech and the Internet and the Web - they've allowed me to do that. It gave me the power to do things on my own without needing anyone else's approval, or wait while I stood in line for scraps hoping they would open up the gates for me, or have to explain to anyone that I couldn't do anything in life if I wasn't able to make a living and pay bills and that I could still be down even if I was also a tech geek too--it opened up a whole new world to me on so many fronts.
One of the areas that's been such a large piece of who I am is as an AAPI blogger and online writer. I was able to find my voice and who I was as a writer and activist. It's been a community that I'm proud to be a part of and contribute to and where I've been able to meet so many great people and organizations and learned so much because of it, and I hope that I'm always giving back because of that. We really are a different breed and small community spread out across the country, and while sometimes I ran from it, because we run from who we are sometimes, I stopped running at some point.
This weekend I drove down to Chicago to attend the funeral for Keon (aka TMM) who I've been making a lot of posts on for the last week. A fellow Southeast Asian American blogger from the Midwest I considered Keon a friend, but one who I should have gotten to know more, and who I lost touch with over the last few years. But I wanted to be there to help honor his life and the piece of him I knew as a part of a community that we both belonged to. It was great to see how much love there was for him. Sending him off in a traditional Lao ceremony and honoring his life--being a mentor, a teacher, serviceman to his country, brother, son, and cousin, and about his life as a political Asian American blogger--and his sister ended the ceremony with words from his blog and about why he wrote and why he felt he needed to put out his voice. It was fitting in that way and brought me to tears and while I wanted to say so much more to his sister before I left, it was really her just letting me cry on her shoulder before I just had to leave. One day I figure I'll learn how to be better at funerals...and make sure to honor those better.
There've been so many emotions running through this past week and some of them really angry...and I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with those as I felt like I should act on them and acknowledge them and use all the power in the English language to show them light....but I don't want to start wars and sometimes things are more complicated, and there's another POV - and it takes energy for that - energy that can be channeled, and I know better spent, on something positive for the community...and I've talked a lot to different people and there's been so much support in his memory and nothing but kindness and goodness and I'm thankful to all of them because that helped erase some of that anger.
Positivity and channeling something good out of this wins.
Rest in peace Keon. It truly has been an honor.
There really was an outpouring of love and respect for his blogging and life. On all sides. Even from people who maybe didn't get along with Keon, or didn't understand him or why he felt or said some of the things he did.
I'll always be grateful for that - for the showing of love and respect, and the community around his memory - the AAPI bloggers and writers and friends and family.
Because when someone leaves - and leaves us too early - we should see that.
From Lac Su With Love (Well Not Really But I'm Quoting Him Anyway)
Another moment that sticks out in my mind, and I think a more general one, is the fall of our Presidency. I mean really - who knew we would go back in time - like a rip in the universe and some odd machine that you only find in COD III.
Progressive woman from a party that cares about everyone, or a racist rich White Guy who duped other racist White People (well not everyone)?
We know how that turned out.
And those masks - they came off.
From all sides, everywhere you looked - "friendships" were broken, families were divided - and this thought of somehow being in a safer and better place (because we've had to be after all the advances we've made right?) - it felt like it was crashing down - and sure, we've been through bad Presidents before - but this was different.
I think there was true hope that we were on the cusp of something great - and we needed that because amidst so much other turmoil from a race perspective.
The fact that it was never realized gave way to true mourning for so many people and communities.
That mourning turned to anger with a fight response - that in spite of it all - we needed to stand strong no matter what.
I think Lac Su said it best (via a social media post) when he said we needed to fill the void after the election with art and community - and it's true.
Gotta fight because the alternative of laying down isn't an option.
Life goes on.
We still have to progress and move forward and push back as much as we can.
Police, Race, And The Divide
I live within walking distance to the governor's mansion (albeit in an adjacent neighborhood) which was ground zero during the protests surrounding the shooting of Philando Castile - and like too many other times, protested and chanted with others who were shocked and outraged at the shooting of another man of color, a Black man, who did nothing wrong. The community was on fire and the helicopters buzzed around me at night watching and waiting...it was another shooting, another bad cop who should have never been a police officer, another highway closed, another motion that said change needs to happen...
In one of the cities I call home where I grew up, Milwaukee's boiling point finally came. Another shooting. Too much built up, in what was once one of the most segregated cities in our country...
Peter Liang and Akai Gurley. How can we forget them? The divide was great in the Asian American community and I know I lost at least a couple of folks on that one - but I'll still remain with what I think is a balanced view on it because we have to take it all in - we can't throw away the concerns of so many - and I mean that on all sides. There has to be dialogue - it just can't be a debate...
And Map Kong - another shooting of a man of color - an Asian American man - ripped by the Star Tribune via their White Privilege, not given the justice he deserved. From the BCA to the police to so many communities - he was lost in the shuffle with barely a word spoken about him and how his life was worth rehabilitation - that he didn't need to be shot in the back running away - that if he was White he probably would have had a better chance surviving the officers that surrounded him...
I can only hope that 2017 doesn't see what we witnessed in 2016 on this front.
Maybe This Year Will Be Different
This year I watched my daughter grow up a little - baby Slanty turned into toddler Slanty - and when I look at her - I know that one day we'll see the fruition of labors.
Because it has to happen at some point and I can't believe that she'll be worse off than where we are now.
It's just organic change that's already in flux.
Maybe this year can be the start of something new - something different.
Even with the changes coming to our country and the melees that will ensue (because there has to be) - the majority - we know what needs to be done.
We know what it's going to take.
So here's to at least hoping for the best.
Inventor of the “Beni Hana” and was the second person to land a 540.
Love this pic.