Asian American Milestones

Am I optimistic about the future for realistic portrayals of non-white America in Film and TV? Well, mostly… and I was more encouraged when I attended this event on May 6th, 2015. UCLA celebrated the 10 year anniversary of when Asian American Studies became an official department.  So many of media’s up and comers and better-knowns among Asian American talent, both on-screen and behind the camera found their direction in the early years of UCLA’s Asian American classes when it was just called a speciality.  Justin Lin (film director), Randall Park (actor of Fresh Off the Boat) , Michael Golamco (writer), Grace Borrero Moss at NBC Diversity Casting… just to name a few and there are so many others (including myself, although I started my acting career much, much later than those mentioned above.)

10 years!!!

10 years!!!

So, while we have seen a drop in the number of Asian faces on screen in the 2014-15 television season, we can be hopeful as many shows championing diverse casting have been renewed.   Read this blog for more:

http://deadline.com/2015/05/american-crime-castle-agents-of-shield-agent-carter-galavant-secrets-lies-fresh-off-the-boat-renewed-abc-1201422717/

One statistic that remains with me post-event is how Asian Americans watch so little live television  (no surprise there for me! LOL.) Grace Moss of NBC mentioned that in one month As/Ams watch about 82 hours, whereas Black Americans watch about 201 hours.  That’s a staggering difference! … and so As/Ams cannot moan about why we aren’t on television more when we don’t support the faces on the tube.  

Let’s find ways to advocate for more diverse casts that are truthful and relevant to our social and cultural realities…watch more TV, perhaps, is the simple way… one bottleneck in this effort toward a flow of a wide spectrum of cultures (and colors) represented on screen may be found in the writer’s room, as well as among the sea of showrunners, sorely lacking showrunners of mixed cultural backgrounds.create more content with a more color-ful reflection of our times and put our pocket books behind them. I do understand the frugal mentality of many Asian cultures, however, so it’s a worthwhile battle to get this affluent segment of American society to open their billfolds and take a gamble on a very viable and emerging “face” of Hollywood.  It’s a calculated risk…yes, the audience is out there and so is the talent, both burgeoning and in need of a broader expanse upon which to play and take flight.  How? I would love to hear your suggestions!

This article sheds more light: http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2015/04/24/42564/asian-american-youtube-celebrities-aim-to-change-p/ 

Thank you to my brother in the arts Lawrence Chau for sharing this last article with me.

Let’s forge onward! Making and embracing opportunities together and for one another… I look forward to continuing to contribute to honest textures in media, but understand that it is still an uphill battle to change much of established “Hollywood” practices.  Perhaps this is too “asian” of me.. but I accept that means much more is required of me as an actor and a business professional to make it safe and alluring enough to make changes in favor of a still “token” face like mine.

GO BRUINS for the seminal work started so long ago just beginning to prove noticeably fruitful.

Grace Borrero Moss speaks at event

Grace Borrero Moss speaks at event

Freebie!!! Giving away ROCKY THE RESCUE!

Go to this link and sign up for the drawing…!  

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/123894-rocky-the-rescue

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Spread some goodness around this month by raising awareness about the value of all living creatures and how best to make them truly part of our families, fill one another’s hearts, and make a safe and beautiful home together.

Rocky has changed my life… perhaps he can brighten your day or uplift someone you love?  Spread the word and sign up for the freebie … giving away the book only, of course! The one and only ROCKY–furry love of mine is in my home and heart to stay!

You can also order through the amazon link, too : http://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Rescue-Collection-His-Tales/dp/0986021210/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421896145&sr=1-1&keywords=rocky+the+rescue

DSC_1540rockymomAs Rocky and I love to live and share … keep our motto in mind!
…GIVE THANKS – GET HAPPY!

ROCKY THE RESCUE is published by http://www.abelievingcompany.com .

QUOTE ME… on sweets, most certainly!! :)

My pick for 2nd place truffle... LOVED THIS KISS!

My pick for 2nd place truffle… LOVED THIS KISS!

I love going to judge the Chocolate Salon each year I am able… and this year, picking “bests” were no simple task.  Imagine me juggling my notepad, endless samples of fine delectable choco-based treats, and then assessing impressions upon my tastebuds after a couple hours of a sweet-high! Truly a dizzying array of decadence…

Well, I am pleased to share the results:

http://www.candyindustry.com/articles/86445-chocolatiers-strike-gold-in-california-winners-of-los-angeles-chocolate-salon-announced

And what a sweet surprise that I got to contribute my evidently quotable passion!  Thank you, again, to the committee for inviting me the privilege to collaborate with other tastemakers! 🙂

If you want more of my specific thoughts on chocolatiers, here you go :  Vivian presented a Ginjinha truffle shaped as dark chocolate lips with a portuguese liquor, cherry, and port wine combination that was remarkable and enticing.  Perhaps it was intended to seduce folks into trying other items…I most certainly did. The green tea truffle was the most true matcha essence at the show without overwhelming me with the “green”-ness on the tastebuds this tea can impart…and then I appreciated their white chocolate truffle with pineapple or tropical fruit inside–along with the softened texture of the fruit.  Too many liquid fillings get tiresome after a while. Although, when it comes to Fera Wyn’s Limoncello truffle, I’ll take more of that anytime!  I so wish I could have also voted for Choctal’s Indonesian Vanilla and Chocolate ice creams, but Amara’s El Dorado Square with mixed praline covered in dark chocolate with gold dusting edged out the ice cream with it’s delightful crunch as well as the slightly resistant cloud like texture for the Best Comfort food/snack product.  Loved this item by Amara (and so many other gorgeous creations of theirs) … wish I had more to eat right now!

Speaking of sugar, if there any ambitious and risk-tasking chocolatiers out there: I would love to see more alternatively sweetened (stevia, monk fruit, erythitol… or even coconut crystals) chocolates offered by veteran or newbie vendors as America deals with increasing health concerns that sugar impacts quite unmistakably.

In regards to the quote in the linked article about the limited edition Amano dark chocolate bar … the company rep shared that the land in Papua New Guinea is being overhauled so farmers can plant trees for palm oil production.  Alas, the unique palate uplift of red grapefruit and lime or the Morobe bar will simply be s bygone memory — a treat possibly felled by higher profit margins. I am glad to have had the the opportunity to taste this chocolate bar and get a flavor of the terrain of origin. Bittersweet.
Jane Park Smith & Deana Molle let loose over sweets for the annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon

Jane Park Smith & Deana Molle let loose over sweets for the annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon

Awed at Movies for Grownups Gala!!!

It was one of those times filled with moments that I could scarcely believe.

Bruce Dern... so deserving of his Best Actor award tonight!

Bruce Dern… so deserving of his Best Actor award tonight!


At an awards gala called Movies for Grownups, the overflow of encouragement and openness, honest to goodness conversation, and inspired words from the podium by artist after storied artist moved me. The AARP has been combating ageism in media portrayals of our older Americans and last night’s event is just one part of their ongoing advocacy to recognize the more experienced and “wiser” part of our society as wonderfully human and deserving of dignity as any hot-bod in their prime of youth. I applaud their efforts and celebration of life…and felt so awed that I was even invited to be a part of this special evening.

This was an event so different than many others I have attended… yes, there were celebrities; yes, there were the requisite media and photo opportunities; yes, there was the glitz of a glam location, but what made this night fill my soul was the distinct absence of pomp and circumstance. Perhaps it was because the award recipients were already known prior to the event, or perhaps because it was such a very tightly monitored guest list and an impeccably sound production… No. I am certain that the difference came from the undercurrent of lives well-lived and that these talented household “names” (basically the entire room!) were simply there to glory with one another’s successes and lovingly support the journey toward more. …throughly satisfied in what life has garnered them already with no need to please or be concerned with much more than seeing promises fulfilled in their own, as well as the lives of their peers. No pretension anywhere to be felt–just heartfelt conversations and encouragement aboundingly shared…especially with the next generation including a wide-eyed and deeply touched me.
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Speaking of awestruck… this was quite a memorable red carpet walk for me. As I walked, posed, smiled, etc… halfway through the media step and repeat wall path, I notice Michael Nouri ahead, followed by June Squib, (then me), and then it’s Susan Sarandon, the winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award just steps away. If I ever felt out of place, it was now! … then I laughed–at least I was providing some ethnic diversity to the red carpet!!! What the heck was I doing here in the midst of greats like Morgan Freeman (I wish I had the chance to hug him!) I realize I was there to see the possibilities ahead, not for a season, but for many many seasons and to be reminded to embrace the standard of ego-less excellence. Oh my word, in my heart and soul, I was humbled and so grateful that a dear friend and mentor on the Board of AARP asked me to attend… Thank you Fernando Torres-Gil!!!

As lively Kathy Griffith entertained us all while moving us along the program full of a dizzying array of A-listers presenting and receiving awards, knowing words of wisdom poured into my heart. Many spoke of honor. The loving kind of honor by which you never let your parents and grandparents stop dreaming. In fact, dreaming and the pursuit of that fleeting passion should be kindled and nurtured by the younger generation–what a joy and priceless gift it is to be a part of and witness the fullness of life and joys during such rare moments of dignified bliss.

There is always another chapter. No matter who you are, where you are, where you have been…there is another chapter to unfold and more life to share.

Enjoy the photos!
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ROCKY THE RESCUE KEEPS ON…

A wonderful photographer George DeLoache shot Rocky today as part of his gallery collection to raise awareness about the beauty and value of rescued animals.
Check out his website…
http://www.georgedeloache.com/

our first family portrait

our first family portrait



This is a wonderful, WONDERFUL way to show your love for family, rescued animals, their rescuers/volunteers, and work with a talented and kind soul–Thank you George DeLoache~

We had a super time standing together for the cause and as a family! Fun screen shots, right?!
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standing together as family

standing together as family


You can visit Rocky’s sites and like him on Facebook here:
WWW.ROCKYTHERESCUE.COM

..and as always, this is part of our family’s ongoing efforts to support http://www.dogswithoutborders.org for their tireless work to save little furry blessings like Rocky who made our filled our home with love. Rocky’s book give 90% of every book sold to this agency.

WRAPPED–blissfully stunned …wonderfully devasted

Without revealing more than I should, I can briefly sum up the story in my most recent film from my role’s perspective as such : a journey deep into the heart of a hurting mom, a sports professional, and a woman becoming…arising again into strength after intense brokenness… all this happening alongside and facilitated by a fellow wounded soul…to grow together beyond the devastation, experience the bonding struggles, and share the elation of achievement and hopes fulfilled. Gritty yet uplifting!

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The journey shapes the traveler and through these last 5 weeks, I have been absolutely transformed by intangible subtleties and power… proving to my uncertain heart and to others that NOTHING shall be impossible WITH God! The momentous miracles I cannot begin to express without giving away too much info most certainly came from heavenly help… wow…tearfully, joyfully wowed. Now, I cannot wait to see this project on the big screen. And I usually disdain watching my work…but in this case, I want to view the magic from a different vantage point. However, nothing can compare to the in the moment; in my body manifestation of miracles accomplished in the pressurized and limited number of takes and time. Not just once, but over and over…all captured on film. I can scarcely believe it myself. All I know is that these in-spirit-actions were graced through my very strokes when needed every time because my prayer was that God guide my work in His truth… and the story could not have been fully true without these innumerable acts of jawdropping intervention.

I hate that I have to be so vague…but you will understand when you see it all unfold onscreen! God has never felt as close and practically palpable as the last few days of this shoot…and the blessings continue!

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Some team members gifted me a few items that I truly love! Producer Randy Dyer gave me the backing of my chair–super cool momento! My leading man Brett Rice gave me a teddy bear that has sweet inside meaning and my dear “coach” Wayne Catledge shared a book called Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge that underscores and furthers my intentions made during this trip.. to grow into the heart of God and to know Christ in ways I have not yet. Plus a lovely mentor Marge Suidak gifted me a devotional called Abba Calling which also fuels my journey deeper within… I am sooo incredibly blessed I cannot contain my elation!

Here’s a quote from the first chapter of Beautiful Outlaw that left me stilled by the poignant reminder and so blissfully stunned:

“The records of Christ are written so you can experience him as they did, this intimate connection with the Father and the Son. John says that you can enjoy the same friendship with Jesus that he knew. For this Jesus came.
So if you do not know Jesus as a person, know his remarkable personality–playful cunning, fierce, impatient with all that is religious, kind, creative, irreverent, funny– you have been cheated.
If you do not experience Jesus intimately, daily, in these very ways, if you do not know the comfort of this actual presence, do not hear his voice speaking to you personally–you have been robbed.
If you do not know the power of his indwelling life in you, shaping your personality, healing your brokeness, enabling you to live as he did– you have been plundered.
This is why we pray,

Jesus, show me who you really are. I pray for the true you. I want the real you. I ask for you. Spirit of God, free me in every way to know Jesus as he really is. Open my eyes to see him. Deliver me form everything false about Jesus and bring me what is true.”

AMEN AND AMEN!

Today I pack my monstrous luggage to leave for home tomorrow…but my home has been where the heart of God has reached mine… I am utterly, wonderfully devastated by His love.

This song really buttoned up my experience the final week of the shoot:
This song is called TELL YOUR HEART TO BREATHE AGAIN…
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdPp7ofeBMA&quot; title="

Learned about myself in film

Halfway through this shoot and just after an intense shot, I learned a bit about my actor-self. To an actor fully invested in bringing a role and the person on the pages of a dramatic screenplay to real life, being called a “ham” can be hurtful and rather offensive. ..

I believe that is the stark contrast between the performing as the character versus “living the life” of the person…as Marie Haber would say.  I found myself taken aback when being a “ham” was intended as a compliment. .. but realize this is a just part of the biz. Everyone has their own perceptions of what it means to be in the “industry” and particularly on camera.  

Long story and realizations made succinct…at the end of any film,  completely offering my consummate honesty and passion in every moment is my sole intent.  Achieving that purely is the inner affirmation I truly desire…

May God guide my work in His fullness and truth and cover me with “movie magic” when I may need.

I love my profession! … and count every part of this deepening, learning process a blessing and joy! And am so thankful to have been cast opposite an incredibly full-souled male lead…Brett Rice!
😉