Happy birthday Abraham!
I love this (minus that ridiculously high number). Thank you! X
Happy birthday Abraham!
I love this (minus that ridiculously high number). Thank you! X
It’s been three days since I posted our Indiegogo campaign for “All of the Lights”.
Tonight, we met our goal of $3500.
Guys. I know that words can, in no way, suffice in expressing my thanks and gratitude, but thank you so much. It’s funny how one can go from dancing along to music videos on MTV (back when they actually played music videos) with his mom’s cell phone headset attached to his ear to actually realizing that such a dream is about to become a tangible reality in five week’s time.
I know this sounds cliche, but this show is for you guys and made by you guys. I know that many of you guys have expressed your interest in coming to this show, but due to certain constraints, (such as your geographical location) are unable to attend. Therefore, as a thank you, we will do our best to stream this show live for you online and/or record the show and put it up on our YouTube channels and/or iTunes.
A lot of you have also expressed interest in still wanting to purchase some perks of our Indiegogo campaign—and we would love that! Our Indiegogo campaign is open for 22 more days, so you are free to do so until then. However, I have decided to allocate portions of any funds we raise above our goal of $3500 to support the following causes and organizations:
WIth that being said, I would love it if we continued to raise funds on our Indiegogo campaign. We would love to send our posters, have Skype calls, have dinner with you all and spend an awesome day together with you guys. Hurricane Sandy may have passed, but its aftermath is still very real. Bullying and crises amongst LGBTQ youth are very real. So let’s continue on in not just making a show happen, but bringing all of our lights into the world one person, home, and community at a time.
Thank you and you guys… I love you all. We have the best fans ever and I am so humbled by your love and support.
Spread the word! The Indiegogo campaign is going on very well, in a few days they have already exceeded $2,500! Go and check it and, if you can, contribute :)
Another great poster. We have some pretty talented fans, hahaha.
Get tickets now! They are selling quickly!
Purchase tickets here: CLICK AWAY AND GET THEM TICKETS
By the way, just in case you guys didn’t know this already, you guys ROCK. Best fans ever. Thank you to everyone who has shared our links, posted on their social media sites, contributed to our Indiegogo, et cetera. This show is made by you and for you, so I hope I see you guys there!
Ever since I was a little kid, I can recall putting my mom’s old headset on and dancing/singing around in my living room… when no one was home of course.
I’ve always been a dreamer (and a very imaginative person). That hasn’t changed. But you know what’s better than dreaming? Having worked towards your dreams and being witness to those dreams becoming a tangible reality.
This is one of those moments.
Since The Glee Project ended in August, I’ve been a working actor in Los Angeles. I’ve also been working on music that has integrity and that I can stand behind. I know that I’ve been “teasing” for quite some time now, but I am so excited to share what I’ve been privately working on for the past month or so with all of you.
On December 9th, I will be playing a show at The Roxy with Cameron Mitchell, Nellie Veitenheimer and Michael Weisman. The show is called “All of the Lights”. What better name for a show set in the heart of LA and made for all of you guys who have been the lights along our journeys?
We’ll have separate sets (though a surprise collaboration is not out of the question) and my set will be comprised of both never-heard originals and completely revamped covers. I’m so excited because it’s becoming the show that I’ve always wanted growing up—a full-on pop show. Some very special guests will be present, the venue is historical, and I am so ridiculously excited to hear Nellie, Michael and Cameron’s sets. Seriously, you guys are going to be mind-blown and I cannot wait to see you all there.
In the weeks leading up to the show, I’ll be posting video blogs on my YouTube channel, releasing promotional videos and giving you guys a first-look at our official concert poster, and possibly releasing one of my originals, “Bravest Goodbye”.
But we need your help. To produce a show of this magnitude, it takes a lot of resources. We’d love for you to be a part of the show, so to find out how you can help and literally be a part of the show (or possibly hang out with us and go to Disneyland the day after the show), click HERE.
I know it’s been a while since The Glee Project, but guys, thank you so much for your continued support and believing in me. I promise you, you will see me on your screens again and hear my music… as long as you guys want to see/hear me, haha.
I love you all and I cannot wait for December 9th. Thank you for being all of our lights.
Sometimes, you have to reach into the darkest parts of who you are to create your own form of light.
I debated long and hard about whether or not I wanted to share my thoughts about Cloud Atlas, mainly because it has seemed to stir up such heated debate, but I felt as though not doing so would be me standing idly by in the face of an obvious injustice that hits very close to home.
As many of you may already know, Cloud Atlas tells six individual stories that take place throughout the passage of several centuries, with more than a handful actors playing multiple leading roles that cross the boundaries of age, gender and ethnicity. Its underlying theme—that regardless of such “boundaries” and the differences that lie between each of our individual stories, that all souls are interconnected. Andy Wachowski (one-third of the directing team behind Cloud Atlas) says that “the intention is to talk about things that are beyond race. The character of this film is [humanity].” For instance, Tom Hanks plays on a doctor on a Pacific trading ship in the 1800s and a nuclear scientist living in San Francisco during the 1970s. More noticeably, Jim Sturgess plays both a seafaring 19th century lawyer and a Korean freedom fighter in a futuristic Neo Seoul—the leading male protagonist in Korea’s story.
In an attempt to be as objective as I can regarding this film, I don’t think the intention behind the film was meant to be racially exclusionary. Korean actress Doona Bae also plays a young, white American girl and African-American actress Halle Berry plays a German Jew at one point in the movie; so reducing the film to “yellowface” would not paint a holistic portrait of this film. In this sense, I do believe that the Wachowskis were attempting to portray the interwoven nature of humanity.
Through conversations with friends and a considerable amount of research on the film, however, I eventually realized that my problem is not so much with the film itself, but with the greater issue that underlies these… interesting casting choices and processes by which the film is executed.
As an Asian-American actor/entertainer, I can say that there is significant lack of leading roles for Asian-American actors in Hollywood that lie outside the stereotypical boundaries that limit us (read my “I’m Asian American and I’m Also Mike Chang’s Worst Nightmare” blog HERE). The Korean role played by Jim Sturgess would have been a opportunity for an Asian actor to shatter cultural stereotypes, as such diverse “leading-men” type roles are hardly even made available for Asian-American actors. Oh yeah, and this: “yellowface”-gate.
In the 1800s, “blackface” emerged as a form of theatrical makeup used to create stereotyped caricature-type portrayals of African-Americans. It was also used because African Americans were not allowed to perform in mainstream theatrical productions. They were the minority—subhuman to many. However, with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the ever-changing attitudes towards race and racism, its prominent use ended throughout the United States and the world. The only use of “blackface” I can recall in recent times is in Tropic Thunder, where Robert Downey Jr. plays an actor who dives into method acting so deeply, that he has his skin surgically darkened to portray an African American in a film within a film. It was also ridiculous(ly funny).
What does this say about the use of “yellowface” in Cloud Atlas? The answer will differ according to each individual, but to me, it says the following: that for some reason, unbeknownst to me, the makeup artists believed that merely transforming the actors’ eyes into some freakish slants would suffice in portraying Caucasian actors as Korean men; that, like “blackface”, it creates a stereotyped caricature of Asian-Americans (last time I checked, I didn’t look like a lovechild between something out of Star Trek and X-Men with hideous beady eyes); and that for another reason unbeknownst to me, that it’s more politically correct to use “yellowface” than “blackface” in popular entertainment today. Let’s be real—if they used white actors and painted their faces black, the Wachowskis would not be getting away with its use as easily as they are with their portrayal of Koreans in their film. I could go on with the things that trouble me about this… “interesting” decision in casting and the use of “yellowface” in this film, but I don’t want to put you to sleep.
Oh, but one more thing: why is that in the year 2144, Koreans in Seoul are speaking English in these unconvincing Korean accents (Korea is one of the most homogeneous nations in the world FYI)?
It’s ironic because while the film aims to point out the interconnectedness of human beings on a universal level, it has alienated a huge group of people. That and it made a group of people look like aliens as well. Yes, I’m referring to those things that are supposed to be Asian.
The Civil Rights Movement wasn’t birthed out of the idle acceptance of the status quo’s attempts at justification. I didn’t forego law school and make my way into the entertainment industry to merely be a pretty face in front of a camera or be a voice on a microphone. I want to be a voice on behalf of Asian-Americans who are so underrepresented not only in Hollywood, but in this country, which is strange considering that we’ve been in the United States since the late-1800s.
No, this Tumblr post will not change the outcome of Cloud Atlas’ performance in this weekend’s box office, but I hope that it will instigate some sort of conversation; that it will not be a melting pot of discussion that dissipates with Cloud Atlas in theatres worldwide, but that will continue on until both halves of the term Asian-American are fully recognized and represented in this country. Both on-screen and off.
I just realized that Episode 5 of Glee (starring Blake Jenner) is coming out on the eve of my birthday…
Needless to say, I’m very excited for Blake to make his debut on Glee (we actually joked about how it would be funny if his first episode aired on my birthday’s eve earlier this summer) and to… become an old, crusty hag myself.
… Just kidding. That’ll never happen. My Asian heritage (and the everlasting supply of kimchi) keeps me young.