Monthly Archive for August, 2010

Karin Anna Cheung, @JozJozJoz of @8Asians, & Quentin Lee @ the LA Theatrical Opening Q&A for ‘The People I’ve Slept With’

I had the honor– and fun– of introducing the film, director & star
on Opening Night of the Los Angeles theatrical opening of ‘The People
I’ve Slept With’ at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Theatre in West Hollywood.

I watched the film for a third time (still not sick of it!) — the
first time was at the Asia premiere at the Taipei Golden Horse Film
Festival in November 2009, the next at the sold out Centerpiece
presentation of the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in
May.

And after the film, on behalf of 8Asians.com, I hosted a Q&A with
Quentin Lee, director and Karin Anna Cheung, the star of the film.
The audience really enjoyed the film and loved hearing Quentin’s
infectious laugh.

Earlier in the evening, we had also been joined by writer/producer
Koji Steven Sakai (a contributor to 8Asians) & his lovely wife, as
well as by Producer Stanley Yung.

Special thanks to @MykalBurns, the photographer and my date for the evening.

‘The People I’ve Slept With’ L.A. Theatrical Premiere
Sunset Laemmle 5
West Hollywood, CA
8/27/2010. (Or maybe a smidge past midnight on 8/28)
~~~~~~~~~
Due to popular request, this is my signature:  (-_-)  Did someone blink?
www.jozjozjoz.com

‘The People I’ve Slept With’ Opens in L.A. this Friday Night; Q&A with Filmmakers & Cast Hosted by @jozjozjoz & @8Asians

We’ve been unabashed fans of the sex-comedy The People I’ve Slept With even before Koji joined our ranks, so it’s with great pleasure that we share the news that the film will be opening in Los Angeles this weekend (starting Friday, August 27th) at the Laemmle Sunset 5. (And if you’re not in L.A., Bay Area folks, it’s coming to you next!)

Yours truly, on behalf of 8Asians.com, will be hosting a special Q&A with the filmmakers and cast, following the 10pm show on Friday, August 27. The People I’ve Slept With is fun, funny, and features many, many crushworthy folks. If you missed the sold-out screening at the 2010 L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival, then this is your chance to see it in the theatre and to meet some of the cast & filmmakers.

People Pictures is proud to announce the Los Angeles theatrical release of The People I’ve Slept With, directed by Quentin Lee (Ethan Mao, Shopping with Fangs) and written by Koji Steven Sakai. The film is self-distributed by People Pictures and will open exclusively August 27, 2010 at Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatres in Los Angeles.

“I am thrilled to be opening The People I’ve Slept With in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Cinemas. It’s an indie filmmaker’s dream come true,” says director Quentin Lee. “With the film playing at both LA’s Fusion and the LA Asian Pacific Film Festivals this year, I feel Angelenos will enjoy and support the adventures of the film’s heroine.”

The People I’ve Slept With is a sexy, romantic story about Angela (Karin Anna Cheung of Better Luck Tomorrow), a young woman with a zealously active sex life, who after every sexual conquest, makes keepsake “baseball cards” of each of her male conquests. One day, Angela finds out she is pregnant and begins a quest to find the identity of her baby’s daddy. Together with her gay, best friend and co-worker Gabriel (Wilson Cruz of He’s Just Not That Into You, My So-Called Life), the two go on a comical and raunchy hunt through her past hook-ups and dates. But as Angela peels back the layers of her frisky past, she begins to realize that the answers she is looking for, reveal themselves in surprising ways.

Featuring a sparkling and daring performance by Karin Anna Cheung, The People I’ve Slept With co-stars Archie Kao (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Lynn Chen (Lakeview Terrace, Saving Face) and screen legend James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song, The Crimson Kimono). The film has found strong support with sold out festival screenings including San Francisco Int’l Asian American Film Festival and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, along with being selected as the official Closing Night Presentation of the 2010 New York Asian American Film Festival. The film is set to open theatrically in Los Angeles at Laemmle Sunset 5, August 27, San Francisco at the VIZ CINEMAS, September 3, and in New York at Clearview Cinemas on August 13, 2010

You can buy your tickets online: Laemmle Sunset 5 (8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, 90046. 323-848-3500). See you there and come say hi!

Group Photo Time! East West Players Board Retreat with Michael Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center; @EWPlayers @KenCen

The Board of Directors of East West Players is up bright and early on
a Saturday morning for a Board Leadership Development Session with
Michael Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center.

www.EastWestPlayers.org
www.Kennedy-Center.org/
www.artsincrisis.org

Kyoto Grand Hotel
Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA
8/21/2010.
-Jocelyn "Joz" Wang
Board of Directors
www.EastWestPlayers.org

LA’s Greatest Landmarks: Walt Disney Concert Hall (from a series on Blogging.LA)

Walt Disney Concert HallOriginally posted at Blogging.LA

For the uninitiated, the name Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH) conjures up images of– well– Disneyland. But even though Lillian Disney made the initial gift of $50 million to the Music Center in dedication to her late husband with additional funding coming from the Disney family, this building is really not Disneyesque at all. Though it bears the name of Disney, many other individual and corporate donors, as well as The County of Los Angeles (which agreed to provide the land and significant additional funding to finance the concert hall’s six-level subterranean parking garage) are credited to bringing LA’s newest landmark (on this particular series, anyway) to life in 2003.

Designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry, WDCH is the newest addition to the Music Center and home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT), which features experimental dance, theater, music, film and visual arts exhibitions, is also located in this complex.

Walt Disney Concert Hall at night

There’s no doubt that one of the most controversial parts of the building is the architecture itself. The shiny, metallic curves of the building jut out of the downtown landscape– unmistakably taking a spot as an L.A. landmark since it opened. I admit it– I hated this thing as I watched it being built in the late 1990s. I thought it was horrifically garish and I thought it was hilarious when the reflective qualities of the surface (plus some of the concave sections of the building) turned out to act like a parabolic mirror– causing a “heat ray effect” to the condos nearby and creating hot spots on adjacent sidewalks of as much as 140 degrees (F). In 2005, the bright glare of WDCH was literally dimmed when the metal panels were sanded down to a more “matte” finish.

Maybe I just needed some time for my eyes to adjust to the glare, but admit I no longer see this building as an eyesore. And I’ve even gotten to know it and love it– outside and in.

Acoustically speaking, WDHC is amazing. One of the things that won me over was how the architectural elements of the new hall affect its acoustics. First and foremost, this building is a concert hall and the work of the architect, as well as acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, reflect this.

By the Numbers:
• The Hall contains 12,500 pieces of primary steel, which weigh over 11,000 tons
• Over 30,000 architectural drawings were produced to build the Concert Hall
• A 750,000-lb. crane was needed to erect the steel support structure
• 300 tons of bolts and welds were used
• 18,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured, including two roof slabs 15 inches thick
• Eight skylights were designed with glass three inches thick to keep the interior naturally bright

Walt Disney Concert Hall interior & organThe design of the hall includes a large concert organ, which was completed in 2004 and despite some of our positive and negative experiences with it, there’s no doubt that there’s no other organ which looks like this in the world. The organ is so complex that it took a full year to tune.

But my personal favorite thing about WDCH is that even if you don’t have the time or the money to attend the concert, you can still go and do free things there. Aside from taking pictures of the stunning building (ok, so you need a camera for that), you can take a free audio tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall and garden along with the Library of Congress/Ira Gershwin Gallery, the only permanent Library of Congress exhibition outside of Washington DC. According to Frommers, “the 45-minute self-guided tour is narrated by actor John Lithgow and includes interviews with Frank Gehry, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel, and acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, among others. One big caveat is that you see just about everything except the auditorium: There’s almost always a rehearsal in progress and the acoustics are so good that there’s no discreet way to sneak a peek. The audio tours are available on most non-matinee days from 10am to 2pm (be sure to check their website for the monthly tour schedule).”

The debate of whether or not the Walt Disney Concert Hall “fits” the downtown landscape still rages on— but in my mind, there is no doubt that it is a landmark which will come to define Los Angeles– and its arts– for decades to come.

Check out the other posts in our L.A.’s Great Landmarks series.

Photo credits: Walt Disney Concert Hall: Mash Down Babylon/Devon Hollahan; WDCH at night: lightmatter/Aaron Logan; WDCH interior & organ by Will Campbell

Joz meets Connie Chung at the #AAJA Convention Opening Reception. (I didn’t faint!)

Living in L.A., seeing famous people is fairly commonplace, so I really
don’t get "starstruck" very often. But Connie Chung isn’t just a
"celebrity," she’s a journalist who inspired me and countless other Asian
American women to become journalists. While my career path diverged from
journalism after college, blogging has provided me an outlet back in– so it
was great to be included in the mix at this year’s Asian American
Journalists Association (AAJA) National Convention.

I don’t know when I first got the idea that I wanted to get into journalism
or broadcasting, but I remember watching Connie Chung on the evening news
with my Dad. I specifically remember that my cousin Nina had an autographed
8×10 of Connie Chung’s headshot under the glass surface of her desk and I
remember how envious I was that she had that. (Back then, I didn’t know you
could just write in for a SASE and get an autographed picture.)

This year’s AAJA National Convention was held in Los Angeles and themed
"Back to the Future," a nod to the fact that AAJA was founded in L.A.. The
Opening Reception brought many of Asian American pioneer journalists
on-stage and although there were some people I’d never heard of until that
night, there was no doubt that everyone there knew who Connie Chung was!

If Connie Chung ever needs an ego boost, all she has to do is go to an AAJA
Convention and she’ll find herself surrounded by young Asian American women
who were inspired by her. To be more accurate, she will find herself
surrounded by a mob of women who will push, shove, and in some cases, kick
their way through a crowd to get a photo with her. If I ever doubted the
tenacity and persistence of a female Asian American journalist (not that I
ever did), then I was reminded that night when I got caught in the
photograph melee with @GilAsakawa.

I wasn’t prepared to get a photo when I saw her after I had wandered into
the VIP room prior to the program. When I first saw Connie Chung, I did
indeed get a little starstruck and thought I was going to faint. But I
managed to hold it together and after the program was over, I was next to
her when a mob started crowding her for photos near the stage– many of
these people didn’t make it into the VIP room afterwards.

This photo is a total coup for me. Not only do I have a picture of myself
with Connie Chung– an icon and inspiration– but I also escaped getting a
black eye or scratch marks to mar the photo.

2010 AAJA National Convention Opening Reception
VIP Room @ The Highlands
Hollywood, CA
8/4/2010.
~~~~~~~~~
Due to popular request, this is my signature: (-_-) Did someone blink?
www.jozjozjoz.com

Belated but not forgotten Ba-Ba Day (2010)

Originally written 8/8/07 and accidentally posted to 8Asians:

8/8 (Eight-Eight in Mandarin is pronounced “ba-ba.” Father in Mandarin is also pronounced “ba-ba”) is Father’s Day in Taiwan. Even though we refer to him as “Dad” in English, 95% of the time, we called him “Ba-Ba.” Usually, my Dad would be in Taiwan at this time of year, so I would have to remember to call him on 8/7 so I could wish him a happy Ba-Ba Day on the right day.

Happy Ba-Ba Day, Dad.

We miss you.

Dad & Joz - 10-04-2007

I originally couldn’t remember where this picture was taken. I knew that it was taken on October 7, 2004, and thanks to my blog, I was able to go back figure out the context of this photo. I think this was taken in Rowland Heights, just before my Dad was going to get on to a shuttle bus that would have taken him to LAX to board a flight back to Taiwan.

Joz at the #AAJA / @NPR Audio Storytelling Training at NPR West

I’m stealing away a few minutes to make a quick post w/ a photo of me
from the training session I was honored to attend led by two of the
trainers from NPR (they’d flown out from DC). In support of the Asian
American Journalists Association (AAJA) National Convention, a small
group (only 6) of us were selected from a nationwide pool of
applicants to receive this daylong training from National Public
Radio.

Here’s me at the end of the table. Notice how everyone else is
focused an working on our practice story assignments and I’m just
sitting there, taking a picture of myself. Those damn bloggers are so
self-involved. Oh wait, that’s me. Doh.

NPR West
Culver City, CA
8/4/2010.
~~~~~~~~~
Due to popular request, this is my signature:  (-_-)  Did someone blink?
www.jozjozjoz.com




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