Okay okay okay... I finally have a breath to give after what was an incredible week...
I was lucky enough to be apart of a reading of a show called "Gold Mountain". We were presenting the musical at the 150 anniversary celebration of the building of the Transcontinental Railroads in Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah.
What an incredible experience. I got to share the stage with Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Alex Hsu, Daniel May, Eric Bondoc, Darren Lee, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Steven Eng, Joseph Steven Yang, Robert Scott Smith, and two of my closest friends Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. All of these humans were incredible to work with. I was inspired by their artistry and I haven't laughed that much in a long time! "Everyday Good" ;)
Thank you, Alan Muraoka, for keeping me in the back of your mind to join this family. Alan was a part of the very first audition I had in NYC when I moved here. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Working with you was such a learning experience. You make me laugh so hard and I can't wait to learn more!
Billy Bustamante it has been far too long since we last worked together! I'm glad we got to experience your guidance and your birthday hehe :)! I always look up to you and can't wait for more opportunities to play!
Kristen Rosenfeld you were so wonderful, guiding us musically through such beautiful melodies and harmonies. What a smart human being and she taught me so much on how to sing this beautiful show. I can't wait to learn music from you, learn Kung Fu from you, and share more late night conversations about life :)
Lia Chang, Thank you for being with us and capturing every moment. From our tears, our laughs, and our smiles! It was so good to have you there and to watch you work! You are so supportive and so amazing to this community of Artists.
Max Chang for putting it all together... Incredible! All the beautiful people you brought together to make this week memorable! We felt like royalty with how well you took care of us and I'm glad I left your daughters saying, "Okay, Boss!"
Jennie Sant and Martin C. Alcocer. Ya'll kept us afloat and organized! Thank you for being a wonderful Stage Managing team!
And Jason Ma... You have written a beautiful show. Not only do I see myself represented, I see my family represented, I see my community represented... I feel incredibly honored that you took a leap in bringing me along for this ride. I have learned so much and I can't wait to learn more and share more with you! I hope this friendship is just the beginning! I wish you all of the best for this show! I really believe in it!
Okay everyone... Yum Bui!
Sometimes in this Creative Life, you get tired. I don't know. Maybe the world is too overwhelming. Maybe you just choose to follow trails of thought that lead you to darkness, to places you forgot existed. Or maybe it just comes down to revealing something in yourself that you need to heal from. I've searched for so many books, listened or watched interviews of people I admire, talked and discussed with friends what makes us go down those paths. I don't think it's unique to the creative life, and I think we all have an inner child crying inside. We all carry some shame, we all aren't always there. That would be exhausting. I'm exhausted...
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, the world we live in now, with social media and the internet... Everything is just too pretty. Too fake. And I think we all are tired in some way or another. I want to see something different. I want to see everything. I want to experience it. After all, things get destroyed but then comes creation. So maybe putting this down on the blog, someone will read this and see that I am not perfect. You are not perfect. None of us are. It's not what it seems like. Maybe there's more to us than just our instagram profiles. I hope you show it all. Because you are beautiful in how wholesome you are. I want to see your scars. I want to see your smiles. Let's fuck it up.
First and foremost, I'd like to apologize for the terrifying picture of this character. This is Teddy Perkins. He is a character from the second season of the FX TV Show, Atlanta. The Show that was created by Actor/Writer/Comedian/Rapper, Donald Glover.
I've been completely moved and inspired by this second season of Atlanta. I am just captivated by the cinematography and writing for a show that really points you in so many directions. The characters are so compelling and they grow so much from one second to the next.
I don't want to give you too much, because truly you have to experience the show on your own. Open your mind and be prepared to jump from realism to surrealism. If we're friends outside of the interwebs, I'd love to chat about this show. There's so much to uncover. And/Or if you're someone who's reading this and you admire my opinion, hope you enjoy this show. I love art like this.
Wow... I am completely blown away by a series I just binged on YouTube. OH MY GOD! Wong Fu Productions created a beautiful series called Yappie. It is so good and I relate to so many things in the series.... Check it out! Watch all 5 episodes! Witness this beautifully written story! Thank you Philip Wang and the Wong Fu team for being such incredible TrailBlazers for communities I identify with!
With the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Searching in mainstream media... I am finding myself celebrate my identity, as an Asian American, by going down rabbit holes of YouTube interviews and clips of artists that I admire and respect. From George Takei to Ryan Higa... I'm seeing and learning from all these artists and refining the stamp I want to put on this planet.
And when I stumbled upon this series... It made me choked up with so many emotions. Just like those films I mentioned, I saw myself in this series. I heard thoughts I've had spoken out loud, insecurities expressed, and fears explored. I saw my friends, my siblings, my parents. Again, I saw myself. My love for basketball and hip-hop, I saw the thoughts I go through as an Asian American artist, and the thoughts I have had on my participation in American culture. Episode 5 in it's entirety are things I have thought of and experienced to a T! I am at awe and so inspired. When art does that... It feeds this fire in me that makes me want to conquer the world! The honesty of it all is what fuels a fire in me that makes me want to CREATE!
Pl.ease check it out and let's have a conversation about it! UGH! I am so inspired!!!! I want to be in something like this. I want to create something exactly like this!
P.S. Janine Oda... If you're reading this. Will you marry me?
Wow... So I was lucky enough to get the chance to perform in a staff showcase at the place I work at, New World Stages. Most of us on the house staff and security staff are artists that want to pursue and make a stamp on the world. We show up to the theatre to ensure people experience the shows in our space in a safe and warm fashion, but most of us want to create art just as much! New World Stages makes a point to put on this Staff showcase every year and it always warms my heart to witness the spotlight shining on these beautiful artists that are normally showing you where your seat is, telling you where the bathroom is, serving you a drink, picking up after you when you leave... We are passionate human beings and it always warms my heart to see us come together for this special showcase!
For this showcase... I got to perform with Savannah Bennett and Nygel D. Robinson. And thank the Gods I was such a lucky person to do so! For weeks we had planned to sing with one another and had no direction or song that we were desperately wanting to perform. We brainstormed here and there but when we finally got together the night before... Magic happened. Here's a video of what took place.
Putting this arrangement together with them was like butter on toast. It was just melting into place and their talent BLEW ME AWAY! GOSH! I hope you all enjoy this little rehearsal sesh as much as we loved coming together and singing in the acoustics at the Stage Door in New World Stages... WOW! I really really really hope it is the first of many creations!!! WATCH OUT FOR US :)