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W H A T ' S   N E W
June 2006

Review the Highlights From the Various Categories Listed Below
   
APA Film News APA Media Representation APA Music News APA TV News Business Christianity Community
Diversity Entertainment Business Health Hollywood Hollywood Marketing Immigration Music
New Media Online Media PR Radio Sports Theater TV
 
Featured Artists                            R.I.P.                                         Editorials
 
     
 

EDITORIALS
WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN AMERICAN (ANDREW TSAO)
In a
conversation with Pam Roach, the Republican State Senator from the 31st district of the State of Washington, she met with members that attended the APA Legislation Day that included Maxine Chan, Kelli Nakayama of International Community Health Services and Franklin Yi of the Korean American Voters Alliance and myself regarding SB 6499/Voter Registration legislation. She had assured the group that her concern in such legislation was making sure it was valid citizens who voted in elections and voter verification.

Maxine Chan explained that there already existed specific social and logistical barriers to immigrant and minority voters, and additional bureaucracy could disproportionately affect that group. She also mentioned the language barrier, which often resulted in discrimination and difficulty at polling places. That was when the whole thing turned into a bad horror film.

Senator Roach responded by saying she was sympathetic with the whole language barrier, and that no one should be discriminated against at the polls. She went on to explain that she was an advocate of early English proficiency education, particularly for immigrant children so that they might grow up accent free. She spoke of a future of no accents, which would alleviate a host of problems.

By shedding foreign sounding accents, she thought people would face less discrimination. It was in their best interest. She then turned to Franklin Yi, a Korean immigrant whom she knew as a constituent, and pointed out his foreign accent. However, she jokingly vouched for Franklin, because she knew him.

I, Maxine and Kelli sat stunned. We thanked her for meeting with us, and she thanked us for coming, saying her door was always open. We went out and stood in the rain, dumbfounded. Had she really said that? Did I just hear what I thought I heard?

Clearly, Maxine, Kelli and I were "okay" with Senator Roach because we had shed our foreign accents. Is that what had earned us the right not to be discriminated against? I began to think back on some of the well meaning, institutionalized racism I had encountered in my life as an "accent free" Chinese American.

"You didn't sound Asian on the phone."
"You don't act like a foreigner."
"I'm not talking about you, though. You're different."
"You're so Americanized."
And so on, and so on.

What perhaps is most frightening about this story is that I believe Pam Roach loves her country and loves democracy. What does that say about how far we have come, how far we have to go?
For additional info, click HERE

SENATOR PAM ROACH'S RESPONSE
The following is a response to "Andrew" and his politically motivated hit piece blog. If anyone has questions, Pam Roach can be reached at 360.786.7660.

While Andrew felt he had a hard time getting in my office, let me point out in his blog he says he only called on February 1st for an appointment. In fact, on February 2nd, without an appointment, he barged into my office on the coattails of three other Asian Americans, who did. Unfortunately, he was not turned away at the door as he might have been. It is hardly polite to act as he did, camera in hand, inside my office snapping pictures without a request. Snap as you like on the street corner, but in someone's office serious reporters ask.

Mr. Tsao, on the other hand, continued to take pictures and was more interested in nailing me for something than he was in hearing my proposition: #1 American-born children should learn other languages from the elementary grades, #2 parents who were raised speaking a language other than English should be encouraged to teach that language to their own children and, #3 to compete in a global economy our country needs people who are fluent in multiple languages. I would think the story would be that innovative and positive message.
To read her entire response, click
HERE

POLITICAL LANGUAGE
The best description of this process is still George Orwell's essay, "Politics and the English Language," written 60 years ago, in which he argued that any number of words used with easy profligacy by politicians had become essentially meaningless. (For more info, click
HERE)

LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS
Good leadership is grounded first and foremost in authenticity, one of the key words of this book. Successful leaders are those who behave genuinely rather than pretend to be something they are not.

Leaders must also adapt themselves to their environment, and their behavior must conform to the needs of the business at any given time.

Successful leadership is situational; that is, good leadership largely consists of responding and adapting to the needs of any particular time and place.
For more info, click
HERE

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APA & MEDIA NEWS
WAH MING CHANG
He created props and costumes for the Star Trek series (i.e. federation communicator, the tricorder, the phaser gun and the Salt Creature) along with masks for The King and I and the massive headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

SOMEN "STEVE" BANERJEE - CREATOR OF "CHIPPENDALES"
Somen "Steve Banerjee's controversial life turned him into a subject of gossip and self-censorship in the Bengali immigrant communities - along with highlighting the perils of having many of the characteristics of a "Model Minority".
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

DRUG PLAN DOESN'T SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE
More than a month had gone by, and 81-year-old Lee Sun Hua still didn't have his medication. In January, a pharmacist had refused to give the Koreatown resident his drugs, erroneously telling Lee he needed his new Medicare drug prescription card. He waited for weeks, and even had a volunteer at a Koreatown nonprofit agency call to request it. But it never came.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

TIGER WOODS - A "CABLINASIAN"
The family was rich in ethnicity. Earl was half African American, a quarter American Indian and a quarter Chinese. Kultida is half Thai, a quarter Chinese and a quarter Caucasian. Tiger would later label himself "Cablinasian."
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

KOREATOWN IMMIGRANTS BLENDING IN
Just as the 1992 disturbances were a defining event for L.A.'s Korean American community, the recent immigrant rights marches may be a defining event for the community today — highlighting the growing economic interdependence between Koreans and Latinos, and budding efforts by Koreans to cross the cultural divide.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

TALE OF "DESPERATE NETWORKS"
His book affirms that 18 to 49 is king to this network crowd, with 18 to 35 the advertisers' dream demographic Nearly as intriguing is Carter's story behind ABC moving to ratings-rich Wisteria Lane on Sunday nights with "Desperate Housewives" — which he says NBC had summarily turned down with "a fleeting look and good-bye" — and the riches-to-rags-to-riches odyssey of the show's witty and resilient creator, Marc Cherry.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

AMY TAN AND "THE REMAINDERS" GARAGE BAND
After hammering out a set list, practicing with the rehearsal tape made by Ridley Pearson, and three days' intensive rehearsal under Al Kooper's direction, the Rock Bottom Remainders (members have included Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Michael Dorris, Kathi Kamen, Stephen King, Dave Marsh, Jerry Peterson, etc.) took the stage of the Cowboy Boogie club in Anaheim. The results are recorded for posterity on The Rock Bottom Remainders video.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

SLUMP OF HAWAII'S FAMOUS PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY
With Hawaii's famous pineapple industry slumping in the face of foreign competition, specialized crops such as noni, papaya and macadamia nuts are beginning to bear fruit. For many, pineapples symbolize America's 50th state. Now, however, they can be grown and shipped to the United States more cheaply from Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil, China, India and Costa Rica. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. announced it would end its Hawaii pineapple operations by mid-2008 and lay off about 700 employees. At one time Hawaii's pineapple plantations had to bring in workers from Asia.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

WEST L.A.'S "LITTLE OSAKA" IS CHANGING
Sawtelle is sometimes called Little Osaka and is still deeply Japanese, with its nurseries and Buddhist temples and boba tea shops, but it is experiencing what many are calling a third phase in its identity. The issei who immigrated to the U.S. after the turn of the 20th century, when the area was mostly celery fields, are giving up their old shops, and the shin issei, or "new first generation" who immigrated after World War II, are losing their traditionalist grip on the culture. In their stead has come a new generation, many of them young students in their 20s straight from Japan, and they represent modern Japan.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

REVIEW: C.Y. LEE'S "BODY & SOUL"
For more than 50 years, C.Y. Lee has documented the Chinese American conundrum from a populist angle. He does so again in "The Body and Soul of a Chinese Woman" at the Stella Adler. This latest play from the venerable author of the novel "The Flower Drum Song" is an allegory about a traditional folk dancer adrift in San Gabriel who yearns for assimilated independence.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

TIGARAH - JAPANESE RAPPER IN FUNK/GRIME/CRUNK MUSIC SCENE
In a fittingly cross-cultural twist, the funk/grime/crunk music's most high-profile import to the Southland isn't even Brazilian - where the music was created. She's 24-year-old Tokyo native Tigarah, who is conquering this niche of the music industry one myspace "friend" at a time; she has nearly 12,000.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

LODESTONE'S "GOLDEN HOUR" SPIRITUALLY TOUCHING
Few topics in the theater are trickier to bring off than spiritual queries. That makes "The Golden Hour" at GTC Burbank unusually noteworthy. Philip W. Chung's piquant account of challenged faith within the Korean American community receives a proficient Lodestone Theatre Ensemble staging.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

MIKE&CHRIS' HOODS ARE FAVORITES OF CELEBS
Mike Gonzalez, 30, and Christine Park-Gonzalez, 31, are the husband-and-wife, photographer-and-model partners in the year-old collection that grew from a single hooded sweatshirt to a $1.4-million company. They're selling the $160 to $950 jackets and bags at Barneys, Ron Herman, Diavolina, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and stores in Japan and Paris. Unlike the fruity, fleece tracksuits that reintroduced the hoodie to fashion years back, the Mike&Chris interpretations give it an edge with creased, washed leather and fleece in city-centric colors like concrete, black, gunmetal and stone. Angelina Jolie was snapped wearing one of their leathers, and Nicole Kidman called personally to get one.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

"RAGS TO RICHES" IN U.S. GETTING RARE
The United States may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published Wednesday. The likelihood that a child born into a poor family will make it into the top 5% in income is just 1%, according to "Understanding Mobility in America," a study by economist Tom Hertz of American University in Washington. By contrast, a child born rich had a 22% chance of being rich as an adult, he said.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

KOREAN FILM COUNCIL SUPPORTING UPCOMING FILMMAKERS
The Korean Film Council is launching the new KOFIC Filmmakers Development Lab to foster the development of Korean American filmmakers. The Lab is looking for projects that will appeal to both Korean and North American audiences. U.S. and Canadian applicants can send in submissions by May 31, 2006 with more info available at http://www.koreanfilm.or.kr/ and www.hawaii.edu/acm.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

JENNIFER PHAM - MS. ASIA USA
Traffic around the Alex Theatre was so congested for the sold-out 18th Annual Miss Asia USA pageant that co-emcee Rob Fukuzaki had trouble getting to Saturday's event on time. Almost 1,500 watched 28 contestants representing countries from Asia and Asia Minor compete. In the end, the crown went to Jennifer Pham, 20, of Orange County, who represented Vietnam in the pageant.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

ONLY 19% INTERESTED IN ETHNIC CABLE PACKAGES
Four out of ten homes in urban markets include at least 1 person who is fluent in a language other than English (important to note that interviews with Asians were conducted in English while Hispanic respondents were given a choice between English and Spanish): 84% of Asian households. Interest in subscribing to ethnic cable packages: 19% of multilingual Asian homes (9% across all Asian homes) are interested in a special package of channels in the Asian language they speak;
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

AZN-TV'S APA HERITAGE MONTH PROGRAMMING
AZN Television celebrated the month with interstitial segments, original programming and special azntv.com content centered on the theme of "Celebrating Asian American Excellence Every Day." The interstitials will include appearances by Lucy Liu, Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim. Special tributes will also air before each of AZN's original regular shows such as NBA Timeout, Cinema AZN, Popcorn Zen and The Bridge.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

INTERSTITIALS
Another subtle but tasteful touch were the interstitial segments, otherwise known in the industry as "bumps," placed at the beginning of each segment of the game after a commercial break. The segments were composed of reduced-color, almost black-and-white stills of various players and coaches mixed with full-color sound bites from those players.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

PBS-TV'S APA HERITAGE MONTH PROGRAMMING
PBS celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month through its Independent Lens programming). Encore presentations are scheduled for: Shaolin Ulysses: Kungfu Monks in America, Vietnam: The Next Generation, Riding the Wave: The Whale Rider Story, Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness, Time of Fear and An Untold Triumph. The following are original broadcasts: Fishbowl, American Made, The Land has Eyes, P.O.V. and American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

SHINTARO SHIMOSAWA'S TAKE ON TV & CABLE
Shintaro Shimosawa (Writer on USA network's The 4400 and others) finds cable more attractive because it allows for more creativity with less pressure, and because it has a better schedule. Broadcast network shows are beginning to look stale. Cable encourages thinking outside the box. Cable keeps it keeps it creative and fun, because they can - as oppose to procedural shows on network television. Part of the creative freedom of cable is that "there is more time for a slow burn; they aren't expecting the big shares." Cable shows don't have to hit the homerun – just the doubles and triples. This slow burn allows more time for character and plot development.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

TOP 10 ASIAN AMERICAN PR AGENCIES
The top 10 Asian American agencies according to the annual Agency Report 2006 from Advertising Age's Data Center are the following: 1) PanCom International; 2) Kang & Lee; 3) Partnership; 4) Admerasia; 5) InterTrend Communications; 6) IW Group (Interpublic); 7) Time Advertising; 8) AdAsia Communications; 9) Ethnic Solutions and 10) Dae Advertising
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

MILLENNIAL GENERATION (1977 - 1996)
These 70 million people were born between 1977 and 1996 (aged roughly 10-29), and at around 70 million, they number more than any other generation except the Baby Boomers. Millennials are hopeful for the future; they have strong friendship and family ties, and are becoming involved in politics. They are the most watched-over generation in history…very scheduled and optimistic and more open to trying new things. They spend most of their money on technology and entertainment, making them tech-savvy entertainment multitaskers who have a shared attention span and that can mean three hours of entertainment in one hour of time.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

CUSTOMERS WANT ADS
Consumers who are willing to pay are proportionally more upscale and the most loyal fans, potentially rendering the remaining ad-supported programming less valuable from an advertiser's perspective said Pat Dunbar, President of the advertising think tank DiMA Group.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

NIELSEN'S APA ADVISORY COUNCIL
Nielsen Media Research created the Asian Pacific American Advisory Council that will advise Nielsen on a range of issues involving sampling of Asian Pacific Americans (APA) for television audience measurement and outreach to APA communities. The members include Jimmy D. Lee (White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders), Don Nakanishi (UCLA's Asian American Studies Center), Tomas L. Consunji (ABS-CBN International), John Thai Dinh (Little Saigon TV), Alice Lee (KSCI TV), Karen Narasaki (Asian American Justice Center), Michael Sherman (KTSF TV), Nita Song (IW Group), Anil Srivatsa (ImaginAsian TV), Doua Thor (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center) and Jerry Wong (U.S. Census Bureau)
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

MTV-CHI
MTV World's newest addition, MTV Chi, debuted with the its first hour airing live on MTV's HDTV screen in Times Square with Ziyi Zhang. The Chinese American-targeted channel includes original programs while focusing on Mandarin rock and pop, Canto-pop, Chinese hip-hop with English-language shows.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

AZN-TV LAYOFFS
30 jobs have been eliminated at the Asian-American English-language channel including managing director, Steve Smith - who will be replaced by Rod Shanks. Comcast is cutting back on original programming plans and acquire shows including Korean-language programming picked up from its output agreement with Sony Pictures Television.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

HERITAGE IS IMPORTANT IN REACHING AA COMMUNITIES
Heritage plays an important part in when communicating with Asian Americans according to CAG/ISA's Asian American Market Report. Keeping ethnic traditions alive is significantly more important to Vietnamese with the Filipinos and Indians populations following. The key reasons differ though.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

DECLINE OF ASIAN AMERICANS IN RADIO/TV NEWS DEPARTMENTS
The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) found the amount of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in radio news director chairs and TV newsrooms had a .3% decline for Asian Americans in TV news from 2.2% in 2004 to 1.9% this year (even lower than in 1995).
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

ASIAN AMERICANS / LUXURY CAR PURCHASES
In addition to an increasing number of Asian Americans purchasing luxury end automobiles across the nation, the Southern California area has emerged as the leading market.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

HENRY YUEN FOUND GUILTY
The former chief executive of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. was ordered Monday to pay $22.4 million for misleading investors by inflating the company's revenue. It was one of the largest fines ever meted out against an individual for accounting fraud.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

HEPATITIS B & EAST ASIAN IMMIGRANTS IN NYC
Among East Asian immigrants in New York City, one person in seven carries the hepatitis B virus, a new study has found. The condition puts them at far greater risk than other Americans for deadly diseases like liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

PRESIDENT BUSH HONORING ASIAN AMERICANS
At President Bush's speech recogizing Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, he stated these words. I'm fortunate to have many Asian American in my Cabinet and in my administration, two of who are here with us today. I want to thank the Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, for joining us. And the Secretary of Transportation, Norm Mineta. Andrew Natsios, of USAID, is here. Andrew, it's good, it's good you're here, because we're going to be talking about tsunami relief in a minute. I want to thank Betty Wu, who is the Chairman of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. I want to thank all the commission members who are here today.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

MINORITIES UNDERREPRESENTED ON TV STAFFS
The Writers Guild of America, West, (WGA) says that women and minority writers remain underrepresented on television staffs, according to the preliminary findings from its forthcoming Hollywood Writers Report.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

NEW YORK'S ASIAN COMMUNITIES
Who are the Asians of New York City? They are foreign-born and native-born New Yorkers with a background in East Asia (China and Japan, for example), Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia), and South Asia (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

JEFF YANG'S VIEWS ON APA HERITAGE MONTH
As far as national commemoratives go, APA Heritage Month has always seemed to get shuffled to the back of the bus. It gets lost in the bustle of other things going on in May. Like Memorial Day. And Mother's Day. And the running of the Kentucky Derby. But you can't really blame people for overlooking APA Heritage Month, given the fact that Asian Americans don't even agree on what we're supposed to be commemorating. (For more info behind the formation of the Asian Pacific American communities, click HERE)
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

GROWING NUMBER OF AA CHRISTIANS
Tonight, three of the largest Christian fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley, have arrived at First Presbyterian for a joint meeting. Hundreds of students, dressed in running shoes, jeans, and sweatshirts, spill into the sanctuary. A band warms up while students slap hands and hug. Excitement like this would characterize a large Christian gathering at Berkeley during any era. One fact, however, would certainly startle earlier generations. About 98 percent of this gathering is Asian American.
Click Here to Read More>>>>>

TOP 10 COMPANIES FOR ASIAN AMERICANS
Here are the Top 10 Companies for Asian Americans:

  • 1: Hewlett-Packard,
  • 2: Abbott,
  • 3: New York Life Insurance Co.,
  • 4: Merrill Lynch & Co.,
  • 5: Southern California Edison Co.,
  • 6: Sempra Energy,
  • 7: Novartis Pharmaceutical,
  • 8: Merck & Co.,
  • 9: HBO and
  • 10: Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

  • Click Here to Read More>>>>>
    Erin May Ling Quill is an actress, singer, director and producer of both stage and film productions.
    WHY ARE THERE NO ASIANS ON TV (ERIN QUILL)
    From an insider's perspective, the fact is that Asian Americans play significantly into our own lack of representation. Certainly, we face many challenges in the industry, including hiring discrimination and stereotyped casting. But in many ways, we may also be our own worst enemy. I know that this is uncomfortable to read, and I have even been advised to not put my name on this piece. Yet, I am hoping that if we acknowledge that the Emperor is naked, then we might be able to change the problem of our media under- representation in the next few years. For those of us working on representation from within the industry, finding remedies requires tackling the problem from both sides.

    Then we both had nothing to say, because that CD, for whatever reason, had seen "enough" Asian actors to determine that there were no qualified, talented Asian actors. The fact that some of the top CDs working for networks ARE Asian American is just another nail in the coffin – because, to a white guy/gal – if your Asian CD comes back and says "There aren't any," you are going to believe them. Total B-S, of course, but they had the call sheets to prove how many actors they saw.

    We do not see Asian Americans on television because only a small, dedicated group is asking for that -- and it largely comprises lawyers and actors. We need numbers. It takes a village, right? Yes, it will take an Asian American village.

    Our community needs to embrace one another, not divide. We need to let our filmmakers do their jobs and challenge not just Asian Americans, but the world in general with their work.

    We want to see ourselves represented in media, but we only want to see it if it fits within rigid confines of community approval. We want to see ourselves in the lead, but only if we play roles representing the 'good guy' in the white suit that comes to save the day. We want to see our stories told within mainstream American culture, but only if they are 'traditionally' grounded and supportive.

    That doesn't wash. It takes, will take and has taken, an Asian American village to get this far. We have to keep going.
    To read her complete response, click HERE

    CHINESE CAST OF ROBERT DUVALL'S "BROKEN TRAIL

    US ASIANS: Which scene(s) were the most poignant and most revealing?

    VALERIE TIAN: There's a scene in part one of 'Broken Trail', where for a brief moment, the Chinese girls get to escape from their fears by looking upat the moon.In Chinese culture, the moon has long been associated with home and family reunion. These girls feel they only have one other now because they are the only things unforeign to each other. They just want to go back to familiarity.

    JADYN WONG: The reality of the conditions the girls had to endure really hit me in the scene when we were riding into town with Tom and Heck, who had hopes of leaving us at some sort of haven. I scanned the environment, the faces of the townspeople, and I could feel my body reacting then I just broke down. The foreign land, the disgust and hate for these girls - it was a realization. Yes, everything was manufactured with the set, costumes, actors, but I am portraying the lives of many girls during this time in history.

    GWENDOLINE YEO: When Robert Duvall is numbering us in that wagon scene--I am trying to protect these young girls and I think he's coming to harm us--how poignant, the relief and comfort I felt that he was not going to hurt us, but simply identifying us - the relief and comfort of being a number. When we shot that scene--Duvall and I shared an incredible moment... me thinking one way that wasn't even written in the script...but I found that moment... Mr. Duvall saw what I was thinking and fed right into it so at the end of the scene, I was weeping. After we shot the scene, he came over and said "Beautiful work. Don't change a thing, Sun Foy." I went home that evening and wept. I felt such joy in having the experience to work with such a remarkable actor as he...someone who could see right to my heart and reveal his own right back.

    WORKING WITH ROBERT DUVALL

    US ASIANS: Considering that you are known for your hip-hop/culture reports, what did you do to complete the transition of having the ability to work with top actors such as Robert Duvall?

    OLIVIA CHENG: My experience in front of the camera as a media personality helped me little as an actor. They’re two entirely different crafts and all they have in common is that a camera is involved in both. I really had no clue what I was doing on set half the time. It was frustrating but I’m thankful because all my mistakes and the overall experience ultimately forced me grow as an actor. You can’t get better without falling flat on your face a few times.

    Bobby Duvall didn’t mind my inexperience though because he loves finding actors who are raw and natural. He just encouraged me to roll with it and always told me not to over-analyze everything.

    I tend to think things to death and Duvall and the others taught me to trust my emotional instincts instead. Plus, when you’re working alongside an actor like Duvall, his ability sets the tone for people around him and it elevates everyone’s performance.

    I learned that acting is really about reacting to the scene’s given circumstances and that the most important thing to do is to stay open to what’s happening around you so the camera can capture your genuine reaction to events. Anticipating another actor’s lines or reactions is the worst thing to do. Duvall basically drilled it into me that acting is just listening, doing, and keeping it truthful.

    The other scene would be the goodbye scene with Tom Harte... he had all the words; she listened. And a beautiful scene formed. We filmed it when it was snowing, and our noses were dripping and my toes were so cold... but I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was beautiful, vulnerable and the truth. It made me remember what acting is about--simply listen, and the rest will come.

    OLIVIA CHENG: That’s a tough question to answer. I think that will vary for the audience. Hopefully they become emotionally attached to all of Broken Trail’s protagonists because then every scene will be poignant.

    US ASIANS: Is there a picture/scene that accurately describes your impression of the project and/or your character’s role in the film? (If available, could you send us the picture to post within this interview)

    CAROLINE CHAN: One of the scenes that reflects the childlike curiosity of Mai Ling was when Tom Harte shot the horse.

    GWENDOLINE YEO: In that goodbye scene I referenced--Sun Foy takes a private moment to herself...at the end of her journey, in western clothing, but with an eastern heart, has to decide between responsibility for others and go to San Francisco, or responsibility to herself and choose the man she loves (picture 2)

    And picture 1:

    "Int. Dark Room--Chinatown--San Francisco--1897--Day.

    Sun Foy, 20s, sits on the wooden floor, her back against the wall, her form etched in shaft of light from a high window. Her upright bearing and stoic expression suggest that she refuses to be humiliated by these humiliating circumstances...

    The on set photographer took this photo and my jaw dropped to the floor. From when I read the script --- through all the revisions-- the opening remained true to what I had envisioned in my mind, and it was brought to life by this photo.

    To read the entire interview on this AMC-TV program that will premiere on Sunday: June 25th (Part 1) and Monday: June 26th (Part 2), click HERE

    HIROMI
    US ASIANS:
    When did you noticed that you were described as a child prodigy and did this create any additional pleasured or privileges in getting access to various things/people?

    HIROMI: I have never really noticed, so it did not create much.

    US ASIANS: Was the attendance to practicing and taking piano lessons prompted by your parents – in addition, did you rebelled against the needed practice that was required as a child?
    HIROMI: My mother took me to piano lessons, I always loved playing piano, so it was not too hard to practice apart from playing Hannon.

    US ASIANS: Within the Yamaha School of Music program at Shizuoka – where you attended from the age 5 to 15, could you share what tangible/intrinsic/emotional input that you experienced/taught that still resonates within your creative soul (as a supplement to your private piano lessons) – even today?
    HIROMI: I mainly studied composition in Yamaha music school, I was studying piano with my private teacher, she was very unique. She often told me to see colors when I play, when she wanted me to play passionate, she asked me to “PLAY RED”, when she wanted me to play melancholic, she asked me to “PLAY BLUE”, she even colored my sheet music with color pencils, and it really made kid’s imagination to develop.
    To read Hiromi's entire interview - that includes tour information on her dates such as her performance at the 2006's Playboy Jazz Festival in June, click HERE

     
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