Wow. Just wow. After a dynamite opening gala party at the Director’s Guild of America on 28 April 2011, the past few days have been nothing but more inspiration and motivation to keep on fighting. It is a great time to be Asian and Asian-American in the arts community, both because of the growing acceptance of Hollywood for Asians as regulars as opposed to exotic foreigners or denizens, and because of how new media–particularly YouTube–is where Asians are becoming a dominant force.
In the past ten years, we’ve seen indie hits like Better Luck Tomorrow launch the career of director Justin Lin into a mainstream success story, as he has just directed the past few Fast and the Furious films, with the most recent series entry, Fast Five, being premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival’s opening night gala party. We have seen the new medium of YouTube become the place where talent is going–and many of them are Asians, from Wong Fu Productions to Freddie Wong, to Community Channel (Natalie Tran).
Ten years ago, there were those of us who thought it would take forever to get to this point, if at all, due to the inherent racism of American society (which I had immigrated to in 2002). Some of us were idealistic and still pushed for it by auditioning, blogging, or finding ways to be part of the norm rather than the exception. Thanks to YouTube allowing for those of us who do not have the connections in Hollywood, as well as the trend of creative content shifting concentration there, we are finally mainstream in the new media.
As a result of this, many of the celebrities and artists I encountered and socialized with at the opening night and Angry Asian Man 10th anniversary parties and conferences were predominantly web-based, such as Phil Yu, the creator of Angry Asian Man, Wong Fu Productions, Freddie Wong, KevJumba, and George Shaw. Other people included Karin Anna Cheung, Parry Shen, Sung Kang, Roger Fan, and John Cho– who were all notably the main cast of Better Luck Tomorrow and had all gone on to achieve their own success inside and outside of Hollywood.
This was a point that was emphasized on how we can and must use this time to make ourselves be seen and heard, which many are already doing. It is a good time to be Asian, and a greater time to be an independent artist. So the ultimate message is: get as much as you can out there on YouTube and iTunes at the very least, blog, follow news and people on Twitter (it’s where I first heard about Bin Laden’s death and how the Egyptian Revolution this year erupted)–connect yourself, no matter how disconnected you feel.
I’m going to be putting more of myself out there now. The only way to make a difference and rise up is to give to your community, be a part of it, and stay informed. I’m going to continue blogging, recording shows of street artists, cultural shows, and especially Asian-Americans. The world has billions of people, and some are going to want to see what I have to say and record.
If it’s worth living, it’s worth remembering. If it’s worth remembering, it’s worth writing and recording. If it’s worth writing and recording, it’s worth sharing. If it’s worth sharing, it’s worth living.
Johnny C is having more fun than you. 😉 And here are some pictures and a video to show you some of the fun.