Happy Love Day…

Posted: February 14, 2015 in Blog, Poems
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I dig Valentine’s Day. I woke up not too long ago and I find myself watching “500 Days of Summer,” it’s Valentine’s Day and seems like the perfect way to slowly start this day, just sipping a cup of coffee, eating some yogurt, still in the sweat pants I slept i last night watching Zooey Deschanel, who I find incredibly cute and infinitely watchable, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the awkward love story in a picturesque downtown Los Angeles.

I’m posting a few love poems I’ve written in the past, I didn’t write anything new this year, I’m still in love and I gave her a bike instead of a poem this year… That alone sounds funny, but it was her first bike and to see her face when she saw this red beach cruiser with with a Happy Valentine’s Day balloon attached to was priceless. It was like that feeling you had when you were a kid waking up Christmas morning to find a new bike under the tree, pure childish elation… Now, I have to teach her how ride the thing. I don’t remember how to teach someone how to do that. I just remember crashing a few times when I was learning from my older brother Derek.

Today is cool if you have someone to share it with… it’s even ok if you don’t, just celebrating that love is out there in the world and the pursuit of it all is a worthy cause.

So go kiss someone you dig or go commiserate with friends because you don’t have someone to kiss, but just go celebrate this intangible thing that we all watch movies about and poets write poems about and singers sing songs about… Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my new show, “Filthy Casual.” It’s really simple, I learn to play all these games that we’ve all been hearing about, but really have no idea what they are all about! I, like most people out there, grew up with a love for video games, I had the Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Nintendo, PS3 and as I grew up, I found myself not having a lot of time to play. They’re were other games I found myself playing, the arduous task of building a career and of course, the chasing of women around this Hollywood town.

Somehow I’ve been lucky to make a full circle in life and now, through this little show, I can indulge myself in one of my adolescent passions, video games! Now, I’ve always been aware of new games out there, even been able to voice some characters in a few. But now, I get to learn about all the games I’ve missed and try some of the brand new ones.

So join me in learning these new games, maybe some of you will pick up some of these games yourself… or just laugh at me trying to figure out what some of the new kids are just doing effortlessly…

Ps… for those who don’t understand the title of the show, gamers call people that don’t play games that often or well (like me), “casuals”… I’m the Filthy Casual in this case, which was also a popular meme. Shout out to my cousin Nick who create this show for me and directs the episodes.

Independent Filmmaking…

Posted: February 12, 2015 in Blog
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Recently finishing an independent film entitled, “The Head Thieves,” it all got me to thinking about the whole world of independent movies. Many of you that have followed my career have seen me do my time with great characters in the studio system, like “Hook” or “Take the Lead,” and television, but a really big part of the industry, especially within the last few decades has become independent filmmaking.
Now you may know of this genre by the artsy little film house that plays them in your town or city, or flashy words like Sundance Film festival or something like that, and those are the things that made indies popular, but as I wrap another indie I find myself having a different feeling.
Look, I love working in the big studio films, I wish there was more work for me there, I love the pay checks and just the grandness of everything, from the sets to the trailers to the personalities, it’s an amazing world. But independent film is something else, and now I’m talking real indie stuff, not like some thinly veiled studio film made by studio folks slumming it for awhile, shooting a low budget 5 million dollar films. (Nothing against those, I love a lot of those) I’m talking about really guerrilla, no budget, you have to be insane to do this kind of film making. Straight up, someone has a script or an idea that one of your friends thought was great and somehow has convinced a small group of people join somewhat of a platoon, call themselves a film crew and go to battle to make a movie. It’s sounds funny, but it’s kind of what happens. I’ve been on both sides, several times now, being convinced to take a few weeks out of my life to help bring to life a vision a friend or a friend of a friend has, and I’ve been that guy, over drinks or a semi-lavish dinner, where in I will pick up the check, convincing friends or friend of friends to join me in the noble cause of making a movie.
Now, I’ve never been to war, but independent filmmaking is the closest thing I’ve had to it. Just this last film, I found myself signing on because my little brother came to me with 29 pages of a script of some guy he worked with in the past and said he wanted to do it and wanted me to do it too. I actually liked the script and asked where the rest was, he said he didn’t know and we are to play brothers and we’ll have another brother and this guy is white and he never met him, but he’s also the executive producer on the film… All this is usually bad signs in starting to try to make a movie, but I thought, hell let’s meet. I actually liked everyone on our first meeting, I asked if I can do a southern accent for the character, the director agreed and I said I can give you 2 weeks to shoot this flick. (It always takes more time than they promise you at the beginning)
Cut to… Now I’m sleeping in a trailer in a field somewhere in Modesto, in a field surrounded by cows, cows that I can smell from my bunk bed, an army of flies swarm around my trailer, I put up a strip of fly paper to capture some (I didn’t even know fly strips still existed) and to top it all off it’s raining and somehow there’s a leak, a steady stream of water dripping right beside me, I made a makeshift bucket out of some aluminum tray I found and as it pitter patters its rhythm, I lay next to it in my sleeping bag wondering what the hell I got myself into and how many hours do I have left to sleep before my 8am call time. This is real indie film making… too real.
But somehow we got through it and what happens is, this small troop of people band together, get through the long days and nights, little and sometime big fights and hopefully everything doesn’t fall apart and on the other side we have this movie. They don’t always turn out to be the best things we’ve ever done, but beyond what comes out on the end, the whole adventure of making it, the friendships and bonds you make and all the stories you live through, you never know if you’ll put yourself through it again… but sooner or later, someone comes to you with another great idea. So shout out to some of my favorite indies I’ve been apart of, “But I’m a Cheerleader,” “The Debut,” “Hang Loose,” “Extreme Days,” and here are some pictures from my last great adventure, “The Head Thieves.”

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#Repost @mikehermosa ・・・Thanks for letting us be all up in you Nor-Cal. It was real. #headthievesmovie

In the new year I’ve decided to be more proactive in something I helped to create called #WeOwnThe8th, a movement that celebrates Asian American media in America. Now beyond producing and acting in videos, as well as helping to organize our monthly meeting of the minds in Downtown Los Angeles, I’ve decided to start dropping monthly essays on this subject matter. Now, like most things I do, I’m just now deciding to do this without a lot of foresight or parameters that I’ll be writing about, I just love writing and I think this is a great excuse as any for me do sit down and just write.
Now I usually try to stay away from being controversial when I wonder around online, just my politically correct upbringing and my coming up in the public eye at the turn of the millennium, I understand what and what not to say in public, and Internet, for those of my comrades who happened to acquire some celebrity, the Internet is most definitely in public, and you shouldn’t go saying things online you wouldn’t say in public. That being said, I’m sure whatever I write in concerns of our community may not be well accepted or liked, even by the community itself, but I’m using my blog as place for me to write and think out loud about the subject, maybe even spark conversation… and I’m always opened to new points of view.
Now on to my first essay… the Serial pod cast.
I was turned on to this pod cast by an actor friend of mine, Chris Sabat, while having dinner at convention in Oklahoma City. He told me to listen to the first episode and guaranteed I would be hooked! He was right… now I must admit to you, that was the first time I even opened the podcast app on my iPhone! I didn’t even know I had a podcast app. But none the less, he forwarded me the link and I was opened up to a new world.
Like the rest of the country, I’ve become fascinated with this story of the murder of a young girl and the ex-boyfriend who may be possibly innocent, sitting behind bars in prison for the last 15 years.
There are several blogs about this podcast, as it has become the most successful podcast of all time, there’s has been podcast about the podcast… crazy, I know… crazier, I’ve listened a bit to them.
The reason I’m writing about this is its because this story, this American tragedy happened to happen to a teenage couple… an Asian American teenage couple. The writer Sarah Coenig did a great job of of telling and investigating the story, there’s people that says she was biased one way or another, but I really want to highlight that this story that caught on like a phenomena and spread like wildfire is an American story and even more specific, an Asian American story.
It’s also a story about children of immigrants, which is a very large part of the API community here in the states and the intricate dealings of how second generation Asians have to maneuver with functioning and adapting to this new world and at the same time, being so close connected to the culture of our parents and grandparents and how that can be misinterpreted by others that haven’t lived that life. The life of being a regular American youth at school and with friends and then going home and still trying to adhere to the customs and rules that have been carried over from our homeland countries just a generation ago, which could be 20 years ago, 10, maybe even less, countries like Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, India, China.
I have nothing profound to say about the story, I’m a fan and follower like several other millions, still seeing and waiting for this tragic tale to unravel. I simply want to bring light to an amazing story, maybe one of the most amazing stories being in told within the last year and point out that it is in fact an Asian American story. These stories are invisible and for one reason or another not apart of the stories told in the Hollywood studio system, but the success of this story reinsures me that we, Asian Americans, are apart of the fabric that make up America today and our stories are helping to write our modern history.
My heart goes out to the Lee family and Syed family, this kind of tragedy is something I would not want to wish on anyone and the pain of your loss is immeasurable. But I also see my family in your story, my aunts and cousins and friends and it feels like this could of happen to my family or close friends.
All my community work is to help inspire the next generation to tell our stories because its important, our stories are important and it’s even more important for us to tell them. But I also hope Serial helps show Hollywood that our stories can be marketable.
to check out Serial go to: http://serialpodcast.org/#episodes

Bouchon Bakery

Posted: February 7, 2015 in Blog

Now, I’m usually not one to review food, I mean, I love good food, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a “foodie” with expertise in the field, there’s not a stitch of food in my refrigerator and the stove in my kitchen has been cooked upon less than the number of fingers on my hand. That being said, I eat out a lot, probably more than your average person and I might just be qualified enough to write about a restaurant.
This morning after my workout, I was hungry like all of us are after a good sweat and my mind raced back to this sandwich I had a few weeks ago at a business meeting at Bouchon. This “Croque Madam” French ham sandwich with a beautiful sunny side egg atop, laced with a hollandaise sauce, was my idea of a perfect brunch. So I showered and raced down the block to have  brunch alone to study lines before a rehearsal this afternoon.
I got a table for one and my waiter, Adam, was a pleasant man, was delighted that I knew exactly what I wanted as I sat down. He confessed he knew how it felt when you had a taste for a certain thing and the “Croque Madame” was worthy of such a yearning.
I waited patiently and studied my lines for my upcoming performance and when my prized sandwich arrived it was magnificent. Made perfectly like a masterpiece painting, the symmetrical egg atop two pieces of bread baked in house at this very bakery, with a nice helping of thinly sliced, salty ham, all glazed in the creamy hollandaise sauce and accompanied by perfectly made french fries… or pomme frites, as they would call them… the french that is.
I simply got to take a little time off to enjoy my meal and I looked around to find myself in this French bistro, with every detail reminding me if my trip to Paris so many years ago. The wall adorned with mirrors, the intricately tiled floors and the quaint, old world illustrations on the walls with french writings that I do not understand at all.
But brunch alone, amazing food in a beautiful place is something of an escape in the middle of the town. It’s an overcast day and something about it all seemed poetic… I just wanted to share it with you.    

As this year set off, one of my goals is to do more videos for my channel and write more in my blog. Here is on of the new video series I’m doing, just changing up the way I do vlogs. I like to shoot while I travel around the country talking at colleges or cons, but while I’m in town, I feel a little silly just shooting my regular, everyday life… So I came up with the idea to just do some highlights with things I’ve really liked in the last month.

Now, I’m a shopper… So I buy things, maybe too many things throughout the month. But I figure, the things I like, I’ll let you all know about it. But besides shopping, there are other things I fall in love with, movies, books… socks! I don’t know, just a fun way to look at life I guess and chill way for me to look back at the last month. Also, it’s not just all about me, I hope anyone out there reading or watching, leave me suggestions for new things to try out because I have to admit that I am infinitely curious and love to try new things or discover classic things. Anyhow, here’s the first episode… This is what I dug in January.

Faces In Cottage Cheese Ceilings

Posted: January 28, 2015 in Blog

When I was a kid, I have memories of laying in my bed, staring at the ceiling, the cottage cheese ceiling, and suddenly pictures would appear, something like connect the dots, outlines of faces, clown faces, I remember and tigers… I would look up at the ceiling and somehow a swirling cottage cheese world was in there, like little pieces of art, just hanging out up there, always something to look at as I fell asleep.

Recently, I went home to the house of my childhood and by chance got to sleep in my old room. I say by chance because, my family is really big, and when you’re home for the holidays, when aunts and uncles and cousins all make their way home, I usually get a couch if I’m lucky, but more than not I’d find myself next to my brother cuddled in some blankets on a little piece of carpet real estate.
But for some reason, I got the bed in my old room. Now it wasn’t my old bed, the one of two little twin beds that used to reside in the room that I shared with my brother growing up, no this was a new bed is this newly, starkly decorated room for guest. I guess, coming home nowadays, I am a guest, I don’t live there anymore.
But as I lay there in this familiar yet so unfamiliar room, I looked at the ceiling and I remembered all the shapes and faces I would see up there, up there in the cottage cheese ceiling.
But I looked, really stared at the ceiling for awhile and I suddenly realized… there’s nothing up there, all those things I used to see, it’s just not up there anymore, or at least I couldn’t see it.
Maybe as we grow up, we lose our imagination. I was just happy to remember in that moment that I used to see all those images on that ceiling, and then so sad to look up and not be able to see them anymore.