Posts Tagged ‘blog’

April 4th

Posted: April 4, 2016 in Poems
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3030 National Poetry Writing Challenge… Here’s my daily thought.

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Hanging out in downtown LA today, Arts District, I sat down with had dinner with my boys and co-creatives in the We Own the 8th project, Carl Choi and MC Jin. The conversation was crazy with me and Jin, talking about where we’ve been in our careers and what’s ahead in the future. It’s wild to talk about past successes and be vulnerable to talk about things that weren’t as successful. Jin was the first Asian rapper I ever knew of, rose to fame through winning rap battles on BET and signed a record deal on Ruff Riders. A groundbreaking dude, for sure, and it’s great have a meeting of the minds and truly express ourselves and talk openly as artist to get each others view points on one another.

This game, this whole world of entertainment, it’s hard to make it, you know, most of the people that come to this party don’t succeed. Now, the one’s that find success, you start to see how hard is to keep success going and actually as you grow up your definition of success changes. The new generation of artist are coming on to the scene, and artist from my generation can’t help but tackle with the ideas and emotions of who we were then… who we are now… who we are going to be.

In our talks, one thing I got from Jin, like many artist, it’s like we’re survivors. I compared us to a like a rat in a flooded house or something, not going to drown, not going to give up, we find a way to survive. He like myself, he’s constantly taking inventory of himself and talents and reinvents himself. I applaud him on his past and look forward to what he has in store for the future, not only in music, but in acting and comedy.

family

It’s summertime and for my family, like most families, it’s time to get as many of your cousins and aunts and uncles together to have some semblance of a family reunion. Now, for my family, that means our yearly camping trip. Now when it comes to the Basco’s, you have to understand that my dad is one of 7 siblings and all the kids have anywhere between 2 to 5 children each and when you think that many of us now, my 20 or more cousins, have kids of our own, sprinkle in friends and extended family, you get somewhere around 100 Filipinos in the woods somewhere, just getting dirty in the dirt, cooking all kinds of food, morning, noon and night and being loud… mostly too loud. So loud in fact, the park ranger came on several occasions including every night, to remind us to keep it quiet,as there are other campers in the woods.

As I get older, I appreciate these moments more. I always had a great time as kid, getting to hang out with my cousins playing sports and laughing and pal around with my uncles, playing poker and horseshoes. What’s funny is, me and my brothers and cousins, who were once the kids running around getting all dirty, playing till the sun went down, only to rush to make s’mores under the supervision of an adult, now we’ve become the uncles. All the new kids, scouring around to hang out, to sing songs and spend time and hear stories by the camp fire. I really love talking to all my new nieces and nephews, even the ones that are so sassy and have so much attitude, it seemed they spent the whole weekend in “time out.”

I guess I can hope that they think of me as a cool uncle, as cool as the the ones I looked up to when I was young… Uncle Danny, Uncle Duke, Uncle David… hell, I still look up to them.

And as people on the west coast know, it rained a lot last weekend caused by hurricane Dolores coming through. We got a hit a little, but didn’t mind it, as my grandma, who recently passed is missing her first camping trip, we knew it was her just joining in on some fun, my Grandma Dolores. 

Summer is my favorite season of the year… and camping is my favorite weekend. Happy summertime!Lela Darion and Rory Justin Horeshoes cookin it up Mahjong ladies Cool KisSammy at Sunsetsunset on the lake .

This Year’s Mother’s Day…

Posted: May 10, 2015 in Blog
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On this Mother’s Day my heart is heavy… Two days ago I get a message from my mom, a group text to my entire family relaying messages from my Auntie Pinky that Grandma Basco’s health, which already was not doing well, with her on dialysis and recently coming out of a blood transfusion, is doing much worse, dire even. She’s refused to go back to dialysis, hasn’t eaten in two days and has called for the priest. Also, she wants everyone to come home. When the matriarch of our Basco clan summons us home, especially upon her death bed to say goodbye, we all piled into cars, jumped on planes and rushed home to see her.

Upon reaching Auntie Pinky’s house in our hometown of Pittsburg, CA, I find my beloved grandmother, now 92, once the feisty fireball of woman, with my even keeled grandfather that stood at the head of our family. They immigrated to America from the Philippines like most families here, in hopes of a better life and some sixty years later, here we are, here we all are, the Basco family, now with nearly same amount of people as her age. Her children and children’s children, she’s even lived to see her great great grandchildren. All her family and extended family surrounding her, laughing, singing songs, dancing, drinking and eating… and crying a little. But not crying because we’re sad, she has lived an amazing life and all of us come from her and the family tree she’s built has flourished here in America, I guess we cry little because we’re going to miss her.

I love you, Grandma… Growing up, everyone around town knew I was a Basco because they said I looked just like you, I always felt we we had a special connection because of that. I’m going to miss you forever. Happy Mother’s Day.

Last weekend in Plovdiv…

Posted: April 11, 2015 in Blog
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I’m fortunate in my career to have the opportunity travel quite a lot, around my own country and the world abroad. Unfortunately, I travel for work and thus, working most of the time I’m in these various locations. Some friends and family think I’m vacationing, but most of the times I’m working twelve hour days or more and that leaves little time to really just explore. I do my best to schedule time to try to experience these amazing places. Many times I’ll spend an afternoon or evening with headphones on just wondering the streets of a new city or town, sometimes you’re lucky to find yourself with a cool new crew and we can experience things together. My cast mates on this film all quickly bonded and have become a family feeling, so on a shared day off, a family field trip seemed like the perfect thing to do. Under the tutelage of our elder cast member Stephen Hogan, a proper Irishman, he thought we should get some history in and we traveled an hour and a half out of town to see the ancient town of Plovdiv.

We piled in a van and we rolled around this amazing city with the charming “Old Town,” section being explained to us on a 2 hour walking tour. Somewhat hung over and sleep deprived from the night before of dancing and drinking in Sofia, I was a bit reluctant, but then thought… “When the hell am I ever going to do this again?” And I was so happy I was able to go and see this new world. It was like walking around the some theme park like Disneyland… the ancient civilization attraction… except, this is real and these buildings and churches and cobble stoned streets were hundreds, if not thousands of years old.

And it’s great to step out of this Hollywood world to to see that, as we do in our little city, and I’m sure that everyone does, think the world revolves around our own little dramas that go on in our town. It’s nice to see that cities and civilizations  existed and still do exist that don’t even know we’re alive. They’ve been here long before we were around and will most likely be here far after us and our careers and our dramas are done…

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