Posts Tagged ‘dante basco’

Comic Con has been a buzz word for years now, a place where it looks like comic books, super hero movies and Halloween collide in a weekend for grown up to get back to the kid in themselves… I’ve been fortunate to fall into this world due to the popularity of some of the characters I’ve played in my career and here is the behind the scene looks of one of my latest outings in Seattle!

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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So I woke up this morning and had a little bit of a panic attack because my play, “Midnight Makeout Session,” opens in two weeks from tomorrow on Dec. 3rd. Now I say “my” play, because I not only star in it, but I also wrote it.

What the play is about and all that, can be found out at midnightmakeoutsession.com, but I’m sitting down right now to talk about why I wrote it… Well see, it’s kinda like a love note to all those who we’re here in Los Angeles in the 90’s, running around this crazy town we call home, Hollywood. We we’re all just kids back then, hustling our careers by day and by night, chasing adventure in the golden age of the LA club scene. Now we’re all grown up and this play discusses all the things I want to talk about to all my friends from those times. Some of us are still here working, some have passed away, some have left town to return to wherever they came from to continue their lives.

I hope friends around town can come check it out and reminisce about some of those times, but anyone who wants to revisit a more romantic time in life, this is for you. It’s also for people who love 90’s Hip Hop and R&B, the play is full of that because that was the soundtrack of my life… For all of us really, back then, every club spun everything from Jay-Z, Usher, R. Kelly t0 Biggie, Tupac… Man, back then, if you we’re at the right clubs, there would be a good chance you would be partying with them! (Shout out to “Joseph’s”, “Dublins”, “B-Sides”…)

And if you’re just a fan of me, well, you’re invited too… If you come see the play, you probably get to know me better. All the male characters are basically different aspects of me, mixed in with my closest friends and the girls… well, you know how that goes, if we’ve dated in the past, chance are you might see a glimpse of you showing up in this piece.

Now, it’s not a perfect play in any way… in fact, it’s the first play I wrote, but it’s me.

So… I personally invite you to the Midnight Makeout Session.

Midnight Makeout Session Flyer.jpg

We Own the 8th Surprise

It’s the 8th of the month and today is the day that our Asian American arts collective meet’s in downtown LA in at The Great Company. Now every month, there’s a different event that takes place, from open forum meetings to talk about issues effecting the community, to keynote speakers and workshops, and live performance nights. Now, tonight was supposed to be a performance night where some of the founders including myself we’re supposed to perform from the group at large. The whole evening was hosted by Beau Sia, also one of the founders and was supposed to be us and others just performing for everyone… as I was introduced and took the stage to begin my set, the screen come down and a video starts to play… it’s a tribute video… to me! Friends and colleagues and fellow members of the 8th wishing happy birthday.

Beau really got me, I took a seat in the front row and after this wonderful video of well wishes, Beau began to bring on friends and family to honor me. It was funny and emotional and people talked of how I may have impacted them and the community. You know, the funny thing is, of course as performer, I’m comfortable in front of an audience to act or talk, but as the center of attention otherwise, it can be a little uncomfortable for me, I much rather lay low and fly in under the radar. But brothers hit the stage and told stories, roasting me a bit, a lot of laughter, then other stories which filled my heart up, I love those guys, songs from friends Olivia Thai and AJ Rafael, AJ even got me to join him for a duet… that was pretty crazy. I poem from my sister.

And the other crazy thing is, Beau, within planning for the show, asked me to write a new poem, talking about age and also becoming the leader of this group, “We Own the 8th.” It was to be apart of my set… although, ultimately there was no set to do. I was up all last night writing this new piece. Lucky for me, or I guess it might of happened how Beau planned it, this new poem I wrote was the perfect poem to end the night. So I read it to thank all those in attendance. (I’ll probably post the poem on my youtube later)

So my actual birthday is on the 29th… but this was a special night, to celebrate and honored by my peers and family, I appreciate everybody that came, everyone that took time to send in a video, everyone that performed, the poets, the singers and of course Beau. I am truly proud to be a member of the crew, #WeOwnThe8th!

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 .

Landing In Sofia…

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Blog
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It’s been 18 years since I’ve been in Bulgaria and as I wait for my luggage, I see many things have changed in this airport, my last memory was of less modern place. I remember coming out of a little airstrip that I didn’t really consider an international airport and greeted by a swarm cab drivers and the like urging me to ride with them, tugging at my luggage to deliver me to any hotel of my choice. But walking around this airport, it’s all new, time has passed and it seems, nearly 20 years can change a place. But there’s still not a ton of people walking around the airport, just the people from my flight and it feels as if the world has slowed down a bit. The pace has already changed. People quietly form lines to walk through the passport booths… a process like this in LA or New York can take an hour or more at times, here it’s just a matter of a few minutes. As I reached the front and check in with the passport agent, he asks if this is my first time in Bulgaria, I say, “No, actually I’ve been here 18 years ago.” Which gives him a pause… I ask, “Has it changed much?” He simply frowned and look to the ceiling, shrugged and simply said, “You will see.”

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

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.

4:07pm New Year’s Eve
It’s an unexpectedly cold day in LA on this last day of the year. It’s Wednesday and it’s somehow in the 50’s, which is terribly cold for Los Angelenos and spent the day getting a last workout in with my brothers, a round of racquetball (in which I lost every game) and now sitting here in a hipster cool barber shop, wanting to get crispy clean for tonight’s festivities and to usher in the new year come morning, but it seems that many share in need to look their best on the last day so the wait is nearly an hour long. It’s ok, because it’s now given me time to look out the window and see the soft winter sun slowly set amongst the palm trees and reflect about the year.
To a certain degree, the year has been a blur, so much time on the road this last year. Some of the things I recall off the bat, getting back to Melbourne, I love Australia! Whenever I get an opportunity, I jump at the chance. I was in two weddings this year, (neither of which were my own) but I had the pleasure to be apart of two of my best friend’s weddings, I also got to write two original poems, one for each event. 

Now they’re calling me for my haircut, guess they lied a bit on that hour wait… in any case, talk later.

3:47pm New Years Day
So I wanted to write some epic end of the year blog yesterday, but obviously that didn’t happen. I’m here now sitting at the airport in LA writing this blogpost on my blackberry. It was just yesterday when I started writing, but after new years, I feel less wanting to look back and more a desire to look forward. One of my goals is to write more, particularly on this blog. 
I actually love writing, not sure if I’m the best at it, but I do know I see the world in a certain way and I have all these thoughts, sometimes I get to discuss them with friends and family or get to write them out in a poem, but sometimes it’s just great to have the conversation with myself and put them down on paper… (or on this computer screen) and maybe get a conversation started with those out there reading. 
So as I don’t really ever make new year’s resolutions, but I guess one would be to write more…
So expect more posts, some maybe more important than others, some may be random thoughts. But if you’re taking any time out of your day to sit and read this, I figure it’s like us having a conversation, so thank you… & have a happy new year. 

I was just awaken in the middle of the night, I heard what sounded like a hand on the doorknob of my bedroom and padded feet walking across my hardwood floors to the side of my bed. Half asleep, I admit I was a bit scared, well not scared per say, but nonetheless, a bit frozen. As I felt a presence next to my bed I struggled to open my eyes slowly, thinking, I live alone, I wonder if a cat or something somehow got into my apartment and was wondering around or my girlfriend, decided to come back in the middle of the night and climb into bed. And as I struggled to slowly open my eyes to see what visitor I had in my room in the middle of the night, my mind flashed back to my youth…
I remembered being less than 10 years old in the back room of my grandma’s house. Now this was sometime in the 80’s. That night happened to be a night of a “prayer,” which usually meant there was a potluck in the neighborhood and many families would gather to someone’s house, tonight, being my grandmothers. It was basically a potluck, everyone brought different dishes and mostly the kids would play, men would be in the living room eating and watching tv while the women would be in the back doing a prayer, usually the Rosary. See, I’m Filipino and as Filipinos, we are Catholic and my grandmother being from the homeland, the Catholics there can sometimes lean towards a Catholic religious way mixed with some old world practices that may remind you of occultism. In any case, I remember being in the back room where all the old ladies gathered around the the alter, portraits of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, usually a plate a food that sat at the alter as a form of offering. Now, this gathering happened every week, somewhat of a social gathering in the Filipino community, but tonight was different.
As me and my brothers made our way to the back room, I remember seeing the elders on their knees, dressed in all white in prayer, with cloths gracing their heads, the difference tonight is they weren’t saying the Rosary, no tonight they were saying some different kind of prayer. Matter a fact, I remember there were women I didn’t know in town from the Philippines and the prayer seemed so much more serious on this night. No how I remember it all was that woman were praying and praying hard. What does that mean? Well, I don’t know, it does seem kind of ridiculous now describing it, but let me tell you, however they were praying, it was fast and furious, so furious in fact that it began to physically change them. Yes, as they furiously prayed, their bodies would begin to move, first swaying then into a full convulsion, some would have tears streaming down their cheeks, others not so much, and then at the peak of the commotion, they would drop. Yes, drop to the ground, pass out cold. I remember one lady, who was my Auntie Alice from the Philippines, passed out and was caught by my grandmother to ease her collapse to the wall to wall brown carpet of my grandma’s bedroom floor. Then in the next moments she awoke, yet she awoke, not as my Auntie Alice, the cousin of my mother that recently came from the Philippines and would sometimes babysit us on nights my mom and dad stepped out, no Auntie Alice all of a sudden had become someone else entirely! As she woke up, she became this child. Yes, all of a sudden she had become a little girl, a little girl with a different voice. Auntie Alice’s Filipino accent had been replaced with the voice of a young girl, a girl with from England, with a British accent in fact and her name was Littles. If you think I am telling you that I witnessed my aunt get possessed by a young British soul… you would be right, that is exactly what I’m telling you! This thirty something year old Filipino women had prayed so hard that she somehow got possessed by an eight year old English girl. Now for some reason me and my brothers weren’t scared by this extraordinary event, I remembered being more fascinated more than anything. Maybe because it was my grandma’s bedroom and it was Auntie Alice or maybe because the spirit that possessed her was so close to my age, it didn’t scare me. Auntie Alice, now Little’s was this total jubilant little girl that was kind of playing with us. She kept asking for grapes, she said she liked grapes and she explained to me and my brothers that she missed food, being a spirit, they don’t get need to eat and can’t taste food anyway, but she misses it nonetheless. We asked her questions like how she died, which she explained, in an accident on a bridge and we wondered what exactly she was doing here. She explained of the spirits or ghost that still are around the living and the people they watch, something about things that need to get done before they can move on and my Auntie Alice was one of the people she had to watch. As she moved around the room she would walk on her tippy toes, as would the others that were possessed, Littles explained that what happens when they enter someone’s body, “We’re not of this place anymore.” Then she she said, almost suddenly, “I have to go,” and in the next instance, her body collapsed and upon opening her eyes, it was once again my Auntie Alice, although with significantly less energy, no longer the mischievous 8 year old, now she was back to being my aunt from the Philippines and she exclaimed how tired that ordeal was on her body. Throughout the night we met a few other ghost, even had a conversation with the Virgin Mary herself… I hadn’t thought about that night in a long time, but with the feeling of a ghost in my room, all those images and feelings rushed through my mind once again.
As I finally got my eyes open, I was half expecting to see someone leaning over my bed, but nothing, my room still dark, I can feel the ceiling fan gently moving the air around my room. I look at the clock to find that it’s 6:19am and I lay awake a bit. I justify that it was probably just the ceiling fan making noises around my room. But as I listened, there was just the subtle sound of the fan spinning round, no doorknob sound, no footsteps, just me laying in the dark… Then I look outside my window to see in the dark that the first sliver of light is cutting through the night, I realize, I probably was awaken just to see the sunrise and so I stayed up to watch the day begin.
Now if you ask me if I believe in ghost, what would I say? Just because I met one when I was a kid doesn’t mean I do, just means I’m not that scared of them.