Posts Tagged ‘prince zuko’

Life At 30,000 Feet

Posted: May 31, 2014 in Blog
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So if you follow me on any of the social media, including this one, you can see (or read…however it goes) that I’ve been traveling a lot lately… Like a lot, a lot! I’ve been pretty much out of town (town for me is LA!) every week for the last few months. Look, I’ve traveled my fair share in life, but as of late, it’s been kinda ridiculous! I feel like a traveling salesman or like George Clooney in “Up in the Air.”
Anyhow, I’m on the plane alone for another 5 hour flight, instead of my regular travel to the East Coast, I happen to be flying west, Hawaii to be exact, Maui to be even more exact. Traveling for business as usual. Now flying as much as I have been lately, turns out that I’ve watched nearly every movie offered, at least the ones I have any interest in and I look around and have a few observations… First of which, if you travel this much, it’s kinda lonely in its own way. You spend all these hours in transit next to strangers, strangers whom you have to get used to their body scents and sometimes intense perfumes. Now sometimes I can fly first class or business, but many times, the people who fly me out don’t have that in the budget, so I’m not above flying in coach. Now in LA, we’re not accustomed to using public transit on the whole, so some rules I’m not quite sure. That awkward moment of when a piece of there body is resting or touching your body for a long period of time, like if they’re sleeping or unaware. Do you quickly move or remove their body from touching yours. Or do you simply leave it and roll with it. Furthermore, I prefer the window seat… Always the window seat. 1. I enjoy the view and being in pseudo in control of the light coming in and out of my aisle, but also, I think I have a much better handle on my bladder than most and thus can usually get through a whole 6 hour flight without having to get up and thus I don’t have to repeatedly have to get up for others to use the bathroom when I’m in the aisle.
Now, I say it’s lonely up here because ultimately you’re traveling alone. I look around the plane as we’re about to take off and everyone puts on their headphones, me included (I have the nice Bose earbuds that has noise cancellation as to insure an even more solitude trip) and people kind of zone out in their thoughts or books or video games or what not.
It’s funny how we all resort back to grade school again when the meal comes out. It’s always some substandard meal, compactly assembled in little compartments. All of us are like kids at a lunch break, huddled over our shitty little lunches, racing through the “food” to get to the desert (being a hawaii flight its chocolate covered macadamia nuts), great thing about being an adult is you can now have that accompanied with an alcoholic beverage of your choice, for some reason, when I’m on planes, I always like to have a Bloody Mary… why? I’m not sure, I rarely drink them in real life, but up here… It usually seems like a good idea.
Also, on this particular flight I opted for the row with access to the emergency exit, pretty much for the extra leg room and early access to the plane. Before we take off, the chipper stewardess gives me all the instructions incase of an emergency, emergency pretty much meaning we crash or have a crash landing, yet she’ll never say the word crash. Like everyone who sits in these seats, I nod, half listening to her… I follow her hands and actions to see the levers that need to be pulled in case of an “emergency.” This lady did give me some extra info you don’t usually get, like the door weighs like 60lbs. when you unhinge it and she wondered if I could handle that. Of course I nodded like any man and was like, “No problem…” So you know, in case of an emergency, I’m down to help get as many people to safety as possible, including myself, but you know pretty much try to get those thoughts out of my mind immediately, because if you think about all that too long while sitting on this plane, 30,000 feet in the air, you can go into a pretty dark place. I wonder how many people have sat in these emergency exit seats and then some emergency happened and they got totally shell shocked and couldn’t perform any of the duties they promised they would do…
Well, now I’m rambling… See I’m sitting in this emergency row with all my extra leg room and lucky enough to have no one sitting next to me, so I can really spread out, however, now there is definitely no chance for any conversation on this long bus ride in the sky. The movies are not an option for me. Being that we’re flying over the Pacific Ocean, there’s no wifi, so no mindless web surfing. I go back and forth from reading my book (still reading “Ready Player 1” and it’s awesome, but I have to put it down every half hour or so) and speaking of people sitting next to you, that whole Hollywood concept of a hot chick sitting next to you on your plane flights, it doesn’t happen to me much and I fly a lot… I wonder what the actual statistics of all that is.
So instead of all that… I’m talking to you guys. I’m writing this blog offline to be posted when I land. It reminds me I have to write more, mostly because I enjoy it… I mean, I think a lot about a lot of things, I talk a fair amount with a bunch of different people, but to sit and just write it out for one reason or another is enjoyable to me.
If you’re reading this, thank you for reading, maybe someday we’ll sit in seats next to each other on a plane and keep each other company while in transit.

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So this is my first blog of the 2014 and I want to use this as a way to introduce you this new idea called “#the8th”. It’s really a simple idea I’ve been developing with a great group of Asian American artist as a way for us to help cultivate and spread the word of Asian media in America and help us create this genre.

I’ve become one of the leaders in the Asian American community as it pertains to the arts due to my body of work over the last 25 years in this industry and although I’ve been able to find success in the mainstream world… films and television. I would be remiss not to acknowledge the fact the amount of roles for Asians and even the kind of rules there are for Asian to play in “Hollywood” projects are for the most part minimal and sometimes not even desirable to play, in some cases, downright detrimental to the image of Asians and not very fair in depicting who we are.  

Now I don’t waste time investing in the conspiracy of some underground racist agenda, I’ve been around too long and understand that it’s all business and up to now, us as a community haven’t been in the business of cultivating our voices in the fabric of American pop culture. Even though we are one of the most affluent communities in America and thus some of the biggest consumers of mainstream media, we somehow assimilated so well, we lost our voice and became somewhat invisible when it comes to film and television. I instead choose do something about it… And along with a conglomerate of amazing artist from both the online/digital world and the traditional film making world, we came up with this simple idea.

#the8th 

The idea is basically to take over one day a month, the 8th of every month, to release and promote brand new Asian projects. As a group we plan to release a calendar of events to let people know what’s being released and what to look forward to in the upcoming months. I’m talking new movies every month, online and in theaters, new songs and videos released by recording artist, web series premiering episodes, authors releasing books. I’m talking about taking the 8th of the month as our opening weekend. My greatest hope is to galvanize the Asian American community and anyone interested in Asian media to seek out and purchase new media every month on the 8th. Now this is an open source project. The Hollywood production companies and YouTube stars supporting this and joining this calendar of events are really here to help promote the campaign of #the8th, but it’s really open to all artist around the world. So, the Chinese kid in Texas or Japanese girl in Portland can make a movie and by simply using #the8th to promote and release their film on the 8th of the month and us as a community tracking that hashtag, we can find the newest artist and freshest material.

The whole goal in this is for us, the Asian community to establish our own genre in media and tell our stories and cultivate our voice in America on our own terms.

I know it’s a big idea and it’s not going to happen overnight… but for it start, it has to start somewhere, I guess right here, right now is as good of place as any.

I urge you to repost this and pass it on… If you’re an artist, join in this idea and release new content for everyone on the 8th and hopefully we can start a movement!

 

checkout my YouTube for the We Own #the8th video!  

 

I Am Rufio & Prince Zuko… AMA

So last week I did this reddit interview and it was the first time I’ve ever been on it… I was a little nervous. Well, in my short life on social media, I’ve learned, that you all know more than me about this, so I try to just listen and hope you guys lead me in the right direction. In this case, a few people had told me I should do this reddit thing and I took mental note, but then when a bunch of other people shed light on it all, including a friend of mine, Matt King, I decided to commit to doing one and see where it takes me.

Well, of course I sent a little blast out to let everyone know I was going to do it… And to hope to have a few people there when I started. You know, it’s like throwing a party and scared that no one was going really show up! (I kinda hate that feeling) Well then, a bunch of folks got excited, but then, some of the folks on tumblr started telling me how the reddit folks can be a bit harsh and mean… So I got nervous. To top off all that when I signed into reddit and started my AMA, I saw that Emmy Rossum was doing hers at the exact same time! Now I’m thinking… Oh great… Now no one is really going to be at mine, hell, I would be at her’s too! And ironically, just a week before this, someone on tumblr asked me who my “celebrity crush” was… And flippantly said Emmy Rossum, I actually love her show Shameless and happened to see billboards around LA that day promoting the new season. Anyway, somehow that led to whole Emmy Rossum incident, which I have to admit was kinda funny.

Well, the whole AMA went really good… I actually answered questions for like 5 hours! About my whole career and take on life and also I wanted to help promote my new production company, Kentic Films as well as our first movie, “Hang Loose.” (If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out at hangloosemovie.com) And being that this is my actual blog that I want to hold the history of my online life, I definitely needed to blog about this and have it here for good measure and documenting value… It was fun, the reddit folks were actually great and super nice to me… and somehow I managed to be more popular on the front page than Emmy’s AMA… go figure. Anyway, hit the link on top to read the whole thing or hit BestofAMA for the cliff notes version… Maybe I’ll do it again sometime, but you know, you can always ask me anything here, on tumblr or twitter!

So here’s the latest episode of the “Rufio Show,” I got my buddy AJ Rafael to make a cameo and I got to lip sync one of my favorite songs off his album, “Red Roses.” It was a great time shooting this series. We’ll be dropping a new episode every Tuesday for the next few week. Go to my YouTube, check it out and subscribe… Little hint of what’s to come… Some Lost Boys grown up… Rufio up in a club… & maybe more music!

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So, I’m out here in Calgary… I was flown out to make an appearance for the P.O.K.E. (Protect Our Kids Education) Charity, they head a poetry night and I was able to come out, support and drop a few poems.

But while I was out here, I had a last minute idea to meet up with some fans and promote my latest film, “Hang Loose.” I simply tweeted and tumblr’d out I was in town and asked who wanted to meet up and “hangout”? To my surprise I pretty good amount of people showed up… even though it was snowing outside! Truthfully, it was way too cold for me. But we all wound up in the Auburn Saloon (Shout out to Haley and Hannah for taking care of us!) and we had a great time.

I was able to tell everyone about my film company, Kinetic Films and was able to talk about, “Hang Loose,” the process of film making and my aim in starting the company. I did a long Q&A section where it was more like just talking to a group of friends. They got to ask me about my career… Hook, Rufio, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko and even Homestuck! We tried to watch the movie online, but there was too many of us and we clogged up the wifi! hahaha… Everyone promised to check it out at home and help spread the wordaround Calgary.

I had such a fun time meeting some fans, I ended up going to some new found friends house and watching “Hang Loose” with a handful of their friends!

So this impromptu Hang Loose Hangout was a success… It’s really like the film and our company, a real grass roots effort. I think we made a great little film and I think my company has a lot of potential. I hope everyone can go check it out at hangloosemovie.com and maybe we can come to your town and hangout soon!

 

-Thanks Dee for flying me out and hosting me!

-Thanks Cash for the great pics…

-Thanks to all my new Calgarian friends for showing up and all your hospitality!

Tweet

So, here’s a thing that’s come up a bunch of times in my life that I find funny, or at least amusing. I’ll often get tweets or tumblr messages like the one I posted here, or I’ll get comments like the title of this post. I even got told this by director, Stephen Dypiangco, “I think my wife started dating me because she had a crush on you growing up!” Which, was awkward… then I said, “You’re welcome…” Which made it more awkward… Hahaha…

It just got me thinking, it’s strange way to think of how I might of impacted my generation. I’ve been told I was the first cool Asian actor many people actually saw on film and television in the 1990’s… No accent, no stereotypical roles… Just a cool kid. I actually did a movie called, “Extreme Days,” and when I went in to audition and met the director, Eric Hannah, told me, he didn’t realize till I walked in the room but, I was the guy in his head the whole time he was writing the character. You only see an Asian character a few times in movies and films… Especially in those days, and odds are if you remember any, I was probably one of them… and if was a cool Hip Hop kid… It was probably me. (Or one of my brothers, which I usually get credited for… but that’s another story)

But now the idea that I somehow helped this big melting pot of America, I somehow was the reason some girls (or guys) started dating Asian guys… Well, if this is in any way true. I have to be proud of that! It’s got be one of my finest accomplishments! It’s all funny… but cool.

I guess, part of this is the reason why I started my own production company and make movies. There’s way more to Asian America than what is so narrowly portrayed in mainstream media. Go watch Hang Loose, there’s a bunch of new Asian guys for you to fall in love with!

Right now I have an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. In life… and  especially in this town, we all have plans and dreams. We have all these ideas that we think are great and we do are best to make them come to life.  Not often do we get to see these come into fruition… Today, I am lucky to do just that.

My movie, “Hang Loose,” comes out today. I star in it with Kevin Wu, who we also co-wrote it together with Benjamin Arthur.

Not only did a movie get released today, we we’re able to launch a company, Kinetic Films.

It’s been truly an arduous journey over the last few years, producing the first few films in our slate, but finally getting to the place where we are today is amazing. Our movie is ready to everyone to see and available for sale.

Win, lose or draw… this is a moment that can never be taken away.

I’m so thankful for all the  artist, cast, crew, everybody who was apart of making this film and company happen. Each and everyone of you are important and integral in seeing this come to life. It really does take a village and tons of sacrifice.

There’s still a long road ahead for us… but here we are… at the beginning of something that I hope is special.

Please buy the film and support. I am eternally grateful.