Kickin’ It: Interview with Bay Area Dancer John Paul Alejandro

A model, dancer, writer, artist - you do it all! What does a typical day look like for you? Yes! I often tell people who ask what I do, that I am a modern day Renaissance man because it’s hard to explain my career. At the forefront, I consider myself as a creative and an entrepreneur. My typical day ( in a pandemic) is to wake up quite early and workout and make breakfast after. I live a very active lifestyle given my careers, and so the upkeep of my body is very important to me. I usually begin my “work hours” in the early afternoon. Among being a dancer and writer, I am also a graphic designer and personal trainer, so my work hours vary from drafting designs in front of a computer, guiding clients through virtual sessions via zoom, and/or working as administration support for non-profit art orgs. By the late afternoon/early evening, I always plan to dance in some capacity as a sort of reward for getting through the day, whether it be just freestyling to a playlist or taking classes virtually or in person.By evening, I like to end the day by watching either some of my favorite Anime or writing in my journal as a way to unwind and reflect where I am mentally.

What Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra Can Tell Us About Colonization, Cultural Erasure and Migration

While “Avatar: The Last Airbender” showed us how Earth, Water and Air nations grappled with Fire nation colonialism and struggled to decolonize and liberate the world, “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” was more about the aftermath of colonialism and the effects of formal decolonization and the mistakes committed by people responsible for the decolonization process. In that universe setting, team Avatar (Avatar Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko and Toph) were some of the most important characters regarding the Fire Nation post-colonial order. They helped to build and re-shape the new societies and status of the nations and to make amends and reparations to what the Fire nation did to the rest of the world.

Upcoming Films by Asian Artists to Look Out For

On Sept. 8, 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their new diversity requirements for equitable representation and more inclusion in the film industry. Since the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018, the push for more Asian representation continues as more and more studio executives realize the significance and impact of diversity and representation in film. Here are upcoming films by Asian artists to look out for:

Shining a Light on a Little Voice that is Acceptance, Arranged Marriage, and Big Families

Little Voice follows a diverse cast of creatively talented individuals who make a living through music in New York City. Leading the cast with strong musical performances is Brittany O’Grady, who stars as Bess Alice King, along with her musical writing partner and accompanist Colton Ryan, starring as Samuel. The show also features big powerhouse names attached to the franchise, such as J.J. Abrahams (Star Trek), Sara Bareilles (Waitress on Broadway), and previously mentioned Colton Ryan (Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway). The Little Voice Apple TV+ series highlights a diverse cast with heartfelt singer-songwriter music at its core. Not only do the list of big names add to the dynamic of the series, but they are supported by a stellar cast such as the quirky and full of life Phillip Johnson Richardson as Benny, and the uplifting musical fiend older brother on the autism spectrum Kevin Valdez as Louie. Each character helps support Bess on her musical journey, while also playing a pivotal role in exploring themselves within the bright and tough city that is New York.

Not-So La Vie en Rose: “Emily in Paris” and its Unrealistic Depictions of Asian Labor Migration

Between her hot chef neighbor, professorial fling, and one night stand with a friend’s younger brother, Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins)’s French adventures has got its viewers swooning and saying oh là là. But there are many bones to pick with “Emily in Paris,” the rom-com series that climbed Netflix charts after its release last month on the streaming site.

Interview with Vietnamese-American Origami Artist Nga Trinh

How do you come up with an idea for each piece of art you create?  My idea of a piece would pop up when a combination of these come together:  the fold and the available recycled paper with interesting colors and patterns.  How big the piece would depend on how much recycled paper I have … Continue reading Interview with Vietnamese-American Origami Artist Nga Trinh

Stepping Up to the Plate: Interview with actor Brian Kim

Reviewing Brian Kim’s submission, My Asian American Typecast, I found myself snapping my fingers at certain lines, laughing at others; and was left feeling inspired by the conviction and vulnerability present in his piece. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pick his brain four a couple hours. Our discussion touched on a … Continue reading Stepping Up to the Plate: Interview with actor Brian Kim

Asian Aesthetics on European Faces

A Monopoly on the Beauty Standard in a World of Professionalism In a world of evolving beauty standards, each generation creates a new narrative for what it means to be “professional.” More and more young adults are embracing their culture, and simultaneously searching for jobs. In South Asia, nose piercings have been a cultural norm … Continue reading Asian Aesthetics on European Faces