RUN RIVER NORTH: The Difficulties of Pleasing Asian Parents When You’re A Musician

Among the talented artists that performed at Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal‘s annual awards gala, Unforgettable, indie band Run River North definitely stood out.

This six-member band is a force to be reckoned with when they’re together and luckily, others are beginning to notice. Run River North was recently featured on Last Call With Carson Daily.

The band discusses how they came together, how they lost a competition to a yo yo player and even how fun playing music in the back of a Honda can be.

During the interview, the band pointed out that they are all children of immigrants and with that comes a certain expectation and responsibility. Many of us can relate to the pressure of repaying our parents for their sacrifices.

“This [life as a musicians] is a very interesting choice for our parents. Having that family background makes doing this music seem very challenging. Our parents grew up wanting us to have a stable American Dream life. And we’re doing this which hopefully will be that, but in a lot of those first couple of years, sometimes even your whole career, you wont know what success looks like so having to juggle our own hopes and aspirations along with trying to honor our parents rightly — that challenge is something that we face everyday.”

Check out the entire interview below.

 

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The Bizarre Online Korean Craze: Would You Pay To Watch This Girl Eat?

The idea of being paid to eat sounds great doesn’t it? It will sound even better once you find out that this South Korean woman makes over $9000 a month just for eating dinner. I know what you’re thinking– where are the job applications!?

But before you go and quit your day job to become a full-time eater, you should probably know that there’s a catch. Seo Yeon Park, the beautiful 33-year-old who makes a living off of eating, must spend her dinnertime in front of a webcam to appease hundreds of adoring fans.

A little awkward? You bet.

But many of the Koreans who tune into Seo Yeon Park’s live-channel argue that paying to watch Seo Yeon eat is perfectly reasonable. We want to emphasize that although Park is noticeably attractive, there is no nudity or sex involved. Many people are quick to assume that her popularity is due to some strange fetish among viewers, but fans argue that they primarily watch Seo Yeon Park to heal their loneliness and their hunger pangs.

“People enjoy the vicarious pleasure of my online show when they can’t eat that much, don’t want to eat food at night, or are on a diet,” Seo Yeon told Reuters.

For this reason, Seo Yeon only eats top quality food that costs about $3000-$5000 a month. Seo Yeon will spend several hours eating (trust us, this girl can eat!) and spend a few more hours chatting with her fans. The entire show is roughly 4-6 hours and available every night. The show contains a live chat room and has become very interactive for her fans.

“For Koreans, eating is an extremely social, communal activity, which is why even the Korean word ‘family’ means ‘those who eat together,’” says Professor Sung-hee Park of Ewha University’s Division of Media Studies.

This is precisely why the show has become extremely popular among individuals who don’t want to eat by themselves.

“One of the best comments I ever received from a viewer who said that she had gotten over her anorexia by watching me eat,” says Park. “That really meant a lot to me.”

As a token of appreciation, many fans send in money. Seo Yeon Park gets paid so much that she was able to quit her day job at a consulting agency and now puts her full attention towards eating.

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Lucky for her, Seo Yeon’s metabolism seems perfectly capable of adjusting to her job. Fans have watched her consume 4 whole pizzas in the span of a few hours and still maintain a fit body. Now that’s impressive!

If you still find yourself puzzled by all this, you’re not alone. In fact, Seo Yeon often receives harsh criticism from people who don’t support her channel.

“I get some really awful commenters who make me reexamine ‘why am I doing this again?’ but at the end of the day the positive feedback overwhelmingly outweighs the bad, so I am happy to continue.” she says.

And she’s not the only one! Over 3,500 people have been doing similar online programs sponsored by restaurants.

We’re not quite sure that this is a fad that will work in America, but we’re certainly interested in seeing how this progresses in Korea.

(Source 1, 2)

Japan Introduces New “Chubby Girl” Idol Group

It’s no secret that Japanese women face quite a bit of pressure when it comes to weight. There are B&Bs where the cost of rent is dependent on the tenant’s weight and apps which verbally abuse women until they lose a few pounds.

Even when Japan tries to be more accepting of heavier women with terms like “marshmallow girls,” many of these actions cause unintended harm. For instance, a morning television show claimed it was perfectly acceptable for women to be heavy, but there are “right and wrong ways to be a fat girl.”

So when the Japanese entertainment company, AVEX, revealed that they were joining forces with fashion magazine CanCam to create J-Pop’s first official “fat” idol group, we were all taken aback with the news.

As RocketNews24 points out, “In Japan, being an idol is serious business. Getting caught in anything that has the potential of crushing a fan’s dreams could easily result in the idol getting fired. Simple things that common people partake in without as much as a blink of an eye, such as dating, smoking, or even putting on weight, are huge taboos for many members of Japanese idol groups.”

Clearly, Japan is trying to break away from their conventional image of a J-Pop idol. Asian Junkie believes that with the recent fad of “marshmallow girls,” it was only a matter of time that the pop industry would get in on the trend.

Auditions began August of last year. Out of  3,500 applicants, ten girls have finally been chosen to be part of the new J-Pop idol group, Chubbiness.

Rather than focus on being slim, the girls are encouraged to maintain their figure. To emphasize that they are proud of their weight, each member has revealed their favorite part of their body.

The big question is whether or not these girls are actually chubby. To many of us, most of the members of Chubbiness aren’t actually very round at all. In fact, many fall under the average weight category, but apparently these girls are no where near the thin figures of typical Japanese idols.

Check out their official website here.

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ADORABLE ASIAN FOOD: Radish Art Edition

If there’s one thing Audrey readers seem to be a fan of, that would be all things cute. This can be cute babies, cute cosplayers and above all, cute food.

Coffee art has gained quite some popularity over the years, but theres another edible art that’s threatening to take the spotlight: radish art.

Instead of using foam sitting on coffee, people have recently began shaping the grated radish that sits on top of Japanese hot pots and stews. These dishes, also known as nabe, are generally served during the cold weather and are often topped with grated daikon radish.

A typical nabe dish will have the daikon radish grated on to the bowl and simply mixed in with the other ingredients to add a fresh flavor. Talented folk have decided to use the grated radish as a medium to create delightful characters, animals and shapes.

Now, people are taking the time to squeeze the radish until the excess water spills onto the bowl. When the radish becomes just the right texture, it can be molded into all the adorable radish sculptures you see below.

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Female Politician Claims Rape Occurs When Women Act & Dress Inappropriately, Outrage Ensues

It has been over a year since the infamous New Delhi gang-rape where a 23-year-old student was brutally raped, tortured and killed on a public bus in 2012.

Traumatized by the events of that night, India has spent the year putting forth efforts to create strict measures against rape. Despite this, rape continues to be a horrifying reality to many Indian women. Just last week, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village in eastern India. The most horrifying part? This was on the orders of the village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. On Christmas eve, ten men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, early last year, a 7-year-old girl was raped inside a state-run school in the Indian capital.

These are only a few of the many rape cases which occur in India and have caused a number of protests.

Under all the tragedy that India has faced with rape-related cases, we certainly didn’t expect to hear a public figure put the blame on rape victims. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Asha Mirje, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission is under fire for her recent remarks. While discussing the New Delhi gang rape, Mirje commented, “Did [the victim] really have go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend?”

She then addressed another case where a photojournalist was gang raped in Mumbai. “Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6pm?” Mirje asked. “Rapes take place also because of a woman’s clothes, her behaviour and her presence at inappropriate places.”

“Due to these reasons, a woman has to think whether, mistakenly, she is not inviting or inviting (sexual assault),” she added.

As expected, Mirje’s shocking comments received instant outrage.

“Every time such a statement is made by a public figure it justifies rape,”says Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association. “It’s unconscionable that people in public posts make such remarks.”

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Many others are insisting that she be removed from her position.

“She has no moral right to continue on the post as she is biased against women,” says Rupa Kulkarni, activist and the leader of domestic workers in the state.

Another activist Seema Sakhare added, “How can a member of women’s commission make such a comment whose duty is to protect women in the state?”

Since her remarks, Mirje has defended herself.

“I just said that although men are responsible for rapes and molestation, women too need to take more precautions in order to protect themselves,” she defended. “If anyone was hurt by my statement, I am really sorry. I am not diplomatic. There was no bad intention and the motive behind my statement was pure concern for women’s safety.”

(Source 1, 2 )

RACISM ALERT: University of Illinois Chancellor Gets Cyberbullied For Not Giving Students A Snow Day

People are now starting to call the University of Illinois one of the world’s most racist, sexist and spoiled universities. How did something like this happen? It all began this past Sunday evening when the university chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to the students saying that Monday, January 27th, would not be a snow day.

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With temperatures reaching 30-below, we can understand why some students may have felt a bit grumpy about their missed snow day, but we certainly didn’t expect students to begin cyber-attacking chancellor Phyllis Wise.

The hashtag #fuckphyllis quickly began trending as the students poured all the blame on their chancellor. Because blaming your chancellor for the cold weather is logical right?

Although mean-hearted, the tweets began rather innocently. The students simply seemed aggravated that they had to attend class in such conditions. This quickly escalated to cyber-bullying.

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Much to our annoyance, the tweets began targeting her race and gender. Here are just a few.

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A number of fake twitter accounts were made for Chancellor Wise in an effort to further her cyber-bullying attack. Luckily, as the #fuckphyllis tag got more and more intense, the amount of people sighing in disappointment increased as well. Many people pointed out that if the students were so upset about the lack of a snow day, why not just skip class? Why do they have to publicly insult an individual using racist and sexist words? Others have pointed out that the students are privileged to attend and afford a college education. The uproar simply seems childish.

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The student body president Damani R. Bolden has released an apology on behalf of his fellow students. Unfortunately, the university has not been able to avoid the public backlash towards their insensitive comments.

Racist frat parties, blackface music videos, racist youtube rants and now this? Can anyone really say racism is only something of the past?

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A Bra That Will Only Come Undone For Your “True Love”

We want to begin by saying we’re just as confused as you are.

But to the Japanese lingerie company Ravijour, a “True Love Tester Bra” makes perfect sense. Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love.

The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.

How does this peculiar, high-tech undergarment work? According to the video promo seen below, the bra contains a sensor which syncs with an app on the user’s phone. The sensor will monitor and track the user’s heartbeat and once the heart rate reaches a specific point (the heart rate of true love, of course) the bra will come undone on its own.

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Of course, we’ve come across a number of problems with this device:

1. So what if you don’t find your true love? Do you have to keep the bra on forever? We’re certain that there are other ways to make the bra pop open on its own, but the video promo seems to constantly emphasize that the bra will only come undone in the presence of true love.

2. How accurate can that heart rate chart really be? What if I’m going out for a light run? Should I expect my bra to pop open because my heart rate has picked up? A person’s heart rate can rise and fall for a number of reasons. We highly doubt that this device is so intelligent that it can pinpoint the exact moment a woman finds her true love.

3. No, this is not an anti-rape product. As Huffington Post points out, “This high-tech bra will never “save” a woman from sexual harassment. Just because one’s brassiere isn’t being ripped off by an aggressive gentleman, doesn’t mean that the wearer isn’t experiencing a barrage of other forms of unwanted sexual attention before an evening gets to that point.” And getting into technicalities, what if one’s heart rate increases out of fear?

4. We’re pretty sure this thing can’t “know” how women feel. The creators (two men) can’t actually believe that true love can be measured based on a “one-size-fits-all” heart rate chart, right? I’d like to believe we’re much more complicated beings than that.

5. What if a girl just wants to have sex? In this day and age, there are plenty of women who are sexual beings. Believe it or not, women can actually want to have sex even if their partner isn’t their one true love. Shocking!

A woman should have the freedom to make these decisions for herself.

 

 

Krystle Cruz Tells Us Why You Need To Watch BARE: THE MUSICAL

Theater Out, Orange County’s top LGBT theater, brings us a powerful musical by Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo.

BARE: THE MUSICAL depicts the story of young adults who who are faced with issues of identity, sexuality and spirituality. Set in a Catholic boarding school, the characters must each face their own battle as they try to navigate between adolescence and adulthood. In the midst of searching for their identity, many characters face an inner dilemma between conflicting feelings and beliefs.

Krystle Cruz, the Filipino American actress who plays Ivy, tells us why everyone should watch this powerful show.

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Audrey Magazine: Why should we go see this musical?
Krystle Cruz:  It’s already enough that kids in a normal public high school go through numerous issues, so putting this story behind a Catholic high school backdrop adds more urgency and conflict. People are usually quick to assume that due to the title, the production is filled with nudity but that is definitely not the case. The use of the word “bare” in this show pertains mostly to the baring of one’s soul, and how naked that can make us feel. Every character has at least one problem to confront that affects others in different ways. The music in the show is very similar to Spring Awakening and RENT, with a pulsating rock musical score and a little hint of R&B. Due to the language and some scenes, this show is recommended for mature audiences, preferably ages 14 and up.

AM: Can you tell us more about your character, Ivy?
KC: The name of the character I am playing is Ivy Robinson. The character in the script itself describes her as “pretty, popular and insecure”. She is known as the school whore, however, there are more layers to her personality that not everyone at school sees in her. To the world, she acts promiscuous in order to hide the vulnerability she keeps to herself. Ivy is very attracted to Jason, the over-achieving academic jock who all the girls swoon for and all the guys look up to. But the problem is that Jason has a secret relationship with his roommate Peter. Ivy is the kind of girl who is used to getting exactly what she wants, so when her attraction to Jason becomes a challenge, she does all that she can to win him over. [As a result, she is forced] to finally be vulnerable in front of everyone and show who she truly is inside.

AM: Explain the significance of casting a Filipina for this role.
KC: I think it’s very significant that Theatre Out cast a Filipina for this role because first of all, her last name is Robinson and that is definitely not a Filipino last name. There have been many productions of this show and it’s very typical that Ivy is played by a caucasian female. Going into the audition, I already felt against type for Ivy so I just hoped to get any role, even if it was an ensemble role. I really care about this show so I just wanted to be a part of it. After the audition & callback process, director David Carnevale gave me a call the next day and he offered me the role of Ivy. My initial reaction was, “What?!” because I simply could not believe that they would actually consider me to do it. But of course I was very excited and extremely happy to accept the role. I’ve seen that some people have found it interesting when I tell them I am playing Ivy because there is already a preconceived idea that she is supposed to be a pretty and popular white girl. I’ve even been asked by some reviewers who have come to our show so far about how I feel as an Asian-American being cast as Ivy and it catches me off-guard because I have been so focused on portraying the character to the best of my ability, rather than what people will think of me being an Asian girl playing Ivy. I think that as long as you can relate to her struggle with being an object of rumor and wanting what she can’t have, any beautiful and confident girl could definitely play this role. Being in this show has taught me that I am capable of more than I know, and that I should never limit myself to certain roles just because I am a Filipina. I’m very much inspired by Lea Salonga, a fellow Fil-Am singer/actor who has played many roles on Broadway, including her biggest role as Eponine in Les Miserables. Knowing that gives me enough fuel to keep pushing against the grain in the entertainment industry. Most importantly, I just want to be known for doing great work, aside from the fact of being a Filipina in a predominantly caucasian cast.

 

Catch the show today! BARE: THE MUSICAL is currently playing at Theatre Out in Santa Ana. Tickets are available for purchase at www.theatreout.com. For full cast and crew list, click here

Japan Has Found “The Perfect Girlfriend” …And She’s A Video Game

The hit movie Her, now out in theaters, has received widespread critical acclaim and praise. The appeal to the movie? A man falls in love with an operating system. Some say they want to watch the movie simply because the concept is so strange. After all, to many of us, the idea of falling in love with a computer system sounds impossible. As it turns out, this may not be so unheard of after all.

Many people who are looking for love, company and comfort have decided to fulfill this with a girlfriend. A virtual girlfriend that is. LovePlus is a Japanese dating simulator for Nintendo DS.

LovePlus is sold exclusively in Japan so this may be the first time you’ve heard about it (it’s certainly my first time), but the game has picked up quite a bit of popularity worldwide. Thousands of men and women of all ages have been captivated by this real life dating simulator which offers three girlfriends to choose from– Rinko, Nene and Manaka. All of the choices have different backstories and adjustable personalities.

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Many LovePlus users claim that they use the game for comfort and emotional support. These players swear that though the girls are virtual, the affection and comfort feels very real.

“Manaka is the only — could I say person? … She’s the only person that actually supports me in bad times,”  one user tells Huffington Post. “When I feel down or I have a bad day, I always come home and turn on the game and play with Manaka. I know she always has something to make me feel better.”

Other users claim the video game helps them prepare for real world dating. Others have just gone through heartbreak or traumatizing loss and use the LovePlus girls as a method to cope with the loss. Because of this, there is a surprising amount of users who are heterosexual females simply seeking companionship.

So just how real can these girls get? While they may not look real, they apparently act the part completely. For instance, abruptly leaving a conversation may upset your virtual girlfriend and she’ll want you to say and prove your love. Her temper can raise so high that she’ll actually “slap” you out of anger. Generally, the LovePlus girlfriends are known to be caring, interested in your day, worried about you and ready to listen to whatever you want to talk about. If you’re feeling down, you can activate “comfort mode” and the virtual girlfriend will tell you how important you are to her and how she wants nothing but your happiness.

Apparently, creators have thought about making an “SOS” button that can be used once per game for users who may be feeling suicidal and need to hear words of encouragement. After all, many people have begun to be emotionally dependent on their LovePlus girlfriends.

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As a result, many LovePlus users treat their virtual girlfriends with the attention and care that any real girlfriend would want. Users will take their girlfriends out on dates, weekend trips, buy them presents on their birthday and even exchange flirty emails.

Patrick Galbraith, an anthropologist researching Japanese culture, tries to explain this peculiar phenomenon. “You have — always — this warmth and smile and happiness available at the touch of your fingers,” he says. “It’s the kind of relationship that is instantly rewarding and is always giving. You don’t have to give much to the game and it gives to you every time you turn on the machine.”

“The [LovePlus girlfriends] will kiss, model bikinis and moan when players stroke their chests with a stylus, but sex and nudity are out of the question,” Huffington post explains. “Neither the chastity nor young age of the girls has kept players from being attracted to their girlfriends, however.”

To try and make this relationship even more realistic, if you consider it realistic at all, there are hugging pillows with the images of the LovePlus girls printed on them. Apparently, there are clothed and semi-nude versions available.  Of course, users still swear that the main appeal is the emotional, not physical, support.

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This strange, but wide-spread phenomenon has been captivating the hearts of many. People have claimed their virtual relationships have not only lasted longer than real relationships, it has felt more rewarding.

While we’re personally not ready to pour our emotions into a video game, it turns out many people already have. Tell us what you think.

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Farmers in Japan Create Pentagon-Shaped Fruits

Iyokan is a Japanese citrus fruit widely produced in Japan. The fruit is apparently more bitter than orange, but more sweet than grapefruit.

Japanese farmers placed a pentagon mold on the citrus fruit to mold the fruit into the creative shape. Why go through the trouble of making the ‘Gokaku no Iyokan’ pentagon-shaped fruit?

Apparently, ‘Gokaku no Iyokan’ translates to ‘sweet smell of success in exams.’ You guessed it. The pentagon-shaped fruit were handed out as good luck charms to students for the entrance exam season in Yawatahama, Ehime.

In Japan, the National Center Test for University Admissions is a test given to third year high school students. Results of the exam will determine if the student moves on to prestigious universities in the country.

The students needed all the luck they could get. The Japanese entrance exams are notorious for their difficulty and the third year student often spends their entire year (and most of their other high school years) preparing for the exam. At one point, the saying “Yontou-goraku (four-pass, five-fail)” began spreading. It warns students that anyone who got more than five hours of sleep a night would fail the exam because they did not spend enough time studying.

We certainly hope the ‘Gokaku no Iyokan’ helps!

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