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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Disney Princesses As Sailor Moon Characters

Disney’s newest animated feature Frozen brought us not one, but two new Disney Princesses. With the success of the film, the popularity of Disney Princesses have once again shot up.

Social media sites have been covered with tests to “find out which Disney Princess you are.” People have begun closely analyzing Frozen princesses Anna and Elsa as well as the classics. More and more videos of Disney song covers are being uploaded to YouTube every minute.

At this point, is there anything that could make the Disney Princess craze even more successful? How about combining it with another popular franchise?

Well that’s exactly what artist Drachea Rannak has done. Since 2013, Drachea Rannak has taken popular Disney heroins and re-imagined them as Sailor Moon characters.

Popular manga and animated series Sailor Moon is one of Japan’s most successful franchises. The English adaptations of both the manga and anime series became the first successful shōjo title in the United States. The franchise has not only stolen the hearts of Japan and the US, Sailor Moon has gained popularity worldwide.

It only seems fitting that two powerhouses join together. Drachea Rannak recently added Anna and Elsa onto his list of “Sailor Princesses.” Check them out below.

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Save The Date! The Bachelor’s Catherine Giudici is Finally Getting Married

This gorgeous 27-year-old Filipina first graced television screens on the 2013 season of The Bachelor.

The American reality television dating game show, which premiered back in 2002, received backlash over the years for its predominantly white cast. To this day, the show remains primarily white, but it has shown effort to add some diversity.

In season 17, Bachelor Sean Lowe found himself facing one of the most ethnically diverse group of girls that the show has seen yet. Among the women who stood out to us, and to Sean apparently, was Catherine Giudici.

The graphic designer eventually won Lowe’s heart, but not before bringing him home and teaching him a thing or two about the Filipino culture. As it turns out, Giudici’s mother is a trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society so Giudici is no stranger to her roots. In fact, her full name (Catherine Ligaya Mejia Giudici) contains the word “happiness” in Tagalog. Catherine Giudici has even been found tweeting about her Filipino culture.


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After waiting patiently for nearly a year, we finally get to see the adorable couple tie the knot! The wedding will be held January 26 at  the Four Seasons Resort—The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Lucky for us, every detail of the wedding will be telecast live on ABC.

Their wedding planner Mindy Weiss says, “”Sean and Catherine have a very grown-up style right now. They want something sexy and romantic. They use certain words to kind of guide me with their vision.”

And if you thought the couple couldn’t get any cuter, let’s not forget that they have an absolutely adorable Save The Date.

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Although the couple will be in front of camera’s once again for their lavish wedding, they swear they aren’t nervous because of all the nationwide attention. Instead, they’re excited that they finally get to start their life together.

 

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Jun Sung Ahn’s AMAZING ‘Frozen’ Violin Cover of “Let It Go”

You probably know Jun Sung Ahn through his violin & dance cover of EXO’s hit song “Growl.” With nearly 300,000 views on his video, Jun Sung Ahn was thrown into viral popularity and found himself performing at events at like KCON and Kollaboration.

The young artist, who claims his specialties are violin, dance, film, video, photography, producing, editing and performing, seems ready to keep his popularity going.

A few days ago, the talented artist released a violin cover of “Let it go” from Disney’s popular animated film Frozen. Although its only been a few days, the cover has already generated nearly 150,000 views and for good reason!

Among the hundreds of “Let it go” covers, Jun Sung Ahn powerful and shiver-inducing version clearly stands out. As the video makes its way around social media, many are claiming that this is the best instrumental cover of the song.

Hear it for yourself and check out his violin & dance cover of EXO’s “Growl” below.

Calling All ‘Frozen’ Fans: The Cutest Marriage Proposal EVER

It’s been months since its release, but people still can’t stop talking about the Disney animated film, Frozen. The film has been gathering nominations left and right, has stolen the hearts of many, and has already slid past the $300M mark domestically and over $600M worldwide. Frozen is on its way to being the highest-grossing Disney Animation release in history.

Because the film’s popularity, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen fans everywhere cover the songs in Frozen. Young girls are belting out the lyrics to “Let it Go” and social media seems to have been covered with a single question: do you want to build a snowman?

In the midst of all these fan tributes to the film, it was difficult to find just one that stood out. But then we stumbled upon this.

Here at Audrey, we’ve seen our share of marriage proposals. We’ve seen uncomfortable ones, elaborate ones, and even ones which defy gender roles. Now, it looks like we’ve found the most adorable proposal.

Watch it below:

 

 

Mindy Kaling’s Comic Strip!?

We know Mindy Kaling as the popular actress, comedian, writer and producer most known for her role as Kelly Kapoor in The Office and for creating and starring in The Mindy Project. Of course, here at Audrey Magazine, we also know her as our Winter 2011-12 cover girl. 

As it turns out, we’ve all been unaware of another talent under Kaling’s belt.

The 2001 Dartmouth college graduate apparently had a popular comic strip in the Dartmouth school newspaper titled “Badly Drawn Girl.”

“There were times I was at The D at like 3 a.m., outside in my car while it was snowing and I’d just put my blinkers on and sit there drawing. I don’t know how I kept up with everything.” Kaling tells Dartmouth Alumni Magazine who claim that the comic strip quickly made Kaling a “campus celebrity.”

Lucky for us, some of Kaling’s comic strips have been making its way onto social media. You may not recognize Kaling’s birthname Vera Mindy Chokalingam, but you will recognize her notable wit and humor sprinkled throughout her comics. Check them out for yourself.

 

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Did HIMYM Go Too Far OR Have Asians Become Hypersensitive?

By now, you’ve probably heard about the controversial episode of How I Met Your Mother. If not, lets get you caught up.

The newest episode “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra,”  continued an on-going joke throughout the show where Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) humorously slaps Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris).

Segel’s character explains that he went through training in Shanghai, China to perfect his slapping skills. The show then reveals his three “masters” who turn out to be the other main characters sporting Asian attire, hair accessories, and even a  Fu Manchu mustache.

As you can expect, most of the Asian American community felt that all the “yellowface” used was a personal slap to our face. The episode angered so many viewers that  the hashtag  #HowIMetYourRacism blew up on twitter.

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In response to the massive backlash,  How I Met Your Mother co-creator Carter Bays tweeted his apology.

Hey guys, sorry this took so long. @himymcraig and I want to say a few words about #HowIMetYourRacism. With Monday’s episode, we set out to make a silly and unabashedly immature homage to Kung Fu movies, a genre we’ve always loved. But along the way we offended people. We’re deeply sorry, and we’re grateful to everyone who spoke up to make us aware of it. We try to make a show that’s universal, that anyone can watch and enjoy. We fell short of that this week, and feel terrible about it. To everyone we offended, I hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill. Thanks. @CarterBays@HimymCraig

— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) January 15, 2014

This is the point where opinions begin to divide. Some of the Asian community pointed out that while the apology is appreciated, something so obviously offensive never should have been aired. They have pointed out that we have had to hear this apology too many times and you would think that people would know to not use a culture as a costume. Angry Asian Man spilled out his sentiments by writing:

I appreciate apologies that acknowledge wrongdoing and avoid placing blame on the offended. People make mistakes. But this apology sounds a lot like the really really nice guy who hates it when people are mad at him. We get it, you feel terrible that we were offended. You feel terrible that you messed up. So how about actually addressing what you did to mess up? Aw, hell. I’m nitpicking at lackluster apologies.

Really, you just wish they’d had the sense to avoid this bullshit altogether. Obviously, as usual, that was asking too much. Now we all have that image of fu manchu’d Ted Moseby seared into our souls.

But then others in the Asian American community are disagreeing with the backlash all together. They claim that the apology is sincere, they acknowledged their mistake, and as a community, we are slowly opening the eyes of others. They point out that it’s a process and we need to allow people to see, acknowledge, and change their mistakes. This opinion can be seen with CNN host Don Lemon interviewing the popular Vietnamese comedian Dat Phan on his thoughts towards the controversy. Watch it below.

 

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So now we turn towards the real question. Did How I Met Your Mother go too far? Are we tired of hearing all the excuses given to us when all we’re asking for is respect for our culture? OR is Dat Phan correct in saying that we have become hypersensitive and not everything concerning Asians should cause offense?

Watch the How I Met Your Mother clip below and tell us what you think. 

 

Strange New Japanese Photo Trend?

One of Japan’s most popular subcultures is the gyaru/gal subculture. Gyaru is largely characterized by having heavily bleached or dyed hair fashioned in big and eccentric hairstyles, highly decorated nails, dramatic makeup and equally dramatic clothes.

Even more interesting, this Japanese street fashion has various subcategories which have distinct styles. Some wear more glitter, some dress up in school uniforms, some even sport dark spray-on tans. Needless to say, these boys and girls are not afraid to catch attention.

And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. The current trending topic on Japanese twitter as well as 2ch, the country’s largest and most popular online forum, is a new Japanese photo trend that seems to be gaining popularity in the gyaru subculture.

If you were upset that the duckface ruined pictures, you haven’t seen anything yet. This possible new photo trend seems to defeat the purpose of the picture all together.

According to Kotaku, the latest photo trend to hit Toyko is to hide your face by looking down while a picture is being taken. Everything else about the photo seems natural. Many of the girls are even still throwing up a peace sign.

You can bet people have been confused about this pose which Japanese media is calling the “Face Down Pose.” People have tried to find the meaning and purpose behind the photo trend. Some claim the teens are trying to make their head/hair appear larger. Others have said that the culture is shy and ashamed of how they look, but we doubt that one.

Realistically, trends may not have a reason behind them at all. Someone could have looked down once and others followed along for humorous purposes.

Whatever the reason, let’s just hope the trend doesn’t make its way here. The last thing we need is a bunch of faceless pictures. pt 2 pt 3 pt 4 pt 5 pt 6

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