Amazing Covers by The Filharmonic, the Newest Stars of “Pitch Perfect 2″

 

Exciting news for The Filharmonic fans! The Filipino American a cappella singers, best known for being finalists on season 4 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, are the newest additions to the Pitch Perfect franchise. The boys will join actresses Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson for Pitch Perfect 2, which hits theaters on May 15, 2015.

The all-male a cappella group consists of six talented Filipino singers: vocalists VJ, Joe, Trace and Barry, vocal bass Jules and beatboxer Niko.

According to their official website, the members come from a wide variety of backgrounds in the performing arts including pop, a capella, jazz, opera, theater and classical. In addition, “they honor their Filipino heritage through incredibly nuanced musical performances that are both moving and fun to experience.”

A few months ago, we were simply raving about their breathtaking cover of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Well, the boys are back with two more covers that are, once again, breathtaking.

Check out their cover of “Rude” by Magic, featuring AJ Rafael, as well as their cover of “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit.

 

Asian American Teen Dies From Suspected Overdose at HARD Music Festival

 

This past weekend, the Asian American community experienced a tragic loss. Nineteen-year-old Emily Tran of Anaheim, Calif., died of a suspected drug overdose while attending the summer music festival, HARD, in South El Monte, Calif.

According to a statement from the organizers of the concert, Tran began experiencing seizures. The teen was admitted into a health tent at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, and was then taken to the hospital. Sadly, Tran passed away at about 5:30 a.m. the following morning.

Although the autopsy is still pending, there are major suspicions that drugs were involved in the death. According to LA Weekly, “sheriff’s officials believed the teen had turned up positive for signs of methamphetamine and ecstasy, although the latter is an amphetamine derivative that can set off signals of meth use.”

 

 

Unfortunately, this is not the first death associated with rave-like parties. In fact, electronic dance music (EDM) festivals were shut out of the L.A. Coliseum and Sports Arena in 2011 after a 15-year-old, who had sneaked into the a 2010 rave, died of an ecstasy overdose. Additionally, 24-year-old Montgomery Tsang passed away recently at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Las Vegas due to, once again, ecstasy overdose.

Although security was notably more strict at this year’s HARD festival, more than 100 people were arrested and many were narcotics related.

Some have pointed out that the Asian American community has a rather large presence at these rave-like parties, but we believe this issue of drug consumption is one that not only affects Asian American youth, but American youth in general. Could these overdoses have been prevented if the deceased knew more about the drugs they were consuming? What sort of steps can we take to prevent similar outcomes?

Tell us what you think.

 

 

Natalie Nakase Makes NBA History As the First Asian Female Assistant Coach

 

Natalie Nakase is no stranger to making history in the basketball world. A few years ago, we profiled the Japanese American basketball player who, despite a petite height of 5-feet-2-inches, had undeniable basketball skills since high school. Nakase went on to play college basketball for UCLA before making history as the first Asian American to play in the National Women’s Basketball League (NWBL).

Things took a turn for Nakase when a serious knee injury ended her playing career. Of course, she wasn’t about to let go of basketball all together. She simply decided to take a different route. In 2011, Nakase made history books once again as head coach of the Saitama Broncos in Japan, making her the first female head coach in Japanese men’s professional basketball history.

 

 

Nakase is currently the assistant video coordinator for the Los Angeles Clippers, but she has been quite vocal about her goal of becoming a head coach in the NBA, despite the fact that none of the 30 head NBA coaches are female.

Recently, she took a huge step closer to her goal. Doc Rivers, head coach of the Clippers, asked Nakase to coach the summer league, making her the first Asian female assistant coach in NBA history.

 

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Despite her petite stature, the players have responded well to her.

“When they sit down is probably the best time where I can really get into their ear because they’re sitting and they’re level to me,” she told NPR. “If I say the right things, and things that can help them, then they’ll listen, no matter how tall I am or if I’m a female.”

This is clearly a huge step for the Asian American female community and Nakase has made it clear that she will be ready for whatever comes her way. We certainly can’t wait for this talented woman to become the first female NBA head coach.

 

New Restaurant Dedicated to Employing Deaf Waiters & Waitresses

 

If you walk into Toronto’s new restaurant, Signs, you’ll think it’s just like any other restaurant in town. But you’ll change your mind soon enough once you’re asked to use American Sign Language (ASL) and sign your order to your deaf waiter or waitress. Yup, you read that correctly. In an effort to help increase job opportunities for the deaf community and provide a learning experience for customers, Signs encourages non-deaf customers to adapt to a deaf environment.

Just yesterday, we came across a Chinese student who was denied entry into college because her disability prevented her from passing a physical exam. Unfortunately, this is just one of the few obstacles that a handicapped individual may face. Recognizing this, Indian Canadian restaurant owner Anjan Manikumar has decided to take action and provide opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable for handicapped communities such as the deaf community.

The restaurant,which opened just last month on July 31, emphasizes its fun and novel methods to order.Not fluent in sign language? Well, don’t worry. The restaurant offers a “cheat book” which contains popular phrases used in restaurants as well as instructions on how to sign menu options. Of course, you can always just point to what you want, but where’s the fun in that?

 

 

Anjan Manikumar got the idea while working as a manager at a Boston Pizza in Markham. He served a deaf customer who could only point to what he wanted on the menu.

“I felt he wasn’t getting the service he deserved,” Manikumar told The National. He wasn’t getting the personal touch.”

He decided to learn American Sign Language, much to the delight of his deaf customer who quickly became “a regular.” Manikumar was inspired by the experience and wanted a restaurant that not only encourages non-deaf customers to learn sign language, but also provides job opportunities to the deaf community in a workforce they wouldn’t otherwise be able to work in.

“Providing them an opportunity here is something that they deserve,” said Manikumar. “And they’re very talented, every one of them.”

The most recent data on deaf unemployment in Canada points out 37.5% of deaf Canadians are unemployed and the high number is mainly due to “insensitive work environments.”

Luckily, Signs has already hired 50 deaf employees less than a month after its grand opening.

Mehdi Safavi is one of the waiters at Signs who admits this job is his first full-time job. “It’s wonderful. I’m so excited to be here,” he told The National. “It’s a deaf environment where hearing people can come in and experience our world and our culture. It’s amazing.”

 

 

Chinese Man Gets Plastic Surgery to Look Like K-Drama Actor Kim Soo Hyun

 

It’s quite the understatement to say My Love From Another Star, the K-drama that aired from December 2013 to February 2014, was well-received. The drama was so popular that a YSL lipstick color was sold out worldwide after viewers believed it was the one worn by the lead actress. But if you think that’s crazy, you haven’t seen anything yet. Apparently some fans will go much further than purchasing makeup to look like their favorite K-drama character. In this case, someone actually went as far as plastic surgery.

Now we’ve seen quite a number of people who take on massive amounts of surgery just to look like like a celebrity. In 2013, we saw a Korean woman who underwent plastic surgery to look like Miranda Kerr. Earlier this summer, we saw a Brazilian man who had 10 surgical procedures done to have an “Asian appearance.” And now, we have a Chinese man who was so taken with lead actor Kim Soo Hyun’s look in My Love From Another Star that he decided to alter himself to look like Kim Soo Hyun’s character, Do Min Joon.

 

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Apparently, the man appeared on a Taiwanese reality show on AnHui TV with clothes and a hairstyle that resembled the My Love From Another Star character. He then explained that he went to Korea to get all the surgery done. He seemed quite proud of his transformation and had no problem showing his before and after photos.

While many of us may not understand the mindset behind this sort of decision (and may even be creeped out by this), we can’t deny that plastic surgery has reached record-breaking heights in Asia and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. After all, this isn’t the only show which features plastic surgery outcomes. The Korean show Let’s Beauty allows viewers to follow the entire plastic surgery process, and Back to My Face features “reverse makeovers” that allow contestants to go back to their original appearance (because apparently, the way to fix excessive surgery is by undergoing even more surgery).

 

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Disturbed by this or do you think people are entitled to do what they want with their body? Tell us what you think.

 

Editorial Internship Opportunity at Audrey Magazine!

 

Audrey Magazine is looking for editorial interns for its online magazine! Here’s your chance to gain experience at an award-winning, national publication that covers Asian Fashion, Beauty, Trends and Entertainment.

DESCRIPTION: Ideal candidates are detail-oriented, able to multitask, have strong writing skills and should have an interest in the Asian/Asian American community. Experience with WordPress, Photoshop, Google Analytics, social media and other software and online tools are a huge plus. Time commitment of 20-30 hours per week preferred. College credit available. Opportunities for promotion are available. Position can begin immediately, interns may work off-site.

To apply send an email cover letter, resume and three writing samples (blog posts OK) to ethel@audreymagazine.com.

 

TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK: Parents Receive Amazing Surprise, Epic Wedding Photos & The Best Celeb Boyfriends

1) YouTube Star Surprises Parents By Paying Off Their Mortgage (READ HERE

 

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2) Check Out This Badass Wedding Shoot in China (READ HERE

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3) 10 Asian Celebrities Who Would Make Amazing Boyfriends (READ HERE

 

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4) Check Out This (Awesome) Angry Rant About Yellow Fever (READ HERE)

 

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5) Chinese Doctors Bow For An 11-Year-Old’s Selfless Decision (READ HERE

Must Watch: New Jeremy Lin Video Starring Harry Shum Jr., AJ Rafael and More

 

What could possibly be better than YouTube artist AJ Rafael, Wong Fu Production’s Phillip Wang, Glee’s Harry Shum Jr. and basketball player Jeremy Lin all in one video? The only thing that could beat that would be all four of those guys together acting, dancing, singing and playing instruments. Never gonna happen though, right? Wrong.

In a short titled “Jeremy Lin Goes to Hollywood,” AJ, Phil and Harry are given the task of cheering Jeremy Lin up. They assume his cloudy emotions are because of a mean tweet about him. So how does one cheer up a 6’3” basketball player? Apparently, the boys decide a musical extravaganza would do the trick.

 


10 Asian Celebrities Who Would Make Amazing Boyfriends

 

 

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1) CHOI SIWON
Where you’ve seen him: In the popular K-pop group Super Junior. Oh, and starring in your favorite dreams of course.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Korean artist, Choi Siwon is at the very top of this list for a reason. Not only is he talented (he’s an actor, model and singer), he doesn’t let fame get to his head. If you’re looking for a gentlemanly boyfriend, Choi Siwon is your man. Known for his strong faith, his heroic deeds (take a look at him rescuing a puppy) and his undeniable kindness. And let’s not forget the killer smile and chiseled abs. Don’t lie, you like them too.

 

 


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2) STEVEN YEUN

Where you’ve seen him: Taking down walkers as Glenn on The Walking Dead. Maggie, you lucky girl, you.
Why he’s boyfriend material: We’ve already given you 10 Reasons Glenn Would Make A Great Boyfriend, but as it turns out, the Korean American actor behind Glenn makes an even better boyfriend. For starters, the guy’s smart. He has a degree in psychology, but the daring man gave up that route to follow what he loves: acting. Clearly, you don’t have to worry about passion with Yeun as a boyfriend. He is the perfect example of “adorkable” and even when he describes his awkward kissing techniques, we can’t help but fall for him more.  If you’re looking for humor in your relationship, Yeun is your man.

 

 


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3) JEREMY LIN

Where you’ve seen him: Shooting baskets for The Houston Rockets The Los Angeles Lakers and on the big screen for Linsanity.
Why he’s boyfriend material: We’ve thought highly of him for so long that we even wrote a list of reasons Why Jeremy Lin Would Make a Great Boyfriend. This covers everything from his impressive height of 6’3″ as well as his alumni status at Harvard. The story points out that “he practices what he preaches, works hard, looks like he’s genuinely enjoying himself, and never gives us the impression that he feels entitled.”

 

 

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4) DANIEL HENNEY
Where you’ve seen him: Distracting you from paying attention to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Last Stand  and Seducing Mr. Perfect.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Aside from the fact that simply looking at Daniel Henney causes a strange desire to be in his arms, he’s also driven and ambitious. After achieving a huge fan base in Asia, he returned to the U.S. to pursue a career in Hollywood. In this interview, Henney points out that he’s willing to fight to get lead roles usually granted to Caucasians. If you’re into the ambitious type who is willing to fight for you, we’ve found your guy.

 

 

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5) BRUNO MARS

Where you’ve seen him: Winning countless awards for his music and, of course, winning our hearts in the process.
Why he’s boyfriend material: It doesn’t take much to figure out that this man has a beautiful heart. We saw this when he dedicated his Grammy to his late mother, when he gave an inspirational speech for aspiring musicians and when he personally serenaded an 11-year-old who was injured by a drunk driver. Men with big hearts make incredible boyfriends and Mars clearly has one of the biggest.

 

 


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6) DARREN CRISS 

Where you’ve seen him: Making you blush when he played a hot version of Harry Potter in “A Very Potter Musical” and as Blaine on Glee.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Humor, talent, stage presence, a big heart, a good sense of style and good looks? You’ve pretty much hit jackpot if you land Darren Criss as a boyfriend. Don’t believe me? Check out our list of the Top 5 Reason We Love Darren Criss which includes everything from his talent, his charity work, and (obviously) his good looks.

 

 


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7) SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY

Where you’ve seen him:  Being steamy in NBC’s Heroes and CW’s Beauty & The Beast.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Maybe you’re at a point in life where you’re looking for someone stable and serious (and sexy, let’s not forget that). If that’s the case then actor Sendhil Ramamurthy is perfect. He began his adulthood with the belief that he would be going into the med field. However, during an “Intro to Acting” class, Ramamurthy fell in love with the art of acting and never looked back. Of course, acting isn’t the only commitment he’s loyal to. Ramamurthy has proven to be both a good husband and father to his two children.

 

 

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8) HARRY SHUM JR.

Where you’ve seen him: In the city of rock-hard abs — I mean, on Glee as Mike Chang.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Unlike our previous pick, maybe you’re looking for a boyfriend who’s more upbeat and fun. Well Harry Shum Jr. can certainly help out in that department. In addition to his television role, he has taken on a number of passion projects such as his interpretive dance, “Painfully Shy,” and his video series “Parallels.” A man who can manage his time, has undeniable passion and is extremely good at moving? Yes, please.

 

 


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9) KEV JUMBA 

Where you’ve seen him: Cracking you up with his comedy YouTube channel. Laughter is the way into the heart, right?
Why he’s boyfriend material: Interested in men who are funny and sincerely generous? Look no further. Kevin Wu, better known as KevJumba, fits the part. His humor has given him over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, but there’s so much more to him. In 2009, he began his YouTube charity called JumbaFund and after raising over $50,000, he opened a High School in Lenana, Kenya. Now that’s a keeper.

 

 

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10) MARIO MAURER
Where you’ve seen him: In Thai films The Love of Siam and First Love (because even if you don’t understand Thai, you know what a talented and attractive actor looks like).
Why he’s boyfriend material: Not only is this Thai German actor (who is of Chinese German descent) absolutely gorgeous, he’s also a hard worker, polite and family-oriented. Maurer is known as the lead star of Thailand’s highest grossing film of all time, Pee Mak, but he didn’t originally plan on being an actor at all. In fact, he only took up acting because he wanted to help out his family with finances (cue the collective “aww’s”). Luckily for his fans, he fell in love with acting and continued.

 


Know more Asian celebs who would make amazing boyfriends? Let us know!

PARALLELS: Harry Shum, Jr. Explores the Similarities Between Dance and Sport

 

When dancer, actor and choreographer Harry Shum, Jr. saw a TV special from 1958 called Gene Kelly: Dancing – A Man’s Game, he was quickly captivated and inspired. During the special, Gene Kelly interpreted the moves of top athletes, such as Mickey Mantle and Sugar Ray Robinson, into a choreographed dance. Being both an avid dancer and athlete, it didn’t take long for Harry to begin exploring the similarities between dance and sport, despite the ongoing idea that the two are on very different spectrums.

Harry teamed up with filmmaker Cole Walliser, as well as leading contemporary dancers and athletes to create a new video series called “Parallels.” The series analyzes and compares the movements of dancers and athletes to emphasize the similarities between the two genres and what that parallel could mean.

“They serve two completely different purposes, but what makes sport and dance the same?” Harry asks. “Timing. Grace. Rhythm. Control. This is not a direct comparison, but an exploration of the tenacity, emotion and physical prowess that it takes to reach the highest level of athleticism. Is sport an art form? Is dance a sport?”

The series consists of four videos which juxtaposes the movement, athleticism and grace of Red Bull action sport athletes to various kinds of dancers. “Parallels” premieres today, July 30. Check them out for yourself below.