Even though the celebration was 20 days after her real birthday (January 9), it was better late than never! Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP star Ashley Argota celebrated her 18th birthday at The W Hotel in Hollywood with her family, close friends and (like a true VIP) plenty of press.
Before the Filipina America debuted on the carpet, Nickelodeon and Disney tween celebs like Debby Ryan (Suite Life on Deck), Robbie Amell (True Jackson, VP) and fellow Filipina American Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Camp Rock 1 & 2) arrived on scene and ready for the lights, camera and action!
Some of the younger stars included the witty Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family), the charming Maddison Pettis (Cory in the House/Phineas and Ferb), and singers Abi Ann Hoffman and Neenah Taylor. Even though these actors are still rookies in the field, they definitely had no trouble handling the bright lights and mic. At some point, Rodriguez even busted out into a dance move to entertain the press.
Three of Argota’s chosen favorite children from Starlight Children’s Foundation, including Brittni Hamilton were some of the special guests of the night. Even though the True Jackson, VP actress has so many followers (and it’s not just her more than 50,000 Twitter followers we’re talking about here), she remembers to also give back to the community.
For Argota, this was her one big celebration for the year, so curious as to what dazzling gifts she got for her birthday? Stay tuned for upcoming video clips and interviews of Argota and more of your favorite tween stars.
Want more teen stars? Check out our Spring 2011 issue and our Feature Story on Asian American teens on TV, out in early March!
Gung Hay Fat Choy, Chuc Mung Nam Moi, and Sae Hae Bok Mani Ba Deu Se Yo!
No matter how you say it, this Lunar New Year’s is sure to be filled with plenty of red envelopes with shiny, new money, and all versions of chewy rice cake. But who knew Vegas was the place to be to kick off the Year of the Rabbit?
Bellagio’s Chinese New Year Sanctuary
WHEN: Now through March 5
WHERE: Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas
HOW: The display is complimentary to the public and open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens will be transformed from a winter wonderland into a serene sanctuary with a Chinese New Year display guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui and celebrating the spirit of the rabbit. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 35-foot Chinese junk boat inspired by traditional 15th century fishing vessels, created by Daniels Wood Land, Inc., best known for building full-scale replicas of The Black Pearl for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. A 12-foot rabbit with a luxurious coat comprised of live plants will watch over eight playing babies within a forest of bamboo trees. Nearby, the God of Prosperity, bringing good fortune and great luck to the New Year, will hold court in the entrance garden. Oversized brilliant red, silk Chinese lanterns along with a moongate wall, a symbol of mysticism and serenity, decorate the scene, as seven replica Terracotta Warriors, covered in crushed walnuts and ground carrot seeds, stand guard.
Dragon Parade at The Forum Shops at Caesars
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 3 beginning at approximately 10 am
WHERE: The Forum Shops at Caesars, Las Vegas
Join The Meadows School as they kick off the traditional dragon parade throughout The Forum Shops at Caesars. Led by senior Shannon Chen, 120 Meadows students will perform a Chinese dragon parade featuring two large and colorful dragons (powered by students), red and gold costumes (Chinese colors of joy), drums and firecrackers (to keep evil spirits away).
WHEN: Saturday, February 19, 2011 (rain or shine), 4:30 pm (check in at 3:30)
WHERE: Hunt begins at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, located at the foot of Market Street at the Embarcadero (behind the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
HOW: Ticket prices are from $30 to $40 for adults and $10 for kids under 18. For more information and ticket prices, please visit www.sftreasurehunts.com or call 415-564-9400
If you can’t make it to Vegas, try San Francisco instead. Once again, they’re putting on the largest and most popular urban sleuthing adventure in America. The Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt takes players throughout the city’s coolest neighborhoods, leading them to hidden gems commonly overlooked in the daily routine of life. From Chinatown to Telegraph Hill, look for clues and race to beat the clock against other teams. Come with your own team, or meet new friends. Oh, and best team outfit and best team name win prizes!
We listed Shu Pei as one of the best Asian models of 2010 with reason: she’s the new face of Maybelline and her debut ad has just recently been launched, featuring Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipcolor. She is now a spokesmodel for this global cosmetics brand, alongside Christy Turlington, Julia Stegner, Erin Wasson, Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Emily DiDonato. It seems like Maybelline New York Global CEO Demien Bertrand is confident with his decision to sign Shu Pei, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be. As he noted, she is stunningly beautiful and has an inner fire; she projects the perfect personality to represent their brand.
She’s even in the Maybelline 2011 Calendar!
The other day I was on my computer minding my own business when Jerome walked by and asked if I was OK. I said yes, but then asked why. “You look sad.” Hmm. I have been known to make failed attempts to conceal my feelings, but in that instance I was being honest. I was quite happy.
Later, I asked Jerome if he noticed anything different about me. “You’re not wearing your glasses.” Yup. I was in day three of my contact lens training.
Year ago I wore contacts, but you get your first corneal ulcer and suddenly putting a piece of plastic over your eyeball sounds less appealing. From then on I was a glasses girl. A four-eyes and proud of it.
But now with an upcoming wedding, it got me thinking about contacts again. After all, it might be nice to have wedding photos where my face isn’t covered by a pair of black-rimmed glasses. And if I’ve learned anything from seeing pictures of my dad in his glasses circa 1978, it’s that styles change. And while the same could be said for my dress, the glasses I think look great now might (that is, will) look ridiculous in years to come. I recently came across my first pair of glasses, purchased when I was in college and can I just say? Wow. Both big and round. Of course, at the time I believed them to be awesome.
Thus, the contact lens training. Never mind that it took me almost five minutes to put them in, it’s more about getting my eyes used to the lenses. And, as it turns out, also about getting Jerome used to seeing my face without glasses because this is what happened: Once he realized I wasn’t wearing my glasses, it clicked. He thought I was upset earlier because I didn’t have my glasses on and the only time I don’t wear them is when … I’m crying. And let’s be honest, nine times out of 10, those are not tears of joy.
So the training is as much for Jerome as it is for me because if not, he will spend our entire wedding thinking I’m quite sad.And while tears will be shed, they will be of the happy variety and from the eyes of an overjoyed girl who just wanted to look a little less nerdy on her wedding day.
Etsy.com has become one of my favorite sites over the years, as I scour for the cute, the vintage and the unique. New shops pop up like daisies and it can be tiresome keeping track of my favorite stores.
But Jewel Numkki’s sweet line of dresses, tops, skirts and cardigans, all embellished with whimsical appliques and handmade touches, is hard to forget.
Designer Cecilia Lee started Jewel Numkki (pronounced jool-nuhm-kki) as a hobby, and it’s blown up into a bona fide small business for her. After graduating from the University of Hawaii in Fashion Design and Merchandising, Lee worked on another clothing line before moving to California. She continued to receive requests for custom-made dresses and tops from former clients, so she decided to start her own line through Etsy.
So what does Jewel Numkki mean? “I wanted my clothing line to have a name that was youthful, fun and expressive,” says the Korean American, so she anglicized the Korean word for “jump rope.” “It gets people to ask me what it means and I can teach them a Korean word at the same time,” she adds.
To give you a head start on your spring wardrobe this week, we’re giving away a Jewel Numkki gem: a purple “YoYo Garden” dress that retails for $88 and fits any size between XS and M.
Tweet or Facebook your favorite Audreymagazine.com post and comment below with a link to your tweet/FB post (be sure to @audreymagazine it so we can see it). You have until February 2, 11:59 pm to comment, and must have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible for the giveaway. Happy Friday!
CALLING ALL STUDENTS!
The East Coast Asian American Student Union, the largest inter-collegiate Asian American student network in the nation, is holding its annual conference, ECAASU 2011, on February 18-20, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The theme for this year’s conference is Bridge, Revitalize, Equality, Action, and Knowledge, or B.R.E.A.K. The idea behind this year’s theme is to bridge the past and present by revitalizing the APIA political movement to demonstrate equality for all and to share knowledge in order to promote a collective community.
Here’s ECAASU’s purpose:
In ECAASU 2011 @ UMass Amherst, we hope to create a safe space where attendees can talk about their identity and how it relates to the community. Attendees are encouraged to be true to their words and speak with their hearts, especially if they are talking about problems within the APIA community–we want to understand why, analyze the problems in a local/national scale, and then come up with solutions/next steps to fight for equal representation. In order to build a strong, collective community, we should not be afraid to speak our minds; and that, will hopefully be a way to encourage young activists to step out of their comfort zones and build communities in their hometown across color-lines through empowerment for a stronger sense of identity, and an urgency to improve their communities after attending ECAASU 2011 at UMass Amherst.
The organization has put together a great event together full of exciting workshops, entertainment, and speakers, all of whom are people doing important work within the APIA community. This is going to be an amazing event, so grab your friends and family and get yourself registered. Prices go up on February 1, so don’t wait too long!
What: East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference
When: February 18-20
Where: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
How: For registration prices, schedules, workshops, speaker bios, accommodations and other details, go to: www.ecaasu2011.org
This Sunday, January 30th, get ready for the hottest hip-hop competition in Southern California! Lambda Theta Delta is holding its 16th annual VIBE dance competition in Irvine to showcase only the best hip-hop teams in the West Coast. VIBE has staged some of the most recognized stars, such as the Jabbawockeez, SickStep and Far East Movement. Once again, they’re bringing many fan favorites to the stage of Bren Events Center for an amazing show. This is the night to witness competing teams show off their best moves and exhibition teams demonstrate once again why they are “must-see” acts. Music by some of YouTube’s well-known artists will also be featured.
This year, twelve teams battle it out to win the title of VIBE XVI Champs, including four past champion teams, three new teams and five returning teams who hope that this may be their year. Choreo Cookies, who have swept most of the previous titles, Kaba Modern, who appeared on America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) and who won first place in VIBE VIII to X, Team Millennia, VIBE XII and XIII champs and CADC, VIBE XIV winners are back again for some tough competition. The teams returning to fight for the title are Pac Modern, GRV, 220, Common Ground and NSU Modern. But experienced doesn’t always mean better; they better watch out for IV League, The Company and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators who are appearing on this stage as contenders for the first time.
Aside from some intense battle, VIBE is bringing in some well-respected groups, like KM Legacy, Kinjaz and Unity LA. In addition, some of the exhibition teams you may have seen on TV in shows like ABDC, but you have yet to see their acts live. These include Jungle Boogie, Boxcuttuhs and Poreotics (featuring Miniotics, their junior team). YouTube music stars are also coming together for a never-before-seen collaboration. Look out for Dumbfoundead, the Korean American rapper from Los Angeles who may be best known for his rap battles and viral hits, Jason Yang, a growing sensation on YouTube for his mastery in the acoustic and electric violin, and Victor Kim, known not only for his membership on Quest Crew but also for his musical talents.
Don’t miss out! Pre-sale tickets are $25 and they can be purchased through (1) the Bren Event Center Box Office: 949-824-5000, (2) any Lambda Theta Delta representative, or (3) ticketmaster.com. Follow VIBE on twitter and facebook @VIBEdancecomp as well for live updates and a chance to win free tickets! A portion of their sales will be donated to a local charity.
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Time: Doors open at 5 pm; Show starts at 6 pm
Venue: UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center
901 Mesa Road, Irvine, CA 92612
Cost: $25 pre-order; $30 at-the-door
Since I will probably never be famous enough to incur his wrath of pink nose squiggles and vengeful name-callings, I’ll just go ahead and say it: I have never been a fan of Perez Hilton. With a successful gossip site built solely on meanness, I realized a couple years ago that I can at least do my part to not spreading his nastiness around the world by not reading the site. So I didn’t touch it from then on.
Instead, I grew increasingly attracted to another site also making its money from celebrity news but told from a perspective of compliments and celebrity reveries, Justjared.com. It was the anti-Perez Hilton, if you will.
Because I am also a true teenybopper at heart, I was equally as delighted to find that Just Jared had a sister site for the Hannah Montana set called JustJaredJr.com. Squeal!
It was great to read the The New York Times finally shed some light to this star-studded celeb site in their recent article, “Nice-Guy Bloggers Needn’t Finish Last with a profile of the site and its founder, Chinese-American Jared Eng. The article discusses how the 28-year old Mr. Eng came along way from studying computer science at Columbia University to a mini-blogpire which includes five full-time employees and a company which “easily going to gross seven figures” this year.
Take that, Perez!
It seems like everyone has an opinion on Tiger Mom these days. Including me (I guess).
I’ve been invited by The Today show (not that one), China Radio International’s flagship news magazine program to participate in a special panel discussion inspired by the Amy Chua’s controversial book, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” to speak on “Eastern” vs. “Western” parenting styles.
Being a product of a Chinese mother myself, I guess I have some personal experiences to form an opinion on the subject.
Other speakers include:
Anna Lau, a clinical psychologist UCLA and Ming Lai, co-founder of Peekabook House, an English-Chinese Children’s Library in Beijing.
The roundtable will be broadcasted on:
Thursday, January 27, 6pm-7pm US Pacific Time and Friday, January 28 from 10am-11am Beijing Time.
For the web-savvy (which I know you all are), check the broadcast out here:
And it will be archived here:
For more info, check out the Today show site here.
BTW: What are YOUR thoughts on this whole deal?
Contributor Anastasia Kim reviews East West Player’s reading of Udaya Kanthi Salgadu’s Letters From My Mother.
As the first month of the new year comes to a close, I applaud the efforts of those who were, and still are, involved in the campaign to raise or heighten awareness of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Last Thursday, January 20, 2011, my friends over at East West Players (EWP) invited me to a staged reading called Letters From My Mother written by Udaya Kanthi Salgadu and directed by Shaheen Vaaz. In collaboration with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), the East West Players managed to throw a wonderful exhibition spotlighting a heart wrenching yet inspiring story of courage, tenacity and hope brought forth by a mother’s love.
Letters From My Mother is story about a young, Sri Lankan high school graduate named Sripa who had to endure 26 months of forced labor in the United States. With the promise of a consistent salary that she’d be able to send back to her family underscoring her decision to leave everything behind, Sripa soon realizes that her life in the United States isn’t exactly what she’d envisioned. Without a way to contact her family, and not a single cent to her name, Sripa finds herself enslaved to the iniquity that is human trafficking. However, despite the bleakness of her situation, Sripa endures with great fortitude owing to her mother’s letters to her, and the care of an inquisitive neighbor, who later helps rescue her. As a storm gathers in her confidence, Sripa relinquishes fear, and in its stead, she embraces her mettle. Sripa takes her life back.
Thanks to the wonderful cast of talented actors such as Anjali Bhimani, Tamlyn Tomita, James Kyson Lee, Camille Mana, and many more, I saw quite a few teary-eyed members of the audience that night. The cast painted a realistic portrayal of what it must have been like to be in our playwright’s shoes, and we were definitely drawn into the story.
After the reading, a post show discussion panel followed suit where we were made intimately familiar with our real-life Sripa. The playwright, Udaya Kanthi Salgadu, who wrote Letters From My Mother based on her own experiences, was perhaps introduced much later to put the focus on the consequences of human trafficking rather than singling out the victims of it. She was remarkably cheery that night given the topic of her play, and stuck around to meet and greet the viewers. It was wonderful to see that she’d melded her experiences, courage, and resolve to showcase a powerful message not only relatable to victims of human trafficking but people across the board. It was amazing to see her speak from a position of resilience and accomplishment rather than from a position of victimization and weakness. This was her first play, and I hope that while she is on the path to becoming a valued nurse in our community, she will continue to share her words of wisdom with all of us.
There is an estimated 12.3 million people who are enslaved around the world today, according to CASTLA.org. It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century. Although organizations and volunteers alike are putting forth great effort to impede its growth, human trafficking will not go away without a fight. Please help join this cause in stamping out human trafficking. Go to CASTLA.org and find out how you can help. Freedom and equality isn’t just black or white anymore. Let us fight to give everyone an equal hand at what they rightfully deserve.
– Anastasia Kim