Joseph Vincent, 21, has been on our radar ever since the baby-faced crooner took the stage on “The Ellen Show” in an Ellen’s Wonderful Web of Wonderment competition. After battling with other young Youtube wonders for a month-long competition, Vincent was invited back a second time on the Emmy-winning daytime show and awarded a surprise $10,000 even though another contestant, 12-year old Greyson Chance, had already won the competition.
Talent aside, we wanted to get to know this Filipino music artist a little better. He’ll be featured in the Personalities section of the Winter 2010-11 issue of Audrey, but here’s a couple of Joseph Vincent facts to tide you over until the issue comes out early December. (Subscribe here.)
Started to play guitar to get the girls.
When I was 15, in Spanish class, this high school heartthrob who was a year older than me, went up in class with a guitar and started singing. I was like, that’s pretty cool. I want to do that.
Likes the fact that he’s never had taken a singing or guitar lesson ever in his life.
I think (taking lessons) would kill it. When I go in for recording sessions, producers usually are great musicians and I just pick it up from them. It’s a really good learning experience.
Curses. A lot.
I don’t really feel nervous posting up the videos. Except for this next one I’m about to post. It’s the f-u song with the cuss words by Ceelo. We put tracking and it sounds really nice but it might not be appropriate for a lot of the younger audiences. Especially after Ellen, people think you’re a sweet boy you shouldn’t tarnish your reputation. I do like it. I do curse but I don’t like to put it too much in my music. I think it’s a good song and the message is really funny. We decided to censor it though. It had too many curse words.
Is a Public Health Policy major at UC Irvine.
I also worked at a company that worked with autistic kids. I would probably go into that if music didn’t work out. Or nursing.
Didn’t get star-struck when he met Ellen (maybe a little)…
When I met Ellen, yea, it’s cool but if you keep the mentality that they’re just another person. And she is so cool despite her status or what not. Yea, she is so cool.
…But he did get star-struck when he saw Kobe.
I saw him at the Bluffs in Irvine. And I ran up to him with a sharpie and a hat. He was with his kids. I was like, “Kobe can you sign my hat?” And he was like, “uh it’s kind of hard right now.” So I said, okay! And I walked away. I was more nervous to talk to him than my first show. My heart was like, dum dum dum dum. I’ve never felt that before. Kobe’s so cool.
Is not the owner of the messy bed in his videos.
I do my videos and (my fans) keep complaining about my bed but it’s not my bed, it’s my roommates’ bed. They complain ‘cause it’s messy. My side is messier but I put his on camera. He hates it.
Can pass for being 14.
There were three other contestants in the segment and they were all 12 years old so I was looking at the pictures, 12… 12… 12… 20 year old! They were like, look at that old guy and a bunch of kids. But the funny thing was, after the second time, after I got out, people were like, you’re really good for being 14! I was like, I’m actually, um, 20. They thought I was really young.
Can’t touch the $10,000 he won on Ellen.
I put it in an account and I can’t touch it for 9 months. It’s a great idea. I didn’t want to touch it. If I were to touch it, it would be bad. I’d buy a house. (imitating father) No son, you can’t buy a house with that. What am I going to do with the money? Not sure. Live off of it? I bought a Mac though.
Photo credits to Carmen Chan.
I may be the butt of all jokes among my group of friends, but please believe me when I say that multi-talented Margaret Cho received a Grammy nomination on Wednesday for her album Cho Dependent under Clownery Records. She’s like a jester, and I say that with the most respect because she never fails to keep the public entertained with her quick-wit, swift dance moves and sassy voice.
Her album, which features the likes of Andrew Bird and Mickey Avalon, will be running against other town clowns such as Flight of the Conchords and Robin Williams in the Best Comedy Album category.
To date, this is Cho’s second ever Grammy nomination since her last in 2004 for her Revolution release.
Meanwhile, Bruno Mars is just doing his thing (not lines of cocaine, hopefully) and living the dream with his “Nothin’ on You” B.o.B. collaboration and “Just The Way You Are” hit because he picked up seven nominations for categories like Best Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Other Asian Americans who also are in the running for a Grammy include Tia Carrere and Danny Ho, both nominated for Best Hawaiian Music Album and both under record label Danny Ho Creations. This looks like a win-win situation for Ho nonetheless.
So let’s watch the actual face off (with the whole split screen shot and winner and losers reaction shot) when the 53rd Grammy Awards airs Feb. 13, 2011.
For the full list of the 109 Grammy nominations, please visit: http://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Who what where? Asian America in the news this week.
The First Asian American Attorney General in California
Attorney General-Elect of California, Kamala Harris, will be succeeding Jerry Brown. Check this: she’s the first female African American attorney general, the first Asian American attorney general in California and the first Indian American attorney general in the U.S. That’s a whopping three records in one title, but for her, it’s her civic duty to serve the state despite her views, which include major support for the LGBT community and little or no support for the death penalty.
- – -
Cheap Chic Crosses the Pond
Forever 21 has invaded the malls of America, but now the clothing and accessories company has opened a store in the United Kingdom to engage in some friendly completion with other established European stores like Topshop from England, H&M from Sweden and Zara from Spain. Forever 21 was started in Los Angeles by South Korean couple, Dong-Won Chang and Jin Sook in the ’80s, but now it is one of the fastest growing retailers globally.
This megastore sells cheap fashion via garments that don’t last for too long, but that just may be the ideal deal since many fashion trends don’t last very long either.
- – -
A Pageant of Their Own
Thailand has been holding its own international beauty pageant since 2004, but since when did anyone realize that it is a beauty competition for transvestites? It’s difficult to tell because the contestants look all too much like Barbie dolls. For the Miss International Queen 2010 competition, the 27-year-old Miss Korea, known as Mini Han, took the crown. Runners-up were Ami Takeuchi from Japan and Stasha Sanchez from the United States.
- – -
Oops, They Did It Again
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Kazakhstan for damage control after WikiLeaks released more unflattering U.S. diplomatic documents. Recently, even more Iraq agendas were posted.
Do you think that WikiLeaks has gone too far, or are they just preserving our First Amendment rights?
If being a singer is something you’ve kept low-key, well here is your chance to do so online and your chance to shine. Avon, the company for women, is calling women from all over the world to sing, write and vote! (Men can enter in the songwriting competition, too.)
In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Avon, along with Intereo, launches Avon Voices today to ignite a global movement through its inaugural international online singing talent search for women and songwriting competition for men and women.
More than 60 countries are qualified to participate, around 2,000 contenders will move on to the next round, and only two winners will have the chance to record a professionally produced album.
The contestants will be judged by a diverse group of well-respected musicians who include Fergie, Diane Warren, Natasha Bedingfield and Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga, among others.
Even though Avon has historically been known for selling cosmetic products through its catalogs, Avon has also given back to a variety of global causes. The Avon Foundation for Women’s global campaign to end violence against women and girls has donated more than $30 million to violence prevention and awareness programs.
“For 125 years, Avon has empowered women to find their own unique voices as they work to make their dreams come true. We are thrilled to now give women the opportunity to share their voice, their song and their story through this unprecedented global talent search,” said Andrea Jung, the Asian American CEO and chairman of Avon Products Inc. “Avon Voices will celebrate Avon’s heritage and our future, as we raise women up through beauty, inspiration and song.”
For more information and official rules, please check out: www.avonvoices.com
On December 1, 2010 (that’s today!), along with thousands of organizations and individuals, Until There’s A Cure will observe the 22nd annual World AIDS Day. 2011 is the 30th anniversary of AIDS, and although great progress has been made in last 30 years, the challenge is far from over. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for everyone to come together and recognize our shared responsibility for helping everyone affected by AIDS.
Get Tested and Share the News — Are you Already Tested? On December 1, 2010, everyone all over the world will get together and post the day we got tested in our Facebook status. To share the news, click to “Like” Already Tested. It’s time to restart the conversation!
Be a Part of the Conversation – Today’s technology allows us to reach more individuals than ever before! Leverage these platforms to help restart the conversation about AIDS:
Make your Voice Heard — One of the most powerful things you can do, to encourage awareness and advocate, is to call or write your Congressperson voicing your support for AIDS vaccine research and care funding. Let your Senator or Representative know that you’re concerned about HIV/AIDS in the United States and around the world.
Finally! Our Winter 2010-11 Issue is out! Check out our stunning red-headed, be-freckled Asian American cover girl Angelina, luxuriating in the afterglow of the season!
Inside we’ve got all sorts of goodies for you like:
* The Green Hornet‘s Jay Chou
* YouTube mega-star Joseph Vincent
* Behind the scenes on American Idol with their resident stylist Soyon An
* More photos from Audrey’s Night Out 2010
* Escape (vicarously) to an Ayurveda spa in southern India
* Resolutions (the dating kind) for the new year
* Holiday dressing, tuxedo-style
* Cozy knits and rapturous wraps for a winter getaway
* Luxe beauty products
* Plus films, TV, books, music, food, travel and all the stories that matter to you!
Get Audrey Magazine now!
Last week, the red carpet screening for The Warrior’s Way starring Korean superstar Jang Dong Gun was held in Los Angeles’ CGV Theaters. Check out the photos here:
Check out Audrey’s red carpet coverage of the film below:
Photos by Audrey Cho. Video by Kelly Li and Allen Lee
It was 11 years in the making.
New York University-educated Korean director Sngmoo Lee first penned the script a decade ago, a story about tragic love in the midst of extreme violence. Initially, that love was written as one rather unconventional for its time – male-male love. This was before Brokeback Mountain, after all.
Fast forward to today and the love story first imagined by Lee is still considered unconventional, albeit now altered to one of Asian male-Caucasian female. Odd that after a decade, homosexual relationships on the screen have garnered more mainstream acceptance than that shown in Lee’s debut American feature, The Warrior’s Way, releasing in the U.S. this Friday, December 3.
For a film that some thought would never get made (even Lee originally envisioned a low-budget El Mariachi-like indie), The Warrior’s Way has the star power and backing of some of the biggest names in entertainment around the world. The film is Korean superstar Jang Dong Gun’s American film debut, and also stars Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth and Danny Huston. Backed by Barrie M. Osbourne, who produced the incredibly successful The Lord of the Rings franchise, and Korean mega-producer Jooick Lee, and featuring the talents of three-time Academy Award winning costume designer James Acheson (The Last Emperor, Dangerous Liaisons), and original music by Javier Navarrete of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Warrior’s Way truly is an international collaboration. (The film itself was shot in New Zealand, almost entirely against green screen.)
Jang stars as Yang, introduced as “the greatest swordsman in history … ever.” Since birth, he has been trained to kill every last member of the enemy clan. But when he confronts the last remaining member – a wide-eyed, gurgling baby girl (played by an Asian New Zealander) – he can’t do it. Instead, he takes the baby and flees to America.
There, in the American Badlands, Yang creates a life among a hodgepodge, Fellini-esque cast of circus performers. He takes over the laundry business of a long-lost, now-deceased friend. He grows a garden and for the first time in his life, experiences the joy of creating rather than destroying. And as reluctant as he is, he is drawn into training the revenge-seeking Lynne (Kate Bosworth) in the art of sword fighting.
And therein lies the love story. It’s a romance set up less with word than with sword, says Lee. A hero who wants to stop killing versus a heroine who wants to kill. It’s a formula for sexual tension and tragedy if ever there was one.
Since this is Jang’s first English speaking role (his accent is reminiscent of Ken Watanabe’s in The Last Samurai), the unspoken chemistry between the actors was vital. But this was not Jang’s first time on a foreign set. In 2005, he starred in Chen Kaige’s Golden Globe-nominated Chinese film The Promise with Cecilia Cheung. It’s not as difficult as you would think, he says. “When I work with someone from a different background, the connection we feel as actors is more important than culture.”
Jokes producer Michael Peyser, “And of course, these are two seriously unattractive people.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be the Wild West without a gang of terrorizing bandits, this one led by a leather mask-wearing psychopath obsessed with good teeth called the Colonel (Danny Huston). But that’s not the only thing Yang has to worry about. His clan hasn’t forgotten his betrayal and they’re willing to go to any lengths to find and kill him.
Which is another cool thing about the film. Rarely does one see ninjas fighting cowboys. Wuxia-style acrobatics versus good ol’ fashioned firepower. All in a setting of ever-saturated sunsets, stuntwork done mostly by the actors themselves and, as Huston calls it, “an exquisite ballet” in what Osbourne terms “an incredible vortex of violence.” The melding and clashing of so many contrasts (who knew Jang grew up watching his dad’s favorites Clint Eastwood and John Wayne?), including the East-West collaboration behind the film, makes it groundbreaking in many ways. — Anna M. Park
Here, Audrey Magazine sat down for a one-on-one, first with Jang Dong Gun and then with director Sngmoo Lee.
Audrey Magazine: You’re here in California doing press for The Warrior’s Way. How was your time in California this time around?
Jang Dong Gun: I feel bad because this used to be a place where I would rest and have fun, and this time around, I don’t get to do any of those things. So if I do have a day off I would love to do the things I usually enjoy — shopping, hanging out. I like the weather here.
AM: What was it like working with American film stars?
JDG: When I first heard that Geoffrey Rush and Kate Bosworth was going to be in the film, I was half excited and half worried because judging from what you hear in the tabloids, you develop a prejudice to Hollywood stars. But once I met them, I discovered that they’re wonderful people. They’re really sincere in their work and their acting and I discovered that despite the cultural differences, no matter what our culture is, we work for a common goal in the film. In the case of Kate, I just saw her [again] after a long time and she looks great. I think she looks even prettier.
AM: The film was shot in New Zealand over many months. Were you very homesick?
JDG: Yes, obviously, but the production team was really considerate and they got me a place to stay by the ocean, which was really nice. Because I was there alone for many months, that made me feel even lonelier, but there were some great Korean restaurants and I tried to just focus on the moment and enjoy the time I spent there.
AM: Your character is very awkward handling the baby in the film at first. Has the experience helped you with your new baby?
JDG: Because I shot the film first, now that I have my own child, it’s actually easier to hold him.
AM: Previously, you’ve had to learn Mandarin, and this time you learned English. How do you adopt a language in such a short amount of time?
JDG: When you’re shooting a film as an actor, there are times where you have to give and other times, when you start learning things. This time, I learned a new language and it’s great because I could work and learn at the same time.
AM: How much better is your English now?
JDG: [In English] Only a little. [Laughs.] I haven’t spoken for a long time – since filming. My English has been reduced since I haven’t spoken it for a long time.
AM: Depending on the success of this film, you may be doing more work here and in English. How do you feel about this possible transition?
JDG: Of course I will continue to study English and that’s something that, since this experience, is much more important to me now, to continue learning. It doesn’t mean I’m going to relocate, per se, but what’s more important than where the film is made is what it is. If it’s a great film, I want to work on it.
AM: How has the fan reaction been of the movie here in the U.S. versus in Asia?
JDG: I really don’t have a fan base here yet, but I hope that will continue to grow. And the support that I’ve been getting from my fans in Korea and Asia gives me a lot of encouragement.
Audrey Magazine also spoke to Korean director Sngmoo Lee.
AM: What was the entire process like getting this story to the screen?
SL: I wrote the script a long time ago. It was very new and fresh and that means it was not easy to get developed. [Potential producers] want something stereotypical and I wanted to combine drama and action together so, in that sense, it was well received, but financially, it was risky for them. So it took a lot of time for them to take this film into production.
AM: How long did it take?
SL: Ah, you don’t want to know. [Laughs.] Ten years altogether from the beginning. And then, some producers got in and we were able to get the best cast possible and from then on, everything was a blast. I really enjoyed the process and I’m really happy about the final product so … happy ending. At least for me. Regardless of the success of the movie, I am very happy that I ended up with a product I had written 11 years ago and it turned out much better than I first envisioned.
AM: There really hasn’t been an Asian hero with a Caucasian female love interest in American films. Why do you think developing that storyline was necessary?
SL: I did not originally think about that in the beginning, but I did want to show an Asian male that had a love that was more multidimensional. Because there have been many Asian male heroes, but their role was very limited to the great fighter. I wanted to push the presentation of Asian men as very sexually attractive. Because this kind of love story has never been presented on the big screen in this way before, that was very challenging for me and for the actors. And because it’s groundbreaking, I didn’t have any references. So I had to start from scratch. But the chemistry [between Kate and Dong Gun] was great so when we first met, I really didn’t have to worry about it anymore. After that, it was an automatic process. You wouldn’t view it as, “Oh, she’s Caucasian and he’s Asian.” You would just view it as two great actors loving each other onscreen. — Janice Jann
The Warrior’s Way releases in theaters on Friday, December 3. Check out the official website for more information.
In the movie Steel Magnolias, Olympia Dukakis’ character, Clairee, says that “the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” I would also add that as far as females are concerned, we are also defined by our ability to squeal with delight upon hearing someone has received the ultimate accessory, the engagement ring.
Recently, I have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of said squeals. For it was November 5th at around 6 pm that Jerome asked if I might want to be his wife. He was more eloquent than that, but it was all a blur, literally, as I somehow managed to fog up my glasses while bursting into tears. (Spoiler alert: I also said yes.)
Cut to Saturday night when I went out for my sister’s birthday. Not wanting to steal the birthday girl’s thunder, I kept my mouth shut about my engagement until Kelli announced to her girlfriends that I had “news.”
So I did what any betrothed girl might do — I held out my left hand. When there’s a diamond ring involved, this gesture quickly becomes the universal sign for “I’m engaged.” This led to squeals of delight, so much so that it caught the attention of the gaggle of girls sitting next to us. After a friend exclaimed, “She just got engaged!” the entire group of girls, total strangers, erupted in cheers. This got the attention of our waitress who, once she knew what all the commotion was about, brought over a round of shots.
It was like a veritable Rube Goldberg of joy. One squeal led to another, which led to, well, free drinks.
Having never been engaged before, I had no idea how excited people got over proposals, marriage and love. And by “people,” I mean women. Sure, we have male friends and relatives who are genuinely and enthusiastically happy for us, including a few who insisted on details about the proposal, but nothing gets someone with two X chromosomes more excited than news of an engagement. Nothing. Or so says the girl who has never announced that a baby is on the way.
So far, I’ve written two posts about my first time experiences at certain events, but one thing’s for sure with the Black Friday event: it may also just be my last due to the uncontrollable shopping mania brought out in bargain hunters.
I returned home from the Los Cerritos Mall’s first-ever special sales event called Midnight Madness at approximately 12:05 a.m. Yes. I came, I saw, I immediately left.
Upon entering, I saw a serpentine line looping around the stores, like a Disneyland ride meets Cabbage Patch Kids frenzy. Many super savers waited near the display windows in anticipation of the doors opening at stores like Forever 21 and Metropark — a sight I usually associate with loiterers near Westwood or The Santa Monica Promenade.
The day after the turkey holiday is a garish display of the consumptionist ways of Americans, and now it is slowly spreading to countries like the United Kingdom and Australia. If American’s aren’t stuffing our stomachs, then we are stuffing our stockings (while emptying our wallets).
In fact, such a zoo crazy day can lead to bad judgment and arguments. Just last night, the Los Cerritos Mall was put on lockdown after gunshots were fired around 2:30 a.m.
So no more shopping malls — or rather, shopping mauls, for me any time soon. I’m thankful for being safe from all the ruckus and for saving cash because I usually shop at my favorite thrift shop anyways, where pieces go for $1.91 and up. One man’s trash is Katrina’s pride and joy! Here are my thrift store finds from Black Friday (from the mesh crop top to the ombre wool hair sweater to the lace bodysuit):