One of the most highly anticipated new shows coming out this season is NBC’s The Event. A high-octant thriller about an Everyman named Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, The Class) who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his fiancée Leilia (Sarah Roemer, Disturbia) and accidentally begins to expose the biggest government cover-up in U.S. history, affecting the lives of several strangers including the newly elected U.S. President Martinez (played by Blair Underwood of Dirty Sexy Money) and Sophia (Laura Innes, ER).
One of the key characters in the show is detective Simon Lee, played by actor Ian Anthony Dale (of Japanese, French and English descent.) If you recognize Dale’s exceptionally sculpted face, it’s probably because the actor, 32, has been all over television, including shows like CSI, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Bones and 24.
The hype surrounding the show adds to the casts’ publicity workload, with Dale having to make numerous press appearances, from San Diego’s Comic Con to the Emmy’s. Despite his frenzied schedule, the actor took some time to chat with Audrey.
How are you doing these days, Ian?
For the last couple of months, been pretty exciting and really busy. My life went from being pretty laid-back to pretty hectic.
It’s awesome that you were able to land a part on The Event. How did that happen?
I heard of the job from Jeffrey Reiner. Just last year, I was lucky enough to do a guest star role on Trauma which Jeffrey Reiner was also exec producing/directing. I got some pretty good opportunities to do some good work and I must have done a good job cause he then started pushing me for the role of Simon Lee for The Event. This is a really exciting opportunity.
Did you always know you wanted to act?
When I was a junior in high school, I had never done any acting and my friend says why don’t we try out for this one act play? I was trying to get over my fear of public speaking so I thought why not? I was lucky enough to get a speaking part and I quickly discovered theatre and performing was something I enjoyed. I actually shifted gear when I went to college because I was so disillusioned with Asian American roles. The odds were stacked against me. However, over my four years in college, I saw the landscape begin to change. You saw Lucy Liu on Ally Mcbeal and I thought, why don’t I give this a shot? So after I graduated, I packed my bags and headed to LA.
And now, you’re on one of the hottest shows this season, The Event. The show has been getting comparisons to Lost and Heroes. How do these comparisons make you feel?
I think it’s nice to draw those kinds of comparisons ‘cause you’re talking about shows that have been on air for a really long time. I think people are going to have a lot of high expectations but they don’t want to be hung out to dry because a lot of people felt like their lives were wasted from the ending of Lost. Our show will try not to repeat the mistakes of that show and questions will get answered but I don’t feel any personal pressure but the pressure really rides on the shoulders of the producers and writers because they have to come up with engaging stories week in and week out. I’m just enjoying the chance to get to work with amazing people.
Catch Ian Anthony Dale in The Event tonight on NBC.
I mean, seriously — Bristol Palin??? I’d expect it from Levi, but it seems Bristol out-Levi’d Levi on this one.
If it weren’t for Margaret Cho, I’d completely ban Dancing With the Stars from my TV. Thank goodness Ms. Cho found time in her busy schedule between touring for her new CD Cho Dependent and her role in Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva to do Dancing With the Stars. I’ll watch just to listen to her sure-fire comebacks to judge’s criticisms.
Artist Miya Ando is a woman obsessed with light.
So much so that she went to Berlin recently and braved the freezing temperatures to create this fleeting, beautiful moment of artwork called “Resplendency: The Art of Light” for the Dam Stuhltrager Gallery. As a part of her “I’m Beautiful Night” series, Ando created phosphorescent sakura (cherry blossom) images, visible only for a short time at night, in the icy snow in front of the Reichstag. Of the piece, Ando said:
“My thoughts on doing this piece was basically the result of a meditation upon Berlin as a person who grew up near Hiroshima and heard stories all my life from my Japanese grandparents about the atomic bomb and the World War, how if affected my Japanese family, and how it felt for me to be in Germany, as Japan and Germany were on the same side of the war. On my father’s side, we are Russian-Jews. My father and also my grandfather on his side were military. My Russian grandfather would tell me about Pearl Harbor and about the war, and I have a great uncle and great aunt who are Holocaust survivors and have tattoos of numbers on their upper forearms.
“I thought that having invisible sakura that were visible only very fleetingly for a moment was appropriate in front of the Reichstag.”
Check out the video of Ando creating the work.
Audrey Magazine featured Ando in our Fall 2010 issue. The Japanese-Russian American artist — born in California, raised in Japan, and currently based in Brooklyn — expresses the myriad facets of herself in her art. Here is more of our conversation with her.
Audrey Magazine: Much of your work seems inspired by or is a play on light. What draws you to light?
Miya Ando: I’m very inspired by and sensitive to light. My friends always tease me because I often say that i can’t remember the time or the place or the conversation, but I can tell you what the light looked like. Part of the reason why I love to work with steel is because it reflects the light very beautifully and changes throughout the day, depending on the light. it’s quite dynamic in that way. Lately I have been thinking about light as a poetic expression of transformation or transcendence. I think light can be very mysterious and magical and otherworldly. I’ve always been spiritually inclined and so I regard light in this way and apply light as a component of my visual vocabulary to express my concepts.
AM: You grew up between Santa Cruz, Calif., and Okayama, Japan, in a Buddhist temple? What was that like?
MA: I have very happy memories of the temple and of living with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. My hometown did not have any other half-Japanese, half-Caucasian people at that time, so at times it was difficult being considered different. I am really grateful to have been introduced to a life of ritual and respect, of contemplation and of having philosophical pursuits be integrated into one’s daily life.
AM: Is it true you are a descendant of samurai-era swordmakers?
MA: Yes, before my family went into the Buddhist priesthood, they made swords. My Ando family is quite an old family — I am the 16th generation. There is a family registry of history and records that are kept, like a family tree. My great uncles collected the Ando family swords and would tell me stories. It’s very much part of our family identity and history.
AM: After college, you went to apprentice with a master metal smith in Japan. Why?
MA: I finished UC Berkeley in two years and then went on to Yale for graduate school. I left my graduate program early in order to pursue my studio practice and metalworking full time. As part of my commitment to metalworking, I moved back to Japan to become an apprentice and to learn about the material from the very beginning, from zero. It was very important for me to approach the material in a respectful way and I learned a great deal not only about the material but also about humility in my study in Japan.
AM: Is that how you got involved in steel artwork?
MA: I had been introduced to working with metal when I was a very small child; my father had a hobby of rebuilding cars and so I spent lots of time in an automotive garage. I knew how to do basic braising and welding when I was a young girl and so when I started to work with materials as a young artist, metal was very natural for me. I have always felt very comfortable around a metal shop and sparks and welding and sanding. I was drawn to metals because of my childhood, but also because I had always heard these wonderful stories about sword smiths and my Japanese family, I knew that I was from a steel family and working with steel felt very good in the way of connecting with this part of my heritage.
I had something of an epiphany when I was a young artist and I was welding a sculpture for the first time. I was inside of the dark welding hood and it all became very clear to me — that I loved working with this material so much that I decided that I would study very hard and learn as much as I could about the material.
I felt from the beginning that steel was a perfect substrate in that it was so quiet and grey and understated. The innumerable shades of grey within the material has always transfixed me. I think it is quite elegant and refined. The steel is a cornerstone of strength and permenance and yet all things are transitory, ephemeral. I always loved the poetry there. I love that steel can be so hard and look so very soft and ethereal.
AM: Any other influences in your art?
MA: I think that living in the redwoods in Santa Cruz and by the ocean influenced me. I think back now on that landscape and the beauty in that scenery — of the grey sea, the beautiful fog which I always loved, the solitude in the mountains, the amazing light that would come between the trees and through the leaves. I also think often of the temple where I lived. of the rice fields I played in, the stillness and serenity, the quiet space in the hondo (main altar room in the temple). I think of the very simple, reductivist and minimalist setting of the temple, the grid of shoji screens and of the lovely diffused light that would filter through the screens. All were very influential in my work.
AM: There seems to be a lot of chemistry (phosphorescence, layering chemicals, etc.) and hardcore manual labor involved in your artwork. How do you do it? It must be physically exhausting and you must be really strong!
MA: Metal work in very grueling and physically taxing. I’m drawn to intensity and so the process of working with fire, acid, caustics and sharp things appeals to me — I’m a tactile person who likes keeping my hands busy and so for me it’s really engaging and interesting, although very challenging at times. I spend hours sanding — I’m pretty sure that my body looks the way it does because it’s a visual manifestation of the physical labor that i do! However, I do push-ups and yoga and exercises so that I can lift the steel more easily when I work with it. I dislike having to stop working and ask for help in moving things around my studio, so I try to be strong so I can stay independent. Now that the works are getting very large though, I have to work with a team.
Yes, there are many chemicals and acids and chemistry in my work — sometimes I feel like a scientist or alchemist! I did not learn metal-finishing in school; my process is a layering of many finishing treatments that I came up with through trial and error. I spend lots of time playing with materials and chemicals and testing things before I go to execute a piece. I have a system of working in my studio where I will hand sand until my arms get tired, then I will move on to another task in order to keep from overtaxing my muscles. It’s more sustainable to do it this way since I work every day.
AM: What inspired the “I’m Beautiful Night” series, and why is it called that?
MA: It is a series of paintings, both indoor and outdoor, that are created with phosphorescent paint that is invisible in the daylight and only viewable for a short period of time in darkness. I love the ephemeral nature of this medium. There is an independence and subtly in this material, which I thought was very poignant.
The title of the series is derived from my own name — “Miya” is written with the characters “Beautiful” (Mi) and “Night” (Ya) in Japanese. The first piece was part of a graffiti-themed show in Louisville, Ky. I thought it was a nice way to pay homage to the tradition of “tagging” one’s name in graffiti culture, but I wanted to write my own name in a way that would transmit a positive message to the viewers. Anyone reading “I’m Beautiful Night” may consider that they, themselves are beautiful, or that they are part of the beautiful night, as the words are only viewable in the darkness.
The art show in Louisville where I am showing the piece is in conjunction with a public commission in Louisville. The commission is for The Healing Place, a women’s homeless shelter and alcohol/drug rehabilitation facility. I wanted to do a piece that had a connection to women and so I used the grass writing style of hiragana. Grass writing was used by Heian Era women, who at the time were not allowed to study kanji characters which were being assimilated into the Japanese writing system. The male intelligencia of the time believed that kanji was too difficult for women to understand. There was an explosion of women’s writing at this time because they were able to write very quickly in the phonetic hiragana writing system. Novels such as The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (considered the world’s first novel) and the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon are incredible, fantastic works! I loved the notion that these women were marginalized, but were able to transcend their position and create these masterworks. I wanted to honor this strength and creativity by writing in their style of grass writing, which I believe is quite beautiful. To me, grass writing aesthetically conveys a very poetic, feminine and lovely feeling, even if one cannot read the actual Japanese hiragana characters. It felt to me a very nice way to connect the women’s shelter public piece with the gallery show.
AM: You’re actively involved in various causes and the fight against ovarian cancer. What motivates your activism?
MA: I view philanthropy and charity work as an extension of my art practice. It is a continuation of my art in social action. My dear friend and gallerist Karla Diehl in Louisville is a young woman in her 30s, she recently went though chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Given that we were doing a show incorporating women’s writing and also in conjunction with the woman’s shelter, I thought it would be so wonderful if we could do something special to benefit ovarian cancer research. She and I came up with an aluminum print edition to raise awareness for this cause. I’m really honored to be able to apply my artwork to help people.
Want to see Miya Ando’s works live? She’ll be at various places in the next few months, including the Dumbo Arts Festival in September, a solo exhibition in October, and in Australia in November. Get all the details at Miyaando.com/news.
If there’s one thing I can’t do, it’s hair. I wish I was good at it, but I really suck at it. I am envious of women who know how to do their hair effortlessly, especially since I have to wrestle with mine to even get it up in a practical bun. My kid sister, on the other hand, is a pro at it and can do her hair like it’s her job.
If I had this little goody, maybe I’d be a better ‘do do-er. FHI Heat, the name in hair styling products, offers all sorts of high-end hair help, and their Go 1″ Styling Iron doesn’t disappoint.
The iron is not just a straightener — it’s a ceramic tourmaline styling powerhouse, so it’s actually good for your hair. It includes all the necessary features of a great styling iron (ceramic tourmaline plates, a wide adjustable heat range, extra long cord, etc.). Plus, it’s a handy size with dual voltage international plug for all you travelers. The Go Styling Iron comes in bright fun colors such as Girly-Girl and Hot-Hot-Hot — yours will come in the fabulous Mermaid Me hue.
I know I can’t do hair, but I can do math. The FHI Heat Go Styling Iron would cost you $79.99 retail, but this week, you could get yours for nil. Even this hair ignoramus knows that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Don’t wait till September 22, 11:59 p.m. to comment. Retweet for an additional entry and you must have a U.S. addy to win. (Apologies to our international readers!)
I asked a bunch of guys over Twitter and Facebook why they would want to attend our fashion show, Audrey’s Night Out 2010. Here were some of the responses that I got:
Regardless of whether they’re joking or not, it’s true! All of this will be there! Pretty girls, designers who have friends, booze, goodie bags.
If you think we’re pulling your leg, check out this video:
Looking for a unique taste of the voices of the Vietnamese American experience? Look no further as two award-winning authors celebrate the release of their new books with a special reading and discussion on Tuesday, September 21.
Award-winning authors Monique Truong and Andrew Lam will be reading from their new books, Bitter in the Mouth (Random House) and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres (Heyday Books), respectively, in conjunction with the Vietnamese Arts & Letters Association (VAALA), at VAALA Cultural Center in Santa Ana, Calif.
Truong, who was born in Saigon and lives in New York City, won acclaim for her first novel, The Book of Salt. The 2010 Guggenheim Fellow follows up her New York Times Notable book with Bitter in the Mouth, a story following Vietnamese adoptee Linda Hammerick who has a special yet burdensome gift — she experiences words as tastes. Boyfriends are orange sherbet or parsnips. Her own name is mint. It’s a real-world neurological condition called auditory-gustatory synesthesia. She writes: “The truth about my family was that we disappointed one another. When I heard the word ‘disappointed,’ I tasted toast, slightly burnt.”
But it’s not just about her unusual sensorial talent. Woven into Linda’s story is the history of her home state, North Carolina, as well as her upbringing as the only one of Asian descent in a southern stronghold.
On the other side of the cultural palate is editor and co-founder of New America Media Andrew Lam’s East Eats West. Following up on his critically acclaimed Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, the Saigon-born Lam offers a series of essays that shines new light on the bridges that connect two hemispheres into one worldwide immigrant nation. From cuisine and martial arts to sex and self-esteem, East Eats West is part memoir, part meditation, and part cultural anthropology.
Following their readings, the two authors will join University of California, Riverside, professor Mariam B. Lam and writer Ky-Phong Tran in a discussion exploring diaspora, theme, craft and the writer’s life. A wine reception is to follow.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear and meet these two exciting Asian American authors!
Monique Truong and Andrew Lam readings
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
VAALA Cultural Center, 1600 N. Broadway #101, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Free and open to the public
For more info, go to VAALA.
To see where else Andrew Lam will be appearing, click here.
The young starlets of the Korean girl band, GIRLS GENERATION, or SNSD, or more precisely, 소녀시대, have been my recent motivation to lose weight, look cute, and …lose weight.
My mantra is hanging in bold print next to my bed – “Dianne, You will achieve the SNSD Body!” Has it been working? No, but that’s another story for another time.
While on my old stationary bike one day, I was typing away on my laptop (who said anything about actually cycling on a bike?) -and I learned that these girls would get to strut their stuff –in LA!
I had to go!
On Saturday, September 5th at the Staples Center, the SMTOWN LIVE ’10 World Tour Concert was a major success with k-pop lovers, Korean American and moreover Asian American teens and families! The SMTOWN LIVE ‘10 Concert is presented by one of South Korea’s most prominent artist’s management agencies, SM Entertainment. The LA concert is a part of SM Entertainment’s world tour project which will begin in Seoul, then continue to LA, Tokyo, Shanghai, and other major Asian cities.
SM has been attempting to bring Asia’s best performers to the global stage, and moreover the United States for many years now. The concert has already been imprinted as Asia’s leading concert brand thanks to their successful tour in 2008. Singers like multilingual star, BoA, have grown to become a legendary icon all over Southeast and East Asia due to her popularity at SMLIVE. Her single, “I Did it For Love” even aired on American radio, but unfortunately died after a couple of months. In fact, many artists represented by SM are multilingual, if not bilingual. The company has been and is working towards creating “global” artists who can represent Asia as a whole. SM Entertainment has been highly successful in creating popular girl and boy bands during the last twenty years and continues to hold great power over the Korean and Asian music industries.
The four hour-long concert was a fun event for the whole family to enjoy. I attended the event with my sister and cousin and had the time of my life. The line-up included all of SM’s greatest including my favorites: SHINee (a young teeny-bopper boy band), SuperJunior (the sexy boy band), Lee Yeon Hee (actress turned singer), my new favorite- TRAX (a Korean rock-and-roll hottie), f(X) (SM’s newest debuting girl artist- shout out to my girl Luna!), the romantic KangTa (lovely rhythm and blues/ ballad singer), Zhang Li Yin (another lovely KangTa-look-alike-ballad singer), of course SNSD (the barbies of Korea) and many other SM artists.
The concert definitely drew out diehard K-pop fans in America and proved to be worth the ticket price. The lighting was spectacular and the performances were full of energy and what looked like countless hours of practice. The show also was a treat for fans as the artists attempted to speak to them! The celebrities had all practiced a few English phrases, I’m assuming by the same la ghetto coach, because they repeated, “WHATSSS UPPPP LAAAAA!” only about….100 times. And sprinkled some “Yo’s” and a few “Yep’s” here and there.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of non-Korean fans. Many of these fans were Vietnamese and Chinese Americans. The crowd ranged from all different ethnicities, and in a way, it was refreshing to see that the white girl next to me wanted to be desperately Korean.
Many of the performances were led by the two most popular pop groups, SuperJunior and SNSD. The diverse crowds waved light sticks, signs, and screamed whenever they pranced on stage. But perhaps the most anticipated performer of the night was BoA. BoA, who told the audience that this year marks her already 10 year anniversary with SM Entertainment, showcased a very mature yet outrageously Lady Gaga-esque performance.
SMLIVE was personally, such a great journey down memory lane for me as I got to see all of the musicians I loved and listened to during my 14 months of studying abroad in Korea in person. Every song reminded me of a memory I created and shared in Seoul and it was marvelous to see others rock out to those tunes as well. Overall, the event was a relaxing and upbeat show for the whole family but unfortunately not enough to showcase Asia’s greatest in hopes to be picked up by mainstream American music producers and the glitz of Hollywood. But luckily, they will always have the support of Asian Americans, Asian expats, and k-pop lovers around the world as well as boundless opportunities to sink their teeths into American pop culture as we enter in this globalized era. And while we wait for those golden opportunities, I will be practicing those SNSD dance moves.
And this time, it won’t even be entirely to lose weight.
You’ve heard about Audrey’s Night Out 2010 by now — our third fashion show featuring the coolest Asian American designers, celebrities, models and guests. Well, we’re giving away FIVE PAIRS of general seating tickets just for our readers.
All you have to do is tweet this link http://tiny.cc/cygci, post our event and the link on your Facebook, and comment below NO LATER THAN THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 AT 5 PM.
We’ll pick five winners and contact you via email. You’ll have to get us your mailing address by Friday morning so that we can mail you out your tickets.
Good luck! Hope to see you there!
Celebrities are people too, okay? They’re not objects that can be bought or sold on Ebay.
Unless if it’s for a good cause and if it’s just their Twitter alter ego.
Twitchange, the first ever celebrity tweet auction began yesterday, Sept. 15 as Twitter fans can bid for three things: to be followed by their favorite celebrity on Twitter, retweeted, or mentioned by them in a special tweet. All proceeds for the auction will go to benefit aHomeinHaiti.org in finishing rebuilding the Miriam Center, which houses, educates and loves on Haitian children with cerebral palsy, severe autism, and other major life challenges.
The delightful Glee star, Harry Shum Jr. is just one of the celeb Twitterers for sale. Look, free shipping too!
Other celebs that have joined Harry in the auction include SYTYCD dance sensation, @alexdwong, Harry’s Glee costar @ijennaush, and Step Up 3 director @jonmchu.
Bidding begins on the September 15, 2010 and ends on September 25, 2010.
If only receiving attention from Harry on twitter just doesn’t cut it for you, you may get a chance to see him in person-at Audrey’s Night Out 2010!
You have until Thursday, Sept. 16 to get discounted tickets at 20% off! Purchase tickets here:
Just a little reminder about the free outdoor screening of Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Ponyo) this weekend.
Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki enhances his legendary reputation as one of the world’s most visionary filmmakers with this amazing animated adventure. Howl’s Moving Castle follows the story of Sophie, an 18-year-old girl who toils in the hat shop opened years ago by her late father. Often harassed by local boys, Sophie is one day unexpectedly befriended by Howl, a strange but flamboyant wizard whose large house can travel under its own power. However, the Witch of the Waste is displeased with Sophie and Howl’s budding friendship, and turns the pretty young woman into an ugly, old hag. Sophie takes shelter in Howl’s castle and attempts to find a way to reverse the witch’s spell with the help of Calcifer, a subdued but powerful demon who exists in the form of fire, and Markl, who protects the four-way door that can instantly whisk visitors to other lands and dimensions.
Join the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and the Japantown Merchants Association at the Japantown Peace Plaza (Post Street at Buchanan Street, San Francisco, Calif.) this Sunday, September 19, at 8:30 pm, for the screening. This event is free for everyone and early arrival is highly suggested as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information on this event, please visit www.asianamericanmedia.org.