We profiled the Seoul-born, self-made professional drift racer Joon Maeng in our Fall 2010 issue, in which we found intriguing his relative lack of concern for crashing into walls. Now we bring you an online exclusive Q&A with the quirky driver.
Audrey Magazine: Besides your crash, what was your worst experience in a car?
Joon Maeng: Last year in Vegas [at a drift meet] I had a tuna sub for lunch and I started vomiting.
AM: In the car?
JM: No, in the back near the restroom. When it was time to drive I put a doggie bag in the pocket of my racing suit. But when I started driving I felt better. Driving for me is comfort. Even though you’re in a suit and it’s hot, and you’re drenched in sweat, all that goes away when you’re in the car. It’s like “ahhhhh, I love every drop of sweat that my body is producing right now.”
AM: Ew. So categorize this feeling of happiness for me. Is it like how you feel after a really good meal?
JM: Ten times better. I’d rather be [driving] than doing anything else.
JM: I always had a dream to be a pro driver. Not specifically drifting, but just to be a pro driver, since I was a little boy growing up in Korea. My family wasn’t well off. All I had was toy cars and my bike, that’s all. When it snowed I used to drift around my bicycle. Then I would not be able to sleep because I would be so excited to ride my bike around in the snow the next day.
JM: I came to the States when I was 9. I’m 28 now. I actually started driving when I was 11 or 12, secretly [laughs].
AM: How did you manage that? Did you ever get caught?
JM: I snuck out [my parents'] car late at night. I didn’t get caught until way later. I got into big trouble for that.
AM: What did your parents do to you?
JM: Not much, they trust me and they know I’m responsible. They just gave me a lecture and said, “Hey, we know you’re a good driver and whatnot, but just wait until you get your license.”
AM: Did your mother have such a lenient response when you told her you wanted to be a professional drifter?
JM: She was like, “Are you crazy?” Korean parents are very against that stuff. Anything to do with racing and working on cars, they don’t want to see that because they see it as suffering. Whenever she saw me working on the car in the garage, working until 5 in the morning, she would be like, “Why are you working on this piece of junk car?” I got frustrated because she’d say things like that. I was already down as it is, even with the three jobs I had I was in debt. I didn’t know how long I’d go.
Eventually she understood, she saw my frustration and how much I wanted it. She really changed and became more supportive. Instead of complaining she would come out say “Oh, here’s some fruit. Eat at least.”
There are all sorts of rules we as kids in Asian families grew up with, like the proper etiquette in front of elders at the dinner table. Our parents would chastise us if we ate before elders or did not use both hands to serve food to them.
After my own parents’ careful instructions, I thought I had been well informed in common table decorum. However, after recently visiting an elder’s house, I learned something new. Though the custom of cutting fruit might seem trivial to us modern day young adults, it ‘s a practice that’s been carried on throughout generations and has significant meaning to the elders being served.
Much like the etiquette surrounding pouring, accepting and even drinking alcohol, cutting fruit in Korean tradition was a social practice that reinforced the underlying social hierarchy of Korean culture. Specifically, the custom of fruit cutting was one way to impart the traditional values of harmony, hospitality and respect.
I, for one, was excited to learn that there were specific methods to cutting fruit, depending on who you were sharing the fruit with. Take, for example, cutting an Asian pear (which are in season now through October).
Besides fruit cutting, there are plenty of other customs in Korean culture that show respect for others and elders, like the way you serve tea or greet one another.
Were there any social graces or table manners that you grew up with or learned recently? Comment below and let us know!
Do you have the best idea for a movie but don’t know what (or who) you have to do to get it made? Enter Battle of the Pitches. In its second year, the competition brings API talents straight to the boardroom where they are judged by high-level Hollywood execs and power players based on their one to two minute pitches for a screenplay idea. Sponsored by FOX Diversity and produced by MAPID (Mavericks of API Descent) and ID Film Fest 2010, Battle of the Pitches aims to promote up-and-coming artists and get them accustomed to the high stakes, pressurized nature of an actual pitch session with a producer or agent. Last year’s winner, James Huang, 33, demolished the competition with his script for the romantic comedy, All Your Fault. Here, he shares with Audrey what the experience was like.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, James.
My name is James Huang. I am primarily an actor and I have also written, produced and directed for film and television over the last 12 years between New York and Los Angeles. My script entitled, “ALL YOUR FAULT” is a romantic comedy that won last year’s Battle of the Pitches at the first ever ‘BREAKING THE BOW’ festival. My script was also a finalist at two other festivals this year, including the Beverly Hills Film Festival and the IndieProducer screenwriting competition.
Can you share with us a little about your experience for last year’s competition?
I don’t remember much of any of it since it was all up and over within a single night for me. My lovely friend, Kelvin Han Yee called me randomly that afternoon and informed me about the Battle of the Pitches a few hours before the event was to take place in Santa Monica. He asked if I had any projects in the works, as I often do, and he encouraged me to pitch my script to the live festival competition. I didn’t feel prepared to do anything of the sort, and so I graciously declined participating. But then Kelvin insulted my masculinity, artistic integrity, and genitalia (in that order) — to which I accepted his challenge and showed up to the Breaking the Bow festival. I didn’t know what any of it was, but I think I saw it advertised on Kelvin’s never ending Facebook tweets earlier that week. I also had to make it clear to Kelvin that all my parts were in perfectly fine working order, size, and of the male gender.
How did you pitch your screenplay?
In terms of pitching it, I just threw it out there in sixty seconds in a similar way that I would in trying to tell a really interesting story or even a joke at a bar — It’s dark, noisy, people’s attention spans are limited and they’ve heard it all before. You have sixty seconds to make an impression or go home alone again — ready, set, GO.
How did you prepare for the pitch?
I guess my preparation was just in the writing process itself. I didn’t prepare anything specific for the actual pitch competition since I didn’t have any time to. I had just recently finished the second draft of my script with my writing partner, Anna Musso. Not only did we have to discuss the material at length in the writing process, but we had been sharing it with a few people to check out and give me feedback and notes. When any writer does this, they naturally talk to others about the story and characters to friends, actors, and other writers. So I was already beginning to get familiar with talking about the key points of my script. I guess being concise and quick about it was all that the pitch competition really required. I also knew that I had to convey the tone of my piece with my presentation, so I had a bit of bitter attitude about it on stage — like a chip on my shoulder, which is what the central character of the story has. The character is on the brink of a melt down from having just been dumped, so I think at one point, I yelled angrily as I was explaining the story on stage. They got a laugh out of that, so I guess it was worked. I also like yelling on stage, no matter what I’m talking about.
What opportunities did winning the competition give you?
Being able to say that my screenplay won a festival contest and that the script was then read and considered by FOX 2000 and FOX Searchlight is always a nice thing to accompany a script when you’re looking for indie producers and investors. But the truth is, I’m still searching to get this film made. Hey, do you know anyone interested in giving me about a quarter million to make a film? I won this pitch competition and got to meet with FOX Searchlight and FOX 2000. They loved it. Absolutely loved it. And I love Kelvin Han Yee.
To enter, send your info to email@example.com. Entry fee is $15
The start of the wedding season has officially kicked off, at least for me. From August to October, it’s going to be matrimony mayhem, as friends from all walks of life take their walk down that aisle.
Thankfully, I’ve been saving up a couple dresses just for these occasions, so after a summer of almost fall-like clothes (where’d our SoCal summer go?), I’m finally able to don some chiffon, rosettes and girly girl heels.
Of course, wedding trends as they are, it’s no surprise that so far the nuptial ceremonies have been located in venues not so girly-girl friendly. One was at a beach — and I mean literally on crunchy, grainy sand. Another was in a state park by a gorgeous, meandering tree — only reachable after a three-minute walk on dirt and wood chips. For sites to say a romantic “I do” — perfect. For guests (like me) who generally live by the mantra of stilettos or nothing — not so much.
Needless to say, a hard-core heel fanatic isn’t going to let a few wood chips slow her down. I can run in my heels if need be. But no painful maneuvering of wood chips was necessary this time. I had a plan.
Now, everyone’s looking for the next big I-can’t-believe-I-lived-without-this thing, and as an editor, you see it all. I’ve seen everything from portable bag hangers to all manner of shapewear to fashion fix-it kits. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of portable flats — little shoes you carry in your purse in case you need to change out of those stilettos. At first, I thought, OK, handy for those long plane rides or hotel rooms. After all, most of them look and feel like little more than glorified foot socks.
But then they got smart. And inventive. Everything from biodegradable to roll-up to carrying cases.
So I tried a pair out. As soon as those wood chips showed up on our hike to that glorious tree where my colleague would say her vows, I switched out my stilettos for a pair of black faux leather CitySlips flats. With a hard rubber sole (that you can still fold in half), leather-like finish, soft micro-suede lining and sturdy construction (not a glorified sock), I almost felt chic in my flats, like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
Success! Stilettos saved, feet splinter-free and, most importantly, the nuptials by the tree were gorgeous and worth every step. Just one more beach wedding to go!
Tickets are on sale now! Sponsored by Ketel One Vodka, Audrey Magazine is hosting Audrey’s Night Out 2010, a fashion event bringing the Asian American community together for an evening of fashion, fantasy and fun!
Collaborating with some of the most exciting talent in the fashion, entertainment and music industries, Audrey’s Night Out will include hot celebrity and professional models in the coolest fall fashion, amazing musical performances you won’t wanna miss, and a fabulous star-studded after-party with hosted bar.
Get your tickets now, and don’t delay. Not only do tickets sell out fast every year, but fashion show seating is assigned based on order of ticket purchase. Don’t be stuck standing — get your tickets now!
One thing I love about my job is discovering all this amazing talent in the fashion and beauty world. One thing that’s frustrating about my job as an editor of an Asian American women’s magazine is that much of that talent is of Asian descent — and we have limited room to feature them in our pages! I wish I could feature them all. Why are Asian Americans so dang brilliant?
Well, Bryna Nicole McMills is one of those brilliant Asian American talents. We’ve been featuring Bryna Nicole bags for years now, and only recently did I discover that McMills is of Asian descent. Started in 2006, the San Francisco-based line is McMills’ answer to everything in fashion that is not stiff, fussy or otherwise impractical. McMills favors “deceptively simple and relaxed shapes, and an unusually sophisticated sense of scale.”
Indeed, rather than bouncing from trend to trend, McMills designs bags that are meant for everyday, while still making you look completely put together. It’s a skill that is no small feat, let me tell you.
Like the Bryna Nicole “Tall Harlow” bag. Substantial and chic, yet a bit slouchy and velvety soft, for that just-threw-it-together look. Lined in a chic black and white floral print and in the season’s must-have caramel hue. It’s a classic that returns every season, but still always manages to look modern.
Bryna Nicole is available at upscale stores like Nordstrom, and e-boutiques like Blondette and LuvCharlie. But you can own a Bryna Nicole “Tall Harlow” bag if you’re the lucky TGIFree Friday giveaway winner this week. Now, this giveaway is just too good for a simple “comment.” So here’s what you have to do:
1. Become a fan or “Like” our Facebook page.
2. Suggest to all your Facebook friends that they become a fan or “Like” our Facebook page.
3. Re-tweet this post for an extra entry.
4. Comment to this post and tell us that you did all the things above.
You have until September 8, 11:59 pm, to enter. (You must have a U.S. mailing address to win.) Good luck and happy Labor Day! Enjoy it while it lasts …
You know you’re hot when pictures of you are upsetting malls all over America.
Posters of Nikita star (and former Audrey cover girl) Maggie Q- and her smokin’ guns and gams -have been pulled off several malls and shopping areas across America as supervisors are afraid of the images being too sexy and fiery. According to Variety, the shots of Q in a leather outfit seated with machine guns have been turned down by various shopping outlets, including the Grove in LA. Places in New York, Chicago and Illinois also passed on the image, allowing a replacement ad of the actress wearing a long red gown, holding a machine gun to be shown instead.
I dont particularly find these images too revealing. Victoria’s Secret ads show more than this! What do you think about all this brou ha ha? Much ado about nothing or a justified cause for concern? Either way, generating more buzz for the already killer-looking show is sure to be good for Nikita when it premieres on the CW on September 9.
More coverage of Maggie Q and her new show can be found in Audrey’s Fall issue.
Just because summer is quickly winding down doesn’t mean there aren’t great events out there to enjoy. If you live in or will be in the San Francisco area later this month, then you must check out the outdoor screening of Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Ponyo).
Bring your family and friends and join the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and the Japantown Merchants Association at the Japantown Peace Plaza (Post Street at Buchanan Street) on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm. This event is free for everyone and early arrival is highly suggested as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
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.
For more information on this event, please visit www.asianamericanmedia.org.
At the Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif., I found myself holding a large styrofoam board to help Audrey Magazine‘s staff photographer Audrey Cho shoot Courtney Jane, our cover model. It wasn’t that hot, but I found myself perspiring in my skinny jeans, standing in the sun for so long.
This was my first photo shoot, and it was cool to see how the issue was slowly being put together. Chriselle had artfully put together standout outfits while Courtney Jane was getting her makeup and hair done. The Americana also had residences surrounding the main plaza, so we found ourselves getting ready for the shoot in one of the homes on the third floor. We had a balcony that had a nice view of the fountain and the surrounding stores.
The dressing area was girl heaven. There was jewelry spread out all over the coffee table in the living room, shoes of all sorts lined neatly against the wall, and a rack waiting to break from the weight of all the clothes hanging from it. Bags spilled over the counter, and I carefully stood back, afraid my klutzy side would emerge and ruin thousands of dollars worth of fashion and accessories.
We shot at multiple locations, all scattered and tucked into the nooks and crannies of the Americana. Many people stopped to take a peek at the production, with Courtney Jane at the center of it all, modeling the clothes. All in all, it was a pretty cool day.