Audrey Magazine got a chance to play its hand at the First Annual Celebrity Poker Tournament hosted by Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) at the W Hotel in Hollywood, benefitting the foundation’s educational programming. CAPE advances diversity and cross-cultural awareness by educating and promoting Asian Pacific Americans for key artistic and leadership roles in the entertainment industry.
We chatted with some celebs and asked about their upcoming projects, poker strategies and thoughts on CAPE’s mission.
If you’re like me, you’ll be happy to hear that this week you can watch some gourmet food trucks specializing in Asian Far battle it out to be the best. But if for some reason food isn’t your thing, you can test your poker face a celebrity poker tournament, check out the premieres of two movies, both filled with drama, violence and conflict.
13th Annual Summer Festival on the Courtyard: Food Trucks and Tea Festival
When: Saturday, August 13 11:00 am
Where: Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012
It’s a family-friendly event today with crafts, music, tea tastings and a special concert. Have your photo taken and make your own frame; make one-of-a-kind coasters for your tea parties; and make origami with the kids. Vocalist Yoko Fujimoto and composer/arranger/pianist Derek Nakamoto will fuse traditional Japanese folk songs with a twist of impressionistic jazz, classical and R&B tunes.
CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment’s holiday party felt a little like a company shindig-that is, if your co-workers were James Kyson Lee, Archie Kao or Carrie Anne Inaba. Oh yea, and if the party was held at the swanky Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. Celebs, awards, schmoozers and free-flowing alcohol was all here as the esteemed organization recognized two movers and shakers in the industry, actor/comedian Ken Jeong took home the prestigious New Horizons Award and industry exec Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, won the Visionary Award. Here are 10 Things that I mused about the soiree.
1) Lots of peer love going around.
Forget the whole stigma that actors are always catty and competitive with each other. If anything, CAPE is an organization that demonstrates exactly how much Asians are supporting one another in the industry. As one of my good friends once said, “when one of us gets an opportunity like a part in a movie or show, it just moves us as an entire race, forward.”
2. I can get starstruck.
My gig as assistant editor of Audrey Magazine is pretty sweet. I get to talk to celebrities on a regular basis through interviews and parties like this. So it’s been a while since I got starstruck. But the fan-girl in me totally came out when I saw Keiko Agena on the red carpet. Gilmore Girls is forever my favorite show and I told her so the first chance I got. I think I scared her a little. Yea, having a 5’9″ asian girl in a flowery cocktail dress come up to you exclaiming, “I love your work and your show and your character and YOU” is a little scary, I suppose.
3. There is no classy way to eat chicken wings.
I tried. I really did. You just can’t make eating chicken wings at a soiree look classy. But they sure were delicious.
4. Pageant queens are a hit at parties.
As part of the Miss LA Chinatown court this year, I got to relish the attention at parties and gatherings when I’m in my crown and sash like no other. Apparently, looking like royalty is quite the conversation starter. CAPE was smart in including on their guest list two sets of pageant girls; former Miss California USAs were on hand (right) as well as the current Miss LA Chinatown court. (I’m not in my royal attire because I just wanted to be a normal civilian for one night!)
5. A church is a cool place to get down.
The Vibiana in Downtown LA is such a sweet place to throw a party! The sound system is a little tough to bear but with the classic interior and great lighting, it’s definitely a spot I’d frequent again.
6. And the outdoors is not bad either!
7. Ken Jeong is DA MAN.
He can joke, he can act, he can dance, he can make the best acceptance speeches. If I had an award to give out, I’d give it to Jeong too. (Congrats on winning the New Horizons Award!)
8. I swear I’m not an alcoholic.
But free-flowing booze like the sake shown above definitely made it easier to enjoy the evening. (Not that I wasn’t enjoying it already.)
9. Photobooth is fun!
10. People with a whole lotta heart made this event possible.
It’s to a group of very dedicated individuals that have made CAPE as successful as it is today. So cheers to you, Jennifer Sanderson, Ken Choy and company!
Thanks to CAPE Press and Carmen Chan for providing all the photos and making me look like a photo hog.
Had your fill of turkey? Avoiding the Black Friday crowds? Escape some of the holiday stress with some fun, beauty and plain old comedy to lift your spirits. Make sure to check out some of these awesome events going on all over the U.S., in the upcoming week.
Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art
What: Works in various media from the Museum’s collection explore the pervasive themes of celebration and longevity in the art of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
When: Now through November 28, 2010
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
CAPE Soiree 2010
What: The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) presents its highly-anticipated CAPE Soiree. This year’s event features special appearances by not one but both of the Mr. Sulus of Star Trek: John Cho and the legendary George Takei. Also appearing are Academy Award nominee Iris Yamashita (Letters from Iwo Jima) and Quentin Lee, director of The People I’ve Slept With. Additional celebrity guests include Dancing With the Stars’ Carrie Ann Inaba, Twilight’s Justin Chon, and Gilmore Girl’s Keiko Agena. Honorees are Comedian Ken Jeong and CBS President of Entertainment, Nina Tassler.
Founded in 1991 in Los Angeles, CAPE is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing diversity and creating social change by actively developing, promoting, and positioning Asian Pacific Americans for key artistic and leadership roles in the entertainment industry and media arts.
When: December 2, 2010; 6:30-11:00pm
Where: Vibiana, 210 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
How much: Tickets are $75.00 for CAPE Members; $95.00 for Nonmembers. A special Soiree Combo Ticket is also available.
More info: Ticket purchase and detailed information are available at www.capeusa.org.
Comedy Zen: Jokes of Fury
What: The multicultural troupe Comedy Zen presents Boston comedian Joe Wong, who has appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman, and stuntman Steven Ho, who holds the record for most appearances on the short-lived The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Wong will demonstrate some of his stunt work on Comedy Zen’s lucky comedian volunteers. Hasan Minhaj will host.
When: December 3, 2010 @ 8:30 pm & 10 pm
Where: 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
How much: $20
KHELEIN HUM JEE JAAN SEY
What: Based on the true story of the 1930 Chittagong Uprising in British India and shot mostly in Goa, this period thrilled is helmed by the award-winning director Ashutosh Gowariker and stars two of Bollywood biggest names, Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone.
When: December 3, 2010
Where: In more than 60 theaters across the U.S. Find a theater near you at www.kheleinhumjeejaansey.com/
THE DREAMS OF JINSHA
What: The most expensive animated film ever produced in China (it took five years to make), THE DREAMS OF JINSHA was released in China in July and is now finally going to be released in the U.S. The film follows Xiao Long, a modern day middle-school student who, after being transported 3,000 years back in time to the magical kingdom of Jinsha, discovers his true destiny. Together with the beautiful Princess Hau’er, he must draw upon all his resources to fight the wicked forces threatening the peace of the kingdom.
When: December 3, 2010
Where: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills, CA
Thi Cosmetics Holiday Luxe Event
What: Indulge in a new look just in time for the holidays. Check out celebrity makeup artist Taylor Pham’s must-have makeup line Thi — every purchase more than $100 comes with two complimentary foundation shades, a Sakura blush (my favorite), and a Quinn lipstick! RSVP in advance (there are only 18 seats available!) and get a complimentary 30-minute color consultation. And for the entire month of December and January, get 20% off all cuts and color!
When: December 4, 2010, 12 noon to 6 pm
Where: Mimi & Taylor Salon, 522 Bryant St., Palo Alto, CA
More info: 650-327-8880, mimi-taylor.com
Long Grove Holiday Festivities
What: Stuck in the Midwest? Make the most of the chilly weather and get into the spirit and enjoy the sounds, sights, and hospitality of a bygone era. Expect to see carolers, lighting of the holiday tree, Santa sightings, and magical chimes all over the historic village.
When: Now through December 31, 2010
Where: Old McHenry Rd. at Robert Parker Coffin Rd. Long Grove, Chicago IL
“The public is screaming for Asian American talent,” CAPE director, Jennifer Sanderson tells me. “Screaming for Asian American talent. I get calls on a daily basis asking for Asian American writers and talents. I want our communities to know about these opportunities and just really go for it.”
Judging by the numerous submissions that CAPE received from the United States and all over the world (including Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan), it seems like the talents are responding. The prestigious 11th annual CAPE New Writers Awards, in both Screenwriting and Television Writing categories packed the Japanese American National Museum’s (JANM) theater with industry newcomers and pros alike.
The event, produced by CAPE (the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) Foundation, Inc., and Fox Entertainment Group (with support from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association), honored Jaffar Mahmood as the Screenwriting winner for his script, How to Throw a Party in Pakistan. Mia Riverton’s script, His & Hers and Ann. N. Truong’s script, So I Married a Black Guy were 1st and 2nd runner up, respectively. Randall Park took home the Television Writing award for his original script, Erasists. Leonard Chang’s Isa’s Return was 1st runner-up and Becoming Kate by Leonardo Nam and Sara Drew was 2nd runner up.
If many of these names sound familiar to you, it’s probably because they are familiar faces.
Ceremony producer Leo Chu remarks, “About half of our finalists this year have been actors so apparently, they have been busy acting as well as writing.” He goes on to joke, “Some of them, it’s the first script they’ve ever written which is pretty astounding and disheartening to me as a writer.”
And even more impressive is the fact that whereas in the past, winners have been scripts that were adapted from shows currently on air or movies that have already been made (for example, last year’s Television Writing Winner, Aaron Ho’s script was his version of a How I Met Your Mother episode), all 6 of this year’s scripts were original.
After the awards were handed out, the audience was treated to readings of last year’s winning scripts. Amusing, heartfelt and very well-written, the works definitely carry merit.
“Writers are king, “ Sanderson says, “We have to develop these talents.”
Future projects CAPE has in store for aspiring writers include a “Writing for Mainstream” workshop which Sanderson feels will be an amazing way for writers to get their work out.
Photos courtesy of Steven Lam