The Buzz: Serious Monkey Business

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sig-fionamaSerious Monkey Business:  Last month I asked “Who is this Ip Man”http://www.asianweek.com/2013/09/18/the-buzz-3/ and found out the history of the famous Wing Chun master and legend.  Donnie Yen starred in the original 2008 Hong Kong/China Ip Man blockbuster and will once again show off his fighting prowess as the hairy beast in the Monkey King to be released next month in China and in the US on Valentine’s Day 2/14/2014 (for romantics: there is love story line and classy Chow Yun Fat plays the Jade Emperor).   The Monkey King is based on the classic epic Chinese novel where a stone monkey acquires supernatural powers enabling him to transform into various animals and objects and cast various spells as he battles armies of gods and demons on his journey to/from India. Yen is hailed as one of Hong Kong’s top action heroes and choreographers and is currently one of the highest paid actors in Asia.  As a young boy, Yen was influenced by his mother who was a martial arts grandmaster in her own right so it is no surprise that today, Yen is a world Wushu champion and has “belts” in Taekwondo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a new passion for Mixed Martial Arts.  Fans can also look forward to Yen as the lead actor in the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel again starring Michelle Yeoh (and possibly actress Ziyi Zhang) to begin shooting March, 2014.

 

Donnie Yen as the Monkey King.

Donnie Yen as the Monkey King.

Bridging Two Cultures: Fellow New Yorker Rita Mah, Esq. is bringing new energy to the Chinese Newcomers Service Center, a non-profit providing services to new immigrants to the Bay Area since 1969.  Each year, a major source of funding comes from the annual Emperor and Empress Charity Gala where men and women compete to win the coveted title.  This year, SF Entertainment Commissioner Steven Lee is helping CNSC as a candidate for Emperor and welcomed home to the Bay Area singer, producer, writer, poet, hip hop artist, manager (and the list goes on….) Hollis Wong-Wear last Friday night for two special musical performances at the Drake and the Grand.  Hollis was born and raised in Petaluma, CA to a first generation Mom from Hong Kong (friends with Rita) and father who opened her eyes to music and writing.  She earned a coveted four year scholarship to Seattle University where she immersed herself immediately into the local Seattle slam poetry scene.  Today, at the young age of 25, she plays in a number of bands including her Indy band The Flavr Blue, produces videos and performs with rap artist Macklemore, manages The Blue Scholars and acts in local playhouses. Steven Lee was impressed and said Hollis reminded him of an “Asian Fergie Still-in-Training” as he recalled a young Fergie playing with the relatively unknown Black Eyed Peas at the GlasKat in 2002.  Check out her August performance with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis joined by SchoolboyQ and Hollis on Jay Leno  http://www.xclusiveszone.net/2013/08/video-macklemore-ryan-lewis-schoolboy-q-hollis-white-walls-live-on-jay-leno/  Cheer on Steven Lee and the other Emperor/Empress candidates: Henry Hu, Sam Wear, Doreen Shew-Tan, Belinda Ho, and Robyn Lee at the Gala dinner on Friday, October 25th starting at 6 p.m. at the Far East Café, 631 Grant Avenue, SF.  www.ChineseNewcomers.org.

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Don’t Miss Sansei Live!:  Please join Club Yonsei Lounge hosts Steven Lee, Kevin Kepik Cheung, Christopher Do, Caitlyn Chi, Alex Wentsong Lin, Vince Aguilar, John Tam, Victoria Cheung, Constance Ng, Mark Trang, Carlos Serrano-Quan, Billy Jung, Annie Sin, Wei Xu, Monica Chung, Lisa La Realtor & Henry Chu (Producer of All Men are Thieves) in supporting Kimochi, a non-profit serving 3,000 Bay Area Japanese American seniors and their families each year.  Join these hip Yonsei’s as they bring in a new crowd, a new vibe and new vision to one of San Francisco’s longest running iconic API events on Saturday, October 19th from 6 pm to midnight at Club Yonsei Lounge, 1 Ferry Plaza, SF 94111 featuring most requested local EDM/POP DJ/Producer KEPIK (From Ruby Sky, Temple, Yoshi’s, The Grand, 1015 Folsom, Slide)  https://www.facebook.com/events/452894508160071/  FOR ADVANCE TICKETS, please contact any of the hosts’ listed above for the “all access” passes to great music and talented live performances. Ticket holders are also having access to attend the AFTER PARTY at the DRAKE LOUNGE immediately following the event at midnight.

 

Miss California Crystal Lee, first runner-up, congratulates Miss New York Nina Davuluri as she is named Miss America 2014 in Atlantic City on September 15, 2013.

Miss California Crystal Lee, first runner-up, congratulates Miss New York Nina Davuluri as she is named Miss America 2014.

Celebrating Diversity:  Last month, 53 beautiful and talented women answered thoughtful questions, showed off their talent and flair at this year’s Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.  The last two standing was an Indo American from New York and a Chinese American from California (Trivia:  The last time two Asian Americans were finalists on stage was 1983.)  Introducing Miss America 2014:  Nina Davuluri, age 24, Syracuse, New York, is the first ever Indian American to ever be crowned. Her family is from the Vijaywada region in South India. She performed a Bollywood inspired dance wearing a traditional “sari” and told the crowd to “be confident in who you are” when asked a question about plastic surgery.  Davuluri wants to be a doctor like her father and is applying to medical school with the help of her $50,000 scholarship winnings.  The First Runner Up winner was San Francisco native Crystal Lee, age 22.  Lee studied dance at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts Public High School (great school with talented kids) and graduated in June with double degrees from Stanford University in four years (a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and a Masters degree in Communications); Her platform was “Girls in STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and she performed the “Dying Swan” Ballet en Pointe.  Originally Lee wanted a career in broadcast news but currently interns at Dropbox and wants to eventually start her own tech company.  Thanks for representing ladies!

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