Welly Yang – Creator and Entrepreneur

Los Angeles, CA

I create things: from live musicals, to awards shows, to architectural buildings.  I conceive of a project and bring together the pieces necessary to make it come to life.

yang.welly1Who are you?

I am a new father, a husband, an artist, singer, writer, actor, creator, builder, investor, entrepreneur, businessman.

I am known as the founder of Second Generation, a New York based theater company dedicated to bringing Asian American stories to the world’s stage. In the early 90’s, I starred in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon, playing the lead role of Thuy, and then went on to tour Asia in the title role of Cole Porter’s Aladdin. I’ve been seen in television shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, As the World Turns, National Geographic Explorer and Ghostwriter.

In the recent decade, I founded the “Concert of Excellence” to celebrate the achievements of Asian Americans in entertainment, which evolved into the Asian Excellence Awards, a nationally televised event.

What do you do?

I create things: from live musicals, to awards shows, to architectural buildings.  I conceive of a project and bring together the pieces necessary to make it come to life.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

My parents and grandparents are my heroes. I often look to them for inspiration. I grew up going to Taiwanese American camps, like TAC and TAF, and later ITASA. The friends I made there were always good people, who I admired and looked up to. Their parents were always hardworking, family loving, and supportive. When I go to Taiwan, I find the same traits and kinship with the people there. What they all have in common is that they are Taiwanese. These people are my heritage.

What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

A community that pulls together when needed.  A community that is supportive of those inside and outside of the community.  A community that is proud but also humble.

Any additional information you would like to share?

[Added by the editor]

Welly Yang and Dina Morishita sing “Last Night of the World” from Miss Saigon, with members of the Singapore Symphony, conducted by Jason Robert Brown: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19AN6ScdkBw

A clip from a popular Taiwanese variety show hosted by Chong Fay in 2004 where Welly Yang sings a familiar Taiwanese tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MyqdEutKAE

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