Behind the Scenes with Stephanie Chuang

I recently interviewed Stephanie Chuang, an anchor-reporter at the KSBW station, an NBC affiliate in the Central Coast region California. She is an '07 graduate of Northwestern University, majoring in broadcast journalism and Asian American studies. In a business with so much attention and publicity, she shared her experiences both on-screen and off-screen as a young Taiwanese American professional. Lisa: How did you become interested in the field of journalism? Stephanie: It started off with…

A Chat with Actor Kelvin Yu

I recently met up with Taiwanese American actor and friend Kelvin Yu in Los Angeles. I've known him for years, even before he started his acting career, so it has been a privilege to see him find success in Hollywood over the past decade. Kelvin's studies range from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television to London University at Goldsmiths in New Cross to Carter-Thor Studios in Los Angeles. Television credits include Popular, The Shield, Without a Trace, Gilmore Girls, ER, Studio…

From East to West with Wong Fu Productions

During the past year, I was fortunate enough to hang out with the guys of independent filmmaking company Wong Fu Productions on three separate occasions, in three different cities. As they jet-set from coast to coast, campus to campus, their fans instantly recognize them and never quite allow them to be the international secret agents they hoped to be. Their fans know what I’m talking about. Despite the young crowds that recognize and surround them wherever they go (I even noticed discrete phone…

Taiwanese and American, Democratic or Republican during the 2008 Presidential Election

TaiwaneseAmerican.org recently approached two of the leaders of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs - Young Professional Group to share their perspectives as our nation approaches the 2008 Presidential Elections. As Taiwanese Americans, our views and experiences are multi-faceted, and we must often acknowledge both Taiwanese and American issues. The following is not necessarily comprehensive nor approaches these topics in the depth they deserve, but serves as a starting point for conversation... PART…

An Interview with Jimmy Tsai of Ping Pong Playa

I recently caught up with Taiwanese American actor Jimmy Tsai, who plays Christopher "C-dub" Wang, a suburban urban-wannabe who dreams of a career as a pro basketball player in the unbelievably funny comedy film, PingPong Playa, just now hitting theaters. Christopher "C-Dub" Wang is the anti-"model-minority" Asian American lead character who lives in the shadow of his older brother, a doctor and ping pong champion. When C-Dub reluctantly takes his mother's place as the the ping pong teacher…

Literary author Francie Lin talks about a different kind of Foreigner

Francie Lin may have never visited the Taiwanese criminal underworld or sang in a seedy karaoke bar, but she has written an acclaimed debut novel, The Foreigner, set in the hidden alleys of Taipei. Emerson Chang is a 40-year-old Taiwanese American virgin who has met his mother for dinner every Friday night for fifteen years. But after her unexpected death, long-buried secrets and family loyalty will take him on an unpredictable journey back to Taiwan—and to the rebellious younger brother lost…

An Interview with Abe Young, Author of Humanity at Stake

A few months ago, I accidentally came across a brief work-in-progress by Abe Young, a 2nd generation Taiwanese American who was inspired to write about the generally touchy subject of Taiwan-China-US relations. What captured my attention most was his wonderful ability to explore the depth and breadth of the issues, yet frame it through a captivating conversation that he had one day with his two fellow volunteers at the Housing Works Used Books & Cafe. I was so impressed by his writing that…

Where Jazz, Taiwan, and the Vocal Stylings of Jen Shyu Fuse.

"It doesn't matter if you don't know the music well, I just want you to sing it loud and proud," Jen Shyu declares, as she teaches a traditional Taiwanese folk song to a group of her peers at the North American Taiwanese Womens Association's 2nd Generation program in Los Angeles. This is, after all, a conference where the focus is on connecting the community, bridging this generation with the ones before, and taking pride in their collective sisterhood. During this session, Jen easily captures the…

A Conversation with the Taiwan Sons-in-Law

by Audrey Jean What does it mean to be a Taiwanese American? How strong of a tie should we feel towards our parent culture? How much of our life should we devote to exploring and promoting our heritage? These are questions that we all think about and come up with our own answers for. But, however much, or little, we choose to identify with our Taiwanese background, it is after all our heritage, our DNA even, and therefore will always be a part of us. Well, how do you answer these same questions…

The Hsu-nami: Erhu Rock

The Hsu-nami. It’s an audacious rock band with a twist. Based in Mahwah, New Jersey, the group comprises standard rock band elements (Brent Bergholm- Lead Guitar, Vinny Belcastro- Guitar, Derril Sellers- Bass, John Manna- Drums, and Adam Toth- Piano/Synth). But in place of a lead singer, you’ll find 24-year-old Jack Hsu playing erhu, a two-stringed “Chinese violin”-- revamped with electronic pickups, of course. So I sat down for a little online chat with Jack and got him talking about his…