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EWP 2011 Visionary Awards Gala


Posted by KatieSoo

One of the most rewarding things about living in LA is being able to participate in the constant celebration of diversity in arts and films. This awards gala was a great example of that.

When I was itty bitty, I would fantasize about one day moving to LA and pursuing the dream. It wasn’t long before I graduated high school and started dabbling in the industry. I remember when I was 16 and working in radio, (yea, radio – imagine that!) my editor, Henrik and I, embarked on a journey to cover a news story about Asian American actors in Hollywood. It was a personal piece to me, and a great learning process. We packed our bags and got on a plane to LA. We had interviews set up with breakout actors: Brian Tee, Roger Fan and Brooke Lee. It’s been such an inspiration seeing where each of their career paths have taken them, and it was also through them that I first heard of the name East West Players.

Fast forward 10 years (Holy butt, I just gave away my age), here I am, sitting at a table for the 45th anniversary gala for EWP. I invited my dear friends, Kelvin Han Yee (amazing actor!) and his darling wife, Margarita, as well as my crazy charming friend from Chicago. We ate, drank and were merry watching the ‘The Three Filipino Tenors’ and Laurie Cadevidaserenade the audience with their great voices. And yes, the stereotype holds true – Filipinos can REALLY belt a tune! :) We were super lucky to be sitting steps away from the stage, the whole night was an up close and personal experience – we had so much fun!

This year, I was particularly excited to see and support Harry Shum Jr., for being the recipient of this year’s breakout performance award. Many of you know him from Glee, but I had the privilege of briefly working with him on Ross Ching’s ’3 Minutes’, and I just have nothing but respect for this man. He’s talented, an amazing dancer/actor, committed to the arts, and most of all – an inspiration. This award was well deserved, congrats Harry (sorry for the drive by pic, bud, meant to tell you in person but got lost in the shuffle)! ;)  The hosts, Tamlyn Tomita and James Kyson-Lee, were bursting with energy, making the show a complete success.

The mess of desserts that followed the show were like dirty temptresses laying on the tables. I’m on Day 7 of the Clean Program (why am I putting myself through this, again?) and after being continuously taunted by the apple pie, I decided to teach it a lesson and make it live in my tummy. Epic fail. Dr. Junger wouldn’t be proud. *sigh* Long story short, after being defeated by the dessert table, my friends and I spent the next hour talking, catching up, and meeting new and wonderful people. I skipped out on the after party since it was a Monday, but definitely looking forward to catching EWP’s new show ‘Krunk Fu Battle Battle‘ on their opening night! ;)


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