I found myself sitting in C.Y. Lee’s living room, sipping on a cup of hot tea and listening to him recount stories of Broadway and Hollywood more than 70 years ago. Holy shiz! He’s 94 now and clearly a living legend. For those that aren’t familiar, he wrote NY Times best seller ‘Flower Drum Song‘, which was adapted into a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein and later made into a lavish Ross Hunter production released by Universal Studios in 1961. It was nominated for 5 Oscars, a Golden Globe and has been made and remade countless times. So here I was…..drinking tea with C.Y. and chatting it up like a little kid listening to their grandfather tell lively stories of war, love, passion and art. Truly a humbling experience.
We were later joined by Lang Yun, a vibrant actress who has worked with Asian icons such as Bruce Lee in the original Green Hornet. Speaking over 12 languages including French, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and German – she offered guidance, support and I even got to do an improv scene with her! She’s such a strong actress, it was so much fun diving into character with Lang. More to come on that….
Last but not least, we were joined by Calvin Jung, a charismatic and talented badass. His resume showcases titles such as Lethal Weapon 4, Robocop and most recently Valentines Day. He’s dedicated to helping talent and has a website, Actor’s Insider Club, that is truly an open and honest forum guiding committed actors in the right direction. He shares his experiences and insight and it’s all extremely helpful!
Why are we all gathered here on a rainy afternoon, you ask? Simple. I was graciously requested for an interview by Jeff, who produces segments for US Asians (his recent interviewees include Daniel Wu, Peter Shiao just to name a few) for a story exploring Asian Americans in the industry from past generations till now. Sitting in a room watching everyone talk openly about their obstacles, challenges, and successes was pretty freakin’ amazing – it also further fueled my ambition and drive to continue the pursuit of my passion!
These guys were the pioneers in their respective era, and I was completely in awe being in their presence. The interview was split into two parts. We only completed half, and will be doing 1×1′s soon. It was nice to stay indoors on a rainy day with these rock stars!
More to come, stay tuned…….!
I apologize for picture quality, it’s my phone’s fault – I swear!
xox – Katie
P.S. A big shout out to Karissa for all her work in putting this together – you rock!! <3