J.T. Tran aka The Asian Playboy | “People can learn it with enough hard work, perseverance, and practical application”
The OA team has a rather unconventional feature for you this week! Meet J.T. Tran, or better known as The Asian Playboy, he is an award winning dating coach who has helped tons of people improve their dating life. His work has been featured on ABC, VH1′s The Pickup Artist, LA Weekly, and more! On top of that, J.T. has won awards for the Worlds #1 Asian Pick-Up artist countless years. Read on as OA sits down with J.T. over sushi and he shares stories relating to his upbringing, his development as a dating coach, and the definition of “swagger”!
Cornell on full scholarship. Harvard Business School graduate. Goldsea’s “120 Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time.” CAPE board member. Producer ofPursuit of Happyness, Saving Face, Hitch…intimidated yet? Quite. But look past these extremely well-deserved accolades, Teddy Zee is the epitome of modesty, selflessness, and is just plain cool—black Prius-driving, P90X-doing, picture-tweeting cool. You just have to roll that way as one of the most admired role models in the industry and a passionate advocate of Asian Americans in entertainment, bringing to life countless projects and giving unparalleled opportunities to Asian American talent. As if Teddy had anymore time on his hands, he is also a devoted supporter of non-profits, particularly the Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF). Be sure to support this wonderful organization and Teddy’s enormous efforts by voting to help them win a Toyota Sienna minivan on Friday, August 12, 3am-9am PST! www.votecpaf.org
The most commonly used word to describe this week’s OA feature is beautiful. Jaw-dropping. Stunning. Gorgeous. So beautiful she was the face of Clinique’s international campaign. It’s hard to believe that she, too, has struggled with self-image; she, too, was shy; and she, too, has been pressured by society to alter her body. This explains why Arden Cho—multi-talented actress, model, and singer—is in fact one of the most down-to-earth, pleasant “dorks” whose mission in life is not fame or fortune, but to inspire the next generation, especially Asian American girls to accept themselves and pursue their passion. The world is beginning to witness the exciting fruits of her painstaking labor, and she is on track to becoming an international role model. Yes, Arden is the living breathing embodiment of OA’s mission.
You know you’ve made it when you graduated from Harvard working directly with Obama himself and the U.S. Department of Education/White House Initiative on APIs; or how about when you graduate UPenn and work for one of the most prestigious consulting firms; oh, here’s one: going to Harvard. Med. School. Yep, these are the boys—no, men—of The Jubilee Project: Eddie Lee, Jason Y. Lee, and Eric Lu, respectively. Amazed? We just got started. Most people couldn’t even dream of achieving these titles, and those who do can sit back and enjoy the well-deserved ride of proud parents and stable salaries. But great minds with even bigger hearts aren’t just satisfied with personal success. Jason, Eric, and Eddie, the trio behind The Jubilee Project, are pioneering good-doing through social media. Their innovative active viewership model allows them to make films for good causes, raising awareness and money by having sponsors donate one penny per view. Their film “Love Language” for example, garnered over one million views—that’s one million individuals made more aware of an important issue (we don’t want to give it away—watch it for yourself below!); that’s one million human beings united in greater understanding, empathy, and inspiration. Join OA for the most epic and passionate interview with three brilliant guys who make “smart” and “hardworking” the new sexy. There’s a saying, “Einstein, Galileo, and Newton all had just as much time in the day as you do.” It’s only appropriate to add an addendum: Eric, Eddie, and Jason all have just as much time in the day as you do. Inspired? Keep reading.
Eliot Chang | “You’re going to suck anyway [when you first start off as a comedian], so just start somewhere.”
I walk into The Improv, treading on the same ground as the great Eddie Murphy, Jay Leno, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Sandler, and now, Eliot Chang. You know you’re in a comedy club when you’re greeted with, “Another Asian? Alright Eliot, you’ve reached your quota. This is the last one I’m letting in.” And so the night begins—we bond by candlelight about Eliot’s least favorite color and relationship status. Then he catches on to OA’s alterior motive: our “Fun Facts” are clearly just a cover-up for a secret desire to blind date all of our interviewees. But in all seriousness, Eliot exudes a rare confidence, a calm mystery, topped off with a suave wardrobe, and is not afraid to improvise and speak his mind. It’s little wonder how his natural comedic prowess landed him the #2 spot on Comedy Central’s Stand Up Showdown 2011 for his Comedy Central Presents half hour special. And he wins the #1 spot for OA’s best piece of advice: You’re going to suck anyway [when you first start off as a comedian], so just start somewhere.
Grace Su aka Peachies | “Anything is worth pursuing if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and if there’s meaning behind it”
What’s OA’s favorite flavor of gummy rings? Grace Su aka Peachies, of course! This nerdy-shirt-sporting, flasses-wearing, down-to-earth jack-of-all-trades is passionately leading the Asian American movement, taking over one media outlet at a time. She got her modest start in the Xanga days as Better Luck Tomorrow‘s biggest fan, and has impressively worked her way up to directing and producing films, including Future Rock Stars of America, curating the music video program for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and landing enough editing gigs to keep her consumption of hard-boiled eggs at an alarming level (see Fun Facts). But most of all, this stunning yet humble beauty is finally taking the leap into acting, and given her track record, she’ll unquestionably be annihilating one ridiculous Asian stereotype after another. Satisfy your sweet tooth as OA chats with Grace in a candy store, where everything was just… peachy.
Jeannie Mai | ” Empowering women. I want young women here to do whatever it is that they dream to do.”
Sick beats, eloquent words, and witty humor comes standard with the package of this Seattle comedian-rapper. The icing on the cake is his ability to make social commentary sexy, covering every issue from the AZN Pride era of xxAZNballaxx and cutieAZNpriNc3ss screen names to the remarkable headway we’ve made into pop culture since then. Say hello to Andrew Fung, aka Inglish. Using the springboard of social media, Andrew has graced us with rhyme after badass rhyme, including Still Got Rice, the spot-on update and clever remake to the infamous Got Rice. In fact, he and his rap group Model Minority have been doing enough damage to catch the attention of the LA Times And Andrew doesn’t stop there. He and his brother David made the brave trek to the city of dreamers and doers just two weeks ago, and you can find them already killing it at open mics. Welcome to Los Angeles Andrew.