Jimmy Wong | “Never stop working. If you’re doing something you love, then it shouldn’t be a problem. “
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.
Art can reveal a lot about the world, and even more about the artist. Jeff Tang’s work, characterized by serious subjects contrasted with bright colors, appropriately represents this unconventional hipster artist-photographer with a fascination for death and a collection of 30 varieties of cacti. Join OA (while trying not to get kicked out of Ranch 99 market), as the talented, free-spirited guy behind 12FV talks about passion vs. marketability in art, his reliability on technology, and why he still takes photos with film.
You know someone was born to sing when they are the loudest crying newborn in the whole hospital. That little badass is now an award-winning, full-fledged artist preparing for this year’s Kollaboration Acoustic, where she will debut her most compelling song yet, “Meant to Sing.” Lindsey Yung is a San Diego native, with a voice of haunting beauty, grace, and truth. But despite her brilliant talent, she remains one of the most genuine, humble, and charming artists in this industry. Lindsey also presents a new perspective on OA: you can also pursue your passion with a balance: her stable, part-time nurse practitioner career still allows her to dive into music 40 hours per week…and occasionally swim with the sea turtles in Maui.
Akuf-f-functure? Yes, you said it right. It’s acupuncture that got a little funky. What separates founder Samuel Wang’s high-fashion-street-wear clothing line is that it brings the cool back into Chinese culture, educating its wearers with a new culturally significant theme each season. Wang, born and raised in Taiwan, aims to share a piece of his culture with America. And they don’t just stop there—the Akufuncture entity also serves as a vehicle to showcase talented Chinese American artists—including our very own Olivia Thai, Dawen, and Andrew Fung—in their various concerts and fashion shows. But Akufuncture isn’t just all diligence. OA walked into 85C Café to find an easy-going, smooth-talking jokester and his nicer, less sarcastic counterpart, Marketing Director Virginia Lin. The light, friendly atmosphere immediately gave away the amount of fun and joy they have in their work. After all, Wang, an engineer-turned-fashionista, can now justify shopping as market research.
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.
Go see an artist live, and expect to hear them perform, then you clap. Go see Jane live, and don’t expect a performance. Instead, you’ll feel like you’ve known Jane since you were in diapers, and the two of you are hanging out in her room as she shares stories and music. The level of comfort you feel in Jane’s presence and her ability to connect with an audience is astounding. Born and raised in Hong Kong, surviving the culture shock of moving to the U.S. at age 12, and starting her solo career in 2004, Jane boasts a Best Recording Nomination for the 2008 San Diego Music Awards and was a featured artist on YouTube on 2009. This 2008 Kollaboration winner has not rested a day, and for good reason—she successfully raised $11,600 from fans for her third album, Goodnight Company, showcasing another round of chills-inducing beauty and, of course, quirkiness. But what’s more, we witness Jane’s personal growth. Join OA as Jane shares never-before-told stories of her eventful life, the reason for a 10-year silence between her and her father, and in her own words, how she has grown into “a joyful and life-loving person.” Well said, Jane.
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.