I was having a conversation with a friend about how so many things in our life always has ‘some catch’ to it. When things seems simple and all will go our way, it turns out a completely different way. Essentially the old adage that “nothing in life is easy” really seems to apply in my life. We ended the conversation by agreeing that it’s best to have a sense of humor about the anticlimactic ironies of life. So this brings me to the ATH question. What was one of your most anti-climactic moments?
When I turned sixteen, all I wanted was a car. What kid in high school doesn’t want a ride at sixteen. It’s a big deal for every American teenager. My family had a old junky 79 Dodge Monaco parked on the side of the house. It had a broken windshield so it was retired and waiting to be pawned to some sucker. I asked my dad if I could have the car. He said I could if I fixed the windshield. I called around and the cost to replace it was around 250 bucks. I had no job, no savings, no source of income except my lunch money. So I starved myself and saved my lunch money for about 5 months. I finally had the money to fix the windshield and was ready to take possession of my sweet ride. I went to my dad to take possession of the keys. When I asked him for the keys he asked me if I had insurance. What?! In short, I never had a car in high school.
It’s pretty cool to be a part of a franchise like Fast and Furious. I’ve been able to grow in so many ways. As an actor and as a man. It’s funny how a popcorn flick like Fast and Furious has taught me so much and given me life lessons that I have grown from and will use to be better at my craft and as a person until I leave this earth.
If I were to take and bottle one ‘Lesson’ from the Fast and Furious films is to always have ‘Fun’. By “Fun’, I don’t mean party your ass off and lose it anytime you see liquor. I mean, share as many laughs with the folks that you are fortunate to be around. It’s an awesome place to be when your job is to play pretend together. Play, and make believe. I figure we are the kids that back in the day would play cops and robbers together at the play ground until mom called us in to eat dinner. The only difference now is that we have much bigger toys to use as props. Read more...
Sometimes everyone has bad days. You know what I mean…when things just feel a bit off and a bit bleak. You wonder why the world is the way it is and why people are the way they are. You flop down and feel a bit shitty about all of it. It’s not depression or anything of the sort, it’s just that things seems a bit all for not. I use to have more days like this rather than the bright happy face days. Until I stumbled upon a couple of books that changed the way I saw the world and my place in this world. Anytime I feel a bit angry and in that dark place I go back to these two books and it seems to give me a guide back to the bright-smiley face path to life. The first is The Art of Happiness.
I’m not the most religious person but the book gives me a perspective to seeing the world through the eyes of people a lot less fortunate than me and how folks with nothing of material value find so much happiness in their life. It’s a reminder to exercise my mind and not just my body. Read more...
Do you feel like social networking has given us more LIBERTY? I’m on the fence whether this is a good or bad thing. Opinion is good. However, access to many opinions causes a “make everyone happy” state of mind. I use to imagine how cool it would be to hear everyone’s opinions. I could tailor something that ‘everyone’ would like. I’m starting to think otherwise. Listening to too many opinions about projects like Acting for Action has caused a fear I never had. The fear that some people might not like some of the things I do. After a long long run, I’ve come to this conclusion. I should listen to those I trust and that are honest to me. But should never let a negative comment hold me back from trying other things. It’s been a reminder thick skin is part of the job description.
ALFREDO: Lemme give you some good advice that I am virtually incapable of following: thirty, forty, fifty years from now, when you are an old man and your grandkids ask you, “what were you like as a young man? What interested you? What can you show me that you’re proud of?” you will have an answer: your work (of course you will also be a sweet grandpa who spoils the grandkids rotten and gives them a lifetime of good memories on that score). But you will also have a DVD (or, by then, a built-in retinal scan?) of Acting for Action or anything else you’re pleased with. The current yammering coming from social media – good or bad – will have faded, and the only question to ask yourself is, “Am I proud to put my name on this?”
I was asked to write a blog about any thoughts I had about Acting for Action before the show premieres tomorrow. Let me begin by saying the Paquiao-Bradley fight was bogus. It was fixed!!! But I guess that’s the business of boxing. The rematch will be a must see. I’ll be watching for sure.
I can’t believe I’ve known Sung Kang for over a decade. And neither can I believe that we have worked together multiple times and have not inflicted grievous bodily harm unto each other. I jest, I mean I think we’re both pretty laid back and calm and we must have a lot of common ground after all these years.
I met Sung while working on Better Luck Tomorrow, I remember that after his audition, there was no question in any of our minds, he was Han – little did he know that he would be HAN for over a decade. What I sparked onto with Sung was how his personality is really different from the brooding, silent types that he portrays on screen. In person, he’s really lighthearted, goofy and love to laugh. Our conversations usually centered around how we both loved and hated what we did (acting and filmmaking) and just wanted to somehow capture those moments of what we love the most and make a career out of it – all on our own terms (kind of a pipe dream, I know). Our paths continued to cross over the years and we always discussed working on a project together, but things never really got off the ground. I (co-)wrote Sunset Stories with Sung Kang in mind. I remember him telling me that he wanted to do something different. The character of JP in Sunset Stories is an East LA musician who is on the verge of big life changes. Should he cash in his dreams and start a family and be resigned to be a wedding singer? I knew that both Sung and I had talked about trading in the dream for reality, so I knew even if this character was far from him, he could identify with that central question. Read more...
If you could be someone in history of the opposite sex, who would that person be?
If I could be a woman I would be Carol Burnett. “Huh!?”… You say. Well, I love her comedy and she is a true comedic pioneer. She was the Dave Chappelle of her era in my opinion. I remember as a kid watching The Carol Burnett show and dreaming of one day doing what she did on stage. Her show was unique because at the end she would talk to the audience, making you feel like she was talking to you. Making you feel the laughs were for you. The more I got to know the woman behind the comedy talent the more I respected what Carol accomplished in her life. Her gift to her audience is a tremendous one. Making people laugh is a powerful contribution.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bJoEfjHbvc[/youtube] Read more...
What’s up good people of the World? Happy we can share with you all the 3rd installment of Car Tal…I mean Car Discussion (plus the revamp of Car Talk Car Discussion Episode 2 with my good friend Tyrese). We got some flack from Car Talk so we had to change the title from Car Talk to Car Discussion. The Car Talk from NPR sent lawyers after us saying Car Talk is the title of their show and legally we can’t call our show Car Talk, because Car Talk has been around longer than our Car Talk. So we needed to change our Car Talk to another name that doesn’t sound like their show Car Talk. So we decided to change our show from Car Talk to Car Discussion. Hopefully now Car Talk will not be upset at our Car Talk, I mean Car Discussion. It’s all very confusing so hopefully Car Talk 3, I mean Car Discussion will clarify everything.
[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/5127218[/vimeo]North Korean Jeans? Watch out Calvin Klein, Communist dictator Kim Jong IL is on your heels! Never thought jeans would come out of this place. This has to be a joke. Check out the NoKo Jeans website.
I’m the last person to judge another actor. I know most work their ass off and the payoff is little to nothing. It’s really a marathoner’s journey. You wanna meet someone with thick skin. Talk to an actor that’s been going at it for a while. My attitude towards taking roles is… “All the power to you, do what you got to do to stay around.” To make it all work out so there is a balance between making a living and living your dream takes part magic, part unrelenting effort, part magic, and part magic.
So with that said, let me get to the point. Over the past few months I’ve read and heard much discontent from Asians and non-Asians over the new network comedy 2 BROKE GIRLS. Here’s a recent Hollywood Reporter article that accuses the show of being racist. I try to ignore soapbox criticism yip yap, soapbox complaining about racist this and that. It’s so easy to complain and judge from afar. You try living the life of a struggling actor. Come to think of it, struggling, before any job title sucks balls. Read more...