YouTube Stars More Popular (and Diverse) with American Teens Than “Mainstream” Counterparts

Hollywood trade publication Variety found the results of their most recent survey “surprising”, but for those of us familiar with the digital world, what they discovered is old news. Variety surveyed American teens ages 13-18 to find out who their most influential celebrities were and YouTube personalities handily beat out their “mainstream” counterparts. Here’s the ranking of the top 20 in order:

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The top five most influential to this demographic are all homegrown YouTube stars including our YOMYOMF Network partner Ryan Higa at #5. The most popular “mainstream” star, Paul Walker, doesn’t clock in until #6, followed by Jennifer Lawrence at #7.

Not only that, but if you compare the YouTubers vs. the traditional celebrities, you’ll see that the YouTubers represent a much more diverse line-up. The mainstreamers are fairly lily white while the YouTubers include several people of color including two who are Asian American: Higa and Michelle Phan at #17. Yup, two of the most popular celebrities among American teens are Asian American and like the other YouTube talent on this list, they are mostly unknown to the mainstream population hence the “surprising” findings. But, frankly, it’s only surprising to those who don’t have their hands on the pulse of youth culture.

Around the Horn: The YOMYOMF Fifth Anniversary Edition

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July 9 marks the fifth anniversary of our YOMYOMF blog. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long but we’ve come a long way since then. What started as a casual dinner conversation among friends evolved into a community of unique, fun and thoughtful discourse. As we enter our fifth year, I’m excited to incorporate a lot of what we learned as we prepare to launch YOMYOMF 2.0 taking us to the next level. I can’t wait to see where things go in the next five years so wanted to ask everyone where you think we’ll be in five years? What would you like to see us do? Where do you see us going?

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ANDERSON: I can’t believe it’s been 5 years already. Our first blog entry was published in July 2009! It seems so distant, yet feels like it just happened yesterday too. I feel the first year or so, we were very punk rock about it — just blogging whatever we wanted to, as if it was our very own BBS, for us to stay in touch with each other. Then, people started noticing and jumping onboard.

The Short List: JITENSHA (Bicycle)

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films here on the YOMYOMF blog, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

This week, we present the award-winning JITENSHA aka “Bicycle.” We ask 5 questions to director Dean Yamada about this making of this film.

1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?
Yu Shibuya is a uniquely talented writer in Tokyo, who pitched us a few different ideas for short film scripts. His pitch for Jitensha leapt off the page: Someone is taking apart the protagonist’s bicycle. One day the basket is gone, the next day the saddle, until the bell is the only thing left. He gets an envelope in the mail with a list of addresses.

2. Any challenges or setbacks during the production?
Apart from the freezing weather and a vicious hawk trying to attack my wife at the beach, shooting went pretty smoothly. On the day we shot the beach scene, the weather was so clear you could see Mt. Fuji in the distance — a rare sight during the winter. We made sure to capitalize on this serendipitous moment by putting it in the film.

The Short List: REQUIEM FOR ROMANCE

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films here on the YOMYOMF blog, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

This week, we present Montreal-based Jonathan Ng’s award-winning REQUIEM FOR ROMANCE. He graciously answered our quick questionnaire in-between development meetings for his next project.

The Short List: THE POTENTIAL WIVES OF NORMAN MAO

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films here on the YOMYOMF blog, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

We ask 5 Questions to director Derek Nguyen about his short film THE POTENTIAL WIVES OF NORMAN MAO.

1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?
The story was inspired by personal experience. There was a period of time in which my step-mother would try to set me up with all these women every time there was a family function. She was quite obvious about it and it made everyone involved quite uncomfortable but it was really funny at the time. Of course, this all happened before I came out!

2. Any challenges or setbacks during the production?
I think that the biggest challenge in making any film is the financing. Raising money is always difficult for new filmmakers, especially those who don’t have a proven box office track record. But thank Buddha for Kickstarter!

The Short List: THINGS YOU DON’T JOKE ABOUT + CRUSH THE SKULL Movie Kickstarter Shout Out

Wong Fu’s Chris Dinh is trapped in the closet in this week’s Short List.

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films here on the YOMYOMF blog, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

We ask 5 questions to filmmaking team Viet Nguyen and Chris Dinh (who also moonlights at Wong Fu Productions) about their short film THINGS YOU DON’T JOKE ABOUT. This 2012 short plus their cult classic, CRUSH THE SKULL, are the inspiration for their current indie feature project, which they are currently raising money for via Kickstarter.

1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?
CHRIS: We always wanted to do our funny take on the burglar movie. Besides being arrested or killed, there are only so many things that can go wrong for a burglar. So we thought to ourselves, what would be the most unexpected and horrible outcome for a burglar? But also darkly funny? The thought of a burglar breaking into a house and then believing he had contracted a horrible disease pretty much satisfied those parameters.

Cira Felina Bolla: An Appreciation

It is my terrible and humbling privilege to write a few words about Cira Felina Bolla, who succumbed to cancer two days ago, at the age of 41.

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I met Cira two years ago, and in that time, we became collaborators and friends.  We worked together on three projects and multiple martinis – she was my cinematographer – and I got to know something of her personality and character.

I would like to share with you a few moments spent in her company.

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The Play’s the Thing!

REBIRTHI was Co-Artistic Director of Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, an Asian American theater company here in Los Angeles, for the better part of a decade before we closed our doors in 2009. That was, and still is, one of the defining experiences of my life—both artistically and personally. Much of what I learned about art and life was forged in those theatrical trenches with my fellow cohorts/colleagues/friends. In many ways, the road that Lodestone dropped me on led straight here to YOMYOMF so I have much to be thankful for.

Celebrating Lodestone's 10th Anniversary with friends/colleagues.

Celebrating Lodestone’s 10th Anniversary with friends/colleagues.

Unfortunately, in the past four years, my involvement in theater has been minimal—aside from participating in a couple of staged readings of some new plays, my focus has been elsewhere i.e. launching our YOMYOMF Network and focusing on the online world.

I don’t make many new year’s resolutions, but I’ve decided one of the things I definitely want to do is get back to doing more theater in 2014. As enjoyable as everything else I’m involved in is, I’ll always have a soft spot for live theater. There’s nothing else like it—the whole “liveness” of it. The immediacy, the spontaneity and the energy that can only come with live actors interacting with a live audience and the real time back and forth that can only happen in that environment—it’s addicting. Luckily, it looks like I’ll have some opportunities to return to playwriting and theater next year so I’m grateful for that.

Passive-Aggressive Boyfriend

Enjoy! Or at least blush like crazy as Liz Ho (star of YOMYOMF’s “Reality Reboot” and “The Xmas Special“), and her real life boyfriend, Ira Heinichen (star of “Josh & Ira”) remind me us of our own human foibles!

Now me, I would never pointedly ask my son if he has seen the dog’s collar, which I know is sitting in plain view on the table, as a way to hint to him that I’m mad he hasn’t walked the dog yet; nor would I…

…oh never mind, point is, next episodes, Liz will have her REVENGE!

Around the Horn: Holiday Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year a.k.a. the holidays are back. As much as I give off the Grinch vibe, I have to say I really enjoy this time of year. And there are certain things that get me in the proper spirit and one of them is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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I’ve been watching the Peanuts gang learn the true meaning of Christmas since I was a little kid and it’s something that I revisit every year and never get sick of. When everyone gets together at the end of that to decorate that sad little Christmas tree that Charlie Brown picked out and transforms it into something beautiful–that gets me every time.

But what I really love about the special is the music by Vince Guaraldi. This has to be some of my favorite Christmas music. It doesn’t get any more perfect than this:

Or this:

Or any of the other songs on the soundtrack.

What are the things that get you in the holiday spirit?

Love to my YOMYOMF Family

Paul Walker and his Fast and Furious family.

Paul Walker and his Fast and Furious family.


“Heaven must be full of angels. So many have departed this year.”

Someone wrote that on his Facebook wall about a month ago.

Death is a strange bedfellow, we americans are more insulated from it than say, an Afgan or a Chad or Niger citizen, but there the grim reaper sits… ready.

I didn’t know Paul Walker the actor myself, but a lot of the YOMYOMF crew did. They’ve either acted with him or have directed him or have had a late night dinner with him. And although Justin and I haven’t talked much in the last few years (he’s always off filming that Fast and Furious thing), I know his feelings run deep for those people in whom he places his trust.

So That’s What ‘Yellow Face’ is Really About

This past summer, the YOMYOMF Network presented the first-ever YouTube adaptation of a play—our fellow Offender David Henry Hwang’s award-winning Yellow Face. All this time, we thought the plot revolved around an Asian American playwright named DHH who mistakenly casts a Caucasian actor as an Asian character in his play and tries to cover it up, but according to this streaming site, boy, were we ever wrong!

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Yes, according to the description on this site, the story is apparently really about this:

A Chinese-American cop, skilled in martial arts, battles the most powerful criminal gang in San Francisco that is responsible for the death of his partner.