VIDEO: Oct. 24 National "Take Your Ethnic #FoodToWork Day" [jennyyang.tv blog]

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VIDEO: Oct. 24 National "Take Your Ethnic #FoodToWork Day" [jennyyang.tv blog]

As you know, October 24 is National Take Your Ethnic Food To Work Day! (Actually, Phil Yu and I decided to just declare it. Now, it's a thing!) This is your annual opportunity bring your stankiest ethnic food to the workplace. No judgement! Organize a lunchtime potluck for your office and share photos of you, your coworkers, and funkiest food using the hashtag #foodtowork.

Huge thanks to Angry Asian Man, Phil Yu, for being a co-conspirator on the genesis of this idea. Check out his excellent writeup here.

This was a super fun local news parody to make. You will get to meet my alter ego "Julie Wang" and her love for bright red makeup and outfits. It takes place in the fictional Central California Coast town of #SantaCatarina. Who knows? Maybe you'll be seeing Julie of GBC30 News Here First in future Bad Appetite Magzine videos soon.

Officially, this is my second-ever self-produced comedy video and I'm super proud of it! We shot the man-on-the-street segment on Hollywood Boulevard and in the morning and the office segments later that same afternoon. Phew! What a day! This was also one of the first times I tried my hand at editing and doing post-production graphics from start to finish. What do you think? (pats herself on the back)

Huge thanks to the video team: Phil YuTessa PechalThomas Reyes,Clarissa WeiFizaa DosaniDanielle RadfordConnie ShinRyan Harper GrayAtsuko OkatsukaMaunda OyinLata PandyaKarin Mak!

A Bad Appetite Magazine GBC30 News Here First Production.

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VIDEO: How To Eat PB&J [jennyyang.tv blog]

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VIDEO: How To Eat PB&J [jennyyang.tv blog]

You've learned "HOW TO EAT PHO" by Bon Appétit Magazine

Still need help eating? Now you can learn "HOW TO EAT PB&J" from Bad Appetite Magazine.

Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches are the new Grilled Cheese. MOVE OVER GOOPY CHEESE. 

Chef and Owner of "sandwich." restaurant in the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles teaches us how to eat Peanut Butter and Jelly. She's an expert.

PB&J. It's the thing now, okay? Deal with it.

Remember to always use white bread. THE WHITER THE BETTER.

The genius of MAYO is it TAKES ON THE TASTE OF ANY CUISINE! It's a shape-shifting condiment!

PRO-TIP: Don't tell Asians how to eat their food. #NeverPHOget

Watch the entire video HERE ON YOUTUBE or below AAAAAND LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE: BAD APPETITE MAGAZINE!

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Obama's hands. LA Times. Compartments in my immigrant life. [jennyyang.tv blog]

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Obama's hands. LA Times. Compartments in my immigrant life. [jennyyang.tv blog]

Wrapped up my East Coast week. SO MUCH TRAVEL. Phew. Some reflections.

I got an award from The White House! Waaaaah?

Why, yes. I *will* stop official White House proceedings to take a selfie.   (White House press release and my blog announcement here.) Photo: White House Flickr

Why, yes. I *will* stop official White House proceedings to take a selfie.  
(White House press release and my blog announcement here.) Photo: White House Flickr

OBAMA: I shook President Obama's hand and it was firm AND supple.

THE MAN MOISTURIZES.

What surprised me is after I tell people we shook hands a NUMBER of them had the same immediate follow up question: "WHAT DID HE SMELL LIKE?"

Dude. We didn't make out.

If I got close enough to sniff his musk I think the sniper stationed above the ballroom of the gala would've gotten me. RULE No 1: NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS AROUND POTUS.

ARTICLE: Dexter Thomas of The Los Angeles Times did a cool piece about us, "Three Asian American leaders talk about what got them to the White House."

Three of us from the LA area (Jason Fong, Tanzila Ahmed and me!) chatted for the LA Times about being awarded the White House Champions of Change in Art & Storytelling. LOOK AT OUR FACES!

VIDEO: We spoke at this White House event and talked about our work (see the archived video of the event here).

I flew my parents and one of my brothers out to share the experience with me. My parents are older so it was a little of a schlep. But for what little they've seen of my actual work, being able to celebrate this honor was worth it. HUGE thanks to my brother Tom who was a great parents chaperone.

My dad thoroughly enjoyed the White House gift shop. This photo is their relationship.

My dad thoroughly enjoyed the White House gift shop. This photo is their relationship.

Below: adapted from my Instagram reflections.

#HUNTERCOLLEGE > WHITE HOUSE > DARTMOUTH

// no. 1 // 5.2.16

I love the students who bring me out to speak and perform. They are always the most passionate and most active students on campus. I love them for it. Balancing their home expectations with schoolwork and student organizing. I get to meet my kindred spirits EVERYWHERE. I got a pretty great job.

HUNTER COLLEGE #CRAASH students tend to be from the New York area, most of them opting to attend this public university because it is still top-notch but affordable. I was struck by how the students are so tightly policed by a super power-trippy culture of public safety officers and staff. I was surprised how concerned they were about not seeing an East Coast Asian American identity and feeling like it would all be "less than" the robust West Coast culture they witness on YouTube videos. We also covered even deeper, more private ground. One takeaway I suggested was that they can use storytelling and art to shape their own narrative...they can unify their own sense of what an East Coast Asian American identity looks like.

I think we watered some seeds. I'm excited to see that happen.

 * * *

HUNTER COLLEGE > #WHITEHOUSE > DARTMOUTH

// no. 2 // 5.4.16

Obama, after he spoke to the APAICS gala crowd. May 4, 2016. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ha.

Obama, after he spoke to the APAICS gala crowd. May 4, 2016. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ha.

This photo was taken by Sarah Ha a few seconds before I had a chance to shake POTUS' hand. My DC buddy Christine Minji Chang (actor and director of Kollaboration) and I anticipated his arrival in the program so we hustled to the very front of the room, Asian squatting against the press barrier.

For a hot second I thought I should say or do something wacky to get his attention then I was like, "Um there are snipers stationed overhead in this ballroom and an anxious secret service bro two feet from me. I don't want to become a security incident."

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard I was one of the #WHChamps in art and storytelling was, "Wait..there are so many other people who should be recognized." Then I thought, "Welp. This is a nice honor and good publicity so I'll take it." I wasn't even thinking about inviting my family until fellow honoree and dear friend Taz Ahmed told me her whole family was flying out.

Why didn't I think to invite them?

Honestly, I've lived in such an independent way in the English language and American culture away from my family in both my personal and professional life I've been very compartmentalized. After showing my parents that I had good grades during school years, there was little validation I sought in my life from them other than staying healthy, fed and making enough money to contribute to their needs. I was the youngest of three, most Americanized and now a comedian. I have gotten used to navigating American culture on my own and through support and resources outside of my family.

But this award was from "The White House" - something that clearly communicated "importance" to my immigrant parents. It's the most American of validations that says to them this thing I've been doing has been of value. That this isn't just some detour I'm taking along my real life journey. That perhaps this career change from politics was worth something. For that. I am thankful.

And I am thankful my brother was able to take time off of work to accompany my parents to fly to DC just to attend this two hour event. It ended up being exactly what needed to happen.

 * * *

HUNTER COLLEGE > WHITE HOUSE > ‪#‎DARTMOUTH‬

// no. 3 // 5.5.16

Kevin Bui, Dartmouth College student, and student organizer.

Kevin Bui, Dartmouth College student, and student organizer.

The activists at Dartmouth get pushback from this Greek life-dominated Ivy league campus. Terms like "Social Justice Warriors" and "political correct" are used to put down their work.

These are the students organizing Pan-Asian Pacific American activities during heritage month and the ones pushing for ‪#‎AsianAmericanStudies‬. By inviting me to their campus, it is one of the few spaces carved out JUST FOR THEM. I made fun of the white students in the audience and joked not to worry about them because they'll be just fine when they walk back out into the larger college campus.

This is the truth. Our worries are different. And we need space to share notes and uplift each other.

The Asian American student group had put up a long chain of self portraits like the one, strung up in the atrium of Collis, one of the student centers. I noticed the title was LOVING ‪#‎MyAsianAmericanStory‬ (inspired by fellow champ Jason Fong's Internet campaign). It's of each student looking in the mirror with a defiant statement about their identity written on the mirror.

Seeing this made me a little sad. The undercurrent to this display is that as Asian Pacific Americans we need to affirmatively see ourselves in a LOVING way. That this is a pushing back to the many UNLOVING messages that we hear and that we tell ourselves.

I want a world where this type of defiant act of self-love is no longer necessary for our happiness and survival.

The students at Dartmouth laughed hard and long at my show. Then some of us got really good gelato. A solid evening spent.

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Look, ma. The White House says I'm a Champion of Change. [jennyyang.tv blog]

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Look, ma. The White House says I'm a Champion of Change. [jennyyang.tv blog]

This Wednesday, I'm getting an award from The White House (yes as in POTUS, Barry, #44). Most of my family and I will be at The White House for a special ceremony and reception. It's all very surreal.

Technically, the award is called "White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling."

It's a tremendous honor, for sure. But I'm having strange fears and anxieties around it!

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Thanks to thousands of people+Margaret Cho, The #ComedyComedyFest was MAAAAGICAL

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Thanks to thousands of people+Margaret Cho, The #ComedyComedyFest was MAAAAGICAL

When you're self-employed like I am and doing this weird career called "comedy," it's hard to mark how much forward movement is happening. But I can definitely call it: envisioning and executing our little Comedy Comedy Festival (instagram: itscomedycomedy. twitter: itscomedycomedy) last month was a clear milestone for my career.

No one is opening doors for us so we have to create our own damn house.

We created an Asian American comedy festival because there are so many of us grinding at the craft and hustle of the funny business. So why not bring some shine to it and connect all of our audiences?

Four days. Over 1,000 tickets sold. Hundreds of Asian American comedic performers and writers. over 20 volunteers. Done. And done.

Another personal milestone for me was getting to share the stage with comedy legend and awesome inspiration herself, Margaret Cho. Margaret was our surprise headliner at the big Saturday night standup comedy show, Disoriented Comedy, held at the Tateuchi Forum at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo Los Angeles. It was the three-year anniversary of our mostly female, Asian American standup comedy tour and we finally fulfilled our original dream of having Margaret Cho be a part of our lineup. AHHHHHH!!!! Three years later, we did it!

She had an electric comedy set and gave the most sincere and heartfelt remarks about how much seeing our show of awesome Asian American women + D'Lo meant to her personally. 

I was floating on air.

Here are some photos of that night. More photos and video! to come!

Photo: Sophia J. Chang

Photo: Sophia J. Chang

Photo: Jenny Yang. Those are tears in my eyes from Margaret's heartfelt comments.

Photo: Jenny Yang. Those are tears in my eyes from Margaret's heartfelt comments.


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*gasp* AUG 27-30 IM ORGANIZING AN ASIAN AMERICAN COMEDY FESTIVAL

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*gasp* AUG 27-30 IM ORGANIZING AN ASIAN AMERICAN COMEDY FESTIVAL

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Well. I wanted to pull together all of my favorite Asian American comedic talent! So our amazing friends at Angry Asian Man, Tuesday Night Project, Kollaboration, Artists At Play, The Always Summer Project, and venue sponsor the Japanese American National Museum joined forces with us at Disoriented Comedy to start the first-ever THE COMEDY COMEDY FESTIVAL: A COMEDY FESTIVAL! Ohhh yeaaaah. So many awesome shows but the big show is on Saturday, August 29th, 8:30PM at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at JANM in Little Tokyo Los Angeles!

It's the 3-Year anniversary show for Disoriented Comedy! Yes! We are 3 years old and have produced over 40 comedy and storytelling shows throughout the country! 

Here's the thing: We have 2 surprise standup up comics who are basically OUR S/HEROES! You can probably guess who they are...(wink wink) but we cannot publicly advertise it. Just be sure to get your Festival Passes for Saturday to ensure seating! http://comedycomedyfest.com!

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#NaNoWriMo 2014 is here! What are you writing this month? [jennyyang.tv blog]

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#NaNoWriMo 2014 is here! What are you writing this month? [jennyyang.tv blog]

#NaNoWriMo 2014 is here! What are you writing this month?

It's already the end of 2014?! November is one of my fav months because it's the month of my birthday, there is crisp Fall weather AND it's National Novel Writing Month!  This year I will work on my first screenplay. I don't know how I'll "measure" progress. But writing every day on it is the goal.

In 2012, I tried my hand at a novel - without an outline. Egads! It was super fun and intense though. Let's just say "Jenny Chang: Nubian Queen" will never see the light of day.

Last year I opted to do a short story a day. It was super rewarding because it forced me to just get something done. Stories don't have to be EPIC. [continue reading]

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I left legendary activist Yuri Kochiyama's memorial because all I could think about was myself. [jennyyang.tv blog]

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I left legendary activist Yuri Kochiyama's memorial because all I could think about was myself. [jennyyang.tv blog]

I left legendary activist Yuri Kochiyama's memorial because all I could think about was myself. [jennyyang.tv blog]

Is it selfish to step away from a memorial because the program made me think too much about myself?

I would've stayed. Really! Everything was so heartfelt and inspirational. 

But I was hungry and had too many thought swirls. 

I left to get a cappuccino and black sesame donut, and write this thing on my computer at Cafe Dulce right now. [continue reading]

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#AGoodAsian: Live-Tweeting Badass Jeopardy NerdGod Arthur Chu #ChuOnThis

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#AGoodAsian: Live-Tweeting Badass Jeopardy NerdGod Arthur Chu #ChuOnThis

You know who's #AGoodAsian? Someone who is EXTRA Asian American nerdy then goes on national television to win at Jeopardy, be called a "thug," and has ZERO shame about it. THAT'S #AGoodAsian.

THAT'S WHY WE ARE GONNA LIVE TWEET CURRENT JEOPARDY CHAMP ARTHUR CHU'S RETURN TO THE SHOW TONIGHT 7PM PST.

#ChuOnThis is the hashtag to follow.  

And I will tweeting with my good buddy Angry Asian Man, Phil Yu. Follow us at http://twitter.com/jennyyangtv and http://twitter.com/angryasianman

[continue reading]

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#5DaysOfFail: Day 5 and FINAL SHOW!

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#5DaysOfFail: Day 5 and FINAL SHOW!

#5DAYS OF FAIL: FAILERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! DAY 5

Last day of the first-ever FIVE DAYS OF FAIL! We are here!

Read all the blog posts about the first #5DaysOfFail:

* Day 1-2: http://jennyyang.tv/blog/2014/1/6/5daysoffail-failers-of-the-world-unite

* Day 3-4: http://jennyyang.tv/blog/2014/1/8/5daysoffail-failers-of-the-world-unite-days-3-4

DAY 5 OF #5DAYSOFFAIL:
INSPIRATION WORD "PLACE"
(FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2014)

#5DaysOfFail: Day 5. Place

Blog/Essay: “Barnes and Nobel: My Mecca” by Jenny Yang

My favorite place is the bookstore.  It’s the place where all of the people who care about words and beauty congregate and it is where I always want to be.  People often say to me, Kelly, why do you spend so much time at the bookstore?  I say to them, because books bring people together - real and fictional.  It’s like one big party!

Why read your Harry Potter books for the fifth time by yourself at the comfort of your own home when you can enjoy the comfort and company of other adventure and knowledge-seeking individuals. We can be smart and inspired and titillated together.

[CONTINUE READING]

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