The CreativeLife Podcast Ep.7: Quan Phung, Television’s “Cultural Translator” [Download] [Stream]

Episode 7 – Quan Phung

Whitney Live Taping at NBC Universal Studios - Jenny Yang with Quan Phung at Production Offices, August 30, 2011

Quan Phung, an Executive Producer of the NBC comedy "Whitney," handles the business to showcase the art. Pictured standing in front of Whitney actors' photos. Stuber Production Offices, August 30, 2011.

Former Fox Broadcasting Executive, television producer and Asian American arts community leader Quan Phung grew up translating between his Vietnamese heritage and American culture…

Download Episode 7 mp3 (right click on the link and click “Save As”): Quan Phung
Listen to Episode 7 with Wizzard Player: Quan Phung
Subscribe to The CreativeLife on iTunes: Quan Phung

…and is now bridging creative and business cultures in network television.

Jenny and Quan had a lot to discuss. They were both Coro Fellows in Public Affairs in Los Angeles.  Then Quan decided that producing was his passion rather than the business of politics and policy.  He is now Head of Television for Stuber productions and Executive Producer of a hot new NBC prime-time comedy, “Whitney.” (“Whitney” Thursdays, 9:30PM PST on NBC)

How does one journey from working in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice to developing Emmy-award winning series like “How I Met Your Mother” and “My Name Is Earl for Twentieth Century Fox Television”?

We also sourced questions from Quan’s friends at, fellow Visual Communications Board member Phil Yu of, and Jenny’s colleagues – actors Daegan Palermo and Ben Whitehair, writer Brian Kane, screenwriter Jonathan Peters and television writer Josh Kamensky (Well, look at that! A veritable hit parade of Asian American blogging superstars and white guys with thoughtful questions).

Find out what a producer actually does for a show, how you get a job as a writer, the virtues of a multi-camera show, when executives decide to work with a comedic talent to develop a show, and whether Quan wears boxers or briefs (Just for the record, that last question? Not mine).

I don’t think that I put out that that I’m the Asian American male voice.  No. I’m also the immigrant voice.  I’m also the oldest son’s voice.  I’m also the San Diego-raised voice.  So there’s a lot of different things that I hopefully bring to the table besides just being an Asian American man.  Because I think that’s not acknowledging the diversity of what people are.

– Quan Phung, The CreativeLife podcast with Jenny Yang, Episode 7

Whitney on NBC - Thursdays 9:30PM PST

Whitney on NBC - Thursdays 9:30PM PST (SOURCE: NBC)

The short pilot episode audio clip of NBC’s “Whitney” featured in this podcast was used courtesy of NBC.

"Whitney" TV Show Live Taping at NBC Universal Studios, August 30, 2011 (Source: NBC Whitney)

"Whitney" TV Show Live Taping at NBC Universal Studios, August 30, 2011. I'm in the front to the left! (Source: NBC Whitney)

If you liked what you heard, please comment in iTunes AND donate by simply clicking the Paypal button at top right hand corner at


Episode 7 of The CreativeLife podcast features the powerhouse voices and beautiful music of independent artists Alice Tong (“Sayin’ Hi” and “Capitalist Junkie” from “please be brave before the lions they come”) and Sue Jin (“Cant’ Help Falling In Love” cover).

Alice Tong Music

Alice Tong Music


Alice Tong is singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist living in Oakland, CA. Her piano, guitar, ukelele, and harmonica playing are influenced by indie folk rock, jazz, and alt country, while her rich vocals are inspired by jazz, soul, and blues.

Her album of all-original songs entitled, “please be brave before the lions they come” was recorded in Los Angeles with a host of extremely talented musicians and producer/engineer Glenn Suravech (worked with Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, Brett Dennen, Wallflowers, etc.).

Sue Jin Music

Sue Jin's soulful sounds featured in Episode 7 of The CreativeLife podcast with Jenny Yang


Sue Jin is a soulful singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, an Associate Artist for Tuesday Night Cafe, and K-12 educator, who has performed on both television and radio.

Her album, “Worth the Tears” (2008) is available for review/purchase on iTunes.Her sophomore album, “Worthy” is scheduled to be released November, 2011.


And when you’re done listening to it…leave a comment at the end of this post, or on iTunes.  Send me your feedback and comments!  What did you like about the interview? What did you learn that you hadn’t thought about before?  What was something that you wanted to learn more about the creative process?  What question were you DYING for me to ask but I never did!?

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6 responses to “The CreativeLife Podcast Ep.7: Quan Phung, Television’s “Cultural Translator” [Download] [Stream]”

  1. Jeffrey J Johnson says :

    Not sure if it’s just me but I tried both the Download Episode 7 and the Wizzard Player and both stopped just after the first singing (around 11 min in). I will download the podcast from iTunes when I get home.

    • Jenny Yang says :

      Sorry about that, Jeff! Tthanks for letting me know. Did you get the download going right via iTunes? I just tried the mp3 download. I realize it may not turn out if you just click on it. I’ll add on there the need to right click on that link to hit “Save Link As.” And the wizzard player worked on mine. What type of internet browser are you using? I’m using Chrome.

  2. Rukshana says :

    Hiya Jenny, Rukshana here. I listened to this podcast and really enjoyed it. You’re doing an awesome job! Will pass it on to VC folks. 🙂

  3. Rukshana says :

    Hiya Jenny, Rukshana here. I listed to this podcast and really enjoyed it. You are doing an awesome job! Will pass it on to VC folk. 🙂

    • Jenny Yang says :

      Thanks so much for listening Rukshana! I think it would be great if you could share it with them! Both our missions are (as they nonprofity-y folks say) are like TOTALLY aligned. 🙂 In fact, at some point it would be great to do a series of interviews with VC as community sponsor (which just means you share with others when the episodes are up to show support) 🙂 Yay!

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