The CreativeLife Podcast Ep.7: Quan Phung, Television’s “Cultural Translator” [Download] [Stream]
Episode 7 – Quan Phung
Former Fox Broadcasting Executive, television producer and Asian American arts community leader Quan Phung grew up translating between his Vietnamese heritage and American culture…
…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 youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com, fellow Visual Communications Board member Phil Yu of angryasianman.com, 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
The short pilot episode audio clip of NBC’s “Whitney” featured in this podcast was used courtesy of NBC.
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).
FROM ALICE TONG’S WEBSITE:
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.).
FROM SUE JIN’S WEBSITE:
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.
- The CreativeLife blog about Whitney’s Live Studio Audience Taping Experience
- Swimming with Sharks (1994) – movie about working in the entertainment industry written and directed by George Huang
- All American Girl (1994) – TV series created by and starring Margaret Cho
- 21 Jump Street (1987-1991) and Dustin Nguyen as Harry Truman Ioki
- My Lovely Sam Soon – popular Korean drama (On Hulu)
- Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs – leadership training program
- Quan Phung LinkedIn public profile
- Definition of “Stunt Casting“
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!?