The CreativeLife Podcast Ep.8: Steve Nguyen’s IT Guy By Day, Producer and Community Building Superhero By Night [Download] [Stream]
Episode 8 – Steve Nguyen
What’s behind the stunner shades and shiny earring? I turn the mic on Steve Nguyen, and attempt to uncover the man, the myth, the mystery that is Steve Nguyen of Stickblade Productions and channelAPA.com. Who knew he became legend at UC Riverside playing Superman and other characters with his theatrical, masked “flash-pranks” during lecture classes?
He puts all hyphenated artists to shame with his multi-project multi-tasking. I peel back the layers like an onion of truth until we’re both in tears of conversational joy. (yeah. i said that.) We cover some serious ground in intimate conversation with one microphone on my lounge couch in Highland Park. One 7up and an hour and a half later we finally get some details.
And, hold on! Did you know he once appeared as an Asian student character on “The Man Show” with Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel? Not his proudest moment, but highly educational.
Some things you’re gonna learn: how important building community is for Steve, Steve’s vision for providing the ultimate platform for talented Asian Americans in media and entertainment, what he did behind the scenes in one of the “Fast and Furious” movie productions, and the inspiration behind his latest passion project, the animated short film about a survivor of the atom bomb in Japan called “Hibakusha.”
We give a shout-out to professional photographer Tommy Su of Snapit Studios (http://snapitstudio.com/) because we got some GOOOOD cafe food in Monterey Park together with Steve after the interview. Mm. Mm!
With socially awkward comes different and innovative. – Steve Nguyen
Episode 8 of The CreativeLife podcast features the talented work of independent artists Anna Su (“Oh My Stars” and “Howling Tree” from “Howling Tree” 2010) and Andrew Figueroa Chiang and the Blazing Rays of the Sun (“Baby Please”). Be sure to catch Andrew and support him when he competes at the November 5th, Kollaboration concert in Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre!
FROM ANNA SU’S WEBSITE:
Los Angeles-based musician, Anna Su, explores music as community property, drawing influences from the sounds of her travels and experiences. Through haunting melodies and heartfelt lyrics, mixed with the floor-stomping pulse of her eclectic band, Anna Su’s songs bring players and listeners together to celebrate the simple joys of making music.
Debut album, “Howling Tree” now available on iTunes and Bandcamp
Produced by Nate Vaughan, Mixed by Al Fleming
Mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters, Recorded at Bronson House, Runaway Sound & Hollywood Sound Systems, Drums engineered by Meredith Jung, Artwork by Molly Burgess. All songs by Anna Su except “Over Ourselves” by Anna Su and John Isaac Watters & “City Ain’t That Much Fun by Anna Su and Rachel Vaughan.
Featuring: Al Fleming, Will Gramling, Kris Karlsson, George Krikes, Mike Lindsay, Niccolo Menichini, Alex Rhodes, Gavin Salmon, Brian Song, Dave Torstenson, Nate Vaughan, Rachel Vaughan & Dave Wilson
FROM ANDREW’S WEBSITE:
Andrew Figueroa Chiang is every bit an entertainer. A sweet-voiced songwriter with a genuine love of performing, Andrew has the unique ability to transform any space into a joyful one. His disarming charm, off-the-cuff comedy, and heartfelt delivery make his shows both moving and fun.
This year, Andrew released his first EP! The self-titled, acoustic record is full of earnest performances, energetic arrangements, and big harmonies.
Andrew is currently playing solo and with his rock and roll band – the Blazing Rays of the Sun. He thinks it would be very nice to meet you.
- Steve as “The Chinese Kid” on “The Man Show”
- The Hibakusha Kickstarter fundraising page
- channelapa.com – Steve’s website featuring Asian American entertainment
- Steve Nguyen FlipHD with memoirist Lac Su
- Steve as Superman in UC Riverside class prank
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!?
Here are some thoughts on living The CreativeLife…inspired by old childhood photos I’ve scanned. Many people draw parallels between having a creative spirit and feeling “like a kid again.” These are just some thoughts on recapturing the kid and the creative in all of us. [See all “Thoughts on the CreativeLife”]
What do you think? Have you seen any photos of yourself as a child and thought, “Wow! I wonder if I can recapture that spirit for my creativity now?”
Loving this feature story on Asian American artists being featured in the Smithsonian! Crazy! I mean they have displayed portrait art of comedian Bobby Lee next to whatever old white guy’s marble-carved bust all in the same building! That’s blowing my little Asian American mind.
This painting (featured above) shows what it would look like if it was all Asian Americans as Washington crossing the Delaware and winning the Revolutionary War to found the nation. Ha!
Too bad I’m not in DC. Would definitely check this out.
(Source: “Asian-American Artists Explore Their Identity.” Voice of America. September 24, 2011)
Can’t lie. I teared up when I watched Glee this week. During the Glee Season 3 Episode 3 called “Asian F”, the usually quiet and non-singing Asian guy in the Glee Club, Mike Chang, gets a major storyline (finally). In this episode he’s confronted by his Asian (Not Tiger Mother but Father) dad for getting an A- in Chemistry (or what Glee called an “Asian F”) and gets support from his mom.
If I overlook the fact that the concept of an A- being equal to an F for Asians is played out and stereotypical, I really love the kind of conversation that Mike Chang’s storyline has stirred! I really loved a lot of the posts supporting Mike Chang’s commitment to do what he loves – to dance and perform (and AWESOME animated GIFs that crop up on Tumblr). But one in particular captured my heart…it’s a rundown of lessons learned by threesixninja:
- You can’t always get what you want.
- Never give up on your dreams. Even if your dreams for yourself aren’t the ones your parents have for you, live it and convince them otherwise thatthis is what you want to do. However, if your dreams would need you to step on others and ruin relationships, back off. Friends are more important than anything else.
- You shouldn’t let one relationship change you. (I mean, look at Kurt, Mercedes!)
- Sometimes you have to be faced with hard choices where in either choice, you hurt someone. Even if you try to let both have their own way, it wouldn’t be enough for the other. But then sometimes, you really have to choose who and/or what is more important to you.
- If you don’t get what you want, celebrate the one who did. Don’t hate them for it. They may deserve or need it more than you do. You could have a million chances for that, but not a lot for the relationship you have with them.
- The spotlight isn’t always on you.
- You can always do better than your best if you try.