Amazing Asians in the Arts

Amazing Asians in the Arts: Andrea Somera

August 27, 2022

Andrea Somera is an actress based in Pasadena. She got her start with local youth theatre during a production of Pirates of Penzance, but surprisingly didn’t care for performing until her next audition for Tom Sawyer! Now, her resume holds credits such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Esmerelda), Assassins, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Letters to Eve, as well as a Halo Top commercial shoot! Somera currently strives to “[live] a life filled with love, support, experiences, and constant learning” as she paves her own path towards Broadway, and fiercely believes that the world is better with the artistry and authenticity of Asian Americans and their stories. Her advice to young artists? “Expect the unexpected!” Read on to learn more about Andrea Somera and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Brooke Ishibashi

August 20, 2022

Brooke Ishibashi is an actress based in NYC. Born into a musically entertaining family with an opera and R&B background, she’s now developed and originated Cambodian Rock Band. (which played at South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the La Jolla Playhouse) and is now performing in Broadway’s revival of Into the Woods! When she’s not onstage, Ishibashi is the cofounder of Be An #ArtsHero, an arts advocacy and lobbying organization aimed towards providing relief to the Arts in America. Passionate about telling resonant stories exploring social justice, anti-racism, and trans-generational trauma, Ishibashi finds herself connected deeply to work that heals marginalized communities. Her advice for young artists? “Know your worth and always ask for more.” Read on to learn more about Brooke Ishibashi and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Regina Ting Chen

August 13, 2022

Regina Ting Chen is an actor based in Georgia. She began entertaining at home with talent shows for her grandmother crafted with only history project costumes and poster boards from science fairs. After getting scouted in Texas, she got her start in modeling, which led to theatrical and commercial auditions. As a result, she took up acting classes, and now has booked shows such as Queen of the South and Netflix’s Stranger Things! Offscreen, Chen works with Hope4Tomorrow, a mentorship program that provides foster children with a role model there to guide and listen. When she’s not performing or mentoring, she coaches kickboxing, plays tennis, and enjoys the world of sci-fi. Her advice to young artists? “Find a mentor, join a community, and start making stuff!” Read on to learn more about Regina Ting Chen and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Juliet Dang

August 06, 2022

Juliet Dang is a “scientist, artist, and mother” based in the Greater Seattle area. With 4 degrees from the universities of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Washington, Dang’s artistic pursuits marry well with her academic background – though she wasn’t always sure she’d take up a career as an artist! Since deciding to do it all, Dang has won a world research award for HPV research, created her own fashion line (house of juju), walked in NYFW, traveled the world, become a mother, published a magazine (Vietology), and is currently in production for her own short film and working on her fertility journey memoir. She advises young artists to “be fearless and reach out to those in your network to help support you.”  Read on to learn more about Juliet Dang and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Dorcas Leung

July 30, 2022

Dorcas Leung is a left-handed actress based in New York City! She got her start singing at church and in choir, but it wasn’t until following a crush led her to audition for her first musical in middle school. Since then, she’s gone on to perform in Broadway’s Miss Saigon (Gigi Van Tranh), Off-Broadway’s Midsummer (Dou Yi in Snow), the first National Tour of Hamilton (Eliza, Angelica, Peggy/Maria), and The Tale of Despereaux (Despereaux) and Les Misérables (Cosette) regionally. She loves being able to challenge the narrative of what Asian artists “should” be, and hopes to not only continue representing her community in those roles, but to see others do the same. Leung advises young artists to “be curious, have a learning spirit, and truly enjoy [themselves]” – and of course, to have fun! Read on to learn more about Dorcas Leung and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Kendyl Ito

July 23, 2022

Kendyl Ito is an actress based in Queens! After her first exposure to theatre at the age of five and performing in her first show at 8, Ito decided to pursue entertainment professionally. Inspired by “making weird art,” she’s since appeared in projects such as Soft Power, Wild Goose Dreams, Half the Sky, and the limited-engagement tour of Broadway’s Waitress as Dawn! As an AAPI woman, she navigates working in an industry “not designed for [her] voice to be heard” and uncovering acceptance within her workplace and herself. Her three pieces of advice for young artists? “See everything and anything you can… don’t be afraid to ask questions… [and] trust your gut.” Read on to learn more about Kendyl Ito and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Rebecca Kwan

July 16, 2022

Rebecca Kwan is an actor from Toronto currently on the move from city to city! She got her start writing and performing her own skits at home, but didn’t initially pursue entertainment in school. After her third year studying fashion design at the Toronto Metropolitan University, Kwan took a trip home and realized her true career was in performance. Now in shows like SkyMed, she’s also begun development for a new film under her own production company, SeeYun Entertainment! Kwan’s advice to young artists? “... Follow the fun. Follow the joy and the process of understanding how much the love for the craft, and what you do needs to be there because of how tough all of this is sometimes.” Read on to learn more about Rebecca Kwan and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Haven Everly

July 09, 2022

Haven Everly is a performer based in Los Angeles. Raised by professional singers, she formed a girl-group at the age of 5 with her sisters, and went on to perform as the lead The Girl Who Left Home, “a Fil-Am musical feature film… [highlighting] singing, family, culture, and acceptance.” and at The Sugar Bar in NYC (with Dr. Maya Angelou in attendance!) Everly finds that having a good understanding of the inner workings of the industry and to find a balance between work and personal life helped her really understand her craft. Her advice to young artists? “Be patient. You’re enough.” Read on to learn more about Haven Everly  and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Joy Ngiaw

July 02, 2022

Joy Ngiaw is a composer inspired by human connection based in Los Angeles. She began learning classical piano at 6 and found a love for composing after joining her school’s orchestra. After attending Berklee College of Music, she went on to score shows such as Blush (Apple TV+), Rescued by Ruby (Netflix), and Disney Short Circuit S1EP10: Jing Hua (Disney+), with the first season of an upcoming animated television series as her latest project! Ngiaw’s artistic goal is to work on projects that celebrate diversity and showcase the beauty of different cultures. When offstage, she’s a firm believer in self-care and engages in early morning practices such as journaling, meditation, and walks. Her advice to young artists? “Be kind, be curious, and be 100% authentically yourself.” Read on to learn more about Joy Ngiaw and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters

June 25, 2022

Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters is a performer, playwright, and educator based in Philadelphia. After attending Bucknell University with an Arts Merit Scholarship for acting, she studied at the  London Dramatic Academy and CAP21 Musical Theatre in NYC and went on to perform in shows such as Miss SaigonKing and I, and Avenue Q – but after “[getting] tired of playing a white man’s version of Asian,” she began writing shows for herself and her community to amplify AAPI experiences and perspectives! Her favorite credits include Today Is My Birthday at Theatre Exile, Man of God at InterAct Theatre Company, and Acetone Wishes and Plexiglass Dreams, Philadelphia Theatre Company. As an inaugural playwright at Boise Contemporary Theatre’s BIPOC Playwrights Festival, Walters also recently workshopped her original play, Half of Chopsticks. When she’s not onstage, Walters is a preschool teacher on-track to become an undergrad instructor and a founding member of the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists. Walters’ advice to young artists? “Find  the people who understand and support your work but also challenge you to push through when things feel tough… if you love being an artist, don’t give up.” Read on to learn more about Stephanie Walters and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Julia Cho

June 18, 2022

Julia Cho is a performer, producer, and casting director based in Los Angeles. Finding a love for arts at a young age, she went on to double major in Rhetoric and Theater and Dance & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley and founded Artists at Play, a theatre-producing collective “that explores the Asian American experience” and provides both a platform and resources for artists in the Los Angeles community. Her recent credits include dubbing a leading role in a new Korean show on Disney+, the world premiere of Carla Ching's The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up, and guest starring on The Resident! As a creative that forged her own way without connections, Cho advises young artists against “[falling] victim to the notion that there are any ‘rules’ or a set ‘how to’ when it comes to a career in the arts,” and encourages them to find their own definition of success as they continue to learn and grow. Read on to learn more about Juila Cho and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Faye Chiao

June 11, 2022

Faye Chiao is a composer, singer, and actor based in NYC. As a child, the vision of creating her own original music was always clear – and after studying her craft thoroughly at Peabody Institute, she brought her work to life! Her recent work includes Fountain of You with Marin Mazzie, Baba Yaga and the Firebird, and Upstream, in addition to writing music for the short film Delusione, writing the family opera Katie: Strongest of the Strong, and To See the Stars, a multi-media chamber piece. When she’s not creating, she supports her community through music-oriented organizations such as Maestra, Musicians United for Social Equity, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, and the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. Chiao advises young artists to “make sure [they] take the time to tune into [their heads and hearts].”Read on to learn more about Faye Chiao and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Julia Riew

June 04, 2022

Julia Riew is a Musical theater composer-lyricist, librettist, and songwriter based in New York City. Finding a love for the Arts on her elementary school playground, her interest in composing and songwriting led to writing her first musicals at just 15! Recently graduation from Harvard, Riew became the 2021 inaugural recipient for the Musicians United for Social Equity Linda Twine Scholarship and the winner of the Mia and David Alpert Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellowship. She’s also collaborated with Arielle Jovellanos on a musical graphic novel, and worked on an AAPI-led Legally Blonde at Harvard – but you might know her best for Shimcheong: A Folktale, a musical inspired by the tale of Shimcheongjeon and the music of Disney! Riew’s advice to young artists? “Put yourself out there and indulge in your imagination's wildest dreams – don’t be afraid to showcase your work and tell your story!” Read on to learn more about Julia Riew and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Sujata Day

May 28, 2022

Sujata Day is an actor, writer, director, and producer based in L.A. Starting her career with talent shows as a child (for 25 cents a ticket), Day went on to star in four seasons of HBO’s Insecure and as CeCe in Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, direct This Is My Story narrated by LeVar Burton, and have her own works such as Definition Please available for streaming on Netflix – however, she believes her greatest accomplishment to be “making the perfect cup of chai,” a part of her daily routine! Day also supports Black Girls Code, an organization “providing technology education” and instilling a love of STEM in young Black girls. Day advises young artists to “[not] set a time limit on [their] dreams.” Read on to learn more about Sujata Day and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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Amazing Asians in the Arts: Cinderella Mayo

May 21, 2022

Irishrose Cinderella P. Mayo is a performer based in Quezon City with an impressive resume – most notably as a performer for Disney Cruise Line, Mondays in the Club, the National Asian Artist Project - Broadway Chorus, Philippine Education Theatre Association’s Mobile Tour, and Dear Asian Girls: Just Be You! With a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of the Philippines and a Musical Theatre Certificate Course at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, Mayo loves storytelling through art across all disciplines, and hopes to share the magic of performance with those around her. Mayo also supports the The National Asian Artist Project, a community for Asian-American Artists founded by Baayork Lee, where she performed in the Broadway chorus. Her advice to young artists? “Embrace what comes your way! Take risks!” Read on to learn more about Irishrose Cinderella P. Mayo and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 
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