I wish my 13- year old self can come back from the past and just slap me. Slap me and then maybe pull my hair a little.
Why would the 13-year old Janice need to do that, you ask?
I have just felt that I am getting a little too big for my skinny jeans. (Not really, I’ve actually been losing weight, it’s going well! Thank you very much.)
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to do red carpet for the ISA Concert. Created by Wong Fu Productions and Far East Movement, ISA celebrated some of the best and brightest Asian Americans in the entertainment scene. Their first couple of concerts featured mostly Youtube celebs like David Choi and Kina Grannis, with Wong Fu and Far East also taking the stage, front and center, of course.
When I received the offer, I wasn’t doing cartwheels around the office. I didn’t squeal in excitement. I didn’t rub my eyes really really hard, not believing what I was reading.
Instead, I kind of rolled my eyes and snootily sighed, “I guess.”
The Asian American entertainment scene is small and I have been covering this beat for various media outlets including Asia Pacific Arts, KoreAm Journal and Audrey Magazine around LA for about 4 years now. I’ve seen many of the same talents around the red carpets. Some of them know my name. I even have some of their numbers. PR companies kiss kiss me when I come and go.
And somehow, that makes me think I’m the shit.
Somehow, I had it wrapped in my (big) head that because I had been there, done that, I might be a little too good for an event such as this. I’m way too old to be one of those teeny boppers who camp outside for days for concert tickets and then have a freak out fest when they spot the top of their idol’s head in some distant crowd. I kept comparing myself with “those people,” with “those crazy screaming fans” who show their love for a couple of Asian guys and gals. Geez, it’s not like these people are even on TV or in movies. They’re merely on the internet. Get over it. You actually buy their stuff? Aren’t you a sucker.
What it was was that I really needed to get over myself.
Throughout the entire red carpet, I had this totally jaded aura about myself. I would walk past the young fans who had been waiting for hours and hours and think, who would do this? I would gasp at the price the tickets went for and shake my head, thinking how many miles of gas I could buy with that money. I did my reporting work and got it done but I wasn’t aggressive, I had no fire. At one point, I’m ashamed to say, one of the Far East Movement boys even spotted me and called me out. “Gee, you sure look like you’re having a great time.” He joked good-naturedly.
I immediately wiped my bored face off and managed a weak, “it’s just really cold out here” to him.
Seriously, you need to slap me, right?
It was only until I got into the theater, found myself absorbed into the enormous 154,000 square-foot Cerritos Center for Performing Arts and found that nearly every single one of the 1716 seats were occupied (with a ton of people still milling about, seatless) that I realized, Whoa. This is a big deal.
And then, I got blown and blown away by each and every one of the performances, from AJ Rafael’s croonin’ tunes to Quest Crew’s slick dance moves. I surprised myself as I laughed so hard- like watching Friends-status-hard- at Wong Fu’s extremely witty, well-made new short. I couldn’t believe my eyes as kids were running-RUNNING-across the concert venue just to get a peek at Korean Popstar Jay Park. And my heart swelled with pride as Far East Movement sang a new song off their album being produced by legit labels Cherrytree/Interscope. Gone was my too cool for school demeanor and in came my inner-fangirl.
A friend brought up a really good point about this whole Asian Youtube star movement. She noted that when we were younger, we didn’t have Asian American stars to look up to, to have crushes on, to tape on our bedroom walls. She made me remember how obsessed I was when I was younger over my teen crushes, the Taiwanese boy band, F4. I was so in love with these guys that I remembered once, I waited 6 hours to watch them cut some ribbons for a grand opening ceremony near my house. When their faces appeared in person in front of me for the first time, I promptly bursted into tears. I suppose that’s how your body reacts when your dreams become reality.
Realization set in that I have been thinking like an egomaniac for the past few weeks (maybe months, maybe years?) Who am I to think that I’m too good keep covering these artists just because they’ve been around for awhile? Their art continues to evolve (I have to admit, Wong Fu churns out some pretty strong work), and my reporting should as well. When I get stagnant, that’s when things will get scary. I can never lose meaning and purpose in what I do. So even though most of these artists’ target demographic skew a little younger than I, I shouldn’t be embarrassed to admit that I admire their stuff. I may not get all fan-girl anymore (I think only Ira Glass will make me do that) but I most certainly do appreciate these talents and what they’re inspiring in our youth today. A congrats is definitely in order for everyone who helped put ISA together. You guys are doing amazing things to the community and we are so proud of you!
As for me, I know that next time when I get too big for my skinny jeans, I won’t need my 13-year old self to come back and slap me upside my head. I have lovely friends in the here and now who will do that just fine for me:
Mike: Hey Meky, can you help Janice with her video?
Meky: Sure, what do I need to do?
Mike: You just need to hang out with her and pretend you’re her friend – kind of like what we did throughout high school.
Zing Zing Zing!
12 Comments to “I’m (Not) Too Old For This”
I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I'm most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you). (More..)
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