Monthly Archives: July 2004

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle: Special message from actors Kal Penn and John Cho




July 24, 2004

Dear Friends, Fans, Haters, Players, and True Money Makers,

Hey! This is Kal Penn (aka Kalpen Modi) and John Cho writing to encourage you to go see our upcoming comedy from New Line Cinema, “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” opening nationwide on July 30th. This film marks the
first time a major studio is releasing a project with two Asian American males as the leads.

We don't have stereotypical accents, we don't passively
tread through the story, we're not asexual or hypersexual, there are no martial arts scenes, one-dimensional cab driver segments. We play a couple of all-American guys who happen to be of Indian and Korean descent.

Our characters (Harold and Kumar) are post-collegiate buddies who get the munchies and end up going on the adventure of their lives as they set out to satisfy a spontaneous craving for White Castle burgers. Ebert and
Roeper just gave our movie “Two Thumbs Up”! We hope you will too.

Read on.

The opening weekend for any film is extremely important. Studio executives (the people who make big decisions about movies) track the numbers from that first weekend's ticket sales and make all kinds of decisions based on that
data.  They decide if they will add more screens to show a film, if they will spend more money in promoting it, if they will
start investing in a sequel… but most importantly, they decide if elements of the film work and whether they should do it again.

In our case, that means they will be asking, “Will a strong script and story succeed or fail with 2 Asian American guys in non-stereotypical roles?”. We personally think it will succeed, but we need your help! This film is our chance to prove that realistic, nonstereotypical depictions can make an audience have a blast, and take in enough money to make this
happen in the future.

By buying a ticket to “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle”, you aren't just gonna get to see a really funny movie with two dudes who look like you.
Nope. You're also going to be saying to media outlets, “I support accurate representation of Asian Americans and would like to see more.” You have the power to change things simply by buying a ticket to a film that we believe you'll have fun watching anyway!

Please go to the theaters on the weekend of July 30th, and watch “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”. We look at this awesome opportunity like we do voting in an election. Every movie ticket someone buys is a VOTE, and the cool part is, you're allowed to vote as many times as you want.

With your support of the film, we will show decision-makers in Hollywood that supporting movies like these is not only the right thing to do, but is also good business. We'll also show YOU what it's like to ride a cheetah, hang glide off a cliff, pick up a hitchhiking Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser), tell off a bunch of ignorant punks, get love interests, and sing Wilson Phillips at the top of our lungs.

So just hold on for one more… week, and check out the website at  This film opens the weekend of July 30th! Send this email to all of your friends. Throw parties. Order food. Make a night (or weekend) out of it and go see “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle”! This is a landmark opportunity for the Asian American
community, and we are proud to be the faces involved. With your support and the success of this film, we hope that it's only the beginning of many more Asian Americans on screen…

Enjoy the movie,
Kal Penn and John Cho
“Kumar”  and  “Harold”

New Line Cinema's “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”

MADE IN CHINA: CBC/BBC radio show on the Chinese Diaspora

The following is from Adrienne Wong, an actor friend that was featured in a special CBC Radio/BBC project about the Chinese disaspora.  Adrienne is a wonderful actor and you are blessed when she includes you in her circle of friends.  Recently, she performed at Firehall Arts Centre productions of Golden Child and Between Places.

Do you believe in second chances? I do. Some of you know about the radio project I was involved in called MADE IN CHINA.

As the sole Canadian actor I performed over a satellite link with the other performers in London from 2AM to 10AM! The project combines radio drama, documentary and music and is co-produced by the CBC and the BBC Worldservice.

It aired internationally several months ago, and hits Canadian airwaves this summer! Second chance: Sunday July 25 at 10:05 pm (11:05 pm Maritimes & 11:35 pm Newfoundland) on Sunday Showcase on CBC Radio One and if you miss THAT...

Third chance: Monday July 26 at 9:05 pm (9:35 in Newfoundland) on In Performance on CBC Radio Two I've attached a description below... adrienne

Made in China By Kevin Wong (Manchester, UK) With music by Ya-Wen Vivienne Wang (Vancouver, Canada) performed by the Orchid Ensemble (Vancouver, Canada) The Chinese are perhaps the most widely dispersed people around the world. As part of a special season on the BBC World Service, a drama-documentary collaboration was commissioned, entitled Made in China.

This co-production with CBC combines the talents of British-based writer Kevin Wong and Taiwanese-Canadian composer and performance artist Ya-Wen Vivienne Wang. It gives voice to the stories of the Chinese diaspora, many of which have remained untold.

Using drama and documentary recorded in both Canada and the UK, Made in China also gives an insight into what it means to be a second or third generation Chinese outside the borders of that country.

From a six year old boy in Liverpool to a retired opera singer in Vancouver, there are many surprises along the way. Made in China also includes a guest appearance by the celebrity chef, Ken Hom, who has created a special diaspora recipe for this play. Made in China was recorded in London and Vancouver by producers Marion Nancarrow (BBC) and Kathleen Flaherty (CBC).

Changing the Meanings of Chinatown

Changing the Meanings of Chinatown

UBC professors Henry Yu and Jean Barman look at the history of Chinatown. 

This should be a very interesting lecture and discussion.  Two
years ago in 2002, I hosted a reading event at Vancouver Public Library
Central branch titled “Storis From Chinatown”.  It featured
writers Paul Yee, SKY Lee and Jim Wong-Chu.  Throughout the
evening we entertained the “ideas” of Chinatown was dependent on the
person's individual experience and that “Chinatown” meant different
things to different people. 

The same summer, I hosted another event at the library featuring a
slide show and commentary by Dr. Wallace Chung and a talk by Chinatown
News founder and publisher Roy Mah.

SFU Harbour Campus
515 W. Hastings
July 22, 7pm  free

Vancouver Folk Festival features Asian, Celtic, Scottish & Accordion performers

I’ve scoured the list of performers at the
2004 Vancouver Folk Festival and these are the people that caught my
eye. I’ve listed them under the reasons why: Asian fusion/Asian
Heritage, Accordion (my chosen instrument), and Celtic / Scottish

The performer biographies and descriptions are from the Vancouver Folk
Festival website. For more info on the Vancouver Folk Festival and a
program of the artists check out

I’ll be attending on Saturday – Hope to see you there….

Todd Wong

Asian fusion/Asian Heritage

Autorickshaw Ontario

Gorgeous grooves on the trans-cultural
frontier, weaving ancient traditions with a very modern attitude. In
creating their music, Autorickshaw draws from North and South Indian
music, jazz, Western classical and pop. The ensemble's repertoire
includes funky, contemporary arrangements of south Indian classical
compositions, Bollywood tinged jazz standards, and fiery Indo-jazz
originals. Contact

Raghu Lokanathan British Columbia

A special debut performance by a true BC original, with songs to make you smile and sing along. The
melodies are the kind that stick in your head and you find yourself
humming them in the kitchen. The stories are the kind that make your
brain skip. They're not your usual stories and the voices that sing
them are not the voices we are used to hearing from in songs. Yet as
Raghu sings them into being, we feel like we know those voices and
probably have more than a few things in common with them.

Mercan Dede Québec / Turkey

A 21st century dervish,
blending acoustic virtuosity on ancient Turkish instruments and the
rhythms of the rave in a transcendental groove (Friday & Saturday
In 1997, he created an ensemble to bring together what he
had learned about music, dancing and life in both Turkey and North
America. Knowing both worlds, he could see points of convergence mixing
virtuoso live performances of ancient acoustic instruments with an
understanding of trance that predated raves but also included them. “On
one side, I grew up as a Sufi musician and dervish, and on the other,
I'd started DJing. Then I realized that, looking at the turntable, it
was exactly like the skirt of the whirling dervish. I realized that the
materials and instruments are just a bridge.”

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Pakistan

The next generation in this beautiful ancient music, led by the nephews of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They
bring the energy, the passion and sense of risk to the stage that can
make performances by young artists so thrilling, but they are starting
from another place. They are the young inheritors of a family tradition
that goes back over 500 years. Their grandfather and teacher was also
the teacher of their uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They have also
worked with Funmental and jammed with David Bowie, Patti Smith and
Philip Glass on stage.

Visit the Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali web site


Geoff Berner British Columbia

Not just another lucky buckaroo with an accordion, one of Vancouver's finest songwriters finally flies solo on the beach. Geoff
is on a journey to create new Klezmer music. Geoff and Estrella the
accordion have written many songs together, exploring the tension
between the cheerful chords of the accordion and Geoff's often biting,
humorous lyrics, Visit the Geoff Berner web site

Filippo Gambetta Italy

Beautiful melodic improv and interpretations of Italian melodies on
melodeon, guitar and bass. Filippo is the composer and performer of
glorious, lyrical music. It's based in traditional music and then draws
in other worlds, from the classical to global. As a musical explorer,
Filippo is often found sitting in with musicians from any number of
cultural traditions. He absorbs all those influences and combines them
with a vivid musical imagination. It is not Europe through
rose-coloured glasses; it is Europe through a kaleidoscope.
Collaborating with Filippo this summer are guitarist Claudio de Angeli
and Michel Ballati on Irish wooden flute.

Scottish traditions/fusions

The Duhks Manitoba

A roots riot with fresh prairie attitude, blending Celtic and mountain roots into new Canadian music.If
you've been listening to folk music for many years, you'll find much to
love about The Duhks. They draw deeply on acoustic traditions from
Québec to Appalachia to Cape Breton and their choice of songs includes
some we don't hear often enough, like Woody's “Pretty Boy Floyd.” The
Duhks are winning hearts and spinning dancers at halls and festivals
from coast to coast to coast.

Visit the The Duhks web site

James Graham Scotland

This year's Young Celtic Tradition Award winner brings the pipes and
the old Gaelic songs to Jericho. We are reliably informed that James
grew up in the far northwest of Sunderland in Scotland. His mother
played accordion and the whole family sang at regular ceilidhs with
friends and families. It was his great aunt Seordag Murray who was his
biggest influence: Keen to see the tradition live on, she taught him
every Gaelic song she knew. He also began to learn the pipes.
Performing with James this weekend is pianist James Ross and piper and
step dancer Donald Brown.

Enoch Kent Ontario

A one-man folk revival, from early days in Glasgow with Ewan MacColl
through life in Canada as a workin' chap and artist. He was born in
Glasgow some years ago and you can still hear some of that hard town in
his voice today. There's that trace of an accent, of course, but it's
there too in the songs he chooses to sing and the way in which he sings
them. These are songs written about working life and loving life over
the centuries and he sings them with love and respect, both for the
songs and for the lives lived in them.

Shooglenifty Scotland

The return of the crazed Scottish folkadelic beat masters, ready to set you reeling.It
was 1997 when these acid crofters first flew out from Edinburgh,
bringing their hypno-funkadelic selves to Canada for the first time to
play at this very Park. A decade is a long time in the life of a band
though, especially one that began by defining a new style, drawing
together everything hot about dance culture and melding it with the
power of Scottish music and a full-on live band. Traces of North Africa
and the Middle East weav in and out of those Highland roots now.

Visit the Shooglenifty web site

Dick Gaughan Scotland

One of the most passionate and committed interpreters of traditional
and contemporary songs. He grew up inside the tradition, albeit out in
Leith, a tough town even by Scottish standards. There was both Scots
and Irish Gaelic in the house and often music. His family included
singers, a fiddler, and in the case of his grandmother, an
accordionist. In each of his songs you can hear his respect for the
dignity of the lives he sings about. His voice rings out with honest
love, rage and reverence. Like gospel, his music is filled with the
belief that change is going to come and we're the people to make it

dragon boat break for July resume paddling in August

Hi everybody,
Gung Haggis dragon boat team is taking a break from paddling for the rest of July.
We will start up again in August – please state your preference for Wed evening, Tuesday evening or Sunday afternoons.
In the mean time here is some information of kayaking:
Deep Cover kayak and canoe rentals for Tuesday night races are:
$12 + tax for single  $15 + tax for double + $3 per entry fee.
Names are put in for prize draws for the evening and for the year end.
Registration is done by 6pm.  Race starts between 6:30 & 7pm and lasts for about 30 minutes.  Afterwards racers usually go to the Raven Pub for refreshment and to watch video of the race.

No dragon boat practice Sunday – enjoy the Canada Day weekend

Hi Everybody,

No dragon boat practice this weekend. It is still sort of like a Long Canada Day Weekend – and some people are going away… and I am still feeling under the weather.

By Monday, I will have more things worked out for Wed practice at Plaza of Nations Marina. On the water at 7pm – 8:30pm… please meet by 6:30pm.

I have invited paddlers from other teams to join us – as this will be for racing in Kent WA.

Please invite your friends to come out and paddle – We can form a brand new team of novices for the Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race Sept 4/5. Practices for novice teams will start last week of July. 4 practices + race for $39.

Have a good weekend, Todd