That’s why he created MAPID – Mavericks of Asian-Pacific Islander Descent – “dedicated to the development and promotion of underrepresented artists, writers, activists, and future community leaders and their supporters, friends, and allies.”
Ken is a producer, director, actor, and writer, not to mention a networking god! A few words from the man himself:
Why are groups like MAPID important?
KEN: There's this impression that those who are in the arts are "me me me." But to get ahead in the entertainment industry, a team effort is required. You absolutely have to be a team player. It's totally un-Darwinian which most of us are ingrained with. MAPID is an ever-expanding team and only exists because of what people put back into it. I've always been with the same mind-frame – as high a level I get to, I'm taking people with me.
Who's kicking ass the most in the Asian-American media world?
KEN: A whole bunch are making waves. Justin Lin has motivated many emerging filmmakers with Interpretations. Daniel Dae Kim, Kelly Hu are just some of the celebs that give back to the community. Edwin Chung just got a promotion at NBC. The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) brought an amazing group of people for their recent event Koreans in Hollywood. But I'd have to say, I'm impressed most with the Racebending.com folks who are awesome and really made an impact in the discussion.
What's the best thing undiscovered Asian-American talent can do for their careers?
KEN: Explore what their strengths are. The industry is not a "You Can Have It All" biz. Focus on who they are, what they do best, and begin to brand and market that. You have to create an entree point. Worrying about being typecast before you get cast in the first place is self-defeating.
Dream lunch date?
KEN: Takeshi Kaneshiro. I wouldn't turn down Jeremy Sheffield, though not sure about his recent career choices. Who is he? See, that's what I mean. A Native Hawaiian physical therapist who can give me massages every night!
See Ken and MAPID in action next month as they co-sponsor the 3rd Annual ID Film Fest at the Japanese American National Museum. At which this here blog will be a media sponsor! Woot! Follow this blog for more details to come...