I’ve been to a fair share of galas during my NYC days but last night’s event at Belasco Theatre was unlike anything I had experienced before.
CAPE (Coalition Of Asian Pacifics In Entertainment), was celebrating its 25th anniversary with a very star studded line up of guests spanning across multiple generations. Like most galas it included red carpet arrivals/ interviews and a silent auction but instead of a stuffy dinner where everyone was seated in their own groups, it was a reception with a variety of Asian food sourced from restaurants all over Los Angeles and a TED-talk style presentation with speakers highlighting the past, present and future of Asian American and Pacific Islander talent in the entertainment industry. This open format allowed for plenty of time to brush shoulders with people like Steven Yeun, Harry Shum Jr., Eugene Lee Yang of Buzzfeed’s Try Guys, Anna Akana, The cast of Fresh off the Boat (Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen), Ali Wong, Daniel Dae Kim, Phil Wang and Wes Chan of Wong Fu Productions just to name a few…
Usually VIP’s are in a completely separate area than the general public, but this event offered a unique experience in that you were easily standing 5 feet away from someone who you usually see on-screen either on TV, movies or YouTube. Not to mention, those who work behind the scenes as producers/executives/directors, etc were also present; people like Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng, Twitch founder Dan Lin, CBS VP Eric Kim. You could say I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the type of people I ended up speaking with.
I was familiar with CAPE before moving to LA through their #IAM campaign, as they featured well known actors, musicians, and influential members of the entertainment sector and their stories about their experiences as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Now that I live in LA, so close to where it all happens, it only made sense that I went to one of their events. If you’re not familiar with these #IAM videos you can watch them here.
I didn’t get photos with everyone I saw/talked to, but some glimpses of my night in photos:
Some highlights of the presenters/speakers below:
If you’re in LA and you missed this event, rest assured CAPE has plenty more programs that you can attend/participate in including a Young Leaders Fellowship for the next generation of media executives, (slated to launch in 2017), the CAPE New Writers Fellowships for emerging writers in TV and film slated for early March, as well as various panels throughout the year that educate, connect and empower AAPI’s with the insight and advice on how to how to break in and thrive in the entertainment industry.
They actually have an event coming up on November 1st! the 2016 CAPE Feature Film Panel: THE GREAT AMERICAN INDIE. For more updates on their programs you can sign up on their site here.
I had so much fun at this event and I’m so excited to see what’s in store for each and every talent who was at this event. Tag along on my instagram for more of my LA adventures and stay tuned on future blogposts on the movies, actors and actresses I have on my radar.