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ASIAN AMERICA: THE KEN FONG PODCAST

Ken Fong gets to the heart of Asian American culture, history, and spirituality. Through interviews with culture-makers and -shapers in the Asian American community -- some you know, others you've never heard of before -- prepare to laugh, cry, and be amazed.
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ASIAN AMERICA: THE KEN FONG PODCAST
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 25, 2024

This is probably stating the obvious, but there is more than one type of personality. Eric Gee has spent countless hours and many years perfecting a system of personality typing that is less rigid than the Meyers-Briggs system (MBTI) and also much easier to remember and grasp. Defining sixteen different 'animal' types and arranging them into four logical 'packs,' Eric consistently captures people's imaginations as he takes them deeper into this world. You can take his test by going to www.youtopiaproject.com, and you can pick up his book "The Power of Personality," when it hits the stores this April. You can also pre-order it now.

Feb 18, 2024

Ever since she learned to drink alcohol in college, Brynn Evans had been embarassed by how red her face would turn, "a consequence of being half Chinese," she'd lament. Taking an antacid when she drank seemed to do the trick, but that eventually made her really sick. Thus began her decade-long journey to come up with a safe and healthy dietary supplement that would reduce or eliminate this alcohol-induced flush, and even mitigate serious hangovers. She recently launched JOYN (www.joynthefun.com) and is excited to tell the 600 million others who also suffer from this malady that relief is now possible!

Feb 11, 2024

In this latest installment of The Two Kens series, friends and podcasters Ken Fong and Ken Kemp roll up their sleeves to have difficult conversations about three issues that involve borders or boundaries, i.e., immigration at the U.S. southern border, the war in the Gaza Strip that to a growing number of people--especially Millennials--is looking like the genocide of the Palestinian people, and whether heaven and hell are real, and if so, who decides who's going to which place?

Feb 4, 2024

With more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, 45% of Americans reporting no savings at all, and of the 55% who have retirement saving, over half report that they have less than $250,000. Given the a person making $40K/year will need to have saved $1M to have a dignified and comfortable retirement, it's clear that America is heading for a retirement crisis.

Ali Khawar is the U.S. Department of Labor's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), which is responsible for overseeing retirement benefits programs for millions of working Americans. He talks about the disparities in retirement savings among different groupings of Americans, and some of the contributing factors. Most significantly, he lays out what the federal government is currently doing to help greater numbers of Americans save more for their retirement years.

Jan 28, 2024

Music Will runs the largest nonprofit music program in the U.S. public school system. For more than 20 years they have provided teacher training, curriculum, resources, musical instruments, and equipment to restore and expand music education to more than 1.6 million students (K-12) and in over 6,000 public schools. Janice Polizzotto is Music Will's Chief Relationship Officer, bringing more than 25 years of experience working in both the private and public sectors with an emphasis on social impact, nonprofit management, fundraising, event planning, and strategic partnerships. You'll soon learn that she has a burning passion to further than impact and mission of Music Will. www.musicwill.org

Jan 21, 2024

Headwriter Eric Vue and Director Shinshin Yuder Tsai co-founded the Orange County (CA)-based Asian American sketch comedy troupe No MSG Added. In this hilarious episode, Ken prods them to explain the differences between improv and sketch comedy, and the challenges of recruiting a representative group of AANHPI comedians and writers to entertain and educate rooms full of diverse people about life as Asian Americans. www.nomsgadded.com

Jan 14, 2024

Growing up in a family of matchmakers, you could say that Cassindy Chao was destined to become one, too! She eventually left the sterile confines of finance to pursue her passion: helping Asian Americans find that perfect match and true love! You'll be enthralled with the energetic back-and-forth between Cassindy and Ken as they compare notes gleaned from their many years spent guiding individuals through the maze of issues that arise when trying to find a compatible soulmate.

Dec 31, 2023

Psychologist Dr. Gordon Nagayama Hall retired from academia a few years ago, but he's continuing to work to increase the percentage of AANHPIs who will seek help from mental health professionals. To this end, he is part of a team that has developed the Mind Boba problem-solving intervention app that is culturally adapted and created for Asian Americans! (Check out trifoia.com/mindboba on the Web, mind.boba on Instagram, and the Mind Boba FB page). Here's your chance to learn about this easily accessible new mental health tool before it launches.

Dec 22, 2023

In this year's last installment of the collaborative The Two Kens podcast series, Fong first updates Kemp on how his relationship is going with Doreen, his high school girlfriend from half a century ago, then coaxes Kemp to read his latest Substack essay entitled The Baby and the Bathwater: What Is the Baby?. The focus of Kemp's mental exercise is what's left after growing numbers of conservative Christians "deconstruct" their beliefs. Are there still solid reasons to believe in and worship God? This leads to Fong and Kemp wondering aloud about the power and importance of Jungian archetypes and mythic figures and stories, and whether this lens can or should be applied to the Christmas Nativity.

Dec 17, 2023

In 2022 Korean American Christian actor, writer, producer, and director Kenneth Chang teamed up with David Chan Lee to create the short horror film Refuse, in which a down and out Korean American Christian young man is fighting the demon of meth addiction, while his mother's KA church views him as a demon. You'll learn about how great horror films are able to depict not just the battle between good and evil, but spiritual battles between God and the devil.

Dec 10, 2023

My guest this episode is a proven leader who's a great example of the power of unconventional thinking. Jim Fong was an executive vice president and chief commercial officer for CTI Biopharma. This summer a Swedish pharmaceutical giant plunked down nearly $2 billion US dollars to acquire this startup, but as you're about to learn, almost no one in the industry predicted that this would happen. Jim and his team were given the near-impossible task of recruiting a salesforce of 100 to sell their blood-cancer treatment before it had received FDA approval while 80% of the market was already controlled by a huge pharmaceutical company. Jim and his team decided that they needed to look for people with the right attitude, not the right aptitude. He's the youngest of my two brothers, and I'm extremely proud of him and what he accomplished in the face of insurmountable odds.

Dec 3, 2023

UC Santa Barbara English Professor Dr. Yunte Huang recently published the final book in his "Rendezvous With American History" trilogy. Following the ones about the real and fictional detective Charlie Chan and the unbelievable one about the Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker, Huang has now researched and written a thoroughgoing book about Hollywood's first Asian American movie star Anna May Wong. How did the daughter of a laundryman in LA's Chinatown get bit by the acting bug? Have the rumors about her sexuality been confirmed? Why did she suddenly depart for Germany after starring in her most successful film? When she returned to America, had the racist attitudes and restrictions in Hollywood improved at all? Had all that time in front of cameras stolen her soul, as her parents first warned her?

Nov 26, 2023

In 2018 entrepreneurial chef Jing Gao harnessed everything she'd learned from master chefs in China, and also the deep insights she'd arrived at in her journey to understand her identity to create a unique line of seasonings that's already in 5,000 stores in America. Carrying her label "Fly By Jing," each carefully crafted jar uses quality ingredients from her hometown of Chengdu, China. Hers is a fascinating journey that took her from the tech world to culinary school in China and being a restauranteur to where she is today: a highly successful flavor innovator and entrepreneur.

Nov 19, 2023

In generating the script for the 2022 indy film My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving, Filipino American writer Richard Soriano took his experiences as the director of a group home for adults with special needs and provided a compelling vehicle that helps audiences begin to see these folks as fellow human beings. While our conversation revolved around why and how he made this film, we spend a good deal of time talking about the world of adults with developmental disabilities, their families, and those often charged with caring for them after the turn 18.

Nov 12, 2023

Melissa Dyo always knew that she and her sister were adopted and loved her adoptive family. But a few years back, she realized that if she ever wanted to find her birth mom, that window was starting to close. President Clinton declared that November was National Adoption Month, and you're going to be absolutely enthralled when you hear her share how her search has turned out!

Nov 5, 2023

Veteran American actor Tamlyn Tomita is my guest this week to make sure that as many people as possible know about East West Players' last production of their 57th season Spring Awakening. This revolutionary musical won the "Best Musical" Tony Award on Broadway, and I can promise you that Director Tim Dang's version at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, is Broadway-quality! Tamlyn and husband Daniel Blinkoff play all of the adult roles quite convincingly, and the ensemble cast of young actors will have you questioning whether this production is truly their professional debut. Head over to www.eastwestplayers.org to find a performance that matches your schedule and purchase your tickets. 

Oct 29, 2023

Award-winning director Jessica Yu spoke with me recently about her latest film Quiz Lady that will debut on November 3, 2023, on Hulu in the U.S. and on DisneyPlus everywhere else. Starring Sandra Oh and Awkwafina, it's about two estranged sisters who are thrown together when their gambling-addicted mother leaves the country because she owes her loan shark $80,000. The quarreling sisters decide that their best chance at raising that kind of cash is for Awkwafina's character Anne to become the winning contestant on a televised game show that she's been watching religiously since she was four.

Oct 22, 2023

Cambodian Chinese American entrepreneur Danny Taing has always loved a challenge. Like many young immigrants from Asia, Danny struggled with being a minority in predominantly white settings. He became fascinated with how the Japanese had been able to carve out a comfortable and admirable cultural niche, so he began to study their culture and learn their language, eventually moving to live and work in Japan. That's how he came to love the myriad kinds of special Japanese snacks. After moving back to the US, Danny launched Bokksu, a monthly subscription service that delivered a beautiful boxes of carefully curated snacks that can only be found in Japan. Today, you can marvel at how he and his team have been able to diversify and distribute even more of what Japan has to offer by going to www.bokksu.com.

Oct 15, 2023

Steve Tsuruda is the founder of GeminiDT ™ (www.geminidt.com) whose technological breakthroughs enable the medical industry to harness the power of data science and volumertic data. From historical scan data to raw data sets from CT, MRI, PET and Sonography  doctors, radiologists and researchers can now develop preventitive therapies, see cause and effect on the digital twin, do comparative studies with certainty and accuracy.

The Human Anatomy project (www.the-hap.org) will conduct studies leveraging GeminiDT's system to publish new findings with a level of accuracy needed to answer challenges in the human physiology and early detection.

Oct 12, 2023

In this latest episode of the collaborative Two Kens series, Fong and Kemp tackle the phenomenon of megachurches. When did they first begin to proliferate and why? What are some of their inherent problems? Do most of them defy what it really means to be genuine Body of Christ?

Oct 8, 2023

Joy Ngiaw is a young Malaysian-born Chinese American who has already made a name for herself in Hollywood as an award-winning composer for films and television. One of the best examples of her empathic expertise is Apple TV+ and Skydance's animated short film Blush. Because the film has no dialogue, Joy's musical score has to convey the shifting emotions in all the scenes. She is definitely one to watch!

Oct 1, 2023

Multi-talented Joy Regullano is a hard-working writer, actor, and comedian. She recently released the concept album for her comedy musical Supportive White Parents, a more than semi-autobiographical story of a young adult Filipina American budding artist with demanding parents. One night, out of desperation, "Joy" wishes that she could have supportive white parents instead. And of course, her wish comes true. But like most wishes, "Joy" eventually discovers that the grass ain't necessarily greener on the other side of the cultural fence. 

Sep 24, 2023

Globe-trotting South Korean Production Supervisor Kate Young Eun Park is my guest this week. She came on to promote Cookin', a madcap percussive musical featuring four frenzied chefs striving to meet a crazy wedding banquet deadline. In its 26th year, Cookin' has been already been viewed by 1.48 million people in 60 countries, and is currently at the Minneapolis Children's Theater Company (CTC) until Oct 22, 2023, and then it moves to Charlotte, NC, for a week. If you aren't able to make either of these performances, you can look for Cookin' (or Nanta) on Youtube. You can copy and past this link to see the 2016 performance at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: https://www.youtube.com/live/GJlv4BNNKEg?si=g6SEW7qSD8OG3Gvu.

Sep 17, 2023

Korean American adoptee Kristen Meinzer has harnassed the power of her unique voice and interests to become a familiar commentator on aspects of pop culture, British royalty, and even weird fringe Christian cults. Considered to be one of the "22 most influential women in podcasting today," Meinzer shares what every budding podcaster needs to know, along with some hilarious stories from her current collection of podcasts that she co-hosts. You'll also learn how she has become one of the go-to commentators on the British monarchy and their racism! 

Sep 10, 2023

It took Amy Yip 38 years to come to grips with what it meant to take ownership of her own life, which involved learning how to relate to her immigrant Asian parents in more curious and objective ways. She's now a successful life-coach and her book Unfinished Business: Breaking Down the Great Wall Between Adult Child & Immigrant Parents will be in stores on 9/28/23.

https://amyyipcoaching.com/

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