New Solo Show Nov 9 at Ars Nova!

My new show, She Wants to Sing!, is going up one night only as part of Ars Nova’s ANTFest!


She Wants to Sing!
Tues, Nov 9 at 8pm

Ars Nova
511 West 54th Street
$10

I’m gonna sing and dance and do stuff you’ve probably never seen me do before, and it’s gonna be a ton of fun (AND there will be sparkly costumes)!

Click here for tix:
http://arsnovanyc.com/antfest/shows/57-she-wants-to-sing
Facebook event:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112236425506061

Written/Performed by Jen Kwok
Featuring Michael Haayen and Ricky Milburn
Directed by Juliet Jeske
Videos by Ballard C. Boyd, Choreography by Michael Haayen, and Additional Music by soce, the elemental Wizard

YouTube Videos That Have REALLY Rocked My World Recently.

So being in a foreign country with somewhat/sometime Internet access on a netbook has allowed me to truly appreciate the power of having YouTube/music/media/video extravaganzas at my fingertips.

Here are the videos that have just rocked my GD world in the last week or so I’ve been back:

5.  Taiwanese kid BELTING Whitney/Dolly’s “I Will Always Love You.”  With the chubs and bowl cut like WHOAH, Lin Yu is the next Susan Boyle:

4.  Solange Knowles covers hipster band Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness is the Move” and makes it 20x better (I loved the SONG, but could never watch the original video for it’s beyond necessary awkwardness – although I loved the llamas).  Solange’s version is HAAAAWT!!!  Dig the classic sample in the back too:

3.  Das Racist’s “Rainbow in the Dark” combines all my favorite things:  Rainbows (refracted light), Rainbow (the store), Indian guys, a shower and TIGHTass rhymes (talkin’ Camembert!).  Plus, I think it was filmed around the corner from my house.  Uh, can Das Racist pleeeease be my fake Internet boyfriend?

2.  Patrick Jean’s “Pixels”.  Um…just watch it.

1.  tUnE-yArDs’ “Real Live Flesh”.  This is the “acoustic” version.  This woman is AMAZING (and plays the uke!).   Plus, there are a lot of random foot fetish shots throughout all her videos…hmmmm. I want to fall in love with her and have an Internet group marriage with her and Das Racist.  If you want to know what talent is, just watch this chick in action.  Fuck it, I’m already in love:

There they are – the coolest vids I discovered this week!  Enjoy! ;)

What the Heck Makes a Man?!

MarieClaire.com recently asked a few of us lady comedians to answer the question “What Makes a Man”?

…and it came out somethin’ hilarious ;)

It’s a cool lil slide show of different “manly” film/TV characters, with our definitions of men beside each pic.  I was STOKED that mine were matched with literally my top celeb crushes, Spock/Zach Quinto and Chuck Bass/Ed Westwick (and Walker, Texas Ranger/Chuck Norris)!

Here’s one of my blurbs:

Click the pic to read the full article on MarieClaire.com

That’s just one!!!  So check out the piece!

I think we did women everywhere proud – we being “some of the funniest women in the country”:  myself, Carolyn Castiglia, Sara Benincasa, Jamie Lee, Chelsea White and Alison Rosen.  We also commentated it up on a previous MC piece,  A Girl’s Guide to the Late Night Fight.

Not all my material was used, so here are a few of the rejects that did not make the cut:

Reject #1 – A man owns lotion, but does not care to use it unless his skin is cracking on top like an oatmeal cookie.

Reject # 2 – A man can tell the difference between the “Family Guy”, “American Dad”, and “The Cleveland Show”

Reject # 3 – A man never orders anything with the word “Chai” in it.

Reject #4 – A man is someone who, as an individual, should never purchase a Bichon Frise.

Reject # 5 – A man is someone who does not realize how awesome shoes are.

Take You Home Music Video Shoot!

Hey Ya’ll,

I recently shot the music video for my song “Take You Home” with the same dream team behind Date an Asian.  It was directed by Ballard C. Boyd and the song was produced by  soce, the elemental wizard aka Andrew Singer!  This time I have the lovely Miss CKC aka Carolyn Castiglia, spittin a rhyme on this joint!  Check out her blog post about the vid shoot for more photos:  More behind-the-scenes of “Take You Home”.

Here we are shooting at my fave bar in Greenpoint, BK, The Diamond:

Jen and Carolyn! Photo by Anya Garrett.

Special thanks to Dave and Will at The Diamond!  The bar is rockin’ with a huge Nite Brite-ish wall and painting of Michael Landon on the wall . It’s gonna look HAAAWT!

We were styled by the inimitable Johnny “JR” Tabanao, who also styled Date an Asian, and Michael Haayen did the choreography.  Also shout out to Gary Mahmoud and David Cope (who you can see in the background), who played the leading men.  Yeah…there’s a lil story that goes with this one, but you’ll have to wait till the vid comes out to see! ;)

Also special thanks to the crew that was helping all day:  Will Beckley – DP/Cinematographer, Sam Roden – AD, Jeremy Brunjes – Gaffer, Drew Martorelli – PA.  And of course Tom for driving the Honda Fit, Joe Valkenburgh for help cleaning/kid duty (there’s another kid!!!  It’s CKC’s daughter and she is FABULOUS!), and Greg Moss for help returning equipment/kid duty.

Many thanks to the cast that came out – I will shout them out when the vid arrives!!!  It will be coming out mid-April with two live screenings in NYC leading up to its release!

“Take You Home” Music Video Live Screening Dates
Jen Kwok featuring Miss CKC
Directed by Ballard Boyd, Music Produced by soce, the elemental wizard

FRIDAY, APRIL 2 at 7:30 pm (doors at 7pm)
Splurge! at Happy Ending

302 Broome Street (Forsyth/Eldridge)
FREE

This is the AWESOME comedy show hosted by Miss CKC aka Carolyn Castiglia, the brills comic/rapper on “Take You Home”.  She has AMAZING comedians on her show.  April 2 is Kevin Allison, Ophira Eisenberg, Tom Shillue, Brooke Van Poppelen and Mark Douglas – the video premiere!  We’ll be showing a rough cut of the video this evening.


FRIDAY, APRIL 16 at 9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
Mouth-to-Mouth Open Mic at the Asian American Writers Workshop

16 W 32nd St, 10th Fl (Bwy/5th Ave)
$5 suggested donation

This is the monthly open mic I co-host with Ed Lin at the AAWW, the only non-profit org dedicated to supporting Asian American writers.  We’ll be showing the official version of the video here.  Also, I invite any of you guys to sign up and present your work that night!!!  Just show up early (right at 8:30pm or slightly earlier) to sign up for a slot.  And you don’t have to be Asian!  All writers are welcome – and any style (poetry, music, comedy, etc.). We have everyone from seasoned pros to first-time readers testing out new material (usually with 100+ people in attendance each month)!

March 19 AAWW Open Mic!

Hey Ya’ll,

Join us for the smash hit Mouth-to-Mouth Open Mic this Friday night, March 19 at the Asian American Writers Workshop!

Join us for an awesome open mic in K-Town!

Here are the deets:
Fri, March 19 at 9pm
Mouth to Mouth Open Mic: March Attacks!
featuring StaceyAnn Chin & Vidur Kapur
Asian American Writers Workshop

16 W 32nd St, 10th Fl (btwn Bwy & 5th Ave)
$5 suggested donation; open to the public
Writers/performers – Sign up for a 5-minute slot starting at 8:30pm

Writers, please show up early to sign up for a slot!

Our first event, we had 20 people go up and around 100 people in the audience – it was AWESOME!!! There were so many people supporting each other and making new connections! We had everyone from students reading for the first time to a playwright who was one of the first writers published by the AAWW. Plus, we had amazing performances (and a surprise duet!) from Patrick Rosal and Cynthia Lin.  There’s truly nothing like this mic in NYC – nay, the GD country!

And this month, we have even more great things in store! From the AAWW website:

Join us for our second Open Mic of the year, hosted by Jen Kwok and Ed Lin. Writer, activist, and Def Poetry Jam star, Staceyann Chin reads from her new memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, which tells of her coming up in Paradise, Jamaica. As The Washington Post said, “ we saw her perform in 2000 and never forgot it.” You won’t either. Last year, stand up comedian Vidur Kapur was one of the top three booked acts on US college campuses, where he and moved South Asian and LGBT students on the margins to the campus core. Come have a drink on us.

You heard right!  We’re sponsored by yummy Beer Lao.

Five bucks for amazing performers, a great open mic, a lil booze and chillin in a roomful of some of the coolest people you’ve ever meet (and will soon meet)!

See you there ;)

Yeah, I was in People Magazine – but whatevs!

A couple of nights ago, my friend Amanda wrote on my facebook wall that I was in People Magazine.

AWHAAAA?!?!

Apparently, I am an importantly public figure whose every move must be chronicled and then facebooked about:

AWHAAAAAAAAA???

I put on some pants and flew out of the door at 9:20pm for the local corner store.  They did not have People.

Then I went to Rite Aid, where I found a People Magazine – and a deodorant ad on Page 71.  I had a panic attack at the Rite Aid counter that my friend Amanda had surreptitiously chosen 7:12pm and People Magazine as the time and vehicle with which to torment my soul.  When things don’t go right in my life, I skip directly ahead to paranoia.

Well, apparently Greenpoint, BK  is one week behind on People (and people are about 15 years behind on fashion, be they old Polish ladies or 20-something hipsters).

Finally, I took a walk during lunch the next day and went to the nearest Duane Reade in MANHATTAN to pick up the issue – the one with “The Bachelor” and “The Skank-Whore Fiancee” on the cover.  I flip to Page 71, and there it is:

Check it!

Here, let me help you:

OMG, it's me, the glamorous hippie who is also an NYU student and has a black boyfriend :D

Trust me, this is more mind-blowing in print – in your hands – than online.

This was a paparazzi photo of James Franco playing my custom Bushman Jenny ukulele on the set of “Eat, Pray, Love” while I stood in the background, laughing in a long-sleeved velvet dress in the dead of August – with a Mexican paper flower crown on my head (which, by the way, I wish I had the balls to steal for my three dimensional scrap book aka the bin in my closet).

But yes, I am in People Magazine!  I am “in” People Magazine like a Japanese person is “on” SNL (1/16 of a page v. 1/16 of  FRED ARMISEN)!

ANYWAY, my publicist will be sending out this impressive photo to “Wow” important industry connections very soon.

Meanwhile, if you have any press inquires, you can reach my publicist at thisisdefinitelyjenkwokspublicist@jenkwoktotallyhasapublicist.com.  You should expect a response right away.

Why Date an Asian…Chick?

One of my favorite websites, Racialicious, did an excellent blog post about the depressing existence and overall awfulness of the website, “Classy Asian Ladies”.  A vile quote from the website:

“While Asian women are well known throughout the world for their exotic beauty and sensitive nature they are also very smart and well educated, and in many cases high earners in the job market.”

Seriously.  Who hasn’t vomited yet?

Hop over here for the full article.  I’m not going to comment on it any further because:

a)  The Racialicious article does a great job breaking down the implications of this website.

b)  These stereotypes and outdated racial views are 500% (bad math, I know) the reason why I write and perform.

The author was also kind enough to draw the following conclusion at the end:

“At times like this, I like to visit Big Bad Chinese Mama, or listen to Jen Kwok’s Date An Asian. But watch out, these are not for the faint of heart. These classy Asian ladies are writing some serious satire, and they have a lot of rage.

But can you really blame them?”

Sometimes I really do want to quit what I’m doing – for various reasons.  I’m often worried about being misinterpreted as offensive or perpetuating the very thing I’m trying to satirize.  I’ve definitely been accused of it.

But once in awhile, I feel like someone really gets what I’m trying to do, and I realize it isn’t all for naught.

Awesome Asian Chicks Supporting One Another!

I’ve been really stoked to meet and work with some really inspiring groups lately!

This past Thursday I hosted a gala for the American Cancer Society,  and where I met lots of wonderful people (and helped raise some money for a great cause).

And this past Saturday,  I did a speed dating event at the Asian American Writers Workshop with author Kavita Ramdya, where I met lots of wonderful people (and attempted to get them to hook up with each other).

Here’s our matchmaking team:

AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen, Kavita Ramdya, Me and AAWW Managing Director Solmaz Sharif! (BTW, it never ceases to amaze me how small my eyes are compared to EVERYBODY else's!)

The event was a sell out smash hit, New York City Asians!!!!

We matched up 15 pairs of sexy singles on a series of 5 minute “mini-dates” amidst Prosecco cocktails and dumplings.  Everyone looked hot, drunk and full.

Hopefully we helped some people find love.  Or a f*** buddy, or whatever!

And you guys should totally check out Kavita’s book and blog – it covers a lot of issues surrounding Asian-American culture and dating in this day and age:  http://bollywoodwedding.wordpress.com/ It’s really interesting stuff that you almost never hear about!  Almost. ;)

I also sat down on Skype recently with some students from Microcosm, an Asian American student arts publication at MICA.  Here’s an excerpt of the article they wrote about me based on the interview:

Jen has received a lot of great feedback from her audiences– from inspiring some to become writers, to having Asian drag troupes perform “Date an Asian” onstage, to people covering some of her other songs, Jen has received positive response from excited audiences online and off– not only for her comedic performances but also for the messages that she conveys through her songs. She wants them to just have a good time with it and take it lightheartedly.

Read the full article here.  It puts my work – and me – in a different cultural context than people are used to seeing!

Thank you to all my fellow artsy Asian chicks.  You girls inspire me right back!

L Train is Like High School on a Sat Night

So the stupid G Train foiled all my weekend interactions with the world outside of Greenpoint ONCE AGAIN!  I had to go to the L like my backup booty call, walking across McCarren Park at all hours and making a stranger pedestrian’s-eye-view progression from old school Polish tax preparation offices to acid wash/feather/vintage boot-juxtaposing hipsters.

I seriously made up the acid wash/feather/vintage boot thing, but then I found this photo.....

Last night,  I came back from a great gig at Hunter College, “If My Vagina Could Talk”, a benefit for Vday.  I met a lot of other great performers, and I always love playing for students -who are usually tickled to see someone singing curse words in a lecture hall.

The L (especially to Bedford) is increasingly more Meatpacking District-ified.   You know a place is done when high schoolers get fake IDs to go there.

I never felt like a more “legit” “Brooklyn-based” “comedian” than last night, when I was coming home from a gig at 12am while a gaggle of five Gossip Girls were “going out” in Williamsburg.  Requisite squealing from one that “OMG, we’re in Brooklyn!!” with feigned fear while her id boileth over with self-satisfaction that she is edgy and cool enough to be in fucking Brooklyn.  VOM.  These baby-faced 17-year-olds with waaaaaaaayheyheeeeeey too much make up freak me out.  Don’t the know they don’t look like 20-something starlets?  Instead, they are rocking the toddler-in-a-pageant look SUPERhard.   Everyone in the group was wearing the latest boots – but only the middle-of-the-road teen-friendly brands (i.e. Steve Madden, Uggs, Candies).  And of course, there was the one dumpy friend who had on a POUFY winter coat and SNEAKERS (“What was she thinking?!”).  Nice to know that some things just never change.

Gossip Girl Clones - Target, why are you such an enabler?!

The best, though, was the trio of adolescent crazy-but-not-funny high school outcast kids on the train.  Literally: 1) A guy with long hair, craaazy 80s sunglasses and a video camera, 2)  Shy, awkward follower girl with pink streaks in her hair, and 3) Young Chelsea gay-in-training.  (If those other teens were Gossip Girl wannabes, this was Glee come to life.)

When I walked in the train, Young Chelsea was shellacking the subway pole with Purell, getting ready, apparently, to do somethign craaaaaazy and video-worthy.

His friends were egging him on, the camera was in full force and YC starts swirling around, pulling off  horrifically uncoordinated moves with incredible panache. Secretly, I was scared for his balls.

Most of the people on the train were looking, and myself and this bourg-y blonde across from me were cracking the eff up.  YC goes on for a couple minutes with Tom Green’s tenacity, and actually pulls off some legitimate twirls.  He sets me into uncontrollable stomach-hurt laughter when he stops in the middle of a flourish and proclaims:  “Ughhh, I can’t DO this anymore!!!   I need more Purell!”  He receives said sanitary lotion from Shy/Awk Girl and really starts to work the crowd now:  “I need some music…”  Shy/Awk Girl says “You need some, like, Lady Gaga”  and she and Long Hair/CamBoy simultaneously launch into:  “Ra-ra, roma-ma!   Gaga, ooh-lalaaaaaa!”

Ironically, the one impressive move that YC actually did (held himself up with legs fully extended around the pole) was never captured on film for whatever purpose (*cough* YouTube! *cough*) this shenanigan was meant to serve.  It’s nice to know that live performance is still kicking.

I hope those crazy bitches had a great night and made it back safely to La Guardia or whatever high school drama program from whence they escpaed.  See you guys at NYFA, FIT and AMDA in a few years.

BTW, if we had combined the GG Wannabes with the pole-dancing Glee Wannabes, this is surely what would have ensued:

Attention Whoring High Schoolers On Halloween