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AsianConnections thanks Dennis A. Amith for sharing his thoughts behind

Asian Pacific Reviews new Web Soap Opera "Romantic Interlude"
An Internet Soap Parody about Soap Operas with an all Asian American Cast


Dennis Amith

     The story "Romantic Interlude" is a short love story that pays homage to the Japanese dramas that I grew up watching. I wrote it a few years ago and recently after talking to actor John Cho (from "American Pie", "American Beauty" and "Yellow"), our discussion was about Asians in the entertainment industry.  From hiring practices to what fellow Asians can do to see more Asians in the industry.  John mentioned that in order to get noticed in the industry, we must do better than the competition and for writers to include Asians in all scripts.

     After thinking about this, I decided to do something different in Asian Pacific Review. The goal is to have a comic strip using real photos of an all-Asian American cast. At the same time, to have a longer web version of the story for more people to see. Now, whether or not people agree with this change in Asian Pacific Review is not a concern. What matters is that we stay on the path of promoting Asian American/Asian (GenerAsian for short) culture and if we can do that via a comic strip and entertain at the same time works for me.

     I've seen Asian related on-line dramas on the web such as Emit No and Liquid Soap but with my last few months with Asian Pacific Review, I wanted to accomplish three things with "Romantic Interlude".  The first goal is to have a printed version in APR. The second is to have an on-line version of the story. Last, to make sure that APR staff is involved and to basically have fun.

     When I first got the cast members involved it was interesting because they didn't quite understand what I was doing. In fact, I know a few of them were probably thinking I had some weird dream that I wanted them to play out but that is not the case.  The fact that we were doing something so unusual in APR caught their interest.

     After a few weeks of producing Romantic Interlude and seeing how the project has grown and how enjoyable it became to participate in. The cast members are more involved with making suggestions to changes with the current script and I'm seeing friendships becoming stronger. The cast has so many ideas that they can't wait until the episode is produced. So, I 'm very honored and happy that things are going well with the project.

     The interesting thing about "Romantic Interlude" is the support we are getting. What was supposed to be small is getting a little bigger. We are starting to find out the web drama can be a hub for promoting Asian American music groups by mentioning the groups name, promoting their music via MP3 technology and also working with the radio stations and getting airplay for them. In the Central California area, unfortunately radio stations have not evolved to a point where Asian artists can be played on the radio in a daily basis like in the Bay Area or Southern California.

     I'm just thankful to the cast and to the supporters of this project. It was something that wasn't expected to be big but who knows, maybe we'll see more inspiration for Asian web dramas on-line.

     Although there is lack of support for Asians in the entertainment field (as well as other industries), it doesn't mean that we should feel negative or quit because of it. What we can do is to do things better than the competition, work even harder and keep striving for that better day to come for all Asians. I'm optimistic for that day to come.


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More articles by AC's Dennis A. Amith

Dennis A. Amith is AsianConnections' pop scene correspondent and former Editor-in-Chief, Asian Pacific Review. APR is an award winning print publication and website developed by the talented students at California State University, Fresno. It is affiliated with CSU-Fresno's Daily Collegian.

 


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