Jason Lee was born in Queens, New York but ended up moving around a lot with his family. He hated dancing because his friends said he didn’t have rhythm and wasn’t born with it – so he believed it to be a genetic thing. While attending college, he had the opportunity to see the Oprah Winfrey Show where they brought a choreographer to teach the basic steps of dancing. He felt inspired and put months of practice into simple choreographies that soon sparked his love for dance and eventually joining a street dance crew in Time Square.
Dr. Jerome Kim
Dr. Jerome Kim is the Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in Seoul, South Korea. He is a third generation Korean American and from a family with long established roots in Hawaii. His grandmother was one of the first Koreans to be born in Hawaii and his grandfather was a Hawaiian correspondence and community organizer for the Korean Independence Movement. English was the primary language spoken in his home with his grandparents speaking Korean with each other and recalls being required to learn Japanese from the third to fifth grade.
Mike Kim was born and raised in a predominantly white town in the San Francisco Bay Area and felt he was constantly navigating between two worlds. Having conservative parents and being the first born in his family, he was expected to have deep connections to his Korean roots and focus on his education. However he embraced a more American mindset and culture and developed a passion for sports and the outdoors.
Growing up in California, Hayden Royalty felt pressure to pursue a career in medicine during her studies at university. As classes became more difficult, Hayden struggled to keep up which caused their mental and physical health to deteriorate. It was at this point they found asylum at the campus LGBTQ+ center, thus beginning their journey to understand their sexuality/queerness and Asian American identity. Upon returning home after graduation, Hayden decided to move to Korea to teach English by the recommendation of their cousin. This new sense of independence was liberating and brought much needed comfort allowing Hayden to remain in Korea for the next eight years. Motivated by their personal experiences and the lack of representation of queer and Asian counselors, Hayden plans to return to the States to pursue a career in social work. They hope to become someone who can support conversations between young queer Asian Americans and their families.
Danny Cho is a Korean American stand-up comedian, writer, and content creator. He was born and raised in Boyle Heights in East LA as one of the only Asian Americans in his community. Danny discovered his love for stand-up comedy the summer before his first year at UCLA when he performed at an open-mic; not only did it feel good to prove that an Asian could be funny, he loved the energy of the audience and continued to crave the rush. Comedy soon became a hobby after college but with the encouragement of fellow Korean American comedians it pushed him to quit his job as a consultant and pursue stand-up full time.
Though Bobby Choy was born and raised in NYC, he never quite felt comfortable living there. He felt safest every weekend at church where he and his brother could be around other Korean Americans with similar life experiences. By the time he reached high school, he had moved 18 times and found it difficult to form strong connections with the people around him. It was through music and poetry Bobby was able to find comfort and joy. He had never considered music as a career path he could take as a Korean American, but with the support of his brother, he was able to nurture those dreams in adulthood.
NAYA: David Kim
Meet classical violinist David Kim. A child prodigy since the age of six, David fiercely trained to be a world-class violinist under his mother’s intense supervision. In this first installment of NAYA, David graciously invites us to his home and the music hall where we explore his passion for music and the journey that led him to become the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. NAYA (나야), produced by KoreanAmericanStory.org, is a mini-documentary series that paints vivid, visual stories of unique Korean American individuals and passion for their craft.
The Last Day
In the beginning of 2021, Mr. Baik and his family made the decision to close down their drop store in Midtown, NYC. March 26, 2021 was the last day. It’s been a year since we followed Mr. Baik, videotaped by his daughter, Deborah, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second and final part of their story.
Resilience Runs in the Family | Perilla Diaries | Ep. 5
For our final episode of Perilla Diaries, we asked Thomas and Andrew where they got the resilience to carry on throughout all these pandemic challenges. Without hesitation, they pointed to the strongest people they know – their mothers. We asked the two restaurateurs to phone them for a short interview about their respective journeys starting new jobs and lives in America.
Day In the Life of a Parent During Covid-19
Julian Kim is an editor, producer, filmmaker, and father of Ian, his 20-month-old son. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families have experienced a dramatic change within their household when it comes to parenting, especially for those with young children.
Mikey Fresh is the Senior Artist Relations Manager at Genius, a digital media company known for providing unique insight about the stories behind the most popular songs. From showing up awkwardly to a hip-hop magazine interview in a full suit and a fake resume, Mikey Fresh is now one of the top experts in the hip-hop industry. Mikey shares with Julie how he fell in love with hip-hop culture growing up as a young Korean American in New Jersey and how he’s found his way creating a unique career out of his nontraditional passion.
In this #NotYourAverage, Athina and Florence share with Julie Young how they started from just a simple idea to being met with overwhelming demand from their Kickstarter that launched them into establishing their own company.
Marcus Hahm, also known as Avec Plaisir, is an award-winning sound designer, mixer, and music producer who’s worked with national brands and major labels doing commercial work, songwriting and music supervising.
KAS 2017 RECAP REEL
2017 was an extraordinary year for KAS. Here’s a look back at some of our highlights from last year.
3 Generations Visit Korea
What would it be like for 3 generations to travel together in Korea? Walk through one family’s journey of discovering and revisiting where they come from, while passing through the natural landscapes of the countryside and modern city of Seoul.