tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC April 24, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PDT
hello and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show on nbc bay area and cozi-tv. we have a lot of interesting events and people on our program today including actress, producer and director mindy cailing. the bicentennial celebration enters its 39th year as a cultural event all on its own. then, as we mentioned, the star and creative driving force behind the mindy project "the office" was in the bay area this week. she was the keynote speaker at the conference for women silicon valley, an event we just featured on our show.
we hear from mindy about her role model status on tv and off. we also welcome the return of the filipino martial arts group, one that connects with the community in a very special way. and as part of our traditional showcasing of performances you get to hear from san jose tiko, a drumming group, that has managed to attain worldwide status while staying true to local roots. you get to hear them play later on our show. in our nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976 the city of san jose encouraged local ethnic communities to sponsor festivals to share their culture, and that's when what has become known as japan town was born. and coming up may 1st, they will hold their 39th annual celebration. joining me to talk about this cultural event is george martinez, the chairperson for
wesley united methodist church as well as jimmy, a representative of japan town. thank you both for joining us here. >> thank you. >> good to see you again, i should actually say. first of all, jimmy, give us an idea for people who may not be as familiar, who may know about the festival but when it started and how much it's grown. >> they want to show the minority what they've done so far and how things have progressed and join us in celebrating the centennial. that's how it all started. ever since it's been part of the san jose town as well as the community. i think we've done a good job of staying a cultural part, that's the main theme. >> definitely a japanese event, a cultural event, but also an
american event. you do all of them, right? >> the american event is not japanese, no. >> george, give me an idea in terms of what will be featured at this event. after 39 years keeps on growing, keeps on getting bigger. i know it feels more contemporary each year as well. >> my participation in the festival, we've been an active participant probably from the beginning. i've taken over as the chairperson probably five or six years ago. we're a multicultural, multiethnic, multigenerational church located in the heart of japan town. and this is our way of not only giving back to the japanese community but really providing a way for our members to give back not only to the church but the community as well. it's always great to participate in the festival. >> it's interesting to watch, for example, the way the
community has evolved. how about you, jimi, do you see the growth of japan town? >> the participation is more of a group. even look japanese. when you shake hands with each other, say hello, drink coffee together. it's very unique. >> it's a festival for everybody. not exclusive at all. inclusive. george, we were talking earlier about how important these kind of festivals are for the survival of japan town. people started taking for grant that had they'll always be
around. these are important for that to kind of get that message across to people as well, don't you think? >> absolutely. i think it builds and brings awareness to the outside community outside of japan town but for the younger generation of japan town. my kids, for example, be a our friends' kids need to know the importance of having a japanese festival like this to reflect the culture, to be able to enjoy time with one another and to be able to eat food that's relative to the japanese culture. it's really important for these generations to know this exists and carry on the torch, if you will, as the years start to go on. >> it feels good, jimi, to see the young people participate. >> yes. it's a wonderful feeling that we can bring the community together and join hands and show them that we're one community. japan town there. they will want to join us and be part of japan town. >> part of the overall community. thank you both for being here.
we featured the water mark conference on our show recently because it is such an important event in which executive women reach out to help increase representation of women at the executive level. and this past thursday nbc bay area anchors jessica aguirre and linda cailing was the keynote speaker. i talked with her for "asian pacific america." joining us is mindy.
thank you for being here. give me an idea when you get to address a conference like this, thousands of women aspiring for so much feel responsibility, maybe a perk. what does it feel like to you when you get to speak to so many people? >> this event makes me more nervous than anything else i do. i think it is the most impactful and it's the most important. and i think women, 6,000 women who work in it tech, are professional women, what they think of me is the thing that is why i'm doing any of this. i work in tv. so when we shoot something, there's not an audience in front of us. for me to be in the flesh, meet all these young people and working women is very intimidatinging. i was really looking forward to it but it was also a little scary. >> how about for asian american women? do they face something different? >> i think they do.
i have noticed i'm lucky so much of my fan base is asian women, indian women, african-american girls as well. i think that because they're not reflected in so much of the media, i do think many girls str struggle with whether or not they could emulate my past or have a part in the media. i see that over and over again. i will say in the past even five years the changes that happen in television, film has been a lot slower, has been incredible, is incredible, kerry washington, me, people who are the leads of shows now don't look like what we've seen in the past so it is nice to see that kind of change happening so quickly. >> and even if one person's career isn't really a template for other people, just being able to see both faces make a difference.
>> i totally agree. it's about normalcy, what is considered normal, what is -- you're right. it's not just television. it's in corporate businesses, too. ceos that look like us, the more confidence we have naturally. >> you emphasize that yours isn't just a girl made good kind of story. you had to go through a lot to get where you are. i think it's important for people to know that they're going to have to overcome obstacles. >> i feel very imperfect not just with my appearance but the trajectory of my career. that is because we have a sense there should be one perfect way things should go. my career path did not follow that. i don't think of it as a burden so much, kind of an extra challenge. i always think about how when i'm in a role, paul rudd tries
to go out for a part he's trying to show he's the best not trying to prove a white man can be the lead in something. there are the two challenges when you're a minority trying to do something. not only am i good enough to do it but can i help create a situation where even my existence is acceptable. i think that is something my daughter or son will not have to deal with necessarily as much as me in the same way that the idea of me being in front of a camera would be an insane flight of fancy. i have much more passionate fans than the average actor. i have a lot more people who are -- it's the reason why i was invited to speak here because i think people feel much more at risk with my success. that's the most wonderful feeling in the world. >> before there was no hulu or
netfl netflix. so many more options. an important thing would be to encourage young asian american women, young asian americans, pacific islanders, to go into the creative field because there are opportunities and frontiers to go to that didn't exist before, right? >> absolutely. it's exactly what you said. when i was growing up, there was maybe eight or ten comedies a year on regular tv and maybe one or two on cable and now there's hundreds and hundreds. and what's really emerging is it's not just a few people with, you know, 20 million people watching them, it's smaller viewership, still impressive viewership, and much more opportunity, i think. >> and your fans are enthusiastic in following you and that's great. >> they are truly. they don't just like my show, they also feel invested in me doing well as a person which is just so rare and amazing. usually we look at artists, we look at their body of work and with them they're really
concerned about the trajectory of my career, like how lucky am i for that? >> thank you very much for being on our show. >> thank you. >> thank you for being such a great role model not only for the kids, my kids, but you youngsters everywhere. >> thank you. my pleasure. quite a person, quite an event. when we come back, self-defense and self-improvement for individuals and the community when the filipino martial arts group joins us next.
welcome back. we have featured the filipino martial arts group before and they demonstrated the self-defense moves that have them per experts in the field. the community, in fact, escobo has been voted one of the best in the bay area for its community outreach. joining me right now are joseph, who helps run the school.
also here is bob, the founder and currently the director of one child at a time, and we have robin white here, who is the chief operating officer for youth for fitness and education. welcome all of you to the show. we saw demonstrations before about your program. tell us a little bit about your outreach and how that fits in. >> our outreach -- we're a bunch of martial artists who are passionate about self-defense and martial arts. we feel for them. >> you've been awarded for the community outreach, the way you've gone out and reached and touched people. how have you been able to do that? >> anytime someone asks for classes, if we can do it, we'll do it. we host free self-defense classes in house.
now that we've teamed up with one child at a time we're able to reach even more people as well which ties this in together. >> let's talk about one child at a time. what's the connection? >> one child at a team, make sure it's one child at a time, inc. i've worked with children since 2000 and started my own nonprofit. i always say mother teresa, stella, you bring me the children you want me to work with and i was fortunate to start studying the martial arts under grandmaster robert castro. and we got into talking about working with children and starting programs in the bay area that we can actually go out and make a difference in their lives by putting some discipline in working with the children. and that's how i actually got involved by studying under joseph and robert castro. we brought the children into it
to be able to administer to children in the communities. >> that's a similar theme for you, right, trying to find the right way to get youngsters interested? >> yeah, it is. so our program operates an after school program. it's funny one of our staff members actually heard about the program at a high school they're working at and told us what they've been doing with students. our program deals in academic support but bringing enrichment classes from community volunteers to come in to teach different skills and activities, help them foster leadership skills as well. so bringing them aboard has been really good in helping some of our students that really are shy at times open up. you see a start from the beginning, working with them in the program, and what they are after ten weeks. having them aboard has been really big. >> youth for fitness and educati education, they both go hand-in-hand. >> make sure whatever the kids are doing, education is always
at the forefront of that. so especially with them and the way they teach the class. that's primary, that they bring it along all the time. >> eskabodiaan, how do you evolve to reach even more people? >> since we've reached so many communities they're asking for more consistent classes so we're going to try to do a self-defense for the people program, where it's donation based, whereas we will host classes mondays, wednesdays, every third sunday. but if people want us to go to them, we have to schedule it, we'll go out and teach wherever they want to learn. >> that sounds like it fits into what you'd like to do? >> yes. and how i actually got -- what i want to do is to fund the program -- everything i raise, 100% goes to children. i want eskabodaan to set up a pilot program where i would match the funds of the community, whatever they raised,
i would match the funds. but i was looking for a program, a pilot program, we were consistently there for the kids that would continue on after a program, would continue on to the next generation. >> fits for you, too? >> it really fits all the aspects that we look for outside of the classroom as well. it's definitely something we would like to continue to have. >> we'll follow your progress. thank you all for being here. joseph, next time more demonstrations, okay? >> you've got it. next, san jose tiko continues to be a force in the artistic world locally and worldwide and a contingent from the group will perform for us live coming up.
♪ we love new york, thank you very much. >> victory is in sight. >> an awesome amount of water. ♪ good morning and welcome to "sunday today." i'm willie geist. thanks for joining us this morning. in the next hour we're throw you in the bam of a '64 impala, as ice cube launches his long ride to big mainstream movie