Composer. Lyricist. Asian dude.
I am a New York City based composer/lyricist/librettist. I write musicals by myself. I enjoy writing with other people, but when I do it is anywhere between 33%-50% less fun because I really nerd out over marrying music to lyrics, to theme and character and conflict etc.
I am the son of Peter and Jeanne, the husband of Laura, the brother of Tom, the uncle of Cole and Maya, and the godfather of Jordan.
I spent a lot of my twenties auditioning to be the third dancing potato from the left in Any City USA. But in the 90s, you couldn't do that if you looked like me. (Sorry if that threatens your frailty. Actually, screw you if that threatens your frailty.) You could only do Miss Saigon or the King and I. Or be labelled an amateur. So this amateur got his MFA and started writing shows that employed people who looked like me. It was a pigeon hole I was not only happy to be crammed in to, but one I was more than happy to make larger.
Fun Fact: The back of my business card reads "Never. Stop. Writing." I'm curious to know what key dramatic factors will change that, if it ever does change.
Among the shows I have written that people still talk about are American Morning, a show about two Asians in a cab, the one-person musical The View From Here, which wasn't about Asians at all, (but secretly was about me, an Asian), Peter and the Wave, which is about an historical Asian, the one-act Koi Story, which is about a half Asian and her non-Asian mother, and the short musicals A Relative Relationship (which features an Asian) and Missing Karma, which is about burying a dog. If you were around in the early aughts, I was also the guy who wrote So Far, So Good and And the Earth Moved. But the less said about them the better.
Apparently I have always been a teaching artist? I recently led a songwriting workshop at Harvard (my parents were so proud) and it was suggested to me I be a little more open about my experience as a teacher. I’ve lectured and taught workshops on writing and representation for such institutions as Brown, MIT, NYU, Columbia since the early 2000s as well as for the Dramatists Guild National Conference.
Someone is peering over my shoulder and saying I should mention the Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop at BMI, (awesome) the Dramatists Guild Fellows program, (also awesome) that I recently served on the Dramatists Guild Council (also also awesome) and that I went to MacDowell like a bunch of years ago. Now they're saying it's too long. I really can't win some days. Which is fine, because historically, I win a lot.
Anyways, it takes a village. I hope you'll check out the blog, which is sort of an extension of the article page where everyone on there has helped me in some way shape or form, and I love them a lot. There’s a lot of interesting grammar in that last sentence. Cheers.