07 Mar Q&A- AMERICA’S BEST DANCE CREW PANEL
PHIL YU: I wanted to ask is what is your first memory of seeing dance, experiencing dance on screen? Like maybe the video or TV or movies or whatever?
ROB TSAI: Hi, my name is rob, my first memory of cats. It was actually an in very pompous when there was the chimney sweeper dancing, I guess it was one of those things where like I really felt associated with dance. I was just like, wow, they’re jumping around and on top of buildings and in and out. To me. It sounds really cool. And so I was like, that scene, if you guys remember, if you don’t use youtube. I just remember this sorta dynamic that drew me to it. Even if it was like jumping into more jazz Broadway rather than what you’re seeing now. What you see now is more like break dancing with a lot more tricks. But then it was one, it was very performance based. They were very, you know, giving over their performance. I think that’s what attracted me.
GEO LEE: First time I saw dance on the screen, I can’t really remember the exact specific moment, but I remember the most influential profound moment was actually watching like Michael Jackson as a kid and watching like smooth criminal videos and thriller. I just remember being a little kid and being like, dang, that is so cool. Like, how do you learn how to do that? Us three, we grew up in Taiwan. You know, it’s kind of different. Like your parents send you to do piano lessons, tennis lessons, swimming lessons like your parents never really see dance or like that kind of dance in the media. Like hip hop dance or Clarke weekends as a thing that they can take. You said you have to learn it.
And I remember like when we started dancing, we saw like the first clips from like the Internet and that’s before youtube and it’d be created to get like a clip of like mister wiggles or something. And then when we saw mister wiggles and like limp biscuits video, we’re like, whoa, this is so cool. Like stuff like that. I think that with Youtube you see Jess like everywhere on the Internet and everything gets level and not more accessible. But back then like, especially just like seeing on TV, it’s like Michael Jackson later learning that, you know, he was taught by people in the underground dance scene and that’s how it translate from then onto the big screen. That’s, how I got good friends.
CHARLES MA: My first memory of dance is actually a long time ago, my friend sent me a video of break dancing. It Run DMC, their music video. It had a battle scene and I remember seeing that and being like, man, that’s crazy. I don’t even know what they’re doing. Cause I was like really young at the time. But even before that, I think the first dance events, I saw it with animation sequence in like an anime calling Matt Krause, hey come back cross. And there was a scene where the girl was like singing to these like giant space people and they’re like, people can’t it background. And I think I remember watching that. That’s like, I was like, Whoa, there’s like, like a little cartoon people like moving it back and wonder what they’re doing. Like when I was like really young, but that was like my first memory. I’m kind of nerdy you see.
SHELBY RABARA: Speaking of words as well. I think it was circa 1985 my first experience, last and Captain Hill and it changed my world and I was a new child. I grew up really quiet and not having friends, hiding behind my mom’s legs at every turn. I can’t shut me up because it is. When I saw Michael Jackson come out, you know, and, , does everyone know what I’m talking about? If not, please you today, Catherine. He goes, it’s phenomenal. It’s amazing. My second experience that really inspired me to be a dancer. He, was Gene Kelly in singing in the rain, phenomenal team. Kelly. I had a tab teacher and I met when I was five when I first started dancing. And I was hooked every single day. I watch singing in the rain. So Gene Kelly’s one of my biggest inspirations. And if you guys don’t, Megyn Kelly is please youtube him. He’s awesome.
JOSE JUSTIN RIMON: No, off the top I would probably say I would agree with Joe. It’s for sure Michael Jackson. I mean, I was always watching those videos in, my mom was interested fanatic like we, I remember there was a time, it was like the Superbowl halftime show Michael Jackson was performing. She was just going so crazy. I remember I was just so young, not just watching it, like, oh my gosh, what are they going crazy about it? You know? And I was just watching him over and over again. Like I could just feel the energy that like my mom and her other friends just going crazy, their speed, they’re just so special about them. And I’ve watched and I was like, all, I get it, you know, like he’s just a born entertainer. So that’s definitely one of my first experiences, you know, like really being exposed to dance and that kind of level, you know, that kind of media.
DI MOON ZHANG: Hello. My name is mud. I came from China, so yeah, six years ago was about Martin. I held a couple three different, yes, the experience that everybody else. So that was 20 years ago when I watch the TV on the home and I saw Eco Qi as one, I’ll help people more than canon right then. Then I starting trying to learn all those schools on TV and then my mom was like, what you’re doing? I was like, I tried, I tried to dance right. And his mom lies to me. I decided that when I was 16, I said the one that we come to a professional dancer, my mom called me. I’m fruited. Yeah. I was like, really? You just pointed why my mom said you drink new nine were coming true. I was like, wow, that hurts me. You know? And that’s the only problem be it shouldn’t be. And my parents besides that, I love them so much and they loves me as well. You want to be seen the future of our life. Back from trying to work for the biggest entertainment TV. So, then my mom called me. She proud of me, so I just started crying. I said, oh mom.
Yeah, that’s my experience. First expansion, high star at the answer. And they’re ours. Yeah. Has, you’re beautiful. Julie, what’s your, what’s your memory? I want to know you were.
JULIE ZHAN: I am not a panelist, but I guess real quick, my first memory, Jesus. Why does, why does [inaudible] I would say, well for some reason secret seems, but there was some cool posing. They sent the transformation from China and then I think it might have to meet gene Kelly because one of the first girls. So yeah, it was, it was brilliant. And then unfortunately though, without going into too much detail back in my days, we didn’t have youtube either. And so I can just go on youtube. People like Harry, show you to people like you guys say, wow, this is cool. You can make a career out of it. So all you youngsters here, you’re very lucky.
ZHAN: So what do you guys think was the catalyst for this demand and for bringing dance into the spotlight for the first time?
RABARA: Being a part of the allegiant of extraordinary dancers now. I think John and she has a lot to do with bringing dance not only to the forefront, not necessarily on popular television, but, through movies movies. Like Step Up, Step Up 2, Step Up 3. He’s an executive producer they’re shooting right now in Miami and he is the creator of the LXD. And he started off as a dancer at five. His mom enrolled him in and tap dancing lessons. He’s really the first person that looked at me and said, what do you do? I’m not, I can’t do hip hop. I definitely don’t consider myself a freestyler. I am a technical trained dancer. So I grew up doing ballet, tap. He sees me, he’s like, what do you do?
I’m like, you know, I’d be ballet. I really love ballet. And he’s like, do you do point? And I said, yeah, I love Lee. And he’s like, okay, I have an idea for you to become a dark nurse. If any of you guys have seen that, like CGI. I do point work. He sees dancers as superheroes and you know, as dancers, we are, we’re always in the background. Until America’s Best Dance Crew came along. But you know, nothing’s wrong with me in the background, but this was the first time I was ever approached to be the forefront That mining dancing was going to be showcased for really what it is. So I really think John is one of the reasons why I dance in the forefront of everything now. So yeah. Did I answer that question?
TSAI: I remember when I was in college, I had a friend who was on like season two a twitch, like we wouldn’t know how she got there. I remember watching when he went on and being like, wow, this is crazy. Like, like these dancers are becoming like celebrities, like pseudo celebrities because people will see that and not they’re in like some music video where it’s like five seconds. You seem to do a flip, you know, but they actually showcase like the dancers. And then once people, see the dancers and they want to like not just see them dance but know more about them as people and like so did they become like this personality and it becomes more than just a dance.
You actually liked the person and it’s not just about dance. That’s why when we do reality shows, they always had like packages where they just show us talking because, , I think the audience wants to connect with people as dancers, as people to see, like their journey and stuff. And I think that’s definitely a reason why people latched onto more because instead of just seeing a product, they see the people behind the product and, and that way they have like an emotional connection with like these dancers that you see on stage, like getting injured or like a moon, like Asian family, like, like being like, like hard to deal with sometimes I’m just like all these like attorneys and they see these people and once you see the people they can appreciate what they do more. So I think for me, I think that’s like when I’m, when I see stuff that’s definitely a reason for me is that you identified with the dancer and the dance that they’re doing also. And I think that’s a good reason. It’s gotten more and more famous, famous, more and more popular.
Yup. That was my take. Anybody? Alright, you guys, I’m curious.
YU: Do you guys feel, okay, we’ll practice prior to this sort of dance, this renaissance in dance and popular culture? I think they were kind of, there’s a very narrow path, or Dan, if you want them to be a dancer in the industry, there’s very narrow, , opportunities, right? It would be the background answering meets video like you said or like, and it’s, it’s really like backing up a singer or something like that. But do you guys find that now with the explosion of opportunities online and you know, these series and shows like that, do you guys feel like, like in your careers, do you guys do feel like there’s more opportunities like that that is open to you now? I, it, I mainly directing towards a show me because I know that you’d done commercial rates and all kinds of stuff. So do you feel like there’s more?
RABARA: It’s kind of a double edge sword and I’m just being completely honest. , being a dancer sometimes. I’m an aspiring actress as well. I’ve done some costars and guest stars and I’m taking kind of transitioning right now and see that as well as voice overs for cartoons and you know, writing things and in pretty soon in directing. So, it’s a double edge sword. You know, I’m kind of in the generation where I didn’t do saving you dance. I was approached numerous times to be on the show, but I was in college. I went to UCLA. I went to college, I was a Laker girl for three years. While doing that I was also up there singing, dancing, acting at the same time right now I think the tipping point has happened.
I think people like Harry Sham Jr. had really proved the answers are more than just people that can move their body and be entertaining. And you don’t look, people really don’t understand is, , some of the most, I mean talented and actresses and actors know how to dance. Charles Theron, I mean, you look at somebody like Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, they were triple threat, Patrick Swayze. They only had a seen dance and act their butts off and I, , I don’t know really where that disconnect happens when dancers were looked at as background. I’m not really sure when that happened, but I feel like because of ABDC and so you think you can dance and the LXD people are realizing that dancers can do more than just dance. So insane that I feel like opportunities have expanded. I haven’t given opportunities to, I say sick direct because I’ve proven myself, I’ve proven myself that yes, I can pick up choreography.
Yes, I can teach dance. Yes, I can, you know, you asked me to do four turns. Sure I could do that, but I can also be behind the camera because I think the answers are very gifted with what we see as the answers were very aesthetic people. We’re perfectionist. So I think more and more that dancers are really showing what they can do outside of dancing. Like Harry, like myself, like John, like our executive producer, she’ll bust a move on the dance floor, but when you get them behind the camera, they made magic. So I do think there had been a lot more opportunities based on people like that and you know, dancers that are really trying to cross the barrier and to doing like artistic directing you know, whether it be web based or you know, popular culture like TV, movies. , I really think this is the time to do it and I think we’re dealing it, which I’m really excited about.
LEE: All right. When he said like, the more opportunities that I think being America’s Best Dance Crew, I think what it did is actually gave crews their own chance to build their own brand and their own identity and their own style and made those crews marketable to corporate organizations or corporations or events that we want to book that Fred as a, as a crew chief. So I think they like, for example, like Jabbawockeez. I think a lot of the crews were successful after the show. They do is they took their experience on the show and after the show they continue to build on it and they continue to utilize that and market their crew and their performances as you know, as a product. So that therefore, like if there’s event as like, Oh, you would love to have a dance performance, you know, then they’re going to look up some crews that were on the neck, especially gastrin and be like, we should definitely talk these guys because it’s going to bring a lot of people to our event. People are going to join the performances and it’s really going to inspire people. So I think the good thing about these shows is that help a lot of crews that were on the show build a strong product and a strong way to market to people and, and like I guess promoters or organizations that want to use these crews to entertain people and inspire people. They have these crews that are marketed as performers.
TSAI: Like it wouldn’t anybody with performers, artists, creators were all given a choice because with this type of exposure, yeah. Like what’d you do have said there’s a lot of chances for work for we can make money, we can make a living off of it. Why are these important choices? I would like to believe that everyone thinks about is what, what are we doing on the work and what are we doing for, you know, self fulfillment. And I think it’s, it’s hard sometimes because now this line, oh Whoa, what a answer is and what a celebrity is. It’s getting blurred. It’s said you can be bold. I personally believe it’s still like two different things. Like it’s true that the show, it’s true that, that these reality shows now they just show us a different side of a reality.
Let’s face reality because you know, there’s the camera edits there just cuts. They’re just, there’s producers saying, hey, maybe you could do this or say this in a different way because it might sound better or you never know. They might catch you off camera and doing something and then they could edit that and then basically make you sound good. We mean or, or maybe some really nice, you know what I mean? So I mean, so there’s, there’s all these choices and insight there. There’s the show, but after the show who we are as people, it’s like, are we, what are we pursuing? And I don’t, I’m not knocking like, you know, making money or whatever because that’s what I’m doing. But I’m saying that there, yes, you January my crew, but it’s an active decision I think, especially at least for myself, you know, I, I understand that I’m dancing as work, but at the same time I also understand that there’s a part of me that I need to just do completely for myself. And I know that’s kind of like complete opposite ends of the spectrum. But I think with exposure, comps, you know, you’re making these choices with, with great power comes responsibility.
ZHAN: How different is it to choreograph for the camera and how, and in what ways can television and film kind of enhance the dance experience for the choreographer and also for the audience? Everybody?
MA: What’s really cool about like film, , especially since the 19, like 1920s, like look super ugly and like, like when you started doing like top shots, like , because no one could ever do, could see dance from up here that you, even if you were sitting in a dome, you can see things from over here. But for the video you can, so there’s like all these like new things you can play with the different angles. Like you can hide, you can hide stuff or you can change the way something looks just by like where do you put the camera.
So it adds a new like artistic perspective too. Like the dance experience, there’s like two, there’s like, there’s like dance that you, it, there’s the dance that you just record and then there’s dance on film, which is like the answer specifically choreographed for like, like, like television or like videos. And I’m like on America’s best dance crew, we had like a limited experience with that. Like, like having to play the camera over here or having like that, the, the camera that shoots around like it goes really fast and like it goes really fast and her dying. Yonda Dalling yeah, there’s all these like new things that , dancers and choreographers have the opportunity to use. And if you utilize it correctly, you can create like really, really cool dance film stuff. For example, like a cloud cloud was like, one of our favorite people is, and , he does a lot of stuff on youtube and a lot of his, like his dance and stuff that he does.
Like you can only watch that on film. Like you can’t just like watch it in a theater. It’s like a different experience, like with the cameras and stuff. And I think that’s a definitely a great creative medium to like enhance like certain experiences. But if it’s not done well, it can also take away from certain certain dance aspects. Like if it is choreographed for stage and then you film it and you don’t cut it correctly, or like you choose like weird angles, then you might lose what the choreographer is trying to say. So it’s definitely a fine line, but I think it’s a really cool thing to think about.
RABARA: Yeah. To piggyback off that those are really good points. I think the difference between dance on stage versus dance and a narrative cinematic way is it’s the fourth wall. When you wants to on stage, the audience is the fourth wall. So it’s one dimensional. So for example, we’re at, you’re doing a dancer team, there’s mixed, there’s, there’s this one viewpoint straight forward, , and it’s actually a little bit one dimensional. So it’s up to the choreographer to use the stage with different, you know, depth present a perception, right? So you could use like diagonals, , let others, some choreographic terms that we use. Diagonals, circles, geographic. You have a geometry terms.
Do you live from film? And what I really like about filming dance is that you can see it from the dancer’s perspective. So if for example if anybody has seen my, like the episodes entitled Mess Nial Setting, , yeah, yeah, I battle like five ballerinas on point and it’s really cool because it seemed from my perspective. So there’s a point where they’re circling around me and the camera becomes me and on stage you can’t necessarily get that point of view versus on film you can see it from all different angles. You can also do, you can control all the frames per minute. So if you have the break dancer doing head spins, it could look phenomenal on film. It totally changes the dynamic watching it on film, you know, doing a certain frame per minute, like slow mo versus seeing it in real life.
They’re both great experiences watching it live and on camera, but you get that Busby Berkeley shot. I feel like America’s Best Dance Crew has amazing shots of that. You know, like above the head shots you can get, you know, put the, put the Lens, look it up. You can work with frames. I’m on camera. I just did, I just artistic director this new webisode, hopefully that will get picked up called the legend of Tiffany blaze. And it was really fun because we did a Busby Berkeley shot. I didn’t have a Jib camera bill, but it was fine. We still got the idea across when we, you know, we use a star with people using bodies and it still works. If we’re going to do that on stage in front of a live audience, it wouldn’t really work unless there was a camera showing off the bird’s eye view. So that’s really the difference between live stage shows and dance on camera for me.
LEE: Yeah, I wanted to add like a personal experience that my crew actually had regarding the camera angles that you see on film. And, , the difference between a camera angles for film and performing onstage. So incentives as a crew before prior to ABC TV, never really done any film things before and we always, , worked out performance like Shelby said towards the audience. , so for week one, Kesha episode, , the way the core graft was towards the audience, , and actually we realized that there were a lot of things that we incorporated in our routine that week that because of the camera angles switching, they weren’t able to capture a lot of those effects. For example, we choreograph the ripple with our toes that moved from one section to another, but they actually changed the camera angle while the ripple is happening. And we were all like really disappointed because have all men, we, they couldn’t see our affect.
Like the audience that watched it on camera can I see the deck? But the people that watched it from the front could, after we realized that week too, we were like, okay, we analyze, okay, ABC has several different coming and we’ve got the top shot. You got the rolling cam shot, you got the frontal shot and you’ve got the closeups. So basically we’re like, all right, we’ve got a core graph for each of those cameras. Shots because the camera men want to have specific times in those routines where they capture those shots. So if your choreograph specific parts in our routine that we’re like, all right we want you to do a top shot. So we do a choreography where we’re all lying down and then they could shoot from top or we do acquire a feed of circle. That way when they do a rolling cam they can capture other parts
We that way. And if you’re getting, if you watch week one or cash episode and we too are black eyed peas episode, you can actually see the difference where we actually were like we’re going to plan and make it very obvious to do which shots. And actually when we work with the, with the cameramen and the Crawfords, we would really like a request what shots we want. And because as dancers we wanted to show our concepts to the fullest potential. We don’t want like our concepts to be lost on film. So therefore we really planned for those shots and I think that was what made it more effective. I’d be went on it if we could show our corn feed better and better. Cool.
MA: I needed a really good job with that too. I know that they had, they had some stuff in the first instance. I’ll use that for guys for the first, yeah. God Yeah I see.
ZHANG: I’m up the quad for, for I Am Me Crow in the , could be for ABDC. I die so many youtube films and stuff. I, that’s what I kind of slowly understand how the camera works and to sell wine, coffee have a whole routine on stage. I kind of quantity for the camera. It’s not just for the audience cause like some people may them understand it. Was that like other people I did the front, they may not read. See the whole idea, the comments that have what you want to try to do. There’s only 300 audience. My eyes a circle around as the probably 150 people. But on the TV or online probably 3 million for me and people I speak in the watching it. So I think that’s way more important. This is a very good time for us to do something that we were supposed to do at the beginning of the panel was, , so you guys all in action when these clips, so we have clips of you guys dancing. So let’s roll it. This was a long time, but the guy real, let’s put it like this. , anybody who’s been in sort of like the dance scene and it’s familiar with the way crews work and just competitions, like knows that like
YU: Asians have been involved for a long time and are pretty prominent in it. But I don’t think we’ve really got to see them in the spotlight until ABDC.
Then all of a sudden like American, you’ve got to see you like, like a, you know, just Asian crew people, agents in these crews does dominating. Right. And you can, and it’s crazy, but you could say that like on America’s best dance crew, all the champions have been, all the champions have been represented in some way or form by Asian faces. It, you know, Asian dancers, you know, it’s pretty critical. My question is though, by the time that sees the six rolled around, you know, to see it all, even crew and soon it will screw with you. And he was like, all right, this is like America is used to this, we can handle this. Our minds are going to explore it to see like eight to cruise. It’s, this is like a normal thing. Right? It actually would have been weird if there was like no Asians on, you know, in, in ABDC.
Right. So, but for me it seemed like they were kind of shaping a certain identity. Like this is the Asian crew, this is the crew who does this. This is a good book. Like you guys were the Asian crit, especially with the, I know you guys are it into news, but your guys are doing the doodle thing and your, your , your, your graphic and your, your logo and that’s what, you know, there’s also, it’s very highly sort of, they’re playing up that angle. I was kind of wondering, I mean did you guys feel like they were putting you guys in an Asian box?
LEE: Actually we did feel like that. I mean I guess because you said like from past seasons, I guess the show itself, , had a very high Asian following because of all the past crews I would say like quest crew they all had like a big Asian following. I mean it’s a TV show and TV show or about ratings. I felt like because we were an all Asian crew, I mean it’s not just cause we’re called instant noodles. Like we didn’t come up with instant noodles because we’re Asian. You know, we could have been like German sausages or anything, but I think we just came up with incentives because we felt like it was the most random name possible and we could add meaning to it because we didn’t want to be something like dynamic rockers and like not rock the beat that well.
What kind of name is Instant Noodles? The first time we saw like the banner that they made for us, we were kind of like whoa. They’re like really bringing us in like an Asian thing. Cause we have like a yellow banner and the font wasn’t like the Asian Chinese takeout then retired and then it was like this guy with the hand like grabbing these chopsticks. And actually we were married because there’s a ring on the finger right here. So we’re Asian dance crew club, instant noodles that has a yellow banner and we’re all married. So I mean it kind of worked out like that. Like, I kinda think that our hope so that we redefined the name like when you hear instant noodles, you don’t think of the noodles, but you think of us. Yeah,
RABARA: I think I’ve been pretty successful and , I’ve been able to accomplish because I’ve kept playing Saturday, especially being a female in the industry. It’s really easy to fall off the boat and to kind of cave in to peer pressure. I mean, meaning a numerous amount of things. Like I never do jobs that I don’t want to do. I do jobs. I pick and choose my jobs, like all my acting jobs that I’ve ever gotten. Being Asian American, I think I’m not going to get this job because I’m Asian. I usually walk into a room full of Caucasian girls and I’m like this is weird. But you know, when I tell myself I’m going to do this. My mom instilled in me like to never give up, be really smart meeting, be a good business person.
So, you know, like when you guys said you could be the best Brady or you can be the best freestyler, but if you have a negative attitude and you walk in and everyone was like blah, blah, was that person? Yes. Why? They’re never gonna want to work with you. They want somebody who’s really charming. He’s a hard worker and it’s going to show up on time. He’s going to deliver. , you know, like that tape from my name is Earl. Really interesting story that was a Costar, a one line costar. And I booked it out of like 10 Caucasian girls and it, and I was like, yeah, I was really stoked to get it because I’m like, this is crazy. This is a prime time television show on NBC. My name is [inaudible] Jason Lee. Like my scene is a Jason Lee. I’m the writer on the show was onset after I did one take and he comes up to me and he’s like Shelby, can you add another line in it? Do you want to make me return? Sure on I have. So it gives me another line, you know, and I’m like, Oh, do you want to talk about the Lord? That was added on literally five minutes beforehand. I really think I booked that role is because I kept my integrity in my audition. I came in as Shelby. And I think that’s what has made me successful because everywhere I go I’m just Shelly I never tried to be anything that I’m not. I just stayed true to myself and I really tried to be a good business woman. I think and choose my battles. I focus, I concentrate and I try, every step I make is hopefully an upward step.
I never want to go back on my word. Once I accomplish something, , I closed that book and I’m like onto something new. Let’s see what I can, I always try to talk myself. So I think that’s why I’ve been so successful. And those of you that, are there any, is there anybody that’s trying to be in the industry or you guys just, yeah. Okay. Well, Julie said, how do you not get lost in the numbers? I think it’s really embracing and celebrating who you are because I think everybody’s individuals is really different. I know it sounds cliche to say that, but everyone’s different and if you’re different, bring it out more. I sound like I sucked in 10 balloons with helium, but guess what? That’s fine. Because I love my voice and it’s gotten me a lot of opportunities, interestingly enough. I really learned to embrace that and I’ve embraced being full Filipino and knowing what that’s all about. I think that’s how I can get lost in the numbers. It’s when you try to blend in, that’s when you get lost.
RIMON: Well, I just to go off that, that’s what like Ima was especially about too, you know, like they came up with a very unique style of dancing. It was called branding bang, which is like a lot of pictures and illusions that they created with their body. So a lot of times, you know, at the beginning of the show, you know, people are just getting acquainted with their style, but it grew on everyone because they really just stuck to being themselves, not changing the choreography up due to other people’s opinions or like, Oh yeah, well I’m from the soul. Oh yeah. Well pretty much , you know, Moon, Philip and Brandon always would stick to their own choreography without too much influence because they really believed in that, you know, they really do it. It was unique and people would appreciate it.
ZHANG: I know when we can elaborate. So talking about what’s successful. To me 10 years ago, I was just starting dancing. Six years ago I used all my money from the last two years and bought a plane ticket to come here. With $20 I want to go to McDonald’s in Houston. On the menu there’s a hot and spicy hamburger. They don’t have their, so basically stop dollar, you can buy a hamburger. So I can’t really afford a fries, anything. I’d go home and you have a water. It’s because I didn’t any money. I didn’t want to tell everybody, I felt young, but I was not young anymore. I’m saying is if you don’t really how to be become to a dancer you could be successful. Follow your dream one day. I don’t know how long they’re going to take. We will come through. I know.
YU: WINDING DOWN OUR TIME SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A LITTLE BIT TIME TO OPEN IT UP FOR QUESTIONS. IS ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND WIDE. RIGHT?
AUDIENCE: DO YOU GUYS HAVE YOUR OWN INPUT ON YOUR COSTUMES FOR A BDC OR DO YOU WANT TO GO ON?
ZHANG: We just give them an idea of do with what you want. Cause sometimes they want everybody wear different things by calling. They can’t because we are a team and then when we do a whole video is going to take it down a cork to be away. So we thought we’d won everything. You could sound the same and they just pick up the cousin and then sometime he says that to be slightly on the ground. So we needed something a slippery. So just add for us, for us it was, I think we tried to have an opinion and then the, and then we just started going like, like just going with it.
LEE: That’s how we ended up with like leopard, Leopard Pants, purple jumpsuit, Justin Bieber weeks.
MA: What do you guys think about these pants? And we walk in, this is like week three. So we were already like, we’re just like, let’s just whatever they want, man, walk in and they’re like leopard pants. And he’s like, what do you guys think about this? We’re like, that’s awesome.
LEE: It was funny because after we did the Rihanna episode, everyone on Twitter was like, Hey, those leopard pants, where do you get those? We made leopard pants cool.
MA: But in terms of utilitarian purposes, there are times when we had to make sure that the material was right. If we’re like people, we had a gussets and our paint like every single one of my pants, I don’t know if you can see it but because they will put us in jeans and like really tight other stuff. So we would, we would have , they put like, like this fabric and the crotch or region and so it makes the stretchy and that you can like, you can do big moves easier and stuff.
LEE: Yeah. Funny story is like our third, every time they would give him like a pant size too small, tiny, like a, it’s like a 30, 31. They give him like a 29 and everyone would try their pants on and sa yeah, that’s good. Arthur’s is like, hey, that doesn’t look right. That is like super skin tight.
AUDIENCE: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT COMING UP WITH LXD?
RABARA: As of right now, our contract is athletes are a finishing company. So I like see, I know, , executive producers, John [inaudible], he ho one of our executive producers and I’m Sherry Sham. I know there are working on a secret project. As far as episodes go, we are kind of on hiatus right now. , we’re kind of figuring out where we want to go and get picked up for season four. So if the fans want to see it. Let Hulu know or check us out on Facebook and , let us know that you want to season four because right now it’s on hiatus unfortunately. But not in the bad way. We’ll be around. We’re just figuring out what we need to do in order to make season beforehand.
AUDIENCE: WELL WHERE DO YOU GUYS GET THE STUFF YOU DO? LIKE YOU JUST MAKE IT UP?
ZHANG: I do a lot of taping. I remember back then, no decent total music. Even though sometimes I had a habit and I go to sleep with and music on. Yeah, I think that helps. I think that helped them probably half the time. I do movements back then I tape myself. I don’t like it and then I turn to the next move. I never put it in the music and I saw my friends and just tell me why. That’s all I know is that I know why I tend to do it again and again. That’s how I do it. I think that’s how every choreographers does it. They’re not superheros, they don’t have super powers. Just more time, more practice in my case.
LEE: You are a superhero.
ZHANG: That’s what she said.
TSAI: No let’s go lunch.
MA: Any other questions? Oh, choreography. We just something like, I think all of us, because we don’t have like a main person who choreographs we all put a graph together, which makes the process is really long because as you know, democracy, it takes a long time to pass pass things. So, , we all have to agree on the same thing before we like put it on put on the group, but we’ve on the show what you’ve learned to do it off that would separate them, the music and do different parts that like each part, like maybe this person would do better in and then we would put it, put it together like that. Rob, he’s like conceptually very strong. So he’ll come up with a concept first, like a new movement concept and then put it to music. , me and geo, we like, we like playing with music.
Me and Joe like playing with the music more. We listen to the music and, and try to choreograph something that matches the music or the feeling of the music. , but sometimes it just comes out of nowhere. Like, like what? When we did the ballet thing for a Katy Perry week, like I was just like fooling around because there was like violin and the song, I was like, hey guys, what’s this like? We were, this was like really late. We were really tired. And I was like, hey guys, watch this. I want to do, I’ve just like did it to like the violins. I was like just doing like a, like a ballet bar. And I was like, Hey, watch this. And then zero and everyone was like, that’s going into these, that’s an a piece. And we’re like, , I was like, oh, okay. So we put that in. So sometimes it’s like really spontaneous, just like whatever moves you at the moment I guess.
TSAI: But yeah, I think one thing we also find ourselves in is that we really want it to the individual strengths of everybody. And so sometimes our choreography isn’t necessarily, you know, made up on the spot and it’s not made up so everybody can do it. There’s somethings where we can choose almost out of our individual sets. So, for example, if Charles has a movement that he does and we’re like, oh, that’d be really dope. If we could apply this movement concept to it, let’s do it slower. Let’s through a faster, let’s do it in, you know, , a can form, you know, so it, a lot of what our movement is derived from his personal style. It’s not necessarily we make it up and we do it because, oh, this is something everybody can do so we don’t have to worry about it.
On the show. We really got to know I Am Me pretty well like we hung out and stuff like when we could, we were like, we had like 10 hour rehearsal. It was like a day. So it was like crazy. But, , but it was really cool getting to talk to him because I feel like, I don’t know, it’s just nice to like talk to someone who has like cool choreography concepts really jelled well together and we’re like, really? We were really happy that they want us. So we were really excited for that. We were sad that we got eliminated. We get, we didn’t get to hang out with them anymore, but yeah, when we were going to their house.
AUDIENCE: THE I AM ME HOUSE?
MA: It’s really nice. You guys should go, well, forget I said that.
AUDIENCE: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DANCE IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE?
TSAI: It’s sort of strange because I, not to say that and you’re like, I was dancing for five minutes if you’d like, you know, it’s happening. But when we were on stage it was like, yeah, you had the audience and then you had a camera. But it’s kind of crazy to think that that camera represents America. So I mean, of course we hear about, oh, did you know that this episode has like this many viewers? And that’s like the most that people have ever given. You know, what was it like?
LEE: I think it’s like 2.4 million people were watching ABDC.
TSAI: That’s a lot of zero.
LEE: I mean, it was kind of stressful at first. I mean, especially in a ABDC. I think even though I was so tired to all the rehearsals, I only slept like five hours, four or five hours at night. I would like wake up really early just cause it would like all the choreography and the pressure of being on ABDC would always be on my mind. I mean, it’s definitely very exciting and it’s definitely very, I mean, it pushes you in, in a way you’ve never been pushed before.
It’s, it’s, it’s a very challenging thing to do. , but I think at the end you grow a lot because you grow a lot in terms of putting, putting yourself out there, even though there’s so many things that you feel like could go wrong, but you just keep a positive mentality and you can to keep pushing and you just try to do your best and in the end you grow so much from it. So I think it’s just a very big growing experience.
LEE: I was, I was like super nervous before every, every single, every single taping, the tents. I don’t know, I just get, I get nervous when I perform in front of like, like a small group of people, but , I would, it’s just very, very lucky. It’s very nerve wracking because you’re thinking like, Oh man, all these people are going to watch. That’s like 2.4 million people judging me at the same time. And it’s like crazy. Like I couldn’t eat like the day of filming. Like they would take us to go eat and that would be like, okay, I’m going to get some pasta because it looks really good. And then I would get it. And I’m like, I’m going to eat like two, two pasta, like little strings and then not be able to finish the rest because I was like so nervous except for the last, the last, the last week we were on. For some reason that rehearsal just went by really easy. The Bieber week went by and really easy and we were like, oh yeah, yeah, it was yet, but we’re going to do good because we were like all really relaxed for somebody that could be like finished it ahead of time.
It was on your mind, but you just have to like right before you go on, you stop. Take a deep breath. For me, I would like remember we remember life outside of the hands. I was like, think of like like like Taiwan or like my parents or something that so that I don’t like get crazy with like the idea that so many people were watching it. I was just like think of like things to ground me and then, then performing. It helped a lot.
RABARA: Yes. Nice. Nice. I’m a little different because I hadn’t been in the competition scene like in a reality TV show, but, , I can relate, the LXD performed at the academy awards. Yeah. And that was one of my favorite moments being an artist. I cried on stage because it was amazing. It was amazing to perform for the academy awards, which were nuts. It was nuts. , it’s really peaceful for me. I’m, I’m onstage, I don’t know, like when I, when I know all eyes are on who’s ever performing and that’s me. , I just tried to do my best and , yeah, my heart’s like, like going like that, but you know, I just breathe and it’s, it’s just a cool feeling to, to know that people are watching you perform your art. So, , I don’t really feel like, oh, I don’t really think about all these people are going to hate it. Not because I don’t think my steaks are to win a prize. , and like being on it, you know, on ABDC or say thinky dance.
Before I shot my LXD episode, I was on tour with Lee. We, Julie helped us out with that. Thanks Julie. , I flew from San Jose, California back to La and we did a night shoot. We shot from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM. , so I was super tired, but what was going to end, even though it wasn’t a live audience as performing floor, I knew we were going to get a lot anyways for that, for that or for an LXD in general. , so even though I was really tired and not wearing off any sleep, every single take, I’m like, I’m gonna make this one better because I want the editors to be able to pick from the best one. They’re like, oh my gosh, that one kicked, but we can’t top it. Boom. That’s it. So that’s kind of knowing that millions and millions of people or what aren’t going to watch this. I just want to make it the best I can so that when people watch it, they’re like, oh my God, I want to watch it to again.
ZHAN: WHO KNEW BALLERINAS COULD BATTLE?
MA: Have you ever seen Black Swan?
RIMON: Oh, unfortunately I haven’t performed in front of millions of viewers, but I do have a background as a dancer actually. Yeah. So these guys a bunch, he’s actually a B boy. I know. I can relate and just in the fact that you know what his is performed, I’m getting ready for, for performance or competition, you know, you get, you get antsy, but at the end of the day, you know, you only prepare so much up until that point. So for, so when it’s time to perform or whether it’s the compete, you really have to have that mentality to have fun because then you’re probably gonna perform at the best because then you’re, you feel at ease, you feel comfortable. So it’s hard to get at that point that sometimes, but you really have to remember like you’re doing it because you want to have fun with it, you know, present your mark to people. So I think that’s probably one of the most important things before, like, you know, before they go on stage, you know, like I tried to remember it, I tried to remind them, you know, the most important thing you have to remember before you go out there and you’re gonna mess everything up is you really have to have fun with it at the end of the day. You know, they enjoy it. So that’s how I could relate to it even though I haven’t performed on ABDC or So You Think You Can Dance.
MA: You have battled a lot.
ZHAN: You’re also the Cypher.
MA: You tried to hide it, but it comes out. Came out last night. Yeah.
ZHANG: I feel like money. I enjoyed every single second on ABDC and performing here with my crew and that is really good experience. And then spikes when you to meet. Just personally for me, the most important thing is my parents to watch the show. A nice to come to watch me perform live is like the greatest moments I’ve ever had in my life.
MA: I think, I think all crews have like a ritual before they go on and like, I know you guys go and get do like this thing, what we do this, this thing really works. The punch thing that works really well. Let’s do it. When you’re really nervous before you go on stage.
ZHAN: Right. I think we have to wrap it up. Right. And then one last thing. You guys can actually go upstairs and have a meet and greet with all of these lovely people. Oh my personal. So please feel free to go upstairs after this panel please. Everyone check out the vessel catalog. If the festival website, the festival runs all the way through October something or other.
Pacific Arts Movement presents Asian American Pacific Islander and Asian international media arts for San Diego residents and visitors in order to inspire, entertain and support a more compassionate society.