Jenna Ushkowitz on ‘Glee’ Rumors, Ratings & Future: ‘Tina’s Time Will Come’
We caught up with Ushkowitz during a lunch break on set to talk what’s next for Tina, where she takes her musical inspiration from, and what kind of roles she’d like to take on post-Glee.
First, rumor has it you’re part of Lady Gaga’s next music video, for “Marry The Night.” Can you tell me anything about that?
Um. Where did you hear that from? (Laughs) I can’t confirm or deny anything at this point.
Well, you Tweeted this so I think you can confirm — you were in the studio recording a song for “Glee.” Everyone is anxious to hear her sing again… can you tell us what she’s performing?
I sing a little, it’s not a solo for Tina, but I was in the studio for one of our mashup numbers that we weren’t going to be doing. It’s episode 6. There’s a couple of really fun mashups and I get to sing a little on those.
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Dia & Meg Frampton of Meg & Dia
Keepin’ It Country
Were you girls worried about Dia being forced to go solo on The Voice & The Voice tour, or were you happy with the promotion you got from it?
Meg: I am very happy with the exposure we received from her being on the show.
Dia: I was worried about it, and still am. I originally tried out for The Voice not thinking I would go very far at all…. My biggest hope was that I’d get a little bit of air time so that people might google my name and come upon the band, (Meg and Dia). I didn’t expect to get very far or be propelled into a solo act. It all came as a big surprise to me. It’s been hard adjusting, and I know it’s been hard for Meg too. It’s a different kind of stress having everything be upon my shoulders, even though the band has been backing me up, literally, and then of course, emotionally and mentally. This album is going to be under my name, all the critics, the youtube comments, all of that, will be directed at me. I am just happy that I still have my support group (the band, management, friends, family). Plus, I’ve made it a point to stay away from youtube. My friends won’t let me get on there anymore. Ha! It’s like you’ll read 50 nice comments and then one terrible comment and it’ll ruin your day. People can be so mean on the internet.
Music Review: Korean Pop Machine, Running on Innocence and Hair Gel
New York Times
Think of the work required to make just one Justin Bieber. The production, the management, the vocal training, the choreography, the swagger coaching — all that effort to create one teen-pop star in a country that’s still starving for them. South Korea has no such drought, thanks to several companies that specialize in manufacturing a steady stream of teenage idols, in groups of various configurations. One of the longest-running of these companies is SM Entertainment, which on Sunday night hosted SM Town Live, a sold-out showcase at Madison Square Garden for several of its acts, any one of which any American reality-TV talent show or major-label A&R department worth its salt would be thrilled to have discovered.
American teen-pop at its peak has never been this productive. K-pop — short for Korean pop — is an environment of relentless newness, both in participants and in style; even its veteran acts are still relatively young, and they make young music. Still, there were subtle differences among the veterans, like BoA and TVXQ, and the newer-minted acts like Super Junior, Girls’ Generation and SHINee.
Thomas Kim arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two women in Herndon
WJLA.com (Herndon, Va.)
Police this week arrested a 31-year-old man who allegedly impersonated a police officer and sexually assaulted two women.
Police on Monday arrested Thomas Kim, of Herndon, and charged him with sexual assault, abduction, impersonating a law enforcement officer and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is currently behind bars at the Fairfax County Detention Center.
Kim was arrested while he was allegedly committing a similar crime.
Whiting Foundation Names Winners of Writers’ Awards
New York Times
Don Mee Choi was named one of ten recipients of the Whiting Writers’ Awards, given annually to authors “of exceptional talent and promise in early career.” Choi received the award, which includes a cash prize of $50,000, for her poetry collection The Morning News is Exciting. See more info about Choi here.
Critic of South Korean Leader Elected as Seoul Mayor
New York Times
A civic activist and vocal critic of President Lee Myung-bak rode a growing call for political change to become mayor of the South Korean capital, Seoul, winning a poll widely seen as a bellwether for the presidential election in December next year.
The activist, Park Won-soon, an independent candidate who was supported by the main opposition Democratic Party, clinched the mayoral race by winning 53.4 percent of the 4 million votes cast, according to the country’s Central Election Management Committee.
His rival, Na Kyung-won, a candidate affiliated with President Lee’s Grand National Party, won 46.2 percent.
‘Jung Sik’ Showing New Yorkers High-Class Korean Cuisine
Yim Jung-sik saw a niche to fill in the Big Apple and promptly did so by opening his upscale Korean fusion restaurant Jung Sik in September with several partners in New York’s TriBeCa district near Wall Street.
The area is packed with top-notch eateries but none were serving dishes with names like “Five Senses Satisfaction Pork Belly” — until now.
“I felt bad that there were no Korean fine dining restaurants similar to the ones that serve Japanese or Italian cuisine,” said the 33-year-old chef, who has enjoyed runaway success with his Jung Sik Dang restaurant, which opened in Shinsa-dong, Seoul in 2009.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Park Chu-Young ready for league
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said Park Chu-Young is “ready for league games” after the striker scored the decider in the 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bolton.
How Many Foreigners Live In Pyongyang?
Wall Street Journal
Foreigners pass through Pyongyang all the time and diplomatic staff from some countries, including Sweden and the U.K., are based there for extended periods.
But the size of the foreign population of the North Korean capital is something of a mystery. So a report in a South Korean magazine of a census apparently conducted in Pyongyang in 2005 provides some interesting reading and one surprise about the largest foreign group at that time.
the 15 apa women leader spotlights: isabel kang
Nominated by Terry Park
Describe your name.
Isabel, because my mother chose it for me, and she is Catholic, and I’m bi-cultural Korean-Brazilian, and I love my Korean name, but it is only for my family use, and was carefully chosen by my father, reflecting the characters for East, and Hope.
How do you identify?
A radical activist, person of color, immigrant, working class allegiance, mother, WOMAN!
Seoul’s best museums
These six museums beat out 100 others for the most haunting glimpses into Korea’s past
The Set of Hawaii 5-0: Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, and Lauren German
Our friends at Giant Robot take a behind-the-scenes look at Hawaii 5-0.
Television has such a fast moving pace that the director can’t scrutinize every moment of every word. There’s trust between the sound, multiple camera angles, and how the lines are delivered. Daniel answers, “the intonations can change per take.” He cites that it’s often his own discretion, and they’ll pick one of them. Even the hmmms, yeahs, and extra unscripted sounds that the actors make might get edited out, but are used to keep in rhythm of the scene. There are plenty of lines to memorize in a scene like this, and while some actors can memorize them after reading them once, the director cites Kiefer Sutherland as one who memorizes them instantly. Grace Park reveals that she works on them days early. Two days early is her technique for success. Then she goes over it again and again. Daniel Dae Kim who started off with a Law and Order Episode said that some of the old pros on that show read the lines right before the take for the first time, and fired them off perfectly.
Blake Shelton Records a Duet With Dia Frampton
Taste of Country
When asked whether or not she and her coach have been working on material together, Frampton answered with an enthusiastic “Yes!” before going into more detail.
“I wrote a song with some friends (who also knew Blake) in Nashville. The song is called ‘I Will,’ and when I sent it to Blake he said he’d love to sing on it,” she revealed. “He took time out of his busy schedule to come record his part, which meant a lot to me. He’s been so supportive through all of this. He’s working overtime as a coach.”
Dia graced the cover of KoreAm’s October 2011 issue.
South Korean orchestra, conductor strike discordant note
Los Angeles Times
There’s a musical mutiny playing out in this city’s hallowed concert hall, a discordant note not usually heard from the nation’s premier symphony orchestra.
Musicians in crucial chairs of the KBS Symphony Orchestra have either walked out or been dismissed, taking their instruments with them. Others are donning protest T-shirts and offering subpar work during practices and even some performances.
Such sourness stems not only from hard financial times and a trend toward declining salaries but the reappointment of an unpopular American-trained conductor. Many veteran musicians with the 55-year-old symphony orchestra are irate about controversial conductor Hahm Shinik, who many say can’t tell an oboe from a French horn.
“During rehearsals when the tune is off, the conductor doesn’t know,” one musician told the JoongAng Daily newspaper here. “Furthermore, he doesn’t recognize the distinction between different instruments.”
At rallies, the musicians have chanted: “We don’t want a circus. Make the unskilled conductor step down.”
The impact of Michelle Rhee’s ‘culture of urgency’
Here’s a vaguely negative opinion column about former D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.
It is an almost universal tribute offered about Michelle Rhee’s 3 1/2 -year tenure of the Washington D.C. school district — that if she accomplished one thing, it was to instill a sense of urgency in the city about the need to fix broken schools that had failed children for decades.
Infant found outside church; ‘God let people hear the baby crying’
The cries of a newborn girl abandoned in a grocery bag at a Schaumburg church led congregation members to discover her tucked under a teddy bear and a bath towel. But her rescuers think there was something more that helped them find the baby as the Gospel Presbyterian Church emptied after Sunday services.
“I definitely feel God was working in this situation,” said Bob Song, a church elder who helped find the 5-pound, 9-ounce girl. If no one had heard the newborn crying Sunday from inside the green, recyclable grocery sack, she might not have been discovered for two days because the church is typically closed and empty on Monday.
“That would have been too late,” Song said, worrying that the baby could have died by then. “I felt so good that God let people hear the baby crying.”
The article also noted that the baby was Asian.
Find Debbie Lee’s Restaurant, Win $100
Be the first person to figure out where Debbie Lee is opening the brick-and-mortar location of Ahn Joo Snack Bar (already rolling around LA as a food truck since last year), and you could win a $100 gift certificate to the place. The Korean pub grub concept officially opens on November 10th. We keep hearing it’s in Hollywood, but what do we know?
The first person to correctly reveal the “secret” location of Ahn Joo Snack Bar by snapping a picture of it and tagging it @AhnJooLA on Twitter, will receive a $100 gift certificate, as well as an invitation to the restaurant’s opening celebration.
Kim Jong-il ‘Only Old-School Dictator Left’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is the only “old-school” dictator in the world now that Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi is dead, wrote William Dobson, a former editor of Foreign Policy magazine and Newsweek, in the Washington Post on Sunday.
Dobson classified dictators into “20th-century old-school dictators” and “21st-century dictators.” “So-called 21st century dictators have realized the high cost of pure dictatorship so they repress their populations indirectly through legality, procedure and process instead of iron-fisted control,” he said.
North Korea Rents Out Its Resources to Stave Off Reform
New York Times
In September, under the flags of North Korea and China, North Korean workers began digging at Haesan, a hilly town near the Chinese border, kicking off one of several joint mining ventures. On Oct. 13, a Russian train chugged across the border to celebrate the restoration of a dilapidated Soviet-era rail link between the Russian city of Khasan and the North Korean town of Rajin.
At Haesan, China acquires copper, one of the many abundant mineral reserves lying next door waiting to be exploited. At Rajin, Russia wins access to an ice-free port to export Siberian coal and take in Asian goods it wants to transport to Europe. From both projects, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, counts cash.
These and other similar deals North Korea is striking with its two Cold War-era allies, especially China, are creating a predicament for the South Korean government.
Trio of restaurants brings cultural diversity
Daily Trojan (Univ. of Southern California)
One of the earliest people to foresee the potential of the [downtown L.A.] Arts District was restaurateur Jason Ha, who restored a historic building into an Asian-fusion sushi restaurant in 2002.
Ha is a pioneer in revitalizing eastern Downtown’s dining scene. When he first came to the United States at 19 years old, he barely spoke a word of English. Walking around the college cafeteria with his lunch tray, he determinedly introduced himself to different tables each day with the only English sentence he knew: “Hello, I’m Jason. How are you?”
A couple of decades later, and Ha is now a Californian-ized Korean. He speaks perfect English with a California twang but retains dramatic Korean expressions. His skin is tanned from years of windsurfing with multi-ethnic friends, but he still attends a Korean church.
Most eco-friendly tours in Korea
Becoming a tourist hot spot may mean fame and money for the locale, but it can often bring destruction to the beauty that prompts people to go there in the first place.
While eco-friendly tourism has been gaining popularity around the world and organizations such as the International Eco-Tourism Society have been around since the early 1990s, environmentally friendly tourism in Korea is only a recent development.
According to Good Travel, an environmentally responsible travel agency in Seoul, eco-tourism has is becoming more and more popular within Korea.
Here are some the most ecologically interesting tours in Korea that are also focused on conservation.
She was the shy, cute singer with the soft voice. Next to gospel singers with booming vocals that easily won audience applause and wows from the judges, NBC’s The Voice contestant Dia Frampton seemed a little out of her element.
Then, on June 7, Frampton delivered a unique, stunningly haunting performance of Kanye West’s “Heartless” that left everyone breathless. Her manager Mike Kaminsky recalls the moment: “You felt the air get sucked out of the room, and everyone collectively gasped. And when she finished that song, you just knew her life was going to change.” Continue Reading »
Check out the behind-the-scenes video of singer/songwriter Dia Frampton!
Dia graces the cover of KoreAm‘s October 2011 issue. Videographer Kelly Li shot and edited this rare look at what it takes to make a magazine cover. The gorgeous photos were shot by David Studarus with hair/makeup by Marylin Lee with stylist Kayla McGee.
Buy the October 2011 issue for $5.95 here.
Blake Shelton Announces US Arena Tour, Dia Frampton To Open
Shelton will hit 27 cities on the “Well Lit & Amplified Tour 2012” starting in January in Toledo and ending in March in Las Vegas. His opening acts include country singer Justin Moore and his mentee on NBC’s The Voice, finalist Dia Frampton, as reported by All Access Music Group.
Local Politicians Press to Win Korean-American Vote
Patch.com (Annandale, Va.)
Dozens of candidates for public office gathered in Fairfax Thursday night to try and win votes from within the Korean-American community.
Often starting out with a greeting in Korean, the candidates by and large stressed the importance of relief for small businesses, family values, opportunities for immigrants and access to better education while speaking to a packed audience during the 2011 Korean American Association of Virginia/Korea Times Candidates Night.
‘Bling Ring’ Burglar Pleads No Contest
Remember Rachel Lee, one of the alleged masterminds behind the so-called “bling ring”? She and her accomplices were accused of targeting wealthy celebrities, breaking into their homes and making off with millions in luxury goods and accessories.
Last week, Lee appeared in court and pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree residential burglary in the 2009 break-in of reality star Audrina Patridge’s house. She is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison as part of a plea bargain.
Lee’s mother is an immigrant from North Korea, according to Vanity Fair, and her father is a businessman living in Las Vegas.
South Korea stares down demographic dilemma
Kim, a doctoral student in her 30s, personifies many of the qualities that make South Korea such an economic force — relative youth, education and ambition.
The trouble — for corporations and policymakers — is that she is equally typical by not wanting to have children.
“I just want to live happily with my husband without having to worry about kids or making sacrifices for them,” said Kim, asking to be identified only by her surname.
N.Y. Choi, Lewis improve women’s golf ranking
Choi Na-yeon and Stacy Lewis each move up one place, causing minor shifts in the world women’s golf rankings, updated Monday.
The LPGA heads into an Asian swing with tournaments in South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan this month as the 2011 schedule begins to wind down. Choi moved past South Korean countrywoman Shin Jiyai for fourth in this week’s world rankings.
Warrant issued for US soldier over rape
A local district court issued Saturday a warrant to arrest a U.S. soldier on charges of raping a young Korean woman, citing concerns that he might flee the country.
The 21-year-old Army private, identified only as “K” who is assigned to the 2nd U.S. Infantry Division in Dongducheon, is accused of having raped an 18-year-old girl near his unit at around 4 a.m. on Sept. 24.
Prosecutors are expected to indict the American soldier soon.
She was watching TV alone when he broke into her house, according to the police. Police officers identified the American soldier through a surveillance camera installed near her house and informed the U.S. military of the case.
Piano Prodigy Wants to Use Berklee Scholarship to Help Society
Kang Chae-ri, 16, ranks as the youngest person ever to be admitted to the prestigious college, which stands as a world authority in pop music. She is also first Korean recipient of the coveted Presidential Scholarship, which covers full tuition and living expenses.
DVD of the Week: Woman on the Beach
The filmmaker-protagonist of the South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s dryly comic 2006 romantic drama, “Woman on the Beach”, is at work on a project of peculiar abstraction—the sort of silly idea that comes from spending too much time alone and at a desk—and is having trouble finishing his script. The adventure that follows from his efforts to unblock himself—which also entails some emotional and erotic unblocking, with two women who, he thinks, resemble each other—becomes the basis for his new film.
Seoul Taco introduces Korean fusion to St. Louis
Washington Life (Washington Univ.)
For those who didn’t grow up in a large city, it’s completely understandable not to have heard of Korean food served in a tortilla. But St. Louis native David Choi is trying to change that, one taco at a time.
Choi and his business partner Andy Heck are the owners of the Seoul Taco food truck, which serves traditional Korean food with a Mexican twist. The truck serves traditional Korean food, such as bulgogi (literally, “fire meat”) and spicy pork, on a taco or inside a quesadilla. Seoul Taco is only in its third month and makes a weekly stop at Wash. U. on Thursdays.
HyunA Ranked 17th on Under-21 Billboard Chart
Nineteen-year-old South Korean pop singer HyunA got her start with pop girl group Wonder Girls in 2007. After overcoming health issues, she left the group to become lead rapper and vocalist of 4Minute and embarked on her own solo career. But HyunA’s career really took off when she became the star of her own show.
2010 saw the debut of her first single “Change,” and in July of 2011 she released her first mini-album “Bubble Pop!,” the video for which was deemed “too sexy” for some Korean TV outlets. The controversial star displays a sexiness and stage presence far beyond her years, and is well on her way to becoming one of the key faces of the global K-Pop movement. HyunA, now a fixture in South Korean pop culture, is set to perform on the Korean version of “Dancing With the Stars” in June 2012.