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Lee

Lee Jung-hee Booked on Suspicion of Child Abuse

Above image: Lee Jung-hee (center) appears in a June 23rd YouTube video with her two sons.

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

Lee Jung-hee, a South Korean woman known for being a victim in the “Three Hats Rape Case,” has been booked by the police on allegations of child abuse, according to Yonhap News.

In late June, Lee and her two sons (17 and 13 years old) posted a series of disturbing blog posts on Nate Pann under the username “Please Help Us.” Lee, who revealed her full name, accused her pastor ex-husband of physical abuse and rape over the past 20 years. She also accused him of drugging and prostituting their sons, who are apparently American-born, for the past decade. Lee’s story soon sparked an international social media campaign under the hashtag #HelpLeeJungHee.

On July 16, the Busan Domestic Relations Court granted Lee full custody of her two sons, rejecting Lee’s ex-husband’s appeal for a new trial regarding their divorce. However, police booked Lee on Thursday under the suspicion of alleged child abuse. Police claimed that Lee had “brainwashed” her sons with grisly details of sexual assault in order to prep them for testifying in court, according to Yonhap. They added that she did not send her children to school despite the fact that her sons arrived in Korea late last year from the United States.

After ruling that Lee’s presence was harmful to her sons’ mental health, police ordered the single mother to keep at least 100 meters away from the hospital her sons are residing at until further notice.

Recently, there were rumors that Lee and her sons were kidnapped and forcibly admitted to a mental hospital by their extended family after leaving court. However, police debunked these rumors and clarified in an online statement that Lee and her sons had agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluations at a hospital in Gyeonggi province.

On Thursday, SBS crime documentary series We Want to Know released a preview of an upcoming episode that delves into the case of Lee Jung Hee. You can watch the teaser below.

See Also

 

Sexual Abuse Survivor Lee Jung-hee, Sons Make Online Plea for Help

Nan-hui Jo Released on Bond from Immigration Detention 

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[VIDEO] How to Differentiate Koreans From Other Asians

by REERA YOO |@reeraboo
reera@iamkoream.com

As Steven Yeun once emphatically said on Conan, not all Asians look alike. So, how do people differentiate Koreans from other Asians?

Korean YouTuber sw yoon decided to find out by asking several students at an international college campus how they distinguish their Korean classmates from the crowd.

Many of the students said they can spot Korean girls by their distinct makeup, particularly their BB creams and bright lip tints. As for Korean guys, the students said they were easily distinguishable by their “bowl-cut” or gelled hairstyles. Two Korean male students agreed with this observation, adding that they often check a bathroom mirror before heading to class.

Majority of interviewees also noted that their Korean classmates have a great fashion sense, calling their style “cool and hip” as well as “classy.” Funnily enough, the most noticeable aspects of Korean fashion seemed to be high-quality, boxy backpacks and round glasses. One female student from Thailand even quipped that she can differentiate Koreans from behind by just glancing at their backpacks.

Some said they found Koreans to be a bit loud and more cliquey than other Asian groups. One Nepali student mentioned that Koreans tend to socialize with only other Koreans and are sometimes not as welcoming to people from different countries. On the flip side, other students said they found Koreans to be very generous, especially when it comes to food.

“Always trying to share their yangnyum chicken with everybody,” said a Mexican student. “They’re really sharing people, obviously.”

Another student remarked, “Even if there is like one more bite left, they’ll give it to you.”

And what do Koreans think of their fellow countrymen? When the interviewer asked two Korean guys, they joked, “We are the freshest.”

See Also

 

Korean YouTuber Explores Differences Between Americans and Koreans

Korean Girls React to Channing Tatum in ‘Magic Mike’

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[VIDEO] Kids Eat Kimchi for the Very First Time

by ETHEL NAVALES, Audrey Magazine

Walk into any Korean restaurant and you’ll be sure to find kimchi available as a side dish or incorporated into meals such as kimchi fried rice. Wonder how Korea’s national dish packs such a punch? That’s probably because kimchi is created with fermented cabbage and lots of spicy seasoning. Even if your taste buds can’t quite handle kimchi, we’re going to bet you’re familiar with the sight and smell of it.

In fact, these days you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone here in Southern California who is completely unaware of kimchi. With the rise in popularity of Korean food over recent years, we’ve all grown familiar with kimchi’s strong taste and even stronger scent. But before I picked up the habit of stuffing myself with KBBQ in college, I can honestly say I didn’t have a clue in the world what kimchi was. If you had placed a bowl of kimchi in front of me as a kid, I would have just stared at you in confusion.

And I don’t seem to be the only one who would react this way. Knowing that children who aren’t Korean hold a higher chance of being unfamiliar with kimchi, The Fine Bros’ React Channel decided it would be fun to show children eating kimchi for the very first time.

We weren’t too surprised over the initial reaction that many of the children had. After all, the sight of vegetables isn’t often what appeals to kids and the strong aroma can make anyone wary if they’re not familiar with it. Luckily, the children in this video were all troopers about it, and we were happy to see that the kids were pleasantly surprised. Sure, a few of them were so overcome with spiciness that they needed water before talking, but kimchi certainly received more thumbs up than thumbs down.

Best of all, the kids reacted to kimchi with much more grace than our previous video showing British people tasting kimchi for the first time. Thumbs up for their open-mindedness of children.

See Also

 

Korean Fire Noodle Challenge Spreads Online

YouTubers React to ‘Mukbang,’ aka Eating Broadcasts

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Originally published on Audrey Magazine

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[VIDEO] American vs. Koreans on a College Entrance English Exam

 

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
reera@iamkoream.com

Can an American score higher than two South Koreans on the English-language portion of a Korean college entrance exam?

American expat Dave decided to find out and took a mock exam with his Korean colleagues, Jin Ho-hyun and Jeong Hyo-sun, who both scored higher than 90 percent on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).

The test, which should have been a cakewalk for a native English speaker like Dave, revealed some surprising results. While Dave barely passed the English-language exam with a 76, the Korean test-takers scored a 96 and a perfect 100.

However, when Dave tried to speak to Jin and Jeong in conversational English, neither of the two Koreans were able to comprehend or respond to his questions.

“Even if we score perfect on tests, in front of foreigners, the reality is that we can’t even utter a single word,” Jeong said in Korean. She added that she wished she could speak English more proficiently instead of performing well on written exams.

Most South Korean companies hire recent college grads based on their TOEIC scores, according to the Korea Herald. Large conglomerates such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and CJ require job applicants to have a minimum TOEIC score of 720, although many students say a 900 is the benchmark for employment eligibility.

In 2013, South Korean parents spent more than $18 billion in private education to give their children an advantage in the college entrance exam, particularly in the English-language section.

According to EF Education First, a Swiss-based language learning company, South Korean students receive about 20,000 hours of English education from kindergarten through college. However, these long, rigorous hours of studying do not necessarily translate to English proficiency.

“A lot of my friends who are studying TOEIC/TOEFL have trouble with basic conversation, which is why I created this video experiment in the first place, to see the contrast between testing ability and speaking ability in English,” Dave told the Korea Observer.

“They have spent years practicing and honing their test taking skills, memorizing hundreds of words at a time, and it’s come to a point where an English question is no different than a simple puzzle to a lot of the students.”

See Also

 

South Korean and Japanese Students Talk About English-Language Education

SAT Cheating Investigation: The Latest Scandal in SKorean Education

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Lee

Sexual Abuse Survivor Lee Jung-hee, Sons Make Online Plea for Help

Above photo: Lee, center, with her sons.

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

 

A South Korean woman has taken to the Internet to seek justice against her abusive pastor husband and extended family. In a series of posts published on a Nate Pann blog under the username “Please Help Us,” a woman identifying herself as Lee Jung-hee has accused her husband of abuse and rape over the last 20 years, as well as forcing her and their two American-born sons into prostitution for over 10 years.

The Pann blog posts, the first of which was published on June 20, have gone viral among netizens. On Tuesday, Lee and her two sons uploaded three videos to YouTube asking for help and emphasizing that their accusations against their father, whom they called a “devil,” were true.

Wearing surgical masks, sunglasses and hats, the family implored netizens to spread the word about their dire situation. In the video, the two sons reveal that they have attempted to sue over 30 people who had continuously raped them, but claim that the police have been unable to help due to their father’s influence. They also mention that their father has been making efforts to censor any reports about their abuse in Korean media.

“We are running away from our father because he is currently and consistently chasing us, like a coyote chasing a rabbit,” one of the sons says in a video. “None of this is a lie, we are telling the truth.”

“My children were never able to express what they were going through as they were growing up,” Lee writes in her June 24 post. “Now they are old enough to speak. … Give all the punishment to me, and let my children be free of that. They did not do anything wrong, and they have lived truly terrible lives.”

Their story has recently gone viral under #HelpJungHeeLee on South Korean social media and news sites, as well as on Western ones such as Reddit. Some commenters have expressed skepticism regarding the claims made by Lee and her sons, as there is no confirmation from major news outlets or the South Korean government. Lee also did not name her husband in any of her blog posts or videos, although some netizens have floated around an unconfirmed name.

Lee’s posts recount a disturbing story. She writes that she first met her husband as an oppa, or older brother figure, in church. When she moved to America (Los Angeles, Calif. according to one of the videos) some 20 years ago, he pursued her and eventually married her. He first raped her when she was 22, and the beatings and rape soon escalated into a regular occurrence, according to Lee’s second blog post. She became pregnant, and when she told her husband, he arranged for her to get an abortion through a fellow church member.

According to Lee, her husband began selling her as a prostitute in their home and a “camping car” he drove around. This continued for three years, after which she became pregnant again, and her first son was born (now 17 years old).

Lee claims her husband later became a pastor in order to lure other church members into trusting him, so that he can slip drugs into their drinks. Once the church attendants became addicted to the drugs, Lee’s husband would keep them close to his side.

In her blog posts, Lee writes that her own family members knew about the abuse she endured, as they also worked in the prostitution industry. She says that her family even encouraged her husband to continue “taming” her.

Recently, Lee’s younger son wrote two blog posts—“Hello, I am a 13-year-old kid that wants freedom,” as he introduces himself—claiming he was raped by his father since he was 5 years old, as well as by extended family and strangers his father brought home. The family moved back to Korea when he was 4 years old—first to Seoul and then Busan, where the father became involved in a local church. At some point, the father confiscated his son’s American passports.

Lee’s sons claim that their father dragged them to “sex rooms” all over South Korea where he would solicit them for sex to random clients. Other times, the pastor would force his sons to take aphrodisiacs and rape their mother, while she lay unconscious from ingesting sleeping pills.

The younger son goes into further details about his hellish day-to-day life, saying he was forced to attend an international school so that he wouldn’t learn Korean and be able to communicate the abuse to Korean authorities. After school, his father would immediately bring him home and subject him to physical and sexual abuse. His older brother, who was subject to similar treatment, now receives treatment in a mental hospital due to the trauma.

Lee and her sons escaped from her husband’s custody sometime in or before 2014—it isn’t clear from Lee’s written account. Her husband apparently wanted to fake a divorce and have Lee sue around 10 people who had raped her in the past, hoping to profit from legal settlements. In order to make the fake divorce convincing, he told Lee to “pretend” to run away with their two children.

It was an “opportunity from God,” according to Lee, and she took it. She left her home with her sons and never returned, claiming that she wanted to “hide and live in a small town.”

Upon realizing his family’s escape, Lee’s husband filed an actual divorce suit and demanded custody of the children. In 2014, Lee reported her husband to the police, but the officers apparently did not take her call for help seriously.

Last October, Lee and her sons held a public press conference, but apart from a video on YouTube and a few hard-to-find articles, it’s difficult to find much coverage.

“I tried to contact all broadcast stations, regardless of whether they were big or small,” Lee says. “But my husband pressured the media from the other side, and I was in a position where I could not go on broadcast. All the articles [about our abuse] that were on the Internet were withdrawn in unison.”

In his most recent post, Lee’s younger son says he wishes to have a normal life and a swift end to his family’s terrible situation.

“I don’t want to live with my father or be anything like him,” he writes. “Please help us live. Please help us three live happily.”

To learn more about Lee Jung Hee’s case, visit the #HelpLeeJungHee campaign’s website or follow them on Twitter @HelpLeeJungHee

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food sharing

[VIDEO] Korean YouTuber Explores Differences Between Americans and Koreans

 

by KARIN CHAN and REERA YOO

What are some noticeable cultural differences between Americans and Koreans? YouTube user Aram Jeong decided to find out and uploaded a video on June 9 that depicts how Koreans and Americans behave differently in social situations.

The Reddit-trending video begins by comparing how Americans and Koreans act around their romantic interests. While the Americans in the video are portrayed as more outgoing and comfortable with exchanging contact information, the Koreans are seen acting shy while stealing wistful glances at their crushes.

As the video continues to play, it pokes fun at how the two cultures express heartbreak, share food and dance.

After uploading the video, Jeong and her American colleague, Alex, visited Somyong Girls High School in Bucheon to see how students would react to the cultural differences highlighted in the YouTube sketch.

Overall, the reaction to the video was positive. Many students said they found the differences between the two cultures to be interesting. Others expressed wonder after learning that Americans tend to not make fun of other people’s appearances, saying that it’s a common form of affection in Korean culture.

“I make fun of my friends’ appearances all the time,” said one student. “I found it really interesting that Americans don’t do that, and I realized some of the cultural differences after watching the video.”

Another student said, “When I was watching American movies, I was curious about their culture, but I could not ask questions. After we watched the video today, it was helpful because we could ask questions and hear about [American] culture from Alex.”

What are your thoughts on the cultural differences depicted in the video? Let us know in the comments below! 

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CAPE’s #IAM Live Event Recap

 

story by ARIANNA CARAMAT and REERA YOO

On May 27, 2015, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) teamed up with Verizon to host the second annual #IAm Live Event at Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum.

The #IAm campaign launched back in May in honor of AAPI Heritage Month, and it became a chance to spotlight Asian American stories in media, food and entertainment. This year, Asian American role models Cassey Ho, AJ Rafael, Seoul Sausage and Joseph Vincent had a chance to share their own “I Am” journeys with a live audience.

The night started out with some delicious food all courtesy of Seoul Sausage.

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Guests were also encouraged to take pictures on the red carpet where they could instantly print their images.

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The event was hosted by Kollaboration founder and comedian Paul “PK” Kim. Before introducing the guest speakers, PK cracked a few jokes about raising his three children to warm up the crowd.

“Whatever you’re doing, I’m doing with three kids,” PK joked. “Literally me being out right now is like clubbing.”

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Singer and songwriter AJ Rafael was the first guest to take the stage, and he opened the night by performing one of his well-known originals, “We Could Happen.”

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On stage, AJ discussed his humble beginnings and evolution as a singer-songwriter. He shared stories about his late father, who was also a musician and composer, and how he was greatly influenced by him.

“For me, it was all about the journey. The YouTube journey was really learning about your audience in the beginning and having them see you grow. That’s what I tell a lot of people who want to start content creating. It’s like they want to put up a professional thing out right away,” AJ said. “So, what I tell them is to do some vlogs, ask the audience questions. It’s a community and you can start from there. And really, there are no boundaries and don’t edit yourself.”

Although YouTube has become oversaturated with Asian American musicians and vloggers in recent years, AJ said this was not necessarily a bad sign, claiming that the Asian American community still provides strong support to its artists.

“The fact that there are a lot of Asian Americans on YouTube–I think it’s a great thing that we can create our own content and not be controlled by what’s happening in mainstream media,” he said.  

After AJ shared with the audience his passion for Disney (and his impressive Batman tattoos), Seoul Sausage founders Chris Oh, Ted and Yong Kim took the stage. The trio first rose to fame when they won the third season of The Great Food Truck Race back in 2012. Since then, Seoul Sausage has continued to bring Korean cuisine into the mainstream dining experience, with one wildly popular restaurant on Sawtelle and another branch soon opening in Downtown L.A.

“We want to bring good food to good people. It so happens that we are Asian American, Korean American,” Chris said. “The reason why we put Korean flavors into a familiar form, like a sausage, is because we want to break barriers … We want to do what the California roll did for Japanese food.”

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Seoul Sausage went on to talk about how they came to apply for the Great Food Truck Race, claiming that they were bored and submitted their audition video a day before the deadline. When they were casted the next day, the three Korean Americans made a pact to stay in the race at least halfway, not expecting to find so many people embracing their unique fusion dishes.

“I really didn’t think Korean food would translate in Amarillo, Texas,” said Yong, adding that the group had renamed their menu items to cater to their non-Asian customers. “But that was like our third episode, and when we got first place there, we rocked it and killed it. We [were] like, ‘I think people are ready for Korean flavors, but they just don’t know about it.’”

Indeed, Korean cuisine has been experiencing a kind of renaissance in recent years, with the emergence of several talented Korean American chefs, including Beverly Kim, Kristen Kish and Hooni Kim. When KoreAm/Audrey asked Seoul Sausage about their thoughts on the rising popularity of Korean American chefs, the trio said they were happy to see Korean cuisine garnering more media attention.

“The more of us are out there to represent, the more familiar people would be with Korean flavors and Korean chefs,” Ted said. “It’s only going to be beneficial to all of us. We’re all in this together.”

Seoul Sausage added that they recently visited South Korea to film a 10-episode web series called One Shot Seoul, which is slated for a tentative July release. The three men expressed excitement over the new culinary trends in Korea, and said they were excited to introduce them to the audience.  

Following Seoul Sausage was Cassey Ho, the creator of the online fitness vlog Blogilates. She explained that she didn’t initially expect for the Blogilates channel to blow up. It all started with her first YouTube content, which was a workout video that was only intended for her previous pilates class of 30 people. But the video began garnering more and more attention from viewers all around, which eventually grew into the huge Blogilates brand it is now.

“I think the YouTube really opened up the gates for entertainment a hundred percent,” Cassey said. “Because of [YouTube] you have people making movies seen by millions of people. For me, I was able to get these DVD deals, these book deals, and all this crazy stuff because I could show that I had an audience on YouTube who wanted to see that.”

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She credited YouTube for her success as well as many other Asian American entertainers; however, she’s also noticing that there has been a decline in new Asian American YouTubers since she began.

“Then when I started getting into it, like a year or two later, I noticed that a lot of the influencers were Asian (like Michelle Phan, Wong Fu Productions, Ryan Higa). But today, I actually notice that there’s less new Asian people. It’s really interesting,” Cassey told KoreAm/Audrey. “I feel like because YouTube is becoming more like ‘Hollywood,’ now there’s almost some type of glass ceiling where it’s harder for Asian people to break in.”

Cassey shared her fitness tips with curious audience members, but also reminded them that vanity reasons should not be your main goal. “I think a lot of people get into fitness for vanity reasons. Of course, you want washboard abs or sexy slim legs. That’s fine. But with my channel, I try to educate people and let them know that yes, you can work towards that, but you’re not going to find happiness in just that physical vanity. You have to enjoy the process.”

After Cassey shared her last words on positivity and motivation, the acoustic singer-songwriter Joseph Vincent stepped onto the stage where he serenaded the audience with the never-before heard song “My Girl.”

Setting his guitar aside, Joseph Vincent settled into the hot seat when PK commented on the singer’s recent travels (as seen on his Instagram). The singer explained that he’s been touring, mentioning that listeners at his shows are a whole new demographic for him due to their young age. He then shared a fun story about one of his most memorable shows.

“I went to Sweden and they wanted me to do an acoustic act prime time at a nightclub. They play EDM stuff. I’m like, ‘Are you sure? Do you know what I do?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s fine. Bring your acoustic guitar and go on at 12:30.’ I’ve experienced a lot of cool things like that. It’s good to challenge yourself and try to put yourself in very comfortable situations and see how you’ll come out,” said Joseph.

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When one aspiring musician in the audience asked Joseph for career advice, the singer-songwriter stressed the importance of social media platforms when it comes to publishing content.

“Make a YouTube channel, all the social media platforms. Take advantage of it. All of them are free, right? Facebook, Twitter… Just get your social media presence out there. Essentially, do it because you want to do it,” he advised. “Put music out and take the criticism in stride, and use it to better yourself. Don’t ever get discouraged. Don’t let anyone you can’t. ”

Joseph closed the questions segment with his predictions about Asian American produced music reaching the mainstream scene. “It would open up the floodgates. It would give a lot of us opportunity. Just to put it out there, it would make us a little more relevant again and something to jump onto. It’s gonna happen eventually,” he said. “I think it’s just our turn to go.”

PK thanked Joseph Vincent for his time, and called on Cassey Ho, Seoul Sausage and AJ to come back onto the stage for a photo opp.

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The group did one final pose for everyone: the iconic two-finger peace sign.
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You can learn more about CAPE on their official website. Check out the videos for this year’s #IAM Campaign speakers here.
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Get to Know Randall Park from Wong Fu’s ‘Everything Before Us’

 

KoreAm and Audrey Magazine recently teamed up to get acquainted with the cast of Wong Fu Productions‘ first feature film, Everything Before Us.

The sci-fi romantic drama follows two couples—a pair of college students and two estranged thirtysomethings—as they navigate the challenges of their relationships within the rules of Department of Emotional Integrity (DEI), a government agency that monitors and grades every romantic relationship.

In the film, Randall Park plays a world-weary DEI agent whose job is to assign a relationship score to each individual and determine who is accountable for a failed relationship. You can learn more about Randall below!

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Full name: Randall Park
Age: 41
Ethnic background: Korean
Where he was born: Los Angeles
Where he was raised: Los Angeles

About the Film

 

1. Describe your character in three words.
Efficient, lonely, hopeful

2. What is the most crucial part of being in a romantic relationship?
Romance. Otherwise, it’s a not a “romantic” relationship.

3. What would your real-life relationship score be, and why?
I think I’m a 90. Probably more like a 65. I don’t know, ask my wife.

4. Any bloopers or memorable episodes on set?
We shot most of my scenes at a DMV. I’ve never had a more memorable time at a DMV.

5. What is your opinion of Wong Fu as film directors?
They’re total pros and really good guys. I love them.

About Randall

 

1. What always makes you laugh?
Nathan For You. It’s a show on Comedy Central.

2. Your go-to comfort food?
Mexican food.

3. Currently on “repeat” on your ipod?
Alabama Shakes.

4. A guilty pleasure you don’t feel guilty about?
Judge Judy.

5. Current favorite place?
Home.

6. Favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise?
Coffee.

7. Current obsessions?
My daughter. It’s bordering on unhealthy.

8. Pet peeve?
Self-righteous indignation.

9. Habit you need to break?
Self-righteous indignation.

10. Hidden talent?
Drawing.

11. Talent you’d like to have?
Singing.

12. Word or phrase you most overuse?
“No worries.” I am way too laid back.

13. Favorite hashtag?
I don’t think I’ve ever used a hashtag.

14. Greatest fear?
Pigeons who don’t fly away when you get close to them. They’re insane, and they will kill you.

15. If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what occupation would you be doing?
Electrician.


Want to get to know the rest of the cast? Be on the look out for their responses coming soon! Everything Before Us is currently available on Vimeo!

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