Tag: Against The Grain Productions

Going Against The Grain: Grace Wu

NBC Universal Executives

 

Grace Wu serves as Executive Vice President, Casting, NBC Entertainment since 2009. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California at Berkeley, Wu began her career in entertainment casting as an assistant on the feature film “In & Out,” starring Kevin Kline.  She transitioned into television when she joined Liberman/Hirschfeld Casting, where she worked on casting for the critically acclaimed “Seinfeld,” “MadTV” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” While at NBC, Wu supervised the casting of such network series as “Freaks & Geeks,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood” and “The Black List.”  She is responsible for overseeing the day-today casting on current scripted series as well as pilot productions.

Full name: 

Grace Wu

Hometown: 

Los Angeles, CA

Current City: 

Los Angeles, CA 

Ethnicity: 

Taiwanese-American

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

Lately, it means to speak up when I feel the most scared.

What made you decide to pursue a career in this industry?

I like being around creative people, getting into their heads and helping execute their vision.

What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?  

I can’t think of any challenges, but as the daughter of immigrants, it’s in my DNA to work hard and not whine or complain.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?

My biggest accomplishment is picking the right guy to marry because I’ve created the family I always wanted.

What’s up next?

Finding time to shop Zappos.

Quote to live by:

You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Sign (Eastern Animal Sign & Western Zodiac):

I’m a Rooster/Scorpio

Passionate about:

Keeping my iPhone and iPad charged at 100%.My kids think I’m crazy, but it must be!

Favorite food:

Sushi and fried egg sandwiches

Can’t live without:

Thinking about my next great meal.

I Go Against The Grain #beCAUSE:

It doesn’t seem as much fun to be regular and conventional.

Going Against The Grain: Quan Phung

Quan Phung | President, Scripted Programming | Slingshot Global Media

Quan Phung is President of Scripted Programming at Slingshot Global Media, an independent television studio backed by private equity and based in Santa Monica, California.  Established in 2014, Slingshot’s mission is to build a talent-friendly, forward-thinking 21st century studio that develops, produces, finances and distributes television series with a global focus and reach.

Prior to Slingshot, Quan spent close to two decades as a producer and an executive at companies such as Bluegrass Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television Studios, Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).  He has been involved in the development and production of many acclaimed series including House, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl and Arrested Development.  In 2002, he was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s Top 35 Executives Under 35.

Full Name: Quan Luong Phung
Hometown: San Diego, California
Current City: Los Angeles, California
Ethnicity: Vietnamese

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

To me, “Going Against The Grain” is always striving to be your authentic self.  It is continuing to evolve and recognizing your strengths and shortcomings.  It is not being afraid of failure and looking at those moments as opportunities to engage with the world, and get to know yourself better.  It is leading anything but a life of quiet desperation.

 

 

 

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6th Annual Fashion for Passion Breaks All Event Records

FFAP Collage

November 5, 2014 (Dallas, TX) – On Saturday, November 1, Against The Grain Productions held its 6th Annual Fashion for a Passion charity event at Three Three Three First Avenue. In a sold-out show that beat all event records, the event hosted 450 guests and raised more than $35K in funds to go to ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs. Read more

Going Against The Grain: Vatana Watters

VATANA-WATTERS-HEADSHOT

Vatana Watters, bridal designer and CEO of Watters Bridal and first-time bridal presenting designer at Fashion for a Passion

We are proud to highlight Vatana Watters of Watters Bridal for this month’s Going Against The Grain feature. For the past three years, Watters has been a generous supporter of ATG and Fashion for a Passion, donating gorgeous dresses for auction to the delight of brides-to-be. In addition to providing new looks for auction, audiences at FFAP will get to see highlights from Watters’ bridal, bridesmaid and even flower girl collections float down the runway for the first time ever in her debut as an FFAP (and our first-ever bridal!) presenting designer.

Check out one of our wonderful FFAP media sponsors DFW Style Daily‘s feature on Watters Bridal, too!

Full Name: Vatana Watters
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Current City: Dallas, Texas
Ethnicity: Thai

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

When I started making bridesmaids gowns in the mid ’80’s, I offered an alternative solution to the big puffy sleeves and bows. I decided to ‘go Against The Grain,’ and it paid off in a great way, due to hard work, determination and staying true to my vision.

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Orphanage Update: Uu Dam’s Harvest Moon Festival Celebration

Uu Dam1 Uu Dam2 Uu Dam3 Uu Dam4On September 8th, children at Uu Dam, one of our supported orphanages in Vietnam, celebrated “Trung Thu Cho Em” or the “Children’s Harvest Moon Festival” in their play yard.  According to orphanage director PT, it was “very exciting, vibrant and warm with love.” During the happy occasion, the young orphans played and socialized with children from neighboring communities. Read more

#FFAP2014: Introducing Our Musical and Now Dance Performers!

Fashion For a Passion LogoDALLAS, TX – Dallas non-profit Against The Grain Productions proudly announces the performing artists for its much-anticipated Fashion for a Passion charity event. The celebration of Asian American talent, ranging from Filipino to Korean and Singaporean to Thai Americans, will kick off with musical performances by three Kollaboration Dallas artists and, for the first time, a dance performance by a 2014 Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship winner.

The 2014 Fashion for a Passion Featured Performers include:

  • Heart & Hero
  • Jonavi
  • Andrew Yun
    • Lizzy Tan

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Congratulations to 2014 ATG Scholarship Finalists

After weeks of reviewing and deliberation, The ATG Scholarship Committee is proud to announce the 2014 Scholarship Finalists. We scored them based on GPA, leadership/community involvement, portfolio/video submission, essay and letters of recommendation. This group in particular is one of the strongest groups we’ve ever had. They are brilliant, shining examples of what it means to go Against The Grain means. Drumroll, please… Read more

Sixth Annual “Fashion for a Passion” Announces 2014 Designer Line-Up

 

Seven Designers to Feature Exclusive Creations

Saturday, November 1 

2014 FFAP Promo

DALLAS, TX – Against The Grain Productions has selected seven emerging and established Asian American designers to join their elite roster of Presenting Designers at their upcoming Fashion for a Passion charity event, one of Dallas’ hottest must-have fashion tickets and charity events of the fall season.  Now in its sixth year, the evening showcases the talent of Asian American artists and springboard for careers, while serving as a place to bring together the entire community to celebrate up and coming talent and raise money for a worthy cause. Designers have launched careers with the event, including Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh, who started as a UNT graduate and within a few short years has since gone on to be featured in Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang, went on to win the title of Texas’ Next Top Designer and is now carried in Belk. The event benefits ATG’s supported orphanages, scholarships for student artists and leaders and community outreach programs to inspire, educate and entertain the community. Read more

Going Against The Grain: Kristen Kish

Kristen Kish
Born in South Korea and adopted into a family in Kentwood, MI, Kristen Kish showed an affinity for cooking at a young age. Her mother suggested she go to culinary school and since attending Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, Kristen has never looked back.

After moving to Boston, Kristen has worked in many high-profile restaurants including Michelin-star Chef Guy Martin’s Sensing and Barbara Lynch’s Stir as Chef de Cuisine, overseeing all back of house operations, including the design and execution of nightly menus and demonstration dinners for 10 guests. Kristen went on to compete on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 10 where she won the coveted title after an amazing comeback, becoming the second female chef to win the prestigious competition and first Asian American female. Most recently, Kristen was Chef de Cuisine of Menton, Chef Barbara Lynch’s fine dining restaurant.

Full Name:

Kristen Kish

Hometown:

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Current City:

Boston, MA

Ethnicity:

South Korean

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”:

To me it means doing what you feel is right even in the face of other pressures regardless of the outcome. It’s about doing what you are passionate about and doing what will make you happy. Staying true to who you are. Only we can determine our own paths and taking risks in order to find what that is takes strength and determination.

What made you decide to pursue your career path?

It’s what I love to do.  It wasn’t always easy making that decision but in my gut it is what I am passionate about.  With the assistance of my amazing family they helped me realize my true passions in life even when I couldn’t see them.

What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?

My ethnicity hasn’t had many challenges in the kitchen.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?

It’s hard to say… I believe that every success and failure I have endured has taught me an incredible amount and has been an accomplishment. I always strive for something greater and not ever feeling like I have “made it” allows me to keep pushing harder than ever. So I guess my greatest accomplishment in many ways is everyday when I wake up happy. The combination of everything allows me feel that.

What’s up next?

Self exploration… Finding out what it is i want to do next.  I would love a restaurant and that is something I give a lot of time and energy formulating.  But I know I need to see, learn, experience some things before that in order to give my guests the best of who I am through good and hospitality.