Saturday, April 01, 2006

Instant Yang v.5: Aibo vs. Roomba; So You Think You Can Dance...; Casting Call

So here we are with another installment of Instant Yang, and as promised in the last ish of this newsmail, this week's SFGate column topic is...robots.

Now, let me go on the record as saying that I'm a little disappointed in the 21st century. Here we are in an era that science fiction writers everywhere predicted would be a technological wonderland, so, like, where are the flying cars? And why don't I have a robot buddy? Wasn't the future supposed to be all about flying cars and robot buddies? Then again, we're not fending off mutants in the blast-scarred craters of a nuclear wasteland, either; nor are we the abject slaves of a race of superintelligent space chimps. Guess I'll just count my blessings...


Why Japan, and not America, is likely to be the world's first cyborg society

And now for the e-mail only stuff...

I don't know about you guys, but my current guilty pleasure is SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?, the reality prog featuring a bevy of toe-tapping, jazz-dancing, head-spinning wunderkind, twinkling their toes for a quartet of American Idol-lite judges. (Yes, there's an obnoxious Brit on the panel. The show's produced by AI's creative team, which is proceeding on the assumption that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.)

The answer to the show's rhetorical question, in my case, is "No." Unless sufficiently lubricated, I'm self-conscious and basically spastic on the disco 'round (after a few drinks, of course, I no longer give a damn). But in the case of the two and a half Asian American contestants on the show, the answer is Yes! Yes. and Half a Yes. The enthusiastic Yes! goes to Ryan Conferido, the self-taught street dancer who wowed audition judges with his insane break moves and equally insane Yu-Gi-Oh hairdo, and who has shown since then that he's got serious groove in the heart--picking up ballroom styles like Mambo and Salsa like a Pinoy Arthur Murray. A somewhat more muted Yes goes to his Pinay sister Melody Lacayanga, who has exquisite technique but needs to get down and funky, or downer and funkier; she's in danger of elimination this week. And the half-a-yes goes to big guy Allan Frias, who came back from almost being zapped last week because America likes to see a heavy dude cuttin' the rug like no tomorrow. Word on the e-streets has it that he's half-Filipino, making this show truly a props-up to the Fil-Am community. (Extra credit for dancer Jonnis Tannis using one of Black Eyed Peas' Tagalog-chorus tunes for his solo number. Didn't stop him from getting the boot, though.)

And finally, an Asia-based production company I'm acquainted with is looking for a male or female host for an international travel series set in China; the program will appear on international cable and broadcast TV, and they'd love to cast an Asian American. Mandarin-speaking ability is a plus but not a mandate. Info and contact details below the fold...see y'all in two weeks...


"Presenter for International Travel series"
Asian based TV production company is seeking male or female presenters for new travelogue series within China. Series is set for international channel and broadcast.


1) Well Spoken
2) Must be able to project both a sophisticated or down to earth, casual vibe
3) Able to talk about cuisine, design and people
4) Well travelled- Having been to China is an added plus
5) Able to speak Mandarin a plus
6) Possess either an American/ British accent
7) Not too flamboyant - able to blend in with the subject.
8) Between ages 25 to 38
9) Able to relocate for filming for at least 2 months
10) All races welcome

Interested applicants can send resume and photo to Please note that mails without photo will not be entertained.

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