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Talk It Up! Inspiring Asian Americans

A Talk Variety Show ~ Asian American Style!

Fun! Prizes! Music! Comedy! Dance! Hypnotism! Inspiration! An entertaining time for the whole family!

Asian Americans have gone through a lot these past few years and it’s time we celebrate how amazing we are! Talk It Up! features an array of Asian Americans that will inspire, entertain and uplift you! Each night features a different line-up you won’t want to miss! Plus, we’ll offer opportunities for the audience to join in the fun for chances to win prizes or enjoy watching those you know get on stage! What better way to #StopAAPIHate?

Hosted by theatre artist Kathy Hsieh!

At the Theatre Off Jackson
409 7th Ave S, Seattle WA 98104
located near the SW corner of Jackson Street & 7th Ave S
In Seattle’s Chinatown/International District

Tickets are available at: click4tix.com/TalkItUp

Walk-up tickets are available. Credit card payments are preferred. Tickets prices at the door for those paying with cash are $20 general admission, $10 students/seniors/artists/teachers.

Friday, September 23, 2022 from 7:30pm – 9:15pm
* Hang out with TV & Film star Amy Hill of Magnum P.I., 50 First Dates, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Lilo & Stitch
* Get the inside scoop with celebrated performer Susan Lieu of 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother
* Raymond Sismaet brings joy to all as Ukulele206
* Local comedian Cindy Su fresh from Kiki Funny Mama’s Night Out will have you laughing out loud
* You’ll be humming the original songs of the multi-talented Justin Huertas of international hit Lizard Boy
* Award-winning Dr. Anu Taranath, author of Beyond Guilt Trips, provides great life advice tips
* Voted “Seattle’s #1 Elvis” Tony Colinares of Graceland Manila and will rock you Elvis-style
* DJ RowzRoyce will enliven the evening with his musical creativity
* Experience the enchantment of dance from Central Asia, Iran and Caucasus with Eurasia Ensemble

Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 7:30pm – 9pm
* Experience Maritess Zurbano – the only Filipina-American magician and hypnotist in history
* Raymond Sismaet shares his remarkable story from near death to bringing joy as Ukulele206
* Model Minority Moms are a trio of Asian American moms using humor to deal with the reality of life
* The multi-talented Justin Huertas of Lizard Boy fame unveils his upcoming projects in NYC & DC
* Local comedian Cindy Su fresh from Kiki Funny Mama’s Night Out will have you laughing out loud
* DJ RowzRoyce will enliven the evening with his musical creativity
* MMDC Dance Company will delight with their visually vibrant dance fusing contemporary and classical

Line-up each night subject to change. Check back here for latest updates.

Directions & Parking for Theatre Off Jackson.

Like our Facebook page for more insights on the show and the artists involved! Follow us on Twitter @SeattleSIS!

Design, Backstage and Front of House Support: Rachel Rene Araucto, David Hsieh, Grecia Leal Pardo, Josh Valdez, and Rex Waters.

Special thanks to 4Culture for their support.

Who’s Who:

Tony Colinares is a Seattle-based singer, actor, and musician who was voted “Seattle’s #1 Elvis” at the Seattle Elvis Invitationals in 2016. He has worked with Sining Kilvsan, a Filipino Arts/Theatre Group where his favorite role was Detective Dobo, a bumbling cop who always got the crook. He has also appeared in Letters to a Student Revolutionary with the Northwest Asian American Theatre, and on the television show Northern Exposure

Eurasia Ensemble – In the early 1980s about 40 years ago, Emiko Grace Nur Nakamura established the Eurasia Academy and Ensemble at Ivan-Novikoff Russian American Ballet School. teaching children and adults the classical dances of the Silk Road heritages. With the Motto, “Freedom in Movement with Entire Body’s Expression.” Her Dance Eurasia Ensemble has two performing groups, one is Central Asian and the other is Persian, Afghan and Azeri. They traveled and entertained throughout the United States in these many decades.
Currently she is organizing a Eurasia Virtual Academy with Central Asia and with the Caucasus. Master teachers are instructing students for the Greater Seattle of Washington State but also throughout the United States, Europe and Japan in multiple languages. Emiko is, of course, also strengthening her local Concerts, Classes and Workshops by collaborating with local experts.
Emiko Grace Nur Nakamura is a Co-Recipient of Gordon Ekvall Tracie Memorial Award for the excellence in preserving and propagating the ethnic arts and tradition, issued by Ethnic Heritage Council of the North Western State. She has also received “BEST Dance Teacher Award” from TURKCHA women’s charitable organization of Kirkland for her instruction for Anadolu Youth Ensemble of Turkish-American Cultural Association of Washington in 2016.
Emiko was born in Japan, the daughter of a dance teacher and well-cherished Actor and Drummer at the Youth Theater who started her in dance, acting  and singing when she was three years old. After decades of instruction in Russian Ballet and other dance forms such as International Ballroom Dancing and Indian Classical Dances. Emiko felt deep destiny and was immediately drawn to Silk Road Style Dances when a dance group from the People’s Republic of China visited Osaka in 1988. “My great-great-grandfather was an officer in a Friendship Delegation from the Ottoman Empire that came to visit the Emperor of Japan.” Being Middle Eastern (Turkic and Iranian) as well as East Asian in heritage, Emiko has been dedicating her lifetime to Silk Road Dance Styles.

Amy Hill is an American character actress and comedian known for often playing Grandmother or motherly type roles in both live action and voice roles. Hill’s first major role was as Yung-Hee “Grandma” Kim on All-American Girl. Hill is a regular on Magnum P.I. and has been a mainstay on American television as a regular in 6 series while many of her roles being recurring roles the most notable roles being, Mrs. DePaulo on That’s So Raven, Mama Tohru on Jackie Chan Adventures, Mrs. Hasagawa on Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Ah-Mah Jasmine Lee in The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, Judy Harvey in Enlightened, and American Dad! as Mah Mah.

Hill is currently a series regular on the Amazon Video Web television show Just Add Magic along with recurring in UnReal as Dr. Wagerstein on the basic cable network Lifetime and The CW romantic comedy musical Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Lourdes Chan. This season, she’s added The Great Indoors as the head of HR, and returns as Beverly in Mom. She’s also made guest appearances on dozens of TV shows including Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Sarah Silverman Program, Friends, Night Court, and Seinfeld.

In film, she is perhaps best known for her roles as Mrs. Kwan in The Cat in the Hat, Sue in 50 First Dates, and Mrs. Ho-Kim in Next Friday.

Kathy Hsieh (she/her) is an award-winning theatre artist recently featured in The Shattered Glass Project’s Want, Sound Theatre’s Gaslight (Angel Street) (Bella), Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Drum & ColoursHamlet (Gertrude) and As You Like It (Phebe), Book-It’s audio adventure The Three Musketeers (Constance & Kitty), and Macha Theatre Works’ Notes for My Daughter and Snow Woman. She has also worked with SIS Productions, Pratidhwani, PFP, ReAct, Seattle Rep, ACT, Intiman, Taproot, ArtsWest, Seattle Public Theater, Living Voices, WET, Theater Mu, The Playwrights Realm, and more. Next, you can catch her in Pony World Theatre’s Not / Our Town at 12th Avenue Arts in November.

Justin Huertas (he/him) is an award-winning playwright, composer, lyricist, and actor. His first musical LIZARD BOY recently made its international debut at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival to great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. This fall, he’ll make his NYC concert debut at 54 Below with Justin Huertas: Yoda Says Do. Justin will also premiere 2 new musicals next Spring: THE MORTIFICATION OF FOVEA MUNSON at the Kennedy Center and LYDIA & THE TROLL at Seattle Rep.

Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese-American playwright, performer, and author who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. With a vision for healing, her work delves deeply into the lived realities of body insecurity, grieving, and intergenerational trauma with humor. She took her autobiographical solo theatre show “140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother” on a 10-city national tour with sold out premieres and accolades from L.A. Times, NPR, and American Theatre. She is currently working on her forthcoming memoir, The Manicurist’s Daughter, soon to be published through Celadon Books (Macmillan). You can hear her process intergenerational trauma and the complicated meaning of success on her podcast “Model Minority Moms.” A Harvard, Yale, and Hedgebrook alum, Susan is also the co-founder of Socola Chocolatier, an artisanal chocolate company in San Francisco. 

MMDC dance company performs classical dance styles (Contemporary, Korean music background, Modern, Jazz-ish, Ballet-Ish).

Model Minority Moms: Being a minority woman, professional, and parent today is not easy–it can feel downright impossible sometimes. We get the message from society, family, and past traumas that we should be able to do it all perfectly, with every millisecond infused with pure radiant joy. But life is often messy, confusing, depressing, monotonous, anxious, lonely, invisible, shameful, and bone-tiring. The gap between the many many “shoulds” and our reality can lead us to consume so much energy putting on a front and chasing a path that harms us and our kids. On our podcast Model Minority Moms, we affirm that you’re not crazy, validate that your lived experience is real and shared, and share our own journeys to what is important in life.
Jeanette is MMM’s “momager” who runs a tight ship and keeps it afloat. She’s a repeat entrepreneur, fount of Korean proverbs, and mom to Isaiah (4 yrs) and Ruth (2 yrs). In her past life, she’s been a McKinsey consultant, Harvard MBA, Amazon product manager, owner of a Korean restaurant, and founder of a prepared meals delivery service. She lives in Seattle and is currently building a data analytics software company. Jeanette grew up in Los Angeles after immigrating from South Korea, and studied Economics at Harvard, where she met her husband, Jake.
Kate is MMM’s resident products nerd and social media stalker. She spent most of her career internationally, has a not-so-secret potty mouth, and is mom to Raya (2.5 yrs) and Leela (5 months). A trilingual business professional, she has 15 years of cross-sectoral experience in the social and private sectors spanning data consulting, higher education, public health, and philanthropy, and is a best-selling author in China. She lives on Mercer Island with her kids and husband Nirav, and works for a Chinese higher education data analytics consulting firm overseeing its Africa clientele. After immigrating to the US from China at age 6, she grew up in Washington state and studied Psychology and French at Harvard.
Susan is MMM’s comedic soul and creative voice. She is a Vietnamese-American playwright, performer, activist, and author, and is mom to Art (2 yrs). Susan co-founded a chocolate company, Socola Chocolatier, with her sister, and is a Yale MBA and former management consultant who left the business world to pursue her passion for the arts. She lives in West Seattle with Art and her husband Marvin, and is working on her forthcoming memoir, The Manicurist’s Daughter, to be published in 2023 with Celadon (Macmillan). The daughter of Vietnamese boat refugees, Susan grew up in the Bay Area and studied Social Studies (yes that’s a real major but we call it a “concentration”) at Harvard. 

Raymond Sismaet – My parents moved from the Philippines to the US where I was born in Oakland California.  My dad served in the US Navy, which allowed us to live in various areas around the Pacific. His last duty station was Sandpoint Naval Air Station in Seattle.  I attended Nathan Hale High School and the University of Washington.  I live in Shoreline with my wife, Jill. We have the fortune of raising three amazing young ladies.
In 2009, I picked up an ukulele as a performance prop as a Seafair Clown.  I have since continued my musical artistic expression as Ukulele206.  I perform at local farmers markets, public events and private venues.  I continue to share the spirit of aloha in which the ukulele represents – the quickest way to connect with others.

Cindy Su is a Taiwanese stand-up comedian and actor with a masters in mental health counseling.  She has been in film, commercials, and music videos but her dream job is to do cartoon voices.

Dr. Anu Taranath brings both passion and expertise to her work as a speaker, facilitator, author and educator. A University of Washington professor for the past 20 years, she teaches about race, gender, equity, and global literatures. As a racial equity and DEI consultant, she offers coaching, training, facilitation and other types of partnerships. Her book “Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World” was a Washington State Book Award Finalist and on Oprah Magazine’s “Best 26 Travel Books of All Times” list. Dr. Anu and her book have been profiled in The Washington Post, YES!, AFAR, Bitch, Mindful and National Geographic magazines. Find her at www.anutaranath.com

Maritess Zurbano’s magic life includes a brief stint as a professional blackjack dealer, baccarat player, work as a master phone psychic, and headlining her own illusion show in Japan. She was nominated to compete in the World Championship of Magic at the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques 2000 in Lisbon. 
Zurbano is regularly profiled in the media and asked for her opinion on magic and the occult. Media like Newsday, Lifetime Television, BBC News, Epoch Times, and The Village Voice quote her and write about her work. Zurbano is the only Filipina-American magician and hypnotist in history. She writes about her life in magic and has received fellowships at Jack Straw and Hedgebrook. Her prose and editorials on magic can be found in Ms. Magazine, The Seattle Times, and The Chicago Reader. Her one-woman magic plays have been produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and the New York Ars Nova Theater Festival with dramaturgy from the New York Public Theater.