Posts in Hollywood
Best of 2016: Sophia in Review

The last 4 months were some of the worst in my entire life and I have never been so happy to say welcome a new year!

2016 was a 9 year, which completes a 9-year-cycle (of horrific pain, apparently) that signifies endings, letting go, and forgiveness. 2017 is a 1 year and I'm already ecstatic!

Despite the utter hell, there are still amazing moments in 2016 to honor:

SOPHIA'S SUPERLATIVES: 2016 IN REVIEW

1) BEST Moment of 2016:

I usually celebrate my birthday for a week, but I crammed all four parties (including a baptism!) into 2.5 days. It took me about a week to recover. WORTH IT.

Here's 80% the footage from the weekend crammed into less than 4 minutes. Watch for the gift of a lifetime - something unicorns use to poop rainbows...

 

2)Best New Project 2016: Griot good

Lee-Sean Huang has been collaborating with me to use our Harvard degrees to completely ruin the Asian American reputation for more years than we would like to divulge. 

This year we filmed an Asian fusion cooking show called Griot Good, where we coordinate our outfits to the theme and cuisine.

I hope my dad is glad he pushed me so hard.

3) BEST WRITING FROM 2016:

Apparently people love when I share how unbearably painful my life is in gory detail, so here you go - Sophia's latest piece on the endless regrets that make up my life! Click the photo

4) Best Trip in 2016:

I spent an amazing week in Philadelphia before my annual trip home to NYC, and Nick Lachey even made my pizza:

Full post from Facebook:

Most of you know that SYTYCD was instrumental in my becoming a pro dancer way back in my Hollywood years. What I haven't mentioned is that the Sing-Off is what inspired me to finally audition for an a capella group, which took me around SoCal performing for awesome events. (see celebrities HERE)

Last night in Philly I got to tell Nick Lachey what that show inspired me to do and he thought it was super cool.

5) single Best Thing About 2016:

Becoming a Christian. Two weeks ago I celebrated my one year (re)birthday in Christ. My life has changed irrevocably - I've healed in ways I haven't been able to for 3 decades, and I broke a dating addiction I've had for over twenty years (articles on those coming soon).

I also started a personal blog and some of my best articles are there about my spiritual and relationship lessons from my (painful) life. Visit FiftyTwoFaces

6) honorable header mention - COSPLAY OF 2016:

The mysterious redhead in the lower header photo is me performing live band karaoke at the Hard Rock Cafe as Black Widow. <--yes there is a video

 
Captain Asian America, Yellow Widow, and Spider Pinoy at the MARVEL Avengers premiere. I rode the gold line like this and nobody batted an eye.

Captain Asian America, Yellow Widow, and Spider Pinoy at the MARVEL Avengers premiere. I rode the gold line like this and nobody batted an eye.

 

Like the vids on this post? Click Like and Share below:

Filming Griot Good in Phoenix
© 2016 Lee-Sean Huang and Sophia Chang

© 2016 Lee-Sean Huang and Sophia Chang

#nomad2015 has concluded!

Introducing Griot Good

I spent the 13th and final month on the road in beautiful Arizona shooting the first season of my brand new cooking show with fellow storyteller Lee-Sean Huang.

Griots are West African traveling storytellers and musicians. LS and I have wandered the world eating and singing since our Harvard days (much longer than we care to remember) and now we're bringing you the goods in food culture!

© 2016 Sophia Chang

© 2016 Sophia Chang

There could not have been a better way to start 2016.

We cooked and ate until I had heartburn, did yoga, watched Melrose Place (the original) late into the night, hiked the stunning Sonoran desert in a desperate attempt to lose what we were gaining, and made mochi versions of everything.

Episode 1 is live now! We're dressing up in traditional Chinese wear and making Beer + Chocolate Short Ribs on a Spicy Slaw. It takes 100 subscribers to get us a personalized URL so we'd really appreciate if you subscribe to our Youtube!

 

We are @griotgood on all social media:

Instagram

Facebook

Youtube

Twitter

Website

Sophia's Bucketlist: Drum Lesson from John Chong of Run River North

A gazillion years ago Kevin Kim, my APA Bachelor of the Month 2012 told me I had to go see his bandmate's OTHER band. So I show up at this hipster little venue in Silverlake and met the BEST BAND EVER.

I evidently did something stupid and lost the photos of me with Run River North at their first big show at the Satellite, so here's one of RRN attending The Nehemiah Band's show in East LA.

Look it's keyboardist Sally (L) and lead singer Alex (R) © 2015 Sophia Chang

Look it's keyboardist Sally (L) and lead singer Alex (R) © 2015 Sophia Chang

Every time Run River North plays the Troubadour, I stand behind John Chong and gape slackjawed as his manbun unfurls repeatedly in the ecstasy of his drumming. It's been on my bucketlist for a few years to take drum lessons from him.

John takes us around the world for five seconds © 2015 Sophia Chang

John takes us around the world for five seconds © 2015 Sophia Chang

Tonight I caught up with John after the RRN concert in Orange County and told him my dream. He immediately led me onstage to his own kit for an impromptu lesson.

THIS HAPPENED:

I promised a photo of me and the NBA-sized Chong brothers in the video, but alas it is floating in the ether of "Sophia Doesn't Back Things Up Anal-Retentively Enough."

FOLLOW ME on Periscope to catch more bucket list hijinks on #nomad2015!

The Ballad of Dante Basco

This photo has been decades in the making.

psst...that's exec producer Phil Yu of&nbsp; Angry Asian Man &nbsp;peeking over heads in the background. #stayangry

psst...that's exec producer Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man peeking over heads in the background. #stayangry

The Chinese have a term called yuanfen, which Wikipedia defines as "fateful coincidence" and my parents defined simply as people who were meant to run into each other over and over.

I have this with Dante Basco.

The Endless Saga of Sophia's Yuanfen with Dante Basco

I watched Hook like 20 times as a tween. Now dreamboat Rufio, my future husband (after Keanu Reeves), was standing there in a suit.

I first saw him as the leader of the lost boys when I was in elementary school in New York.

10 years later I moved to Hollywood with a pair of flip-flops and a newly minted degree from Harvard that did absolutely nothing for my career as a film and TV actor. (It's also way more freezing here than the pictures show.)

After accosting Ang Lee at an awards ceremony (who already knew who I was because my mother had accosted him in Asia a few weeks ago), I saw HIM.

Dante.

That was the very first time we exchanged numbers, which I'm sure he kept framed by his bedside.

After sleeping with the phone under my pillow for 3 months and my door unlocked in case he wanted to drop by, I finally accepted the truth.

He had lost my number.

You can READ THE FULL ACCOUNT HERE. Needless to say, I never saw Rufio again.

October 2011

My bookworm friends forced me to watch Airbender, where Dante had become Zuko. I featured him on my old YA writing blog as the October Crush of the Month and it immediately became the #1 read post.

Then this happened:

The decade-long disappearance (and name misspelling) is immediately forgiven. 

August 2013

Just another day visiting the headquarters of Screen Actors Guild for a singing workshop.

Walking out of SAG is him.

"Dante! I'm Sophia Chang."

"Oh, I follow your blog."

When he heard I was a writer we exchanged contacts again.

Silence ensued.

Dante, ever-fleeting.

Bless you Joz for aZn-ing out in this photo

Bless you Joz for aZn-ing out in this photo

July 2015

I'm attending the red carpet screening of Awesome Asian Bad Guys with my beautiful friend Joz of 8Asians.

There he is in front of the cameras.

Pix or it didn't happen, I say to myself. There's no escaping this time.

And Dante says, "I still follow your blog."

...not The End...

My New French Boyfriend Gilles Marini

The Yardbirds sang at the Angel Awards again this year, benefiting Project Angel Food.  At last year's awards, we shared our green room with some Glee kids.

This year, I met my new boyfriend, Gilles Marini of ABC's Brothers and Sisters, Dancing with the Stars and Switched at Birth.

 talking with my new boyfriend and his, um, wife

I can't gush enough about how down to earth Gilles and his wife are, so I'll just say

BACK OFF LADIES!

I also embarrassed myself by stalking Alan Cumming, whose Scottish accent is unbearably adorable.

We lacked altos for this gig so two of us sopranos had to swing parts at the last minute and did a great job faking finesse.  Here are the boys starting House of Blue Lights: (you can see Cylon-girl Tricia Helfer in the bottom right corner)

How I Became A Dancer

When I first got to Hollywood, I wanted to be Christina Aguilera's back-up dancer.

I threw myself into ballet and hip-hop classes, even this thing called Pilates until I developed bursitis and had no idea how to rehab it.  So I put my dream away.

Then The Universe Happened

In 2005, FOX debuted a reality show called So You Think You Can Dance.

I saw a Paso Doble for the first time, with a real Russian ballroom dancer. I finally realized the genius that is Wade Robson, who at that time was little more than a bleach-haired white kid from Orange County who purportedly danced like a black guy. I cried after every piece, in awe that this kind of dance was finally on network TV.

Something in me stirred.  I wanted to dance again, bad.

Getting the Call

The Universe has a way of responding to requests.

I received a recommendation to a trainer who knew exactly how to rehab my bursitis (as well as a car accident injury I had further accumulated in Hollywood.) I went to the gym every day.  In months I was stronger than I had ever been.

And that summer, as I dreamed in front of the TV, I got the call.

My agency phoned me with an audition for an untitled film directed by Julie Taymor (Frida, Broadway's The Lion King) featuring songs by the Beatles.

For a dancing role.

"But these are professional dancers!"

"You're a professional dancer," the agent replied.

After two sets of three-hour auditions and an amazing phone call later, I was indeed, a professional dancer.

That movie, you may have guessed, turned out to be Across the Universe, starring Evan Rachel Wood.

Singing with GLEE at the Angel Awards

Damian, Samuel, me, Lindsay and Marisa (another Yardbird soprano)

Last night the Harvard Yardbirds, my a capella group, performed at Project Angel Food's Angel Awards honoring Glee producer Dante Di Loreto.  (Look, we're even mentioned in Los Angeles magazine!)

What a surprise to run into our fellow performers: three of the finalists from The Glee Project!  Damian, Samuel and Lindsay were super sweet (and really tall! I'm wearing 4-inch heels in the photo.)

We got to catch Damian's sound check, where his Irish accent killed the Yardbird ladies:

We were okay too...

Catch the finale of The Glee Project tonight and see if one of these adorable singers lands a spot on Glee!

Photoshoot for Gemco Jewelry

I feel like a Greek goddess from my novel

In April I did a photoshoot for Gemco Jewelry, an awesome family-owned retailer here in SoCal.

We found photographers prettyGeeky through the power of the internet. prettyGeeky scouted amazing locales:

  • a helipad on the rooftop of a luxury downtown L.A. apartment, where we were shut down by security
  • a secluded cove on an Orange County beach that slowly flooded us out of our location

For more photos, including a behind-the-scenes breakdown, check out "G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S", prettyGeeky's blog post documenting our shoot.

50 degrees and high winds, but so worth it