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Shakespeare Aside; Fil-Am Orville Mendoza is a Star…

“The Taming of the Shrew” in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre at the Old Globe 

By Joe Garbanzos

 

The Taming of the Shrew is Shakespeare’s masterpiece on romance with a comedic sauce. Orville Mendoza is a seasoned Broadway actor, proudly claims a Filipino heritage and plays Grumio. Shakespeare’s Taming and Orville, who brings 28 years of theater experience in Broadway and regional theaters, have a seamless mix that will delight the audience. Asked why people should see the show, Orville promises… “Shakespeare’s English can be fun and at first a bit challenging. But trust me, after the first few minutes, your brain just clicks, and you will be laughing with the cast.”

 

This is Orville’s 4th production at the Old Globe, and he encourages fellow Filipino Americans in the San Diego area to come out and experience live theatre again. He added, “if you’ve never been to The Old Globe before, they don’t just do Shakespeare. There is something here for everyone whether it be musicals, new plays, shows that premiere here that are on their way to Broadway or workshops for the community.”

 

The Taming of the Shrew is playing nightly from June 5th to July 10th (except Mondays) @ Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, Balboa Park in San Diego. Tickets are available at www.TheOldGlobe.org.

 

Orville’s Story

The “Taming" is Shakespeare’s great homage to Commedia dell’arte, the old Italian tradition of comedic theatre whose characters and lines still influence modern day sitcoms and films today. Orville’s story as a classic actor is inspiring and worthy of Shakespeare.

 

 On an interview with Filipino Press, Orville shared his view on self and work. “I am inspired by people who live their lives unapologetically, who know who they are and double-down on their truth? Instead of trying to fit a mold, they create their own way… only until they embraced their own uniqueness, they become wildly successful. Some of those friends are big stars now because they took the risk of being authentically themselves. That’s how I try to live my life and guide my career.”

 

The Boy from Victorville

Orville credits the great Stephen Sondheim as having a huge influence on his work. Sondheim’s pull may have set the trajectory for Orville to pursue the arts and theater. He related, “as a boy in Victorville, CA, I spent hours in the public library listening to the album of Pacific Overtures. No idea what it was, I think I knew it was a Broadway show… was mesmerized with the music and the lyrics. Little did I know that I would not only perform in the 2004 revival (with BD Wong) and the 2017 revival (with George Takei). I would end up working with Stephen Sondheim and be part of the original cast of an intimate musical, Road Show.

 

Orville is also inspired by the likes of Lea Salonga and other AAPI actors who have done trailblazing work and crossed over to the mainstream market. The pool of talented AAPI actors is there; matching talent with opportunities is a continuing challenge for many. Orville offers an insight… “Seeing Lea Salonga cross over from Miss Saigon was instrumental in showing me that a career as an actor/singer was possible for a Filipino immigrant such as myself. I’ve known Lea now for many years and have been honored to work with her either in concert or workshops for new shows. Her work ethic is superb. She also is a major inspiration and influence on me…”

 

Tough Business

Show business is tough business. Orville dispenses wise counsel to aspiring actors. “Don’t ever let anyone tell you they know the surefire path to success in show business. It’s a myth.” The pathway to fame and fortune when one achieves them is not linear. Orville continues, “As each artist is an individual with different backgrounds, each opportunity will look different from others. Don’t compare yourselves to people who may have early successes… Stay on your own path. There are no guarantees.”

 

Orville’s passion is authentic. He elaborates, “the only thing you can truly hold on to is the reasons you got into the business in the first place. Do you like to make people smile? Hold on to that. Do you like it when people are engaged in a story that you’re telling through a fictional character? Hold on to that. Do you like it when someone thanks you for your performance and you made their day a little brighter because of your acting? Hold on to that. These are the things that matters… staying true to yourself might not lead to superstardom but those goals will absolutely lead you to a long and fulfilling career.” 

 

State of Theater 

The pandemic has upended the theater business, just like all other businesses. Orville is optimistic of the future. He reflects, “I think theatre in general is a resilient business. For centuries, in every generation, it’s survived plagues and downturns in the economy. I think it’s because as humans, we have an innate need to share stories and common experiences in communal settings. I believe it’s a basic human need. I don’t know if there is another species on the planet that does that. I think for this reason, theatre will always be around. Will it make you a millionaire? Well, that’s a different question… “

 

The focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace has also reached the theater business. Casting directors and producers have found the value of casting qualified non-whites to roles that have been stereotypically cast for white actors. This is a change in business mind-set and practice. The talent has always been there; but the stereotype was the rule. Now, there is an intentional effort to cast actors using a sharper Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lens without sacrificing the quality of performance. Orville welcomes the change and thinks long overdue.

 

The multi-talented Orville

Orville credits his multiple and versatile talent – acting, dancing, singing – to his Filipino heritage. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from California State University, San Bernardino. His body of work includes The King and I, with lead star Shirley Jones. He toured with the Second National Company of Miss Saigon for 6 years. For the past 28 years, he journeyed in regional theatres across the country, working everywhere from the 5th Avenue in Seattle, to Kansas City Repertory, to The Goodspeed Opera house in Connecticut. 

 

His Broadway debut was the revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures. Orville was an original cast member on Sondheim’s final musical, Road Show, which premiered at The Public Theater/NY Shakespeare Festival. At the Public Theater, he also appeared in the “Shakespeare in the Park” production of Romeo and Juliet and Timon of Athens.

 

On TV, he appeared on episodes of Billions (Showtime), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC), he has a semi-recurring role on The Blacklist (NBC), and have sung for “John Mullaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch” on Netflix and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon. You can hear him on "Music from Season 4" album. 

 

Filipino Readers, Orville invites you to join him and with the Taming of the Shrew, he shared " This is my 4th production at the Old Globe and I want to encourage my fellow Filipino-Americans in the San Diego area to come out and experience live theatre again. If you’ve never been to The Old Globe before, they don’t just do Shakespeare. There is something here for everyone whether it be musicals, new plays, shows that premiere here that are on their way to Broadway or workshops for the community. They are also setting a wonderful new course to truly represent the communities that populate Greater San Diego whether it be through their programming or through the artists that they cast in their shows or the artisans who work backstage in the creative departments. The Old Globe is for you. Come on out and enjoy it".

 

References: Material for the article was gathered from interview with Orville Mendoza by Filipino Press on June 20th, 2022. 
 


 

 

Mga Bagong Animated na Video na Nagpapakita ng mga Pamamaraan ng Interbensyon ng Bystander


Ang mga Maaaring Gawin ng mga Pangkaraniwang Tao para Labanan ang Pagtaas ng mga Insidenteng Bunsod ng Pagkamuhi


Ayon sa pananaliksik, 75% ng mga tao ang nag-ulat na sila’y gumagawa ng interbensyon pagkatapos makatanggap ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander


Mayo 31, 2022 (New York, NY) — Ang AARP, Right To Be (dating Hollaback!), at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC ay nagtulungan ngayong Buwan ng Pamana ng Mga Asian American, Katutubo ng Hawaii, at Taga-Isla Pasipiko para makabuo ng serye ng mga animated na video para ipakita ang mga pamamaraan ng interbensyon ng bystander (paano tukuyin ang panliligalig at ligtas na gumawa ng interbensyon) sa mas malawak na saklaw ng madla. Ipinapakita ng bagong data na 75% ng mga taong nakasaksi ng panliligalig ay nag-ulat na nagawa nilang gumawa ng interbensyon pagkatapos nilang dumalo sa pagsasanay ng Right To Be.

 

Sa nakalipas na dalawang taon, naging biktima ang Asian Americans ng mga kasuklam-suklam na pag-atake at pasalitang pananakit. Sa kasamaang-palad, lalo lamang lumaki ang pangangailangan para sa pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander. Iniulat ng FBI na ang mga insidente ng krimeng bunsod ng pagkamuhi na inudyukan ng pagkiling laban sa mga Asyano noong 2020, kumpara sa 2019, ay tumaas ng 76%. Ipinapakita ng “5Ds ng Bystander Intervention,” ang animated video ng Right To Be, ang mga magagawang hakbang para tugunan ang iba’t ibang anyo ng panliligalig. 


“Nang nagsimulang makita ng Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC (Advancing Justice – AAJC) ang pagtaas ng pagkamuhi at panliligalig laban sa Asian Americans sa simula ng pandemyang COVID-19, nagawa naming makipagtulungan sa Right To Be para iakma ang kanilang pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander para tugunan ang poot at panliligalig laban sa mga Asyano,” sabi ni Marita Etcubañez, Senior Director ng Mga Estratehikong Inisyatiba ng Advancing Justice – AAJC. “Mula nang inilunsad ang aming serye ng pagsasanay noong Abril 2020, nakipag-ugnayan at nakapagbigay na ng pagsasanay ang Right To Be at Advancing Justice – AAJC sa higit sa 120,000 tao.”


Ang pamamaraan ng Right To Be ay binubuo ng limang paraan ng interbensyon ng bystander. Inilalarawan ng bawat animation ang isa sa limang paraan, na binuo at sinubukan sa nakaraang dekada ng Right To Be sa pamamagitan ng mga sesyon ng pagsasanay nito na nakatulong sa daan-daang libong Amerikano na matutuhan kung paano sagutin ang tanong na, “Ano ang dapat kong gawin?” 


“Makakasaksi tayo ng panliligalig sa iba’t ibang anyo, mula sa mga palihim na negatibong pagkilos dahil sa lahi (racial micro-aggression) sa araw-araw na buhay hanggang sa lantarang diskriminasyon sa kasarian sa lugar ng trabaho. Kadalasang gusto nating hindi lumala ang sitwasyon, pero hindi natin alam kung paano,” sabi ni Emily May, Co-Founder at Executive Director ng Right To Be. “Ipinapakita ng animated na serye kung paano pinakamahusay na pangasiwaan ang mga pagkakataon ng panliligalig bilang isang bystander. Layunin nating gawing mga kaalayado ang mga bystander!”


Tulad ng sitwasyon para sa maraming taong may kulay, nakakaramdam ang Asian Americans na hindi sila ligtas at nabubuhay sila nang may takot. Nasiyahan ang mga katuwang na makita ang pagbuhos ng suporta, dahil mahigit sandaang libong tao na ang nag-sign up para sa mga sesyon ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander, pero ngayon, sa pamamagitan ng mga bagong videong ito, sabik ang mga katuwang na organisasyon na makipag-ugnayan sa higit pang tao sa pamamagitan ng paraang ito.


“Sa pag-uulat ko tungkol sa pagkamuhi laban sa mga Asyano at mga pag-atake laban sa mga komunidad ng Black, Latina/o/x, at LGBTQIA+ sa nakaraang sampung taon, nakita ko kung paano ginugusto ng mga bystander na tumulong, pero hindi sila sigurado kung paano,” sabi ni Richard Lui, isang tagapag-ulat sa NBC News/MSNBC na nagboluntaryong idirekta ang serye sa ngalan ng Asian American Journalists Association. “Mas malaki higit kailanman ang pangangailangang mabigyan ng kakayahan ang mga tao na ligtas na gumawa ng interbensyon at bawasan ang kasidhian ng sitwasyon.”


Ang limang video ay batay sa mga 5D na estratehiya sa interbensyon ng bystander na binuo ng Right To Be: 


●    Distract (Paggambala): Paggawa ng gambala para mabawasan ang kasidhian ng sitwasyon;
●    Delegate (Pag-delegate): Paghanap ng ibang taong makakatulong;
●    Document (Pagdokumento): Pagdokumento ng insidente at pagkatapos pagbigay ng          dokumentasyon sa taong dumanas ng panliligalig;
●    Delay (Pag-antala): Pangumusta sa taong nakaranas ng panliligalig;
●    Direct (Pagdirekta): Pagtakda ng hangganan sa taong nanliligalig at pagkatapos  paglipat ng atensyon sa taong dumaranas ng panliligalig.


“Sa pamamagitan ng mga animated na videong ito, nilayon naming maipakita ang iba’t ibang uri ng tao at lugar, para makita ng mga manonood ang kanilang mga sarili sa mga bystander na nakikitang gumagawa ng interbensyon,” sabi ni Alex Lo, na gumawa ng serye.


Ang pangkat ay aktibong nasa mga talakayan para maipakita ang mga animated na videong ito sa mga sinehan ng AMC sa buong bansa kasama sa mga ipinapakita bago magsimula ang pelikula at sa mga plataporma ng Comcast NBCUniversal bilang mga anunsiyo hinggil sa pampublikong serbisyo. 

 

Pinamunuan ng animator na beterano sa industriya na si Davy Liu (Beauty and the Beast at Mulan ng Disney, at higit pa) ang pangkat ng tatlong animator, at sinulat ng pinararangalang kompositor na si Zev Burrows ang orihinal na score para sa seryeng may limang bahagi. Ang mga karakter sa serye ay kumakatawan sa bawat malaking pangkat etniko (Asyano, Black, Latinx, Katutubo, at puting Amerikano) at rehiyon ng bansa (Hilaga, Timog, Silangan, Kanluran, at Isla Pasipiko). Ibinibigay ang mga videong ito sa Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, pati na rin sa Ingles at Espanyol.

 

“Ang pagbibigay ng mga kritikal na mga materyales sa pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander sa angkop na wika ay makakatulong lalo na sa ating mga nakatatanda at taong nagsasalita ng limitadong Ingles na nalalantad sa panganib,” dagdag ni Daphne Kwok, VP ng Pagkakaiba-iba, Katarungan at Pagsasama sa AARP.


Noong unang bahagi ng nakaraang taon, isang maikling paglalarawan ng mga 5D ang lumabas sa isang anunsiyo hinggil sa pampublikong serbisyo na ginawa katuwang ang Advancing Justice - LA na isinalaysay ng aktor na si Ken Jeong at na-animate ng pinararangalang ilustrador na si James Yang. Ang mga bagong videong ito, pati na ang PSA, ay mahahalagang bahagi ng mas pinalaking pakikipagtulungan at pagkakaugnay ng Right To Be at Asian Americans Advancing Justice sa buong bansa para palawakin ang saklaw ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander.


Para sa higit pang impormasyon, kasama ang kung paano magparehistro para sa mga libreng pampublikong sesyon ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander, na pinamumunuan ng Right To Be at Advancing Justice – AAJC, tingnan ang https://righttobe.org/trainings/bystander-intervention-to-addess-antiasian-harassment/

 


 

 

 

Kick It California is here to help Californians quit smoking -- and improve their mental and physical health 
By Mark Hedin, Ethnic Media Services 

 

California is once again emerging as a leader in the fight against Big Tobacco with the California Smokers’ Helpline, renamed Kick It California — the state’s official effort to help people stop smoking.

Through Kick It California, anyone who wants to quit tobacco use – whether it’s cigarette smoking, vaping, chewing or anything else – will find an array of resources available for free on the program’s new, mobile-friendly website, kickitca.org. Other ways to get started on the path to better health include texting “Quit Smoking” to the number 66819 or calling 1-800-300-8086. The program offers services in English and Spanish, including coaching, and in some cases providing nicotine patches, gum or lozenges at no charge. 
 
Kick It California has helped more than one million Californians kick the habit. We’re here to help you take that first step toward being tobacco free — and we encourage you to check out our website for free guides and quit plans, or speak with one of our quit coaches to make a personalized quit plan that will work for you,” said Emily Aughinbaugh, Kick It California program director.

Now more than ever, it’s important for Californians to prioritize their mental health. More than half of the smokers who called California’s Quitline reported a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, drug/alcohol abuse or schizophrenia, and two-thirds faced more than one condition.

 

Notably, more than 70% of all smokers in this study tried to quit, regardless of mental health status. The high rate at which the sampled smokers sought help quitting indicates that counseling, like the services offered by Kick It California, can provide an “excellent opportunity toward improving smokers’ quality of life.”

 

Quitting smoking is a process that often takes several attempts to succeed. But, it’s well worth the effort, both for one’s physical and mental health.

 

Quitting smoking at any age is beneficial as it reduces the risk of premature death from chronic diseases and improves overall health. Over time, you lower your risk of heart disease, poor reproductive health outcomes and 12 types of cancer, including lung, liver and bladder. Within the first 24 hours of quitting, nicotine levels in the blood drops to zero. By the second week, circulation has improved and your lungs are starting to work better. Did you know that quitting can add as much as 10 years to your life expectancy?

 

In addition to spurring physical improvements, quitting tobacco use can reduce anxiety and stress — and even lead to improved mood and quality of life.

Kick It California is there to help Californians kick the habit of smoking, not only to support their physical well-being, but also their mental health.

“Every step forward counts. Start 2022 tobacco free!” Aughinbaugh of Kick It California urged.
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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