Reflection: The 27th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference

So back on January 28, 2012, Forword got a chance to perform at APAAC at our Alma matter, UCIrvine.  The event was held APSA UCIrvine.  We performed alongside fellow artists: Andrew Figueroa Chiang, Beau Sia, Justin Hamady, and many more.

First off, I gotta say it was an honor to be invited and perform in front of our fellow APIA people, so much so that we even wrote a new piece specifically for this event entitled: “Metta World Piece” (okay, honestly, we’re still working on a title). 

It had been a while since we wrote a new group piece, but we were motivated to write a poem about being a part of this community, address the misconceptions of “being asian”, and maybe even provide a new way of looking at things.  It took us a total of 2 weeks to write and rehearse it.  Because of our busy schedules and where we all lived (OC, different parts of LA), we took advantage of 21st Century technology and practiced over Google+ Hangout.  Given the time crunch, we weren’t able to memorize the piece, but we were able to get our timing down and just polish the piece.

When we got to the stage, we did a little blocking and mic checks to make sure everything was working fine.  We also ran into our good friend and AMAZING singer, Andrew Figueroa Chiang, we exchanged hugs and handshakes and sat down to watch his mic check.  And woo, what a mic check it was.  It goes without saying, that the audience would not be prepared for the kind of soulful ride that Mr. Chiang would be taking them that evening.  I even joked around (but serious) with Stephanie that we’d need to get a couple mops out here to soak up all the melted hearts after his set.

A few minutes before the show started we took pictures with the APSA staff and greeted some familiar faces: from the Tuesday Night Project, Common Ground, Beau Sia, and Justin Hamady of Uncultivated Rabbits.  After the photo, we all sort of dispersed and tried to find a bit relaxation before we had to go up. 

First one up was Justin, who set the tone for the evening with his poetry AND mastery of the mic (spitting).  When it came time for our set, we had 10 minutes so we performed “Writer’s Block” and then premiered the new piece, “Metta World Piece”.  I thought it went pretty well (sans a little flub on my part in “Writer’s Block”).  After our set, we sat down and enjoyed the rest of the show.

I’d like to say thank you to Beau Sia for sharing new pieces.  It was just great to be a part of the audience and listen to some raw and personal pieces.

Overall, it was an awesome show.  Thanks to APSA Irvine for organizing the event and inviting us to perform.  It was a great way to kick-off 2012.

- Mark

[ Posted on 2.23.12 / 4 notes ]
Tags:   #forword spoken word    #spoken word    #andrew figueroa chiang    #beau sia    #apsa    #APAAC    #uncultivated rabbits

forWord Feature: Don’t Censor My SP!T!

Tuesday, March 6th
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
At the Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 South Spring Street
, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Urban Theatre Movement’s increasingly popular Spoken Word Series: SP!T, is back and ready for the 2012 season!

Our voices won’t be Silenced!

A.L.Pharaoh - SP!T Slam Team
Aileen Alfaro
Antonio “Paz One” Appling Feat. Noize - The Definitive Soap Box Open Mic
Ashley Catharine - Brass Knuckles LA Slam Team
Brian “SuperB” Oliva - IE National Slam Team
Candace Nicholas-Lippman - Spoken Word Ministries
Caroline Chang - Uncultivated Rabbits
Chris D’Annunzio
Daryl Anthony Harper
Eddie “Edgar Allen Swole” Rojas
Eddy M. Gana Jr - forWord
Essence Brown - SP!T Slam Team
Marissa Pitts
Mark Rolston
Samantha Parks - SP!T Slam Team
Stephanie Sajor - forWord

Invite your friends! foes! family!

Directed By Alex Alpharaoh and Amery Ken Thao
Stage Managed By Caitlin Miller

Seats are $10 at the door
for more info hit us up

Two members of forWord, Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana Jr. made it past auditions and will be in the Urban Theatre Movement’s next production! Stephanie and Eddy were former cast members in SP!T 2 with Mark Maza and subsequently SP!T 3 with Mark and Susan Diep representing in full force as forWord. Feels good to be home so please come through and support for the third time around the block!

This show is for everyone who values the freedom to express!

[ Posted on 2.21.12 / 3 notes ]
Tags:   #forword    #forword news    #forword feature    #spit    #SP!T    #latc    #los angeles theatre center    #SuperB    #uncultivated rabbits    #the definitive soapbox    #brass knuckles

Reflection: UR Presents Poetry Showcase!

How fitting that right around our first anniversary as forWord, we had the honor to be a part of “UR Presents Poetry Showcase,” an event put together by Uncultivated Rabbits, the organization that set this ball rolling to begin with.

Kevin Mai and Nghiem Le kept the crowd entertained with their hosting skills as current Rabbits members (V-Rabbit, Kevin, Andy, Meghan, Nghiem, Chris, Caesar) kicked off the night with an opening set, showing off their own ensemble of impressive poetic stylings.

What also made this event so awesome was the lineup, all consisting of poets we’ve had the pleasure to work with in the past: Kasi TeYana, Brandon Melendez, Tim Cheung aka Big Brother, and Antonio PazOne Appling.

forWord finished off the night with a 1-2-3-4 structured set: solo, duo, trio, and finally a piece with all four of us. Then, forWord + Kevin Mai + Elaine Torres went to In-N-Out for a mini after-event celebratory meal!

I speak for myself when I say this, but I’m sure the rest of forWord feels the same way: We owe so much to the Rabbits as an organization. If UR had not existed, the four of us would not have crossed paths, and therefore there would be no forWord. And ultimately, we wouldn’t be the people we are today. For that, I am forever grateful.

-Stephanie Sajor

[ Posted on 12.31.11 / 4 notes ]

Uncultivated Rabbits + Heartstorms

We have two events coming up NEXT WEEK!


Uncultivated Rabbits Presents Poetry Showcase
Wednesday, November 16th
7 PM - 9 PM
PCB (Parkview Classroom Building) 1100, UC Irvine, CA

  • We will be returning to our alma mater, UC Irvine. Each and every one of us is an anteater at heart. ZOT ZOT! Uncultivated Rabbits is the one and only spoken word organization on campus so it is not that surprising that is how we all met during our undergrad years. We will be collaborating with the current generation of Rabbits as well as our multi-talented friends from Long Beach representing Break the Silence! and The Definitive Soapbox.


Sunday, November 20th
8 PM - 11 PM
The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center
4305 Degnan Ave #101
Los Angeles, CA

  • This event had been put on hold, but now it will definitely happen! We guarantee this is a show you will not want to miss. Created by Lady Basco and Tara Malia, they have invited the Speak Easy family to share their stories once more in an innovative production illustrating how an open mic on a Monday night can evoke the human connection in all of us. 

If you have missed us before and are in Southern California, you are in luck because the first show will be in OC and then the next one will be in LA. Both events are FREE!

[ Posted on 11.8.11 ]