Asiansploitation – The Cast
Asiansploitation is a fast-rising comedy troupe from Toronto featuring some of the funniest emerging Asian-Pacific comedians in the city. Their debut revue “Be Pacific” in 2006 sold out on three nights and left audiences howling with laughter at their combination of sketch, improv and stand-up comedy. They’ve tackled topics from anime, office life, immigration, and science and technology gone wild all with their unique brand of Asian-Pacific humour.
SUSAN AUSTIN began her career on the improv stage in her mother’s basement at the tender age of 29. She has previously performed on Trailervision, ZED and with Jasprov. By day, she troubleshoots gas grills and electric pressure washers and dreams of one day recycling all “Made In China” goods. She’s really proud to be part of the BPAC show and wants to thank the great producers who put it together!
SANDY CHEN gave up the chance to play point guard for the Houston Comets of the WNBA in order to pursue acting and singing. Along the way, she received encouragement from an acting coach to give improv a shot. She tried it, despised it and consequently went straight into hiding for two-and-a-half years. Selective Memory Loss Syndrome — a disorder amongst those who in truth desire to try things for a second time, but are too stubborn to admit — brought Sandy back into improv this past November. So far, she has yet to experience a relapse.
PAULYNE WEI is F.O.B. (Fresh Off the Boat… ok well, a cruise ship). Having worked six years at sea, four years as an Assistant Cruise Director for Princess Cruises, she decided to abandon ship to pursue her acting career. She has studied at Sears & Switzer and Second City. Most recently she worked alongside Bruce Willis (as a blur in the background in 16 Blocks) and Antonio Banderas (with a one-second close up in Take the Lead). Be sure to look for her as a blur in many upcoming movies.
BRIAN LEE is an actor, standup comedian and mathematical physicist. He has studied improv and standup at Second City and is an apprentice with ACTRA. Brian is currently completing his PhD in String Theory at the University of Toronto, having recently returned from obtaining a Russian language diploma from Moscow State University, Russia. Big thanks to Jeff, Glenn and Gary for organizing this forum to share and express our comedic energies :)
Mabuhay! GLENN GABRIEL is a graduate of Second City’s Conservatory program and has studied improv at Second City and the Bad Dog Theatre since 1999. He has appeared in numerous Bad Dog Theatre improv shows including Midweek Mayhem, That Friday Show and the improv parody The Uh-O.C. He thanks his family and friends, fellow students and teachers, past and present, for helping him along the artistic path.
GENE ABELLA has studied and performed improvisational theatre for the last seven years. A graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory, he also taught improv for their educational program. Gene has appeared in the Toronto Fringe play Lonnie & Mack: B-sides and Offroads and Christ II: This Time, It’s Personal at the Berkeley Street Theatre and in the independent short films Paranoia in the Laundrette, ’Pocalypse Now and Poor Sanchez.
DARREL GAMOTIN is very grateful to be able to collaborate with such funny and dedicated Pacific folk. Darrel is currently in the Conservatory program at Second City and has just finished a movie called Ang Pamana: The Inheritance due out this summer. Check it out at inheritedadventures.blogspot.com/
GARY CHAN is a Toronto-based improviser and clown who performs at Bad Dog Theatre improv shows such as Midweek Mayhem, Theatresports and That Friday Show. Gary has studied improv at the Bad Dog Theatre and Second City and has also studied clowning with Pochinko clown masters Michael Kennard & John Turner (Mump & Smoot) and Sue Morrison. He appeared in the 2005 clown play Primal Broads.
MAX MINAGAWA is thrilled to be part of this show. Max just had an apartment makeover in the reality TV show Neat on HGTV. He is also a graduate of Second City Toronto’s first-ever full-year writing program. When not writing sketches or plotting conspiracies, he can be seen doing standup in local venues. He wants to thank Gary, Glenn and Jeff for their hard work, fellow comedians for sharing the journey (and being Asian) and all of his friends for inspiration and support.
JEFF SANTOS is an accomplished improviser, musician and singer. Jeff has improvised extensively in Bad Dog Theatre shows such as Theatresports, Stars Warz and That Friday Show. His improv troupe, Bitchfest, competed in the 2005 Cage Match improv tournament at Clinton’s. A talented musician, Jeff is the accompanyist at Rochelle Wilson’s monthly all-female improv show The GRRRLZ Show and put his singing talents to fine use in the 2005 Toronto Fringe play Karaoke The Musical.
DAMON LUM is thrilled to be a part of this show. An improviser by trade, Damon is always willing to expand his horizons to cover other aspects of the performing arts. He has studied and performed improv with the Bad Dog Theatre Company as well as stage managed for some of its productions, such as Hairy Patter and the Improviser’s Stone and A Twisted Christmas Carol. He has also worked with talented actors with various special needs. Finally, he is a co-producer for an open improv jam called Jammin’ on the One. His ultimate goal is to teach improv and drama in high schools.
JAMES CHENG makes his sketch acting debut with Asiansploitation after working on improv in Quebec years back. In his spare time, James likes to do laundry and teach English. If you spot him in a retail aisle near you, don’t forget to ask him for some laundry tips!
JANE LUK directed and produced The Fabulous Smokey Topaz for the Toronto Fringe as well as the comedy short Death Star Repairmen by Darryl Gold. Jane created and directed her own comedy short, How to be More Chinese, which won critical acclaim at the Asian American Showcase in Chicago and the Cabbagetown Film Festival for Best Comedy as well as other film festivals across the country. Jane plays Cam Belter in the new comedy series Billable Hours for Showcase. On Global’s Train 48 she was evil Agnes, for Lifetime Network Missing as Officer Tamita, World Improv Championships — Just for Laughs (Improvisor) and a four-time nominee for Funniest Female Improvisor at the Canadian Comedy Awards.
About Asiansploitation…Gary Chan, Glenn Gabriel & Jeff Santos (Producers) The Asiansploitation comedy troupe began in 2003 when Gary, Glenn and Jeff met at the Bad Dog Theatre. While taking classes and performing together, they met other Asian- Pacific improvisers and actors with comedy on their brains. Our mission is to produce a regular showcase where Asian-Pacific artists of all experience levels can perform sketch, improv and standup comedy. For more info, e-mail us at email@example.com or visit our blog at asiancomedy.blogspot.com