Let’s face it. I can’t sing, I can’t beatbox and I most definitely cannot strum any chords. But if there was one thing that motivated me to pursue one or all of the above, it would be the 2013 Kollaboration Chicago auditions. Maybe it’s all wishful thinking but I guarantee you would not disagree if you were in my shoes last Saturday.

I admit, I wasn’t in the audition room that day. I wasn’t even on the same floor. I was on the stairs, meeting each and every contestant face-to-face, shaking their hands and seeing them politely crack a smile at my lame attempt to get the conversation rolling. (If we met Saturday and you’re reading this, stop laughing!)

Standing next to Irene, my camerawoman, I coached each person through the on-camera interview process. Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “I may be standing in front of the next Far East Movement! or Dumbfoundead!” Seeing so many talented Asian American artists in Chicago come audition for our show made me feel like a proud parent, shedding a tear at my child’s first ballet recital. I even got a front row seat to a few performance pieces in between takes!

The staff could not contain our excitement from meeting and seeing all the passionate Chicago performers. We had no choice but to take it to the dance floor for an impromptu dance battle.

I say, this is only the beginning of our journey to continue uncovering the gems in Chicago’s very own APIA (Asian Pacific Islander American) entertainment community. As a member of this year’s executive board, I want to walk alongside our talented local artists and support their dreams in the performing arts. I may not sing, beatbox or play guitar but I sure can scream at the top of my lungs, “GO KOLLABORATION CHICAGO! I’m behind you all the way!”