I consider myself a living blender. I'm really, really bad at picking one thing; the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none approach has always worked well for me. Thanks to my parents, even being properly Asian-American or properly White was beyond me, and it all spiraled out of control from being born a half-breed. (It sounds so much cooler when you say it that way, doesn't it?) I'm half math/science nerd and half performing arts geek. All the pop music I write sounds sort of J-Pop and vaguely Eurobeat (thank you, DDR) and all the theatrical stuff I write floats somewhere between musical theater and opera. I guess the only way I've ever managed to thwart my “Aw, let's COMPROMISE!” nature is by not being bisexual.
Oh well. There's always tequila.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and spent ten years in math/science/engineering schools because I wanted to be a software engineer. I LOVE programming, probably for the same reason I love writing music: I enjoy creating something and then seeing it come to life. I started taking music lessons when I started high school and shortly thereafter began writing my own songs. I was already performing lead roles in our musical theater department and even starting to dabble in musical direction when I talked the drama teacher into producing a musical that I wanted to write. (If she ever writes a biography, there will be a chapter called, “THE STUPIDEST THING I EVER AGREED TO.”)
In 2005, I jumped straight into the deep end and wrote my first full-length musical. After graduating, I decided to pursue a degree in music composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB, I was musical director for ten musicals with Shrunken Head Productions and started my own record label and production/publishing company called Manuka Music. As a senior thesis, I staged an original opera and an original play that make the opening lines of Chicago sound like a long walk on the beach. I took a year off to move to Florida, partly to cure my academic burnout, partly to join a rock band with my friend Jason Andrews, and partly to work a nine-to-five in a vain attempt to mitigate the lifetime of debt ahead of me, thank you NYU. I then spent two years in NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program to earn my MFA.
Other than music and theater and geeky things like D&D, I'm into MMO's but don't really play any right now. I was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do before devoting my time to musical theater in high school. I sing, I play piano, I play the entire wind family (with varying degrees of aptitude – the more reeds it has, the worse I am). I have a penchant for the macabre; ask me what my favorite flower is and why. My favorite music is written and performed by Japanese men dressed as French women. My favorite movie is a Robin Williams movie that makes you cry from start to finish. I've once thrown a kitchen knife at someone from three feet away and missed.