We all live in a #Dramaworld

Hellooooo kdrama lovers! Has really it really been MONTHS since my last post? My sincerest apologies. Life has been kicking my ass but I’m starting to get back on track now and am excited to share my latest kdrama adventure, the Hollywood premiere of Viki’s new original series Dramaworld!

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Starring hapa heartthrob Sean Dulake and newcomer Liv Hewson, this series is Viki’s first kdrama production, they financed and produced it themselves!  And what a glamorous way to premiere their work.

Here’s Dulake and Hewson on the red carpet.
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Dramaworld is about a college student, Claire Duncan (Hewson), who is obsessed with the kdrama Taste of Love and its star Joon Park (Sean Dulake). But things are going horribly wrong  in Taste of Love — the main love interest, Seo-yeon (Bae Noo Ri) can’t even get a kiss in because her nemesis Gae-in (Kim Sa Hee) keeps thwarting their chances at love.  And as we all know, every kdrama needs a kiss between the main couple by AT LEAST the fifth episode, right? Cue magical dream sequence where Claire gets transported into the dramaworld of Taste of Love. With the help of Seth Ko (Justin Chon of Twilight fame), Claire learns that she has become a facilitator, a kdrama fanatic who must unobstrusively help the story reach its happy ending. Claire MUST get Joon and Seo-yeon to fall in love, or else DRAMAWORLD WILL CEASE TO EXIST. High stakes, right? What’s excellent about Dramaworld is its ability to poke fun at all the kdrama tropes hardcore fans are familiar with. Since the theater was packed with Viki volunteers, they screamed with delight at every reference and kpop star cameo. Chocolate abs? check Overbearing rich mother? check Subplot including a dangerous covert organization that’s spying on everyone? check

The premiere was held at the beautiful Ace Hotel. Many of the cast and crew had flown in from Korea so I’m sure they were impressed with how organized and glitzy the event was.

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After screening the first 3 episodes of Dramaworld, there was a Q&A with the cast and director Chris Martin (not from Coldplay).

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Missing Justin Chon because he had to fly down to Mexico at the last minute for a movie job

The director talked about the differences with working in Hollywood vs. Korea, highlighting the fact that in Korea they just keep shooting no matter what, which makes for very long work hours.  After the moderator’s questions, they opened it up to the audience. I was impressed with the fans that came up to ask questions. Usually when you open it up to the floor you get a couple of wackos that just gush for several minutes without asking anything of substance, but kdrama fans know how to handle themselves.Hewson shared that Girls Generation was her gateway into the kpop world. The others  shared what the first kdrama that they watched was. Answer ranged from Coffee Prince to Descendants of the Sun.

The after-party on the rooftop was an added bonus. I got to mingle with other kdrama bloggers. Plus I snagged a pic with the lead actress! And Viki’s uber-talented CEO, Tammy Nam!

 

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actress Liv Hewson

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CEO Tammy Nam, she’s a smart lady

Dramaworld has 10 episodes total, with 2 shows being released each Sunday on Viki. Enjoy!
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Special thanks to KPOP-TV for sending me to the red carpet to cover this exciting premiere!

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Spa Palace

I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve found a Korean spa that I like more than Wi! The newly opened Spa Palace is just as huge, but cleaner and more peaceful. For now at least it’s a fluffy safe haven. I imagine once word gets out it’s gonna get busier and more hectic.

First off, they have valet parking – FREE with validation! Plus the valet drivers are super nice and helpful with directions so make sure you tip them!

After you drop your car off, you take the elevator to the reception level. They give you a comfy pair of shorts and a t-shirt, plus one large towel (which can be replaced later if you ask.)  I’m usually not a fan of gender binaries, but I do like wearing pink.
IMG_20150905_165706The pool area is decked out with Roman pillars and has a regal look. Shower stalls include vanity mirrors. There are the usual hot and cold pools, plus a dry and wet sauna. The wet sauna has a rich herbal steam that you just want to breathe deep into your lungs.

The women’s only area also has a resting room and a salt room. Plus a very dark nature room where I took a long nap.

The jimjilbang (coed) has the usual array of rooms to cycle through.

Totally understand that they’re going with the palace-theme here, but the door knobs are quite loud whenever you open and close them… so be careful!

oMy favorites were the clay ball room and the Elvan Stone Room. Also, I normally can’t handle the heat of a salt room, but I recommend checking this one out because of its epic ceiling art.
o1If you get hungry, there’s a restaurant with a separate dining area. The menu looked yummy so I’ll have to try a dish next time I come.

After 2 hours of detoxing, I enjoyed primping in the powder room before heading out to face the world again. Ladies, sit down in front of their vanity mirrors because the lighting makes you look gorgeous from every angle.

Spa Palace
620 S Union Ave
Los Angeles, CA90017

Grade: A

Pros: Clean wide open space, friendly service. Lots of rooms and activities to select from. Fun gym uniform to wear. Great music in the locker room.

Cons: Will probably start to get crowded and dirty in a few months, so enjoy this palace while it’s still new!

KCON 2015 – LA

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What an amazing weekend! Thank you KCON LA for upping your game and listening to your fans.

First off, they finally booked an INDOOR venue with actual bathrooms that had toilet paper and running water. The LA Convention Center has plenty of individual rooms for panels in addition to large arenas for merch booths.  And, if you know where to park downtown you can get away with free street parking for the day.

Saturday I had to work during the day so I couldn’t make the convention portion, but luckily I made it to the concert. The first night was definitely the better night with Super Junior headlining a fantastic lineup which included my personal favorite, SISTAR.
kcon-concert-lineupThe Staples Center has a stage that’s surrounded by the audience on all sides. It looks amazing, although when a band’s choreo limits them to facing one side, you’re relegated to a back peformance. Luckily, most of the bands made use of the space and gave love to each audience section.
20150801_204656Sunday, I made it to the convention around noon and went to the DramaFever panel. They talked about the process of licensing kdramas and how that usually involves soju because Korean clients expect a wine&dine business deal. Their top rec for a must-see kdrama right now is Oh My Ghostess.

Along with DF, another company I would love to work for is MNet. Someday ….
20150802_153429-1After panels, I met up with Veejay HanNa and Producer Kristine from KPOP-TV. Here we are with GOT7.
20150803_013226Also snagged a pic with YouTube sensation Professor Oh!
canvasHere we are trying to get close to more Hallyu stars.

20150802_171222Depending on the type of tickets you purchased, you also get fan engagement opportunities. I went to Red Velvet and Shinhwa’s event. Unless you wait in line 2-3 hours ahead of time, you won’t get very close to them, but everything’s projected onto big screens. I hope next year they have stadium seating for the fan engagements so you’re not just staring at a sea of heads and phones.
20150802_142920In terms of food, there were a couple booths that gave out samples. We ended up eating at Smashburger at L.A. Live since the lines for overpriced food truck meals were too long. You can’t help but get hungry after staring at yummy displays like this:
20150802_172553There were lots of cool merch booths. I was mainly interested in the beauty products and was thrilled to get free make-up samples along with the rest of my swag!
20150803_003129Second concert night was headlined by OG kpop stars Shinhwa. I really enjoyed Red Velvet’s performance too.
My concert buddy Alice rocked out with me. I think I got a little teary towards the end because I was so happy to be surrounded by hundreds of like-minded kpop fans.

The night was still young after the concert so I got food at BCD Tofu with some friends. And as luck would have it, one of Super Junior’s members walked out just as we were about to get seated. We were too shy to ask for a photo, but I’m pretty sure we sat in the booth he was just in. =)
20150802_232242Next year is going to be amaaaazzing!!!!
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midsummer nights

It’s July! And it’s hot. And I have no AC. And that is perfectly fine because I love hot weather. My brain is melting though and sometimes I wonder if I’m actually going through life or just floating in a dream.

This is what I’ve been up to, apparently:

20150721_203904Took a friend who’s visiting from New York to Kang Hodong Baekjeong. There’s always a long wait, but it gives you a chance to walk around the beautiful Chapman Square. And pick up snacks at the nearby Korean market.

20150721_194610We finally got seated after 40 minutes (on a Tuesday night!). But hey, good food is worth the wait. Really like their covered outdoor seating area, especially on a summer night.
20150721_203926Made soju bombs aftewards and drank some makgeolli. Cass Fresh kinda tastes like the Korean version of PBR.
cassFinally got a chance to use my panda character mask. This one’s from The Face Shop. Good coverage, average scent, lots of moisture. Fun to wear.
panda maskI’ll end here with a book I just finished reading. It’s called A Step from Heaven and is written by An Na.  It’s YA but can definitely be appreciated from the adult perspective. It’s about a young Korean girl who immigrates to America and has to deal with her family falling apart due to the stress of assimilation. Kind of depressing but beautifully written, and it ends on a hopeful note.
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Najunge bwaeyo! 나중에 봬요!