Saturday, February 15, 2020

2020 Crunchyroll Anime Awards Show

     I had no friggin' idea there was an anime awards show or that this year, 2020, would mark its fourth year! I'm a mega huge anime fanatic, or otaku here in the states, and have been since I was little. I remember some of the first anime I ever watched were Galaxy Express 999, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. Like many westerners, I feel at least 2 out 3 of these are a part of everyone's anime started pack!

    My life is saturated by anime, I'm in anime meetup groups, I work for Anime NYC, and volunteer for various  cons around the world. As much as I'm "in the know" about things, hearing about the anime awards show threw me waaay off. So I decided to buy a ticket.

        The 4th annual anime awards show was a collaborated event, shown worldwide via Twitch and Youtube streaming. Was locally hosted by Crunchyroll, Sonicboom, Anime NYC and globally sponsored by Bokksu. The event was broadcast live in San Francisco with simultaneous live events hosted globally. The one I attended in NYC was at the newly opened Spin 54, which is a ping pong bar.

     The first 200 people in line to enter received a free book bag, manga sampler and coupons. Where as we were all given free Starship IPA beer, one free raffle entry, and unlimited free ping pong. Sonicboom and Bokksu were also selling merchandise that night.

      It was a full house and we all packed in to watch as WWE wrestling superstar Xavier Woods and Crunchyroll affiliation, Tim Lyu,  co host the show (they were beyond cute and funny together). There were a lot of great nominees and some new shows I haven't watched yet, like best fantasy and best antagonist winner, The Promised Neverland. Side note, the day after the event I binged watched The Promised Neverland and it was beyond amazing! I highly recommend since season 1 is only 12 episodes.

    I'm so happy I stumbled upon this event and that NYC had a live hosting party! I will definitely go again every year and hopefully be in the live studio audience someday! (Like next year hahaha)

 Here's a list of the 2020 Crunchyroll Awards Show Winners & photos, congrats!

Anime of the Year: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Best Animation: Mob Psycho 100 II

Best Opening Sequence: Mob Psycho 100 II, ♪ 99.9 - MOB CHOIR feat. sajou no hana

Best Ending Sequence: Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, ♪ Chikatto Chika Chikaa♡ - Konomi Kohara

Best Boy: Tanjiro Kamado, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Best Girl: Raphtalia, The Rising of the Shield Hero

Best Score: Mocky, Carole & Tuesday

Best VA Performance (JP): Yuichi Nakamura (Bruno Bucciarati, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)

Best VA Performance (EN): Billy Kametz (Naofumi, The Rising of the Shield Hero)

Best Director: Tetsuro Araki, Chief Director and Masashi Koizuka, Director – Attack on Titan Season 3

Best Character Design: Satoshi Iwataki, Original Character Design by Hiroyuki Asada, Dororo

Best Protagonist: Senku, Dr. Stone

Best Antagonist: Isabella, The Promised Neverland

Best Fight Scene: Tanjiro & Nezuko vs. Rui, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Best Couple: Kaguya Shinomiya & Miyuki Shirogane, Kaguya-Sama: Love is War

Best Drama: Vinland Saga, WIT Studio

Best Fantasy: The Promised Neverland, CloverWorks

Best Comedy: Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, A-1 Pictures

Industry Icon: George Wada, WIT Studio

Friday, February 14, 2020

Artistry and kindness, featuring Viggo Mortensen

      Everyone wants to meet a celebrity, on some level, we're almost programmed by society to look up to and want to meet one on a daily basis (wither we realize it or not). We should remember, though, that celebs are just regular people with extraordinarily diff jobs. I've worked with, am friends with, or interacted with many celebs over the years, so when one does something so over the top, memorable and feel compelled to let the world know about their kindness. 

      Next to Aaron Eckheart, Viggo Mortensen is one of the nicest and most caring celebs I've ever met. I've been a huge fan of Viggo for year, I loved him in Disney's Hidalgo but of course everyone knows him as our favorite Dunedain chieftain, Aragorn II from the Lord of the rings franchise. My interest in him, (ok, crush on him) peaked during these films and I unprecedentedly learned more about him. 

    Normally, I don't like to pry into celebs lives unless I'm really curious but even though I don't go too deep into their business. I prefer to get to know someone the old fashioned way by talking to them. Nothing beats a great convo! So during the release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy I found out Viggo broke his leg riding the horse named "Bill" from said film and then later adopted him and a few other horses. Apparently he did the same thing while filming Hidalgo. I then learned Viggo has a horse ranch / animal farm down in Idaho where the horses from both films are housed. 

     Diving deeper, I learned about Viggo's artistic side after hearing him sing in the Return of the King movie. Turns out he's a quadruple threat in that he sings, paints, does photography and writes in his spare time. I also learned he, at that time, had one book published titled "Recent Forgeries". 

    Recent Forgeries is an exhibition catalog from his first solo art exhibition that focuses on a collection of some of Viggo's artwork, photography, poems and has a CD with his spoken words and songs. I liked what I saw of his artwork so I decided to purchase the book, which at that time, you could only do via his publishing company, Smart Art Press.

   Recent Forgeries was extremely hard to come by there was a warning that it would take a long time for me to receive the book once I ordered it. Time was nearing the 2.5 month mark of still no book when I receive an email stating that they apologize for the delay and I should be receiving my book shortly. They also stated the book is hard to come by so would I mind a gently used copy. I replied that I was fine with that, being an author myself I understand how small publishing companies can have issues when only 1 book is ordered instead of a lot of them. Things are different now a days but when you only need one book, it can be a pain. 

     Two weeks after I responded to Smart Art Press's letter I received my book in the mail and was completely shocked to find my book was autographed by Viggo's himself, had an apology from Viggo and the book was from Viggo's personal collection! As a writer. When your book gets published sometimes you are allowed to get a few copies just for yourself at no charge, other times, like when you are self published, you can order copies of your book as a special discounted rate. 
      Turns out Smart Art Press told Viggo about me purchasing his book and why it was taking so long. I hate to say it but I don't think this book at the time had a lot of traction until after Lord of the Rings trilogy was completed. So he offered one of his personal copies, he was very apologetic for the binding being ripped and he autographed it for me! I literally felt like I had just died and gone to Heaven! It was an extraordinarily kind gesture from him and speaks volumes for his character / personality.  

       So what did I think of the book? I love the photography and artwork. The poems were deep and meaningful. The forward was written by actor Dennis Hopper who wrote in length about Viggo's artistic accomplishments. The music part, some of the songs I truthfully didn't like. The melody was a little too slow and drawn out for me but overall I truly enjoyed it all. Since then, Viggo has gone on to produce tons of artistic books that can now be found in most book stores and online retailers like Amazon. 

      As much as I appreciate the ease of purchasing his book now, I'm so thankful this wasn't the case back then, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to obtain his autograph or personal copy! It's an item I will treasure forever and I can't thank Viggo or Smart Art Press enough for their kindness!  

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sketchfed Studios attends FanfareNYC 2020

      Some of you may not yet realize but I also do work with a talented bunch at Sketchfed Studios, LLC. This company is based out of Brooklyn and produces  various  YouTube shows, podcasts, web comics and then some. I'm currently on board as a production manager but I also do editing, writing, hiring, direction, you name it. So while I was at the NYTimes Travel show Asia section this past January 2020, I saw a promotional poster for FanfareNYC. Having no clue what it was, but expressing my interest after seeing an anime character on their flyer, I spoke with a young girl at the Thailand booth.

           She explained that FanfareNY is a local, small pop culture and art related convention that's hosted by her high school. I handed her my card, and acquired press passes for my Sketchfed crew to cover the event. While I didn't attend FanfareNYC personally, I did find out about the back story of the con which I thought was insightful. FanfareNYC is an annual 2 day event that was created by the High school for art and design's parent teacher association. About 4 years ago, the high school had just acquired a new head principal and he, along with members of the PTA, were trying to brainstorm on how to raise more funds for the schools programming.

              I believe it was their new principal who stated he recently had been to a NY comic con event and got the idea to try it at the school. The school has so many famous alumni artists that could possibly come back to help out during the event as well. So they planned to have the FanfareNYC event structured like a typical convention: with an artist alley, panels, and exhibitors to showcase their wares.

           Students are allowed to sell their artwork by renting a table like a typical exhibitor. This has the benefit of not only exposing the mini- adults to some sweet side income, it also teaches them about responsibility of "running a business". They make a surplus of their artwork, or jewelry, or whatever they're planning on selling, they buy a exhibitor table, and interact with the public, trying to make a sale. For some kids, this is their first exposure to any type of job as some are as young as 12 and 13 years old. There's a few students that have actually bought a booth at bigger local cons, like NY Comiccon, so they help the newbies in establishing themselves at this con as it can be pretty overwhelming for some. H.S for art & design is a great public school that helps low income families get schooling for their talented kids. 

                 The con allows for special alumni to come back and host panels, mentor the students or even sell their products at the con. For 2020, some of their big name alumni included, Neal Adams and Bob Camp, who both do a lot of work for DC Comics; animator Abe Audish who's worked on The Simpson's movie, Futurama, & the original Power Puff Girls. This alumni interaction gives the students a great opportunity to get their portfolio's reviewed by a proper, legit, artist. The con also boasts having a D&D room, gaming halls and a cosplay contest (but no E-sports, yet). There's some great vendors too.

            I absolutely adore this con, its backstory & how it helps shape the future for alot of these young artists. I missed it this year but I will definitely be around for the Fanfare NYC 2021. Believe it!

 Check out Sketchfed studios' Quick-a-topians show for exclusive access to FanfareNYC 2020:

 For more info, to sign up as a vendor or panelist, the link is

Thursday, February 6, 2020

You get Oprah, and you get Oprah and we all get Oprah!

        My life tends to throw surprises at me on an almost constant basis. Not that it's a bad thing to have as I'm always up for a new adventure. Today colored me speechless as I had no idea I would be hanging out with the one and only Oprah! 

       Let's rewind a bit. I'm always inviting my friends on my many adventures, be it the red carpet, an expo, trip around the world, you name it, I've done it and I've probably invited YOU along with me. So I love it when my friends return the favor in kind. 

     A friend of mine runs a hiking club meetup .com group and she was invited by the Oprah / Weight watchers company on a special secret short hiking event. Oprah is starting off the new year on a Weight Watchers 2020 tour where she interviews special guests and discusses all things personal or health related. Kind of like a self help tour. She's in the best shape of her life and she wants to  help the world discover their best selves while bringing some positivity back into our daily lives!

      So this Saturday, February 8th, Oprah is hosting a sold out show at the Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue where her special guest will be none other than Michelle O'bama! Tickets are completely sold out for this event and have been for weeks, sorry folks! So to kinda kick off her tour, Oprah did a special half mile 'hike' in Brooklyn bridge park with some fellow health enthusiasts and members of the NYPD. 

    So my friend's hiking group was chosen to go but most members didn't want to come as the weather would be bad. Knowing me the way my friends do, she knows nothing stops me when I wanna do something fun. Besides, it's just rainwater. So I was able to join them for this special event!

   There were a total of about 30 people, mostly women, who joined the walk. We were given free weight watchers items such as a hand towel, popcorn, small chocolate bars, a swell bottle and water. There were camera crews and a professional photographer to capture every moment. Literally, I couldn't take a step without bumping into a film crew, but they were all extremely friendly.

   We walked along the riverside up just before the Brooklyn Bridge where we ended the event helping Oprah with an interview for CBS news (NYC channel 2). I was worried that due to the bad weather, Oprah might not show but the invite stated "rain or shine", so thankfully weather wasn't too bad and nothing stops that woman either. We all had plenty of opportunities to speak with her, she took her time and gave hugs, advice, anything we wanted. 

     Everyone was very respectful, even when asking for a selfie, once one person received the selfie, they moved so the next person could have their moment with Oprah. Oprah even allowed fans to have her record video messages to their family who couldn't attend the event.  

During the interview with CBS,  one thing I noticed was just how articulate she is. I know she's a talk show host (and super mega billionaire) but it's a different feeling to chat with her and be able to hear her speak off camera. She sounds even more professional off camera than on. She kept the mood light, joked with us, and all in all, it was a great experience for my first time meeting her. 

Now I wish I could attend her tour this weekend, but I will be attending the Carnival kick off party with my old Brazilian Samba  group, Samba NY! But that's a tale for another blog. Stayed tuned folks! 

Projekt Jaydyn / Sketchfed Studios would like to thank Lazy Hikers Group, CBS news, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), the City of NY, Parks Department of NY, Brooklyn, and Oprah.
 More pictures on IG @Projektjaydyn


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Jason AKA Levi Holley Encounter

      For this edition of  noteworthy celebs, I want to Focus on an actor I 'met' via another great actor on Manu Bennett's,  Instagram page. 'Jonathan' aka Manu Bennett is an amazing New Zealand actor who is best known (at the time of writing this) for portraying Crixus in the TV series Spartacus, Allanon in The Shannara Chronicles,  Colonel Slade Wilson / Deathstroke in Arrow, and Azog the Defiler in the Hobbit film trilogy. In September 2019 I happened to chance upon Manu's  IG page where he posted a note to his fans to please show some love to his former Sparticus' co-star's,  Levi Holley who played Leviticus, IG page. 
Levi's Tattoo

    'Jason' aka Levi Holley  is a stunt choreographer, actor, model, martial artist from Auckland, New Zealand. This past summer 2019, Levi was diagnosed with an 'inoperable' brain tumor. He is currently in a Cancer treatment hospital in New Zealand where they are looking into all options available to help him. So, I went to a brief message meant to lift his Levi's Instagram page and left him spirits. I wrote the following:"Hey! Best of luck to you! Was reading Manu's post about you, your fight, & his admiration for you so just wanted to stop by and send your page some love and luck". 

   Levi happened to be on IG at that moment, saw my message and we ended up chatting for over 15 minutes. We talked about our birthdays (he was born on November 22nd and I on November 23rd). He posted a picture of his giant archery bow tattoo located on his upper back and its symbolism; I told him about my current nine tattoos and what they meant. Levi said he "got his bow and arrow tattoo because it symbolizes getting rid of the past, getting rid of pain, moving forward, and getting rid of unwanted arrows". I feel like we all need to get rid of the past, but sometimes we just can't seem to let go. 

   I then went on to tell Levi a funny story that happened while Spartacus was still on the air. My friends and I were headed to the movies (if I remember correctly) and it was going to start soon. I was completely serious and spoke with authority when I told my friends "the movie's about to start, we should set foot to purpose then." My friends and I all started cracking up and I told Levi it was at that point I knew I needed to take a break from watching the Spartacus if I was starting to quote the show. Levi cracked up after hearing my story and I was glad I was able to get his mind off of things for a bit. 

   I see Levi's posts / hear from him very infrequently since that day we chatted. I try to reach out to his best friend and publicist, Hannah, just to make sure he's doing alright and that he's still.... himself when I don't see activity from him but I haven't heard back from her yet. Unfortunately, with the type of cancer he has, if it progresses the way he mentioned, he will not remember anything from his past, lose the ability to speak and function hence why Manu reached out to his fan base to get us to send Levi messages while he is still able to understand and respond. Levi also reached out to Manu and his own fan base to connect with everyone while he feels he still can. Levi is very brave, completely open and honest about his condition and posts about it as much as he can.  Last I heard anything from Levi was around  December 2019 when Levi had another brain biopsy done to see if some of the new treatments he tried was working.

Regardless, it was an absolute pleasure chatting with him. Our brief interactions were informative, witty and insightful. He's even given me some new tattoo ideas as I had wanted to pay homage to my Sagittarius and Scorpio sides. I wish him the best, I hope his new treatments will work for him and we can chat again soon!