This is going to be brief, as I waited too long to finish my Conference wrap-up, and many of my impressions are not fresh anymore. However, I’ve been plugging away at compiling the information from the evaluation forms from the G.O.A.’L Conference, so I’ve at least been thinking about it daily. (Check out the G.O.A.’L homepage for some pictures.)
The opening Friday night session was very interesting as JJT and KPN showed us slides from the forthcoming Outsiders Within book. Particularly of interest were some photos from various photographers, including Anh Dao Kolbe, whom I remember meeting a few years ago in Boston. JJT also read some excerpts from the notorious CHSFS letter that has been circulating. (More on that from me later…..in the meantime, JJT, Ji-in, Jae Ran, and KT Mee Hee are doing a great job addressing it.)
Saturday was busy, busy, busy, as I started the morning trying to put the finishing touches on the IKAA Power Point presentation. In the morning, I attended a presentation by a Danish Korean adoptee who talked about being in between identities (Danish….Korean) and how her concept of Korean-ness has changed and evolved over the years. Next, I split my time between a panel on domestic adoption in Korea and KPN’s presentation. After lunch, I moderated the panel on Adoptees in the Entertainment Industry, which had Amy Anderson (Korean adoptee comedienne from Minnesota, now based in L.A.) and Philippe Lapairy (French Korean adoptee who is a Korean television star). This was my 2nd time moderating a panel at a G.O.A.’L Conference (last year it was a panel about careers in Korea other than teaching English), and this year’s particular panel was interesting due to the good humor of the panelists and the fact that S.V. translated Philippe’s French. Moderating a panel feels a bit like pretending to be Katie Couric (or maybe SuChin Pak….at least she’s Korean and wears cool stuff like Santino Rice), especially when speaking into the mic. Philippe is so recognizable now in Korea that when he goes out and about in Seoul, he often has to disguise himself by wearing various hats and sunglasses. Amy’s comments were very insightful about the state of being an Asian-American woman in Hollywood and the comedy circuit. She’s currently pitching a sitcom to television networks, and I’ll be rooting for her to succeed.
I took a bit of a break after that panel to relax and chat with Amy, KPN, and T.H. Then those of us who were presenting for IKAA did some last-minute prep and later did our best to make our Power Point as exciting as possible and pump people up for next year’s Gathering in Seoul.
Dinner followed, and then I went back to KoRoot before heading to S Club in Hongdae for the after-party. Amy performed (great lines about Korean taxi drivers), and a band of adoptees (The KoRoots–so named due to the fact that 1/2 the group were residents here) rocked the house. Prior to the conference, I’d felt a bit like I was living in an episode of Making the Band, as I heard various members of The KoRoots bickering (“Doood, we need to be serious about rehearsing.”) But their actual performance was fun and amped–hope they can do the G.O.A.’L Christmas party.
On Sunday, the only event was a group outing to see the SJ B-Boys show, “The Ballerina Who Loved a B-Boy.” Before you gag on the title, let me just say that the show is absolutely amazing, and the b-boys are f*cking hot. I’d heard it was a great performance, but I was truly impressed by some of the avant-garde choreography (mixing ballet with b-boy moves). I wish I’d taken more pictures, but this will have to suffice. They’re just…..so……flexible.
Hope to post tomorrow as well about some issues that have been burning my brain the past week.