Ken Choy

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Ken Choy
Born San Francisco, California
Occupation Performance artist, actor, writer, author, producer
Years active 1984–present

Ken Choy is an American writer of Chinese-Native Hawaiian ethnicity.[1] He also is a performance artist and actor and owns and operates a shopping business in Southern California.[2]

Choy received a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minnesota in 1992. Upon arriving in the Twin Cities, Choy immediately involved himself in the Asian American Renaissance, an Asian American arts organization. He taught classes and hosted AARGH!!, the Asian American Cabaret with poet and performance artist David Mura.

In 1993, Choy, along with Juliana Pegues, staged a protest at the Minnesota Opera performance of Madama Butterfly. Choy and Pegues protested inside the theater during the performance and were arrested for disorderly conduct. Although Choy was dressed in women's clothing, erroneous press accounts stated that he was naked. The two were ordered to pay a $25 fine.[3][4]

Choy founded and was co-chair of PAVE (Pan Asian Voices for Equality) and the Miss Saigon Protest Committee with Rita Nakashima Brock.[5]

In 1992, Choy toured his one-man show Buzz Off Butterfly around the country. Under the auspices of the performance group he founded, Asian Pacific American Renegades, he also directed and organized the large scale Asian American performance presentation at the Walker Art Center, "Miss Appropriated."[6] He is discussed in Dorinne K. Kondo's "About Face,"[7][8] and Linda Frye Burnham's "High Performance"[9] as well as David A. Schlossman's "Actors and Activists,"[10][11] and Deborah Wong's "Speak it Louder".[12]

Choy was the subject of a two-part series on KCBS-TV Los Angeles that featured his book, "Make Money Shopping," his web site,,[13] and his shopping and mystery shopping business.[14][15]

Choy is the author of the novel "My Loveable Combustible Asian American Nuclear Family."[16] and his popular video blog, "From Chaos to Love: "My Loveable Combustible Asian American Nuclear Family" journey.[17]

He is the creator of the journalistic dialectic, "Living with Bill and Rob," an ongoing research project which explores the link between racism and mental illness and how those both are unflinchingly harnessed as a viable excuse for lack of human and community involvement and participation. Choy traversed those manifestations in a roommate situation with the titular subjects.

Choy is the producer and founder of Breaking the Bow: The Independent Asian Pacific Islander Performing Artists and Writers Festival. The 1st festival was held October 22–25, 2009. The festival was produced by Mavericks of Asian Pacific Islander Descent (MAPID). Choy founded MAPID.[18][19][20][21]

Choy co-organized ID Film Fest and the Asian American Independent Features Conference with Quentin Lee and Koji Steven Sakai in October 2010 at the Japanese American National Museum, continuing with his Battle of the Pitches competition along with the API TV Pilot Shootout and a Filmmaker's Crash Course.[22]

His screenplay Lazy Susan won first place in the Boulder Asian Film Festival in 2005.[23]

Choy writes for Hyphen Magazine,[24] Yahoo,[25] Wide Lantern,[26] GizmoPorn, 8Asians, and AArisings.[27]

He has moderated panels at Wondercon and Comic-Con.[28][29]

Notable Theater Works[edit]

  • Charlene Chan in "Me?"
  • Sticky Substances
  • Buzz off Butterfly
  • Miss Appropriated
  • Ken Choy's Theatrical Extravaganza Lazy Susan


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kondo, Dorinne K. (1997). About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater. Routledge. pp. 238–240. ISBN 0-415-91141-9. 
  3. ^ Michael Anothony Minneapolis Star Tribune "2 Face Charges in Opera Disruption."
  4. ^ Anthony, Michael. "Performance Artists Protest Madame Butterfly Theme." Star Tribune. March 23, 1993.
  5. ^ Actors and activists: politics ... – Google Books. 2002. ISBN 978-0-8153-3268-8. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  6. ^ "WAC | Performing Arts | Past Programs 1973–1994". February 13, 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  7. ^ About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater – Page 238-240
  8. ^ About face: performing race in ... – Google Books. 1997. ISBN 978-0-415-91141-2. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  9. ^ High performance – Google Books. January 3, 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  10. ^ Actors and Activists: Page 205
  11. ^ Actors and activists: politics ... – Google Books. 2002. ISBN 978-0-8153-3268-8. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  12. ^ Speak it louder: Asian Americans ... – Google Books. 2004. ISBN 978-0-415-97040-2. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  13. ^ "BREAKING THE BOW: 1st Annual Independent Asian Pacific Islander Performing Artists and Writers Festival". Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  14. ^ "Video Library". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Video Library". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  16. ^ "MyLoveable – 43 – Man – HERMOSA BEACH, California –". MySpace. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  17. ^ "Kanaal van myloveablecombustibl". YouTube. April 6, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  18. ^ Ken Choy. "Mapid Home Page". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  19. ^ "Kanaal van BREAKINGTHEBOW". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  20. ^ angrylink. "angry asian man". angry asian man. Archived from the original on August 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  21. ^ "The 1st Annual Independent Asian Pacific Islander Performing Artists and Writers Festival". Chicago Artists Resource. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ YouTube video
  29. ^ Under the Tents Late Edition

External links[edit]