Passing it forward with laughter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 06:53

By Michelle J. Mills, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/12/2011 02:02:03 AM PDT

"Incarcerate This: Young Men of Comedy" at the Ice House in Pasadena on Saturday offers an opportunity to feel good twice. It is a night to relax and laugh, and also a way of helping others.

This will be the first stop from comedians Kenji Thomas, Jimmy Ouyang, Martin Rizo and Flaco Martinez, who will be taking their show on tour throughout the Los Angeles area to benefit Young Angels of America.

Young Angels of America is an after-school program that teaches business skills and financial literacy to lower-income middle and high school students using the entertainment industry as its platform.

Emerging artists and executives work with schools to review their resources and develop plans to help generate funds. Higher-income schools give lower-income schools a step up in starting their own programs.

The children are involved in every step of the process, learning the key aspects of business, including math, marketing, advertising and banking, along with acquiring leadership and fundraising skills.

The entertainers of "Incarcerate This" all draw the funny from the various aspects of young urban life. They have performed at many comedy venues, including the Jon Lovitz Club at Universal CityWalk. Ouyang was recently named one of the top 30 young comedians in America by FunnyorDie.

The $10 tickets include a $5 voucher good for a visit to The Ice House; the $25 tickets include a ticket for a return visit to the Ice House for as many as four people.
626-962-8811 Ext. 2128

Written by Administrator   
Monday, 03 October 2011 20:03

By Brook Dougherty  310.266.7171


WEASELS AT THE OAK ROOM – September 23rd, 2011.  8:30 p.m.  $8.00 at the door.  No minimum.  Deli open for dinner.

Young Angels of America is an organization that teaches teens how to produce events and give back to the community.  My partner Debbie and I founded it ten years ago, and a team of local, kid entrepreneurs has been putting on student fundraising dances in the Palisades ever since.  Our teen producers have worked at the Polo Tournament, and Chamber of Commerce gigs at the Riviera, they’ve had garage sales and helped their sister team in Watts.  They know their way around a cash box and a VIP, and how to handle a celebrity.  I’d put them up front at any event with utter confidence.

At our back-to-school meeting, it turned out a lot of families had stayed home this summer.  We talked about missing Village Books, and how Swarthmore seemed sad and what could they do to liven things up.  The kids decided it was their civic duty to expand their production efforts to grownups.  I was totally down with that since I’d spent the summer writing grants for our Watts team, and as super fun as that was, I could use some inexpensive, local fun. Now that Village Books is gone, there’s not much cheer on Swarthmore.   With the exception of the bar at Pearl Dragon and the back of the Mobil station, Pacific Palisades doesn’t have a real after-dark scene at all. 

When my husband told me that the Weasels, my favorite boomer boy band, are playing at Lenny’s Oak Room on September 23rd, I asked if Young Angels could produce.  It would be a good experience for the kids.  Lenny is the kind of entrepreneur I wanted the team to be around, and rock ‘n roll that’s close to home?  It may not be Paris, but it worked for me.

The Weasels play all the tunes that remind me of my big sisters being young, stupid and boy-crazy, and the best part is I’m married to the lead guitar player.  He is the kind of guy the popular girls drooled over, and I wished would go out with me.  All the Weasel boys are easy on the eye.  A cadre of Weasel women, many of whom live in the Palisades, some of whom are your doctors and lawyers, can be counted on to show up every time they play, whether it’s Corpus Christi, the Bay Club or Rusty’s at the Pier.  They belly up to the band like it’s1969, and if you want to know what’s hot in the Palisades, it’s Weasel women.

That Oak Room has historic energy. Some great times have been had there in the past.  When the Weasels take the stage on September 23rd, the good times will start up again, and it’s not a moment too soon.  This economy brings new meaning to the word “bummer.”  Not to worry.  In true American style, the nexus of young entrepreneurs, a forward-thinking local businessman, and cute boys playing rock ‘n roll will take our minds off the money, and put them back where they belong. Girls watching boys.  Boys watching girls.  And dancing.  It’s the season for a good time, right? 

For dinner reservations before the show call 310.454.3337.
Friday, September 23, 2011.  The Oak Room.
1035 Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.
$8 at the door.  No minimum. 

Incarcerate This at the Ice House: Social Justice Can Be Hilarious PDF Print E-mail

By Anthony D'Alessandro Tue., Aug. 16 2011 at 9:00 AMIncarcerateThis_AGIAN2_Groupeditededitededited.jpeg Comics telling the truth, Ruth: (l. to r.) Kenji, Martin Rizo, Flaco Martinez, Reggie Brown and Jimmy Ouyang

As the wholesome racial equality message emanated from the new movie The Help over the weekend, a group of stand-ups acutely debunked such propaganda Saturday at Pasadena's Ice House for the charity show Incarcerate This: Young Men of Comedy.

Comedians Reggie Brown, Kenji, Jimmy Ouyang, Flaco Martinez and Martin Rizo took hysterical jabs at those elephants in the room that continue to pervade society: De facto segregation, misrepresentation, infringement of speech and economic inequality.

The evening was, appropriately, hosted by Brown, one of the reigning President Obama impersonators who, though heavily booked for GOP soirees, was ejected two months ago from the Republican Leadership Conference for his jokes about the Pachyderm party's presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. (In the aftermath, Brown landed the opportunity to finish his set on Real Time With Bill Maher)

Nothing is funnier than having a run-in with "The Man." For Rizo this entails taking the wiper blades off his cars, making it difficult for parking enforcement to leave tickets. Martinez's beef with white folk: "Their fucking neighborhood watch! Why are they getting excited? It's not even their car! At least with the Mexican neighborhood watch, we warn the criminals: 'Hey someone is comin'!'"

Meanwhile, Ouyang's bane  is that he's always mistaken for a hot Asian chick with his long black hair, not to mention he easily offends his black friends with his passionate rap indulgences seen above

There was a great tempo to the night with each comedian's set easily building into the next. But stand-up Kenji stole the show with his insight on the judicial system's bias toward whites over blacks (Read: Casey Anthony and Robert Blake getting away with murder).

Reminiscent of Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby in his storytelling alacrity, Kenji, who was a victim of a drug ring sting, expressed after his gig that there wasn't an opportunity during his brief jail sentence to keep the inmates laughing. Rather it was about "staying alive." His passion for comedy has kept him from the wrong crowd, and his hard times are fodder for funny: check out his video about how Ramen noodle soup might be the currency in jail, but it's a useless monetary system once you're outside trying to pay your cable bill.

The night's proceeds went to Young Angels of America, a non-profit which supports and funds after-school enrichment programs at lower-income schools. Many of the comedians who appeared Saturday lend their time to Young Angels as role models and teacher assistants at Watts, South Los Angeles and Pacific Palisades schools. Kenji, for example, instructs students how to produce their own weekly variety shows. Saturday's stand-up show was the first of several which Young Angels is taking to cities around the country.

"Please come out and see more shows," said Kenji in his closing, "You'll have less kids breaking into your house."

Follow @AnthnyBoxOffice and @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.

Yvette Monge, from Animo Watts in LA Weekly PDF Print E-mail

A great blog post from LA weekly about Yvette Monje, Animo Watts Charter High School.

Yvette Monje, High School Entrepreneur,
Answers the Question: How to Make a Profit
Off the Prom?

Original Article can be found here:

Young Angels in The Force Newsletter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 06 June 2011 18:07

Young Angels of America and The Dual Neighborhood Fundraising Project were talked about in the recent newsletter from The Force

You can read the article about Young Angels here:


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