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Sep 11
28

In Place and Back to Work

Yesterday, I completed my first job here in Shanghai as the MC for a special Brooks Brothers exhibit at Citic Plaza in Shanghai.  Even though as I quite stressed out to make a good impression hosting in both English and Mandarin, I was also relieved to have this first project under  my belt.  Fortunately, the media event went smoothly with no major hiccups or casualties!  ;-P

Even though I’ve always been a bit daunted to host in Chinese, this is exactly the reason I decided to take a giant leap of faith and spend more time in China.  Sure, there are many English-speaking hosts and there are also many Chinese-speaking hosts, but I’ve always believed there’s a dearth of bilingual hosts and actors here in China so that will be a major focal point for me as we slowly understand the China market better for other opportunities.

Even though we are all completely moved and settled, I must say that the transition hasn’t been easy.  Finding a new place to live and securing the children in schools was a huge undertaking, but I am happy to say that everything is working and in place…for now.  Surprisingly, it’s been more and more refreshing to literally “displace” oneself and soak up the new surroundings.  We’ve been slowly making our way around this stunning city, and one night we were invited to attend Sir Richard Branson’s private party at Bar Rouge on The Bund…

As much as we would like to go out more often and meet more people in town, it’s been difficult finding an “Ayi” (domestic help) to watch the kids.  Fortunately, we think we’ve got one we like so hope that could essentially be the final piece of our transitional puzzle, and here she’s hard at work taking a casual family photo for us…

Now that life is more or less “stable,” it’s time to continue on this new adventure and see just how far our dreams can take us.  I’ve always envisioned  myself living in China so just being here with my family is already an achievement.  While we spend time exploring this city mecca, we are enjoying the cool Autumn weather coupled with the diverse array of Chinese and Western cuisine and cultures.

Of course, there’s always the inevitable question of whether something is legit and the “real deal” because essentially anything can be copied here…

…so I’m still wondering whether I can really get my hands on a bonafide Double Double?  Guess we’ll all find out sometime soon this Fall 2011!  😉

 

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Sep 11
13

Samsung Galaxy S II Challenge

 

It’s been a manic last few days so I forgot to share this fun competition I did the other weekend for the Samsung Galaxy S II Challenge.  In a nutshell, Samsung recruited four individuals to join their “Test Force” and put the new Galaxy S II mobile phone to the test in a series of competitions.

In the finale, the winner would have to have to take on me and beat the rest of the field in order to win $10,000 SGD.  Not bad, huh?  I wonder if you can tell from the photo above what the final challenge would be?

While we were all getting ready to literally ascend to new heights, I had to go over my lines once again with the director so I didn’t accidentally spill the beans too soon…

Once the contestants got literally “strapped in” with their harnesses, it was time to break down the rules to them…

…which actually wasn’t very difficult–Just climb up the rock wall as fast as you freakin can!

And if you beat my time, then you get double the points too!

So…do you think these cool, daring individuals have got the Right Stuff to take all of us down and win the ten thousand dollar grand prize?

Keep an eye on the official space at:

http://www.samsung.com/sg/galaxyvstheworld/

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Sep 11
08

More Waves and Wipeouts

It’s been a pretty hectic week with work, work, work.  ONE Fighting Championship was a blast this past weekend, and I wrapped up filming for it yesterday so I took advantage of my last day in Singapore to hit my favorite spot, Wavehouse Sentosa.

Here’s a video clip from one of my rides…

The wipeouts never get softer, but it’s always more than worth it.

Thanks again to Terry and Team Wavehouse for another most memorable time, and I hope to be back again soon!

Now it’s time to make my flight back to Shanghai!aracer.mobi

Sep 11
08

Interview with TODAY Paper – Singapore

Here’s the interview I did with May Seah from the TODAY Paper.
The Original Link is:

China Rush

Allan Wu revels in his new life in a new place

04:45 AM Sep 08, 2011
Who knew Allan Wu was a closet Sinophile?

We don’t mean that in the sense that he collects terracotta teapots and spouts Tang poetry – in fact, the prospect of reading a novel in Chinese still daunts the American-born son of first-generation immigrants from Taiwan. Rather, his recent relocation to Shanghai marks his attainment of a longtime dream.

Besides hosting The Amazing Race Asia, Wu is also the host of The Amazing Race: China Rush, which has its production based in Shanghai and has given him an inroad to the city’s television scene. “China Rush” seems a terribly appropriate label for how, much like the gold rushes of the 19th century, the whole world is looking to China. Not to be left out, Wu is also going prospecting in the brave new world.

Since they packed up and moved there “shotgun style” three weeks ago, it’s been a mad rush for the family – wife Wong Li Lin, daughter Sage, 7, and son Jonas, 5 – to find a place to live and schools to attend. Meanwhile, Wu still has projects going on in Singapore, and so we managed to catch up with him on Monday at the Park Regis hotel.

Besides asking about how Wu is finding life in a new city, we also wanted to know: Is China really the new land of opportunity, even where the entertainment industry is concerned?

China dreaming

It’s an emphatic yes. “My dream has always been to go to China,” said the 36-year-old California native. “I took the scenic tour through Singapore… I wouldn’t say it was an accident – it was destiny.”

Ten years ago, Wu, who had modelled in the States, acted in Hong Kong and VJ’d for MTV in Taiwan, came here to host an event. His “angmoh model friends” introduced him to his agency, Fly Entertainment, and he landed a five-year contract with MediaCorp. Then, in 2003, he married Wong Li Lin.

“It’s given me a foundation here, with an identity, especially now that I’m a father and also a husband,” Wu said. “I met my wife here and I had kids here. That was probably another reason that I ended up staying here longer than – I won’t say should have, but maybe than I had wanted to, I think – because life is so comfortable here. Things are safe, we get a lot of privileges, we’re – I wouldn’t say popular or famous – people might not like me, but at least they know who I am.”

Due in part to considerations for the family’s welfare, it has taken all this time for Wu to finally take the plunge and leave his comfort zone in hopes of furthering his career. “In Singapore, I feel that I’ve done essentially all that I can do in the entertainment industry,” he said. “I need a bigger market or a bigger platform. So that’s why my dream has always been to go to China… because of the size of the market and the movie industry, and how closely Hollywood’s watching them, too.”

World domination

Yes, Wu is unabashedly aiming high. “My dream, or my plan, has always been to go back to the States, go back to California, go back to Hollywood, and work there. And hopefully work to a level where I’m not that token Asian guy,” he said. Here in Singapore, added Wu, “we’re a little bit further away. No matter how big you are here with what you do, it doesn’t mean anything up there. There’s no currency value.”

“And it seems like it’s working!” he said. “Last week I just went to go read for a very big Hollywood movie.” Wu is adhering to the terms of his confidentiality agreement, but “if I said one word, you would know what the movie is”. With the casting director flying to Shanghai just to meet with him, Wu said: “It’s exciting. I’d rather try for that type of opportunity than rest on my laurels in a market that I’m more familiar with.”

I like Chinese

Wu’s rapid-fire American accent is familiar to us, but does he have the Mandarin skills to act and host in China?

“A lot of people think I don’t speak any Chinese at all. Expectations are very, very low,” mused Wu, who only began to learn the language intensively when he worked on his first Channel 8 drama, Bukit Ho Swee. “I could barely speak and I couldn’t read any Chinese,” he said.

He is proficient now, although there’s room for improvement: “I’m on Weibo and sometimes when I write, I use the wrong characters. Some (of my followers) get really offended, but some are like, ‘Oh, you’re so cute’, or ‘Wow, you didn’t get a single character wrong in this sentence!’ It’s exciting, it’s stressful, but I feel alive when I speak Chinese.”

The big question: Is the missus as enthusiastic about China? “Honestly, she’s not a big fan of China,” Wu chuckled. Specifically, Li Lin isn’t a fan of cigarette smoke-filled taxis and gobs of spit on the street. “But I think she’s actually warming up to it a lot, now that we have a place to stay.”

Every strategic operation needs a headquarters. Now, how do you say that in Chinese?

aracer.mobi

Sep 11
05

ONE FC has brought MMA to Asia!

Wow!  This was one exciting weekend in Singapore with the premiere of Asia’s #1 MMA event, ONE Fighting Championship, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium!

I flew into Singapore on Friday, checked into the new Park Regis Hotel situated close to Clarke Quay, and couldn’t wait to be a part of the biggest fight night in all of Asia!  Once Saturday evening rolled around, it was time to switch out of my civilian clothes…

…and get ready to rock the ONE FC Red Carpet for all the VIP guests arriving from around the region.

Now, MMA is already HUGE in North America so I think many of us were wondering how Asia would take to this relatively new sport.  I arrived early to welcome the VIP guests…

…and some of the earlier arrivals included some of the top Japanese MMA fighters.

Do these guys look like they’re ready to kick some major butt or what?  Of course, we also had our fair share of celebrities in attendance including my good friend Jaymee Ong from “The Contender Asia” and “E-Buzz”…

…and then there was Paula Malai from ESPN and Riaz, producer for AXN’s newest reality show “The Challenger.”

Most of the crowd early for the night’s festivities and you could definitely the excitement in the air.  Even while I was outside working the ONE FC Red Carpet, I could hear the roar of the crowd.  I finally made my win into the stadium after all the VIP guests arrived and was blown away with seeing a totally packed house…

The crowd had definitely arrived to watch ONE FC, but did the ten fights with an incredible sixteen world champions competing deliver the goods?  One fighter after one fighter made his way into the cage focused and intent on emerging the winner…

The fans were treated to an action-packed fight fest of epic proportions with each and every single fight.  Singapore’s very first professional MMA fighter Radeem Rahman made his highly-anticipated debut and rocked the house with his victory…

Whether the fighters were striking or grappling, the audience were focused on every single second because anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

Thank goodness we had some great Instant Reply on the Jumbotron screen for all the fans to relive the action, and all the fighters really laid it all out on the line tonight…

In the main event of the evening, Eduard Folayang and A Sol Kwon blew away the crowd with a major slugfest.  During the bout, Eduard was holding onto his nose…

It was until after his victory speech did everyone realize how A Sol Kwon had given Eduard an instant nosejob by snapping it!  Ouch!

But I’m sure that was the last thing on his mind after his big win.

Ten adrenaline-pumping fights later, ONE FC resoundingly announced to Asia that MMA has arrived!  If the event wasn’t enough, the event will be broadcast in over 24 countries to over 500 million viewers on ESPN and Star Sports.  Additionally, every single television set will be able to watch ONE FC on Mediacorp’s Channel 5, and this is the first time a public television broadcaster in Southeast Asia will be showcasing an MMA event so that speaks volumes regarding the buzz and rising popularity of the sport.  With a many more ONE Fighting Championship events lined up all across Asia in the next year, you can be sure to hear more soon.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the owner and CEO of ONE FC, Victor Cui, so a major shout out and congratulations to bringing MMA to Asia with ONE FC!

For all of you who attended event, I hope you had as an amazing time as I did, and I’m pumped to rip off this suit and go learn some MMA moves in the gym!  Awesome!  

So are you feeling it too…or am I on this Asian MMA craze alone?!!#$%

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