What a year. #Blessed.

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What a year 2014 has been. It was  full of wonderful projects, promotions, publicity, and special events. I’ve been blessed to attract work that I love and care about. Not many can say that. And while I’m excited to see what will be in store for 2015, I thought I’d share just a few highlights of the blur that was this year.

Ola Ka Ha was a great first time event put together by the hard working #bossgirls, Mailani Makainai and Kau’i Dalire at HA Enterprises. It brought attention to the Iolani Palace and the repairs needed to keep it pristine. It was so well attended and showcased some of the best of our island talent. Even more exciting is that it built community awareness and hopefully, the event will become an annual one.

Hula Nation Filmworks and Keo Woolford have been on a wild ride with its first feature full-length film, The Haumana. If you haven’t heard of it, you may have been under a rock. This has been one of the most successful projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of representing. In short, the film is what I affectionately term as “the gift that keeps on giving,” because it does just that. It has won numerous film festival awards, has been in over 200 theatrical screenings, and is now on its international tour in Japan and Mexico, with Europe on the horizon.

KoAloha Ukulele is like family to me. The team led by Mom & Pops Okami and sons, Alan & Paul Okami, are some of the hardest working individuals I have ever met. I’m always inspired by their work ethic and also their huge hearts. They create one of the most beautiful instruments in the world, the ukulele, and have brought love into the world through their woodcraft via community performances and workshops at the Grammy Museum and the Japanese American National Museum, among others.

Sean Olanui Robbins and Kaimi Hanano’eau- two artists that make me so happy for the future of music in Hawaii. Both are up-and-coming stars and full of talent, yet very humble and respectful. Sean is known for his progressive slack key style and is the protege of Cyril Pahinui. Kaimi is known as the lead of the alternative/rock/reggae band, HiRiZ, but also recognized as a soloist with an extensive music background. It will be fun watching these two rise to the top.

When I relocated back home to O’ahu from L.A. a few years ago, my goal was (and has always been) to help others by sharing their stories. I’m hoping to continue same in 2015, and by the way things are shaping up, it looks like there are more exciting projects on the horizon. Happy holidays and I hope we get to work together in the new year. I am truly #blessed.

 

So long 2013… it’s been a wild ride.

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I have to say that 2013 was a very busy year.  It also was a year that came and went much too quickly.  While the Poi Planet plate was quite full to say the least, I think the nicest thing about the year was being able to meet and work with a lot of new folks.  When you work in the industry I’m in, projects (and people) seem to come and go, so it is pretty cool when you bump into like-minded others, get to work on fun projects together, and really do some good in the community.  Some of those projects included the annual Keiki Day with the staff of Parents And Children Together (PACT), the launch of Doraku Sushi in the revitalized Kaka’ako area, being able to work with the beautiful ladies of Hello Makana and their unique care packages, and also the talented artists involved in Mele Mei and the annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

Sometimes I pinch myself and think, “is this really happening?”  I don’t want to sound too geeky, but even I get excited by the mere fact that I have the chance to tell other people’s stories and get them out into the world.  So to all of you that I’ve met, or have gotten re-aquainted with, or got to play in the same sand box with…  I wish to say a very hearty “mahalo nui loa” and hereby give you a big, fat, virtual hug.  Thank you for making my wishes come true and allowing me to be a part of your year.

Here’s to a happy, prosperous, abundant, positive, and super creative 2014!