Guest Post by Ada Tseng
A few years ago, I convinced my editors at Audrey Magazine that it'd be funny to ask actor/model Godfrey Gao to exchange mediocre poetry with me about his hotness.
(Hey, hey. Eyes down here, OK? I know you're trying to figure out who that is in the photo above, and where you've seen his muscles before, but stay with me. There will be more pictures of that guy at the end of this post, I promise.)
Back to poetry. I had just been told that my upcoming interview with Godfrey would be conducted through email, and, as a serious journalist, I knew it'd be hard to experience the full extent of his hotness through email. So I was trying to think of a creative way to do the interview in which the answers I received from him through the written word would potentially be better than the verbal responses I'd get from him in person. Haiku seemed to be the most accessible form of poetry for two non-poets. I figured I could also get away with asking him ridiculous questions about his swooning fangirls, beauty regimen, and tips for modeling Louis Vuitton man purses — inquiries that would be much less charming without the syllable constraints of 5-7-5.
He probably had no idea what he was getting himself into, but he answered in haiku, and the series Haikus With Hotties was born. For each issue after that, I just kept convincing other people that this was a good idea. Folks like Freddie Wong, Dante Basco, Randall Park, and Christopher Dinh. On one hand, these are creatives working in the entertainment industry who have been directly affected by mainstream Hollywood's lack of imagination when it comes to stereotypical portrayals of Asian American men. But on the other hand, they're also just funny people who very quickly made me realize that the fact that they don't take themselves too seriously is actually the hottest quality of all.
At the time, I didn't have a grand vision of what #HaikusWithHotties would become. But last summer, we successfully launched a Kickstarter to turn the series into a 2016 calendar, including a video where I introduced myself as a "Professor of Hotness" presenting my ground-breaking research. And we hopefully gave our supporters a reason to smile at the first of every month, when it was time to turn the calendar page and unveil their next hottie.