Source: Honolulu Pulse
Daniel Dae Kim headlines HTY fundraiser
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By Christie Wilson / firstname.lastname@example.org
Before starring in the hit television dramas “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” Daniel Dae Kim began his acting career as one of thousands of nameless “starving artists” trying to break into show business.
“Quite literally. I spent eight years in New York after college doing theater, most of it off and off-off Broadway and often for nothing. I’m very in touch with what it means to be a theater artist,” Kim said.
The now wildly popular actor lent his star power to Thursday night’s Actors & Artists Fund Launch Party for Honolulu Theatre of Youth, joining the group’s regular performers on stage at Tenney Theatre in providing a sneak peek of “The Lion Dancer,” a play scheduled for HTY’s next season.
The fund will be used exclusively to pay “a living wage” to HTY’s actors, directors, designers, composers and playwrights, according to artistic director Eric Johnson.
Honolulu Theatre for Youth has been in existence for 56 years, providing professional theater and drama education programs.
Kim helps with acting workshops for HTY artists on occasion and has another connection to the group through Annie Wood Cusick, the board member behind the Actors & Artists Fund and wife of Henry Ian Cusick, who portrayed Desmond in ABC’s “Lost.”
In addition to a raffle, Thursday night’s fundraising activities included the kickoff of an online auction for autographed artwork by other “Lost” actors that is generating interest from around the world as “Losties” learn of the event.
The items include a bracelet made of shells collected on North Shore beaches by actor Terry O’Quinn, who played John Locke. Jorge Garcia (Hurley) donated a mixed media drawing of himself doing a cannonball into the water, exposed butt crack and all.
Ken Leung (Miles) offered a pencil drawing of actress Evangeline Lilly (Kate), while Michael Emerson (Ben Linus), an accomplished artist in real life, provided a pen and ink original print.
Although Josh Holloway (Sawyer) donated a watercolor of a boat speeding into a sunset (could it be the “Others”?), most of the women in the room were drawn to an autographed blue, button-down shirt worn by the actor during filming of “Lost.”
Also participating in stage readings at the fundraiser were local media personalities Kirk Matthews, Linda Coble and Trini Kaopuiki, and HTY actors Junior Tesoro, Maile Holck, Nina Buck, Moses Goods and Tony Anagaran.
Of all the actors who have come to Hawaii in recent years as cast members of mainland television shows or movies, Kim stands out for his open community involvement and accessibility.
“It’s because I call it home. I care about my home and this is the only professional theater in Hawaii and it’s worth supporting,” he said. “It’s good not only for the community but for the theater artists to have a place where they can come and act.”