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Superman prevents a suicide in “All Star Superman”

"I have struggled with depression ever since I was ten years old. It had crippled me emotionally. I was 27 years old, no college degree, no job, and no will to live. I decided to kill myself after Christmas.

And then my sister’s boyfriend loaned me these comics. Superman is dying of radiation poisoning and is trying to complete all of his tasks before he dies, but he still takes the time to save a young girl who is about to jump off a building.

I cried for hours after reading this. I identified with that girl so much, and I could almost hear Superman telling me that I’m stronger than I think.

Now, every time my depression starts to rear its ugly head, I just repeat his words and imagine him hugging me when I’m standing on the edge. It works better than any medication or therapy I’ve ever had.

Now I’m in college and at the top of my class. I have friends. I have a life. And I don’t care that he’s a fictional comic book character. He still saved me.”

- suicidal person inspired by Superman (source)

Statistics:

The World Health Organization reports that suicide is one of the three leading causes of death for people aged 15-44, and estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide. Statistics show a 60% increase in suicides over the last 45 years, with 90% of suicides associated with mental health disorders including depression

Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/09/10/all-star-superman-world-suicide-prevention-day/#ixzz2EcyrNof1

Wow!! I’m so proud of my dear friend, Jo Im! She just landed an interview =D

fascinasians:

Jo Im is a Korean-American jazz singer who I was lucky to grab an interview with this week. Check out her cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star” above!

Can you give us a little background? What do you do besides music?

I just graduated this last year, and right now I am working as a waitress. However, I am working on applying to grad schools for teaching social science and music. Besides working on music, I also like to hike, do pilates, and cook!

How did you get interested in singing and music?

I first started in the same way many children are introduced to music in a Korean family – through classical piano lessons. In high school, I was a piano accompanist for a choral group called the Women’s Ensemble, and it was mandatory for every student to take a sight-singing test. Right after I finished taking the test, the choral conductor, Mrs. Alderman, told me she was surprised to hear my voice and encouraged me to audition for her other advanced choral ensembles. From then on, I auditioned for many vocal groups and fell in love with singing even more. 

Who could you list as your major influences?

I have many major influences! But these would be the ones I can think on top of my head: 

Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Sarah Vaughan, Rihanna, John Coltrane, Katy Perry, Kurt Elling, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Rachelle Ferrell, Amel Larrieux, Leah McFall, Ariana Grande, and Rita Ora.

What are the top 10 most played songs in your music library?

“Happy” by Pharrell, “Problem” by Ariana Grande, “Nature Boy” by Kurt Elling, “Yonce” and “Ghost” by Beyonce, “In a Sentimental Mood” by Sarah Vaughan, “Phresh Out the Runway” by Rihanna, “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry, “My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane, and “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera.

You release a lot of your covers on Youtube through Arella TV, can you tell us a little about that?

My friend Jay Arella asked me to do a Christmas music video with him; it was a cover of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” After that we just started making more music videos, and before we knew it, we made six videos together. However, I am planning to make my own Youtube channel soon!

What does your family think of your venture into music?

At first my family was a little cautious because the pursuit of a music career is very risky financially. However, once they saw that my professors truly believed in my musical abilities, they began to support me in creating music. My mom feels nervous about me pursuing music as a career but the rest of my family supports me but would encourage me to have a back up plan. 

Do you feel that your ethnicity or identity has helped you or held you back in any way?

I felt being Korean-American in America held me back when it came to pursuing a singing career because singing was considered risky and unprofessional. You don’t see any Asian American women in mainstream music. Not only that, but for one to possibly enter the industry, they must fit certain stereotypical roles that degrade and pigeonhole Asian and Asian American women. This held me back because in the past, I was always hesitant and afraid to show my family my passion for singing. However, when it came to being a classical pianist, my family had supported me more because like many Koreans believe, the classical piano was considered a “dignified” and “virtuosic” solo art. 

When it came to a musical performance career, the classical piano is one of the most stable instruments to play. Nevertheless, playing the piano gave me an advantage because I was able to sight-read and use my knowledge of music theory to enhance my progress. In addition, I learned a lot about discipline and ambition from Korean culture, so that helped me excel in my musical skills because my work ethic was built upon those values. 

What’s next for you? What can we expect in 2014?

I’ll be experimenting with music a lot since I’m still trying to find myself musically. I will also be releasing my own Youtube channel and posting a lot more videos there. Hopefully, I will start writing and producing my own music!

Is there any advice you’d give to someone pursuing music?

Do not let fear stop you from being original. Continuously experiment to discover yourself. When it comes to covers, try to find a way to change and find your own identity, whether it is through a concept of a music video, variation of melody, arrangement, instrumentation, and improvisation. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, embrace criticisms, ignore hate, and spread love!

This time, a Frozen cover! We thought it would be really cool if we did a “Brady Bunch” style music video and really have fun with it. Definitely a challenge!! I still have so much to learn about how to make green screens work correctly. But I’d love to do more videos like this in the future. If you’ve tuned in for a while now, thank you so much for your viewership. It means so much to us! We hope we made you smile, if even for just a little bit. =)

Thanks again for watching!

- Jay

Vocals: Jo Im, Jay Arella

Film and editing: Jay Arella

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