I got the nickname "Poagao" from a Taoist priest in Taichung a long time ago. I was working as a cameraman and we had just finished interviewing the priest for some show or another, and as we sat in his makeshift tent temple in the middle of a deserted backlot out aways from the city, he read our fortunes. When he came to me, he blurted out "Poagao" (pronounced pua-gow) , which means literally "Naughty Monkey" and denotes what the bad guys called Sun Wukong, the legendary monkey king from Journey to the West. Perhaps it was because I was born in the year of the monkey, though the priest did not know this at the time. In any case, it wasn't exactly polite, as "Poagao" is what parents and other authority figures call troublemakers in general. My coworkers found this extremely amusing and proceeded to call me Poagao, which is the Fukienese pronounciation. It is pronounced "Po-hou" in Mandarin. Most of my friends call me TC, though.

I was born on Christmas Day, 1968, in a small town in southern North America. My ancestry runs the gamut from Choctaw to Russian- okay, well, it doesn't actually run the gamut; it takes a cab, the lazy bastard.

I was raised in the United States, but later immigrated to Taiwan. I have been a citizen of the Republic of China since the early 90's, but I have lived in Hong Kong and mainland China as well. I have been a shoe inspector in Qingdao, a soldier in the ROC army, a cameraman for TVBS, a production assistant and bit-part actor on a couple of feature-length movies, a reporter/photographer/editor/translator for a newspaper, an editor at an advertising company in Taipei, and, most recently, a consultant/editor/translator/secret agent at a non-descript government agency here in Taipei. I've also played the part of Cardinal Wolsey in a stage production of A Man for all Seasons, by Robert Bolt.

I attended Tunghai University in Taichung, Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and the New York Film Academy in New York City. I play the trumpet, euphonium, the washtub bass and a little piano. I like to compose music now and then. I studied Shotokan Karate in High school, Shaolin-style Kungfu in college as well as after I graduated and most recently, Taichi Sword here in Taipei. I have been taking pictures since I was 16 and got my first camera, a Pentax K1000.

My father was an aerospace engineer before he retired, and my mother spent several years as an interior designer. My brother Kevin, shown here in the middle between me and our father when I was about 6, is an architect and plays the flute, while my sister Leslie is the website manager for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, where she works in data analysis. I was the only one in my family not born in Oklahoma, actually. My grandfather on dad's side built houses, while my grandfather on my mother's side worked in the oil fields after he returned from WWII. My Great-Aunt Eva, who in her 90's still lives by herself in the rough part of Hollywood, was an actress and had a small role in Citizen Kane. Her husband, Bus Bassey, was a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band, among other groups. I only met my great-aunt once, but I think she is one of the most interesting relatives I have.

Due to my father's profession, while I still lived in the states, we would move all over the place. I have lived in Texas, Colorado, Florida and Virginia. I have to admit I can't say much in favor of Texas, so I will just not say anything at all. I had a much higher opinion of Florida, where I could enjoy the beach. I have never actually lived in Oklahoma, even though that is where my family is from.

Today I live in an apartment I bought in the Taipei suburb of Xindian, just across the footbridge. I ride my 1988 Yamaha RZR racing bike occasionally up into the moutains on my days off when the weather is nice. Look carefully at the satellite photos for a definite trail of 2-stroke smoke heading for the coast. That would be me.

Being an ROC citizen, I was drafted into the military here in the mid 90's, when I spent two years as a conscript soldier in the ROC army (infantry), which included lots of guard duty, pig-sticking and other interesting things. I wrote a book about my experiences, entitled Counting Mantou, which came out in Chinese in April of 2003. I also write occasionally for newspapers. In 2003 I filmed a short yet action-packed film for the Lady X series, and now I'm working with some friends on another, even more involved project. I'm also a member of a local jug band called the Muddy Basin Ramblers.

I started this site in April of 2001, and have been adding to it ever since. I now have 4 or 5 blogs, most of which are public, thousands of photos on Flickr, and a movie production site at poagao.com.

Among my prized possessions are the silver-plated Bach Stradivarius trumpet I saved up for and bought in 8th grade, my Canon 20D, my sword and of course my Panasonic AG-DVX100 camera.

So that's about it. For even more stalking material before we're all tracked and psychoanalyzed by the Google/Government/Amazon complex of the future, read the "100 ThingsYou Might Not Know About Poagao".



Poagao's Photography

Poagao's Films

Chinese Journal

Poagao's Journal

Monkey Learns to Push

News from the Renegade Province