Hapa Mag STAFF


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Alex Chester


Alex Chester is a California gal living in NYC. She has been acting since she was a little girl. A few years ago she decided to create a blog about being hapa called MeSoHapa.com. Alex is the creator and producer of the theatre company WeSoHapa - a theatre based on diversity and inclusion.

She is a New York City based columnist for On Stage Blog and contributing writer for ManhattanDigest.com and HuffPo. She also hosts a podcast with fellow writer Melissa Slaughter,  We're Not All Ninjas.  Follow her on Twitter/Instagram @AlexFChester if you like food and cats. www.alexchester.com


Melissa Slaughter

managing editor/WRITER

Melissa has lived in all four time zones in the contiguous United States. A former actor in Seattle, WA, Melissa now resides in NYC as a content creator. She is the producer of the We're Not All Ninjas podcast, which she also hosts with fellow Hapa Mag writer, Alex Chester. Melissa also writes for online blogs Nerdophiles and The Nerds Of Color. She loves sushi, crafts, and theatre, but her favorite thing in the world is Doctor Who and yes, she's over the moon for a female Doctor. You can find her @NotAllNinjasPod.

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Sam Tanabe

creative director/WRITER

Sam grew up in South Florida and is a NYC-based actor and writer. This kawaii yonsei hapa bb loves the sun, ocean, and Publix chicken tenders subs. His interest in other cultures, languages, and good food led him to connect with the Hapa movement, but struggling to find his identity as a Hapa performer in the entertainment industry led him to Hapa Mag. Sam was part of the original Broadway company of Allegiance, the musical inspired by George Takei’s experience in the Japanese Interment Camps.

You can usually find him around Manhattan with a bubble tea in hand or eating @NoodzofNewYork. Sam is online @Tanablems and www.SamTanabe.com


Lauren hardie

content editor/WRITER

Lauren is a Jamaican-raised American who doesn’t consider herself “exotic” because she’s a writer/actor living in Brooklyn. She’s “really from” South Florida (yep, like, born there). Her “English is pretty good” for a person with an MA in journalism and a few years of copyediting experience at major news outlets. Aside from referencing silly things people have said about her otherness, Lauren enjoys talking about her unborn cryokids and playing with other people’s dogs. She’s lived in a bunch of places, but her favorite is @warlaur.

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Alison Lea Bender


Alison Lea Bender is a multi-hyphenate who defies conventional categorization and refuses to be pigeonholed. She is an avid champion for diversity, representation, inclusion in the arts, and the AAPI & POC communities. Some have called her the voice of a generation, some have called her a dangerous threat to society, but most of us just call her "my friend." The self-proclaimed "Hello Kitty meets Marilyn Monroe," Mizz Bender has performed on many a NYC stage as a muse to her many theatre friends and family. She can be followed on Instagram @AlisonLeaBender


Matt Blank


Matt is an arts journalist, educator, designer and lecturer. He most recently spent a decade on the editorial team for Playbill.com and as Editor-in-Chief of PlaybillArts.com, publishing over 7,000 articles and covering five Tony Award ceremonies.

Follow him on Twitter @MattBlankPlease and Instagram @brdwymatt.

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Autumn Henry


Autumn Henry was born in Missouri, raised a Navy Brat and now calls Brooklyn home.  Her career in esthetics was born out of a desire to perform humane Brazilian Waxing but quickly graduated into a full fledged career that focuses on holistic skin care and healing of the individual.  Autumn is a fierce advocate for "graceful aging" vs "anti-aging" in a culture obsessed with unrealistic beauty standards.  She is a proud wife, sister, daughter, cat mom and soon to be mother of an actual human.

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Rebecca Lerman


Rebecca Lee Lerman is a New York City based writer and performer. Her plays and screenplays were featured at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, The Midtown International Theatre Festival, Universe Multicultural Film Festival and We So Hapa, which celebrates people of mixed race. Most recently, PheLerm Productions, for which she is writer, participated in the 72 Hour Shootout competition, and their short film was selected as the top 40 out of 400 to be screened at the Asian American Film Festival. www.RebeccaSings.com