If you ask Johnny Kai what would help ease Hawaii’s recent tourism and economic troubles, his immediate answer would be to revamp the entertainment industry, incorporating the fresh, young talent that surrounds us.
“We can rebuild our entertainment business through our gifted children, starting new programs and highlighting their talents,” says Kai, who certainly has the resume to justify his sentiment. The entertainer, producer and now executive director of the OC-16 television music video contest show Brown Bags To Stardom speaks with passion and fervor about returning the Waikiki entertainment stages to an economic stimulus opportunity that will help fill hotel rooms and sell airline tickets.
“New music is missing in our tourism,” he says. “It is very unfortunate, but the days of Don Ho and entertainers of my generation have passed. We need to utilize our new talents.”
Kai says he is privileged and honored to be working with the Brown Bags To Stardom program. “I owe it to everyone before me to continue the program’s success and help create stars. Brown Bags was American Idol before American Idol.”
Currently, Brown Bags To Stardom is airing its Back to School contest. Kai envisions the show featuring talents from more than 100 schools statewide this year. Brown Bags also has begun to expand its focus in support of school athletic departments. The “Best of Hawaii” event is a fundraiser featuring the state’s best cheerleader (Ms. Diva Cheer) and male athlete (Mr. High School). “I see this program growing as a national fundraiser and I plan on doing this event every year.”
Kai is committed to creating a new generation in Hawaii entertainment.
“The talent is there; that is not the problem. We need to create a new organization based on acquisition, knowledge and power.”
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