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« Success Story: Harleen Kahlon: From Law to Damsels in Success | Main | The Assault on the Billable Hour Continues »

Success Story: Jay Kuo: Lawyer Turned Musical Playwright

Homeland Musical

The career path of Jay Kuo, the child of Chinese American immigrants, started off conventionally - he attended Stanford University, studied law at the University of California, Berkeley, and became a lawyer in San Francisco. But Kuo always harbored dreams of being a musical playwright - as he explains on his blog:

"[F]or my whole life I've been writing songs and lyrics, doing shows, and been a complete Broadway freakSondheim.  Rodgers & Hammerstein.  Kander & Ebb.  Stephen Schwartz.  Jason Robert Brown.  These are my heroes.  They make this uniquely American art form soar. If I could accomplish even a fraction of what they did, it will have all been worth it."

So last year, Kuo quit his lucrative law job to become a full-time musical playwright (credit: Sacramento Bee, online edition).

The production of his first musical - Insignificant Others - is chronicled in a blog - The Making of a San Francisco Musical (the musical also has a website). The show is a romantic comedy that follows the stories of five friends—Margaret, Jeannine, Kristen, Jordan and Luke - who move to San Francisco from the Midwest. Through hilarity and heartbreak, the friends rediscover the bonds they have to one another.

Kuo's next effort is Homeland - a musical about two star-crossed lovers -- a native son from rural West Texas and the daughter of Korean immigrants -- who struggle to survive the battle for the hearts and minds of America, where race, religion and values collide.

Good luck, Jay.

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