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Island Scene Magazine Feature

January 9, 2013 at 02:19PM

A day after I opened for the Michael Winslow show, my friends and supporters on Facebook have been buzzing about seeing this:

It is HMSA's Island Scene Magazine's Winter 2013 issue featuring the "Finding the Flow" article write up by Fernando Pacheco (on page 34). Island Scene Magazine is Hawaii's premier health and wellness magazine. It is the largest distributed magazine in Hawaii, delivered quarterly to the households of HMSA's 700,000 members.

Bring your copy to a show and I will sign it!

Finding the Flow:
A beatboxer's victory over asthma.
By Fernando Pacheco

Imagine standing on a stage in front of hundreds or thousands of fans. cameras of every type are focused on you as bright stage lights blind you. now imagine that you are also wheezing and coughing and short of breath. Such is the case with today's entertainers living with asthma, including Honolulu's Jason Tom.

Tom is a nationally known beatboxer and fashion designer who has asthma. His musical profession presents unique difficulties for someone with airflow issues. Like many vocalists, his only instrument is his mouth. A beatboxer is solely responsible for vocally producing all of the musical sounds (beat, melody, etc.) in a song, so they typically perform solo. They do not have the luxury of taking mid-song breaks to catch their breath. This literally puts Tom's life on the line at every performance.

Tom agreed to speak to Island Scene about his history with asthma and how it affects his life as an entertainer.

At what age are you diagnosed with asthma?
During the third grade, so around the age of 8 or 9 years old. I grew out of it and then it came back during my early beatboxing years.

Do you know what level of asthma you have? Intermittent, mild, moderate, severe?
At the time I had asthma, it might have been from moderate to severe. There were times I thought I could not breath or function normally during the more intense attack episodes.

Researchers are looking into possible genetic factors that may cause asthma. Does anyone else in your immediate family have asthma?
They used to, but not currently.

Do you notice anything specific that triggers your asthma attacks?
Secondhand smoke, weather and climate changes, anxiety, pressure, and stress. Lately, I've been keeping my spirit strong and have been healthy overall.

Do you worry about having an asthma attack on stage?
I've performed while recovering from asthma allergies on occasion. Performing while recovering allows me to combat asthma and kick it in its tush. I do not worry about having an attack, but I have opted out from a few gigs after an attack if rest is really what I needed.

Does asthma hinder your beatboxing in anyway? Are there any specific beatboxing tricks you can't do because of the asthma?
Sometimes I'll lose my voice on my high notes, and so I can't perform my high synthesizer techniques at all or my bass techniques without having to choke shortly after.

Clearing my sinuses is important, and hot spices are great for strengthening my immune system and clearing up my sinuses. If my nose is clogged up, then my throat has to work twice as hard to send oxygen to my lungs. I was not a fan of hot spices growing up, but I now include them in meals on occasion, because they benefit my overall health.

Going to the beach and getting sunshine and going in the water also help as well.

Do you use any specific methods to control your asthma?
Prayer in the spirit helps me tenfold to strengthen my overall health. Exercise is important. Even beatboxing while I've lost my voice tends to help me recover faster than if I were to stay silent and do nothing.

Any inspiring words for our readers with asthma who may be hesitant to engage in physical activities?
Don't be afraid of getting into physical activities once you talk to your doctor. Get out there, go out for hikes, go to the beach, take a walk, get out and dance. I've found that the more I exercise, the better it is for my overall health and condition to combat asthma.

It's when I do nothing or feel hopeless that my asthma condition, allergy, and attacks take far longer to go away. You are not without hope or help. You can win.

More than 22 million Americans have asthma, including nearly 6 million children.
​Source US Department of Health and Human Services

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Jason is a loving, dynamic and driven servant of Jesus Christ who uses his entertainment talents to encourage and inspire all kinds of people worldwide. He is also a truly great friend and family member!

Thank you for sharing your nuggets. Very creative. I Like how you mention "pulling weeds by its roots rather then cutting it".

It was great to hear,good inspiration and nice to know from a different perspective of how we can look at life so thank you for the message

Great nuggets of wisdom! I especially love how you rephrased "Live each day like it's your last" to "Live each day like it's your first." Amen!

I met him on the dance floor at Ong King and he hasn't forgotten the few details I shared about myself.
Soulfully said already, Jason has a way with making a person feel worth. He has a light from inside that drives his love and talent out into the world and into your eyes ears and heart. Keep spreading the you Jason Tom!!

Jason is undoubtedly one of Hawaii's most thrilling entertainers. Reaching out to his community and uplifting others is deep in his blood. On stage he is a class act, and offstage he is a genuine influencer, a teacher of faith, a perseverer, a trailblazer, and a friend to many (including me). I ran into him with my family a few years ago at an Ala Moana show, where he approached me and told me to "check this out." AWESOME beatboxing ensued.

Consider it lucky to have such a well-rounded, dedicated entertainer who is not only able to put on a spectacular show as an innovative beatboxer but also is able to step off stage and infect others with all the plethora of care, enthusiasm, and optimism that he carries in his heart.

He is Jason Tom - and, ladies and gentlemen, he's a good one

The worlds #1 beatboxer!

A super energetic performer and entertainer.

Though I've never met him, he appears to be a holistic individual who emphasizes on being healthy spiritually, mentally and physically. I believe this is what has driven him to achieve his goals and kept him running the race :)

Upbeat, both in personality and in art. A connecting force in the community and music circles. Fresh energy in the international beatboxing realm. Innovative niche-maker in Hawaiian entertainment. Christ-follower. Someone I have known for years and am glad to call friend. That's Jason Tom to me.

Jason Tom is living proof that dreams come true if you work for it! He is a mentor, an inspiration, and continues to be humble through all his achievements. He is a friend to all!

Some people tell you about their dreams. Jason Tom actively pursues it every day.

Jason (or “Spidermon” as I used to call him in Highschool) can be perceived as a bit shy on the surface. He is still the same kind and genuine person as before except now more well-known. He is ready to bust out his beatboxing talent anytime and anywhere and share his passion with anyone willingly to learn and listen.

He exudes a special type of charisma that you can’t help but to feel inspired in his presence. Because you can see the overflowing passion in his eyes while it also tugs at your soul. I know he attributes much of his success and opportunities to GOD, but he is a super hard worker who is constantly working to improve his craft and himself. Because he never settles for just good enough.

The most important thing (I believe), is that he has not forgotten he is human-- who lives and hurts just like the rest of us. But he is able to turn the negatives and use it as incentives for positive development.

If you ever have doubts in yourself, Jason is the living proof that anything is possible.

Hio

hiohio.net

Jason Tom is my very talented friend...in my eyes and experience he is one of the world's best beat box entertainer and a master at his talent in rythms and beats and tones...very first time I saw and met him a few years ago at a event in Aloha Tower Honolulu, when i heard him I knew then he would be as good as he wants to be...keep it up my friend
Rolando Sanchez

Jason is very talented. He can sing, beatbox and draw!

Jason Tom is a pioneer of the art of human beatbox in Hawai. Artist, Educator, Creative Entrepeneur.

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