An Interview With...
What is your current "occupation"? What is a typical week like for you?
I work part-time as a promotional model/actress. I am currently finishing up one required foreign language class (Intermediate Italian) to receive a B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. During the week, I attend Italian class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Riverside Community College, and I work as a model/actress for television, pilots, commercials, print, conventions, and film. I am apart of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union. On the weekends, I attend classes at Kaplan to help prep me for the LSAT on June 8th, 2009. I spend my entire weekend at the library or at home studying for the LSAT. I will be receiving my B.A. in Psychology on June 14th after a completion of an Intermediate Italian course. I have already applied to nine law schools in the southern California area for the fall school term 2009. I hope to do well on my LSAT - aiming for a score of 162-172 (75th percentile) out of 180 (maximum score for LSAT).
What do you plan to do after completing your Bachelor’s degree?
I plan to work in the entertainment industry as a casting director, producer, or director's assistant. In my free time, I would like to audition for principal acting roles. My primary goal is to attend law school in the fall term of 2009. After law school, I plan to start my own legal law firm, dealing with criminal, entertainment, divorce, international, and malpractice matters.
What are you doing to prepare for entry into Law School?
At this moment, I am working hard at studying for the LSAT. However, prior to the application process, I attended a four-year university, joined academic organizations (Omicron Delta Kappa), volunteered for the American Red Cross, participated in beauty pageants, worked part-time as an actress/model to pay for tuition, conducted research on the legal field, interviewed attorneys, worked internships, attended political events, fundraised for charities, and attended my professor's office hours (for possible recommendation letter requests).
What is required to enter Law School?
1) LSAT score (register for a test date)
What were your favorite subjects in elementary and high school? Did you have any particular teachers who inspired you?
My favorite subjects were science and history. I enjoyed ballet, acting and music (violin) lessons.
A comparative literature professor at UC Riverside once told me that it was unacceptable for me to miss lecture to attend acting auditions because in the long run, a four-year degree is much more essential for a stable, reliable career. Education is the key to a successful future. He told me that once I obtain my degree, then I can do whatever I want, but as long as I have my degree, life will be much easier (especially through hard economic times). Education is the first priority because it will yield financial stability. The fun stuff comes after education, such as acting, modeling, and traveling.
What were your least favorite subjects?
My least favorite subject was math. I had a hard time focusing on the rules for every math formula. Math involved good memorization skills. My memory was not very good in elementary and high school. However, in college, the memorization skills I learned from my previous math classes helped me pass college algebra, which was a mandatory requirement at a four-year university.
What was your interest in Psychology? Why did you choose that field of study?
I was interested in understanding the human mind. I wanted to understand how the function of the brain and its structure can influence human behavior. I was curious to find out, "Why do we do what we do?"
At first, I wanted to be a doctor. I changed my mind because that's not what I really wanted to do with my life (but rather a choice based on my parent's wishes). I worked as a promotional model for three to four years. After a while, I realized that I cannot model forever - the peak for modeling is between 18-25 years of age. After the age of 24, I returned to school to advance my education.
When did you know that you wanted to enter Law? What inspired you to pursue work in this field?
I told my academic advisor at UC Riverside that I wanted a prestigious occupation, but that I did not want to be a doctor or professor. I asked him what I can do with a four-year degree to advance my education. He asked me about my hobbies. I told him that I like Philosophy and critical thinking. He suggested that I look into law school. I conducted research on a career in the legal field. I realized that my passion is to fight for justice and humanity. A career as an attorney fits me perfectly. I would like to become a defense lawyer for criminal cases.
What languages do you speak or have you studied? How do you think they will be of use in your future career?
My native language is Vietnamese. I am currently studying Italian. I like to study the pronunciation and articulation of different languages. The knowledge will help me interact with potential clients in the future.
How did you get involved in modeling and acting? What type of modeling did you (or do you) do?
I started modeling at the age of 18. I worked for a total of seven modeling agencies. I received work for print, skincare and make up promotions, fashion events, and advertising. I signed with three talent agencies for acting. I received work for television, film, and pilots. Professional work is almost always confidential via release forms. The majority of the work is located in the Los Angeles, Burbank, Santa Monica, and Hollywood area. I have two calling services for updates on auditions and new projects. I am a beauty ambassador for the "Miss Vietnam California" 2008 pageant. I am a ring girl for the American Martial Arts Magazine.
What do you like best about modeling and show business?
The aspect about the industry that I like best is the opportunity to have fun. Modeling and acting is fun. I like the catering service on the set. I like the make up and wardrobe aspect of it. I meet all types of people from around the world. It's glamorous only if you have what it takes. If you are physically fit, good looking, talented, and have a youthful appearance, then opportunities are attainable. It is important to maintain a marketable image. First impressions can be a deal breaker. Professional photos are required for a portfolio.
The industry is very competitive. It's hard to make friends on the set. Trust is a major issue of conflict.
Would you want to pursue acting as a career?
I would pursue acting only as a hobby. The industry is unstable, nothing is 100% certain.
How did you get involved with the "Survivor" reality show? Why did you choose not to go on the program?
I sent in an audition tape for the "Survivor" reality show. There were several interviews over the phone. The casting directors usually choose the most unique and competitive individuals for the show. Intelligence, wit, and determination are the major factors for consideration. I decided not to pursue a spot on the show because I was busy advancing my education at the time. The show requires that you set aside two-three months, and the departure date for the travel is unknown. Everything is determined unexpectedly, without prior notice.
What do you do to stay healthy and be physically fit? Where do you find the time?
I exercise 2-3 times a week for 1-2 hours. I stay away from fried foods. I only eat when I am hungry. I do not consume large servings or snack on junk foods. I work out at home because I do not have the time to go to the gym.
Why did you agree to do an Imagiverse interview?
I like to motivate people to embrace peace, education, positivism, humanity, and justice in the world community. I think it's important for students to volunteer because it teaches them the fundamental essence of altruism, placing the best interest of others before their own. It heightens their morality and makes them a better and caring person.
Do you have any advice for the students who are reading this interview?
Education is important for long-term success. It will provide a lot of extraordinary opportunities for your future. Education is, "...a means to an end." It will help get you to where you want to be in life.
Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?
"Find something that you love to do and it will turn into a business."
It means to discover your talents, passions, and potential. If you find something that you truly love to do, you should make a career out of it. You will earn a financial income for doing what you love to do.
In the acting/modeling industry do you ever worry that you might be mistaken for someone else with the same name (e.g., on the Internet)? What do you do you do to ensure this does not happen?
No, I have never been mistaken for someone else in the professional industry, especially when interacting with producers, directors, or casting directors. The true talents are never over-shadowed by mere unprofessional individuals seeking fame via the Internet. My name and face is never mistaken for someone else. I present myself in a sophisticated and professional manner, which is something that I do to distinguish myself from association with any other person with the same name as mine. The professional acting/modeling industry is my only concern.
- 8 May 2009
19 May 2009
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