People often think actors only crave fortune and fame. However, it is not the case for those who have experienced rejections and failures throughout their career. Behind the camera, the entertainment industry requires sacrifices for you to build a name, especially if you are an Asian actress in Hollywood. The reward—measly pay and discrimination against certain races, genders, and appearances.
In this episode, Vivian Ahn discusses the challenges she has encountered to fulfill her dreams of being an actress. Being in the industry for ten years, she shares her experiences and insights about the acting industry’s diversity and changes throughout the years.
If you are an aspiring Asian actress in Hollywood, learn how to survive the competition by listening to the full episode.
Here are the three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Discover how Hollywood differs from Asian shows and films.
- Determine the challenges and discrimination auditionees face when entering the entertainment industry.
- Find out how Vivian started and endured the predicaments she encountered to succeed in her acting career.
- Check out the items that have been crucial for my self-development here!
Film & Casting in Hollywood vs. in Asia
- Both Hollywood and Asian (specifically China) film industries are competitive.
- Casting is open to all ethnicities unless a role requires a particular ethnicity to be portrayed.
- Some films and shows require fluency in a specific language. However, if the role is specifically for Japanese natives, they will opt for a Japanese native even if you know Japanese.
TV Shows vs. Film vs. Commercial
- Film is shorter and more condensed than TV series. But somehow, the differences are blurring because of the rise of streaming services.
- Acting variation, duration of shooting, and timelines in pay are the significant differences in TV shows, films, and commercials.
- TV shows offer more genres, such as sitcoms and reality shows.
- The jobs offered on TV are more consistent than commercials and movies. In the entertainment industry, this is more of a full-time job or work.
Getting Paid for Shows or Commercials
- There are different schemes of payment in every company, such as nonunion pay and union pay. Other companies even have insurance for their artists.
- Some commercials are shown repeatedly over the years, which translates to the renewal of your contract and fee.
- Commercial rates also depend on the actors.
Challenges in the Entertainment Industry
- Auditioning for a role is challenging. There is a 1% chance you will be chosen in an audition.
- Most of the time, your pay is divided into the agency’s percentage and other expenses.
- It’s tough to get a role because judges focus on physical appearance more than the auditionees’ skills.
- Vivian says you need to learn how to market and brand yourself to stand out from the competition.
- Most of the time, the panel will not tell you why you are not chosen. To succeed, you need to understand yourself and work on your audition mistakes.
Loving & Understanding the Career You’ve Chosen
- As Vivian grows and learns more about acting, she realized acting is not portraying somebody else.
- Every role is necessary for a scene, film, or show. Everyone serves a purpose and story.
5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode
[28:00] “Create your content and let people see you play a different side of you.”
[29:14] “You have to be really good at whatever you do. And then, an opportunity comes and you get to do a completely different thing.”
[40:08] “I realized acting is about knowing yourself, and what trigger yourself, and actually loving yourself, and understand yourself. And, no matter which role you play, you’re playing a snippet of yourself, like a different side of you, trying to get into the psyche of that character. But it’s still how you interpret that character.”
[41:51] “Every role is written into the scene or the film or TV or show for a reason. And you’re there to serve that story.”
[45:46] “I think when you know that somebody is supporting you, like, even not monetary-wise, just that emotional support, I think that’s what keeps most of us going.”
Vivian Ahn is a singer, actress, and producer. She has loved the film industry ever since she was six, participating in different school activities related to scriptwriting and short movie filming. Ten years ago, Vivian decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue her acting career. She graduated from Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, and one of her assets is her fluency in different languages.
Vivian is part of the cast of Come Across, Henry Danger, and Daytime Moon. She is also setting up her podcast and creative content on her YouTube channel.
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