Interviewed by: Lindsey Weissmueller, CSA
1) Has there been a Casting Director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?
I am lucky enough to say I have had multiple. Immediately, Ally Beans comes to mind who was one of the CD’s behind my first titular lead in an indie film and most recently, Lindsey Weissmueller who recently cast me in a project that has already led to many amazing experiences and opportunities in my life, including this interview!
Another great CD that has indirectly encouraged my career would be Jeff Greenberg; I auditioned multiple times for Modern Family before I ended up booking a co-star role in an episode (which got cut for time!), but the atmosphere he created in his office combined with his kind, encouraging energy took away a lot of my anxiety, at the time, behind auditioning for a big show like Modern Family as I was still relatively green, and instead made me excited to audition for the show whenever they came about. I loved going to his office and as an added unexpected bonus, I met one of my closest friends in his waiting room!
2) What work are you most proud of?
I’m pretty hyper-critical when it comes to my work, maybe to the point of it going a little overboard, but I like to think it’s a good driving and striving factor. But the work I’m most proud of so far is my guest starring role as Simryn Patel on Fresh Off the Boat. I say this because, aside from the show itself already being a successful groundbreaking show on a major network for the Asian community, shortly after it aired, I received a flood of messages from Indian-American kids and even adults from around the world who were simply so excited to see themselves represented in a way they hadn’t yet seen but evidently resonated with. It was kind of a beautiful cosmic full circle moment in the sense that I was a part of something that 8-year-old me wish she had been able to see growing up. It was a good reminder for two things: there’s still a lot of work needed to be done, but also that, what I do is bigger than myself.
3) What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
As a child, I always enjoyed entertaining people, whether it be my family, friends, or classmates, but never dreamt anything more of it than just having fun, because the lack of representation I saw growing up. I performed in my 3rd grade talent show, and to my surprise, my dad decided to enroll me in acting classes immediately afterwards and I’ve been lucky enough to do it since. The goal at this point is just to be able to work enough to pay them back for all the gas money they tirelessly spent driving me to and from auditions! Thanks mom and dad!
4) What was your first IMDBPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it?
Truthfully, I was so new to the business, I didn’t learn about IMDBpro until a SAG seminar class many years later into my career. I did however, Google myself at the humble age of ten years old after I attended my first red carpet premiere and was totally convinced, I’d have to start wearing sun glasses and baseball caps whenever I left my house.
5) How has IMDBPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?
Accessibility and conveniency. When I first began acting, hard copies of your résumé and headshot were mandatory because that was how people knew who you were and kept track. With IMDbPro, if a filmmaker is at home watching a show you’re on, or at a film festival and is interested, all they have to do is search you up on this site, and BAM, there’s all of the info they would need to inquire about you or vice versa. It’s a win for my career and a win for trees.
6) Any funny casting room stories?
I was at a producer’s session back in the days when we had in-person auditions and it was for a CD I deeply respected and admired. Important to mention, she was not present for the first-round audition – anyways, as I was anxiously awaiting to go in, she came out to get me and stuck her hand out; I, then proceeded to stick my hand out to shake her hand. Turns out she was actually gesturing for my headshot and résumé, and I am just very awkward.
7) Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting:
I’m a big fan of sports, particularly basketball, and played competitively on a travel team for about 6 years growing up. I wasn’t a prodigy by any means, but I was the carnival champion of “baskets in a minute” in my entire school district in 5th grade… so who knows, if acting doesn’t work out, maybe I do have a backup plan.View on IMDbPro More Actors of the Month