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Check Out Celina Nguyen’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Celina Nguyen.

Hi Celina, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in Southern California with my twin sister. We were raised by a strong, independent, single mother. At the age of five, my mom introduced me to Disneyland. From then on, I knew I wanted to become a singer and a performer. But the happiest place on earth was taken away from me when my mom decided to move to Wisconsin for a better life.

Throughout my childhood, my twin sister and I learned what it felt like to be an outcast. As a result of being bullied and discriminated against, I experienced racism and prejudice. It changed my life forever. Being Vietnamese American in a new environment presented challenges, and I was transferred to many different schools.

I found peace in music and art class. Thus, I immersed myself in them and devoted myself to learning. Every day after school, I would hide in a small closet and pretend to be in a recording studio. I hung the string from a toy microphone from the pile of folded clothes on the shelf. On my cassette tape player, I listened to Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and many other powerhouse artists repeatedly. It was my goal to sound as good as those performers. Despite being self-taught, I strived to reach this goal every day.

My mom couldn’t afford dance classes; so during lunch period and after school, I would learn how to dance through my best friend. Throughout my preteen years, I taught herself music theory and choreography. I even made a girl band/group with my sister and my best friend. We called ourselves “2.C.L.H.” Every summer, we would practice singing and dancing on my friend’s porch. Looking back, this was a lot of self-discipline and determination for an eight year old. With no parental or teacher’s guidance. We would participate in all the talent shows in the small city of West Allis, Wisconsin.

At the age of 13, my family and I moved back to SoCal. Having to leave my best friend behind, I started to struggle with depression. I found comfort in writing and started to write poems and lyrics. In High School, I was awarded first place in my Show Choir competitions and concerts. Ultimately, my hard work earned me a BFA degree in Musical Theatre at CalState University of Fullerton. But I longed for more.

Since the Pandemic, I was forced to cancel many opportunities and it set me back significantly. I had to put my music career aside to care for my mother who had various medical issues which she was hospitalized for. Now that my mother is in recuperation, I hope to pursue my music career to the fullest extent.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being a musician is not easy! I was not raised in a wealthy family. I worked hard to learn and buy the things I needed to succeed. As an artist, we struggle to make enough to get by. Working multiple jobs and still need to find time for yourself, sleep, friends/family.

For five years, I would commute 60-200 miles/day for work. I would sleep in my car (that was falling apart and flooding when it rained.) just so that I could save gas and get to work on time the next day!

Additionally, still having to balance depression and anxiety. I lost many loved ones in my life at a very young age. It has affected the way I think and the way I move through my life. I think it’s important to be kind and patient with yourself and others. I struggled with so much and overcame them. I am proud to say I survived being bullied and overcoming racism. I learned that these problems will always be there. But having a strong sense of self and learning about psychology has helped me become more aware of myself and others. It has made me stronger.

Through these challenges, I am able to bring my passion into my music and writing.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a multi-talented singer-songwriter with a strong background in acting and dance.

I am a writer and producer of my own live events, projects, and online content.

Graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre. I am a classically trained vocalist who has studied jazz and has been performing since the age of seven. Most people described my voice as sultry jazz with an R&B influence. Which has carried me everywhere from musical theatre productions, In the Heights, Miss Saigon; to performing at the House of Blues and Music Festivals. I have also appeared on television, Netflix’s Lucifer, On My Block, and Star Trek Picard with my twin sister.

My most proudest achievement is: I recently opened up a new business that helps actors, musicians, and models create content and projects. A production studio that artists can lease for filming, photography, and other special events.

We also have our in house photographer and videographer that cater to weddings, family holiday photoshoots, funerals, and other special events.

We have our band that caters to weddings, concerts in the parks, music festivals, wineries, breweries, and other special events.

My most recent accomplishment is finally starting my own business. Taking a leap and making a scary big change.

I’m tired of waiting and watching time pass me by. So I’ll just make my own dreams come true!

I think what sets me apart from others is that I have a twin sister, I am a 1940s vintage enthusiast, former Cast Member at Disneyland Entertainment Dept., and the hardships that I have overcome.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I listen to a few podcasts. But what helps me best in life are my friends and family! They are very rare to come by and I only have a hand full. I seek for their help and advice when it comes to difficult times. I think it’s very important to have a good support team. And to know as many people in all different fields! (Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, Computer Tech, Car Technicians and Mechanics, Entertainment, Electrician, Construction, etc.)

Everything else, I just learn from YouTube and Google!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
TNT Productions (@TNTProductions2021)

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