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Life and Work with Da Young Lisa Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Da Young Lisa Park.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Da Young Lisa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well… currently, I’m enrolled in school to get my bachelor’s in English in Creative Writing. I took a 6-year hiatus and I had originally assumed that I’d never go back to school again because I wanted to work in entertainment as an actor. And since I don’t exactly need a degree for acting, I didn’t feel any sense of urgency to getting a degree. But let’s playback to those last six years of working so many odd jobs from becoming a licensed physical trainer and working at Golds Gym in Downtown LA, to bartending, serving tables, photography, being a social media content creator, a creative assistant, filming video content, and being a professional twerker. I was constantly facing financial insecurities. It’s not easy trying to survive as an artist and I’m not inherently gifted with acting abilities. I’m actually quite awful when it comes to serious and dramatic scenes. So, I couldn’t find my way in the acting world… plus, I didn’t know a single person who was an “actor” nor did I have a family to help guide me through the process. I really had to figure everything out on my own. And I’m still figuring things out.

Anyways, it was really after having a mental breakdown back in 2015 when I realized a lot about myself and who I am. I realized that hey!… I’m pretty funny and I always have been. I got voted class clown in junior high and high school… and maybe this is the “acting” work I’ve been looking for all this time. I sort of put 1 and 2 together and realized that since I’m not a “serious” actor, I’m a comedian, an entertainer. A person who enjoys making people laugh and smile. I’ve always been that way. Filling in that awkward silence by saying or doing something weird and outlandish. Once I realized this, I started on my journey to taking improv classes at SecondCity and The Groundlings in Los Angeles and doing some open mics for stand up comedy. I joined an all-female improv troupe where we got to perform sketch and improv at the Comedy Central Stage.

Although I love performing, I also love being behind the scenes of things. I realized this as I was trying to write jokes for stand up. And all I would write is stories, endless stories that I had throughout my life. I’ve always been a writer from owning multiple online blogs from xanga, livejournal, Blogspot, WordPress, you name it. (I deleted all of them though because reading back on what you wrote as a not so intelligible adult is quite embarrassing and shameful). Writing has always been a part of my life when I was a little kid. My diary was my safe haven (I still have my diary from when I was a little kid! And yes… it’s absolutely HILARIOUS). I used to love writing poems (emo poems cause I was an emo kid) and I always wanted to write my own book. Unfortunately, for the last 10 years, I’ve put it off due to my impeccable laziness. Which brings me back to my point as to why I’m back in college… since I started acting, you could guess that I’m not always landing jobs and I’m broke almost 24/7. It’s also a career that I have to get real with myself that I may not be able to fully support myself for… years… and possibly never. So, getting a degree is my way to help alleviate any extra financial stresses that may come along the way as I continue to pursue my entertainment career. To be honest… who knows where it’ll take me. I may just end up writing that book I’ve always dreamed of writing or writing for a tv show or my own screenplay. Who really knows. All I know is that I’m taking the necessary steps right now in hopes of bettering my tomorrow.

In our experience, taking steps to invest in a better tomorrow is almost always the right answer. 2015 was a rough time, but since then you’ve made some significant progress in your journey. Looking back, has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nope, not one bit. Well addiction actually runs in my family along with depression and anxiety. And my brother has struggled with drug addiction for the last 15 years or so, and the last five years was the hardest and darkest times of my life. My family and I tried everything we could to help my brother, but there really isn’t much you can do once the grips of addiction take hold of someone. From jail/prison, to multiple cops visiting our home, and seeing my brother out on the streets from Skid Row to Hollywood Blvd, high, homeless and begging for money is soul-crushing. How I made it through those times… I don’t really know, as a recovering addict myself and facing my own mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and pmdd, I finally decided to seek out a therapist and psychiatrist in 2018. (Thanks to my partner Geno for helping, informing and supporting me, to seek the professional help that I needed.) I got on anti-depressants for nine months and got CBT therapy which really helped put me back onto my feet.

We all struggle and we all face hardships along our journey through this crazy and chaotic life. But I think the best thing you could do is not give up, always check in on yourself and if you need professional help… go and get it. Seriously. It’ll save your life.

Let’s talk a bit about what you are currently focused on and known for. What sets you apart from others?
Well, I’m an actor/comedian/writer/entertainer. And I’m known for being quirky, eccentric, uninhibited and my uncouth self. The thing I’m most proud of doing is volunteer work with hospice patients who are terminally ill. I would love to find more ways to help those in need, whether it’s through providing love, compassion and empathy to others or by bringing laughter, joy, hope and inspiration into someone’s life. I guess that’s really a life goal for me… to bring joy and happiness into the world whether it’s through my writing, my sense of humor, acting abilities or lack thereof, and overall presence to those around me in my everyday life.

What sets me apart… I don’t really know. I feel like we are all really the same at the end of the day… But I guess the one thing that really sets me apart is my diff attributes, my life story, my own unique set of DNA, and my general biology that makes me… me.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
Youtube Channels to Follow – School Of Life, Ted Talks, Big Think, Academy of Ideas, After Skool, Success Chasers
Oh and listen to talks given by Jordan Peterson, Simon Sinek, Brene Brown, Gary Zukav, Sadhguru, Les Brown, Wayne Dyer, Alan Watts, and Comedians

Podcasts – Super Soul Conversations & Master class by Oprah Winfrey, Savvy Psychologist and Bill Burr

Books: The Compassionate Samurai by Brian Klemmer
The Power of Now & A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Emotional Alchemy by Tara Bennett-Goleman
The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley
How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
An Open Heart by The Dalai Lama

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