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Meet Jacenta Yu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacenta Yu.

Jacenta, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Since I was young, I was heavily involved with classical music for piano. I performed often and won scholarships around my hometown. However, as much as I loved performing, I knew I would never be good enough to make it as a pianist, nor was I musically creative enough to be a composer. But my ears were my greatest asset and I knew I wanted to continue with them in some form. It wasn’t until one year, my brother had a talk with me as he was shuttling me around town, that he told me to try out sound design. Honestly during that moment, neither of us really knew what it was, only that it existed. I had recently dropped out of my previous University (studying nursing), and the community colleges around me had a few audio-related classes to offer so this seemed like a good time for me to try out new things. A few years passed in these community colleges and I grew to love all the things I was learning until I finally applied for the school I currently attend, Calarts.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I come from a very practical family where art is not looked highly upon. Thankfully, I had very supportive siblings who helped pave the way for me. My brother helped me a lot. He was also an artist growing up so he had similar struggles. I had once mentioned to him that I refused to go to college because I did not want to be in debt for the rest of my life. He gave me a look and said, “Worrying about debt means that you’re not confident that you’re good enough to make money and if you’re not confident in what you’re doing then maybe it isn’t for you.” Overtime, my family grew to accept my choice but they still had their doubts and concerns. I remember before I left for my college, I had created an entire slideshow presentation about my career path, the different options it provides, and the income. It wasn’t a solution, but it was the start of acceptance.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a sound designer that specializes in Theatre but I also love working for films and games. I say this a lot but I often call sound design “The Underdog” because most people never seem to notice that it is a creative career. I want to show people that sound is a creative art and can be used in multiple forms.

What were you like growing up?
As mentioned before, I was a classical pianist since young so playing piano has always been a huge part of my life. I would spend 2-3 hours practicing daily and during the summer, I would practice around 13 hours. Besides music, I played a lot of games and read manga. I learned to be very sneaky growing up since games were not allowed in my household. I loved playing multiplayer games such as Runescape and Maplestory as it allowed me to interact with different sorts of people I normally would not encounter. Online gaming has become a huge part of my life as many of my closest friends were met through these gaming platforms. In my elementary school days, I loved creating new ways to play games even if it often got others in trouble. According to my elementary school friends, I was someone who “often got others in trouble but not herself”.

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