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Meet Vivian Ahn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vivian Ahn.

Vivian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up with parents who are movie-lovers, I knew when I was around six or seven years old that I wanted to be a performer when I grow up. I remember my parents would tell me to do my homework later because we have a movie to catch.

I always loved reading and telling stories. Ever since Grade 1, I would always volunteer to go up onto the stage to tell stories. At age 8, I knew how to write scripts in script format. When finished, I would pass it to my sister and cousins, give us roles to play and direct them. When I was about 13 years old, my sister’s Chinese school class group project needed to create a short film in which I volunteered to help her with writing, directing and in-camera editing the film. This is when I finally told my parents that I wanted to be an actress. To my surprise, my mom was very upset and my dad told me that “Movie is just a form of entertainment, it’s not a real job”. Since then, I realize that if I want to be an actress, I am on my own.

In June 2010, I moved to Los Angeles by myself to pursue my career in acting, I graduated from Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre-Los Angeles two years program. Before the program, I always hated myself and wanted to become someone else. As I studied acting more, I started to understand myself more and also learned to love myself more. It is truly a wonderful journey and to this day, I remind myself everyday to keep my curiosity and live in the moment; make decisions based out of love not fear and have no regrets. I want to create timeless art pieces that will resonate with people and move them emotionally so they cry and laugh with me. With this said, I am currently working on a script about my journey as an actress. It is still in the developmental stage at the moment which I hope to finish writing the script by the end of this year.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely was not a smooth journey. The first obstacle I encountered was my parent’s objection for me to pursue this career. I do have to admit it is a very unstable career. Many of us need another job or several jobs to stay afloat and hoping we can be on TV or the big screen one day. I prioritize acting over everything else which means I can’t find a 9-5 job because I need to be able to go to auditions. Usually, we get audition notifications the day before and sometimes even on the day of.

My friends admire me for going after my passion, but for the past ten years, my parents and all of my friends always try to persuade and convince me that maybe it’s time to give up. I should treat acting less seriously and see it more as a hobby.

Every year, I see my acting classmates, colleagues and friends giving up and turning to seek a more stable job or get married and have a family. Every night I wonder to myself that maybe I should give up because I am not beautiful enough, thin enough, young enough, Asian enough, unique enough, memorable enough, talented enough to pursue this dream.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
It has always been my language skills that got me work. Not only am I fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese, growing up in Mississauga, Canada, I learned French for about nine years. I can also speak conversational Cantonese, Japanese and Korean

I am also in the process of setting up a podcast as well as creating more content on my YouTube channel.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes of course it is. It’s every actor’s dream to be in Hollywood. It is the city of Angeles and the city of ambitious dreams, but it is also a city of harsh reality and very competitive. You need emotional support, stamina, persistence, thick skin, and the ability to support yourself financially and consistently to survive in this city and in this industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Woo, Yun Jeong (Studio Atoz), Adrian Zaw (Zaw Studios), Bea Strobl

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