Disappointment & Friendship

Last week I shared about the disappointment I felt in my life. Since then my inbox, comment section and phone has been filled with so much love and encouragement. There is no doubt that I have love, friendship, family and support in my life, but it also got me thinking... What led me here? 

I noticed so many of you related to my experience and were going through a very similar season. Thank you for sharing your stories as well, it was nice to read other perspectives and learn about your experiences. As I spent the last week reflecting, I realized a few things.

This year has been the start of my journey in taking care of myself. I've been working since I was young, paid my way through University and was always taking care of everyone else. It was hard but I didn't mind it. I felt like I had a mission and a purpose. I'm glad I had to work hard and fight to survive, of course there were many days I wished I had a rich family or I wished someone could take care of me but having to work and take care of myself made me strong and resilient. Unfortunately, it also caused me to burn out. I was constantly trying to make everyone else happy. Wanting to serve others, to earn love and make my parents proud. I was too prideful to ask for help when I needed it and I thought I could just tough it out. 

So when I needed care it wasn't really there. And the people I expected it from didn't notice or disappeared. Which led me to feel disappointed. But why did I expect anything in the first place?

I guess it comes down to how I define friendship. Some people define friendship as a companion, someone who is just around. But I've come to realize that I have a very different definition of what being a friend means.

I guess this is where I might have been in the wrong. I have always thought a friend as more than a companion. Someone to love and care for, share experiences both good and bad. Friends should respect one another, be honest, encourage and cheer each other on in this crazy journey of life. 

But during the most difficult points in my life, I learned I had a handful of friends who were only takers. When I was at my lowest points with little or nothing to give, they were gone. Whenever I was back on my feet they were back to take. 

As I started seeing the pattern through the ups and downs of my life during the last few years the true colors of some of these friends were revealed, it broke my heart. Some friendships that lasted almost a decade. Gone. Friends I had loved on and cared for years and years. Gone. I felt betrayed, used and beyond disappointed. 

But maybe these friends were never meant to give me anything other than companionship during my good seasons. Through some of those friendships I learned to love, care and most importantly, I learned to forgive. They say we should love without expecting anything in return and I failed. I expected the same amount of love and care. I expected them to return what I had given.

So now I'm trying not to be disappointed and I'm trying to move on. I don't want to be angry or hurt anymore. We have different friends for different reasons and we can't expect all our friends to have the same exact values and character. This year I've been blessed with friends I didn't expect to love on me so much, step up and show me love I could not imagine. I may even disappoint those friends one day by not loving them in return as much as they have loved me. 

I guess this is the first time in a long time that I'm at peace with these distanced friendships. 

Almost feels like a breakup. I feel like I went through the 5 stages of grief... denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It's hard when you break up with friends but like I said, different friends for different seasons. This separation has also allowed room for new friends.  

I've also been reminded that you can't earn love and you shouldn't try to earn love. Just love with no expectation and unconditionally because you are loved. 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Dreaming Vintage

The weekends seem to be shorter and shorter. It's already Monday and I feel like time is slipping through my fingers. Can you believe we're already half way through the year?  

 These days I feel like I'm definitely doing a lot of waiting. Waiting for good news or the right phone call. The business of  acting  is really the waiting game, before you book the job and even when you book the job. There's a fairly common phrase that I find to be very true in this line of work --  We're paid to wait, we throw the acting in for free.  Luckily, this year has been pretty consistent with work, just not the show I want to "live on" or the film that really excites me. So the waiting continues.

These days I feel like I'm definitely doing a lot of waiting. Waiting for good news or the right phone call. The business of acting is really the waiting game, before you book the job and even when you book the job. There's a fairly common phrase that I find to be very true in this line of work -- We're paid to wait, we throw the acting in for free. Luckily, this year has been pretty consistent with work, just not the show I want to "live on" or the film that really excites me. So the waiting continues.

 Despite my somber face, I was having a  lot  of fun at this shoot. I love vintage trinkets and vintage clothes, I feel like they're not just things, vintage pieces have a story. 

Despite my somber face, I was having a lot of fun at this shoot. I love vintage trinkets and vintage clothes, I feel like they're not just things, vintage pieces have a story. 

 I wonder what pieces from 2017 will end up being vintage to those in the future? Who knew "mom jeans" from the 90's would make such a strong comeback. I personally love them. I was never a fan of the ultra low waisted jeans. 

I wonder what pieces from 2017 will end up being vintage to those in the future? Who knew "mom jeans" from the 90's would make such a strong comeback. I personally love them. I was never a fan of the ultra low waisted jeans. 

 Here I am dreaming, as usual, about food. The other day I was going to lunch - very excited - and as my friend and I were walking in I was already planning out what we should eat for dinner. He pointed out how weird that was of me, I guess I've always thought that was normal. You guys don't do that? I'm pretty sure the most exciting thing for me every morning is - what am I going to eat today?!

Here I am dreaming, as usual, about food. The other day I was going to lunch - very excited - and as my friend and I were walking in I was already planning out what we should eat for dinner. He pointed out how weird that was of me, I guess I've always thought that was normal. You guys don't do that? I'm pretty sure the most exciting thing for me every morning is - what am I going to eat today?!

I'll be sharing more photos from this shoot but incase you missed it, here's the behind the scenes shot by my lovely friend Eunice Lee.

Photographer: Kaitlyn Mikayla
Stylists: Ryan & Mandi of Hill People
Hair: Goldy Ilowitz
Makeup: Michelle Singh

Wandering New York

Literally feel like I laughed my face off last night. Sometimes you just need a random night to wander New York City with your friends to get your mind off work & stress. 

We had a little too much fun on the subway. If you follow my instagram you saw all the stories and boomerangs. And of course, Alex flexing his photography skills again. 

Maia, you're just the absolute cutest. I'm still laughing. Last night was just too silly. 

I'm in New York a few times a year but this is one of the first times I've hung out in the city with friends from out of town. Usually my friends from New York will take me around. This time Alex and Maia basically took the lead! Incase you didn't know, they're from Michigan. We usually only hang out in Los Angeles but coincidentally we all happened to have work in New York this week. 

This was basically the last moment we used our phones. We uploaded our boomerangs and put away the cameras and phones for the rest of the evening. Sometimes you just need to disconnect and be in the moment! 

We're all busy so I'm really happy the timing worked out. We checked out a new restaurant, walked around the city, discovered a cool lounge and even watched a live 90's concert! Total throwback. I've been singing Britney all day. 

Life is all about balance. These two train so hard and are incredibly disciplined with their lifestyle and diet. They're model athletes to the core. But they still have a great sense of humor, don't take themselves too seriously and know how to enjoy life. I'm jealous of their fit bodies, but I'm also glad they're down to have cheat meals with me. They're amazing so make sure to follow both Maia & Alex on their socials and subscribe to their ShibSibs channel to stay updated! Big year for them, Olympics are just around the corner!

Photography by Alex Shibutani

Relevant Today, Nobody Tomorrow

What a day it's been. It's 10pm in New York and I finally have a minute to sit. We had our Leonard & Church + Blacklist event all day and I ran off to a photo shoot right after. I took a break for lunch at 3pm but it's basically been non stop. I haven't had time for dinner and I still have more work to do so I'll probably post this and then grab a bite before I finish up the day.

Today was quite overwhelming but also exciting. Thank you to all the people who took time out of their busy day to come out and say hi and support my company! I can't believe I got to make a watch for a hit tv show and it was so cool to see everyone so excited about it! We had a great response from the people at Sony, NBC and all the fans. Who would have thought our tiny company would get this much attention?

Small but mighty. 

This is the second event I've had to plan for Leonard & Church and I can honestly say, I've learned a lot. Any type of business is hard and filled with obstacles. We've been working on Leonard & Church for years and haven't made any money we can take out. Smaller businesses especially struggle because we're essentially competing against multi million dollar corporations with almost nothing in the bank.  It sounds like an impossible task. But good things take time and hard work eventually pays off. So we keep on going. 

But it's interesting to see the people who show up.

You see, when you're successful or relevant, everyone's around and then when things slow down it's like crickets. I know this because the last few years when I was on Teenwolf and there was a lot of buzz, everyone was calling to hang out and what not. But the second I left the show. The phone stopped ringing. So funny how quick it changes when people think you're irrelevant.

I know this sounds harsh but it's the truth. 

This industry is rough. You're relevant today and nobody tomorrow. That's just how it is. Up and down. To stay sane, you have to be aware of it and accept that reality. Your value & worth can't be based on your popularity or the number of likes you get. It doesn't matter if 2 people like your photos or a 100. It matters if you like it. If the foundation of your identity is rooted in something so fleeting, like the approval of others, you're never going to be happy. You'll also never be satisfied and eventually crash and burn. Chasing something like that is running a race that has no finish. You can't really measure the level of success or fame, you might be the most famous person to someone and irrelevant to another. You might also be the richest person but also the poorest. 

We started Leonard & Church because we had a vision and a dream to bring the best quality watches at the fairest price to our consumers. What I've learned along the way? People think expensive is better - it's not. People think what bloggers post is better - they're usually paid to post. People think the party with influencers is cool - but they're all usually paid to be there. Very little is authentic anymore. Everyone is so easily influenced by social media. I feel like a lot of people don't even know what they like, they just like what they think they should like or what they're told to like. 

We're a baby company taking baby steps. It's just 3 of us, working nonstop. Doing the best we can do. But we are growing and I'll definitely remember the people who stuck by us and believed in us.

I'll remember the people who showed up when we didn't have any marketing budget or fancy gift bags.

I'll remember the influencers and actors who showed up and supported when we had no budget or rate for their time. 

I'll remember the friends who insisted on buying a watch and supporting. 

I'll remember John Cho, I look up to him greatly as an actor and a human. We're not super tight friends, we don't hang out on a regular basis. But when I mentioned what I was doing with the company and shared a watch with him, he happily shared and supported on social media before I could even ask. Definitely took me by surprise. 

Anyways, I'm always surprised by the ones I think will support and then the ones I never expect to support that actually end up supporting. Has this ever happened to you? You hit rock bottom and the friend you reach out to doesn't give you a hand while a stranger does? This has happened to me many times in life and I think it's an interesting lesson.

I think struggles are good, you learn to ask for help and you see who your true friends are. Sometimes you need to weed out the bad ones, you don't want them around when you really start to bloom.  

East Coast Bound

I'm about to head out of town for two weeks. When I get back home I'm going to lock myself in my room for 4 days. (If you read my post yesterday, this will make more sense)

But I'm still excited to see all of you and meet you guys so please come say hi! Sometimes I have nightmares that I'll go to a school for an event or a talk and no one will show up. This hasn't happened yet but it's still a fear.

I've also been reading that people have seen me at some of the places I filmed ARDEN EATS and didn't say hi because they were scared, please don't be scared to say hi! I feel more awkward when you just stare and don't say hello. Maybe just time it right so my mouth isn't full of food right when you say hi. 

Looks like there will also be a lot of opportunities to meet in the next month so watch the video below to get the updates!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for all the encouragement. I don't know why but I've been receiving it a lot more than usual. It's been really helpful during this season of my life. I really appreciate all of you. 

It's also nice to see that we're all so similar! All around the world, with different life experiences yet our hearts feel and hurt the same. 

I wonder how different things would be if everyone in the world could see into each other's hearts. If we stopped looking at each other as different races or countries or religions but just as people. If we saw each other as the same, maybe we could live together in peace.

INFP Struggles are real

I feel so overwhelmed these days. 

If you've been following my work for a while you know that I took a 4 year break from uploading videos on youtube and I recently made a come back of some sort. I've been uploading on Tuesdays, Fridays and now also Sundays. Initially it was really exciting to do something consistent and continuously share the things I love. But throughout this process I've learned I'm not good at planning. However, posting regularly definitely takes quite a bit of planning. 

I realize that when I used to upload videos, it was never a set schedule. It was honestly - whenever I felt like it. Sometimes I didn't upload for months and sometimes I uploaded 3 days back to back. 

I'm such a feeler. I'm an INFP "The Mediator" (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception) - basically known as “Children of the Myers Briggs World”. We're total idealists and dreamers, always trying to see the best in everyone and everything. Out of the 16 personality types, INFP's are referred to as the Healers. They're driven by a strong sense of right and wrong and a desire to exercise their creativity. 

I think this is why I like blogging. It helps me say what I actually want to say. It's not quite as eloquent or organized as I would like it to be, but it's a way to tidy my scattered thoughts.  

There are so many things I struggle with because of my INFP personality. I'll share some with you here. I'm sure only my fellow INFP readers will fully understand, there aren't many of us so I know it's frustrating but you're not alone!

People always mistake me for an extravert because I love to entertain and make sure everyone is happy and enjoying themselves. This happens often in a setting with a lot of people. Crowds make me incredibly uncomfortable so I'll usually be extra goofy to cover up how awkward I'm feeling inside. 

This can be exhausting, I'll literally go home and crawl up in a ball in my bed or cry after being around a lot of people for an extended period of time. 

It's weird because it's not that INFP's don't like people. Generally we care too much about other people and it's so intense that the company of others can become overwhelming. Confusing, I know.

My heart literally hurts because I care so much. I feel like life would be so much easier if I just didn't care. But I don't know how to switch that feeling off. 

I'm terrified of meeting new people and shy but I'm more terrified of being rude and not talking, so I'll force myself to be conversational - this is usually painfully awkward. 

INFP's are incredibly shy and incredibly sensitive. We also read into thing WAY too much. 

We'll often misinterpret text messages and think people are mad at us because of punctuation or lack of emojis. 

We'll always be the one who apologizes and we'll feel bad, even when it's not our fault. 

INFP's get caught up in their work very easily. On days I'm writing or working on something creative, I'll start in the morning and before I know it, it'll be sundown. I basically can't stop until I finish and I'll forget to eat. Which is the WORST. Because I love eating. I once started editing a video and didn't stop for 13 hours. I really had to pee. 

Sometimes I blurt things in conversations that barely have anything to do with what we're talking about but it's because it reminded me of one thing that lead to another thing that related to what we were talking about. Also because if I don't say it in that exact moment, I'll forget. This is borderline worse because of my INFP personality & my forgetfulness combined. 

INFP's are heartbroken constantly when they have great ideas. We love sharing them and we get so excited about our dreams. But it usually never goes as planned. I know for me it usually leads to someone poking holes in every logical flaw and crushing my dreams. Like even starting this new blog, all my friends said I was crazy to think I'd be able to blog everyday! 

Despite all this we still perceive the best in everyone and everything, this leads to lots of betrayal and being used all the time. But we never stop believing or having hope that people are good

INFP's are also great listeners. I've definitely had a bunch of friends that I'm pretty sure only kept me around for free counseling sessions. Which I don't really mind because although I'm not a licensed therapist, I have my BA in Psychology and it's nice to feel like I'm making use of that degree someway or another. 

INFP's are good at turning a superficial conversation with a stranger into a deep metaphor that reflects the greater meaning of life. This can also be awkward when the other person really didn't want to have a conversation. I know because it's happened to me at college campuses after my talks. Sometimes I feel like I should just shut up

Laughing randomly in public because I remembered something funny. Super awkward when it happens during a meeting or a serious setting. 

But then not laughing at something everyone else is laughing at. I'm also the one laughing during a movie in moments no one else is laughing and not laughing when everyone else is laughing... thanks friends for still watching movies with me. 

Anytime you're in a public setting you have at least a few face palm moments and you wish there was an "undo button" or a "rewind button" because you said or did something stupid or awkward. 

I know it's hard to open up and be vulnerable with people but learning these things about your personality can help you over compensate or even change the things you don't like. I've learned to be vulnerable with a few friends, it took me many years but none of my friends are INFP and they still totally see all this, get it and accept me for who I am. So there's hope! You just have to try. 

Feeling like a complete weirdo, being overly sensitive, shy and free spirited might suck at times but be happy because we're only 4% of the population, that makes us pretty special. 

Also this might be TMI but I've been working on this post all day and I think I've finally finished and now I've realized I really have to pee and eat. The struggle is real. 

Fun fact, INFPs you may recognize: Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon, Johnny Depp, William Shakespeare, Princess Diana, Julia Roberts, Alicia Keys, Lisa Kudrow and Tom Hiddleston 

Resurrection Sunday

I know Easter has become a very commercialized holiday, but for me today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the reason we are able to live. Thank you Jesus for this life and for setting us free. Though I fall short and I am sinful, I am able to live because Jesus died for my sins. If you're not a believer I hope you search for truth because even though you don't know him, he still died so that you could live. He doesn't ask anything of you except for you to know and love him. No matter where you are in your life, know that God loves and cherishes you.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3: 16-17

One of my most favorite things about church is worship. It's when I can be intimate and connect with God on a personal level. People have asked me why I sing Christian songs, but why do we sing at all? We sing love songs to share our feelings, fun songs to dance, etc and essentially Christian music is the same. They're love songs to God. I've realized many people don't know what it means to worship. Especially if you're not familiar with church, singing praise, or worshiping through music can seem overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. 

Worship is basically the act of showing love and respect for God whether it be through song or prayer. For me, it's just how I feel closer to God. Here are some songs that I want to share with you today as we remember Jesus. If you're not Christian, that's okay, I hope you can still enjoy the music. God Bless you. 

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received

And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

It's National Something Day

I woke up to #NationalSiblingDay tweets, so I'm assuming it's National Sibling Day. I already wrote a post about my brother last week so I guess I won't bore you with another one.

You know, I've always wondered, why do we have so many of these National Days? Who makes up National Donut Day or Puppy Day or Pizza Day (my favorite)? I also feel like it's National Pizza Day like once a month? Which I'm not complaining about. I just think it's silly. 

Are we no longer able to appreciate things in our daily life unless we are socially forced to with a fake holiday? 

I feel like every day is someone's birthday, holiday, engagement, baby shower, etc. I can't seem to keep track of all the holidays or celebrations anymore.

Growing up I never cared too much about holidays. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love celebrating and gathering with loved ones. It was just never a big thing in our home. I think it was mainly because we were such a small family and all our relatives were far away. Holidays were usually just my dad, mom, brother and I sharing a meal. Not very different from an average day. In college, I studied out of state, so I spent the holidays on campus. And when I moved to Los Angeles, I spent nearly 8 years of holidays apart from my family. I was a struggling actress barely staying afloat. It made more sense to send money home to my parents than to spend it on a plane ticket. Time spent would be great but sometimes you just need to survive and we don't always have the luxury for both. 

Now that I think about it, I never had a "Sweet 16" or a big 21st birthday party and I never had a senior graduation party. For most of my teenage years I was bitter at my parents but post college I learned - they didn't know. They didn't know they were supposed to do these "celebrations". There isn't an instruction manual for immigrant parents on social musts for your children. 

Mom and dad didn't need holidays and celebrations to show they loved us. They were happy to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Growing up was hard and life is still hard. Not everyone can afford celebrations. Some families are happy if they can share a meal together or live in the same state. I don't think my parents loved me less because they didn't throw me parties. The way they showed love was just culturally different.

Celebrations and National Day's are great but we don't need them. We should appreciate the people and things we have in our lives regardless of the day it is. Like pizza and dogs, we should appreciate pizza and dogs every day. 

Can we just take a moment to appreciate Chewy's face? 
Photography by Melly Lee 

Stuck in Syracuse

I found out yesterday that some of my friends who've never shown any interest in my work, YouTube channel or Teenwolf have been enjoying my blog! I find that oddly comforting. One friend said growing up is a beautiful thing to witness... I guess I am sharing my growth and life with you here on a much more intimate level.

Random, I know, but thanks for reading old friends and new. 

I'm stuck at the Syracuse airport at the moment because our flight keeps getting delayed. First it was 10 minutes, then 30, now it's an hour and a half. I don't mind the delay, I just wish they would have told us from the beginning it was going to be an hour and a half instead of teasing us along the way.

I know some people might like that feeling of thinking it's going to happen soon, but it drives me nuts. 

I honestly prefer when a restaurant says the wait is 40 minutes and it turns out to be only 20. It's like a pleasant surprise! Or when a friend says they'll be 30 minutes late but they're only 20 minutes late. I always feel like that's way better than a friend saying, hey sorry, I'm running 5 minutes late. Then 10 minutes later they say So sorry, 5 more minutes, so much traffic. This has happened to me where I waited at a restaurant for a friend who ended up being 45 minutes late but basically said 5 minutes 5 or 6 times in the duration of that time. Of course the best option is - being on time. But it happens, life happens. 

Honestly, delays happen all the time so it's not that big of a deal. I fly so often I've experienced it all. Being stuck at the airport all day isn't fun but it definitely happens. The thing that irritates me is that it looks like I'm going to miss my connecting flight in Chicago and all other flights to Los Angeles today are sold out. I really wanted to go home and see Chewy, but is it bad that I got excited I get to eat Portillos and Pot Belly's in Chicago? 

I was just there a few days ago but 2-3 days just isn't enough. I barely got to eat all of my favorite foods while I was in Chicago! 

I know I said I was only posting videos on Tuesday's and Friday's but now I'm going to do my best to post on Sunday's as well! I just love sharing what I'm working on and it's too hard to be patient. Here's one of the videos I shot in Chicago this week! 

I love Coldplay, their music is so nostalgic for me. When I heard Corinne Bailey Rae's version of it, it was another level of excitement for this song. I knew I had to cover it. 

I got to work with Ann Chung on this one (I talked about her in my vlog before, she's the amazing singer who also has been giving me voice lessons). She arranged all the harmonies for me and taught me how to do it! I'm naturally not very good at harmonies, I barely hear them, so it's really hard for me to do it on my own. I'm so thankful she helped me on this one because I think it adds something special to the song! 

It was also great to work with Touacha again. Incase you don't remember him, we worked together last year on my single called Take it Off.  

Anyways, I hope you're having a good Sunday. If not, just think, you could be sitting at the airport twiddling your thumbs waiting all day like me. Go out and get some sun, enjoy the day! 

Instagram life vs Real life

I flew into Syracuse yesterday for my talk today. The city welcomed me with wind & snow so I stayed in the hotel last night. Figured I'd grab some wine at the hotel bar and ended up with a pretty funny encounter.

I was in my typical attire - hoodie, sweats and no make up. Traveling with my assistant so we were keeping it low key.

It was a fairly quiet hotel bar. No more than 4 guests. Most the evening was just us and the bartender.

Towards the end of the night, the bartender asked if I was Arden Cho, his boss had texted him asking to confirm because she had suspicions it was me. I laughed, said yes, then of course we started chatting about work, life, etc. Later one of the other customers chimed in because he was surprised he had found me on instagram.

Wow it's so cool you can have a disguise in real life vs instagram. You look so different. I laughed and said, yes, I don't have my face on. I guess I never considered it a disguise because this is my norm, but it's funny to see the other perspective. I often hear things like - wow, you're SO short in real life or you look SO different. It definitely makes me a bit uneasy and insecure but I realize it's also a perspective. Maybe it's a gift that I look different in different environments and scenarios. But I know I usually feel like I'm invisible - which is probably what you wouldn't expect to hear from me. 

I guess sometimes I don't even realize how far instagram is from the reality. I use it mostly as my highlight reel or sharing my work. Also sharing moments from my life that I think are instagram worthy. I guess it definitely is no longer a reality. I'm not trying to be fake or hide who I am but I feel like I can't share everything or post too much because of the "instagram asthetic". I guess that's why I started this blog. I can be more authentic here. I feel safer on this platform and less judged. My instagram page isn't even aesthetically pleasing, I try to be because it's part of my job but I honestly have no clue how some people make their pages look so perfect. 

I also don't share certain parts of my life, like some of my close friends and their families or loved ones if they're not comfortable with the exposure. Not everyone signs up for this lifestlye or lack of privacy.

Anyways, this made me think instagram is really misleading, social media is also so deceiving. I fall victim to scrolling through and seeing other pages, feeling envious, jealous and sad. But then I know my page might have to same result for others. Which isn't my intent at all. Most of my posts are images from photoshoots where I have a team of people making me look way better than I do in real life.

Instagram is like a live photo album or a memory book of my work. It's not the reality. So I hope you can take it for what it is. If it's affected you negatively, I'm sorry. It's something I hope I can look back at when I'm 60 and tell my kids - mom used to be kind of cool.

All Photography by Luke Rieke
Make Up & Hair by Sara Tagaloa
Wardrobe Styling by Katie Qian
Assisted by Eunice Lee

My not so little, little brother

It's been a crazy week of travels so I haven't been able to write much this week, but I'm excited to share what I've been up to. You'll see a lot of it in future videos! I finished up a few shoots in Chicago and I'm headed out to New York in the morning. See you Saturday

I'm also happy to share my little brother is making his writing debut on network TV tonight on NBC's Chicago Med 9/8c! Tune in and go show him some love!

Look how tiny and adorable he was! I'll probably always call him my little brother but I guess he's not so little anymore. Crazy how we both ended up in the same industry when no one in our family was in entertainment. He was initially a bio & pre-med major so I like to think he followed in my footsteps. Oh, my dear parents, they worry for us so much. I have my B.A. in Psychology but I haven't used it in 10 years and my brother graduated in Film Studies and Screenwriting. We're definitely all in. No back up plan. That's the only way it works!

One thing you might not know about us is that my brother and I are both pretty prideful. We like to do things on our own merits and we don't like to ask for help. We also rarely compliment each other. I'm the strict older sister and he's the free spirited punk that never listens. He never said this to me but he apparently told my older cousin that he went into writing because he saw how difficult it was for me book work because there were barely any roles written for Asian American women. I'm a broken record when it comes to talking about how desperately we need more Asian American writers, directors, creators and talent. I guess he did hear me after all. Anyways, I'm proud of you, Jason! Excited to see how 2017 unfolds for the Cho family.  

I have quite a few talks at Universities coming up, will be updating you shortly with the dates and times. 

#ThatsHarassment

Sigal Avin wrote and directed this amazing series of 6 short films. Each film provides an incredibly authentic window into the reality of what women go through every single day. It's not the violent sexual harassment we're used to reading about but the gray area. These stories make my stomach curl and it's painful to watch but it does exactly what she intended to do with her work.

You should definitely take the time to watch all 6 but I'll share the 3 I found to be most powerful and relatable to me. 

Honestly, until the last couple years, there were countless moments that I experienced harassment and didn't even know it was wrong. 

I knew it felt terrible and I hated it but I was made to feel like it was normal. Or that it was okay because they were just joking. Now when I open up and share stories to the people I'm close with, the first thing they say is - you should have reported it.

But many of those times I felt like if I said anything, it wouldn't have made a difference. I wasn't raped and a violent crime didn't occur. When I was propositioned by a director I left the meeting and of course, didn't get the part. When I was groped by a coworker I would ask him to stop but it would happen again and again. To him vulgar sexual remarks and ass slapping was harmless flirting - don't be so up tight. Room full of people watching it happen and no one said anything to stop him. Felt a lot like that defenseless model in - The Photographer. 

These films may not be exact scenarios of what I've experienced but extremely close, the result and feeling is the same. Feeling demoralized, shamed, worthless, dirty, powerless... it happens in minutes and lasts a lifetime. I love this campaign and I hope you'll share it as well because your sister, your mother or your daughter might not know #ThatsHarassment.

Read what Sigval Avin, David Schwimmer and the rest of the cast have to say in Cosmopolitan about their New Campaign to Fight Sexual Harassment

It's never too late to learn

When I was younger I felt like I knew so much but the older I get I feel like I don't know anything at all. No matter how much you know, there is an infinite amount of things that you don't know.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates. 

I'm always trying to stay in tune with what's happening around the world but it's hard to believe everything you hear these days. The media creates news that is often faulty or biased. The information we receive is so curated and everyone is trying to be first with whatever story may be viral.

Can I see what's out there, what is actually happening in this world? How can we really know from behind our computer screens? 

I envy those who can just drop everything and travel the world. Learning and absorbing all the different cultures.  

If I could rewind back to college and do it again there are so many things I would change. When I was in school I was in such a hurry to graduate and become an adult. I wish someone told me back then to slow down. 

I wish I could go back to the time when my only responsibilities were to go to class and to learn. It's such a privilege to be able to learn and get an education. I think a lot of people take that for granted, I know I did. 

Luckily it's never too late to learn, it just gets a little busier as we get older. I try to learn something new every day. I'm still discovering my voice and learning how to sing as I shared a few weeks ago. 

Search for answers, seek the truth. You can't learn anything if you think you already know. If you open your mind and realize that you may be wrong or mistaken, you might be ready to learn.

All Photography by Luke Rieke
Make Up & Hair by Sara Tagaloa
Wardrobe Styling by Katie Qian
Assisted by Eunice Lee

Get that Vitamin D!

If you're feeling blue go outside and get some Vitamin D, sunshine always cheers me up! I walk Chewy 3-4 times a day, that's at least an hour of sunlight and it does wonders for me. Couple times a week we go for a hike as well. I'm more energetic during the days and I sleep better at night. Whenever I'm feeling sluggish a brisk walk outside always does the trick. 

Here I am trying to tie a high pony without a mirror, how'd I do?  

Photos by the amazing Robby M this is one of my favorite every day looks from a fun shoot we had in Downtown LA, video shot by Eunice coming soon on my channel

Kisses! Now get off your phone or computer and go get some sun!! 

Sweater: Pam & Gela Lace up (size P)
Watch: Leonard & Church Varick 
Sunnies: Perverse Sunglasses
Jeans: Nobody Geo Skinny (size 26)

Here's a cup of coffee and a word of advice.

I can't believe it's already Wednesday, feels like the week is flying by. I had another audition this afternoon. These days I feel like most my days are filled with prepping auditions and auditioning. This is basically an actor's life when you're not already committed to a show or a film. I'm still waiting for a project that really excites me but I actually liked today's audition. She's a sassy, free spirited and wild character. I wouldn't mind being her every day. We'll see how it goes. The waiting game continues. 

 Photography by  Robby M

Photography by Robby M

I used to put a great deal of focus on perfectly delivering the words on the page and trying to be exactly what they were looking for. Overly prepared but stiff & boring. Now I'm putting more emphasis on just being free and having fun. Making the words on the page authentic and real to me. Auditions are stressful and draining but this may be my only opportunity to be that girl, so might as well make it a good one!

I've noticed if I do the work and I study, a lot of it's like muscle memory so if I focus more on having fun it takes a lot of the pressure off. It's still hard not to stress when you get 2 minutes to book a job and there's plenty of other girls in the room just as capable and talented. Like Emma Stone's audition scene in La La Land, that scene stung my heart a bit because I know that feeling too well. This is a very clear reminder that actors are expendable, we're definitely not few and far between. But every field has it's own difficulties so whatever your work is, try to have more fun and worry less because in the end of the day a lot of it isn't in your control. Change of attitude can help work feel less like work and lift a lot of weight off your shoulders. 

I hate failing and being disappointed in myself, I used to count every audition I didn't book as a failure. But I've changed my perspective. Instead of focusing on the end result and letting that define whether it was a success or failure, every audition is a chance for me to challenge myself to try something new, experiment, grow and act.  I've been focusing more on working hard, doing my best and walking away satisfied. We generally get about 12-24 hours to prep an audition, so it's a lot of "cramming", if you're in school, you can imagine it's similar to studying for finals - every day. So after I've done the work, I want to walk in, perform it and walk away feeling great because I did the absolute best I could. I used to always want "affirmation". How did I do? Did I do well? Did they like me? But now it doesn't matter. Honestly, regardless of how "well" I do, I might not book the job because my hair was too long or I wasn't the right size or color. I did some silly stuff in my audition today but I went out of my comfort zone and committed to the character so I'm incredibly happy. 

 Photography by  Robby M

Photography by Robby M

Here's a cup of coffee and a word of advice. Care less about what people think of you and be content with YOU. There is no measure of success and failure especially if you're working hard and doing your best. If you don't try because you're afraid to fail you've already failed but if you try your best, you can call it a success. Cheers.