We had the good fortune of connecting with Alejandra Hou and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alejandra, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Life is about taking risks. Every day is about making decisions whether big or small plus it’s a great way to learn new things. I have taken many risks throughout my life since I was a child. I grew up in a Chinese family where they understand no other career than to follow the family business. I exchanged my free time to learn about music and filmmaking by myself instead of going out with friends since it was the only way to pursue my dreams. My parents never supported me. From my perspective, now that I look back, I risked not having a “normal childhood.” I lived locked in my room just learning. But, the biggest risk I took was when I moved to Los Angeles alone in 2017 after years and years trying to convince my parents and I finally did. I left my family and all my past behind and came to an unknown country to study filmmaking. It was like a new beginning.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Since I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted to be an artist. First, I wanted to be a singer so I started writing songs, sometimes stories and doing my own concerts in my bedroom. Then years later, when I grabbed a camera for the first time, I knew that filmmaking was my ultimate dream and now I’m here in Los Angeles making movies. If someone had told my 10-year-old self that I was going to be in Los Angeles doing what I love, I would have laughed. Although I always knew what I wanted, I had days with no hope. Many people told me that I would not go anywhere and that was the most difficult part of my life. The negative comments from people plus my parents telling me every day to leave my “silly dreams.” But, the good thing is that I was good at hiding it. To overcome these challenges, I decided to go on my own. I started looking for ways to earn money so I could buy my equipment and build my path. I even kept the money my parents gave me to eat during school which was from 6 am to 4 pm daily. I waited until I got home to eat. To be honest, it was painful, I starved myself by eating once a day, but fortunately, my friends were so generous that they offered me some of their food when they could. Little by little and with some help from my friends I started to build my path. When I finally got the courage, I started to upload covers on YouTube in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I got recognized in my country. So I kept going and when my first single hit the radio and television and I started to sing in different events in 2014, my parents started to question themselves. That was the moment that I opened their eyes. Deep down they began to believe in me and in 2016, I decided to try one more time. I told them that I wanted to go to Los Angeles to study filmmaking and this time they said yes. That “yes” was a proof to me that no matter how hard it is and how many times people try to break you down, never give up. You can’t just sit there and wait for them to change their minds. You need to do something to show them how capable you are.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think I’m not the right person for that. I have always been the type of person that prefers to stay at home. I don’t really like crowded areas that much and since I moved to LA, I’m more focused on doing something for my career rather than going out. But, if I need to describe a perfect one-week long trip, I will choose anything that involves exploring nature, cities, and amusement parks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It will sound strange, but, all I have and have accomplished it’s because of my parents. Maybe I was angry with them when I was a teenager because they never understood my dreams, but now that I think, it made me stronger. Instead of crying in the corner, it opened my eyes and forced me to fight for my dreams even more. My parents deserve every recognition. They are the reason why I’m where I am.