We had the good fortune of connecting with Bo Nawacharee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bo, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?

I think my perspective towards work-life balance changed a lot after the pandemic. I used to be very immersed and overworked most of the time. I’m aware that sometimes I would hurry myself too much and not be as forgiving to myself as I would be to other people. But with being thrown off balance and solidity by Covid with the world I came to realise a bit more to take more rest. I think balance is one of the most important elements in life, in all aspects. To stay productive and motivated but at the same time not forgetting about life, about fun, about relaxing, and whatever is around us. If we don’t allow ourselves rooms for other things, work tips us off from going far. It’s a risk of burning yourself out I think.

And coming from a filmmaking field, balance plays such a huge part in creative works. Art is so subjective and most of the time we are our own judge. We have to kinda find the balance in working hard but also knowing when or where to stop. I used to be the type that would keep editing my film until I ran out of all possibilities. Well, those are projects with a luxury of time. but not every project allows rooms for exploration like that. We just have to know when to stop. And more importantly, where to stop. I learned a lot more, you know, the art of letting go. But it takes time. It’s all about balancing the pursuit I think. Especially working in a creative field, balancing work and play, or even balancing our emotional investments in the work is all the same game as balancing our anger, happiness, time for ourselves, sleep, travel, eating, and everything in life.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I’m a writer/director. I make films, commercials, music videos, moving image storytelling kind of nature. My films range from an intimate exploration of identity, relationship, and curiosity to like, painting a dead body in an art studio haha. I love exploring the ambiguity of identities and relationships, so most of my films deal with the grey area or something of that sort.

I believe that we are all unique in some way, so if my work is a compilation of all strange things I have witnessed throughout my life, it is offering something different, I hope. I grew up in an all-girls boarding school. It was like a whole different society with its own values and traditions. It was crazy. Meanwhile, I was living in Seoul and England, exploring things beyond all these walls. AND then heading to a conservative university in a programme about progressive theories, and then I threw myself in a liberal art school known for parties and galleries. It was a wild ride. you can briefly see if I would have an identity crisis every other week or something haha. But it contributes a lot to the stories I want to talk about in my films. Whether it’s about a sheltered Thailand versus a real Thailand, or a story of Thai girls and our unsolicited stereotypes, and so on.

I mean, it has been a long, confusing, and fun journey so far to get here, and I still have a bloody long way to go, still. Which, I do look forward to very much. Since you asked about the struggle in my professional journey, I think the struggle, at first, has been the lack of samples of female directors in my life. I didn’t grow up in an artful family who watch Tarkovsky or Ozu or even like, share an obsession with Star Wars or something. I don’t have any relatives in the creative field so it was hard at first wanting to do something creative. Not to mention that I know no one in the film or media industry to begin with. So there was no close sample I could see. But after a while, it started to work out slowly.

So there are two very important things, if you want me to talk about what I learned along the way. I think many of us who are constantly trying hard to achieve our dreams are aiming in the similar direction, which is upward and forward. It stresses me out a lot when I am only looking at the goal. But now I started to slow myself down and trust the process. Short term goals are so cool! That’s what I learned this year haha, quite late, I know. But hey, it’s so nice to have short term goals. I used to look at the big picture and the destination too much, but once I started focusing on smaller points in life and trusting that each process will take me to where I want to be as long as I keep going. It calms me down a lot. Another thing is to not take myself too seriously. Like, of course – be responsible, yes. But not taking ourselves too seriously is important. Allow rooms for learning, for mistakes. To have fun. Not everything is about us or our art. There’s a whole world out there and we’re just tiny dots that contribute to it. I think those are something I think about a lot these days.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

First, first, first, my favourite spot in LA. It’s the Mulholland Drive Stop. It’s a stop on Mulholland towards the 101 freeway. It overlooks LA, and has a small look towards Griffith and the Hollywood sign. It’s a very small place but I love it a lot. It’s quiet and low key, and the best at sunset. You are allowed to be as emo as you want there hahaha.

There are a few restaurants I need to mention here. Sri Siam cafe in North Hollywood has the BEST THAI FOOD EVER. It’s very homey and friendly, and it tastes legitimately Thai. Wat Thai of Los Angeles also has a food event every weekend, where people set up their small restaurants in the temple. It was so good, all the food and dessert was amazing. Spago in Beverly Hills is also one of my favourites. They have an amazing vibe, interior, and wonderful food. For pastry and bakeries, I love Porto’s so much. The Pie Hole and Du Par’s also have my heart. Du-Par’s opens 24/7 so that’s amazing. Also, Dan Sung Sa and DwitGolMok are a great spot to drink in KoreaTown.

Over towards the west side, I love to take people to El Matador beach in Malibu. It’s super gorgeous. The cliffs and rock forming are stunning, and staying there during sunset is definitely magical. Another gem in Malibu is the wine safari. It’s a short wine tasting trip in the vineyard, they even have themed trips during Halloween, with all the light decorations it was so much fun.

Also, I can’t not mention The Spare Room at The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. They have a very beautiful bar with two historical small bowling lanes that you can book to play with friends. Also, Cara Hotel and The Edition Hotel are two other great visits for their incredible food and restaurant settings, not to mention their interior design.

And for walking without eating or drinking, I do love to bring people to The Forest Lawn Cemetery. The space is insanely huge, and you can visit many historical figures’ tombs. They have interesting sculpture gardens as well. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is also pretty cool, but definitely more in a haunty vibe. And lastly, Jeffrey Deitch gallery and the Hollywood media district area, and The Row are two other great places to look at some art and find interesting stores.

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?

As cliche as it might get but I’m thankful for my family, especially my dad for supporting what I’m doing. For us, it wasn’t insane but it was a bit confusing because we have no one in our relatives that are in the creative field. So I think at first everyone was like, what kind of job is this, it smells so unstable haha.

I definitely need to shout out to my producer team consisting of 5 incredibly wonderful women: Tangmo Ladapha, Sotida Arpon, Moonju Jeon, Grace Kijjaroenvisal, and Tam Pornpailin Chuapun. They are all amazing, and we’re working together in bringing some wonderful projects to life together and I’m always looking forward to make more things with them.

All my friends, mentors, colleagues, and collaborators have been supportive and helpful, so I’m thankful for those who’re in my life, they all play a part. My undergrad programme I went to in Thailand called BALAC at Chulalongkorn University taught me a lot about how I view the world. Without it I think it would have been hard to witness all the changes growing up. It was about critical thinking and analysis, and I think that plays a big part in how I look at things and allows me to always try to understand different perspectives and see more beyond the surface of things. Also, I cannot not mention CalArts. What a great place filled with passionate people trying to bring their works to life. It was a wild ride for me, but without it I won’t be able to know what I know now, or do what I do now. It really helps me see what’s important to me as a filmmaker and helps me see what kind of creator I want to be. Also, Deborah, who’s now continuing to be my work and life mentor I definitely have to mention that I’m very grateful for. And of course, my roommate haha. She always listens to my existential crisis and project rambles. She’s in an entirely different field but by now I think she can be a legit filmmaker.

And if I can be random, I do want to thank my own playlists for always being there for me haha. I have no idea what I would do with life without all these musicians making incredible music. Oh, and Alex Dimitrov’s poems, my favourite spaces within the lines to always fall back into.

Website: www.nawacharee.com

Instagram: instagram.com/boboboh

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nawacharee/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/greycloudsinthesky

Image Credits
Thitipuk Teeratrakul, Bo Nawacharee, Art Parnitudom, Yikai Luc Wu, Kero Sirinimitwong

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