We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Lin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, how do you think about risk?
It’s funny because I’ve always been a pretty risk-adverse person. You won’t catch me playing the lottery willingly, trading a ton of stock, or gambling. However, in pursuing the arts as a career I have spent the last 5 years betting intensely on myself, knowing that with the way the industry is, you could be the most talented person in the world, but if that right role doesn’t come at exactly the right time, it’s possible to not be able to have a career in the arts. Yet, in the last year, somehow, by a combination of a miracle and an incredible amount of sweat, time, money, and effort, I’ve been able to transition to working in entertainment full-time. Taking this risk has been one of the most challenging and scary things I’ve ever done, and I am so grateful for it. There aren’t a lot of things I would bet on, but I know I can always bet on myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love telling stories in all sorts of mediums, and sometimes I’m lucky enough that people will pay me to do it! I started out as a dancer, and moved into acting after suffering a severe back injury. From there, the VO world opened itself to me by coincidence. Since I am currently working in all of those fields, I just like to call myself a creative performer. It’s a far cry from my initial goals of joining the medical industry when I was younger.
Coming from a Taiwanese family, a career in the arts was never really discussed. I didn’t even think it was possible until I suddenly found myself immersed in it. However, my science background has been hugely helpful in my administrative work and work ethic. Even though I did not follow the path I thought I had set for myself, I am so happy where I ended up.
Being in the arts is never easy. It’s a constant battle between the need to creatively fly versus realistic and practical applications for how to get your work seen and valued in the industry. You cannot survive as an artist without also having business and entrepreneurial skills, unless you come from a background where that kind of thing is just provided to you. There’s also the weird judgement that comes from the public if your name is not immediately recognizable. Most of the work creatives put into their art is unseen – hours and hours of practice, rehearsals, trial and error, planting countless seeds. Art however, is not just a collection of final products. It is a process. And it should always be valued.
Lessons I’ve learned? Be kind. Listen – truly listen to people. Write things down that inspire or strike you. And don’t take things personally.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many fun things to do in LA! Some top spot destinations include exploring the DTLA arts district, lounging at Manhattan Beach, having a fancy cocktail on the rooftop bar at EP&LP, enjoying tea at the Huntington Gardens, getting matcha ice cream in Little Tokyo, eating some cheese wheel pasta at Forma, hanging out with cats at the Melrose Cat Cafe, and taking a hike up the famous Runyon Canyon.
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?
MY MOM!! All of my mentors. I have a lot (:
My incredibly supportive peers.
The people that inspire me.
Vanie Poyey Photography Never Not Ready Productions