We had the good fortune of connecting with Da Eun Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Da Eun, what role has risk played in your life or career?
To me, taking risks means choosing to trust and believe in myself. As a daughter of immigrants, I’ve been conditioned to default to self-doubt, to avoid the “road less-traveled,” and to settle and be grateful for what I’ve settled on. I find that when things feel risky, oftentimes I’m my own limiting factor, and in a world where people like me can already be denied so many opportunities, I should instead be my biggest cheerleader, believer, and advocate. By taking risks, I’ve grown and learned the most I’ve ever grown and learned. I’ve made a career change and have continued to embrace the inevitable changes that life will throw at me, and I’ve begun to see life as an adventure. I’ve attracted incredible friendships, partnerships, and relationships, and I’ve reimagined the bond that I get to have with my parents. Taking risks has only ever given me valuable lessons and empowerment; I wish we could rename “taking a risk” to “opening up a possibility.”
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’m in love with magical, familial, heartwarming stories. And it took me many years to realize that I could make my living by telling stories. I took my biggest risk by leaving my software engineering job just a little over a year ago to pursue my film production dreams. But to go from a career that really only required my brain and skills into a life where I am sharing my heart with an audience beyond my immediate circle… felt very exposing and vulnerable. I realized that there was so much unearthing, unlearning, and relearning that I would have to go through in order to become a brave, authentic storyteller in both filmmaking and podcasting. So I put my trust in a few mentors and coaches who’ve supported me in my healing journey which is so intertwined with my creative journey. Now, I’m able to access my inner child more easily – her joy, wonder, and exhilaration with life – and that fuels a lot of my storytelling.
Especially in an age where “representation” is the movement and the word talked about on an everyday basis, I want to be a responsible storyteller where I take ownership by asking, “Is this my story to tell? If not, what role can I play in helping this story come to life?” And I just have to remember my younger self, and the stories she yearned to see; I am capable of providing those stories to her.
I’m beyond excited about the plethora of stories that continue to be created every year, and I’m honored to play even the smallest part in the magic.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First things first: food. Ktown is unrivaled when it comes to Korean comfort food in the US, and I’d absolutely have to take them to one of: Hangari Kalguksu, BCD Tofu House, and Yuk Dae Jang. I find myself here all the time for grocery shopping at the H Marts, so we’d definitely take a trip here to do some homemade BBQ and hot pot. I’ve grown in my appreciation for the beach, so we’d spend a good portion of our time lounging at the beach, walking along the Venice boardwalk, maybe even take a scenic drive up the PCH. I love myself a good standup comedy set, movie night, LA Phil concert, and Broadway event, so I’d definitely be on the lookout for the seasonal events that we’d have to go see live. Truth be told, I have spent a majority of my time in the city during the pandemic, so we also have an array of at-home activities that I’ve cultivated over the last year and a half. I’m just getting into the board game Villainous, and the VR game Beat Saber, so I’d have to get my friend on board!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my 아빠 who came to the US and put on a brave face for me and my mother as he supported me, who still had time to play soccer with me when I was 8, and who is always there to listen to my career aspirations, thank you. To my 엄마 who didn’t come to the US for school or work and has had to learn to operate in a whole new system in another language, who drove me for hours to violin lessons and orchestra rehearsals, who learned how to be scrappy with her resources to push me to college, thank you.
To Sophia who is my partner-in-crime with an empathetic open heart, my thought leader who leads with action and reflection, and my bamboo & glass partner, thank you.
To my incredible friends who’ve witnessed my evolution from backstage and have continued to wholeheartedly support me, thank you.