We had the good fortune of connecting with Dylan Thai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dylan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up, I always gravitated to a pen or pencil and was usually more fascinated with anything visually appealing than being interested in sports, science, and numbers. I am the oddball in my family and stray away from my parent’s wishes of having some kind of computer science or doctor’s degree like my two older sisters who are both Pharmacists. However, I comprised with my parents and obtained an Associates’ degree in Information Systems at Montgomery College. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising at Stevenson University because I wanted to work in the Fashion industry back then.
Now, why did I pursue an artistic AND creative career? For me, being artistic and creative is a gateway for me to express myself. I didn’t know how to express myself growing up, so when I got to high school, I found ways to utilized my art skills by being a set artist for the drama department. I always wanted to learn how to dance after watching dance shows, so I stupidly audition for the school plays and musicals not knowing what is a kick-ball-chain step was. I felt free, seen, and creative when I was in my element, and being able to share my talents with my peers at my school.
By being artistic and creative, I’m also able to share my own perspective with the world. We all see and interpret different things, and I’d like to showcase my visions and perspective. By being artistic and creative, it makes me happy, and I enjoy seeing the positive reactions received from the projects I participated in; the fruits of my labor.
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.
Many call me the “jack of all trades” because I do photography, videography, directing, modeling, styling, producing, and acting. Those are all artistic and creative roles, and each allows me to create or showcase a unique story to share with the world. I want to share stories that are hidden, raw, necessary, breaking stereotypes, abd of course relatable with a diverse cast of characters and personalities. #representationmatters
Being involved in film making started in 2017 with an independent musical feature film directed, written, and produced by Mallorie Ortega, entitled “The Girl Who Left Home ” starring Haven Everly, Paolo Montalban, and Emy Coligado; as an Executive Producer and Costume Stylist. The film is about a young Filipina female; Christine, leaving home to LA to pursue her dreams to become an actress despite her family’s wishes. This story is relatable to all artists and creatives who are struggling with pursuing a career in the arts and creative industries and trying to make their parents proud. After completing production, this passion project led me to venture more into filmmaking, and I became to be the guy who left home by moving to Los Angeles beginning of 2019.
It is not an easy road, and not everyone’s journey will be the same. Patience, thick skin, and being humble is needed for any industry you may embark in. There are many challenges, obstacles to overcome, and risks to take in making the right decisions for your career. I came to Los Angeles with little knowledge, money, and connections, and it took me a while to find my ground. I was working four jobs for a few months to be able to afford living expenses and moved five times during my first year in LA. I am still finding my way, and constantly networking and building connections.
During my first year I was fortunate to connect with an experienced and known costumer who helped me land my first job as a featured background character; Eddie Tan, one of the Hot Pocket in Mindy Kaling’s hit Netflix show; “Never Have I Ever” for both seasons.
Besides being a producer and actor, during the weekends and on Wednesdays, I can be found at Roccos’ WeHo with a tip bucket and a DJI gimbal on my left hand, and my Canon T7i camera on my right hand documenting the drag shows and picking up the tips. I enjoy and love working with the Drag Queens at Roccos’, especially the Rocc-ettes!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m quite spontaneous, and I love exploring LA. Here are some places I’d bring my friends to:
I’d definitely would hit up the beaches, Santa Monica, Malibu beach, El Matador beach. dinning at Paradise Beach Cove.
Fun and unique photo op would be at ROW DTLA, Walt Disney Concert Hall area.
For a variety of options of cuisines in one spot, and beautiful dried flowers from My Favorite Kiss at Rodeo 39 Public Market, or Koreatown or Korean BBQ or delicious ramen.
Nightlife would of course be in West Hollywood at Roccos’ WeHo with follow up drag shows on Wednesday for DIVO Wednesdays, Saturday for Drag Me, and with the Rocc-ettes at 2PM on Sundays.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mallorie Ortega, my friend since high school who is a an amazing female filmmaker and the writer, producer, and director of “The Girl Who Left Home.” We bonded in a small office brainstorming set ideas for our spring musical, DREAMGIRLS at Northwest High School directed by Sherion Cosby and choreographed by Shawn Cosby.
If it wasn’t for Mallorie, I wouldn’t have rediscovered my passion and drive for the arts and as well discovering an interest in film making.
Speaking of Sherion Cosby and Shawn Cosby, these two wonderful and empowering women also played a major impact in my life, and journey by providing with tremendous love, support, and guidance. I have learned so much from them.
Mitch Dao Photography Rhet Bear Bird Lambro Photography