We had the good fortune of connecting with Elaine Whae and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elaine, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
A quote that I strive to live by daily is “If your WHY is powerful enough, the HOW should be easy”. I love this quote particularly because it keeps me focused on my purpose, not the trivial steps it takes to get to my end goal. As someone who has always lived her life based off structure and plans, I used to always stress about the steps and would lose sight of the reason why I was doing the work in the first place. After doing a lot of personal development work and shifting my mindset around my goals I now truly believe that if my focus is aligned with my purpose, my path will reveal itself organically.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Let’s start with my dance career. It definitely has not been an easy road. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with dance ever since the beginning. At the late age of 14 was when I was introduced to dance. I was taking it as an extracurricular activity at my high school and developed a love for the art. But when I went off to college my priorities shifted and we lost touch. Having many other aspirations, I decided to put dance on the back burner to pursue a degree in Advertising, Public Relations and Psychology at Boston University. But eventually I rekindled my love for the arts and found my way back. I joined a professional dance company out of college and started traveling and performing in the greater New England area, thus inspiring me to chase my passion of performance art by relocating to Los Angeles in 2013. But things were not the same on the West Coast. The industry was intensely intimidating and I knew no one. I felt alone. I felt like an amateur. I felt like I had made a mistake. There were many moments when I questioned the decision I had made, but I have my stubbornness to thank for pushing through the pain. So many times I would compare myself to the competition and feel defeated by my lack of training or experience. So many times I would feel like I didn’t belong. But it was those days that I would spend morning ’til night training in 4-6 classes a day after working full time at a coffee shop just to pay the bills. I had never experienced such perseverance in my life. I think it took me about 2 months straight of training and networking before I booked my first audition. And then I started to see the light. I started making friends in the industry, found a mentor, began performing regularly and booking gigs. I started to feel like I belonged. Now let’s move onto my acting career. I’ve been acting for about 4 years but actively pursuing it for 2. This last year of training and focusing on pushing myself as an actress has been so transformative. I feel like I’ve been growing in all aspects of my craft even more so because of the pandemic. I’ve had so much free time to focus on the things that make me happy and acting is developing into a career that I’m excited to step into. Being an Asian American in this cut-throat industry is what I am most proud of. Growth in minority engagement over the last few years in the entertainment industry has been such a pivotal movement in my life and career. As a child, I would always tell my mom I wanted to be famous one day. Fame to me wasn’t just being popular and in the tabloids – I wanted to stand out and make a difference. I wanted to be recognized for changing the industry and leaving a positive impact on this world in some way. I’m so happy to be a part of this ever-changing industry in this current season and hope to fulfill my dreams of leaving a lasting impression. In the last few years I’ve booked a lead role in a Hulu short, a supporting role in a sitcom pilot, a co-host for a beauty show, amongst other credits. And last but not least, my breathwork coaching business. During the pandemic I discovered this ancient healing modality that has completely changed my life. Through the power of my own breath I have unlocked so much clarity and wisdom from my own body and have gotten closer to uncovering the parts of me that haven’t felt seen in a very long time. Through my practices of this beautiful energy work I have connected with so many wonderful people and have stepped into my role as a powerful healer and empowerment coach. I have guided and supported many clients back to their remembrance of who they are. I discovered breathwork when I was at a transitional point in my life and it was the source of my freedom. I knew as soon as I experienced it that I needed to embody the practice and share it with others. So it is my mission to touch people’s lives with this work and show people how powerful they truly are. 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.
In no particular order, here are some of my most favorite places and things in Los Angeles (and surrounding areas) – Point Dume in Malibu is my favorite lookout over the ocean, it is my safe place that I go to when I want to just get lost in the beauty of the water. Angeles National Forest for some amazing hiking trails and quiet time in nature. Bars, restaurants, and shops along Ventura Blvd in Studio City/Sherman Oaks. Morfia’s in Venice is THE BEST Texas BBQ. Afters for some amazing Milky Buns (donut & ice cream sandwiches YUM). H.O.P.E. for some amazing vegan thai food (my fave). The dog park by my house where I get to just run around and frolic and play with pups. Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade for some tourist action. DISNEYLAND because it’s the happiest place on Earth! Joshua Tree for some fun in the desert and a night amongst the stars. LACMA for jazz night. Perch in DTLA or EP LP in Weho for fun rooftop vibes.
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?
There are so many people and resources along my journey that have been a memorable part of my success that I can’t pick just one – my boyfriend Andrew for being my support through my darkest and lightest times, my PAUSE breathwork family for empowering me and showing me the truth behind my breath and my voice, my manager Monica for believing in me at the start of my acting career when I didn’t have much under my belt, my acting coach Zak for helping me push past the boundaries of my ego and strengthen my connection with my true self, Brene Brown for teaching me to find the power in my vulnerability, Tony Robbins for showing me how to live my life with passion and commitment, and so many more. This list could go on and on. I could never have made it this far on my own. The journey to success is only grand when it is shared. Some books that have changed my life are The Power of Now, Magic of Believing, Ask and It is Given, and A New Earth.
Linkedin: Elaine Whae
Archlenz Photography, Alex Melgosa, Daniel Graham