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

Hi Grace, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
To set a goal is to put a dream into action. You won’t know how you are doing to get there, but that you will get there. My fairy tale dream is to be a show runner of a comedy show that brings joy and laughter to the world. The world has become a pretty dramatic place and I would love to create a show that everyone can relate to, talk about, and laugh about!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was lucky to have gotten my start in acting through my sister, Irene Yee, who introduced me to her agent way back when.  He sent me out on a few auditions and I fell in love with it! Since then, I took classes, booked a few shows and realized that I liked to write as well.  I love comedy! I love to laugh and make others laugh as well. My very first short film SHIRi, that I wrote and starred in, was a wonderful start! Teaming up with my friends Micah Coate and Diane Foster, SHIRi was the winner of the Stage 32 Short Film Contest and went on to screen at the 2020 Oscar Qualifying Hollyshorts and Raindance Film Festival.  It was so amazing to see this idea I had in my head be shown everywhere, and have so many people be able to relate to it, all while laughing!  Getting to where I am today has been quite the journey. I come from a traditional Chinese family who pushed me to become a doctor.  I was pre- med in college and I was working in a hospital afterwards to gain research experience so I could apply to veterinary school (I love animals!). After meeting with my sister’s agent, and while working full time at the hospital, I became a very good quick-change artist as I had as many as three auditions in a day. I would have one before work, one at lunch break, at one after work. This required a lot of costume changes, and I had an entire wardrobe in my trunk. But it was all worth it because every audition made me smile from ear-to-ear. This was on top of acting classes and training for a triathlon.   Something I’ve learned through all of this, is when you do something you love, it’s not work at all! It’s fun and exhilarating! If you have a dream in your heart, you must honor it, and go full steam ahead! You might not know where you’re going to end up, but if you put in the hard work you keep your eyes focused on the prize, you’ll get somewhere! My end goal is to make quality comedy films and television series that bring joy and laughter to the world.

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.
I love LA! There’s so much history here! For places to go, I always take my friends to the historic Santa Monica Pier which is the end of Route 66, Griffith Park Observatory to see the telescope and the view beautiful city lights, the La Brea Tar Pits which hold animals from the ice age in the natural tar pits,  the LACMA Museum with the iconic Urban Lights, and top it off with the classic walk down Hollywood Boulevard to see the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. These  places are unique to Los Angeles and are hidden gems that are often overlooked. The movie industry is usually one of the most fascinating draws for people so I always recommend going to Universal Studios and going on the studio tour.  Even as a local, I find it incredible to be able to drive through working sets!

Delicious Food! LA is one of the most diverse cities when it comes to authentic cultural foods. When I take my friends to  Santa Monica, we always stop by Sunny Blue, which makes Omusubi which are Japanese rice balls with different fillings inside, wrapped with seaweed. It is delicious and where all the locals go! The best Dim Sum is in San Gabriel Valley, Lucky 1 Restaurant.  My friends always love to see the carts go buy with a huge variety of tasty food choice options in bite size portions!  If my friends want something healthy and rejuvenating for the body, I will take them to Green Temple in Redondo Beach. I have taken ALL of my friends here and none of them are vegetarian, but all have enjoyed the pure and delicious cuisine here.  The owners are the kindest and the ambience is so relaxing with fresh flowers surrounding you, calming music and the ocean breeze that makes its way to the outdoor patio. It fuels the soul and the body.

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?
The spotlight belongs on Dr. Alan Waxman.  Dr. Waxman was the Chairman of Nuclear Medicine at a very prominent hospital here in Los Angeles.  I worked for him as a research coordinator for over ten years. Dr. Waxman is the smartest, kindest, humblest, compassionate doctor I have ever worked with. His classiness and how he dealt with difficult situations and his extreme gratitude for everyone who worked with him was one I have never seen before. He took his time with every patient and made sure all their doubts and questions were answered. He is NucMed’s Yoda in both skill and compassion. I have tremendous respect for Dr. Alan Waxman and look up to him as a mentor and hope to be as gracious, grateful and positive as he is.

Before I was actively pursuing acting and writing, I was applying for veterinary medicine. Dr. Waxman put me on many projects that enabled me to publish papers which lead me to present at the Society of Nuclear Medicine international conferences.  Because of these papers, I was accepted to veterinary school. It was a hard decision to decide what road I wanted to take, and I confided in him that I wanted to pursue acting. At first, he was in shock, but then his support and encouragement to pursue acting and writing was endless. Everyday he would be cheering me on, asking about how my audition went, and celebrating with me in all my successes! When I made my very first short film, SHIRi, he was over the moon, and shared it with all of his friends.  He encouraged me to write more and asked, and still asks, “What’s next?” I could not have asked for a better mentor, someone who I look up to, who really wanted me to be a doctor, but fully embraced who I am, and continues to rally for me to be successful in Hollywood! Going from a stable medical job to one of the arts is a very daunting and giant leap. There were many doubts in my mind but it was through the encouragement and support of Dr. Alan Waxman that I was able to summon the courage to pursue my dream.

Instagram: @graceyeeactress

Other: https://imdb.me/graceyee

Image Credits
Ev Marquee (Main Photo)

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