We had the good fortune of connecting with Hojo Shin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hojo, is there something you believe many others might not?
“Be unapologetically yourself.” The general intention behind this advice is well meaning but I think it can also be quite misleading. Many people take this piece of advice and forget that sometimes one may need to take a long hard look at oneself and face some truths. I’ve seen instances where this statement is used to justify bad habits and faulty actions leaving destructive trails that leave very little room for self reflection. Yes, we should absolutely love ourselves and embrace our flaws; however, if being unapologetically ourselves means we are burying the truth and shying away from opportunities to grow, then I don’t think this advice is living up to its intentions. I say, love and be honest with yourself. Then your actions will be a natural echo of who you are.
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.
The life of an actor is a funny one. It’s a job where you get to do what you’re called to do and love to do probably only 20% of the time. The rest of the time, you’re just learning to catch the waves and just ride them. It’s not easy. Your self worth as a professional, and even on a personal level, is determined by what work you have coming up or not. I think the challenges of being an actor is not a one time thing but an ongoing part of the journey and you can only stay sane if you learn to appreciate it. Use it to enrich your life experiences and grow. I think it’s most important to have good friends, sage mentors and a loving family (chosen or not) who are willing to go along the ride with you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve been in Seoul during the pandemic so I’ll make the scenario for when my friend from LA comes to visit Seoul. Museum San – a fabulous museum outside of Seoul that marries outdoor and indoor instillations including James Turrell’s pieces. We’d finish off with a little meditation session at their meditation cave and head out for lunch entailing Makgooksoo and steamed pork. Alice- a quiet speakeasy bar with plush couches and delicious cocktails. I’m not usually a cocktail person but they taste and look great. Besides, comfortable seating is so important when drinking! Bukhansan – It’s not an easy hike but I’d say the view is definitely worth it and since it’s in the northern tip of Seoul, the air quality is so fresh compared to the city center like Gangnam. Hannamdong – We would just walk around the neighborhood and check out cute stores, pop ups, shops,cafes and people watch. It’s a very young and vibrant neighborhood so I love the energy here. There are a few restaurants I adore in this neighborhood so we’d definitely hit them up. Jejudo – I would definitely make time for a little trip to this beautiful island. The food, the nature, the vibes, the beach! This island is so special and there would be a whole another itinerary for Jeju but we would definitely be going here.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to dedicate this little story with my Grandpa. When I first told him I was going to major in Acting, I thought he was going to be disappointed and instead would try to persuade me to pursue a more reliable carer path. He’s incredibly smart and a king in his own right. Instead, he wrote me this long letter that basically described the art form as a mirror that helps us to reflect on society, and a medium that allows us to revisit our ancestors and history. To him, acting was a crucial art form that could create culture, move people, and bring forth important questions about society and humanity. I cried reading that letter. I was so grateful to be supported like that. Still till this day, nobody has made me feel more empowered to be an actor. My grandpa just gets it, so this is for him.
Photographers: Rocky Tang, James Roderique, Hollywood Beauty Awards, Matea Friend