We had the good fortune of connecting with Judy Jean Kwon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Judy, what inspires you?
I am inspired by moments of greatness. I have had moments of it. Artists that are fearless and able to tap into their deep inner self, selflessly give themselves to tell their truth and bare their soul, it is awe-inspiring and like a drug. It takes all the stars to line up for that to happen because it’s not totally in your control.

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 amplify and give voice to the voiceless. I lived a thousand lives. My life has not been conventional and I didn’t have parents to conform me to any preset doctrines. I never had a family to fall back on and being on my own two feet has made me search for depth and meaning in life.

I grew up in a Korean-American video store in K-Town that my family owned. Movies were my refuge and I naturally went into the film industry.
As a daughter of immigrants, I’ve never belonged to any one group and have always been an outsider which helps me see things as they are, clearly. My work has that theme of “belonging” and trying ‘fit in’.

I played the token Asian in about a hundred commercials, ads, and film projects, and growing up in K-town then living in the westside as a grown-up, I felt out of sorts. So I wrote about some of my experiences and created my own show.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to create, make and act in my own scripted comedy series “MILFriend” (Mother I Like to Friend) about a Korean-American punk trying to fit into a gentrifying town of crazy, Karen moms that is now available on WhoHaha, Elizabeth Bank’s comedy platform. I had a hand in all aspects of filmmaking and got a chance to make the final creative decisions. Currently, I am in development with several projects, and I am excited to be alive so I can have the opportunity to make more such projects.

I want the world to know that laughter heals, it’s important to laugh at yourself sometimes and to always be open to learning.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
K-Town. AYCE – All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ. There are so many. Can’t forget Karaoke and Korean spa.
Little Tokyo and the arts district downtown.
East LA! Boyles Heights.
Self-realization Center in Pacific Palisades.
Boardwalk and skatepark in Venice Beach.
and house parties are the way to go.
LA folks are open and inviting, and LA is diverse with so many choices.

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?
My shoutout goes to all the people that died in silence and invisible because life did not give them a fair shake, to all the people that died suffering that had no support, who was used and abused, that never got treated with human dignity, that lived at a time when who they were as a person was not “trending” and who never had a chance to share their story.

Website: www.YoMamaRice.com & www.MILFriendComedy.com & https://whohaha.com/videos/milfriend-episode-1/

Instagram: @yoMamaRice

Linkedin: Judy Jean Kwon

Facebook: @yoMamaRice

Youtube: youtube.com/yoMamaRiceDoesNOTcook

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.