We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Liu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is scintillating. Risk means growth and expansion. If I don’t feel at least a little risk in jumping into a new opportunity, then I don’t think I’m making any progress. I’m obsessed with progress, and when I’m doing one thing for so long that it becomes routine, I know that it’s time to break free. Risk has rewarded me by making connections to people I’d never dreamed of meeting. It’s pushed me to new levels of learning and existing. That feeling you get when you’ve broken through a personal boundary or fear is something that gets me excited to wake up each morning. Keep taking enough risks until it becomes an addiction.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My mom, Li-Ping Liu, was a successful opera singer and almost every single one of my childhood memories involves listening to or playing classical music. So naturally, after 9 years at Juilliard, I wanted to play anything but classical music. That’s where the risk taking became addictive- I jumped around all sorts of bands and styles. If it was new and I felt completely unskilled and scared, I wanted to try it! If it was something I’d already played dozens of times, I was bored out of my mind. I wanted to create new experiences. When I moved to Hollywood, I got to play on TV shows like The Voice, American Idol and America’s Got Talent, which was exciting at first until I realized that I was just a prop. Then I got to play over 200 movie scores, even the last three Star Wars, but then realized I was just a warm body in a seat who was instantly replaceable. I wanted to be my own voice. I wanted to be in charge of my own life and career. I wanted freedom and the precious time to spend with my husband and parents. So I quit. With this gift of space and time, and with the immense emotional support of my family and friends, I could reinvent myself. In the past year and a half, I got a patent on a cannabis formula, co-created a global remote orchestra, Unison Orchestra, in the face of a pandemic, scored a feature film, learned Chinese, boxing and Krav Maga. This year, I’ll be a featured violin soloist, concertmaster, orchestrator and conductor of a Vegas hip-hop production. I’m obsessed with evolution, and I’m excited about the unknown opportunities and new inspiring relationships out there waiting for me!
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 my neighborhood! Playa Vista reminds me of The Truman Show. It’s almost too perfect of a bubble inside Los Angeles, with smiling families and their puppies strolling around everywhere you look. It’s beautiful, quiet, friendly, and everything we can possibly need is within walking distance. I take walks with my folks twice a day around the center park, and it’s also where I have many of my meetings. Mitch and I have seated scooters, one with a basket for our dog, Peeti, and we like taking our guests for a cruise on the Ballona Creek bike paths to one of the beaches. We are big on doing everything spontaneously, so we could end up laying on the beach, getting happy hour at Mo’s in Playa del Rey, talking to travelers walking around the Venice boardwalk, or wandering into an art gallery on Abbot Kinney.
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?
From childhood until even now, my parents have instilled in me the belief that I can achieve anything with passion and persistence, all while raising my standards for everything and everyone around me. My brilliantly talented artist spouse, Mitch Henson, has the patience and acceptance of a saint, and his trust in me has granted me the freedom to pursue any opportunity that I desire. I’m blessed with an incredible group of creative friends who have remained loyal and encouraging throughout my journey. I am the result of all of this love and support from my family and friends over the years.
Mitch Henson Leonardo De Bernardini Reed Hutchinson