We had the good fortune of connecting with Milky Tran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Milky, what principle do you value most?
Honest self-expression. I feel that the drive to be an artist and make art comes from the need to share something personally. I feel that young artists can be misguided in the pursuit to be a filmmaker. It took me awhile to understand why I make art – as a college student, it was sometimes a mix of being impressive, making something cool, creating a strong portfolio to be competitive in the professional world. Now as a working artist, my focus is to see what art can do for me. And how it can heal me, allow me to express myself and use it as a tool to connect with more people.
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 first thing I became when I entered this world was a daughter. My parents are immigrants from Vietnam – and their story, our culture and my version of womanhood as a Vietnamese-American touches everything I make. I’m excited and proud to make art that I have rarely seen – stories about Asians that are not just about immigrant life or a white person writing an Asian’s perspective, but a true fusion of Asian and American and what that every day outlook on life looks like.
I am currently a commercial director at Jubilee Media (7M subscribers) on YouTube. At 23, I never would have thought I’d have have a salaried full-time job to direct in LA. It feels like a dream!
In college, I had done some internships at NBCUniversal and JuVee Productions on the development side. Once I realized development and the assistant lifestyle weren’t suitable for me, I was lost on what jobs to apply for in my pursuit to be a director, I graduated into the pandemic and used my video editing skills to work at a marketing agency and offered services on Fiverr. My Fiverr career actually took off, and I became the #1 search for “marketing videos.” I previously applied to Jubilee, and they reconsidered me for their commercial director position – and with my newfound experience in marketing, it seemed like a perfect fit.
In my free time, I’ve been able to be accepted in a few mentorship and fellowship programs that help me to continue to create and grow as an artist. I hope my work connects with women, Asian-Americans and people that are nostalgic for childhood. I write intimate slice-of-life coming-of-age stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in LA for a year, but I feel like I’m still getting to know her! A great day sounds like Dave’s Hot Chicken takeout at the SilverLake Reservoir, finding a comedy show in Hollywood and ending the night with Korean BBQ and karaoke in Ktown.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, my friends, and the community I have at work have provided an incredible support system for me to be able to wake up happy every day. My late grandmother (who thought I was an actress when I’m really a filmmaker) would be so proud to see where I am, and I’m trying to make my life great for her.