We had the good fortune of connecting with Mingjie Zhai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mingjie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is a critical ingredient to success, like yeast to making the bread rise while it’s being baked. I believe that everything worth doing takes risk. However, the caveat to this answer is that there is a fine line, a balance, a “calculated” risk taking that goes with decision making. Risk doesn’t mean to put yourself in dangerous situations or to go out of your way to suffer, but to lean into the parts that are still uncertain. It’s important to do your research, to listen for guidance, to seek mentorship, to do some market research, background checks, before making a choice. As for my personal story, I had chosen to leave a career in education to pursue a media company that fuses mental health because it was a pressing problem for me. I made a calculated risk: meaning the risk of staying the same (doing the same ole same ole way of treating my mental health via the pill, the therapy, the hospitalizations) was at the time more risky than to explore newer, better, more effective ways of addressing my way of improving my mental health (i.e. interviewing artists, multimedia production, publishing, creative journaling, traveling, photography, videography). I don’t believe risk taking should be manufactured but rather organic. I believe risk comes from a highly unique personal problem one is faced with and innovating ways to solve that problem if the currently solution is no longer effective in solving said problem that you are experiencing. Thus, risk taking is highly personal and the timing of that risk taking is also highly personal.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m creating a new writing genre called “Journal-Artism,” where we fuse the habit of journaling with the discipline of a journalist for the personal journey, told in fiction, based on a true story. Anyone who is committed to transforming one’s life tragedy into a love story is called a Journal-Artist.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As an Angelinos for over 30 years, if a friend came down to my town, I’d first take them to Korean BBQ in K-town (there’s many good Kbbq, but I frequently go to Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ), and then Matcha tea ice cream in J-Town. That’s just for lunch. Then we’d head to a hike at Angeles forrest or Runyon Canyon depending on who my guest is. If we are at Angeles Forrest, we’d go bungee jumping off the Angelies bridge. In the evening, we’d head to Santa Monica to watch the sunset and eat some good seafood by the Pier. Then, we would head to Sunset Blvd in the evening to the Comedy Club or The Laugh Factory to get some good laughs. After that, we’d head to a rooftop music industry party. That’s a wrap!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Judah Smith to help me see that God is Love and love is defined, to Sherman Wellons & Wade Chao for being the first dedicated supporters to this organization, to all the past, current, and future contributors to The Love Story organization, and to the artists who have participated in this project by breaking their hearts open in testimony and artistic expression.
Good Charlotte Production