We had the good fortune of connecting with Qihan (Silas) Wang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Qihan (Silas), what role has risk played in your life or career?
It’s ironic because now that we are talking about taking risks in a pandemic, it seems like every little thing we do, as small as walking out of our homes, involves big risks. However, outside of the risk of getting COVID, I actually rarely think about it. It’s not because I don’t take risks in my life, but because I do it so often I have stopped thinking about it. Of course I understand that there are many occasions where you have to analyze whether it’s worth it to take the risk, and if the potential upside outweighs the downside, but more importantly, sometimes there are things you just know you have to do no matter how big of a risk you are taking. I moved here 5 year ago from China with one goal in mind, to learn more about film and television at the center of the industry – Hollywood. In retrospect, it feels like I was taking maybe the biggest risk of my life: abandoning everything I had, leaving all my friends and family behind, not knowing what the future would hold. However, it didn’t really feel all that scary. The fear of moving to a country where I didn’t know a single person was overshadowed by the excitement of doing something I’ve always wanted. By not taking risks, we might risk the regret we face one day of not doing something, and nothing scares me more than that.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I will be honest, I hate writing about my achievements. There is so much room for me to grow, both personally and in my career, that I feel like I am bragging about something that’s not that special. On the other hand, I do feel proud of where I am right now, and how far I have come. During the darkest days (literally because it was winter and metaphorically because I was struggling) in my career, I was able to pick myself up by thinking about what a miracle it is that a child who didn’t speak any English till later in his life and who knew no one in this country, got to work, survive, and thrive in one of the biggest agencies in the world, and help put actors and actresses into so many projects that are being seen by millions of people. As you can imagine, there were so many hardships I had to overcome, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to the fact that I wanted this life and I chose this life, so I can’t complain much more. The one motto that helped me throughout this time is that one success or one failure doesn’t define you. No matter whether you have achieved anything or lost something that day, you just have to remember that it will go away at some point. It helps calm me down when I am anxious and it lifts me up when I am feeling demoralized.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I can’t really think of anything that’s outside of “Trip Advisor places to visit” so let’s focus on the food: Han Bat Sul Lung Tang for some beef soup. Felix for some pasta. Crustacean Beverly Hills if you want to be fancy but not boring. Soregashi for some low key real Japanese sushi. Salt’s cure for some breakfast, you have to go for the griddle cake. Republique for some middle class white girl weekend brunch. Petit Trois for some French. Luv2eat for some Thai. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele for some pizza Well I guess you also need to go to Jon and Vinny’s otherwise why are you even in LA. Sweet Chick is more of a NY thing but I like the chicken and waffles there better than Roscoe’s (Sorry! ). Let’s close it up with some pasta from Rossoblu? Nah, we can’t not go to Lunasia for some dim sum. But how about them noodles from Bone Kettle. Well if you still have time how about burgers from: Cassell’s, The Golden State, and Burgers Never Say Die. Oh I’m sorry, did I forget to mention In-N-Out? No I didn’t, I simply didn’t think it was worth mentioning. Fight me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people I feel appreciative of for helping me get where I am today, but we gotta start with my parents. Not only did they create me, but more importantly they are so supportive, even when they don’t approve of my choices. They didn’t know what Film and TV producing was, they didn’t know what USC was, and they didn’t even know where Los Angeles was (I mean, neither did I. We all knew it was in America but who knew which coast). I know they were extremely concerned when I made the decision to come to this country to study something so far away from their world, and yet they supported me, financially and emotionally, without voicing any doubts. How lucky am I to have parents like this? INTO THE WILD, both the movie and the book, has played a big part in motivating me to push my life forward. Although I don’t agree with the protagonist, a young man who gives up everything to venture into the wild and live a nomad life, his courage to follow what he believes in inspires me every day. I will finish up this section with a long quote from him: “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”