We had the good fortune of connecting with Raymond Kam and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Raymond, why did you pursue a creative career?

Firstly, I would like to begin by expressing gratitude towards my parents because they have sacrificed so much to give me the life I have. They have provided me with the tools to excel in athletics and academics, which has paved a path for me to enter Physical Therapy school. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic placed the world on lockdown, I began to spend more time with myself thus giving me an opportunity to explore my creative side. Throughout this journey of creativity, I have grown to become more self-aware as I think reflect deeply on my previous priorities and question why I had pursued them. I began to ask myself the reason why I think a specific way, and what I believe about myself. In my Chinese culture and family, we place a huge emphasis on remaining humble, as our pride tends to overshadow our demonstrations of humility, however, I began to wonder on whether or not these attempts towards humility have turned into self-deprecating tendencies.

Similar to many other Asian kids, I had the perception that schooling and a career in STEM would be the ultimate end-goal to live the “American Dream.” However, the influx of positive affirmation from social media kick started a long journey of mental rebranding. This was the first stepping stone in my creative journey as I began to understand that I was simply more than just a career path, rather, I am an individual with unique qualities that is capable of succeeding in other realms outside of traditional careers.

I eventually made my way onto a production team that did music videos and photoshoots, which enabled me to venture to different settings such as abandoned malls, salt flats, sand dunes, and creative studios around LA. This drove my curiosity to a different level as I had never experienced a life of a creative, and the spontaneous and daring adventures we went on brought me life and enjoyment.
At this point, I knew I had uncovered my hidden enjoyment for adventure and I could not imagine myself being in a clinic for the rest of my life, knowing that there is so much to learn and explore. In a way, being in this creative industry is allowing me to be a “kid” again, something which is foreign as I had always been pushed to pursue a professional career in the STEMs rather than savoring my youth. Perhaps I have fallen in love with a fantasy, or maybe this will all turn into something unexpected and great— but the belief that I am more than just a career goal has enticed me to take a break from my graduate program so that I can fully immerse myself into the creative industry. Obviously, my parents are not happy with this decision, but the pressure to succeed outside of my initial career is another source of motivation to “make it” in anything I do.
I have decided to pursue a creative career because it brings me life, and learning about my personal creativity allows me to embrace and express myself— independent from other’s expectations and opinion, because I want this for myself.

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.

My favorite quote is, “you can only connect the dots when you look backwards.”

Social media has paved the path for me to enter into the creative field, allowing me to expand from TikTok and onto a video production team that specialized in music videos, photoshoots, clothing production, etc. Being surrounded by creatives was extremely new to me, as I had always been around people who focused on STEM, and it was exciting as this was a new perspective on the meaning of career and life. I began learning various forms of creativity, including photography, videography, clothing design and printing, and event planning. However, broadening my skillsets showed me that I not only enjoy behind-the-camera work, but also being in front of the camera. I began dabbling into modeling, but now, that has grown to acting as well. I currently do background acting and extra work to gain experience being on professional sets, and I relentlessly strive to improve my craft by acting in student films, modeling, and attending acting classes. Although I am early in my career, the opportunities and growth is exponentially growing and I can’t wait to see where everything takes me.

Ultimately, it was difficult to understand why I had gained traction of social media, and why I was so lucky to be apart of a creative friend group. But as I reflect on the events of this past year, these instances have all pointed me towards this direction, leading me to doorsteps of acting and modeling.

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 would definitely take my friends to my favorite Vietnamese noodle restaurant, Nha Trang on Valley Blvd in San Gabriel! I would also recommend the new food hall opening up in San Gabriel, Blossom Market!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thank you to my family for their relentless and unconditional love throughout this transitional phases of my life. I know it has been difficult keeping up with my endeavors, but your patience and gradual acceptance truly means the world to me.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daddydumpling/?hl=en

Other: https://linktr.ee/raymondhkam

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