We had the good fortune of connecting with Roy Vongtama and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think I have taken a lot of risks, but since I have been living the life of actor/doctor for about 15 years now, it’s doesn’t have the same feeling of risk it once had. For me, where the risks lie becomes clearer when I talk with my friends. When I speak to my doctor friends, they often envy the freedom I have being an actor, and they don’t dwell on the financial risks I took to make it happen. When I talk to actors, they see the safety I left behind when I decided not to practice full time medicine- I think they inherently empathize how risky this career choice is.
What should our readers know about your business?
Being in two different fields has taught me a lot. As an actor and creative, what is interesting is that being a “real doctor” has made it even more likely that I get seen in a stereotype. This brought in my mental discipline I had developed from training years to be a doctor: it’s allowed me to persevere even when I haven’t gotten the results I would have liked to have, to allow for people to see me differently. This has gradually opened up more opportunities outside of the stereotypes. On the flip side, putting myself into other people’s shoes, a critical skill for an actor, has given me tremendous empathy as a doctor. Because of this sense of feeling what others feel in front of me, I began to see how much the traumas people have experienced, especially during childhood, can cause disease and dysfunction in their bodies, minds and souls. Especially in my field, cancer, we can see that repressed anger and resentment lead to cancer or at least set the groundwork for it to come into being. It became such a passion that I wrote a book, “Healing Before You’re Cured” that uses scientific evidence to help people take the journey towards physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. I also have a website for people to find helpful articles and coaching, www.MDRoy.com
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.
Being Thai American, I am often surprised that people don’t know there is a Thaitown in Hollywood, There are at least 50 authentic restaurants in a three mile area. My favorites are Ruen Pair on Hollywood Boulevard and across the plaza, Bhan Khanom Thai, the only place for the best in Thai desserts. The other place I don’t think people know about is the place where I learned to meditate: Lake Shrine, in Pacific Palisades. It is a 10 acre walking meditation oasis surrounding a lake. It’s free, it’s very peaceful and they don’t bash you over the head with any doctrine. Also a portion of Gandhi’s ashes are buried there. Kids love it, because of the swans, turtles and koi that are ever present.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to all the “moms” I have had in my life, women that supported me along the way to where I am. Of course there is my biological mom, who “dragon mom-ed” me with discipline. The three non-biological moms that stand out to me are Kate McGregor-Stewart, my acting coach of the last 10 years, Angel Harper, my spiritual minister friend, who is a great sounding board for me, and Sister Ranjana, a nun from the Self Realization Fellowship order of monastics. All three have been there to guide me through their advice, but looking back, I have been mostly influenced by their example of how they live their lives.
Website: www.Mdroy.com www.RoyV.com
Instagram: @royvongtamaMD @royvongtama
Linkedin: Roy Vongtama
Hal Zeitlin, Meena Makhijani