We had the good fortune of connecting with Todd LIen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Todd, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Taking risk is one of the most important factors in my life/career choice. I am an artist who love to create and tell stories that I believe to be important for a wide range of audience. Making bold choices that will help contribute to the communities I care about. For example, I have taken the risk of sharing my coming out story in hopes of bringing more hope to the LGBTQ community, particularly the youth community. Being an actor is about constantly putting yourself out there while creating your own content to keep your exposure steady. And that comes with the risk of getting backfired and getting disapproved constantly. In order to keep hustling and staying vulnerable for roles, you have to be constantly pushing boundary for your mental state and emotional state.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an out and proud Asian actor in Hollywood, and I am also an acting coach to mainly Asian American children in the greater LA area. After graduating from New York Film Academy with my MFA in Acting for Film, I got signed into my commercial agency and management company due to my coming out film exposure and referral. I continued to audition, film, create, sing, and perform throughout the next couple years to keep my names known to the Chinese, Asian American, and LGBTQ communities in entertainment fields. After some success in booking, I have made myself known to big enough of a network that I do consistently work on set, even during the pandemic. And my teaching career took off after writing several successful stage performances and coaching 80 plus students. It is not easy to get to where I am now both with acting and teaching because it took a lot of effort of building trust and hard work proving yourself. The biggest challenge is to not doubt your own worth and talent because the constant rejection is part of the job, and to work through them with help and support from your loved ones is the only way to stay level-headed and motivated. I am my own brand. Todd Lien.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would take them to the best bars in Downtown LA and West Hollywood to give a quick idea of my community and fun stuff we do – karaoke at a bar or dancing on the club dance floors. I would also do day trips to big known museums around for some fun chilled activities. Then, I will definitely end with some beach scenes at Malibu and William Rogers for a bit of queer and a bit of chill! I think to encompass main areas of LA life to a best friend is the best way to introduce your life to them!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank my friends and family and community, particularly the brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ organizations I work with and seek advice and comfort from, such as Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. I also want to thank my manager for hustling along side with me from Asian Cinema Entertainment.