We had the good fortune of connecting with Trang Vo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trang, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
“Risk; The Possibility or chance of loss, danger, or injury.” Every year we get older we attain more experience, more wisdom, more memories. And from these things we learn to be more cautious but ultimately more fearful. When we were a kid, getting hit with a ball in the face or falling off our bikes didn’t keep us from getting up and playing again. I Remember my first heartbreak, oh man it was rough, felt like the end of the world at 16. My mom warned me the risks of being around boys and relationships but I did it anyway. He was my best friend, first kiss , first love , and an abrupt end. I put myself at risk of loss for a chance of happiness. I remember joining wrestling senior year of high school, among kids who’ve been doing it since they were 5, I got scared and wanted to quit after the first day of training. I persisted. I endured with the help of my teammates and coaches. Many injuries, sweat, and tears later, I received “Outstanding First Year Wrestler“. And was also one match away from state tournament. (Thank you Coach Trisha) Towards the end of my senior year, I remember seeing a big poster on the wall in choir class. It was for a Performing Arts Academy in Los Angeles. It had Jason Derulo’s face on it. “Wow, I wanna go here.” At first it was just a thought, a mere speck of my imagination. I already knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, or a business woman, or a journalist. Right ? But… the idea of being a performer, and being able to make my dreams come true, and using my platform to help people never seemed to solidify itself in my head more than that moment. I had to apply. Even if I knew what people were going to say. I knew what my family was going to think about me being an artist. But you know what? I wanted to become the first generation Vietnamese American kid in my family to go to college. I auditioned for the very first time for the Academy in Seattle, with a monologue I still remember to this day. Two weeks before I graduated , I received my acceptance package in the mail, to my surprise, and also my moms. That was the day I told her, “Mom I’m movin to Los Angeles.” In Fall of 2014, I packed up 2 suitcases and rode the Amtrak 35 hours towards the City of Angels on my own. I arrived not knowing a soul. It definitely wasn’t a smooth sailing four years. I experienced death of family for the first time, I loss my grandma, my uncle, and my grandpa, year after year. My mom was admitted into the hospital more than once. My little brother working while in high school to pay rent because I was in school full time and couldn’t help much. Four Years later, in Spring of 2018, I held my Bachelors in Performing Arts Diploma, As my classmates whistled and cheered as I walked across the stage. My mom was there to see me. I should mention that before I graduated, I booked a Co Star Role on NCIS and a feature role on Cosmos Possible Worlds with Neil Degrasse Tyson. Yes it was hard work, but I also risked losing my day job, missing classes, to be able to rehearse for these auditions. I filmed commercials, worked on short films, assisted in directing award winning projects. I guess this is my roundabout way of saying our dreams are always fleeting. The things you want in life don’t always fall into place. But every sequence of events that happen because of the risks that we take leads us exactly where we need to be. Whether we feel like it or not. Currently, I am working on officially establishing my photography business, whilst working side jobs as a server, bartender, Biohazard Technician…etc, but never forgetting what I initially arrived to Los Angeles for. I want to become a respected actress, filmmaker, and director. I want to use my platform to inspire other women, other minorities, and everyone who has the love of cultures like me to share their arts and stories. If I didn’t apply to that random poster in my choir class that one fateful day, I would not be where I am now. Just do it, get on the bike , fall, then get back up. I Promise you it doesn’t hurt that bad. If I hadn’t make the decision to attend the academy back then, I would have never learned of my potential and capabilities.
Just do it. Get on the bike, let yourself fall, then get back up . Whatever you do, Always move Forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well as you know times are difficult for everyone right now. We are currently living through an unexpected pandemic. For artists that means everything is on a halt. It’s okay not to be grinding so hard 24/7, but don’t forget there are others utilizing this time to perfect their craft. I’ve been investing my time and money saved into creating an at home photo and music studio. I pushed music aside when I started studying film, I realized now is the time to start planning collaborations. I updated my headshots recently, and also try to keep my photography skills sharp by photographing friends. I often revisit monologues and scripts I’ve written. My goal for next year is to be featured in a photography magazine and to be able to bring one of my own short films to life.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Point Dume -Malibu Beach! You can’t visit Cali and not go to a beach. Little Tokyo, the amazing small businesses, mom and pop restaurants, and the culture. El Tejano North Hollywood -(Bar & Restaurant) If you’re a young artist or just love being around a more vibrant crowd.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Thank you to my Professors for seeing more in me than an Asian Stereotype. Thank you Angelique Brenes ( Singer/Model/ Social Media Expert) for being my biggest cheerleader throughout the years. My agent Myreon Arslan (MJB Talent Agency for taking a chance on a no name actress.