We had the good fortune of connecting with Triya Leong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Triya, do you have a budget? How do you make lifestyle and spending decisions?
Yes, I do! Having a budget and being strict with myself about it has made a huge difference in my life. I used to spend so frivolously and then end up struggling and penny pinching. Now, I use my budgeting app to help me categorize my finances into subgroups where I cover my monthly expenses, remember to budget for my annual expenses, and am able to build up emergency funds for my business, my personal life, and my dog. When it comes to personal finances, I think of what I need now and what I will need both in the near and far future, what big ticket goals I want to set up, from smaller big ticket goals like a new couch, to big big ticket goals like a house, and also making sure to save a percentage of all of my income for taxes so that when I get hit with owing taxes, I’m ready for it. Then, having a sub-section of “personal money” that I can spend on whatever I want without feeling guilty about spending that money. Since I’m so strict with my budget, it really helps to have that personal money section where I can buy whatever I feel like and not worry that I’m dipping into money that I need for something else. Even though it seems almost oppositional, having the structure of a budget really helps me feel like I have financial freedom and gives me comfort in knowing that as long as I’m aware of my expenses, the likelihood of me going into debt again is low and I can spend freely (within my means)!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a voice actor! It’s the type of job that I never realized existed. When I was little, I just thought that Bugs Bunny was played by Bugs Bunny and Eliza Thornberry was indeed traveling around in the wilderness with her family and Darwin. I’m so glad to find out that my favorite characters were voiced by real people and I, a real person, can also strive to be a child’s favorite character some day! I do mostly animation, video games, and talking toys which I really love. I wouldn’t say this job is easy, but it’s wonderful. I wish I had learned earlier that voice acting essentially meant becoming an entrepreneur and I would be building myself a business. That was/is a huge learning curve. Running a business and marketing myself is certainly a challenge, but I’ve learned so much and I will never stop learning how to do my job better and better. Something that I think sets me apart from others is an extensive background in childcare. I’ve taken care of children for 18 years and it’s helped me better understand how kids’ speech patterns and breathing change as they get older. I book a lot of work as toddlers and little kids which is the age range I’ve spent the most time with, so those tiny humans have unknowingly been some of my greatest vocal coaches!
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?
Ooo hmm, let’s say this is during the Fall in non-pandemic times. First night in, we get late night ramen at La Brea ramen. Then the next day, lazy wake up and brunch at 26 Beach. From there, walk down to the beach and hang out for a bit, then walk back and regret not driving. Oh, maybe stop at Nighthawk on the walk back for some spicy bacon and snacks. Then time for a shower and a nap after all of that sun soaking. Dinner at Ekkamai Thai. Next day, wake up early-ish and go on a hike with my dog Pocket, probably the Getty View Hike across the 405 from The Getty. Then brunch at Din Tai Fung in Century City. Back to the house to change and drop off the pup, then out to Melrose for vintage shopping and a show at The Groundlings. Next day, Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, then spicy Bloody Marys and brunch at The Attic. And that’s the whole day. Last day, homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then getting dressed up to go to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. The end. Wow, a very expensive week. But basically, let’s eat all of the things and go to Disneyland. 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?
There are so many people who have helped me in my life and career! One of the people who has been absolutely integral to my career is Kelly Baskin. We became accountability buddies a few years ago and it has made all of the difference in both how I saw and how I approached voice acting. It has been so fun to be able to go through this journey together and I’m so excited to say that we’re now going to be in two video games together!