Los Angeles Country Arts Commission Intern
Areas of Study: Russian & Geography/Environmental Studies
What kinds of jobs / What professional fields are you interested in? Anything in support of Arts nonprofit organizations
Why I Applied to Become a VC Summer Intern: I was curious how Visual Communications promoted Asian American talent especially during this time when #OscarsSoWhite and other related social media movements have gained such traction. I hoped that through interning at VC, I could better understand what's going on with media representation of AAPI and meet the changemakers in our community.
What were some projects and tasks that you did as a VC Summer Intern? With fellow interns, I helped plan and promote our film screenings from TYRUS to MELE MURALS. We got the word out about Asian American filmmakers and VC. We also created a beautiful hot air balloon-shaped kazari for the Tanabata Festival before the summer ended.
What were some projects and tasks that you did during the VC Summer Screenings? I was pretty excited to secure some tickets from the Laugh Factory and Pasadena Playhouse for our raffle at our intern screening event "Uprooted". Through press releases, e-mail and social media, I helped publicize the work of Asian American filmmakers and bring awareness to neat programs such as Armed With a Camera and Digital Histories.
What, if anything, did you learn while working as a VC Summer Intern?It's great that we have so many hard-working go-getters in our group. Since everyone was giving their 100%, I trusted the process. I liked that I could listen and support my peers, and ultimately, I learned the importance of asking others for help when working in a team.
Tell us about meeting and working with the LAAPFF Staff and other VC Summer Interns. I was really shy to open up, but we then bonded over Asian American role models like Phil from Angry Asian Man, John Cho and Constance Wu. We also had our laughs over Pokemon Go, and the craze associated with the game. Over time, it was nice to learn that everyone is committed to putting on stellar film screenings and getting things done. We had each other's backs, so it was a very supportive environment.
How did your VC experience compare with your expectations? It was way more social than expected. I never thought we could have so much fun sharing our lunch breaks with ramen, boba, udon and other great food in Little Tokyo. I loved that we got to meet and talk to these talented film-makers. I fan-girled so hard! In fact, I ran across a parking lot on a hot summer day to chase down Daniel Hsia for a selfie!
Which directors or films did you learn about or discover as a result of your time at VC this summer? I was blown away by the films we saw this summer. From TIGER HUNTER, SPA NIGHT to MELE MURALS, every film comes with a wonderful memory of seeing the audience smile and feeling a sense of community during the screenings. I remember being abroad this Spring, seeing the trailer for Lena Khan's film and wishing I was able to attend LAAPFF to see it. When we actually saw it it with fellow interns and staff, I cried tears of joy. I absolutely loved Danny Pudi's performance in it and recognized these cool actors from OUTSOURCED, commercials and local comedy shows. The comedy was spot on, and it's so nice to see more diverse faces in film.
Needless to say, Andrew Ahn's SPA NIGHT will always be in my list of favorite films as well. It's not often that we hear about the story of a Korean American from a lower-income background and who breaks this model minority myth. I enjoyed the exploration of identity, sense of duty and family during the movie. I talk to my friends all the time about how important this film is, and how they should all go see it in the future!
What did you enjoy about your experience?Learning more about what's going on in Little Tokyo through community meetings, supporting the AAPI talent in Los Angeles and of course, meeting wonderful people everyday during our internship experience.
Would you recommend this internship to others? Why?Absolutely. It's a great way to engage the AAPI community, since you'll be in the heart of Little Tokyo. You'll be so close to all the Tuesday Night Cafe performances. You will meet amazing people, who have accomplished unbelievable things yet remain so humble.
What will you be doing now after your internship?Starting my last year as a senior at UCLA. I'll be meeting my new Residential Life team as a RA at on-campus housing. I hopefully will be volunteering at community events and continuing a small radio show with Asian Americans through Pacific Ties and UCLA Radio. Oh, and looking for a job. :)