“Be the light that lit a thousands candles, and as the world gets brighter, it shines back on you” - Nikki SooHoo
KatchU had the privilege of meeting and hearing from professional film and television actor, Nikki SooHoo. She has been a part of the industry for the past seventeen years and is best known for her roles in movies such as Stick It (2006) and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009), and guest roles in television shows such as Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017) and Heathers (2018). SooHoo talked about her journey within the industry, tips for actors, and how helping others can go a long way both in and outside Hollywood.
She began her acting career in 2005 and made appearances in a variety of Disney and Nickelodeon shows. While acting, she also attended high school and had to balance her time and energy between the two. Although her acting career was taking off as she was about to graduate, SooHoo decided to attend college, as it was very important to her and ultimately something she really wanted to do. She refers to school as her “grounding source” and likes the idea of how working hard equals reward, whereas for acting, it’s the opposite. She spoke about how “spontaneous and ever changing” acting is, and how she could only have so much control over it. She went on to UCLA and graduated with a BA in World Arts and Cultures, then got her MBA from Chapman University. At the time, SooHoo never intended on pursuing acting professionally as it was just something she enjoyed. She had her mind set on wanting a 9-5 job after college, but then noticed how many of her colleagues had “successful” jobs that made them money, but weren’t necessarily happy. She then realized “Why do you have to be serious about life? Life is fun!” From then on, she started to live and enjoy life the way she wanted to, and sort of “fell into” acting, which in the end “worked out.” SooHoo notes that “there is not one way to get into the industry,” and to be open to opportunities when they come.
SooHoo’s tips on how to survive as an actor:
Find a side hustle that will actually help you
Do things that allow you to make money and practice your craft
E.g. assistant to a producer, casting associate
Find ways that you can have control over your career
Self submit yourself on student projects
They’re fun and get you experience!
Have the “those students are gonna be in the industry” mindset
You get out what you put in
Approach acting as a craft
Don’t take rejection personally
Most of the time, it is out of your control
Have the “on to the next one” mentality
Dwelling doesn’t help at all
See what you can improve on
Learn from the experience
You won’t get every job you apply for, but don’t give up!
MINDSET, MINDSET, MINDSET
Rejection is inevitable, but it’s how you decide to deal with it that matters
“I am improving myself”
“It sometimes takes the 10,000 hour before you make it”
Take every opportunity as a learning experience
MAKE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES
Make your own luck
Don't always rely on your agent to get you work
Put yourself out there and in the right position
Be that “positive light”
Promote their work on social media
Share information relevant to their projects
Connect them to someone who can help them
Encourage them and their work
Lend a helping hand
Uplift and motivate!
SooHoo is a strong believer in giving back and doing what makes you happy. She implements these beliefs into her daily practice and encourages others to do the same. Success to her is about being happy and enjoying her time the way she wants to spend it. She emphasizes the importance of uplifting and helping others inside and outside of the entertainment industry.
You learn more about her work through her website: http://www.nikkisoohoo.com/
IMDb: Nikki SooHoo