The American entertainment industry is very tough to break into because you’re competing with so many talented people. Asian Americans have it even tougher than people of other ethnicities for a variety of reasons. Our parents (most of the time) pressure us to have what they call a “real career” aka being an engineer or a doctor. We’re also competing against whites and blacks, who are (currently) more accepted and commonplace in the entertainment industry. We’re discriminated against.
The five talents on this list decided to make their dreams come true despite their geographical location. They decided to relocate themselves to a new place where they would have a better chance to succeed, and they indeed made it big.
Vanness Wu was born in Santa Monica, California before moving to Taiwan to pursue his dream of being a singer. According to his Wikipedia page, he even worked as a telemarketer before becoming a singer. Besides being a singer, he’s also an actor, having starred in the Taiwanese drama, Meteor Garden. You can check out a music video of his featuring Ryan Tedder of One Republic below.
Daniel Henney is a half-Korean half-American actor born in Carson City, Michigan. Although born with amazing good looks and a sexy body, he had trouble standing out in the crowded American modeling market, where he worked as a model and attended college. It wasn’t until he went back to South Korea and landed a role in a hit TV drama, My Name is Kim Sam Soon, that he became a household name. Interesting fact: he barely knew any Korean while filming the TV series. Now he’s moving back to the American market and you can see him in movies such as Wolverine.
Brian Joo is another Korean singer who was born in Los Angeles, California. He didn’t intend to become a popstar, but he auditioned in the states with a group called “Brothers Entertainment” and then was sent to train with SM Entertainment in Korea. For a while he was both a student in the states and a recording artist in Korea, however, this became too difficult and he ended up quitting school. He eventually became part of the duo, Fly to the Sky, along with Hwanhee, and then became a solo artist.
Kylee Saunders is a 16 year old high school student born to a Japanese mother and an American father. She lives in Arizona and is a senior at Hamilton High School. She’s also a recording artist in Japan. She balances both lives by constantly flying to Japan every few days to record while she also has a permanent home in the United States. Check out one of her singles below.
Jay Park is a Korean American singer and dancer who rose to fame after auditioning for JYP Entertainment in the US. He became the leader of 2PM. He eventually quit the band due to some controversy on his Myspace (he commented that he disliked Korea), but he already gained many fans in the US. Now he’s working as part of a BBoy Crew, Art of Movement and recording in the US.
Were you inspired by this list? I hope so. If you really want to be an entertainer, maybe it’s time to grab your stuff and head overseas. We hear Korea’s K-pop scene is really booming =D