All Images from Sophea’s Myspace
AmpedAsia.com: What is your ethnicity?
Sophea: I am 1/2 Cambodian, 1/4 Chinese and 1/4 Vietnamese.
AmpedAsia.com: Where were you born and where were you raised?
Sophea: Well, I was born in Cambodia during the holocaust regime. I actually don’t know the exact date because there was so much
violence and chaos. My family and I then made our way to the United States and settled in Los Angeles, after a few years, we moved to San Diego and that’s
where I wreaked havoc in the streets of East San Diego, “tha hood” : ) !
AmpedAsia.com: Ten years ago, where did you think you would be now?
Sophea: Ten years ago, I definitely thought I would be either be teaching English or Humanities to children everywhere, or
participating in some sort of missionary work. This all of course, after I got over my substance abuse coupled with my obsession of art. Weird, I know,
AmpedAsia.com: What really kickstarted started your modeling career?
Sophea: Hmm, I have to credit my initial modeling interest to MTV. They shot a whole season of shows in San Diego a few years back and
casted me to shoot nine episodes. It really helped me gain the personal confidence I’ve never had before.
AmpedAsia.com: What are your favorite aspects of modeling?
Sophea: My favorite things associated with modeling would have to be the ability to convey emotions through a still shot. It’s about
being creative. It’s not the easiest, nor the hardest job, but it definitely takes a lot of heart and creativity to do certain kinds of modeling. Oh, and I
also love the hair,makeup and costumes. I rarely dress up, so it’s nice to see myself looking different through the art of hair and makeup! Does that make me
AmpedAsia.com: Are there any negative aspects to modeling?
Sophea: No, but I think you can be perceived very negatively for no apparent reason and people will be quick to criticize you. I guess
it comes with the territory, so it’s important to not let it bother you. Another thing to watch out for, is that being labeled a “model” doesn’t make you
better than the next person. As we all know, you do NOT have to be attractive to model. Some people with an immature approach may actually fall victim to
having huge egos for no good reason. Unless you saved the world or stopped a war, I really don’t think you would be classified as phenomenal because you take
a good picture, haha!
AmpedAsia.com: What did you look like before you were a model compared to how you look now?
Sophea: Eeek! I was such an awkward girl! I mean, I was like this extremely thin, physically underdeveloped, curly unkept hair,
braces and taller than all the boys. I reached the height of 5’6″ when I was 16 years old. I’ll try to find some proof for you, but I may have burned them
all a few years back, haha! Wait, does that make me an ugly duckling?
AmpedAsia.com: How would you rate your modeling skills, and what is left to improve?
Sophea: Well, as far as fashion modeling, I think I’m very experienced. The poses and styling come very natural to me. I can style
and pose myself pretty well, and have actually done it for other models as well. The only thing left, if I ever want to dive into it, would be glamour
modeling,where the images are a lot more sexually suggestive. I’m really not sexy at all, so I’m sure it would be quite difficult for me, haha!
AmpedAsia.com: Is modeling your full time job?
Sophea: No, my brain is everywhere! It’s very difficult to keep still, especially with my ADHD! I spend a lot of my time doing some
corporate hustlin’, art, graphic design, photography, fashion and writing. I’m currently working on my brand BellaSoul in the San Francisco area. It’s a
marketing production right now, but I may very well steer it towards a clothing line, but it will definitely be a type of branding. We’ll see : ).
AmpedAsia.com: What kind of skills do you need to be a model?
Sophea: Well, you have to have the look. And there is such a huge array of modeling needs now, I think everyone has a great chance to
pursue this dream if they so desire. But definitely: the look, patience, creativity, an open-mind. That’s it! And maybe, implants. No, I’m just
kidding…really, I am.
AmpedAsia.com: How much chance do you think shorter girls (especially since Asian girls are shorter in general) have for becoming a
big model in the United States?
Sophea: I think the modeling world is really evolving. There are a lot more opportunities now for all types of models because the
standard of beauty is changing. Height is not obvious in print ads and billboards. I mean height REALLY helps because elongated bodies show off products and
fashion “better”. But, if you have the ability to model great on camera, I truly believe you can gain quite a substantial amount of success as a model.
AmpedAsia.com: How much do you watch TV?
Sophea: Hmmm, an hour a day? I really like just watching those “wrap up” shows, like the evening news,CNN, Talk Soup, etc. You know,
I like to skip the filler and get right to the killer. Just show me the highlights with some great commentary ,and I’m good : )! But, I must admit I like
catching shows on HGTV and National Geographic in HD…*woooow**…haha!
AmpedAsia.com: Do you watch America’s Next Top Model?
Sophea: Yes and no. If I watch it, it’s for the very end, when they show the final images from the shoots. Those photoshoots are
AmpedAsia.com: What’s the chances of seeing you on that show?
Sophea: Awww, very slim. I was actually corresponding with Tyra Banks last year about the show, but I had too much going on.
AmpedAsia.com: Are you planning to watch Tila Tequila’s new show on MTV?
Sophea: I don’t have a TV schedule to watch shows, but I’m sure I’ll catch it at some point. I’m really happy for her. I think she
is very sincere and has worked very hard to get where she is at. I wish her a lot more success because we DO need a lot more Asian faces on American
TV…even if she is bisexual, haha!
AmpedAsia.com: What is your typical workday like?
Sophea: Oh geez, I work like 10-12 hours a day. I have a corporate job, I do photoshoots (in front AND behind the camera), I do design
work and editing on the computer. And THEN, I gogo dance on the weekends. I guess I am kinda busy…
AmpedAsia.com: What are some places you like to go for fun?
Sophea: Haha..are you ready for my answers? The art museums, Borders bookstores, fabric stores. I’m a bit of an introvert, as you can
see. I guess any place that I would be able to derive some inspiration from and then use it to create something else. That’s all I can think of, for now. And
the answer is “No”, I do not care if you think I am a nerd.
AmpedAsia.com: What’s your current dating status?
Sophea: Definitely unavailable! Did you see what the list of my activities a few questions back???
AmpedAsia.com: What are some traits you look for in the opposite sex?
Sophea: Sense of humor! Looks fade, but laughter lasts a lifetime. Style (not fashion) is also important. That tells you how much
balls someone has. It’s okay to go against the grain, damn it! So…a sense of humor, style, ambition, intellect, creativity and passion for as many things
as possible in life. And looks matter to some degree, but being healthy and showering at least once a day is mandatory, haha…Is that too much to ask for?
AmpedAsia.com: Give us one dating tip for men.
Sophea: Always pay! And when she offers to pay, then you know you got it in the bag…**a bowm, shicka bowm bowm**. Haha! Oh wait, and
please do not send us women, a “cut-and-paste” message, that you have sent to 10 girls a day on Myspace. Kinda obvious, fellas…
AmpedAsia.com: Do you have any interest in Asian media at all?
Sophea: Yes, I do. I try to follow foreign cinema and entertainment to support the industry as much as I can. But, I definitely want
to see more Asians in the American media because I feel like we do not have accurate representation in the West as every other race. Most of them are
stereotypes, we are conveyed as either very passive, exotic, math geniuses, or martial artists. We have a lot to offer the world and it’s time we start
exposing ourselves…*ahem*, I mean in a positive, politically correct way..haha!
AmpedAsia.com: Now you can promote your website, myspace, etc.
Sophea: Hmmm, well you can definitely find me and add me on myspace.com at: www.myspace.com/Sopheaakara and then also my website:
www.Sophea-akara.com . Please excuse the construction, it’s getting revamped!
AmpedAsia.com: Any final words?
Sophea: What? That’s a dangerous question to ask me. Just kidding! Well, I really want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who
has been so supportive of me and what I’ve been doing in the public eye. It’s so weird, when people write to you and tell them they are fan or you have
inspired them to do something. I really feel like I am just a random, ordinary girl doing everything I’ve dreamed of doing. I hope to inspire everyone else
out there to pursue their goals. Regret is a lot more painful than failure, so follow your dreams, kiddies!!! Oh, and sorry for all my long answers to this
interview, it’s the ADHD, I swear…thanks, I love you guys : D!!!