In many instances, life is all about uncertainty, growth, persistence, and, sometimes even Craigslist. Such was the case for Christina Lee, host of: Pulse on PSN, Short Notice on MNET, AMN Radio.
Audrey Magazine had a chance to talk with the rising Asian American personality about her new radio show, The CL Show, and her thoughts on being an Asian American woman in the entertainment industry.
How did you get your start and break into the Entertainment Industry?
CL: I started off thinking I wanted to go into broadcast journalism so I really started there, writing and reporting. Now this may not be the most glamorous story but as far as entertainment goes but I really just started going for things. I wasn’t really sure just how to land on-camera jobs; it’s not like anyone really tells you how, right? Craigslist, my friends, was what it was all about. I’d scour those endless blue links, audition and apply for on-camera positions as much as I could. I started off as a VJ with MYX TV many years ago back in the bay area while attending school and then eventually landed Pulse on the Playstation Network. Thank the Lord for Craigslist! Moving to LA made a huge difference, too. Everyone always seemed to say that it’s all about relationships and you’ll see that it’s absolutely true. You start making friends who are all up to some amazing things here and soon you find yourself in a place where people want to work together or refer you. Community can help you start and break into anything!
Can you tell us about your new show, “The CL Show”?
Thanks for asking! After having lived in LA for just 2 years, there were a few days where I was reveling in just how everyone that I’d met in such a short time here were all so wonderfully unique and different. I mean I know this is the city of dreams and all but really now, if you take people not just for who they are but who they are BEING, today, it’s so enriching to see people just live their lives. And I just wanted a place and time where I might be able to share people with well, people. It makes my day, any day, when I can have a GOOD conversation with someone. You know that feeling, right? Where you think back on your day and you might say, “Man, I LOVE just talking to so and so.” It fills you with such appreciation and brightness. I want to share those sorts of conversations with people. The show itself is still going through a lot of changes as we speak but for now it’s a 30 minute radio show that will likely be a live show quite soon. I wanted a place for artists, activists, causes, actors, chefs, authors, personalities, community organizers and leaders to just come in for a great conversation on what they’re up to. I want a show where it’s truly about our LA community while staying casual and familial; so if you want to come in your pj’s or take off your shoes, let’s do it! If you or anyone you know wants to come in and chat, definitely let me know. We’ll be on Ustream and YouTube soon so I definitely can’t wait for more listeners and viewers to tune in and participate.
What has been your favorite gig thus far in your career?
I had so much fun last year covering the Hollywood Bowl for The Korea Times. Look, I’m a fan of Kpop for sure and I know people here and there love it but it was insane to see how global Kpop was. I mean there were people of all colors: black, white, magenta, periwinkle, mustard, colgate blue from places like Mexico, London, Switzerland, Wisconsin, Indonesia that conquered oceans to see these Kpop artists. It was nuts! And their undying love, chants, posters, learning Korean. Madness, dude. Madness. I’ve much love for my Korean people because man, we really are everywhere.
Do you prefer hosting radio or TV? Why?
It still feels weird hosting a radio show because I’d never done it before nor did I ever think I would. There are days where I think I like being in front of the camera more only because you’re usually walking around, you might get to wear fun things and you can just ignore the camera and just focus on the person’s eyes in front of you. But something tells me I might really enjoy the radio booth even more once we have live interaction mixed into the programming.
For you, what has been the toughest thing about being an Asian American woman in the entertainment industry?
I’ve been super blessed in that I haven’t exactly come across any casting horror stories that many of my peers have had to. I will say though, that it was difficult when I first started out to see what people say about you especially when they don’t know you at all. There are always people making comments about what ethnicity they think you are and then slandering you as a result. People do always have something to say about your body, your eyes, your face, your wrists, earlobes, you name it! I’m sure that goes for any female of any ethnicity but I think it only gets easier when you accept that there will always be such comments; after you accept that, you just have to move forward and not let it run you down.
How was it like transitioning hosting and producing Wedding Television to covering video game news with the Playstation Network?
Weddings were so foreign to me when I first stepped into that sort of programming. I was never one of those girls who understood the wedding frenzy but that all changed with each episode. It’s such a detail-oriented industry and I appreciated weddings so much more after working on the show. Going from dresses, cakes and flowers to the world of Playstation was a different shift for sure but it wasn’t anything I wasn’t familiar with. I grew up with a Playstation system in my home as a kid and a lot of time was spent watching my brother play Final Fantasy for hours on end.
What do your parents think about your career in hosting? Do they have fun watching and listening to your broadcasts?
The mom and pop find it amusing, I think. They weren’t quite sure what the heck I was doing at first and were worried (as most of our parents do) about whether it was stable. They still worry but I think they realized some time ago that they were just going to have to let me go to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life and just go with it. They do have fun; my dad usually just looks and nods while my mom almost always says something along the lines of, “What’s up with your hair?”
How was college like for you, and did you know you wanted to go into Television and Radio Show hosting?
I didn’t at all! I started off going into college thinking I would wind up studying to be a pediatrician (my childhood dream) but the journalism in me found its way back on top again pretty quickly. I’d had so much fun with the school paper in high school and with the encouragement of a good friend, I ended up just going all in trying to figure out what sort of journalism I wanted to focus on. The parents were hardly thrilled. “She’s going to get a four year education so that she can write…words?!” I’m sure is something they thought. I thought at the time that broadcast journalism was the way to go so much of college was writing for the college paper, interning at any TV station I could, learning basic production all while applying for any hosting jobs that I might find online. I really just tried reaching out for anything and everything and trying to fit it all in. There was never a defining moment where I knew that hosting was the way to go, I just knew that I loved talking to people.
What do you enjoy to do/hobbies outside of Hosting?
These days I’m trying to get back to reading and writing more. I’ve recently picked up an interest in acting so I’m taking some time to really study the craft; I’m a bit nervous yet excited about that. Cooking has become so much fun, probably because we live in a food obsessed culture but I want to be able to do it more so that I can say that it’s actually a hobby. This is probably weird but I love smiling at strangers and see if they smile back. So far, the bay area is friendlier with smiles versus LA.
As a public figure, you are undoubtedly a role model to many. Who are your role models?
I never like naming just one figure because we all have so many and often it changes all the time. These days my role models are the humble, those who believe in what they say and do and live it out in their daily lives. I admire those who give without asking, those who work and love in excellence and humility even when no one is looking.
Find more of Christina on her tumblr here.