First of All is a real, unfiltered conversation on career, family, love, & modern culture. Your host is actress/director/entrepreneur Minji Chang, who will bring in her friends & special guests from all walks of life to kick back in her virtual living room. Together we will laugh, drop whatever knowledge we have, & speak our truth on weekly featured topics. Get ready for good times & all the feels.
Leaving Your Comfort Zone with Helen Wu (AsianBossGirl)
The most universal life experience: the gut-wrenching, butterflies in your stomach, lightheaded, sweaty palms, heart racing, quasi-hyperventilating breath, hold-up-I-need-a-moment, shaky af...leaving of your comfort zone. Can I do this? Do I have what it takes? What if it doesn't work out? What if I fail? What I let ____ down? Should I do this? We've all been there. And sorry (but not sorry) to call it what it is fam, we'll continue to face these necessary changes as we grow. The silver lining is that practicing courage and a bit of that "F it" boldness can be transformative in the best of ways. In this episode, Minji sits down with Big 4 corporate veteran turned inspiring podcaster and creative Helen Wu from AsianBossGirl in her very first solo podcast conversation ever. Together they reflect on her significant and scary life changes, including leaving her hometown of Boston and relationships to pursue a new life across the country, navigating a challenging career, growing in her relationship with now-fiance Phil Wang, and taking on a new identity as a creative professional with AsianBossGirl Podcast, including facing major phobias like public speaking. They dive into the highs and lows, the lessons, the fears, and future visions. Show Helen some love as she takes flight in 2021!
Dealing With Uncertainty with Kulap Vilaysack (Add To Cart Podcast)
Ever feel like you're working so freaking hard at "getting it together", leveling up, building the life of your dreams, etc... only to have life throw you a curve ball? Say.. a rejection, a change of heart, or even a little global pandemic? As much as we're constantly seeking certainty and control, life is usually anything but. So while we're all STILL smack in the middle of the highly uncertain COVID era, we say it's a great time to get introspective on dealing with the uncomfortable, peculiar in-between. In this episode, Minji sits down with the wildly talented and hilarious Kulap Vilaysack, writer/director and host of Add To Cart Podcast. Together they float on their respective metaphorical life rafts, trying to make sense of this past year, our turbulent society, and our relationships. Kulap shares some wise perspective on navigating a changing and fulfilling career in Hollywood from acting in The Office to becoming a showrunner, even with the common (and crippling) comparison game. She dives into her journey finding her father and discovering her roots in Laos while making her documentary Origin Story. From politics to creating rituals to stay grounded, this is a safe space for anyone out there just trying to get through the day. Same, we got you.
Fighting Invisibility & Speaking Up with Bryan Pham & Maggie Chui (Asian Hustle Network)
In a world where all people strive to be seen and understood, invisibility can be demoralizing, damaging, and dangerous. Asian Americans have long experienced marginalization as a model minority (myth) - a quiet, hardworking, and subservient community that stays low-key, obedient and committed to the grindstone. In this week's episode, Minji sits down with the co-founders of the Asian Hustle Network, Bryan Pham and Maggie Chui, to dive into how their passion project turned full-time job aims to dismantle the bamboo ceiling in the media, corporate, and entrepreneurial world. They also talk about how their growing community and increasingly louder voice coincides with the anti-Asian violence that has surged in the COVID era. As many Asians struggle with the pain of internalized racism and heightened fear of hate crimes, our stories and voices take a new significance. Together they share their successes, struggles, intentions, and strategies on how to make more spaces to empower the unseen and show up for others.
Becoming A Better Person (Hopefully) with Sarah Coy
In our current world of heightened awareness around issues like mental health, race, gender identity, xenophobia, homophobia, and sooo much more, there are tons of ways we can say or do the wrong thing. Go back a few years, and you might remember some horrific stuff you used to say as a joke, or find a problematic tweet you posted or a very poorly worded letter or journal entry. Like, who really wrote that? We know, guys. We cringe too. And while it's highly uncomfortable to face these less than ideal versions of ourselves, it is a normal and important part of evolving as a person. Society as a whole has gotten more vigilant about accountability, even ruthlessly calling out problematic behavior and freely calling upon the power of cancel culture. Still there remains the fact that everyone is still figuring themselves out, with differing levels of success. In this episode, Minji talks with her high school classmate and brilliant makeup artist, Sarah Coy. Together they unpack some of their misconceptions, biases and pitfalls as teenagers who didn't know each other's real baggage at all. They discuss how the sleepy, conservative California suburbs and cultural influences they grew up in shaped their outlook and expectations in life. They also talk about navigating privilege and stumbling through extremely tough but necessary conversations as adults and allies of marginalized communities. Let's do better together.
Micro-Moving Into 2021
Alright, so we made it to 2021, which has been feeling an awful like an extension of the 2020 season of Life. Still in a pandemic, still unclear about the future, facing our private and personal struggles on top of the societal/global issues that are just impossible to ignore. The bad part? We still don't know how much longer we'll be in these circumstances. FR, most likely a good while longer. The good part? It's not forever. We still have each other. We're building resilience together. And we're learning how to rise to the occasion and face challenges that will strengthen us as individuals for the long haul. While we're all just doing our best make it through the day, hold onto a job, navigate our relationships, maintain our health, and keep faith alive for brighter days, we're forced to take it all a day at a time. In this episode, Minji kicks off FOA season 2021 with a direct heart to heart with anyone who needs it. She shares the inner work that's helped her work through the mental noise, the emotional chaos, and the real life challenges of making a living with a fluctuating supply of energy and motivation. The key? Big values and visions with MICRO MOVES. Take every task, every goal, every priority one teeny tiny step at a time when you can. We've got this fam!!
All The Things: A 2020 Debrief with Sean Miura
WHAT. A. YEAR. We made it y'all. Now, there's a loooot to unpack, and we all have our own ways that we want to say goodbye to one of the most difficult years the world has collectively experienced in all of history ever. And we support all of it. We went through every kind of upheaval: from personal struggles in every size, shape, form, and intensity.. to massive societal reckonings magnified from our local communities all the way to the global stage. None of it was normal. And we survived. And in the midst of the exhaustion, grief, and dread, we are all finding things to be thankful for. In this episode, Minji sits down with her friend, producer and community organizer Sean Miura to talk through some of their most significant lessons (that Minji can actually remember because.. 2020). From race to cancel culture, calling out to calling in, disconnecting to setting intentions, coping mechanisms to relationship wins. We process the tip of the iceberg that was 2020 to make peace, get centered and move into 2021 with our eyes open and hearts full of hope.
THANK YOU to everyone who rode the waves of 2020 with us at First Of All. Sending massive hugs and positive vibes as we close out a year we'll never forget (even if we want to). Proud of all us for making it through! Remember: you are RESILIENT, you are ENOUGH, & you are LOVE.