Day 23 - Caroline (1st person I approached)
January 23, 2015 - Whenever I give myself permission to fail, I sometimes feel I’m setting myself up to do exactly that; fail. Okay, so fail may not be the best adjective or category in this sense, after all, this isn’t a life or death matter. I posted Thursday’s story on Friday, and here I am on Saturday late evening writing Friday’s story. Which in turn means I didn’t go out to meet a stranger today. I went out, I just never sought out any strangers to connect with. Last year, I diligently went out each and every day, and wrote and posted that day’s story on that day. At the start of this year, I allowed for the possibility of taking one or two days off, perhaps. It becomes a slippery slope at times, like not eating cookies. I either have to not eat any cookies, or accept that I’ll continue binging on them from time to time. That said, here is yesterday’s story, and I’m committed to getting back on my daily wagon. For now. I think. Maybe?
Caroline was born in Vancouver, and grew up on the west side of the city. Her father is from China and her mother is from Victoria, on Vancouver Island (British Columbia).
“I’m the youngest of four, with two older sisters and an older brother. I was pretty close to each of them as a child. I was always the baby in the family. I think that I probably got away with more being the youngest. My parents knew more about what to expect,” she said.
“If I look back I think I was close to each of them in a unique way. I had a special relationship. If you asked each of them (siblings), I think they’d each say they were closest with me.”
She was spotted by a casting director at the tender age of two years old.
“She asked my mother if I could be one of the babies in ‘Look Who’s Talking Too.’ Since elementary school, acting has always been something that I’ve been into and really enjoyed. I made an agreement with my mother. As long as I got good grades and did my schoolwork, that I could continue to pursue acting as well,” she said.
“I did some acting classes and was involved in plays in school with the drama class.” She also enjoyed taking dance classes as well. After graduating high-school, Caroline went to UBC (University of British Columbia) and got a Bachelor’s degree in Food Market Analysis.
“It's a combination of things related to food. Sciences was biology and chemistry. And then we had commerce, marketing, economics, trade and studying international food markets. It was a great way to get an understanding of the business of food,” she told me. Caroline is passionate about food as well as acting.
“I had my own Instagram account but I realized that it was just getting filled with my food pictures. So I created a separate account just for food,” she tells me, laughing softly.
Another project Caroline was in was ‘Broken Trail,’ starring Robert Duvall, who went on to win a Lead Actor Emmy for his role. In the film, Caroline plays one of five young women rescued from a slave trader.
“I only speak Chinese when I’m ordering food at a restaurant, or if a role I’m auditioning for requires it. I speak Cantonese. I had to learn seven pages of dialogue that were all in Mandarin, which is easier to learn. I sat down with the pages and created ‘Caroline Pinyin’ and wrote the lines out phonetically. I memorized that, and did the scene acting the language,” she told me. Pinyin is the method of converting Chinese characters into romanized or phonetic language.
“After graduating from university, I worked in a restaurant for a few months, as a server, to gain some knowledge about the real-life food industry. After that I worked in another restaurant as marketing manager,” she said.
“Then I started working for a corporate event planning company. I worked really hard and was offered a position as an account executive. I deal mostly with staffing for some of the larger events we do, like car shows and trade fairs,” she said.
“I feel like I’m on a lucky streak,” she told me. I asked her to tell me how her luck had manifested.
“In 2013, I entered a competition that ET Canada (an entertainment news television show) were running. It was the ‘Jessie Ware Record-A-Song’ competition.’ I was on set one evening and I got a call to say I had won! I didn’t have to do anything more than enter. I won a trip to London, England. We stayed at the Savoy Hotel. I took my sister with me. There was an event for all of the sponsors of the competition, like a show case. The singer Jessie Ware (English singer, pop sensation) was there to perform and we got to meet her afterwards. My sister and I, and the local (London) winner and her plus one, all got to go to Abbey Road Studios, and recorded a song there. We did a cover of The Beatles song ‘With A Little Help From My Friends.’ It was a really fun trip!” she said, with a big lovely, grin. (*Fact Check - see links below.)
“Last year, my parents decided that it had been too long since we had been on a family vacation. They took us all on a cruise to Hawaii, for seventeen days. They had a variety of dance lessons each day on board the ship, and I’ve alway liked dancing, so I went along. I did a bunch of different classes. I didn’t realize that it was actually a competition connected to Dancing With the Stars (the TV dance show). I won for the jive section. I never thought anymore of it," she said.
"Then I find out that the cruise line had been running these competitions on all their ships, and they had five hundred winners from all of the competitions. They were holding a Dancing With the Stars at Sea Championship. I won another cruise to go compete in the championships. I was given five days to decide if I could make it fit into my schedule, which I did. The cruise departed from Fort Lauderdale. We had rehearsals every day, for an hour to learn new choreography, then tech rehearsal for an hour after that. We then competed in front of an audience of a thousand people on the cruise that afternoon. It was hard work, and there were some very good dancers competing. They treated us so well, it was an incredible experience. Two of the judges from the TV show and the ship's Cruise Director were the competition judges. I finished in the top ten!” (*Fact Check - see links below.)
Caroline enjoys the event planning work she does.
“It’s not even about selling something to people. We’re creating an experience for the audience that come to the trade shows. It could be something as simple as introducing a product or service that may have an impact on someone, and that’s a great feeling. Even just the opportunity to speak with people and make a connection. You never know, that person you say hello to, might not have had a conversation with another person that day. Being able to meet so many people, and make connections is such a great feeling,” she told me.
I asked Caroline where she gets her drive from.
“I have a mandate. Carpe Diem, seize the day. I make a list of the things I want to achieve the next day, and then I go out and try to get them done. I like a good challenge.” I might write that on a sticky note, and put it on my bathroom mirror. #notastranger