I was born and grew up in Phoenix, and I left there when I was 17 to go to Interlochen Arts Academy - a boarding school in Michigan - for a year, and then I went to college for a year at The Boston Conservatory and landed the 'Spring Awakening' tour midway through my freshman year, which was pretty cool.
There aren't as many roles, and I think there's a lack of openness in casting an Asian character in a leading role or unless they're a stereotype. It's been hard. I've been able to play some non-stereotypical roles, which is great, but I have a lot of Asian actor friends who are struggling.
I really loved to sing all the time, and I was constantly entertaining. Finally, my dad saw an article in the local newspaper in Phoenix, and it was for a children's theater, an audition for 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.'
I come from a theater background, so usually, at the start, you know what happens and where the character goes and everything. But with TV, it's really unpredictable.
Thinking back on it, I just really didn't have very many role models to look up to when it came to Asian actresses. And in that way, when I would see an Asian onscreen, it would be a secondary-type thing, and that's kind of how I ended up viewing myself in the world: as secondary.