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“Let’s start a movement to make it a permanent fixture in EVERY grocery store to have the option to make a donation to feed our hungry children” with Ming Zhao & Terri Gilboy

If I had a strong influence of bringing more awareness, it would be taking care of our millions of hungry children in the US. Millions of children go hungry every single day. You try to go a day or two or three, without food while thinking of a child that is doing the same without […]

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If I had a strong influence of bringing more awareness, it would be taking care of our millions of hungry children in the US.

Millions of children go hungry every single day. You try to go a day or two or three, without food while thinking of a child that is doing the same without a choice. I believe any person with a pulse, has hopeful compassion for a hungry child. As the fortunate go grocery shopping, I notice certain grocery stores and retail stores there is a button on the check out screen asking for a donation amount for a charitable organization.

If I was in a position to be a great influencer, I would make it a permanent fixture in EVERY grocery store to have the option to make a donation to feed our hungry children. Yes, food drives are well and alive, but not enough, but could you imagine if every person donated at each trip to the grocery store, we could make a huge impact and a difference for every hungry child.


As a part of my interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Terri GilboyShe’s a stand up comedian by trade, turn screenwriter. She’s half Korean and makes funnies of the other half possibilities. She recently established a production company to produce independent films to make dreams come true.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Mymother made me. I was raised in your traditional Asian culture with an extremely strict North Korean mother. I was born and raised in the USA, but always love to make people laugh. I would tell elaborate stories that even made my mother laugh. Of course this was not accepted in my mother’s eyes and she tried her best to minimize my story telling, by distracting me with years of piano lesson, oil painting lessons, dance lessons, all at once.

One day, out of nowhere (in my adult years), my mother told me she wanted to see me on stage making people laugh, because if I could make her laugh, I could make anyone laugh. My mother said she realized it was my gift, a gift that many people do not have. So of course I jumped on it. I took improve classes, stand up comedian classes, which got me to perform at large venues, Brea Improv, Irvine Improv, Comedy Store, Ice House…

After five years of comedy, I was approached by a producer after one of my shows and was hired to write a screenplay of a comedy animation off a story treatment… I immediately fell in love with screenwriting. I couldn’t get enough of it, so I threw myself into writing groups, freelance writing classes and seminars.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Mymother and I became best friends. Growing up with a traditional strict Korean mother, where laughing out loud and showing teeth was unheard of for a woman. During my journey as a comedian and writer, my mother became my biggest supporter, in every sense.

She recently sat me down, told me she was proud of me (shock alert) and was ready to tell her life story. A story that she has kept hidden from her children and husband, bless his soul. A story of her life from a child living through the Japanese war, Korean war, and her escape to South Korea with barely her life and how she lost her family.

I am honored to write her story.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Funny mistakes? More like embarrassing to funny. I learned you must wear a bra at all shows, because those green rooms are cold all the way up onto the stage. I made a joke that I was having a ring tossing contest. AND, never eat 2 bowls of chili for lunch before a show, apparently flatulence is picked up on the microphone. I was basically crop dusting the front row.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Iam producing a few of my short films, two comedies and the other a horror/thriller. They’re both in preproduction for the film festivals. You could say, I’m excited with a side of butterflies.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I’ve interacted with many high profile comedians, my list is long, but my most interesting was when I went to a party at Director, Producer and Screenwriter, Shane Black’s house, who is known for his films, Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3, The Predator, etc. I admired all his awards he had surprisingly openly displayed.

If I recall correctly, his mansion once was owned by actor legend Rock Hudson. An absolutely beautiful mansion, with all original interior and a small claustrophobic elevator. Buzz Aldrin was there and had several young beautiful women hanging off his arms and body guards wearing the Men in Black suits with the clear wire ear pieces, and we were told “no photos.” It was like watching a movie.

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

That’s a great question. A most important question. “Burn Out” is real, just like writer’s block is real. Having an outlet or hobby is essential to thrive in the entertainment industry or any other high pressure job. The director for my upcoming films makes wood benches as their outlet. My outlet is going to the gym three days a week.

My routine consists of spin class, resistance training, light weights and the dry sauna… If I didn’t have a healthy outlet to release built up tension and the pressures, it would stunt my growth within my creative flow. I wouldn’t be able to thrive and I find that a threat.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Know your stuff before collaborating. They take advantage of the ignorant.
  2. Don’t believe everything you’re told. Facts and transparency will save you from wasting your time and energy.
  3. Don’t fall for the, “I know so in so”, my friend is “so in so”. Again, you’ll waste time going nowhere with that circle of creatives.
  4. Cut ties with those who suck your energy away. People who guilt you into helping them out, will absorb your writing schedule.
  5. Trust your gut. Never rush into something that sounds so wonderful without obtaining a contract or something in writing/email. Otherwise, that’s how they take credit for your work.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There’s going to be times when people tell you that you can’t live your dreams, this is what I tell them, “Never Say Never.”

I worked in the insurance industry behind a desk for 17 years. It was a dead end kind of job, but it paid the bills. When I quit, they said I would be back. Well, I don’t think so…

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Sometimes, a little bit of kindness can go a long way. Michael Schwartz, a professional photographer whose venue is more than impressive, honored me with a photo shoot with high profile comedians. I was just an opening act. Those photos jump started my career. And to this day, he doesn’t comprehend how helpful he was.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Wehave many beautiful supportive movements that I could only wish to contribute to all of them. There is one that does pull at my heart strings, if I had a strong influence of bringing more awareness, it would be taking care of our millions of hungry children in the US.

Millions of children go hungry every single day. You try to go a day or two or three, without food while thinking of a child that is doing the same without a choice. I believe any person with a pulse, has hopeful compassion for a hungry child. As the fortunate go grocery shopping, I notice certain grocery stores and retail stores there is a button on the check out screen asking for a donation amount for a charitable organization.

If I was in a position to be a great influencer, I would make it a permanent fixture in EVERY grocery store to have the option to make a donation to feed our hungry children. Yes, food drives are well and alive, but not enough, but could you imagine if every person donated at each trip to the grocery store, we could make a huge impact and a difference for every hungry child.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Ohwow. This is a tough question, because I have my favorites, aka my mentors in films and screenwriting of movies that I have watched over and over.

But when I grow up, I want to be just like Shonda Rimes. To dream of collaborating with Shonda Rimes, would be like, “I died and went to heaven.”

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: Terri_the_storyteller

Twitter: @gilboyterri

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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