Rising Star Mi Kwan Lock: “To avoid burnout, listen to your body when you need to rest!”

Listen to your body when you need to rest! I’m not the best at it but whenever my body rings alarm bells, I know I pushed too much and I have to charge the batteries in order to be stronger for the upcoming projects. Meditation and yoga are also great ways to relax, to breath […]

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Listen to your body when you need to rest! I’m not the best at it but whenever my body rings alarm bells, I know I pushed too much and I have to charge the batteries in order to be stronger for the upcoming projects. Meditation and yoga are also great ways to relax, to breath and reconnect with yourself.

As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mi Kwan Lock, a critically acclaimed French actress & director. Mi was a female lead in 6 feature films shot across the world. She now lives in Los Angeles and won the “Female Artist of the Year” UP(st)ART Award 2018.

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

Thanks for welcoming me in your magazine! I grew up in Madagascar and at that time, there were no movie theaters nor theaters there.

At first, it was impossible for me to even imagine acting as a job and even if I enjoyed being part of the school shows, I didn’t know if it was just a hobby or if I had any potential. But then after few years working in 5 stars hotels in Paris, I started to take acting classes and realized this was my vocation, my calling. Since, that conviction became even stronger and I would never want to stop playing!

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

I’d love to share two fantastic stories:

  • The first one was at Busan International Film Festival 2015, I was there for the World Premiere of the feature film “A Korean in Paris” by Jeon Soo-Il and in which I was the female lead. At the Star Road event, I had to walk on my own on a 492 ft (150 meters) long red carpet. Both sides of the red carpet were crowded by fans and people yelling and extending their hands so I could touch them. It was incredible! I’m so grateful for the chance I had to share so much love!
  • When I moved to LA, I became part of an artists’ community called UP(st)ART, with more than 900 members today. For their Awards’ night, I was nominated for 4 categories: Best actress in a dramatic role, Actress of the year, Best director and Female Artist of the Year. I was more than honored to receive the “Female Artist of the Year” Award 2018. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to celebrate my 1st year in LA!

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?

Few days after I started professional class, I had to do a drama improv and the teacher called me out as I stepped on an imaginary dead body. I learnt to be attentive to the space work and to be aware of everything I or my partners create. I’d also recommend to never mime if you’re not good at it!

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

In my most recent projects, you can see me as the villain in the music video “Chuchi” by Wwoman and directed by Ryan Sheehy. It was screened at the prestigious TLC Chinese Theater for the competition of the Hollyshorts Film Festival 2019.

I’m also part of a viral video “Would you recognize your love ones if they were homeless”. It reached almost 4.5 Millions of views on Youtube.

I’m currently preparing a psychological thriller, in which I’ll co-star with James Ken Blackmon and an international blockbuster called “QI: Spacetime Warriors” for 2020 with a very promising cast.

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

John Malkovitch invited me to become his friend on Facebook on my birthday two years ago. That was the most beautiful birthday gift I had that day!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Listen to your body when you need to rest! I’m not the best at it but whenever my body rings alarm bells, I know I pushed too much and I have to charge the batteries in order to be stronger for the upcoming projects. Meditation and yoga are also great ways to relax, to breath and reconnect with yourself.

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. 🙂

I’m using my art as a voice for the unheard, to spread strong messages to make the world a better place! For me, portraying a character is to defend a story, touch people, awaken consciousness about the struggle that character goes through, about the consequences of our acts. If someone is moved by my character or recognize themselves, they’ll know someone feels for them, understand them and speaks for them.

I want to share one of the most memorable comment I ever had about one of my performances: it was at the Pan African Film Festival in Cannes, at the Q&A of “Slave and courtesan” a woman from an association helping the prostitutes said that my performance was extremely truthful and realistic. She wanted to share the movie with the girls she’s been helping as they’d feel understood and supported. She added that it would bring them some hope and help them feel better. THIS IS WHY I have to do my art.

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

​- Never give up: stay strong even if you receive a lot of rejection, keep fighting for your dreams. Actors receive more rejection over a year than a person with a regular job over their entire life! Most of the time, it’s not because of your talent, it just means “not now” or you’re not the right fit for the character but the casting director might call you in the future for another project. The French author Pierre Corneille said: “To win without risk is to triumph without glory”.

Work hard: it’s a marathon and not a sprint. There’s no overnight success! Building a career is a lot of work over the years. Keep working on your craft, taking class, digging deeper into your emotions, growing, learning new skills… Auditioning is a great exercise and step by step, you’ll enjoy it. Be prepared, do the work and have fun!

Make sacrifices: unfortunately, sacrifices are part of your journey. The more you’ll commit, put time into your art, the less you’ll have time for friends, parties and sometimes you’ll even have to move to another city, another country. I personally had to leave Paris, my friends, my lover, my comfort, I had to start over in a country where the language is not my mother tongue… For instance, I haven’t seen my parents for more than 4 years now and I still don’t know when I’ll be able to see them again. I work even harder to get there so they could be proud of me and I could see them whenever I want.

Have a purpose: Having a purpose — a reason why you “have to” do that art, accomplish your dream — will give you the strength to move on. As an actor, you’re a storyteller, your body is your instrument that you’ll have to learn to tune and master, physically and emotionally. Everything you’ll experience in life, good or bad, happens for a reason. It helps you to grow spiritually, to be a better person and therefore a better artist. For example, my purpose is bigger than me. As an artist, I want to use my voice to speak out loud for the unheard, help people in need and children especially in Madagascar as I mentioned earlier. For my birthday this year, I raised money for Aid to Orphans in Madagascar. I also want to create my own Humanitarian association to help children and people in Madagascar.

Haters: you’ll get haters on your path. There are 2 types: Those who are going to be jealous the more successful you become. Whatever they say, don’t let their poison destroy you. Rise up again and again and prove them wrong! Be even stronger! The other type of haters are the ones who care about you but are scared because this job is so unstable and with so many rejections that they want you to get what they call a “real job” to make sure you can pay your rent and get food, have a decent life. This fear actually comes from love but as long as they’re not conscious of their impact on you, their behavior can put you down. I talked to someone I deeply love, explaining them that the industry is hard enough and that I really need their support as acting is what makes me happy the most. I don’t want to have any regret in my life so I’ll do everything I can do to achieve my dreams. Since, they’ve been way more supportive, and it really gives me wings. So don’t be afraid to express your feelings if your haters are in this category.

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

I created a leitmotiv that I hashtag in every single post “Love Live Give”. To me it means the way everybody should live their life: by loving, living their life/living with and giving to each other.

Life should be enjoyed at every moment. Being grateful for being alive, in a good health is so important that it has to be reminded to people. The more you give the more you receive and if you want to be loved, give love.

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?

James Michael Marshall: he’s not only my acting coach but he’s in the career building business. He knows my real potential and always believed in my talent. He knows exactly what I have to work on, he pushes me everyday to be a better artist and he helps me grow as a spiritual being.

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. 🙂

I’d love to work with the director Wong Kar Wai as I really love his world, the unspoken emotions his characters go through, his stories with so much nostalgia and humanity.

The cinematography by Christopher Doyle and the music fully become characters. They bring a final touch to each of his pieces of art. I’d love to portray one of his characters and bring her my emotional life.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

IG @MiKwanLock


Website www.mikwanlock.com

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

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