May is AAPI Heritage Month. To celebrate, WhoHaha is highlighting some of our incredible creators from the AAPI community. Filmmakers, comedians, podcasters – get to know the Who behind the Haha!
Lynn Chen got her start singing at The Metropolitan Opera. She has been an actor, a food blogger, and most recently, a writer/director. Her directorial debut film, I Will Make You Mine, was accepted to SXSW in 2020. Get to know this powerhouse creator:
Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you get started in comedy?
I’ve had a long and weird career, from singing at The Metropolitan Opera when I was a child to all types of TV, commercials, films, video games, audio books, and a brief food career as a blogger and host. I’ve always loved performing and never pictured myself as a filmmaker, but a few years ago I found myself with the opportunity to write/direct the third installment of the “Surrogate Valentine” series started in 2011 by Dave Boyle, the first two movies I had starred in. It felt like a calling to finish the story through a female perspective.
Tell us about a project you’re working on! What was the inspiration to get it started? What challenges did you face getting it off the ground and how did you overcome them?
The feature film I mentioned above is called “I Will Make You Mine.” As I said, I was inspired to complete the trilogy and try out being behind the camera, but I definitely felt a lot of self doubt and imposter syndrome. I’d never done it before, not even with a short film, and I’d never been to film school, so I surrounded myself with really accomplished, talented filmmakers who I’d worked with before to help produce it. The movie was accepted to SXSW 2020, but since the film festival was cancelled because of the pandemic, we released it online – it’s currently streaming everywhere, including for free on Amazon Prime.
In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, how do you feel your own AAPI Heritage has been an asset to building your film career?
When I first started my career, there weren’t many opportunities for Asian-Americans. Many of the AAPI actors I grew up watching have become friends, co-workers, and mentors throughout the years. Our community is small, and it is powerful. I feel lucky to be a part of it.
What’s one thing you want the WhoHaha audience to know about you?
I don’t actually consider myself to be a comedian. At all. Improv comedy is not my favorite, and stand up is something I will probably never do. However, I do love acting in comedies, and I do love writing them. It seems like a lot of comedians have overcome personal traumas, addictions, and mental issues — and that I can definitely relate to. Learning to turn pain into something positive definitely interests me.
Are you a hilarious creator looking for more opportunities to collaborate, learn, and earn? Join our community!