Going Against The Grain: Randall Park

Going Against The Grain:
Randall Park

ATG chats with actor and comedian Randall Park, who made his acting debut in the award winning short film Dragon of Love, the creative mind behind the popular internet series Dr. Miracles, and the “Nice But Boring Guy”  who steals scenes in Quentin Lee’s indie flick The People I’ve Slept With.
Full Name:
Randall Park

Los Angeles

You received an undergraduate degree in English, Creative Writing and a Master’s Degree in Asian American Studies. So how did you get your start in acting?
I got into acting through a theater company I co-founded at UCLA called ‘Lapu, The Coyote That Cares’, or ‘LCC’.  We wrote our own original plays, but we needed actors to perform them.  We settled for ourselves.  I am so proud that our little theater company is still thriving after all these years.

Why do comedy? It’s not an industry you see many Asian Americans in.

I decided to go into comedy, because it comes easier to me than computer programming or open heart surgery.  Also, they say laughter is the best medicine, so in a way, I am a doctor.   Or at least a pharmacist.  Maybe more like a drug dealer.

Your debut film, Dragon of Love, centers around a very humorous and interesting plotline, a black woman who has a fetish for Asian men. Has this film changed your career?
Dragon of Love was written by a very talented writer named Mike Golamco, who I became friends with through LCC at UCLA.  It was one of the first screen acting gigs I’ve ever had.  Since its posting, I’ve received several emails from African American women who have fetishes for Asian men.

Which piece of work are you most proud of?
I’m proud of having worked with a lot of really great actors.  I got to work with Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Larry David, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, just to name a few.    But I’m most proud of my own projects like Dr. Miracles, The Food, and other shorts you can find on my website.  I’m also proud of being a good sexy man.

What insired/how did you come up with the character Dr. Miracles?
Dr. Miracles came from (no pun intended) my love of saving lives.  It is actually based on my life’s story.  It’s really difficult answering these questions while watching Oprah.

What has been some of the challenges and biggest obstacles for you in this industry?
I’ve had a few challenges, but all in all, I’d say I’m pretty blessed, and I’m right on track.  Even the rough patches were there for a good reason.  Being an actor means experiencing a lot of rejection, but sometimes the rejection can lead to discovering great things elsewhere.  For example, when I’m not fortunate enough to be working, I work on getting better, or I create work for myself.  And so much of my own projects have in turn led to professional paying gigs that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

What is the most important advice you would like to pass onto others?
If you love doing something, do it.  You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you to.  Also, never text while driving.  This episode of Oprah I’m watching while I type this is about texting while driving.  Do not do it.

What’s in store for you in the new year?
I have more movie and tv stuff that’s coming out this year.  Some stand-up comedy gigs.  Also, more internet stuff.

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