Alan Chikin Chow // Ep 23 // Creating a Bigger Impact Through Entertainment
Welcome to Episode 23 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Alan Chikin Chow on this week's episode.
We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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Alan Chikin Chow is a creator and actor who has amassed over 3 million followers online. Best known for his comedy skits that center on universally relatable moments and global pop culture, Alan’s mission is to unite audiences of all backgrounds through laughter.
Alan is a 2020 TikTok Ambassador and has worked with brands such as Reese’s Puffs, DoorDash, Adobe, and Universal Music/Alicia Keys. As an actor, Alan has appeared in projects such as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Hulu’s Into the Dark, and the CBS multicam pilot The Emperor of Malibu starring Ken Jeong. And yes, Alan’s middle name is actually
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Intro: (00:00:00)Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan.
And my name is Maggie
And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asiansto pursue their dreams and goals.
We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Maggie: (00:00:23) Hi, Everyone welcome to the Asian Hustle Network Podcast. My name is Maggie
Bryan: (00:00:28) My name is Bryan.
Maggie: (00:00:29) And today we have someone very special on our show. His name is Alan Chikin Chow, and, uh, what’s up. He’s like Gator and actor who has a amassed over 3 million followers online. That’s known for his comedy skits that center on universally relatable moments in global pop culture.
Allen’s mission is to unite audiences of all backgrounds through laughter. Alan is a 2020 tik tok ambassador and has worked with brands such as a recess POS door dash, Adobe and universal music. Alicia keys as an actor, Alan has appeared in projects such as ABC’s Grey’s anatomy, Hulu’s into the dark and CVS multicam pilot, the emperor of Malibu starring Ken Jong. And yes, Alan’s middle name is actually Chikin. Welcome, Alan.
Alan: (00:01:19) Thank you. I did all that. It’s always, it’s always weird to sit through, like someone reading your bio. I know I wrote that, but I, it feel weird for you to say it out loud.
Maggie: (00:01:36) No, no, no, you are definitely amazing. And we’re very excited to have you on the show.
Alan: (00:01:40) Thank you.
Maggie: (00:01:42) Yeah. All right. Can we start off with, you know, like where you grew up and you know, what your family was like? Did you grow up in like a very traditional Asian family? How was your experience growing up and where did you grow up?
Alan: (00:09:54) Yeah, so I grew up in Dallas, Texas, specifically the suburb of Plano, Texas. And I’m really blessed because it was a very diverse, um, town growing up, uh, not just Asian people, but people of all backgrounds, my best friends. I remember. We’re Jewish and Muslim and Asian and white and you know, all different types people. So I’m really, I feel really blessed that I grew up in that city. It was a great, great city of Plano, Texas. Um, in terms of my parents, I think, you know, they tried to be traditionally Asian, but like the thing about them is like, they like kind of gave up halfway and were like, ah, like we’re gonna like get you into all the best classes.
And when I. When I was like a freshman in high school, they just like got busy with their own things. So they didn’t discipline me that much, but I think they really instilled in me, you know, the values of hard work and trying your best at a young age that I carried through myself, um, in my own, in my own work.
So, uh, yeah. Yeah. Plano is great. And I am, I, I do feel really blessed that there was like, you know, uh, like Asian people in my town because they know that that’s not the case for, um, usual, usual case for, you know, Asians in the South or not in California or in New York and main cities. And so I do feel like I grew up with, you know, pretty strong Asian culture as well as American culture because of the town of Plano, Texas.
Bryan: (00:03:22) Yeah. Wow. That’s really awesome. Then want to hear him? A little bit more about like your inspiration behind getting to acting and social media and tech talk. As you mentioned before, you know, you grew up in Texas and a lot of the media stuff happens in LA or New York, but how’d you develop that passion for it.
Where you grew up?
Alan: (00:03:43) Yeah. So growing up, I watched a lot of Disney channel and, um, I just wanted to be on Disney channel. I don’t know, like I, my personality is, I’m just like a huge fan boy of things. And I’m such a fan that I just want to be a part of it. I’m like, I don’t just want to watch this show. I want to be.
A part of like what I enjoy so much. And, uh, I did some theater and stuff in high school, in middle school, but I really quickly recognized that, um, that I was like, Oh, I’ve never really watched theater productions. Why am I in theater? I want to be on screen. I want to be in film and television. So I did my own research and just looked up like some in TV classes in, um, In Dallas.
And I convinced my parents to take me to Stonebriar mall to get glamour shots. I had like super embarrassing with like this big Hollister logo right here. Right. Yellow shirt going like, like embarrassing and yeah. Yeah. And as I think as like a 12, 13, 14 year old, I just emailed them to a bunch of agents.
Like all around, like Dallas just found their information online. And thankfully one of them wanted to like represent me. My mom thought it was a scam in the beginning. Of course. Like it does seem too good to be true. You know, your kid just emails someone random agent, but I did it and it was a JC penny ad.
I was in the ad and we got money. So my parents like, Oh, okay. Like I just need to do this, you know? Yeah, yeah, for sure. I did really like try my best to continue doing school so well, so that there was no reason for them to be like, you’re focusing too much on your, you know, acting and stuff. You’re not focusing on school. I really prioritize doing well at both so that I can. You know, prove to them and you know, myself that I wasn’t giving up my academics to, you know, do the arts and do creative stuff.
Bryan: (00:05:43) That’s awesome. I’m kind of curious too. I mean, as a 12 and 13 year old, for most people, they haven’t really broken, broken out of their shell yet. Nonetheless cold call or cold email for one. So, what is your upbringing? Like? How did your parents enforce these kind of the values for you to go out there and take the action that you want to get in order to succeed?
Maggie: (00:06:01) I think especially as an Asian, too, I guess my parents, they, like, they tell me to be quiet all the time. So I grew up as a super quiet Asian girl frame, like how it was like for you.
Alan: (00:06:13) Yeah. Um, that’s really interesting. I I’ve never like had that experience of being told to be. You know, quiet and stuff. Um, I think I really attributed it to my dad because my dad’s side, so quiet hold the whole side of my dad’s family is like, there all like super loud.
They’re super funny. And my dad always told me to chase my dreams. Like at a really young age. I’m really thankful for him. He’s always said that. Um, and yeah, so I think I really do attribute it to my parents the way they raised me. They encouraged me to go for things. And, uh, I think that’s why I didn’t have any, you know, like drug drawbacks or anything like that. I, I, as a kid, I commend my own self as a kid. Cause I didn’t even like, think that like this couldn’t happen. I’m like, Oh yeah, we can do that. Like, let’s just go do it. You know? So, um, yeah, thankful to my parents for that, for sure.
Maggie: (00:07:19) Yeah. Yeah. I’m very curious. What would you, you were going back to school, are you continuing to go to school to kind of fulfill your parents’ dreams? Right. Like you just wanted to make them proud to finish school, but did you know if you were actually going to go into acting full time? Like, did you know? Okay. You’re not gonna use your degree. Um, and that’s true. That’s true. What did you major in and did you actually use it?
Alan: (00:07:37) Yeah, so I majored in business and screenwriting and, and social media is really the intersection of business and screenwriting. Um, I’m really thankful that I did, you know, stick to school and. And try really, really hard in my academics because that’s what led to me being able to be a creator right now, because I got introduced to tech talk through USC. I did acting before, but you know, this whole, this whole sphere was definitely because of school.
And, um, as a kid, you know, like in high school, I always knew that I wanted to move out to LA to pursue acting and. I knew that my parents wouldn’t let me just go for no reason. So that actually encouraged me more to work really hard at school, so I could get accepted to USC. Yeah. And, you know, move to LA. Cause they wouldn’t have, let me just come as like an actor with no school, you know? So I think they really informed.
Bryan: (00:08:36) Wow. Yeah. I really liked that a lot too. How your parents are so supportive that how you have that self-belief, you know, you’re like, you know, this is what I want in life. I’m gonna go out there and get it right.
And of course we know that first success is never easy, you know, and you probably hit a lot of setbacks that alone aren’t aware of and overcome that will kind of set backs to the face before.
Alan: (00:08:58) Oh man. Yeah, dude. Oh man. Yeah, there are definitely some big ones for acting, I would say. One of the biggest, like setbacks that I had that no one’s really aware of was I was actually a part of 13 reasons why season two, I was like a main recurrent character in it.
And I filmed the whole season and, and it was me and Piper. Kurta like playing brother and sister across. Yeah. Courtney Crimson. The character Courtney comes in anyways. We filmed the whole thing. And I had a premiere party, literally like set up a screening for me and my friends the next day. And I watched it at midnight and my entire storyline was cut out.
Wow. I wasn’t even in it at all in the day before. Posted promotional marketing materials that had my character in it. So it was a complete blindside like, and that was supposed to be the big break of my career because that was the first one really mainstream show that I got. Sorry. Yeah. It’s things like that.
You know, that’s one of them, that’s probably the biggest, like, um, setback that I had because it was so unexpected, but. There’s definitely been like, you know, with acting like auditions, like roles that I didn’t get, pilots that didn’t get picked up. Things like that that are very not, not seen in the public eye.
And, um, it was really hard. I went through a period of like, man, like, is this air like you just like, you, you just do this. And, and like, it hurts this much and then you’re supposed to keep going. And I that’s what I would say my advice. I wish that I gave back to my old self was like, just like suffer for a little bit, cut it off, and then just continue moving.
Um, cause I think that it it’s all about the pursuit and all about the journey. And if you really love your craft, then the things that will hurt, they definitely will hurt. They probably hurt even more because you’d like it so much. But if you really love what you do, then, then you’ll keep going and keep pursuing it.
Maggie: (00:11:00) Yeah, that’s really inspiring. And we can definitely tell that you really love what you do. Um, what would you say is like the hardest thing about being an actor? I think like Brian and I, you know, when we talked to actors, they also mentioned that when they’re going to like casting calls, for example, right. They like scrutinize every single little detail. Right. You have to like, be super careful about everything, but you know, like, I’m very curious what you think and what, like the hardest thing for acting with this video.
Alan: (00:11:28) Yeah. You know, what’s funny. I w I want to speak upon that. That’s one thing that I, I am very glad that I never did that. I don’t know why I actually, like, I love like all the people who are in my same category, like, I’m really good friends with them. Like, for example, Brandon Sue and other people, like. Peter, Adrian. Sudarsono if you guys know him, he’s at our, so the brothers guys like Justin men, like people that I would see often, I’m like in love with them.
I’m like, I love you guys. You guys are amazing. You’re so talented. So every time I would go to an audition for me, it’d be like a party. I’m like, Oh my gosh, everyone’s here in the waiting room. I like never really thought like that. Like scrutinizing and I, that makes me enjoy act that makes me enjoy the audition process more.
Um, I, I think I’m a rare case for that, but that’s the approach that I like to, to, to go through whenever I go to auditions, I think the thing that’s the hardest though about acting is not having control like the, you know, like 13 reasons. Like, I don’t know why they would have cut out the whole storyline.
I still don’t know. That’s part of what drives me crazy. And you don’t have control of, you know, whether shows get picked up, whether things get cut out. Why someone would or would not get a role, you know, that’s the part that’s the most difficult. And that’s why I love content creation because you get to control everything.
Bryan: (00:12:55) Definitely. I like that a lot. I really love a lot of great values that you just mentioned now. It’s like, you mentioned a lot about enjoying the journey and a lot of people always see the end goal and they’re like, okay, once they get the end goal, I’ll be happy. But for you, it’s like, you really emphasize the journey, which I really admired.
And I also really liked your positive mindset. You know, it’s um, thank you. I think he sort of downplayed the situation a lot and it’s, it’s, it’s a positive mindset that, that really gets you through all the tough times. And you know, there’s a lot of times where you can easily be like, Oh, it’s just too hard or against me, or to cut the army. We’re not meant for this. You not give up, but he kept the mentality going. And you found yourself a very supportive crew, you know, as you, as you mentioned, Brenda, and couple of times and, um, shoes or your girlfriend?
Alan: (00:13:46) Uh, no, we’re, we’re not dating in real life, but.
Bryan: (00:13:52) They were just confused.
Maggie: (00:13:53) So real.
Alan: (00:13:58) We laugh about it. We all know, like we laugh because we know that everyone thinks that even our friends think that yeah, like my own friends are like, Aw, you’re so cute. Like so glad you’re down. I’m like dating really good friends though.
Maggie: (00:14:14) My next question, I was going to ask you, what is it like working with your significant other? You guys are actors and actresses and your skips.
Alan: (00:14:26) I’m good. At top. I have to tell her that after this that’s, you know, it’s a funny thing about social media is like, because. People expect it to be kind of your life. Yeah. They like you. If you saw a TV show and you saw two actors dating, you wouldn’t assume that they’re dating in real life.
Good. But because like content is like kind of associated with your real personality. People like think things like that, which is really funny. It’s very near to me.
Bryan: (00:14:54) I’m curious too. How’d you meet your supporter group of friends? I shoe and Brendan. Yeah. You guys had a trio, you know, I feel like it’s just a matter of time before. You’re our gender earning the next generation of one food, basically.
Alan: (00:15:10) Oh my gosh, Steve. Thank you so much. That’s like crazy. That’s crazy to hear. Thank you so much. I, I hope that is true. I think that’s the goal in the end tension to really have like very good positive representation of Asians that are not doing stereotypes.
Um, and that’s what I think long through did like. That is so, so amazing. So I really appreciate that. Thank you. That, that means a ton. Um, me and Brandon met at an audition actually, just like I was like, I told you guys, um, I’m just always like, Oh, Oh my God. I love like, Oh, I love you on blah, blah, blah. When I had auditioned.
So I met him at one. Um, and then I was like, Oh, we should hang out. And we kinda, we kind of hung out and I remember showing Brandon to talk to the very first time because I was on it like for a while before he was, and his like eyes lit up and he’s like, Oh my God, this looks so fun. And I’m like, yes, yes.Uh, and then for Shu, I met her just like at a friend’s birthday party and we happened to just be like, Oh, we should make some videos together. At the time, neither of us were taking it seriously as a career. She was doing some YouTube videos and things like that. I was just doing tick-tock on the side and we made one that was, is still to this day, my most viewed video.
We’re just like, When your girlfriend wears too much makeup, we’re like, Oh my gosh, this is like, we have to capitalize on this. So we both like really started to use that format in our videos now.
Bryan: (00:16:36) So that’s where it came from.
Maggie: (00:16:38) It’s very relatable. I think that’s how a lot of people connect with your videos because they always watch it. And they’re like, Oh, that, that is so accurate and applies to my own life.
Alan: (00:16:50) Yeah. Oh man. Yeah. That’s the hope I, uh, I really wanted that to be true for people around the world, because one thing that’s different about Tik TOK is it’s very global rather than Instagram or even YouTube, because it’s so much dialogue.
That’s very centered on a country you’re in. Um, and. Yeah. I, I wanted to always like bring in people from around the world who all see that they can relate on the same things. You know, my, my biggest, like, uh, joy comes from when the comment section is like in 10 different languages. I love that.
Bryan: (00:17:27) Yeah. And yeah, we really wanted to come in as podcast because we knew like two or three years from now, you’re going to be such a big celebrity that you wanted me to see our inbox anymore. Right. Do we got to get, get the Allen now, before you,
Tania: (00:17:40) my gosh, that’s so flattering and like, so, Oh, thank you. Thank you. You guys do it like Asian hustle network, like just just a few years ago. It didn’t exist. And now I feel like so many people are in it. Like everyone I know is in it and really uses that as a resource, which is amazing.
Bryan: (00:17:59) Yeah, because we have had, you know, guys who found in rotten tomatoes, LinkedIn podcast episode in the past, and we see you as the future, you know, we see you in the same influential fear as like, you know, in a bunch of circle, like, okay, we’ve got to reach out to Alan and we’re pretty cool to have this podcast you now.
And then five years later having podcasts.
Alan: (00:18:22) Oh, true. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. And you guys will be like taking over the world. H and Asian, like the whole continent is
Bryan: (00:18:33) Asian domination networks.
Alan: (00:18:36) Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. ADM ADM. Yeah. That’s awesome.
Bryan: (00:18:42) I don’t want to switch gears a bit and talk a little more about mental health and we know like, You know, as you mentioned before, how like being social media, being like an actor and being in the spotlight all the time, oftentimes the conversation on mental health doesn’t really come up and we’ve seen this happen over and over in the past with our favorite YouTubers, just saying, Hey, I need a break. Um, my mental health is not able to take this to be more, I’m all about numbers and lights. It’s affecting me negatively. How’s this situation affect you before. And how’d you deal with that?
Alan: (00:19:14) Yeah, yes, totally. Um, it affects me before and it always like affects me. It’s a very pervasive thing and I see it, like, I think I see it so much with creators, like in particular, because, um, with acting it’s kind of an expected part of the journey, like the whole, the whole dialogue around acting as like you’re going to fail at your auditions.
So it’s kind of expected, but with creators, like. No one really sees the struggle. Like people only see your happy side or like the content, especially because it’s so intertwined with your personal life. Like social media, even my own, really close friends from college from before I ever did content creation.
They don’t know if I’m struggling or not. Cause I don’t post that stuff, which maybe, maybe that’s what needs to change. I don’t know, but I, that’s not really my brand to be like, you know, I’m going through something. I wouldn’t really post that to my followers, you know? Cause I want to be a source of joy for them.
So it is, it’s definitely like a constant battle. Um, I’ve definitely felt it like more, like I felt it get harder. As I’ve like made a career out of it, which is interesting because you think that like, when you, you know, have your dreams come true, like you should be happier, but it’s more of like, it’s more volatile.
I feel. Um, and I have a very like intense morning routine of like the first three hours I journal. I meditate. I work out eat breakfast. I try not to check my phone for the first three hours. And I work out outside, you know, I do all of that very intentionally because I know that I can get very depressed, like sometimes.
And, um, I started seeing a therapist recently, like three weeks ago and just like anything I can do, like really working at it as if it’s just like working out, you know? Cause, um, I think it was Lily Singh that actually said how like. Um, with everything else in life, you know, that it takes work to get to money.
It takes work to get to a relationship it takes work to get to, but the same thing comes for like happiness and stability and mental health. Like it really takes literal steps and, and works to get to a stable mindset. So, yeah,
Bryan: (00:21:34) so powerful. We need to hear that, you know, and. People who want to get declined, content creation. There’s a lot of mental health stuff that’s often not talked about. And, and we thank you for that for talking about that, you know, because everyone, everybody wants to show the good side. Everybody wants to be happy, be really positive, but. We’re all human at the end of the day and it’s okay to seek help. There’s no, that stigma against that. And I don’t know what the Asian popular Asian community is often very, a bad thing. You know, it’s very stigmatized and that’s horrible. We just need to normalize that. We’re all human here.
Alan: (00:22:16) Yeah, yeah, for sure. Yeah. Therapy in particular, like, I just, don’t not because I’m having any like recent mental breakdowns, but because I know that it’s coming, you know, like I know that like, if I don’t like seek therapy, like, I feel like I might spiral out, you know, like, like when I get busy. Um, and I, like I mentioned it in passing, just like, Oh, like I just in therapy, like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I feel like people are always like, Are you okay? Like every, like what’s going on? I’m like, no, no, no. It’s like nothing bad. Like I’m just doing it because it’s like a regular doctor’s checkup.
Also. Like in some cases it might be free depending on your insurance, you know? So like I like encouraged doing it. It’s just like a way to vent and to talk out things. Um, but I tried to convince my mom. To do it and she’s, you know, traditional, like, and then she wouldn’t do it. So, yeah.
Maggie: (00:23:09) Yeah. I’m so glad that you talked about therapy in this podcast and talked about like meditation taking care of yourself mentally because you’re right.
Like a lot of Asian parents, they don’t. Recognize what therapy is and like how it could be useful because they think like if we’re going to therapy, we obviously are going through like a mental breakdown. Right. But that’s not true at all. I think that it takes so much courage and strength just to acknowledge that you are going through therapy and it’s like, you don’t even have to have like an epiphany while you’re going through a session. Even just like talking to your therapist. Like I know for a fact that when you. Go out of that therapy session, it already feels so much better that you acknowledged that you asked for help. You know,
Bryan: (00:23:52) Even for us running Asian husk network has taken huge strain on our mental health. When we feel like we’re in everyone’s issues, everyone’s problems is a one point where we’re just getting like thousands of messages a week and we’re just like, Oh my God, I can’t respond to everyone.
Everyone’s constant gay, mad at us for not responding. And we feel that we feel that, that. That’s strain and pressure in the best part of the reason why we wanted to ask that question too, because we want to normalize it for others. Not talking about it.
Maggie: (00:24:20) Yeah. Yeah. And just normalizing like therapy too. I think I went to a dinner the other night and these girls were talking at a dinner table and they’re saying like, Oh yeah, my therapist told me this. My therapist told me that. And I love that. You know, I love how they’re normalizing it.
Alan: (00:24:35) Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s very important. Yeah.
Bryan: (00:24:37) I do want to switch it back into more of a positive note. It can be positive notes. Um, so what are your goals for 2021 and moving forward?
Alan: (00:24:52) Oh yeah, that’s a really great question. Uh, I, I want to diversify and use my following as leverage to do bigger projects. So, um, the people that I really look up to most are Anaconda and Lily Singh. They’re like on my, I have a vision board they’re like right there. And I kinda like Ken Jong and RN from BTS. Um, I love them. I look up to them because they not only have an online social presence, but they were able to use it to create longer form shows and reach a bit, even bigger audience. And, uh, I have like a treatment and outline that I’m trying to pitch around. Um, just, you know, using like what I have in my experience, both as an actor and as a content creator. Get something bigger made. Uh, so yeah, that’s, that’s the big picture goal for 2021.
Bryan: (00:25:46) We love that. We absolutely support that. And let us though anyway, her help you Alan.
Alan: (00:25:51) Oh my gosh. Thank you so much.
Maggie: (00:25:56) Um, I’m very curious as a content creator. Um, how do you find inspiration to come out with such good content? Every single day? I feel like for Brian and myself. Oh, like a writer type of thing where it’s like, Oh, what type of content should we put out? But like, Very curious how you come up with content.
Alan: (00:26:16) Yeah. So, um, before I started making my own content, I actually was a writer for smile squad. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it and Mark yawn and smile squad. Uh, I was their head writer for about a year and a half. I didn’t, I only acted in one video I think, but I wrote all of them. And I learned from that like, experience that you will never run out of ideas. Like you, if you’re forced to make ideas, you will come up with ideas. The key thing to know is that every idea doesn’t have to be a big pivot from the last one. So if you think of your ideas as a sentence and you think of one of the spaces as a Madlib, you just switch one word out. So like, so what, like.
So, for example, like if their girlfriend wears too much makeup or like, and then you would switch out like one noun and then you would come up with a new idea, like when your girlfriend like wears too many dresses, that’s not a good idea, but you get the idea, right. Just switching one very small aspect out of a big idea, um, makes ideas very easily repeatable, and it’s very easily consumable for your audience. So it’s not like they’re getting this new concept every time. They’re getting something similar with something tweaked. Uh, so yeah. Yeah. I think that’s like, um, my best advice stop.
Maggie: (00:27:35) I never thought of it that way. That’s a really good strategy and concept. Cause I feel like people get tripped up because they think, Oh, I did that already.
Like I have to think of something new, right? Yeah.
Alan: (00:27:45) Yeah. For sure. Like if you think of, you know, the most successful movies and TV shows like friends, like you, you like it because it is familiar and that you just put them in different circumstances.
Bryan: (00:27:58) Yeah. Yeah. I like that a lot. And kind of curious too, like how does Tik TOK change your life?
Alan: (00:28:03) Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. It’s, it’s been huge. I feel well, and now I’m doing it full time, which is, um, such a blessing that I get to, you know, pay for my life and my apartment through content that I create myself. That’s been a really fun. Um, thing for my, my lifestyle, but I think there’s one, like, even more important thing for how it changed the way that I view myself and my interests.
So when I first started Tik TOK, um, I, it was a secret, like nobody knew my account. None of my friends knew I had an account because I was, I grew up, even though I grew up in an Asian town. Like the things like Asian interest things always tended to be considered nerdy like anime and K-pop and Korean dramas and things like that.
It always like, even within Asian communities, it was considered like Euro, like a caribou or a weeaboo if you were into those things. So I never really told my friends or like expressed publicly that I like those things. It was always very personal. Like it was like a secret, but then I started creating content.
Right. For it on Tik TOK because none of my friends were on it when I first started. And I saw that, you know, people across the world really resonate with this stuff. And my goal, like creating content was to make things that were like considered nerdy, especially Asian interest things that were considered nerdy to just normalize them in my content.
So then people could think it’s cool. You know, like I think it’s cool. And I think that actually it’s getting to be cool, like anime and K-pop for sure, like cool things for gender. Yeah. Yeah. Like everyone loves it now and dramas are getting up there. Like, you know, things like that. Like, um, I used to be really like embarrassed or ashamed to like, and now I. It’s part of my identity, like to release love and, and bolster like a Asian things, international things.
Maggie: (00:30:00) Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I just want to reiterate what you said earlier, too. I love how you’re using content and creating content, not to emphasize stereotypes of Asian people, but to actually like, make. These nerdy things.
Cool. And just showing like what Asian people are really capable of doing, you know, like we are like really putting ourselves on the map and, you know, we are interested in things that like anyone else in the world can be interested.
Bryan: (00:30:28) Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For real love you pioneering down that path and making Asian culture cool. You know, and it. I think w w like, like compared to other platforms to caucus, like, you know, making Asians really calling you a what you’re doing, um, kind of clear skin. Awesome. Yeah. Kind of curious too, like, when you are finding your, your partnerships, right, right. Do people approach you, do you approach them and to go back one more question. What was that turning point? During your Tech-Talk career that you realized that, Hey, this is viable. Like I can make a career out of this. I can become, become successful at this. And how long did that whole process take for you?
Alan: (00:31:08) Yeah, for sure. Um, it for partner services. Do you mean brands?
Bryan: (00:31:14) Uh, partnership? Uh, I mean, like just other creators.
Alan: (00:31:17) Oh, other creators. Okay, cool. Uh, to answer the question about the turning point, um, whenever I became a tech talk ambassador, Um, there was a day, there was a day where, um, we, the first like had our program and we went to the Tech-Talk headquarters. This is pre COVID in Culver city. And, uh, the 12 of us, it was a program like 12 people across 12 creators across the country were chosen for this program. None of us really knew what it was like, to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. I just like applied for it. And our, our, our pictures were all up on the walls. Like, like insane, like in this like giant projection with our names and our photos.
And I never really considered myself like a creator before that, but I was like, Oh my gosh, what? Like this app, that’s a global app, like has our photos up on the wall and had all this custom merchandise and things like that. So that was the first seed that was planted. Um, and, uh, for a while, I wasn’t able to like really commit because I had a lot going on and I was doing acting and writing for smile squad, but actually when COVID hit and the sh shutdown happened, like everything stopped.
And I was like, Oh, the only thing that’s still going on right now is like content creation. And so I really went hard whenever COVID like, Like stops every, all the productions from going on. And that’s when I was able to really gain traction and work with a lot of brands that were able to like pay for, you know, licensed stuff. Um, so that, that was that, that experience, uh, for partnerships. Um, we’re very, very particular about working with people who like, first of all, like don’t there. We, we want to work with people who have like bigger picture in mind. Cause there are a lot of creators who have like so many followers, like maybe like, yeah, like so many followers, way more than us across platforms, but maybe they’re only con considered, uh, they’re only. Focused on followers and views and continuing to do that. Whereas like, we’re not really that concerned about that. Yes. That’s important because numbers are important. Don’t get me wrong. Like it is very needed, but we want to like do this so that we can create bigger picture stuff, like a bigger impact, like do bigger projects for film and TV and, and tell bigger stories, uh, things like that.
Not really considered. Not really fo people who are not really focused on virality, but who are focused on like impact and IP and business sense. Like, that’s kind of like what we look for in friends of ours. So like, Marla, I don’t know if you guys know Marlin, Marlin, Mar Marmar land. It’s like a new new friend of ours we’ve been shooting with really gets it and you know, different people like that, you know, ,
Bryan: (00:34:14) Chucky’s dead.
Alan: (00:34:16) Oh yes, Melissa. Yes. She’s a perfect example represented by UTA. And she’s trying to like pitch a TV show. Yeah around her, um, her cult stuff, you know, and she wants to get into stand up comedy. Like she really gets it. Like, even though she’s crazy, she’s also like so crazy in person. Like not, it’s not for the tech doc. She’s probably even like, she’s just wild, like. A chat with her. Yes. You have to chat with her. She’s so funny if you guys want me to connect, like yeah. She’s so funny. Um, but she, she gets it, like she understands, fully understands that like, this is a springboard. It’s not the yeah,
Maggie: (00:30:00) right. Yeah. Yeah. Brian showed me, um, chunky stat, YouTube video.
Bryan: (00:35:05) She left her job, like at midnight or something.
Maggie: (00:35:08) I thought that was so awesome.
Alan: (00:35:09) Oh my gosh. Yeah. Uh, she’s so funny. So funny.
Bryan: (00:35:16) Yeah. We’re huge fan you guys. So we literally watch all your videos and know, as we were preparing for this podcast weeks in advance, you’re like, okay, did we know enough about Alan to reach out to Alan? And there’s a 90% chance Alan would say no, doesn’t research them anyways.
Maggie: (00:35:31) I’m very lucky to have caught you when you’re ready, but before you get too famous.
Alan: (00:35:38) Oh my gosh. You know, what’s like, I get scared when people tell me that they watched my videos because I didn’t really start like really pumping out making videos and whenever COVID hit. So I never interact with people outside of who I film with. And just recently, I guess, like, even though the world hasn’t changed, like the. Kind of like culture has changed where you can kind of go out and I’ve met like people who have said like, Oh, I watched your videos. And I’m like, what? Because for the first like six months of us, like really creating together, we didn’t see anyone.
So I never, I thought. I don’t know, like what I thought, who watched it, but I was like, these are just numbers. I don’t even know who’s behind. These are these numbers. Don’t tell me you watch my videos. I don’t want you to tell me that. Like, I just want them to be like, I dunno, like out in the world somewhere,
Maggie: (00:36:32) how often are you filming? Is it like every single day? Or do you budget some time? Like. A couple of times a week to actually do some filming.
Alan: (00:36:41) Yeah. Um, yeah, it really depends on the week. Uh, I would say we probably film between three to five times a week. Yeah. Just depending.
Bryan: (00:36:52) Do you guys just film, like all in one session just for the next week or guys.
The film for the next month.
Alan: (00:36:58) Uh, we try to film like around for the next week. It really depends sometimes me and Shu. Cause we have a lot of videos that are just us too, or just us to like knock out like four to five together in one day. And then we don’t really have to film for a while. And then sometimes we have some ideas that require like group things. And when there’s a group, like say there’s five creators, you kind of like get less. Uh, videos because everyone’s making one. So maybe you’ll come out of that, like two videos or something like that. So it really depends on what stuff, what, like the session is. Um, yeah, for sure.
Bryan: (00:37:35) Definitely. I guess what our final question is, how many drafts do you have in your two cocktails?
Alan: (00:37:40) Oh my God. I usually don’t like, it’s actually funny. Like, we’ll be in a panic being like, Oh my gosh, we have to edit something so we can post tonight, blah, blah, blah. So I actually usually don’t have that many drafts, but today I spent all day just like putting together videos. So I have for like the next four days.
Maggie: (00:38:01) Yeah. That’s more than I have
Bryan: (00:38:02) friends and show us their take. Cause it’d be like 150. Yeah.
Maggie: (00:38:08) Choose between how do you even remember what they are?
Bryan: (00:38:11) Exactly.
Alan: (00:38:12) They should just post them.
Maggie: (00:38:14) I guess you got to segment them timing.
Alan: (00:38:17) Yeah. That is funny. I’ve never, yeah. That’s so that’s so interesting.
Bryan: (00:38:23) I guess we were expecting to have like 200 new dress.
Alan: (00:38:26) No, yeah, definitely not. We’ve we edit our stuff outside of the app, like the shoot outside of it. So not usually, usually only the finished product is on
Maggie: (00:38:35) Allen, so it’s like top notch quality. So he has to edit it and make it look nice.
Alan: (00:38:41) No, We’re just perfectionist. You can just be, but I want to see all those drafts of those people. Like I want to see like what they’re nitpicking at. We have like a ton of takes if something’s really stupid. Yeah. It’s funny to see them all like under dressed. That’s hilarious. I bet it’s just like one elbow higher during the day. Oh, I don’t want to use this on
Bryan: (00:39:03) you actually winked.
Alan: (00:39:04) Yeah. Yeah. It’s always small stuff. Only the person filming it would know, or like I live ugly in that one
Bryan: (00:39:14) only we know her affections.
Alan: (00:39:16) Exactly. Exactly.
Maggie: (00:39:18) Awesome. What’s the one advice that you can give someone who is trying to start out and take talk. And trying to leave their nine to five job and go full-time into ticked off.
Alan: (00:39:31) Yeah. Yeah. Um, okay. This is a really good question. Uh, I would say, uh, to have a balance of trending videos that will get you seen and really original content.
So like. You know, you guys know that tick-tock is very trend-based whenever I was first growing my account, I did trends because you know, like when you’re scrolling to the, for you page, if you like one trend, then the trend will start to pop up. So that’s how newer accounts generally get discovered. So it’s very useful to start out with, but with Tik TOK, The trick is if you just become a trend creator, like you, all you do is like tick-tock trends, then you don’t really stand out.
There’s nothing very different about you versus, you know, the next Tech-Talk creator. So you have to find your originality, your own style of, you know, fashion or DIY or music or skits. Diane is very you because when it comes to the higher level, like for example, um, DK, N Y of fashion brand wants to find creators. They want people who are really original and create original content. So if you want to get the brand deals, things that will like give you money and pull you out of your job, then it’s important to like really be known for something, you know, that’s not trendy. So just playing around with that, like kind of.
Balance of that.
Bryan: (00:40:55) Love it. That’s great advice. We love that. Yeah, love it.
Maggie: (00:40:59) Well, it was amazing hearing your story. Thank you so much for just sharing so much wisdom and knowledge and your story. How can our listeners learn more about you?
Bryan: (00:41:09) Easy.
Alan: (00:41:11) Yeah. Alan Chikin chow, a L a N. C H I K I N C H O w on all platforms.
Tech-Talk Instagram, Facebook the works.
Bryan: (00:41:25) Well, thank you so much for being on the show, Alan. Really appreciate your time.
Alan: (00:41:29) Thank you, you guys. Oh my gosh. This is amazing. And keep like, keep doing H and I love it. Such a great resource. There’s so many great people on there for anyone listening. I’m sure you guys already know obviously the podcast, but it’s such a, a special community that provides so much value. So there’s so much value to all different types of people. Um, so I really appreciate that you guys creating that group.
Bryan: (00:41:53) Awesome. Thank you, Alan Continue making your videos. We watched it before we sleep every night.
Maggie: (00:42:06) tic talks from Brian every night and they’re like a majority. Oh, yours.
Alan: (00:42:09) Oh my gosh. That’s crazy. Yeah. Thank you for watching. I appreciate that.
Bryan: (00:42:15) Thank you, Alan.
Alan: (00:42:17) Yeah. Yeah. All right. Bye guys. See ya.
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