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"Even a year ago I was talking about going to law school. Because the lawyers I know get to meet a lot of different people. They solve problems. As a job [it sounded] very interesting. Now I know it's not."
Q: You were initially pre-med at NYU
A: I wanted to do pre-med. The first semester it really didn't matter because you took a lot of general education requirements. But right after the first semester I kind of knew I wasn't cut out for that. I had very good grades but I somehow wasn't satisfied. Just having good grades and having it all go to medical school didn't make me happy.

Q: What did it lack?
A: I think I needed dramatic excitement. I had started doing it since I was a kid. I needed stage, music...

Q: Does a part of you need attention, adoration?
A: That wasn't a part I admitted to myself. I don't know whether it was there. Actually, I very much avoid crowds even today.

Q: The dark side of a star's personality.
A: Crowds scare me. I function much better on a more personal level. I don't function very well on a dinner of more than ten. I can't be myself. I don't know whether that was it. I went to California to study drama and study film, still with the goal of going back to China. I stayed for at least four years and then I visited China. I was a little lost. I was very homesick. I took a risk, I went back to China and realized that I have actually changed, that China as a whole wasn't what I imagined it to be. And from that moment on, I'm pretty much sure maybe I'm staying in America, but the first four or five years I wanted to go back, and I never planned to do anything acting here, never, until I made up my mind that I wasn't going to go back. I didn't see acting as a career until very lately actually. I said, Don't try to say I'm going to go to law school because you're not going to law school. Even a year ago I was talking about going to law school.

Q: Law school? What attracted you to law school?
A: Because the lawyers I know get to meet a lot of different people. They solve problems. As a job [it sounded] very interesting. Now I know it's not. My bachelors is in art, so I cannot get into medical school and more, but to have a good stable job my parents expected me to to have, the next thing would be law school.

Q: Would they have preferred that you be a lawyer?
A: I think they would have preferred it.

Q: Even now?

A: I think so. I just don't lie to myself any more, that's all. All Asian parents are into your children having a respectable, decent stable job. Acting was unimaginable to my parents.

Q: How did you get a $2,000 annual stipend from Northridge if you weren't going to be an actress?
A: I was really studying directing, in drama and in film. I wasn't studying acting.

Q: Didn't they give it to you because of your experience as an actress?
A: No, actually they gave it to me because I am a guest student from China [who was] going to return. This money was from a fund donated to the university by various Asian rich people. No, there wasn't anything said about being an actress at all.

Q: So when you got to Northridge you had to suffer some more my working as a waitress?
A: It was okay.

Q: Wasn't it difficult for someone who was used to being coddled?
A: The work itself wasn't hard. In a way it was fun because I had never done it before, right?

Q: Which restaurant was it?
A: It's in the Valley, called Mandarin Wok, I think. There were two, one is in Northridge and the other is close to Woodland Hills. It's on Victory. It's a pretty big one.

Q: How were you as a waitress?
A: I wasn't good enough to be a waitress. I was a receptionist and I only took down takeouts.

Q: You never got promoted to being a waitress?
A: Every day there was some mistake I made. PAGE 9

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