Cathy Nguyen Banaag has become a household name in the YouTube community, uploading her singing covers on her personal channel since 2007 and collaborating with other creators such as Wong Fu Productions! Their 2011 short film, Strangers Again has amassed over 20 million views. Cathy has been a pivotal figure in the increase of Asian American representation onscreen through her work and long-time experience with YouTube. In addition to her channel, Cathy is a Radiologic Technologist and a mother to her beautiful daughter, Isla! We had the absolute pleasure of asking Cathy about her journey. Check out her profile feature to learn more!
Q: Can you share with us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a Radiologic Technologist?
Cathy: “Honestly? It’s not that great of a story. Haha! I had originally planned to be a music teacher & go into music education. As time went on, I felt the need to switch gears when I didn’t quite get the approval I was hoping for. At the time, my aunt had just completed the radiology program & suggested I look into it. So I did. Unintentionally, I had already completed the pre-reqs & was quickly put on a waitlist to enter the program. Fast forward a little bit & here I am today.. a radiologic technologist!”
Q: What does your YouTube channel mean to you? And how has this platform impacted your life and personal growth?
Cathy: “In continuation of my radiology story..that waitlist, was actually 3 years. It was also around the start of YouTube & I decided that it’d be fun to post some videos.. obviously not thinking anything of it! Timing was everything as things started to progress. And next thing you know, I’m meeting some of the greatest people in my life, as well as being able to travel & perform, getting to do what I was so passionate about at the time. Although my original career path didn’t quite go according to plan, this entire YouTube experience has fulfilled that dream for me & I truly can’t complain.”
Q: You have a passion for music and started your channel with singing covers - do you have a favorite song you have ever covered? Any plans on releasing your own songs in the future? In one of your videos, you said your dream is to be in a musical, is there a specific one you would love to be a part of?
Cathy: “It’s been so long, I need to go back & check! (insert cringe haha) I definitely can’t choose one that I’ve done alone.. because those aren’t good at all. There’s so many that I’ve done with some incredible talent though & I just can’t choose! I actually have 2 originals that I never officially ‘released,’ but have performed at live events back in the day! But other than that, I haven’t written anything of that sort since. As far as musicals, I just want to be a part of the ensemble or like a small character in any show really. I’ve always also enjoyed acting, so I thought being in a musical would be the perfect outlet to showcase & perform both!”
Q: Your daughter is sooo cute!! What has being a mother taught you about yourself? And what are the biggest lessons you have learned after becoming a first-time mom?
Cathy: “That’s a very profound question. I don’t even know if I could answer this in less than a few lines! But really, being a mother has taught me everything. About love. About patience. About understanding. About strength. About fear. About happiness. Literally everything. Being a mom has taught me that I am stronger, more capable & more powerful than I had previously thought possible.”
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Cathy: “Living out my dreams of being a wife to the greatest husband & a mom to the sweetest, silliest little soul.”
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Cathy: “God already has your entire story written. Have faith & trust in Him.”
Q: What do you root your identity in?
Cathy: “In Christ. Through it all, His love will never fail.”
Photography by Cathy Nguyen Banaag
Story by Renée Lee