Actress, dancer, self-published author, and more, Amanda Suk is an extremely talented woman who continues to inspire us with her gift of storytelling in various forms. You may recognize her as the character Amy Minoru from the popular TV series Runaways, or from videos by WongFu Productions like “My K-Pop Boyfriend.” In 2018, she wrote and self-published the children’s book, Life Lessons with Libra Ryan. We got to ask Amanda about her experiences, her passions, and the inspiration behind her book!
Q: You’re a self-published author, an actress, a dancer - a “creative nomad” in your words! What’s your favorite form of storytelling and why? How did you decide what you wanted to pursue as a career?
Amanda: “It’s difficult to decide between acting and dance for me in regards to my favorite form. I think all forms of storytelling kind of serve a specific function so even though it might all be under the same umbrella it's like having favorite songs from different genres of music that you play for different moods/needs. They hit different parts of my imagination. I don't know if I decided what I wanted to pursue as a career so much as it was always something I knew I had to do as far back as I could remember. The only other career I ever dreamt of pursuing was becoming a professional soccer player for the US team but I quickly learned I did not have the natural skills for that haha.”
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to find their passion or struggling to discover what they are passionate about? How do you stay creative and passionate?
Amanda: “"I think sometimes part of that pressure or struggle comes from some idea of a timeline (whether conscious or subconscious) that we have to know our passion or 'calling' by a specific age in life. I think sometimes part of that pressure or struggle also comes from an idea that we can only have one. I don't know if I have concrete advice about struggle in the discovery...perhaps to embrace not knowing rather than beating ourselves up for not knowing. As my acting teacher often tells me, 'Focus on what you do know and have rather than what you don't when you're exploring.' As far as how I stay creative/passionate? I suppose a lot of it is staying curious...not just about my own craft but life in general. I like learning :)"
Q: Can you tell us how your children’s book, Life Lessons With Libra Ryan came to life? Any more books planned for the near future?
Amanda: "I LOVE BAD DANCING. Hah. So I created this character Libra Ryan (play on librarian) who loves to dance but doesn't know she's bad at it. There's no 'good/bad' that exists with her bc she doesn't judge herself. There's so much freedom in that, you know? She just knows joy. And it was an excuse for me to make silly videos that made me laugh to do, edit, and watch. The book came to fruition because someone had tagged me in a 'fan-art' sketch of Libra Ryan. It was SO good that it immediately sparked the thought 'SHE NEEDS TO BE A CHILDREN'S BOOK CHARACTER!' It made so much sense but I don't think it crossed my mind on its own because I didn't grow up seeing Asian characters central in children's books or books in general. I wanted to create something that I wished I had when I was a kid. So I reached out to the artist (Naz Power) via DMs, pitched her my idea, and the rest is history. I can't thank Naz enough for being down to contribute her ridiculous talent to see this book come to life. Plus, we're both aunties so it was wonderfully fulfilling to be able to give these books to our families for super cool auntie points. Next up, I would love to animate Libra Ryan for an animated short-film which I'd get to throw in some of my voice over work :)"
Q: What would you say has been a key factor to your personal growth and success?
Amanda: "My friends. I honestly do believe I have the best of friends who are my rocks. This industry can definitely take a toll on you mentally and spiritually. My friends are like my sun and the conversations we have are the water that feed and nourish my self-growth. And honestly, I still attribute therapy to some of the best breakthroughs I've had in my personal growth which have provided breakthroughs in my acting work thus contributing to me experiencing 'success' in personal life and work life."
Q: Top 3 favorite ice cream shops and flavors?
Amanda: “I love Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's Strawberry ice cream. I genuinely believe it is hands down the best in all the land. I also love Wanderlust for their adventurous flavor combos. My go-to there is their Japanese Neapolitan. I also love anywhere I can get a tasty scoop of Earl Grey ice cream with a scoop of a solid Coffee ice cream (McConnell's usually has a good pairing of this but sometimes Wanderlust as well). Lastly, sometimes you just need that Oreo McFlurry from McDonald's."
Q: What do you root your identity in?
Amanda: "God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit -- all day, even when I might feel the most disconnected to myself. Absolutely is my anchor and the most central essence to who I am and why I am."
Photography by Amanda Suk, Olivia Liang