Growing up, Dave Jia always knew that he wanted to work in the entertainment industry. After interning for a few record labels, promoting for local music shows, and helping on film sets, Jia realized that this was his calling—but he wasn’t satisfied with working only “behind-the-scenes.” So, at 18 years old, Jia began searching for more acting opportunities. After auditioning for various commercials and films, Jia started landing roles, leading to more auditions and bigger projects. Graduating college at 22 years old, Jia decided that it was time to pursue his dream full-time, so he dropped his other jobs and moved to Los Angeles.
Pursuing acting is certainly not an easy career path to take. The competitive nature of the industry means that actors often experience numerous rejections before they are able to land a role. In addition, being an Asian-American actor presents its own set of difficulties, such as inadvertently being typecast into roles or being subject to prejudice. Becoming a successful actor demands mastering the craft; for any individual character journey, hours must be spent considering their motivations and breaking down the script in order to properly explore potential interpretations and execute desired emotions.
Every rejection is an opportunity for growth, if you choose not only to learn from it, but also to use it as motivation going forward. Rather than letting rejection define him, Jia continued working, attaining more acting roles over time. “Even though this whole process has its struggles, it’s ultimately a really fulfilling career and I can’t see myself working in any other field,” says Jia.
Dave Jia has also developed a powerful mindset, one of the most essential elements in successful acting is having command over one’s mindset. Believing that what you are saying and doing holds truth, Jia emphasizes this, noting that any character a performer portrays must be fully embraced with utter conviction to make it believable for an audience. Adapting your own mental state to match the part’s outlook remains at the core of great performances on stage or screen.
Jia’s journey has been filled with both successes and failures, but ultimately it has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling. His advice for anyone looking for a career in entertainment is simple: remain disciplined even during hard times. Don’t give up, do your research, and practice makes perfect. As time went on, more opportunities presented themselves for Dave Jia, and this all happened because he continued following his dreams and refused to give up despite facing obstacles along the way.