“I have a lot of big plans for my life, despite the fact that looking at my past life experiences, I probably shouldn't be where I am today,” Sam said. “Looking at where I come from, a lot of people don't go to college, or they just work in a factory or have seven kids. I am not going down that path.”
No matter what major and career Sam chooses, she knows that she’ll channel the strength it took her to rise above her familial expectations and use it to conquer the expectations set for her as she enters either one of the male-dominated workforces. And though she feels like a different person when she’s doing one as opposed to the other, she knows she has the strength and creativity to do either.
“I think either way, I'm going to end up doing a little bit of both,” Sam said. “It's just a matter of which one is my career and which one is my hobby. These are two completely different things, and I feel like a completely different person. So I really don't know who I am. I know that I'm some blend of both, but [I have to] figure out exactly what that is.”
Having applied to a mix of local colleges and some of the best acting programs in the country, he is faced with two very different futures: if he goes to a local or state school, he’ll most likely have to leave acting as a hobby, but if he goes to a specialized program, he’ll spend all day, every day immersed in theatre.
“I feel like if I go to a program, I'm going to have to analyze and dig deep within myself, as opposed to what I do now, which is just say things loud and try to be funny,” Bao said. “Maybe it'll make me more confident. I don’t know [how to make this decision].”
“Some of the people that I know from CET, from Community, or even just my friends, I see some of these people and they're so talented,” Bao explained. “They have some sort of human element where they can just connect with an audience, and it's super cool to watch. I always do funny stuff; I've never had a super serious part. I want to be interesting and funny, but I also want to be a person and not just a weird sitcom character or something. I'm not asking for people to cry. That's not what I'm striving for. Laughter is just as important, but I'd like to feel the other side.”