Liu Yangyang was admitted to the Guangxi University of Foreign Languages, to study the Thai language, in 2008. Two years later, she transferred into Huachiew Chalermprakiet University, in Samut Prakan Province, in Thailand, to continue studying the Thai language. Two years after that, she landed a job at Charoen Pokphand Group, in Bangkok, after she graduated from Huachiew Chalermprakiet University.
In 2014, she lucked into the entertainment industry in Thailand, thanks to one of her part-time jobs. At that time, she served as a Chinese-Thai interpreter for the crew of a TV series. "The director failed to find a suitable actress for a character … so he asked me to audition. After seeing my audition, he decided that I should play the character. He was satisfied with my performance, and he later recommended more job opportunities to me. As such, I started to work as an actress," Liu says. Before moving to Thailand, Liu worked as part-time model in China.
"I love acting. Sometimes, I have to work for more than 10 hours, but I don't feel tired. When I see myself in films and TV series, I feel it is worthwhile to work so hard. I believe that hard work brings good luck. I get along well with the Thai crew. They give me support and encouragement. What impresses me most is that most Thai people are optimistic. I am willing to spend more time in learning their culture," she says.
"However, I met difficulties in the beginning, as I was not a native speaker, and as I had an accent when speaking the Thai language. Sometimes, I was turned down by directors due to my imperfect pronunciation. I felt really upset, and I asked one of my friends, who taught the Thai language, to help me improve my pronunciation. Now, the Thai language is no longer an obstacle for me," she adds.
Liu basically performed trivial and/or supporting roles during the first two years, and she kept improving on her acting skills. "I signed a contract with a Thai entertainment agency more than a year ago. Now, I perform leading roles in many films and TV series. We receive one- or two-month training … before we officially start shooting a film or a TV show. The agency also invites some Chinese actors or actresses to join the shooting in Thailand," she adds.
If Thai actors or actresses want to expand their careers into China, Liu will help them contact agencies in China.
In addition to acting in films and TV shows, Liu appears in many commercials and she also works as TV program host. "My Chinese fans formed a backup group for me on Chinese social media platforms, such as Weibo and WeChat. Last year, they produced a video to celebrate my birthday, and to encourage me to make better achievements in Thailand. I was really touched," she says.
To stay in good shape, Liu goes to the gym regularly. She likes swimming, doing yoga, practicing Muay Thai, traveling in different countries and enjoying delicious foods. She opened a restaurant, Wang Lala Sour and Spicy Noodles, in Bangkok. "Many of my friends are Chinese, and they are pursuing their dreams in Thailand. When we have spare time, I often invite them to come to my restaurant, to enjoy food and having fun," Liu says.
"I am grateful for my mother. She supports my choice to quit a 9-to-5 job to work as an actress, because she understands that I love acting. I hope I can open my own film and television company in the future," Liu says.
(Source: Women of China English Monthly May 2018 issue)
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