Today my interview is with Rae Lim, an actor, dancer and stunt woman. Rae who is in the upcoming Bond movie, couldn’t attend castings due to Lockdown, so she turned her hand to music.
This Singaporean who moved to England when she was 13 has just released a single “Fortune Cookie” which challenges stereotyping of Asian women.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED.
Hi! I’m Rae and I guess I’m the product of my own business, which is a bit weird, but I think all creatives are entrepreneurs. My services are acting/comedy/stunts/voiceovers and now music (singing and songwriting)!
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
It changes day to day *awkward laugh*. Some days I have 3 auditions back to back, or a job, then an audition or a self tape. Most days where I don’t have anything pressing, I’m probably at a dance class or doing weapon lessons on Zoom and practicing my vocals.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
I used to work as a legal assistant and then went into marketing, but I always knew I wanted to act. I did the whole “filial daughter” thing for my parents and tried really hard to make a normal 9-5 work, but it just wasn’t for me. I started acting professionally in 2017 and a year before that I was mainly just doing commercials, but luckily caught my first tiny role in a TV gig on “Cuckoo” and “Catastrophe” on the BBC, and that really helped me launch into film and TV. Commercial money and savings from my “normal” job really helped – acting is pretty unstable but if you’re good at saving and you’re not awful, it’s usually fine, heh.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?
Oh… Uhm. I’m not sure if I have a “biggest achievement”, just a combination of roles across film/TV/stunts/VO and MoCap that I’m really proud of. I think it’s about momentum and never quitting. The biggest challenge is definitely the fact that there’s no stable income, and there are a lot of last minute auditions so it’s almost impossible to plan your life, but I’m literally working my dream job so those things almost seem inconsequential. I mean I can still barely believe people pay me to do what I love.
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
Working in marketing was REALLY great for my branding. I nailed that really early and most actors sort of struggle with their “type” for awhile, whereas I knew I was the quirky, funny, Asian-American chick pretty much straight away and a lot of my roles leaned into that type, but luckily my last two jobs were on “No Time to Die”, the new Bond Film and “Without Remorse” with Michael B Jordan, and those were action roles, so it was super exciting to be working in a different genre and on such high profile projects.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
I’d really love to be a series regular on a comedy series. The ideal genre is action comedy, so anything Marvel would be the absolute DREAM COME TRUE. It’s been a little quiet on the film and TV side, but luckily I’ve been really busy voicing a few animations and I recently did a motion capture job for a huge game, so that’s super exciting! I guess my vision is to do a little better than what I’m doing right now, but consistently 🙂
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES OR TOOLS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS?
ABSOLUTELY! There’s a book by Anthony Meindl called “Book the f*cking job” which I read whenever I’m about to have an audition meltdown. There’s also an awesome meditation app if that doesn’t work LOL called Headspace. I think just for fun I might create a “Headcase” which is like the opposite of that. Just a bunch of totally unhelpful, frenetic thoughts. JK, that’s an awful business idea… Or IS IT? Also my agents and managers – all of them – are the coolest, kindest, most inspiring people ever and their positivity and hustle keeps me motivated and focused.
WHAT OR WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE IN BUSINESS AND WHY?
I’d say personally it would be my Dad, because he was an entrepreneur (he’s retired now) and he was away a lot, BUT, I knew how hard he worked and that work ethic inspired me immensely. He also used to have his fingers in different pots (is that the right saying – my England not good looking) which is why I think I’m super versatile now. My agent Niki Winterson also really inspires me. She has the greatest depth of compassion and she’s always championing women’s rights and fighting for us. I’m already difficult to manage so for her to have like 80 of us must be really exhausting LOL.
I am however immensely inspired by Oprah because apart from being a kickass entrepreneur, she’s also giving back to women through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Other actresses that I think are really leading the charge would be Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson. They really champion things that they care about and speak out when it matters.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
GO. FOR. IT! Nothing and no one can stop you. I mean, sure, maybe you don’t have the capital – get funding, ask for donations, apply for grants – or you don’t have a strong support group – if you have a great idea and you’re passionate about it and it’s the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about before bed, then it’s the only thing you should be doing.
WHAT BUSINESS IDEA DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
I’m HUGELY into tech, so I’d really love it if there were more wearable tech for women, like maybe a smartphone necklace or fitness earrings. VIBE!!!!
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
There’s so much I want to share! (If you haven’t noticed yet) But I guess right now it would be, Go listen to my tracks, I’d love to know what you think! You can find me on spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Zyb8p7lpdt2ahZXym7f2L
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!