Chris Naoki Lee - Transcript


Masami Moriya: Okay. Well, Chris, thank you so much for joining us on the strong Asian lead podcast. you know, they’re following your work for a little bit, so I’m excited, really excited to have you here

Chris Naoki Lee: No, I’m excited to be here

Thanks for, you know, thanks for hopping in and I’m excited to chat today.

Masami Moriya: right on. Well, for our audience, please introduce yourself where you’re coming, where you’re calling in from where’s your hometown.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah, name is Chris Nackey Lee. I am born and raised actually. This is my home is Los Angeles. I was actually born in Glendale and then I was raised in the valley just a little bit outside of LA. there was one more question in there that I completely bypass. What was the other question? There’s something

Masami Moriya: you calling in from?

Chris Naoki Lee: oh, there it is.

There it is. They’re going to call it there it is. There it is. LA I’m calling in from?

from, from Sunnyside, LA.

Masami Moriya: Right on. Yeah. I was wanting to use, I heard somewhere you’re in the suburbs, so I was like, what part of the suburbs is so LA so

Chris Naoki Lee: It’s true. That’s true. yeah. I know. So go ahead.

Masami Moriya: Well, I grew up in like Ontario, California. So it was like, you know, an empire it’s like, is it still LA? But no one knows that that is.

Chris Naoki Lee: That’s funny. Yeah. I grew up, in the valley, like Woodland Hills [00:01:00] and specifically more Calabasas, but I always feel a little hesitant when I tell people Calabasas. Cause it’s not the same Calabasas that I used to know. You know what I mean? It’s like, it’s a very different one now. some of the people like, Ooh, that’s so bougie and I’m like, trust me 20, 30 years ago.

It was not like it wasn’t, it wasn’t. Kind of like a middle-class suburban neighborhood, you know? but you know, again, it was, it was just something where over the many of the years, it just transformed into kind of what you see today.

Masami Moriya: Yeah. At times change really fast, you know, my own house, not the same anyways. And you went to NYU for school.

Chris Naoki Lee: I did. I did. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I went there for a theater and drama and you know, that was, gosh, I love New York. I have, I have such a soft spot, soft spot in my heart for New York. if I, if I didn’t love LA so much, and if I didn’t love this weather so much, and also just even the work in general pertains a lot to LA, then New York would be a home for me as well. [00:02:00]

Masami Moriya: I was in New York almost five years and I’m so missing it right now. So,

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah. Where’d you live?

I lived up in Inwood, in Bushwick, down to Bedstein back to Bushwick twice. There’s like moved five times in

Chris Naoki Lee: Oh, you were moving, man. Yeah. Oh,

damn. Okay.

Masami Moriya: Yeah. W T I mean, I have my own thoughts and feelings about New York and between New York and LA, but, you know, what are your thoughts between the New York now?

Like what, why did you stay, come back to LA? what, what you love about New York that makes you not go back as well? You know, tell

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. LA for sure. I think, I think I was traumatized a little bit on my first winter that I was in New York. It was oh, 4 0 5, I believe. And it was, remember when I saw it on the news, it’s like we aren’t experiencing the worst blizzard in 20 years. And that was my first winter in New York. So I was like, I might curse here, but I was like, what the fuck?

You know, like, well, and I just wasn’t used to that. so I think that again, but the best part about it was it [00:03:00] did harden me.

in a lot of different ways, not only when it came to, you know, weather resistance, but at the same time, people like just the people in New York, the, the vibe of their, I, I can’t discount it enough.

It’s one of the best places where you can just be, feel so raw and real and, and be open. Especially when you’re like 18, 19 when you’re so just, you know, so open to the world and you’re so new to the world. it was a Great.

learning experience because it’s one of those places where, you know, and I think any, any new Yorker can attest this too, is a type of place where if they push you, you push back, know, you have to, it’s just the only way to kind of survive in a lot of ways.

Just even walking from point a to point B is its own journey itself. so I, I. You know, had I definitely empathize as I lived there for four to five years starting to get to that place from like, gosh, yo, can you walk any slower? Come on. You know, so I was, was definitely in that vibe living there for a good while.

then coming back to LA. You know, this, this is my home. Like my family is out here. [00:04:00] but also the entertainment businesses, you know, like loud and proud out here. So it’s been just, you know, more fruitful in terms of what I wanted to do. but, but beyond that, like, you know, I think the little things, right.

I like to drive a car. I love to go to the beach. I do love the sun. I think, you know, when you kind of accumulate, what are the sort of the things that bring me mentally happy, spiritually happy. is what you know is where I would want it.

Masami Moriya: For sure. Yeah, Ellie’s got, I got a good spot. And especially the weather, you can’t deny the weather. That’s the only thing I’m like, okay, I’ll stay for a little wetter.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah. I feel you.

Masami Moriya: and rainy and like, no

Chris Naoki Lee: Right. bro? I’m curious. What brought you back to LA? Was it more just like work or was it just, you know, sick of moving around or

Masami Moriya: You know, it’s just work. It’s honestly, it’s Hollywood. I always say I can’t do Hollywood in Brooklyn. You

Chris Naoki Lee: yeah. Hey, there you go.

Masami Moriya: Yeah. It’s you know, I always felt like there was a money cap is a hundred thousand dollars to be out there doing independent films or documentaries. Right. There’s no agents, there’s no managers.

There was no [00:05:00] skyrocket up. no, you know, get in the mail room, go somewhere else as an assistant. cause there’s no agencies out there, not many. and then, you want to do studio staff. It’s not gonna be. And so you have to, we are flying always on LA time. So me coming out here was I’m here for work.

I have a project. I know this can work, but I can’t get it done out here in New York. So I’m coming back here. It was great, but also the Asian American entertainment industry is. you just, there’s just more Asians here. more Asian Americans doing things and to work with. There are people in New York, but again, it’s just like, everybody’s independent.

So it’s like, you can work together, but we’re all gonna stay on the same level until some someone moves to LA. And

Chris Naoki Lee: Amazing. And then, and then you bring everybody else up with you kind of a thing. That’s I mean, that’s, to me, it’s like the microcosm of, of just sort of this business itself, I feel right. Like, we’re all, you know, you, you are the five most average people that you’re around the most. You’re kind of working collectively together and.

The idea is that you either make it, and then they jump on your [00:06:00] back or, you know, somebody else in your network, your tribe makes it, and then you jump on their back. And it’s just this kind of a giving tree in a lot of ways, right. Where we just collectively try to make something happen together. Cause you just, you go farther at the end of the day.

but at the same time, I’m going to, I kind of echo that too, where as like a sort of a, you know, that New York mentality where. You kind of sometimes have to just get shit done on your own too, because you can’t wait or rely on other people to what you need to get done. so.

I think that’s that balance that you kind of even have to just find,

in navigating that in this business, and it’s not easy to do, but it’s again, it’s just, you gotta do it.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, a hundred percent. There’s just, I liked the rawness of New York. You have to get things done on your own. Don’t wait for somebody else. And then bring what I love about, you know, I went to New York after I went to college, so I went to college and then to New York. So I had

Chris Naoki Lee: Hm.

Masami Moriya: find a job, do my job and do another non-profit.

But then coming, bringing that anybody who goes to New York and then comes back to LA, they bring a different. Then when they [00:07:00] left

Chris Naoki Lee: A

Masami Moriya: and then some people can’t handle it, but

Chris Naoki Lee: A hundred

Masami Moriya: time, that’s what makes some real people in here in LA. And so I gravitate towards those people.

Chris Naoki Lee: Facts. Yeah. I love that. I love that. Yeah.

Masami Moriya: So let’s get into a little bit more about yourself.

you’ve had 20 years in the industry, if not a little more, ranging from acting, producing, directing, writing, editing, like a whole bunch of different things. you know, where does that come from? Where does that filmmaker background come from?

Chris Naoki Lee: yeah.


You know, I. It came at a really early age. Like the feeling of just wanting to tell stories came at a very early age. was just thinking about this the other day. I don’t know why I was thinking about it, but it’s something about it really. just, just stuck with me. I just remember this one Christmas that I had, I think I was, gosh, I think I was like maybe eight, nine or 10 or something.

I was really, really young. So, so in love with star wars, love star wars, right? I mean, they still do, but at that time I remember I asked my parents, said for Christmas, I was like, I don’t want [00:08:00] a single thing. If it is not star wars related, I only want star wars. And and behold, I only got star wars, toys, star wars, toys that Christmas, and to this date, and dad just wanna let you know to this day.

That’s my favorite Christmas of all time of all time, it stands so far out. the fun part about it was for the next, like, I just remember locked up in my own room with all my toys and just telling all the different stories and all the different kinds of fabrications and that I wanted to create as an 8, 9, 10 year old.

And just remember that something that still resonates with me to this day of that love that very young love of just telling a story. it, it came first from acting, Just, you know, again, you’re when you’re a young kid, you, you, you see things on TV or in the movies and you just say, wow, that’s, that’s what I want to do.

you don’t know what it means to make a move. You don’t know what it means to write a movie. You don’t know what it means to produce a movie. I sure do know what it means to be in front of and pretend like I’m telling a story. so it did come from there [00:09:00] initially. So that’s probably my very first love, you know, star wars story in hand, it’s like, I think by the end of all, this, my idea is I would love to be able to continue to direct and produce, but not only that champion stories, champion other people’s stories that, you know, that resonate with me and we can work collectively together.

Because again, it’s. Kind of going back full circle on that previous statement. You just, you go farther together. So that’s something that I feel compelled towards definitely later in my career. And I’m kind of doing that transition sort of as we speak anyway. so that’s sort of been the natural kind of visceral of my, of what I love to do.

Masami Moriya: Yeah. Is there, so you love acting. Is there anything, any other part of the craft that you really enjoy, that you’ve learned? Like, you know, I heard maybe you were a, you found a lot of stuff on learning the craft of the internet, which is super fantastic. That’s where a lot of people know, especially since YouTube came out and everybody kind of learned how tos, but, you know, what did you [00:10:00] learn that experience, to build onto the.

Chris Naoki Lee: So Yeah, Great question. Yeah. That’s so true. Like the, the birth of internet, the birth of YouTube, all of the. You know, there was no more excuse anymore of like how to dot, dot, dot. Right. at this point I can go look it up. I could figure out, okay, what is it that I need to do to put this shot up? What kind of lighting do I need to have?

What kind of gear should I get? What kind of collaborative should I look for? all of that became accessible and it just became of how much you wanted to do it. and I, I just was very thirsty to learn. I wanted to, fail essentially as much as I possibly could because. Better to fail when you’re, you know, much earlier on.

and, you know, I, I didn’t, don’t think I knew this in hindsight. I just wanted to do it, but I obviously failed many times I’m still obviously in no way, like perfect at what I do or, you know, at the level that I would want to be at. but I think that’s, again, that speaks to, hopefully the drive that I wouldn’t lose.

so yeah, it’s that same thing. It’s like, if you have the access to the information, why [00:11:00] not try to learn a little bit more to give yourself a little extra. And not only that, I always find kind of like knowledge and, and even, even, like I danced and stuff too. So I kind of put this, I can’t say hand in hand and I don’t dance actually anymore.

Chris Naoki Lee: My body can’t take that shit anymore. So, so more, so more. So I got a club or like at a bar with my, with my partner, her and I will probably get groovy. But besides that, I used to like do hip hop that shit, but not anymore. But, to that point, It’s like that, for instance, like the dance or the knowledge of learning different things when it comes to making a project, right?

Those are all connective tissues to the artistry itself. It only makes you stronger. It just, it makes you more knowledgeable. It makes it easier when you’re in the room talking and communicating to the people that know more than you. So at the very least you can have the dialogue and kind of, oh, like we could have a cohesive.

Idea of what that, whatever the vision is that we’re all trying to go for. I think that’s, that would be, that’d be my answer for that.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, a lot of learning, a lot of learning [00:12:00] on the job,

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh,

Masami Moriya: your own job and then figuring it

Chris Naoki Lee: I do. I’m the I’m that guy that like on a set, I just, I hate being in my trailer. I just, I want to be sitting there and watching the shit go down. I want to see you, the lens is being switched out.

I want to see, know, like what, what they’re talking about, what the conversations are, because that’s, that’s just what I love.

this energy that you can’t deny whenever you’re on a set or not even just, just whenever people are collaboratively working together for a unified goal. The synergy, you know, you can’t deny that. And I think that’s something that I’m always trying to gravitate towards.

Masami Moriya: Totally. Well, it was one. What was one or two things that you had. From your failures and quote-unquote failures.

Chris Naoki Lee: Oh gosh. I don’t know if we’ve got time for this, man. I don’t know if we got enough.

Masami Moriya: That’s a whole, that’s a whole

Chris Naoki Lee: There’s a whole episode that, gosh, do not. I, this is the big one. I would say. Try not try not to take it. That’s that’s really tough. and especially from an acting side of things, it’s really hard to not take things [00:13:00] personally, but it makes, so it makes it a little bit easier when you are behind the camera and it’s feels a little bit more platonic with things where it’s like, it’s binary, you get it done, or you don’t get it done.

So, so in other words, how do you get it done? Right. So you have to let go of some of that ego. so I think that’s a big part of it too, of, of understanding how much. How much ego that you can bring in, that’s helpful, that’s productive, that’s constructive to whatever, whatever it is. But if it’s not, you got to be able to let that part of you go because then you’re adding to any form of toxicity that might kind of, sort of, they kind of, embed into that project itself unknowingly.

so that’s something that I I’ve, I’ve kind of really taken notice of. Try as much as I can when like, when I failed, I was so in it and I was so invested and I was like, wait, what? Why? And then it hurts so much more. Right. so I think that’s, that’s the big part of it too, to give yourself a little bit of a removal because it, it softens the blow, but it also teaches us that this isn’t.

Chris Naoki Lee: You know, it’s, it’s a silly, old [00:14:00] cliche, but it’s like, it’s show business. You know, we are in a business at the end of the day. And that’s the funny thing when I was younger and I took a Hartz, I took a heartbreak on acting like a five, six year break to kind of go more into producing and directing. and it was because during that time, before I took a break, I was taking a lot of shit personally.

You know, I was like 25, 26 and I couldn’t get jobs. I was getting callbacks. I was not getting the actual thing. And I was like, of knocking myself down over it, but it’s. You you know, I don’t want to say it’s a failure of mind per se, but it’s just, it’s, it’s the growing pains that you need in this business.

and you just, and the only way to really do it is to just fail. That’s really the only way you can kind of know it, like, you know, people who find success very early on and don’t experience failure, kind of see where their career kind of goes in some ways, right? Like you kind of have, it’s the same thing, like with empathy and compassion, you have to of fall straight on your fucking face before you can look up and be like, oh right.

Chris Naoki Lee: That. I kind of look at it this way next time. Okay. Okay. [00:15:00] So that’s


That’s that’s one,

Masami Moriya: fail fast, fail often, you know, just keep, keep trying to do the thing. And if you don’t try, you’re not gonna learn anything from anything.

Chris Naoki Lee: 100%. And look, it’s, it’s tough. is a real, I think fear has gotten even stronger in, in kind of all of our collective minds, not to, not to superly project in any way, but like, because of social media, because of the access to a lot of things, there’s more fear because. You know, there’s, there’s just more eyeballs on it or the potential of more eyeballs on it.

And mixed on top of that, know, we have, we, we kind of really walk this, this thin line of what is kind of acceptable and what is not acceptable and who decides that. Right. And, that fear can kind of drive you to make decisions when it shouldn’t, when in the end, what’s your vision. What’s the story you’re trying to tell.

And then from there. Can you have the conviction to just hold your own at the very end of it, you know, to like die on the hill, it’d be like, Hey, I did this because of X, Y, and Z. but still willing to learn at the end of the day, it might not be, it might not have been the best reason why you did it, [00:16:00] but if you learn something from that, oh shit.

That’s that’s that’s, a good fucking experience.

Masami Moriya: biggest takeaway.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah.

what has been your experience, being in leading Asian-American man in entertainment industry? I mean, it’s changed over the years. I’ve definitely seen that, but, you know, have you ever felt, a moment of sidelined ignored discriminated because of your Asian is not Asian enough, I’m not doing an accent, you know, w what’s been your experience.

Chris Naoki Lee: yeah. too many to name,

without it becoming like a, sort of a blame game in any way, just because you know, the businesses, the business, especially like 15 years ago, 10, 15 years ago, it was still very different than, than how it is now and still. The way, you know, we would ideally like it to be, but that being said, I think when there, there were definitely times when, even my own, like my own heritage, for I’m half Chinese, half Japanese, and that sometimes got in the way of getting cast for a role.

Like I remember. Pinned for a role, [00:17:00] to portray someone that was authentically Japanese, because it takes place, during like a world war II And it was like a soldier essentially, but portraying a real person. So in some ways that, that makes sense to me, I’m like, yeah, I guess. One or probably a higher Japanese person that makes the most sense as well.

but I know like, you know, I’m sure you’ve had these conversations as Well, when it comes to authenticity when it comes to Asians and authenticity and how that slightly differentiates from perhaps other demographics out there. it’s not perfectly one-on-one. but there are, there were instances like that where, know, whether it was again, like, you know, if it was an accent it wasn’t warranted and if I questioned it and would that, would that put me out of the race?

Right. What’s important to note here is look, I, I think I, I don’t know if this is, I don’t know what the best way to frame this is, but it’s like when you start off, you just don’t have as much leverage to begin with. Right. That’s and that’s any business, anything, right? I mean, if you’re starting in the mail room, if you starting with one CoStar role or an [00:18:00] extra, whatever it is, amount of leverage you have is just minimal.

So I’ve always approached things as much as I possibly could to know the circumstances that I’m in, but also to know. Where w where my value is. And if you kind of don’t know those two things, it makes it a little bit harder for you to communicate what you want to communicate with, say your reps or with casting or with producers, whatever it might be.

so it’s always important to know those two things. so that’s something that I, I know when I was younger, I was, I really wasn’t aware of it. And also when you’re younger, too, Fuck man. I want to work. I just want to book a job. I just want to, I want to be on there. I think to myself. Oh, if I, if I do enough work in, you know, and I’m in the business, then I can start to affect and change the business.

And that was a little bit more of a naive thought of myself back in the day. But. There’s that still holds some weight, you know? I view it more now as from a producing and writing and directing standpoint from the position of being able to make actual decisions in [00:19:00] a higher up position. where I know a lot of things can change as well.

So that’s something that I really gear myself towards. I know this is like a long, long ass word salad of an answer for you. So somewhere there’s an answer in here. but I think. I do give credit where credit is due, I work. Like I see the effort or if I get cast in something and let’s say that it was a Korean role and the producers and writers will come back to me afterwards and they’ll say, Hey, so, you know, we loved you for the part.

We want to change this. So it fits authentically to you. So we’re going to change it to a Japanese character or Chinese character. So that’s, that’s great. When I see that it doesn’t happen all the time. but I’ve seen it more often now that. You know, five years ago. So again, you know, it’s, it’s transitions are they’re slow and steady, but it’s, it’s up to us to, to continue to drive that as much as we can to

Masami Moriya: Well, I think when someone, a rider comes to say like, oh, we’re going to change the character for the role, because it would tacit you. I think that’s the way to go. If it doesn’t have to be historically correct [00:20:00] or culturally correct to fit the store and you can change the story for the characters to make them that way.

Chris Naoki Lee: 100%.

Masami Moriya: The long stories. And so, but going off here, you know, talking about your mixed heritage of Japanese and Chinese ancestry, let’s talk about that a little more. How does that, playing into your career in life, do you feel, you know, I’m sure there’s not a lot of roles for nix Chinese Japanese

Chris Naoki Lee: None of that. Isn’t that a lot? a lot. I mean, there’s, I’ve only met like a handful of us out there. as a, as a shout out to my half Japanese, half Chinese people out there yet, it’s funny because whenever I tell people that they’re all often surprised, cause it’s like, again, Chinese, Japanese, we’re not the most, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re not the most friendly towards one another.

so shout out to my mom and dad for putting aside their differences and unifying, you know, Yeah, I, I think I certainly and, and identify a little bit more towards my Japanese side only because that was the common language in our house. My father is Chinese, but he spoke Japanese. So he, him and [00:21:00] my mother would always be speaking in Japanese.

I went to Japanese school every Saturday. God, I hated going to Japanese school every Saturday. it so much, but. Oh, my gosh. I love my mother and my father so much for forcing me to do it because now I can speak it and I’m super, super grateful for it. so, you know, they, they did, they knew it, they, they did the right?


so, so terms of identification, yeah, I definitely, because I can speak it. I’ve gone to Japan often. I have a lot of family out there. I there’s a little bit more of a, kind of connection there. I’ve already kind of wanting to dive deeper into my Chinese heritage. I visited my relatives in Singtel, years ago and you know, every so often I’m trying to learn Mandarin as much as I can, not an easy language to learn.

but you know, doing my best on that front. I think just in terms of where I kind of stand on on both of those, those heritages, I would say, yeah, like Japanese is always a little bit closer to me and I’m also a huge fan of anemia. you know, [00:22:00] that, shit is always, you know, I love a lot of things that is Japanese culture as well.

but again, at the same time, Not only do I want to be more connected to my Chinese side, but I also understand where the businesses right now. Right. And how much entertainment is kind of flowing through China as well. what is that going to look like in 10, 15 years? Is it, is this smart of me to get more connected to that, to learn the language a little bit more, to then be able to potentially better communicate to be cast or whatever it is, you know, would that be the smart move?

And I think that it would be so, definitely. Putting the onus on myself to, to kind of get to that side of myself as Well,

Masami Moriya: And dude prompts to you. I never went to Japanese school. I mean, the Nippon Gawker is,

Chris Naoki Lee: Did you, did you, did you try, did your mom, do they ever force it to you

Masami Moriya: you know, so I’m mixed, I’m mixed Japanese American. Okay. And so I grew up in white suburbs, I’m fifth generation. So we’re

Chris Naoki Lee: Oh, okay.

Masami Moriya: very, American and it was beaten out of us, out of the camps and [00:23:00] stuff. So, that makes a huge difference. But now I wish I did that. You know, learning different languages is a huge thing, especially with your part of the career is like being on camera, having those languages, having those dialects, really important.

So it’s really cool. by the way, for immigration in that generation, like what generations, that’s two different sides, two different countries, you know, what was there.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. I mean, my, yeah, my mother was born in Osaka. My father was born in Hong Kong. My father then went to an international school in Tokyo called St. Mary’s and that’s where he learned Japanese in English. then they both met in Lewis and Clark, which is a small college in Portland, Oregon, which by the way, I just visited this past year.

All my. Beautiful. who lives in Portland. I was like, that is a beautiful, beautiful campus. It’s like, you’re driving into a forest. It’s it’s awesome. but yeah, that’s, that’s where they had met and yeah, like I. It’s funny. We don’t talk a lot about kind of like the, sort of the, the heritage side of upbringing specifically.

Like we do talk [00:24:00] about, you know, like growing and, and different things of just, from a parent to a child kind of, the communication and stuff like that. But Yeah, it’s like, they. kind of, they came to America under that pretense of like, you know, wanting to create an American dream for their kids.

So between my sister and myself, like having the opportunities that we had, you know, they, they sat what, what, all the things that they had to sacrifice for me to go off and be like, I want to be an actor. Like I want to go tell stories. Right. And, and, and honestly, Gosh, I don’t think them enough when I think about this because I didn’t get the biggest, biggest pushback when I wanted to do this for the first time when I was like 12 years old, 11. They were like, Okay. Yeah. Let’s, let’s give it a shot. Let’s go look for an agent and let’s go see if you see if you’re any good, you know? and in funny enough, I, I booked like my very first commercial audition that I went on, so they’re like, oh, okay. so, you know, props to them for being able to be believers on that front now.

Nah, [00:25:00] I don’t want to. Completely put them in, put them in the spotlight and be like, they were so great about it. They absolutely, you know, question the, the moments in my life when I was in my twenties being like, so are you sure you want to do this? Like you, you could, if, if you want it, that’s fine, but are you sure?

so, you know, they did it in their own kind of way, but, but again, they never, they never let me feel like this was a wrong. Which to me is important, especially as, especially as an Asian American in this country, right? Like in, in sort of how, know, a little more stereotypically, how some, you know, Asian immigrating parents kind of treat their kids and what they want for them.

You know, whether it’s like a doctor, lawyer, or any of those kinds of big. jobs, whatever, working in tech. but at the same time, they were always supportive and I give them a lot of credit.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, it’s big. You need that, that parent parental support. I think that’s helps a lot just to feel comfortable feeling like, okay, I’m not having to disappoint somebody. and then it could [00:26:00] just feel like I can be myself from my parents.

Chris Naoki Lee: right, right. Although I’m going to, I don’t want, I don’t, I don’t want to throw him under the bus on his own, but it’s like, but you know, it’s Always funny when, when, they still, they still ask those kind of pointed questions work because they don’t know the business. Like you book us, you book something, they’ll be, oh, nice.

So how many lines does it. Oh, so, you know, it’s, it’s those little things of like, how big is your character, right? Like, all right, yo, yo, we got a job. We booked a job. Let’s let’s like, let’s, let’s, let’s kind of like, you know, you know, like, let’s, let’s be happy with what we got here and let’s take it from there.

but you know, at the same time, I appreciate that mentality because in some ways of consciously, it probably pushes me right. To be like more, get me, like let’s do more.

Masami Moriya: Always well speaking and jumping off of that. Well, you have dinner party, which is your, your directorial feature

Chris Naoki Lee: Directorial. That’s correct. That is correct? Yup.

Masami Moriya: That’s huge that you’re not only making jobs for yourself and making jobs for other

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Hell yeah. [00:27:00]

Masami Moriya: that’s pretty big. well please share, share your, with the audience that logline or a simple synopsis about what the story.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. A logline super simple. If you met your childhood friends today, would you still fuck with them? Super simple. the, the breakdown a little bit more, the view more tab is, these five, five high school friends get back together at 10 years after high school for a reunion dinner. And they bring all their significant others with them they realize that they’ve changed just as much as the lens of racism and sexism and classes and have all kind of changed throughout those years.

But not only. There is this Brett Kavanaugh style court case. That’s happening in the background where a white prominent doctor is being accused of sexual harassment from a colleague many, many years ago. And we find out in the final act, the verdict of that, but not only that, we also happen to find out that one of our friends guy, friends did something [00:28:00] inappropriate to one of our female friends.

Who’s at the party, back in high school. And so all of that basically comes to, you know, kind of comes to a boil in the film. And the idea really is, is that, how do you deal with something when you can watch it on TV and you can sympathize and you can talk about it and you can have divisive arguments and conversations about it versus it’s in your tribe.

It’s in your group of friends. what do you do about it? so it’s a little heavy, obviously, but at the same time it was something that, it was subject matters that really resonate with me. it was a story.

that I really wanted to tell, but not only that knew that I could tell this story. very, very contained kind of a way it didn’t need a huge budget, but I just needed great actors.

I just needed, know, the right location. I needed a great crew and just the right team around it. and I knew I could do it sort of in this really consolidated form. Yeah. because again, just making A movie in this town, again, this business is [00:29:00] fucking hard. Like, this is just, and I say, if you’re doing it, if you’re trying to do it the right way, right.

If you’re trying to go through the right channels, the unions, all that. Right. Cause you just have to, you have to be aware of all of that. it’s just, it’s not easy. So just to be able to, you know, hang my hat on this and be like, Hey, we done it. We completed it. I’m incredibly proud of all the people that were in.

Masami Moriya: A hundred percent, man. Yeah. And I was very fortunate to watch it this morning. I was just so involved with it and I was

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah, yeah,

Masami Moriya: I feel in the best way possible, I feel so uncomfortable being in this dinner party. It’s I feel like I’m going to have that dinner party one day and like, this is not going to feel great, but I’m gonna remember it, but it was so fantastic.

well done. All the actors are great. The star, which is so very engaged with it. So, what was it like producing, writing, directing, and acting in your own film? It’s a lot of hats to wear, but you know, it was so well put together. You know, isn’t a huge undertaking. I have a lot of friends on the podcast.

Masami Moriya: Who’ve done the same similar things, but what was your experience?[00:30:00]

Chris Naoki Lee: Stressful. very stressful. I, I don’t recommend it for anybody who just like, unless you love to prepare and have everything, kind of the, all the things under the rocks are taken care of. Everything’s looked after all the I’s are dotted and T’s across, you know, like you just got to do a lot of preparation on that front.

but I, again, Couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even be close to doing it if wasn’t the people that were involved, you know? And like you said, right, the great actors, they were, were just all top-notch. They all came in with their a game. I had to trust a lot of things to the actors, but I also trust, you know, my camera department, my writing partner, my producing partners to trust a lot of them because I was also in front of that camera too.

Chris Naoki Lee: So in moments I couldn’t,we shot, I don’t know. I don’t know if you’ve mentioned this, but we shot the film in four days. Okay. That’s like, yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, That’s just for reference for anyone that’s out there who may not know, like kind of a, how many pages do you might shoot a day for like a, a TV show or a movie, like, like a regular Marvel film.

You might shoot maybe [00:31:00] one to three pages a day, like on a TV show, you might shoot, you know, four to 5, 6, 7 pages a day, maybe. 24 pages in a day, is wild. It’s wild. man. Hey, that face your bacon right there. That was, that was, that was me. Like every

day I say, Oh man, here we go. But adrenaline carries you through.

Adrenaline carries you through. but Yeah. so because. You know,see everything, I couldn’t, double check certain things. And there was so much trust that I had to give to the camera people as well. so, you know, once I got to the editing room, I was so excited because I got to see many different little nuggets of things that I didn’t even anticipate having.

And I got to use that. Right. So that was a really fun part about it too. And, and, you know, in all honesty it’s, it was tiring. I took a very, very, very long nap afterwards, and I, I think I had, I had definitely had some kind of a panic attack right beforehand, but, know, it’s, it’s, it’s a kudos to the people cause it takes a village.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, [00:32:00] well, the chat on tape and all the people who are in the cruise, how did you find your crew? where did, how big was your crew in marriage?

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah, no, a lot of it was references. I knew some people already, so we brought certain people on. They knew other people, they brought them on. so that was always really, really great. Just from a referential standpoint. we also wanted to make sure something that we really wanted to try for and we achieved it.

We basically had 50% across the board. Between cast and crew that were BiPAP or female. so it just from that standpoint, we were able to at least have a form of diversity from behind the camera in front of the camera. and that was something that was, you know, just, just something that I was bit more specific towards when we were trying to hire and bring, bringing the right kind of crew.

Right. and, and again, yeah, it’s like, they’re, they’re all, they’re all down to play the game. Like they, you know, they, again, indie filmmaking too. It’s just a little bit different obviously from, you know, a big, a big budget filmmaking sort, right. Where it’s, everyone’s in it a little bit in it together.

Everyone is rolling up the [00:33:00] sleeves a little bit more making sacrifices. So, know, if they didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have this film. So like they, came in and they brought it and, and I’m glad that we had. The right people to kind of reach out to, and it really just, you know, I’m sure you know this too from, from your own experience or from talking with other people, like it always happens to come together in the last moment.

And that’s kind of what it’s kind of what happened. Like I, I, I think we got like our like assistant our ACS, like a few days before we started principal, like, it was, was hectic. It was hectic like, organizing table reads, organizing production meetings and all of that. But, you know, in the end. Eh, what you saw is what you saw.

Masami Moriya: Yeah.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yup.

Masami Moriya: Well, congrats on that. w when did you riding with a partner? So this was covert and with the union part, right. what was that process like and how did you, you know, work together on that? And, yeah, I have more questions about that.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah, no Daniel Weaver Hughes. He was a great, we actually, we met initially in an [00:34:00] acting class a little while ago and there was this, we were working on another project actually before this, it was, it was another feature film that we wrote together. So we were kind of always in communication with one another it was November, 2018.

When I, I was like, I was at my partner’s house and just, I just remember it just like hit me like lightning. And I was like, There’s this story that I kind of want to tell, and I think we can do it realistically on a, on a pretty low budget, but with some great people, because if we know great actors who might resonate with this, so I called Daniel, the first person I called and I let him know and he was pumped.

He was amped. so we just, again, we just got to cook in and it took us a. I’d say a few months to get like a draft going you know, pulling in different stories from our own experiences. A lot of this too, lot of the story is kind of delved from my own kind of upbringing, as well as growing up in Calabasas, growing up in that was very predominantly white or white passing along amongst my. [00:35:00] So, know, a lot of these characters that you’re seeing are actually just amalgamations of all of my childhood friends, who I am, by the way, very, very good friends with all of them still like all, like all my boys are in LA, like on the west side, we’re all like, we all hang out. So it’s really great. And I got to show it to them just a few weeks ago as well.

And everyone’s like, so who’s who is, who am I? This is that.

game. but, but Yeah.

so it was, was cool too. bring in those personal stories and tie that in together. one little fun nugget of information that I always love to share is when Daniel and I, when we first did our table read over our very first draft, we brought in about half the actors that were already cast that you saw in the film.

But, about another half that. And we just were reading it and I told everyone, I was like, Hey, look, I would love it. You’re going to stay for about 15 minutes, maybe an hour just to read through this. But I would love it if maybe for like the next 15 minutes, right after just to get your raw thoughts, just to kind of get what’s what’s, you know, hot takes.

Right. [00:36:00] And no joke. We finished the table reading about 45, 50 minutes and for the next two and a half hours. We just talked amongst, you know, amongst the men and the women. And it was so many different stories. And so many life changes that we made to the film was because of that conversation. this is, I guess, a bit of a spoiler alert as well for anyone that is listening to this.

So if you haven’t seen the film yet, just, maybe stop listening for a second here. for like, for like two minutes,

Masami Moriya: w w when you, when you’re printing it out,

Chris Naoki Lee: gets a really good question. Well, technically, technically we don’t have that date yet because we have, we’re going to SCAD in, in a few weeks to Savannah then we have another festival in Portland after that, like we’re going, I think quarter four is when we’re kind of finishing up our festivals.

So again, from there, then we go through distribution meetings that we will love to have. and then just kind of going from there. So. Specific date yet. So, so I’ll be as vague as

I possibly can. Yeah.

How would it be? be super fucking vague then. All [00:37:00] right. but basically, there was one scene that was, and it’s a pivotal scene and it’s towards the end of the. And it’s basically the explanation is what it is, right. The explanation is the best way that I can put it. that wasn’t initially in the first draft. But then when we were talking and all the women were like, oh, we need to know, like, we got to know like what it is, you know, like this, the thing that had happened, right. Again, it’s too straight writers like male writers. We’re just kind of, we want it to be more ambiguous because look, the imagination can kind of take it away. Right. The imagination can tell us like, like what it was or what it wasn’t. But. Every single woman was like, no, we need to know. And that’s that right?

There was like, oh, that’s, that’s the authenticity that we got to have. So we, we put that in there and so same kind of thing when we were even filming it. and even during rehearsal processes, like I would tell all the actors like, Hey, look, these are the words, these are, this is the baseline. This is the structure, right.

By [00:38:00] all means, if this doesn’t feel authentic to you, whether it’s in the way that you’re saying it, whether it’s in sort of the subject matter and how it’s being approached. I want you to talk to me and tell me, like, what it is that, how would you want to do this? How would you want to word this? Because I want to give you that kind of agency.

Because again, it is me as a, as a straight Asian male writer, as Daniel, as a straight male white writer. we understand that we have to do the proper due diligence to make sure that these stories and these voices feel real.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, I think that’s, not giving up the power, but that’s sharing the power and the agency to do something. And so it sounded like you did that for your actors. you know, I’m sure as an actor, you feel very seen and heard when you’re given that power as well from other places, is that often to happen often to you or is that usually not.

that’s a really good question. It depends on the production itself. It depends on the directors. I’ve had, I worked on her. I remember I worked on a production. and I remember the director was [00:39:00] so, I, I love shutting her out, Lily Medea. she was such a sweet, sweet director and a truly an actress director because she’s an actor as well.

Chris Naoki Lee: she would just. In a way, workshop it while we’re rehearsing it on like on the day in production. And it’s usually that usually doesn’t happen. It’s like, alright, what are the choices do at blocking? All right, great crew, come in and watch this and light it let’s go. But you know, she wanted to be like, okay, so what are you thinking here?

Cause I can kind of see it this way or that way. And I’m like, oh, that is to an actor as a years. Right. To like kind of just play around with things. so it really it’s dependent on. The people that can, that leadership position. I wouldn’t say that it’s few and far between, but I wouldn’t say that it happens all the time.

think it’s just, it just kind of happens, you know, sporadically. but again, yeah. It’s whether it’s like, Hey, we’re going to change this rule. So it authentically represents you or, you know, we’re going to rehearse the scene and just tell me what you’re thinking. Like little, all those little things to me are, is like falls under the umbrella of [00:40:00] experience.

And that’s what I, that’s what I like to try to take away with me. whenever I work on any of my Own sets, because again, it’s, it’s my eyes. It’s a vision. Sure. I got an idea of it, the idea doesn’t make sense if it’s only mindful. You know?

Masami Moriya: Own perspective to your movie is a lot of different perspectives. So having your own other people who are of those ethnicities and genders and all that to have, you know, have those voices, I think that’s a really thing it’s, owns it the right way to direct, but just definitely a good way to connect with people and your crew and your cast, to make a great story and, and let your production people, and everybody knows like you are a part of us as a team.

I think it’s really.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah.

Masami Moriya: what was that? going back to the writing, how did you work with your partner and yourself on these controversial topics? Not only, you know, they’re, they’re touchy to hit and I think you did them really well. I feel like [00:41:00] this is my family. I was like, ah, yeah.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah.

but yeah, right.

Masami Moriya: But. But to have both sides of this conversation, on both topics is, you know, you have to split your mind a little bit and kind of think away. And I thought it was very authentic to feel like that’s definitely what that kind of person would say. And so how did you pull that out of yourself and, and you and Daniel?

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah.

A lot of just conversations, just talking back and forth, a lot of just drafts back and forth. you know, I’ll write something and send it his way. And if, know, we, we just, we talk it out, we talk through it, right. And that will be the scene. trial and error, trial and error failing a lot of, a lot of failing.

I’ll put it that way. Right. because that was really something that, we, we took, took stock of, which is because there’s so many different perspectives and there’s so many different voices. The idea was that, look, we, these people aren’t black and white, their perspectives are not black and white. It’s often we live in a state of gray and that’s just very much how the real world works.

that was something that I [00:42:00] really wanted to kind of implement as much as we could through trial and error through those tables. and really again, it’s it’s man, there’s, there’s just so many different elements of that story. Like so many characters that I relate to, like, you can look at Cal and think, oh, well Chris played Cal.

And so probably Chris relates to Cal the most, there’s parts of him that I, I kind of understand the part of him that I feel personally a little bit more saddened about when I was younger, because I was just naive and ignorant is just complicitness not know. What you were in not supposed to speak up for at that time.

I think Reno, obviously right now with, with gen Z ears, there’s a lot more that’s coming out where it’s like, they’re more sort of proud and unafraid to say what they want to say. And I think that’s fucking awesome. I think that’s so great. You know, especially 10, 15 years ago, especially as an Asian American, different ballgame at that time.

just because, you know, assimilating like assimilating was such a big part of our [00:43:00] game. not rocking the boat was a big part of our game. so I think that those, those elements are very true to Cal, at the same time, you know, I look at, at, at miles, his point of view and some of his very controversial points of view, in some avenues in some ways, is he. is he the wrong right? Or is it irredeemably wrong? Right. And that was a thin line that we were trying to also cross as well. so again, cause we wanted to make it so that he was someone that you can still in a small faction of a way, be like. I I kind of get what you mean, you know, and I think that’s the really important thing.

Was that a film like this, just hopefully being heavy handed, without it, you know, like us sort of slapping a message on you being like, Hey, the hopeful part is that, will it encourage dialogue? Will it encourage you at the end of the film to maybe take a look for a second and talk to some other people or to have a conversation with yourself of where do you fall in line when it comes to. [00:44:00] progress of human evolution, ultimately from a social standpoint. Right. that’s, that’s all that I would hope to kind of have in a story like this, you know? Hey, I’m wishing it was that, that, that, that acid for me, like I get, I get

that, I get that, that bourbon, and that happens to be too, you know, I’m with you, dude.

I’m with

Masami Moriya: that’s on the mic too.

Chris Naoki Lee: They got it. Everyone got a nice, nice here on that one. Yeah. but, but no, yeah, yeah. Like that that’s, that was the thing for me. Through trial and error. it was definitely a process. We, we, we definitely currently had a lot of conversations. We had a lot of conversations with my co-producer Imani.

Who’s also my partner who also plays. And, you know, just from her point of view as well, cause we wanted other producers and other kind of in that leadership position again, inject as many things as possible, like points of view that are possible. and poke holes, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s the job at the end of the day.

It’s like, it’s not, I in no way, am I saying that this film is like [00:45:00] perfect in any way? I think, you know, for, for the, what we had and for the time that we were able to do it in, I’m incredibly happy with it.

Masami Moriya: well, I think what you said about it being not black and white, it’s very gray and it’s very, you know, the irredeemably and redeemable status of it. It was just, I don’t know. I felt that there was so much to these characters. That there was no right or wrong way. I mean, there’s definitely a big point of view, but the way you, your characters are very written, it was very.

Like, Hmm. Didn’t expect that didn’t expect that way and to go this way, I’m like, okay. And I thought it was really, like, I hope that more conversations happen like this, because people are very afraid, too, very afraid and very scared to go into these conversations. It’s very. It’s conflicting. It’s not helpful.

You feel like you just add bad space and getting paraded, but at the same time, if you have a real conversation and you can deepen that relationship between people and hopefully that you can have that [00:46:00] back. Yeah.

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. And that’s. Yeah, that’s also why the setting itself was a dinner party because like this have happened in my life, in these kinds of intimate situations, right. it’s like you just, you know, everybody there or you only know a small collective number of people there, but once these conversations start to go.

It’s almost like you’re off to the races. Cause you just, you can’t stop at that point because then you want to hit not every topic, but know, whatever’s relevant or whatever’s relevant to that group. and so that’s something that I think that I really wanted to make sure when it came to sort of a dinner party scenario, that was.

the feeling that, you know, Daniel and I wanted to kind of let come across.

Masami Moriya: Yeah. Now, well done. as we start to go, like one last question about dinner party, how has your knowledge of different crafts over the years editing? And especially I come from that, I went backwards from post production all the way

Chris Naoki Lee: Oh, no way Oh,

Masami Moriya: to, writing. So I actually started when you said lightsabers is my first thing into.

[00:47:00] Was doing lightsabers and after

Chris Naoki Lee: Oh shit. Yeah. Hell yeah. I don’t, exactly those videos. That’s so

good. I know exactly what that is. Yeah. yeah,

Masami Moriya: Ryan versus dark man and all that stuff was always a lot of fun. but then I went back into that, but I also realized how much that editing, worked into like my writing. Like they scenes not gonna matter. All right, it’s going to cut it anyways.

So, you know, you’ve done so much in, all the filmmaking business and our hadn’t having all that, transpire into this, into this project. Do you feel like you were very prepared because of those projects that you had done and was there something that you took immediate? Like, Ooh, I definitely learned that and brought into that, that, into this project.

Chris Naoki Lee: definitely. No. Yeah, Like the stuff that I. Kind of trickled into the process of filming dinner party. I’m one of those people where it’s like, if I know we got it, no need don’t need to get. Like no need, you know, I know I know what we’re going to use, in this situation, because often I was in front of the camera, I wouldn’t know.

Right. So I had to sort of, again, put a lot of trust into the camera department, my aid, my [00:48:00] producers, and, and the fun part about it. And I joke about this often, there’s like that, that saying right where it’s, there’s the movie that you write, the movie that you direct and then there’s the movie that you edit and all three of them are.

Can be very different. And they sort of were real, like really the movie that was edited. There were, as I mentioned earlier on this, it’s like, there were little things that I didn’t know we got I thought, oh my gosh, this is a great reaction shot. I’m going to insert this right here. and it’s a film that really requires.

A lot of cutting, right? Because you need to see a lot of different reactions and what other people are thinking, you know, playing with those zooms and stuff like that, to highlight certain moments. there’s a, you know, this, there is a musicality when it comes to editing, right? It’s a, it’s something that.

I almost feel like you can’t really teach it. Like you, you just feel a cut. You just feel it when it’s the right sort of time to move away from something. Right. the director’s job is to tell you what to look at, but the editor’s job is to tell you when, to [00:49:00] when and not to look at it. Right? So, so a lot of ways just being able to be both.

Really really helpful. it’s the tough part is, is it may, because I’m, sometimes I’m a control freak, you know, sometimes being a very, very loose word here. you know, once it gets past, like once it goes beyond that, then I’m like, oh, okay, well, what else, how else can I help? Like what, what else do you need me to, you know, do, do you need me to kind of watch through this process?

You want me to supervise this? but in the end again, you just have to give. Give enough sort of a leeway for the people that are creative, that are around you to that vision to life and still trust it. so, so for the things that I was able to kind of like hone in, on from the acting, the writing, the directing editing, I was able to kind of keep it contained.

and then from there, just to as much as I can to, again, just trust the process and to just trust that like vision will come with all these great collaborators involved.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, we need those people in,having collaborators. You can’t do everything yourself,

Chris Naoki Lee: You [00:50:00] can’t you can’t, you just fucked

Masami Moriya: You can,

Chris Naoki Lee: you can’t. Yeah,

Masami Moriya: you can do it. It’s not going to be as fun. It’s not like it’s going to be a lot of work and you’re gonna exhaust yourself and to work with collaborators. and so when we talked about this very briefly, when’s the next screening you soon at SCAD, which is,

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah.

Masami Moriya: I can’t ever find

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Yeah. scan a Savannah. Yeah. Savannah, Georgia. Yeah. So SCAD Savannah film festival. that’s where, Imani and RV and flown out on the 26th, I believe. and I believe our, premier date there in Savannah is the 28th on a Thursday. I believe you can still go on their website and purchase tickets for in-person.

They also are offering virtual tickets as well. but we are doing like kind of a live Q and a after the film. so again, if anyone is in that Savannah area, love to love to see you.

Masami Moriya: Cool. I don’t know when this podcast is going to drop. Totally. But if we drop it early, you know, I’ll try to make it arrest states.

Chris Naoki Lee: nice. Yeah,

yeah, yeah.

Masami Moriya: all we’ll do like a, you know, we’ll do a clip on Instagram, like [00:51:00] a

Chris Naoki Lee: Oh for sure. Nice,

but this has been super great. So, for our closing questions, what advice do you have for emerging filmmakers, writers, directors, producers, and, or actors, you know, you’re in all these positions.

Masami Moriya: So, you know, what’s, what’s your either a general device. yeah. What do you, what do you want to tell people?

there’s, I’m sure there’s always those that just say, Hey, just do it right. Just get out there and do it. That, that is true. That is really, really true. but there’ve been, there’s kind of like, like four words recently that I’ve been really living by just like, kind of like a mantra for myself that I kind of try to implement it just in my work.

Chris Naoki Lee: And first one is balanced. And the balance is really important because, you know, to, to not shift too hard one way or the other back to that original thing in the podcast, right. Where it’s like, you know, whether it’s your ego or whatever it is, like, what are you willing to sacrifice your ego or your energy.

And, and you have to find that balance for yourself because that’s what kind of keeps things a little bit more, even for you. so the very least, it still is [00:52:00] helping you produce your best. then the second word is trust. And I’ve talked plenty a bit about that, but again, just trusting yourself, trusting that what you are doing is enough trusting that you’re going to get there.

the third one is accountability. That’s huge because you can’t have trust. You can’t have balance. If you’re not being accountable to yourself, you, you can shout out at the world as much as you want and try to quote unquote, manifest all the things you want to do. But if you’re just sitting on your ass and saying, They will happen.

Chris Naoki Lee: know, you have to be the driver in the seat, you have to create your own luck. and by creating your own luck, you have to be accountable to that too. you know, if it’s on you, it’s on you just own up to it, learn from it, move forward. and then the last thing is,spoken from the, iconic Ted lasso.

Now who stated that it was from Walt woodwind, but I checked on Snopes and this is actually not an accurate quote from Walt Whitman. So just fun fact about that, they say the line, be curious, not judging. And that’s [00:53:00] something that I think, especially when I was in my twenties, you’re really just looking to your left and looking to your right and seeing what other people?

are doing and comparing yourself.

And that’s like in there, you’re judging that you’re judging yourself for like, why are, why am I not in this position? Like, not dude, we’re all heading towards the same place. We’re just in different cars. We’re all going in different speeds, but we’re still going to get there. if you can at least try to be curious and try to maintain sort of an openness to things that.

You won’t be you, you, you don’t, you’re not inviting that negative kind of judgmental energy. again just stops you. It makes you less accountable. It makes you less trusting. It makes you less balanced. so it all kind of encapsulates those, those three words.

Masami Moriya: Great words of advice. I’m going to have to write those down and take them.

Chris Naoki Lee: take it to the bank, man. Hey, I gotta re I got it written up in my whiteboard, in my living room, just like, just so I always see it. but Yeah, no, it’s, it’s, it’s important. I feel like we’re, and, and I, I don’t want to discount any, any of those advice that, was just say, [00:54:00] go out and do, because that’s also really important.

Don’t just sit around if you’ve got something and you’re sitting on a great idea. Oh boy. Just get out there. Yeah.

Masami Moriya: Yeah, I like that, man. Well, Chris, thank you so much for taking some time to be on podcast. Just opening up about your show and, are you to your, your movie and, and what your experiences in the industry. There’s a lot to learn from this and thank

Chris Naoki Lee: sure. Thank you, man. I was, I was excited to come on here, so I appreciate the time, man.

Masami Moriya: Very cool. I’m where can people find you on your socials

Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah. Or you can find me at Chris now. Ky Lee Instagram and Twitter. I don’t have tick-tock talk. I apologize to all my younger fans out there. but, yeah. That’s where y’all can find me.

Masami Moriya: Fabulous. All right, Chris. Thank you so much for your

Chris Naoki Lee: Thanks Thanks man. Have a good one.

Masami Moriya: You too.


Chris Naoki Lee: Yeah.


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