Self-described "media entrepreneur" Nicki Sun hosted our blowout tenth anniversary party last weekend! Learn more about the evening's mistress of ceremonies.
You're involved in a lot of different media. What challenges and opportunities does that present?
I've always considered myself a sponge who just wants to absorb EVERYTHING. I started my path in the media field after realizing I wanted to blend non-profit and entertainment together. As a musician (piano, guitar, violin, singing) and musical theatre actress myself, I’ve always had this passion to involve the arts with whatever I do. And then when I started working in non-profits--most notably with the Asian American Donor Program and The Sold Project--and witnessed many successful benefit concerts, I realized that I wanted to embark on this journey of providing media with a positive message, no matter what the medium.
My biggest challenge in working with radio, internet, social media, TV, print, and so forth, is also my biggest opportunity. Although working within several mediums doesn’t allow me to be focally categorized, it allows me to connect with a multitude of communities. And at the end of the day, I just want to get the word out.
Given your involvement in a broad range of roles and mediums, what would you describe yourself as first and foremost?
You could call me a ‘media entrepreneur.’ I think those two words would best describe the hustle mentality, vulnerability, and the way I am constantly learning and searching for a medium that hasn’t been invented yet.
How do you think your Asian American identity has shaped your career?
To be honest, my Asian American identity found me. Until college, I never had to identify myself as anything other than being me. I grew up in an Americanized household where my involvement with entertainment and leadership has always been supported. It wasn’t until my first year in college that I realized that race and ethnicity meant a lot more not only to other people, but to me as well. When my community hurt, I began to hurt as well. However, with every ignorant experience witnessed, I have tried to turn it into an educational opportunity. Ultimately, being Asian American has given me additional motivation to break the stereotypes that are placed among Asians—and Asian women in particular—in addition to always striving to be a positive representation of our community.
Who are your main influences?
My parents have been my biggest influence. They’ve supported me since day one, pushed me to do things I definitely thank them for now, and have protected my heart and soul like any parents with an only daughter would. They are my biggest role models and they definitely lead by example.
Professionally, my community is my biggest influence. And I’m not just talking about the Asian American community, but the many communities I am a part of—female, independent, second generation of students fighting for change, and so forth.
What do you feel is the most important issue facing Asian Americans today?
Bringing everything into a full circle. I wanted to pursue a path in infotainment media because I wanted to get our youth interested in causes and issues affecting our community. So amongst all other issues, the one issue that started my journey was the need for more involvement from our community itself.
Since it's Hyphen's 10th year celebrating, please humor us by telling our readers why you decided to come support us!
It has been an honor to even be considered to host your monumental event. Besides writing Hyphen’s cover story on the Far East Movement, I’m proud of the work Hyphen has done within multiple communities, and I’m just excited to help kick off an event celebrating your wonderful 10 years.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!