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Chasing Her Passion for Performance | Sunmin Oh’s Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre Story

From the time she was a very young child in Seoul, South Korea, Sunmin Oh has always had a flair for the creative and dramatic arts.

 

“I have always been passionate about storytelling, regardless of whether I knew it or not,” said the 25-year-old Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre valedictorian, who immigrated to Vancouver at age five.

 

 

“There has always been some spiritual belonging I had with expressing a story through taking videos or photos of friends, writing, doodling or even people watching.”

 

But it wasn’t until after finishing her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a certificate in Multimedia Journalism that Oh discovered Toronto Film School and allowed herself to chase her true dream of becoming an actor.

 

 

“With no ‘career’ to lose, I told myself that life is too short so, I’m going to apply, audition and if I don’t get it, it’s the final answer to the very intense itch I have always had for performance,” she said.

 

“And, two years, one pandemic, countless world events, many long nights on set, thousands of lines, and finally, two valedictorian elections later, I proved to myself that I belong on this wonderful island of misfits.”

 

 

Oh recently sat down to reflect on her time at Toronto Film School, her passion for performance, and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

I am 25 years old and born in Seoul, South Korea before immigrating to Victoria, B.C. when I was five. I have always been passionate about storytelling, regardless of whether I knew it or not. There has always been some spiritual belonging I had with expressing a story through taking videos or photos of friends, writing, doodling or even people watching. I also enjoy making very mood-specific playlists, watching YouTube video essays on philosophy and film analysis, and I have a bad habit of saving cool recipes without ever actually cooking them and leaving too many tabs open on my laptop.

 

What brought you to Toronto Film School? Where were you in life when you decided to continue your studies with us?

 

I really liked that Toronto Film School offers a diverse acting program where all aspects of filmmaking is taught. While acting is the focus, I was very interested in directing, writing, and producing from the start, and TFS offered opportunities to learn further about these components of storytelling.

 

 

What made you decide to pursue your passion for acting?

 

I was in a (common) weird place of being a recent university graduate with so many options, but not enough experience to be hired. As a Sociology graduate, I was taught how to think, how to reflect, how to relate my existence to the all the other lives and systems around me; so, I wanted to be a journalist or go into advertising and media, but these were later discoveries when it was too late to gather a proper resume for either one. I was applying to any jobs remotely close to one of the two and taking classes and certificate programs, but there was nothing. It felt like a chore to force myself into an idealistic, safe, office-built career path where I was deeply interested in, but not passionate about. With no ‘career’ to lose, I told myself that life is too short so, I’m going to apply, audition and if I don’t get it, it’s the final answer on the very intense itch I have always had for performance. And, two years, one pandemic, countless world events, many long nights on set, thousands of lines, and finally, two valedictorian elections later, I proved to myself that I belong on this wonderful island of misfits.

 

What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at TFS?

 

I learned to trust myself and immerse myself into the moment, instead of anticipating or planning the future. The present is quite beautiful if you look at it straight on.

 

 

What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long term?

 

I plan on continuing to hone-in on my writing and other performance skills and talents. There is a project I have started to develop in the early stages, so that will be a focus of mine for the near future. Other than that, I want to try to be on as many sets as possible and continue gaining experience in acting, writing, and directing.

 

If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?

 

No one owes you anything, and you don’t owe anyone anything. Your story is yours to tell and live. What you give to your studies, your experience, your career is what you will get out of it. Talent alone isn’t enough; passion and talent are only viable with how you take the reins of your life as an artist.