Interview with Lianne Lin
Lianne Lin is one to watch. Host of Next Media Animations website and youtube channels. She introduces humorous CGI-animated coverage of recent news stories. The studio became well-known beyond its Chinese-language audience in 2010, when it covered the revelations of Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs and the JetBlue flight attendant incident, and participated in an online video “feud” with Conan O’Brien.
Beautiful, charismatic and well-spoken, Lianne was born in Northern California to a Taiwanese mother and Chinese-American father. Lianne studied art at San Jose State and lived in Los Angeles acting and modeling, working as a freelance glamour and headshot photographer, Makeup Artist and Stylist. She moved to Taiwan in 2010. An excellent writer she maintains her blogs and enjoys video games, photoshop, and video editing.
Lianne, it is a pleasure to meet you. When you were studying art at San Jose State was your initial intention to be an artist? What did you study there?
I got a degree in Pictorial Art from SJSU, which is drawing and painting. I always loved art but at that point wasn’t sure what to specialize in. After college I ended up going to beauty school, which was a good decision because it’s easy to find a job as a stylist and make decent money. Also, being a part time stylist gave me the flexibility to take more classes and pursue other interests.
While in the US you did many different jobs. What did you enjoy doing the most?
At one point in LA I was working in a salon and also being a part time actor/model. I thought that was a fun and interesting period in my life. After working on set I’d always have a story to tell to clients at the salon.
What made you move to Taiwan in 2010?
I felt like something was missing in my life, I was bored and really wanted to learn Chinese and “go back to the roots.” I love Taiwan so much, more than words can describe! The people are so considerate, the food is great and there’s always something fun to do.
How did you adjust and what were some of the differences that may have taken a little getting used to?
Well, I started out with very little Chinese, so that was a definite hardship. My mother speaks Chinese, but my father doesn’t, so we always spoke English at home. There have been many frustrating times where I just could not communicate, or people would laugh at my broken Chinese. I’ve been studying, so my Chinese is a lot better now but I can expect to always have an American accent!
So Next Media Animation takes videos and news reports and animates to them in amusing ways. How did you get involved with the company?
I heard about the audition for the host position from a friend. I submitted photos and a resume, and had to prepare a lengthy audition. It was pretty stressful, but luckily I was accepted!
Can you tell us a little about the role you play with Next Media Animation?
I’m a presenter for some of the web videos, and often write the scripts for the pieces I’m in, which includes writing directions for the animators. I film the video footage of myself and edit it together with the animation once it comes back from the animation team.
You seem very comfortable in front of the camera. Is this something you learned from experience or do you think you are naturally composed?
I am actually a pretty reserved person, so it took a while to get comfortable in front of the camera. The experience in LA helped a lot as far as looking “camera-ready” and knowing how to be more natural in front of the camera. But still, my recent videos are a lot better than the ones from when I first started at NMA! I think I’m a pretty good judge of figuring out what I need to work on and I continually try to improve.
You also have a great sense of humor and do not seem afraid of making fun of yourself as evident in your youtube channels “Sexy welcome” video. What videos can people hope to see there?
In my “heylianne” YouTube channel I will be making silly and fun videos about Taiwan, Chinese language, and telling stores about what it’s like to be an ABC (American-Born Chinese) living in Asia.
What do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I hope to still be making videos! There’s something really special about being able to express yourself and have the means to build your own audience of people who like what you do and feel they can relate to you in some way.
Where can we go to find out more about you and your work?