Interview with CELIA AU | Spreading Joy and Positivity
We all have a rainbow of emotions within ourselves that generally speaking can scale from feeling sad to feeling good. Those emotions can be triggered by what we observe in our physical reality or activating a memory, thought or belief by giving it attention. Being aware of this can empower us to redirect our attention to aspects of our life that make us feel better. Under those conditions, we will recognize this power not only in us but also in every human being. We start to see the well-being and abundance of opportunities in everyone and in everything affecting how we perceive and navigate through our existence. The best way to uplift others is by living our own example of happiness. The way we feel within ourselves will reflect on the outer world and come back to us as our own creation.
Actress Celia Au who can be seen as Ying Ying on Netflix’s series Wu Assassins says: “I always believe in spreading joy and positivity. Whatever energy we put out there is going to have a ripple effect so keep positive!”
In the following interview, you will discover Celia’s path towards her passion for acting and storytelling and her desire to positively impact humanity.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Celia Au?
Hey, what’s up! I’m Celia Au, a New Yorker who is trying to spread positivity and trying to do so while having fun at the same time.
- You were raised in New York City, spending a lot of time in your parents’ video rental store. Did being surrounded by films inspire you to embark on a career in the entertainment industry?
Not at all. It was interesting because I never thought of having a career in the entertainment industry, because I was always told to find a career that I would like in the legal, medical, technology or finance field. So, I was in a specialized Junior High for Law and Business and on a track studying law in HS and in my junior year, I switched to advertising and marketing. It was not until college where I discovered acting.
- What is the best part of working in the entertainment industry?
The best part is that we get paid to play pretend! Also, I think that we have so much power being in the media because we can use it in a way to impact and inspire people by telling stories.
- On Netflix’s Wu Assassins, which premiered to stream in August, you play Ying Ying, a spirit who guides the young chef Kai Jin in his journey to become a Wu Assassin and fight against an evil force called the Triad. What is your process of becoming Ying Ying and what characteristics of her resonate most with you?
Ying Ying trains Kai to fight the Wu Warlords that had possessed the power of the Wu Xin (5 elements). It just so happened that the ones who possessed its powers are in the triad and gangs. My process of becoming Ying Ying is that I studied films of how the master is usually portrayed from old Hong Kong Kung Fu films to Yoda in Star Wars. They are all mostly an older, serious male figure and with that, I add my own personality and quirkiness to Ying Ying. I think I am like Ying Ying in a way that I am usually pretty silly and easy going. But once I am on a mission to get my work done, I’ll get really serious until it is complete.
- Because Ying Ying is a mythical creature, she does not interact with most of the cast. In which way the unique nature of your character made you grow as an actress?
This is a great question! I felt that I learned a lot in being more grounded because I was playing an older character and Ying Ying is also the voice that introduces the audiences into the supernatural world.
- Ying Ying abandons Kai when he makes a decision, she does not agree with but returns to him as a human girl in the season finale with a warning that the Wu Assassins are still needed. How would you like these characters to reconnecting in future seasons?
I would love to see Ying Ying interact with the other characters and maybe this time she can train and join the rest of them to fight.
- How will Ying Ying evolve now that she is in the human world?
Ying Ying needs to learn how to act in the modern world and learn how to work new technology like a smartphone. There’s a lot for her to catch up on in the human world.
- On AMC’s series Lodge 49, season two of which premiered on August 12, you play Alice Ba, a surfer girl who works in her parent’s donut shop. What is your favorite part of playing Alice?
I love the relationship Alice has with Papa Ba and how she sees the best in people.
- You star in the indie drama In A New York Minute as Nina Wong, a young woman who works as an escort to support herself. How have you tapped into Nina’s journey to find herself in the film?
I think a lot has to do with our director Mandy Li and my co-star Roger Yeh. Mandy gave me some films to watch as research and I’ve also pulled from the experiences my friends had growing up in NY feeling alone living under someone else’s home. Also, Roger and I got together to rehearse and did some character work in building our relationship.
- The three main characters of In A New York Minute – Nina, Angel, and Amy – converge around a pregnancy test. How do their separate lives parallel and contrast each other?
If you look at these three characters, they are of a different age range and part of a different class system. But they are all facing a similar dilemma in life trying to look for their love and freedom. I hope the audience can watch the film and see that in this world we might all live a different lifestyle, but we all share the common struggles in life and maybe we are not so different after all.
- Outside of acting, you have an interest in graphic design. How do your different forms of creative expression embrace each other?
I for one love to photoshop my face into different characters it’s like dressing up in a costume. I feel that it is all the same but in a different medium. I studied advertising so the print is very intriguing because a picture is worth a thousand words and you can tell a story with just one still image.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
I donate to the following Charity: Water because I believe everyone needs clean water, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (Kids are our future), Animal Health and Wellness and the Stonewall Initiative.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
I always believe in spreading joy and positivity. Whatever energy we put out there is going to have a ripple effect so keep positive! So I try to remind myself during times when I am sad that if you get knocked down just get right back up on your feet. I allow myself to be upset for a little bit, but I’ll remind myself to get up and move on (smiling).
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
Don’t give up until you try! Of course, within safety and reason.