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Exclusive Interview: Nikki SooHoo, Actress and World Traveler on Internal Growth, Some of Her Most Memorable Journeys, and Her Dedication to Empower Women


Exclusive Interview: Nikki SooHoo, Actress and World Traveler on Internal Growth, Some of Her Most Memorable Journeys, and Her Dedication to Empower Women

Jasmine Edwards

 Photo: Nikki SooHoo

Photo: Nikki SooHoo

Nikki SooHoo, originally from Southern California, is an actress, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and dancer. As a world traveler, her trips have taken her to places as far as Europe, Brazil, China, India, Japan, and New Zealand. During her undergraduate journey, Nikki attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in dance. She has built a successful career in Hollywood - best known for her roles in films such as “Stick It,” “Bring It On: Fight to the Finish,” co-starring Christina Milian, and “The Lovely Bones,” directed by Peter Jackson (best known for directing, writing, and producing “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy).

Check out the interview I conducted with Nikki to find out how her travels have taught her the importance of living in the moment, and that “happiness is a choice”; why Japan is coined her most memorable destination; the difficult and transformational experience she had while on a medical missions’ trip in India; what has strengthened her internally; the reason behind starting the “Woman World Changers” series with her best friend, Rachel Brooke Smith, and how she intends to empower women through these messages; and exciting projects she’s working on to include shooting “HEATHERS,” a new TV show for Paramount Network.

Exclusive Interview: Nikki SooHoo, Actress and World Traveler on Internal Growth, Some of Her Most Memorable Journeys, and Her Dedication to Empower Women


Jasmine: Hi, Nikki, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You are an entertainer, entrepreneur, mentor, motivational speaker, coach, and world traveler. Your family exhibits a pillar of love, and you draw strength from the support they provide in your life. Tell me some things I might not know about you.

 Phot: Nikk SooHoo

Phot: Nikk SooHoo

 Nikki: I don't drink! I'm slightly allergic to alcohol so I turn red and get a headache. They call it the “Asian Glow,” because like myself, a lot of Asian people lack the enzyme to break down alcohol so it goes straight to our bloodstream and I experience what I presume to be a hangover about 10 minuntes into drinking.

My favorite book right now is “You are a Badass,” by Jen Sincero. What she says in her book is basically what I'm trying to create conversations about in my NIGHTS WITH NIKKI FB live stream series that you can also find on YouTube.

[Also], I love dessert! Ice cream especially! I could eat ice cream after every meal. I know all the good ice cream places in town. Dessert is the key to my friendships, solving all problems and worries, and is the key to my heart!

Jasmine: There is something intriguing about becoming acquainted with a culture outside of one’s own. You are an avid traveler and have, in addition to the United States, explored places in Europe, Brazil, China, India, Japan, and New Zealand. Getting to know a culture through an intimate lens can only be experienced through being present and immersed among a native people and their land. What ideals and/or values have been enhanced or newly introduced to you on your travels?

 Photo: Nikki SooHoo

Photo: Nikki SooHoo

Nikki: What a great question. Traveling to places like India and Brazil really helped instill the notion that “happiness is a choice.” I saw so many people that emanated a true sense of happiness and positivity despite their lack in finances and material goods. We can choose how we perceive our world. We can decide if we want to see the positive in the situation or the negative. Material things are not the answer to finding happiness, but possibly community, relationships, and gratitude for what you do have.

Traveling to places like Europe, New Zealand, and Iceland reminded me how important it is to live in the moment and really enjoy my time on this earth. We only have so many days here, in this body, with these people: how do we want to spend our time? It helped me solidify my drive to continue doing what I love and not settle for something that was a safer option. It also reminded me to be present and appreciate the time I have with the people around me. My travels have taught me how important relationships are to me, and how much I love to understand who people are, why they do what they do, and see how I can bridge cultures together and find a place of acceptance and love for all. I find so much happiness and beauty in hearing people’s stories and seeing how everyone lives their lives. It’s definitely one of my favorite joys of life.

Jasmine: Mission trips are what they define themselves as: missions. You go to alleviate a specific pain, a wide-spread suffering. Tell me about your medical mission experience in India. What was the most difficult part about serving on that mission?

Nikki: Going to India was definitely a culture shock for me. [It] was the first time that I’d experienced true poverty from immersing myself into the culture rather than just experiencing the country from the outside as a tourist.

It wasn’t a trip where you take a nice air conditioned bus into a town, say "hi" to the people, and then get driven back to your 5-star hotel.

It really showed me my privilege and made me grateful for my living conditions in America. After my trip in India, I was just so excited to see a toilet seat and have sheets on my bed. It’s kind of crazy to think that that was the most difficult part of serving the mission, because to be honest, every village we went to were filled with smiling faces and warm welcoming people.

In many ways, I felt like they were helping us more than we were helping them.

Yes, we brought them medication that they didn’t have access to, but they showed us the power of community; what it meant to really be apart of something bigger than yourself - because that is what you need to count on to survive.

I witnessed acts of humanity as the villagers took care of one another and watched [other villager's] kids as if they were their own. And, even in a place where resources were scarce, not one village failed to offer us tea and invite us into their mud hut homes. The mission really helped me put my life into perspective.

Jasmine: How have your global travels and mission trips helped you to become a better woman, entertainer, coach, and motivational speaker?

Nikki: The common characteristic that actors/coaches/speakers all have is being good with people. Understanding human interactions and relationships is key to being successful in all these different roles. I think traveling is one of the best ways to not only learn from and understand people better, but it also helps us understand ourselves better. When you know yourself, what you stand for, why you do the things you do, and what your purpose is, you give off this sense of genuineness that creates trust with others. I think the best actors/coaches/speakers are ones that have experienced a lot, or at least have met people and listened and learned from many other’s experiences. It allows you to present different options and solutions to handling different situations. I love learning about the way people live, and why they do what they do. I think that getting outside your comfort zone and learning to deal with different situations and different people will make you a better person. You will become more empathetic, understanding and less judgemental, and will have gathered a plethora of solutions and options of actions to pull from when helping others.

Jasmine: What has, in your opinion, been the most memorable destination you have ever visited?

Nikki: Japan is my most memorable destination I’ve ever visited for many reasons. First, Japan was the first place I’ve ever flown to all by myself. Though my best friend was meeting me on the trip a few days later, I arrived into the country not knowing anyone, not knowing really where I was, and not speaking the language.

I felt like this trip was a stepping stone in my growth as an independent woman, bringing me a little closer to solidifying who I wanted to be in this world.

 Photo: Nikki SooHoo

Photo: Nikki SooHoo

Second, I describe my experience as “culture shock” in the best way possible. The quirks about the country and the people and the way things worked over there were fascinating to me. Here’s the words I’d use to describe Japan: clean, organized, super interesting, technologically advanced, fashionable, filled with culture and delicious food, fashion-forward, & of course cute. Getting off the plane and walking out to a street filled with pink Hello Kitty construction caution signs was a tell-tale sign I was going to love this country.

Third, I got to explore the country with my best friend. We made so many amazing memories in Japan. I think it’s the only country I’d be willing to return to before finishing my quest to go to every country (that I want to visit) at least once before I double back.

Jasmine: I want to change the subject a bit and talk about women empowerment. Tell me about the series you started with your best friend, Rachel Brooke Smith, that highlights women you believe are changing the world. You started the series off by highlighting actress and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie. Nikki, tell me about the inspiration behind this movement and what you hope to accomplish through it.

Nikki: We created Woman World Changers to celebrate women who are making a difference in the world. These are our role models, people that we look up to, whom we want to create a discussion around about how they’ve positively impacted society. We make these women icons relatable to all women out there who are also striving to make themselves better and help make the world better as well, by breaking down the simple actions and/or values our Women World Changers embody.

By creating a supportive community that celebrates women, we hope to initiate the growth of more empowered, motivated, and inspiring women in the community.

Jasmine: Nikki, if there was one word that could describe your journey thus far, what would it be?

Nikki: Exciting! I love all the surprises, adventures, and growth. I look forward to everyday and the journey that lies ahead of me. I'm super grateful for all that I have and everything I've experienced in my past. I think that looking at life through a lens of excitement is the best way to enjoy your experiences and be happy.

Jasmine: Are there any current or future projects you’d like to talk about?

Nikki: I am currently shooting a new TV show for Paramount Network called HEATHERS based on the movie from the 80s. You can also catch me on upcoming episodes of Casual on Hulu, Wet Hot American Summer on Netflix, Escape the Night Season 2 on YouTube RED, and as the voice of Princess Samira on Nick Jr.’s animated show Shimmer and Shine.

Jasmine: Where can you be found online/off-line?


Instagram/ Twitter/ FB/ Youtube: @nikkisoohoo

Jasmine: Thank you, Nikki!