Having arrived from South Korea ten years ago, Soh Myoung Lee has settled into the entertainment industry and found a place for both her love of digital media and her faith in God.
By Anne Su with Philana Ho
I came to know Soh Myoung Lee through my friends at the Pan Pacific Film Festival (PPFF), a Christian film festival dedicated to recognizing Christian-themed films and to globally spread the Christian faith through media.
Soh, PPFF’s Associate Director and motion graphic designer, is in charge of making trailers and putting together graphics to publicize PPFF. Amidst the busy week before PPFF, Soh took time out of her regular job and PPFF work for an interview. See more of Soh’s work here.
After arriving in the states ten years ago from South Korea, Soh went to high school in the San Fernando Valley and later attended the Otis College of Art and Design. There she majored in digital media, which broadly includes broadcasting, motion graphics, filmmaking, etc. When she graduated, she had only one year to look for a job, due to her status as an international student.
For the firm that hired her, it was the first time the company had ever hired someone of international status. After Soh worked there for two years, the president of the company told her he could no longer sponsor her.
“After those two years was the hardest time of my lifetime,” Soh says. To add to her job loss and the lack of money in her bank account, Soh accidentally broke her ankle. However, she persevered, even going to an interview at her second (and current) company on crutches. She got the job. However, two years later the firm had to cut down its employment due to the downturn in the economy.
When each employee was called into the president’s office for a round of “interviews” to help decide which employees to cut, Soh bravely articulated the absence of fear because of her faith and revealed how she had been praying to God consistently for the company’s well-being.
“Literally, my boss was crying on me,” Soh recounts. “And she was hugging me.”
Soh didn’t lose her job amid the ongoing wave of job cuts.
Recalling her childhood, Soh always had a passion for drawing and painting.
“I wanted to always become a cartoonist, or a painter, or some kind of artist, or more specifically illustrator,” she says. “But God has led me to digital media.”
Soh’s faith led her to work at her current company, an entertainment marketing firm, where the majority of her coworkers are Jewish-Americans or Caucasians.
“I’m really proud of being Korean and Asian. I’m proud that I’m one of only [a] few in our company too,” Soh says. “I believe in God in sending me to my company as a mission field, not just to make money, but because He wants me to show my life, not just my work, in spreading the gospel. Like being a good example. Not like obviously going to them and saying, ‘I’m a Christian, so I’m a nice person.’ Not doing that, but just showing how God is really great and [how] He made my life really full with light.”
Soh has even started a Bible study with one of her colleagues. They not only discuss their faith but also pray together for their company and its success.
In addition to Soh’s full-time job, she currently plays a big role in PPFF. In working with PPFF, Soh shares God’s vision for her, saying, “We have such diverse ethnicities here, so many other types of cultures. I think He wants me to be more globalized than being stuck in Korea.”
When I ask if she is planning to stay in the U.S., Soh confirms that Hollywood is where she belongs, where she continues to devote herself to God through digital media.