Love Yourself

As I am getting older, I reflector on my past. All I can say to my old self. I wish I have learned to love myself sooner. Self-loving is so important physical and mental. I was always loving and caring for others more than myself. I go out my way making others feel special. That I couldn’t do for myself. To the point, I delay my personal plan and career. Just keep those around me happy and at peace. Myself disappoint and sad, that I am not where or what I should. 

I have goals and I plan to meet them. This path is not easy to walk, but I will find my way. That is just life. It’s not easy, it not bubble gum, rainbow. It’s up and down with surprise. Good and bad. So dream hard, work hard, play hard cause it’s going be hard. That life. Do what makes you happy. Life too short, so stop wasting your time and love yourself.

Thank you, to my beauty team and photographer. You all were great at helping me get these pictures taken before the rain came. It’s Florida, it rains when it feels like it. This was an adventurous day for this photo shoot. Again thanks for everything, I couldn’t do it without you.    

Photographer: Charles Sutton  Designer: Mckynline Drummond   Make-Up Artist: Hillary Warren & Brad Shiers  Hair Colorist: Carlos Ramirez  Nail Tech: NgocAnh Nguyen  Hair Stylist: Sierra Siroky


Recently, I have taken part in a segment on the INTAKE Talk Show. Where I share the experience of my culture and western life, how it has affected me mentally. How I’m finding peace. “The talk show that takes mental health to another level by enlightening the world on societal and cultural norms and stigmas that affect the human psyche. The show addresses issues that most media outlets find taboo to discuss with real people experiencing real issues. Coming…”

With the ladies, I was completely an open book. My culture is a very high risk of suicidal. Getting mental help is very unspoken. The culture, itself is not big on talking about their feels. By not talking about feeling the relationships with the family is a blur or like co-worker then family. For example, you talk to your father and tell him you made A on the test. His reply is “ok” and nothing more. What most are looking for is the response, “Awesome! You study hard too. I’m so proud of you;” with a hug.

This practice of no emotions has been around for thousands of years. It’s not something can change overnight, still today these practices are continuing. Time has a change, the culture is not keeping up with the time. As things across the world are becoming western. There is a major cultural crash is happening.

Personal opinion, I want to say the Asian American has it the worst. Myself experience is a mental issue of living a double life. I drive myself crazy every day in this life. There are just so many voices telling me how, what, when, why run my life. Between the culture, the family, the community, I am left with very little room to speak. I am rebelling and I will continue the fight for my voice and others. That is just too scare say anything. Cause if there thousands committing suicide. I am not alone, that need help.

Filmmaker Bio

Mai Nguyen (MY NWIN) is mostly known for be producer within the community. She is a jack of all trades from producing, camera, lighting, to editing. Some her favorite things to do for productions is location scouting and floor layout for camera/lighting. She believes great communication with her crew and cast. When she is present or not on set, the crew/cast are clear in their position and job.

She enjoys every part of film pre-production, production and post-production. Her works are very diverse in culture and genre, from British, French, Spanish, Jamaican, Vietnamese, and else. To live events (wedding/ runway), horror, sci-fi, romance, comedy, drama, and else.

New York Fashion Week, maybe one the biggest highlight event for Mai. She met a lot great models and designers of fashion. Being present this event she ran into few A list celebrity. For being in charge interview the celebrity and designer after runway show. Like Rebecca Taylor show case of her collection. After interviewing Rebecca, she had opportunity meet Miss J.Alexander who gave honest and sweet opinion on Rebecca’s collection.

Mai feel she learn so much from every productions, this industry she feel you will never stop learning. As
technologies continue changing the possibility what filmmaker can do is unlimited. She hopes bring
WIFT her energy, show other this industry is more just putting a camera in front an actor. It’s planning,
scheduling, budgeting, marketing, and working your craft. Anyone can tell a story, but how to capture
the story is another. To creative you need great crew and cast, from there. Possibility. Unlimited.

Mama Ann’s Cooking

Growing up in a very diverse community, I have tasted and tried so many different foods. My family is Vietnamese and French, but the cuisine on daily is Vietnamese. Then Spanish spices were introduced into the family by marriage. We live in Florida USA, so add some southern styles and islands spices from friends. Mealtime at my place is truly a cultural experience.


When I was little, Sunday Supper was a big thing. Everyone would cook a dish and gather at my Mama’s house. She was the cook of the family, and she cooks with her emotions. You can tell when she is happy or sad just by eating her food, like the movie “Like Water for Chocolate.” So we tried to keep her happy. She is known for her Pho, Banh Xeo, Mi Quang Nam Vang, Bun Rieu, and Korean BBQ.

Sunday Supper is not the same anymore. We’re forgetting that family time is important because everyone is so busy with their lives. Culture and traditions are just slowly fading away. Anyone can buy dinner, but the best meals are the ones you make with your family.

I do my best to keep traditions going. We keep Sunday Supper alive at my house. It’s not all about cooking, it’s spending time with my Mama and catching up on gossip. Every time we cook, we both learn something new about the ingredients or a story behind the dish.

My Mama does most of the storytelling. She tells stories of when she was a little girl on the farm or the times she learned to cook something. We talk about how hard things were when she was young, and how having meat in a dish was rare. She can remember the days when she went hungry as a child, and she’s thankful to have plenty to eat now. She always says the most important ingredient in cooking is love.

Mai Mediterranean

Every year family and friends look forward for my birthday party. I choose different theme every year, this year was Mediterranean. The venue was at Mandaloun Mediterranean Cuisine, the restaurant is family owned. The food were great, their lentil soup is the best I ever taste. I just want take the pot home with me.

To top of the evening, belly dancer: Brielle Behira perform. She mix traditional dance with hip hop, very creative of her. I can watch her perform all day. Vision art is breath taken. How she move with the beats of the music and the color choices of outfits, bring it all together.

My birthday is like reunion/networking from business owner, actor, writer, director, comedian and so much more. It is just melting pot of people from all directs, of different background and culture. I love having diversity, group of family and friends. They keep me having open mind about everything and everyone.

Overall, it was great seeing everyone again. We get so busy in our life before you know it, a year passed by. Time move faster, then we can imagine. On the morning of my birthday, I like going see the sunrise. To think and reflect on what I’m done up to this point in life. Where I’m at, where I need be, where I should be this coming year. I set myself goals short and long, to get to my final goal.

Then I need keep surround myself with people who support me, people who keep thing raw, people with mindset of moving forward. Positive energy is hard to find. Having true friendship and loyalty, is gold now days. Find your gold and keep it close to your heart.

Miami Spring Break

Where else better to be? Then Miami, itself for spring break. Miami is very diverse with mostly islander, like Jamaican, Haitian, Puerto Rican, and Cuban. The food from all the culture can keep you happy and full. Everywhere you go there fresh fruit of some kind, along with sugarcane. The beautiful weather of Miami, top everything off. The sun on your skin, the breeze your through your hair. The ocean smell draws you to South Beach. Where everything and everyone are sexy one way or another. South Beach, you mean Sexy Beach.

The point of being in Miami was to help, a friend who is basically family to me. With their baby who was modeling for clothes product. I had fun with the little girl, but she was so sleepy from the car ride over to location for shooting. This is where sleeping baby model came to the table. She is a beautiful baby; I look forward working with her more.  Before you know it, she is going be in Vogue or Fashion. One day. Soon.

When in Miami, I am always with my girl my cousin Negesti. I love her. We have the best of time together, as always. We be dipping and doing it. From party to bars to clubs, then IHOP. The moments we made and will be making. Good time. For this trip, I really needed to see Negesti again. I needed an escape from reality and relax. We had girls talk. Truthfully, I haven’t had lucks in a relationship.  Negesti remind me, find a gentleman. The right guy will come. Always I am a lady, every man crosses my path need understand that. Don’t give end cause temptation. Anyone can be sexual, but who really there for me. Every lady has a gentleman by her side.  Every gentleman has a lady by his side. The half and half, together that will be a whole one day. Until my gentleman come knocking on my door. I’m just enjoying life to the fullest. Life is too short.

Women in Film & Television

“Women in Film & Television – Florida (WIFT-FL) is charged with building positive images of media-makers (both women and men), empowering them to achieve their highest professional/creative potential, and helping more job opportunities throughout the State of Florida.” Personally, I have attended a few of the Jacksonville, Florida WIFT meetings. The networking opportunities are amazing, because you’re meeting people with the same passion who understand your vision.

It’s also a great place to meet new people in the field, from producers to actors, prop makers, make-up artists and more. There’s always information being distributed, which helps everyone out in field. It’s a true support system that pushes you forward. I look forward to seeing where the city Jacksonville takes this organization of professionals.

As a member, I like to show my support wherever I can. I feel it is very important in this industry to be part of this network of support. We need to look out for each other so that we can rise together. Teamwork is key because it’s no fun when you reach your goals, it’s no fun if you don’t have anyone share it with. So come one, come all. We can do this!

California Wedding

I was invited to California, and I couldn’t say no.

California is the epitome of beach life. I was there shooting a wedding and it turned into a vacation. Business and sight-seeing never felt so good.

I was invited to a same-sex wedding and it was so special; the blushing brides were as beautiful as a California sunset. The venue was at golf club, and the landscapes were breath-taking. It was a small affair, but there was so much love in the air.  I’m proud to say that I was a part of their special moment.

After the wedding, I met with several West Coast filmmakers, and photographers and from them I learned about a dramatic difference in expectations as opposed to clients on the East Coast. The folks in California don’t question the value of video and pictures because they want quality, and they know that quality is worth the price. I learned very quickly that clients on the West coast had a completely different attitude toward negotiating prices.

California prices are sky high, the cost of living there is insane! Many of the roads have no lights, and I sometimes felt like I was driving on a deserted road. Everything looked so beautiful, but it pays to drive extra carefully with so many hills and mountains!

The natural landscapes there were beautiful just like the people. Santa Monica was definitely my favorite place to visit. It had a “Baywatch” sort of feel to it. The sand, the ocean, and all the sexy bodies walking around made me drool like a puppy with a new toy.

Being a filmmaker in Los Angeles was an awesome feeling; it was great seeing the Hollywood sign, the walk of fame, and Beverly Hills. I felt proud of myself for saying yes to this trip, and I won’t regret it.  It was truly an amazing experience.  Hollywood is know for the lights, the cameras, the action, and the fame but I don’t really care about the fame at all. I don’t like the spotlight. It doesn’t matter to me, but I’ll ease into for the sake of business. I hated social media once, but I’ve learned to make it my own. One day, I’ll deal with fame on my own terms too – if you want to hang with the big dogs, you gotta do what they do.

The Rose Order Production

This production was an adventure from beginning to end.

I had more than 70 plus cast and crew members and we worked out of 10 main locations including the University of North Florida, and Clay Country Historic Jail. I was happy to notice that all locations showed us great support.  I’m so honored that we received the Official Selection at the 2016 Amarcord Arthouse Television and Video Festival, Official Selection at the 2017 Philly TV Festival and Official Selection at the 2017 Audience Awards!

When this script was given to me by director/writer Tami-Lee. I told her, I would be there from beginning to the end. It was different, the main cast was predominantly female, it was action, and it was Jamaican. This was something you haven’t seen on the big screen.

On the set, people were everywhere! We had such a large cast, and scheduling everyone was a pain in the butt. Our locations were great, but we had a limited time to be there.  My cast members would often disappear and I’d hunt them down like a dog sometimes. When I arrived at the warehouse location, the Fire Department was already there. It scared the crap out of me, I thought my precious warehouse was on fire, but they were just there training new people. Later, they decided to hang out on set for the day and watch us shoot. That was interesting!

When it comes to the stories behind the scenes, I can go on and on. At the end of the day, all the productions are like that.  My job as a producer is to keep everything together. Where things were out of whack, I’d pop it back into place. I enjoyed my time working on The Rose Order- one of the biggest production I’ve ever worked on. The team was great, and I couldn’t have done it without them. Now, The Rose Order is the great piece of art.

Cirque du Mors

I’ll call this production my miracle baby: we had to focus very hard on the art direction for this one. Most of it was shot on green screen, it had a circus theme, all the effects were done in post, and all of the characters spoke French. We used the Red Epic camera, and the visuals were stunning! During the Cinema World Fest Awards 2016, the production won 7 awards: Award of Excellence First Time Filmmaker, choreography, cinematography, costuming, special FX & makeup, lighting, and set design.

I had nothing to do with this production when it first started, but the director/writer Taylor Walsh come to me with concerns a month before the shoot. The first producer wasn’t communicating with him, and he didn’t know what was going on with his own project. Within 5 weeks, I locked down the cast and crew, and we found actors who were willing to speak French in a short period of time. Once everything was set, the production was on schedule.

On the first day of shooting, we were busy setting up lights, cameras, and props. Everything seemed too big for the green screen, and then the stylist came to me with doubts that the wardrobe wasn’t coming. The stylist felt like the designer sent her on a wild goose chase, and perhaps she was right- we had five minutes before the shoot time and there were no costumes. We were freaking out.

Finally, I decided to tell the stylist what I always say in times of uncertainty and hopelessness- “We’ll be fine”- and then I went to work. She had all the cast sizes, so I sent everyone on a lunch break, and the stylist and I were off to an find the nearest mall and costume store.

When we got to the costume store, everyone there helped. In less than 15 minutes, we had our outfit for the main character. A maid outfit, white string, scissors and hot glue gun turned into wardrobe magic. We made that outfit in less than an hour and no one knew it. We were so proud of our wonderfully rushed design. There was so much craziness on the first day: the cast, wardrobe, and visual effects, but this production came out great. There were a lot of heart dropping moments, but we worked through them. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s almost always true for production.