Women in the Entertainment Industry: Zhangqiyu (Ada) Zhang
We are asking women in the entertainment industry around the world some key questions about their life and career. Here is Zhangqiyu(Ada) Zhang based in New York City, US, but she is originally from Beijing, China.
1. In which part of the industry do you work?
I work on the technical/administrative side of theatre industry, such as stage manager, company manager, production manager and producer. As someone who shares the cultural backgrounds of both the east and the west, most of my work lies in the communications between these two worlds.
2. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women in the entertainment industry? How have they inspired you?
Yes. I’m always inspired by the seniors or the peers who I have been mentored or worked with. Their professionalism, passion, firmness and tenacity, have inspired and encouraged me to always stay strong while doing my work. Their brilliance has stimulated me to keep reaching up high and achieving the impossibles.
3. What would you tell young women who are just starting out? What would you like them to know?
Sadly this world won’t be more tolerant to you if you are younger and newer than the others. No matter if you are a recent graduate or someone who has worked for decades, once you are in the battlefield, you are all the same soldiers. However, as someone who are just starting out, you have more time and opportunities to try new things, make mistakes, think over and learn from them. Be confident about yourself, be brave to take risks and be prepared to take the consequences, even though sometimes they are painful. People learn more from their failures, and what didn’t beat you up makes you stronger.
4. What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Be brave, be yourself, don’t easily give up.
5. Please share one of your toughest challenges in your career. How did you overcome?
The toughest challenge in my job is to connect people from completely different cultural backgrounds. People naturally tend to react negatively to things they are unfamiliar with, so it’s very hard to switch their perspectives and bring them to a point they can resonant with each other. However, theatre is an art of collaboration, to which extent my work to bring people together emotionally is a must.Building the bridge involves an enormous amount of time, patience and willingness to listen, talk and the persistence of making communication happen. To me personally, the ability to successfully bring people together takes a great amount of courage to take risks and expose my vulnerability. It is extremely painful to expose the soft part of you in front of the world to conquer the toughness and get hurt, but that is the price I need to pay to achieve this impossible. I really can’t say that I’ve completely overcome this challenge, but I’m keep making the effort.
6. What is your favorite musical or play?
The Band’s Visit.
7. What is your morning routine?
When I’m on the road, it’s always busy and I don’t have too much time to enjoy my morning. I get up, have breakfast in the hotel and then probably off to work. When I’m not on tour, I’m more in leisure. I make breakfast for myself (usually avocado toast with coffee or oatmeal with coffee), read/listen to the news or watch interesting things I found online, then work out in the gym.
8. Drink of Choice?
Coffee and sparkling water. If the work is intense, I may have hot chocolate or milk tea.
9. What is a phrase you are known for saying?
Hold please! (the most important words for stage managers you know)
10. What advice would you give to other women in the industry?
We all know how hard it is to work in this world, so let’s acknowledge and support each other!
Other Women in the Entertainment Industry:
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