Ten and I have spent a lot of quality time in the car on this road trip. He’s shared some of his fascinating experiences with me and has offered great insight. I asked Ten if he would answer a few interview questions for the blog and he readily agreed! Hope you enjoy getting to know him a little bit better…

Debby: Let’s start with the obvious: What is your full name? And how did you come by the nickname “Ten”?

Ten: My full name is Taentam Yangsirisuk, a mouthful I know. My nickname ever since I was small had always been Taen but when we left Thailand, my parents discovered that people who were not Thai had trouble pronouncing “ae”. They therefore drop the “a” and nicknamed me Ten. I was only three when this happened and so I didn’t have a problem with it and ever since then, I’ve introduced myself as Ten.

How did you get wrangled into this road trip?

You can blame Debby for wrangling me into this road trip. She is quite the cowgirl/wrangler and is very handy with a rope, lasso, whatever is around. And if that doesn’t do it, her personality and charm will definitely wrangle you in.

I kid of course, I have wanted to pursue a career in film production for a couple years now and knew that my paths would one day take me to L.A. It was only a couple months ago that a group of recent Wheaton graduates, myself included, decided to partner up and try to break into the film industry together. We had worked together on a film our senior year of college (The link to the film is: bit.ly/kirafilm) and all had a strong passion for the film industry. One of these people is, of course, the talented actress, super friendly, and blogger extraordinaire, Debby Bouzeos. From there it was a short step to deciding to road trip together. We both like adventure, we both like to be spontaneous, and we both love to explore… and the rest like they say, is history.

What have been some highlights for you on this journey?

There have been many highlights on this journey. How could there not be on such  great adventure. Seven different states in ten days. From the plains of the mid-west, to the mountains of Colorado, to the desert of Arizona, to the beaches of California… highlights seemed to be around every corner. I’m sure you faithful blog readers know exactly where we’ve been and what adventures we have had: Dinosaur museums, golfing in 110 degrees, chimney rock, camping, red rocks, garden of the gods, castles, sand dunes, cliff dwellings, grand canyon, watching the stars dance in the sky… how can one pick? Of course all these places are amazing and jaw dropping spectacular, but the highlight for me on this trip isn’t the adventures we had but the people, or person in this case, I shared these adventures with. So to Debby, thank you!

You’ve experienced a lot this past week. How is America noticeably different from other places that you have lived? (Culturally, visually, historically, etc.)

America is so diverse. I remember telling Debby that my image of America was the mid-west, but in reality, America is so much bigger than that. As we drove west, I began to appreciate the beauty of this nation and Debby was more than happy to tell me about the nation’s wonderful history, something which I was not too familiar with having grown up in Europe. Following the Oregon Trail, visiting museums, talking to various different people, all these things led me to deeper appreciate this great nation.

Why did you want to move to Los Angeles in particular?

Los Angeles has always attracted me because for the past many decades it has always been the home of motion picture. Like I said above, a couple years ago, I started to develop a strong passion for film making and storytelling through the medium of film. I have always been a storyteller my entire life, but not until recently did I discover that my preferred medium to tell such story is film. For a while, I wanted to be a writer/author and thought that was the best way to tell my stories, however, while I still enjoy writing, film has allowed me to become a much better storyteller. With all that in mind, it is not surprising that I wanted to be involved in the industry, and where’s the best place to be involved… Los Angeles. I know the competition will be much tougher in Los Angeles, but with bigger risks come bigger reward. It may be a word from the Lord that our graduation speaker, the Reverend Canon Andrew White, said these words, “Do not take care, take risks”. And so I’ll be in L.A. taking risks and chasing my dreams.

You’re a long way from home, now. Will you miss your family? Tell us a little bit about them.

Home is a very loose word for me. I’ve had seven homes, and will be moving to a new home. For me home is not a place, but people, and therefore I have many homes. My family and friends, the people I care about, are spread far and wide across the globe. But I’ll have a home in L.A. too, with people I care and love.

I will definitely miss my family though. They have been such a blessing to me. Both my parents have given me the blessing to experience and witness a multitude of cultures, they have both raised me and educated me to become the person I am today. For that, there are no words of gratitude. I also have one younger brother, Asa. He will be going into the eighth grade this fall and will have all his teenage years to look forward too. He’s a talented kid who is very mature for his age and will do great things I’m sure. That is my immediate family and while being so far from them does make me miss them, I know that I’ll find people in Los Angeles who will become family and friends.

Any final thoughts?

Final thoughts… At Mesa Verde, a park ranger said these words: “He who tells stories, rules the world…” I remember Debby and I looking at each other and sharing a smile. We were both storytellers and it was what we wanted to do. Tell stories, not rule the world, just to clarify. Debby and I do not have a plan of taking over the world, not yet at least =) But the more I think about that saying, the more I begin to realize how important stories are to the essence of humanity. Are we not after all in God’s grand story? As I head into this new chapter, I hope to never lose sight that the greatest story is not my story, but the Story of the Creator and that I should be content with whatever role the Author has for me. Pray for our group, the six of us who are wanting to break into the film industry, that we may be storytellers who contribute to His story.

A final word to those who have been keeping up with our road trip to Hollywood. Thank you so much for being so faithful and for holding us in your prayers. I know I can speak for Debby when I say that it has been a joy writing and sharing our experiences with you. Tonight, we rest, tomorrow… we’ll drive around the corner and seek the next adventure.

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