Mike Moh grew up as a minority in a predominantly white suburb and recognized from an early age that he was different. But rather than fading into the background, Mike instead became the class clown and got involved in a wide range of community activities. However, it wasn’t until Mike began taking taekwondo classes at his local dojo that he began to fully understand what true passion feels like. Since then, martial arts has become the foundation of Mike’s life, and he has made it his mission to pass his passion along to others.
Mike’s martial arts training also helped him jumpstart his acting career, which he pursued in full force during his early 20s. Mike’s roles have ranged from working as a stuntman with Jackie Chan on the film “Robin-B-Hood” to small appearances in several commercials and TV shows to his most recent appearance as Bruce Lee in “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood.” Mike explains that acting has required a great degree of mental toughness since the rate of rejection is so high. Luckily, this is a skill that he has been cultivating for decades as part of his taekwondo training.
Join the Jo Bros on this week’s episode of Running Into the Fog for a conversation with Mike Moh about finding opportunities within every challenge. Learn about the successes and roadblocks Mike has faced as an Asian American in the movie industry, the joy he finds in being underestimated, and how he has managed to create a thriving martial arts school in the small town of Waunakee, WI against all odds.
• “So all we can do is respond, and respond with, you know, whether it’s a kick or punch, we’ve got to respond and counter. And that’s what we did. And, you know, there’s going to be more challenges in the future and knowing that we can navigate this one, which was a pretty tough one – we can handle it all.” (6:00-6:17)
• “I got a call from Jackie Chan’s people…. Then fast forward a month, I’m in Hong Kong on my first-ever movie set with Jackie Chan, one of the guys that I idolized.” (17:05-17:20)
• “I’m not a scholar in this area, but I know for a fact most people go throughout their entire life without knowing truly what they’re capable of…. If I had to go level 0 to 100 (100 being the absolute limit of what you can physically, mentally and emotionally take), I’d say most people live in this 40 to 60 range. And they think that the 60 is their 100 — but they have no idea.” (20:53-21:20)
• “As an actor, I’ve been turned down many, many times, whether it’s for Bruce Lee or for whatever else. And, I don’t know any other profession where a 2% success rate is a huge success. I don’t know any other industry. So, as an actor, mental and emotional strength is such a big thing.” (26:02-26:29)
Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/
Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/