Episode 2: The Importance of Hustling. From movie extra to actor and producer with Brian Yang

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Brian is an actor and producer. He played Charlie Fong on the CBS hit TV show Hawaii 5-0. Co producer for “Linsanity” the documentary of Jeremy Lin’s rise to NBA fame which was a Sundance Films Official Selection Winner in 2013. Brian is a co-founder of 408 films. 

Brian talks about the hustle of being a producer. It’s not all glamorous, but he is doing incredible things and having a great time in his career as producer and actor. 

Doing work for NBA China as a field producer recently at NBA all star weekend.

Born in Ohio, raised in Cupertino, CA, went to UC Berkeley,

Talks about time at UC Berkeley and not feeling the calling there. Took a dramatic arts class in UC Berkeley and everything changed and fell in love with acting. 

During college year played extra on movie“The Joy Luck Club” which opened doors of going into film production and acting. 

2008 economic downturn, got laid off to go all in on film, acting and producing. 

2011 started producing “Linsanity” and also around that time got cast in Hawaii 5-0

Focusing on producing now while still acting. Brian has a passion for sports documentaries and producing multiple projects

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Asian immigrant parents
  • wishes of parents vs. our own calling
  • Asian males in film industry

What you will learn from this episode:

  • following your calling
  • book smart vs. other types of smart
  • Briefest encounters with things we love and people in industry you want can make huge impact
  • Sacrificing and hustling to get into film industry, interning, 2 hour train ride to get to audition
  • Importance of hustling in the entrepreneurial journey
  • How to get over rejection and resilience in business
  • Investing in company vs. investing in you as a person
  • How to go all in on your dreams
  • Creative control as a producer 
  • How to match passions with work and projects
  • How to get past limitations (being an Asian male actor in Hollywood)
  • How to leave safety to move towards business dreams using calculated risks
  • Business opportunities in the new economy

Brian Yang's body of work:

"Linsanity" The Movie

Britney Griner: Lifesize 9 for IX Shorts

"Z Dream" Starring Sung Kang


Brian Yang Social Media:

Brian Yang Facebook Page

Twitter: @briflys

Brian Yang Twitter


Instagram: @briflys

Brian Yang Instagram

Brian Yang IMDB


Other Resources mentioned:

Master of None starring Aziz Ansari

Godfrey Gao

Evan Jackson Leong (Director of Linsanity)

upcoming projects:


GDS (Taiwanese basketball team)



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