Brenda Song is a woman of many talents — actress, model and now author!
The 21-year-old starlet wrote down her story of perseverance for “Chicken Soul For the Soul: Extraordinary Teens” along with musician Ryan Cabrera, tennis star Anna Kournikova, and professional surfer Timmy Reyes, among others.
Complete with specific advice and personal stories of determination, the self-help book highlights the success stories of accomplished young adults in the U.S. and Canada. These impressive young adults stress that any teen can achieve â€“ everyone starts with the same ingredients, and it is a matter of listening to mentors, working hard, and most importantly, always believing in oneself, to stay on the path to success. The book includes personal photos provided by each young celebrity
JustJaredJr.com is so excited about reading all of Brenda‘s story that we’re giving THREE readers a chance to win the book!
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment here with a valid email address (will not be published) and THREE lucky winners will be chosen at random at the end of the contest, which ends on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 7:59PM EST. USA Only. Enter as many times as you want!!! Good luck!
UPDATE: Winners have been notified. Thanks for entering!
Click inside to read a bit of Brenda‘s story…
“My desire to act was born when I saw Cindy Crawford starring in a Coca-Cola TV commercial. And believe it or not, I was three years old at the time. As I watched the commercial I said, â€œI want to do that!â€ My parents were really surprised.
As the story goes, they looked at each other and said, â€œHuh? Is she kidding? We donâ€™t even know how people get on TV, much less start acting as a profession.â€ Itâ€™s true; they had no idea where to begin. Iâ€™ll bet that my parents thought you had to climb into the TV in order to be on TV! We still laugh about it now.
Nonetheless, I was serious about becoming an actress. Within the next few months, my parents got some information about an acting school, but at the time, it was just too expensive. As luck would have it, an opportunity to negotiate my way to the school fell into my lap. Basically, I got sick. And ever since I was little, I absolutely hated to take medicine. I couldnâ€™t stand it! But this time, I told my mom I would take the medicine if she would help me get into acting school. Sure enough, I gulped the stuff and my mom agreed.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that both hard work and a little bit of luck play a role in success. From my experience, I know that if you focus and work hard, then anything can happen — and you can do anything you really want to do with your life. No matter what you choose to pursue, however, you have to remember that itâ€™s not about proving yourself to other people. Itâ€™s about being the best that you can be. The biggest mistake we can make is looking at our neighbor or to other people to affirm whether we are good, or not good, or worthy, or not worthy.
In the acting business this is especially true. For me, as an Asian-American actress, Iâ€™ll go to auditions where people say, â€œOh, youâ€™re not tall enough,â€ or â€œHmm, you arenâ€™t blond,â€ and so forth. One instance, when I was seven years old at an audition, the producers wouldnâ€™t even see me because they â€œwerenâ€™t looking for an ethnic actress.â€ As I got older I had to learn to stay focused on what I wanted to do and remember not to take things personally. I kept telling myself that I chose to get into the acting business and anything that happens is ultimately my responsibility.
Itâ€™s so easy to sit around and complain, but Iâ€™ve learned to just get out there and try — and if Iâ€™m giving my best, that will be enough. My life is fun because I hardly ever get bored. I try to stay curious and that keeps things interesting. When Iâ€™m not acting, I love to knit, cook, read, bake, and so much more. Though sometimes, like anyone else, I just need to chill out. However, I do believe that boredom is a total state of mind; itâ€™s a choice that we make.
I always say that you never know if youâ€™ll like something unless you try it. Hereâ€™s a perfect example: When I was fourteen years old, I became a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. But at the time, I really wanted to take ballet instead. The challenge was, my mom said she could only sign my brother and me up for one after-school activity that we would have to do together. It was pretty clear that my brother wasnâ€™t going to take ballet! Trust me, I went in to that martial arts class kicking and screaming. I did not want to do it.
Well, four years later, I got my black belt and it has become a second passion of mine. I love it! This experience goes to show that you have to give everything a fair chance. Having an open mind is what makes life fun. Itâ€™s just how you look at things. You can wake up and groan, â€œUghhh, Iâ€™m so tired; I just want to go back to bed.â€ Or, you can wake up say, â€œTodayâ€™s going to be a great day! Letâ€™s go make some breakfast!â€ We each have that choice to make.
Despite all of the things I enjoy today, Iâ€™ve had to learn a lot of things along the way. In school I was picked on, mainly for being a geek because I liked to read. Rather than allow this to get me down, I chose to remember that this is my life and the choices I make are the ones Iâ€™m going to stand by.
Letâ€™s say thereâ€™s a guy you like and you ask him out on a date and he says, â€œNo.â€ Or maybe you spent hours and hours going through the audition process where you did everything you could, but somebody said, â€œYouâ€™re just not right for the part.â€ That rejection can be very difficult to swallow, but as Iâ€™ve said before, I believe everything happens for a reason.
If I mope around as though the world is coming to an end because I didnâ€™t get invited to a birthday party, then Iâ€™m never going to get anywhere! You canâ€™t control how people are going to see you, or judge you, or perceive you, but you can control how you react to it. And the biggest lesson I learned as an actress is that regardless of what character I play, I still need to be true to myself at the end of the day. As long as I do that I can be proud of who I am.
The key is to not let anybody discourage you, because if you do, you wonâ€™t go very far in life. Iâ€™d much rather go through life knowing that I tried to do something that mattered to me, instead of wondering â€œwhat if…â€ You just have to be willing to take risks.”