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NGUYEN CAO KY DUYEN
Q: Let's start out with the most obvious question, you're an entertainer (M.C/Singer/Dancer), you're also a lawyer, a photographer, a business-woman, you have a family, and you travel the world constantly.... how do you find the time to do it all?
A: Well, my answer to that is simple, if you love something enough, you will always find the time to do it. After all, when you really think about it, there are a lot of time in a day that is wasted if you don't do anything.
Q: But why do you have to do so much? don't you ever relax?
A: Sure, I work hard, but I also play very hard. As to the question of why do I do so much? I have this philosophy that I only have one life to live, and I want to get as much out of it as possible. You see, to me life itself is a holy gift and to live is divine, therefore, we should live to the fullest and never waste a minute of it. There is still so much that I want to do, so much areas that I have not even begin to explore, I am just afraid that I don't have enough time. Another reason why I want to learn and try different things, is not so much that I want to master or be very good at it, but so that I can appreciate it. For example, I took painting lessons, so now when I go to a museum I can really appreciate the works done by all the masters. Having tried it myself I know how difficult it is, and having knowledge about the subject really enhances my perception of it, and it moves me more deeply. And that to me is what makes life so interesting.
Q: What else do you want to do?
A: I want to try acting, I want to learn how to paint, I want to travel the world, I want to build a green house and grow my own orchid, I want to write a novel....there is so much I want to do....I can't possibly think of all of it now.
Q: Interesting that you mention acting, why do you want to do that?
A: It's a chance for me to live out other lives and other fantasies. In reality we are each sort of molded or rather stuck with a given identity whether it be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher....etc. and society expects us to live and act according to that identity. Rarely, do we have a chance to break away from that mold without creating some chaos. But in a magical world of movie or stage you get to assume different lives, one day you are a princess then the next day you are a homeless person, the range of emotion that you get to experience is incredible.
Q: Being such a prominent public figure in our community, what is a positive and what is a negative aspect of it?
A: Well, as any entertainer will tell you fame definitely has a lot of positive attributes. You get recognized by people, "hopefully" you are well loved by the public, and you get paid well for doing a job that you enjoy and one that bring happiness to other people. As for the negative aspect, the only one I can think of is that your private live is constantly being monitored, and you have to endure a lot of gossips and rumors, some quite malicious, that are totally untrue.
Q: How do you deal with those rumors?
A: Most of the time I just laugh it off and take it with a grain of salt. I live my life as I see fit, as long as I don't hurt anyone, I don't do anything that would give me a guilty conscience, and I have the support and understanding of my loved ones, I don't feel that I need to justify my actions or my life to anyone. There is one consolation though, as long as the public still thinks that I am newsworthy enough to talk about, be it good or bad, I know I am still wanted. I mean the day the public stops paying attention to you is the day your entertaining career is over.
Q: What do you dislike the most?
A: I hate discrimination in any form. I don't like to be judgmental about anybody. When I look at a person, I look beyond his skin color, what kind of job he has whether he is a doctor or a car mechanic, what kind of house or car he drives, etc... I'd like to deal with a person on an inner level, I look to the person's spirit, that's where all the beauty lies.
Q: What do you admire most?
A: I admire people who are really good at what they do. People who dedicate their lives to one task and be excellent at it. For example a concert pianist, a world class athlete, people who won the Nobel Peace Award, award winning writers, the scientist who studies some small insect in the African jungle to find the cure that might someday save the world ... you get my drift.
Q: What type of music do you like? Who are your favorite singers?
A: I like classical music and jazz. My favorite singers are the old timers like Sarah Vaugh, Louie Armstrong, Billy Holiday, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles ...etc.
Q: How about Vietnamese singers, who are your favorite?
A: Undoubtedly, it has got to be Tuan Ngoc. The man has an incredible voice. You can't ask for more in a singer. He has a superb technique coupled with a sultry throatiness that slices right through the core of your emotion like a "hot knife through butter. "
Q: Some would say that you have it all, youth, beauty, fame, a successful career, a happy family, so what more do you want in life?
A: Wow! That's a big question. I don't deny the fact that I am very fortunate. My needs are very simple. Happiness to me are the little things in life: a sunny day, the sound of rain drops, tapping across my window, a walk along the beach, a warm home to come back to, children's laughters, a good book, a hot cup of coffee in the morning....etc. I see beauty in everything around me. I don't know what more I want from life. I think as long as I have food in my stomach and a roof over my head then life is just a box of surprises that I can't wait to open as each day unfolds.
Q: That sounds very beautiful and philosophical, but what about money?
A: Sure money is nice, everyone needs money to live. But to me money is a mean to happiness but not happiness in and of itself. I tried to keep my life simple and not get caught up in the "rat race." Cause you know what, even if you do win the rat race you're still a rat. Ha! Ha!
Q: So far I get the impression that you are never sad, does anything ever upset you?
A: Sure I get upset at things, but as I get older I take things easier. Problems that might seem so big at the moment is actually very tiny when you look at the big picture and put it in the right perspective so why waste your time and energy being angry when you could be happy. It's all a matter of mind, if you don't mind it doesn't matter. Right? As for being sad, I guess I am saddest when someone I love is in pain, and there is nothing I can do to alleviate that pain.
Q: Now that you mentioned love, what is your idea of a perfect love between a man and a woman?
A: Getting pretty personal aren't we? OK but I have promised you asked and I answer. I think the greatest love is love for yourself.
Q: That sounds pretty selfish....
A: Wait a minute, give me a chance to explain. I think in a relationship, you have to have enough love for yourself first before you can have any left over to give to the other person. The fastest way to kill a relationship is by clinging too tight to the other person. When you don't have enough love for yourself, you look to the other person to be your life raft which you hang on until you actually choke the other person to death. "Do this for me", "show me you love me" "make me happy" "give me my self esteem" "prove that you care", "I am lonely without you" "I need to be with you to be happy" ....etc. You see how it can be pretty suffocating? On the other hand, if you have enough love for yourself, if you can find happiness within yourself then you don't need to make demands on your partner. Therefore to me a perfect relationship is when you have two people who are complete beings within themselves sharing a mutual love that is given freely and unconditionally.
Q: That is a very interesting point, I'll keep that in mind, the next time my wife makes me go to one of her in-law's parties. Let's talk about your entertaining career, do you have anything in the work at the moment?
A: Yes I'm still working with Thuy Nga on their video production, but I am also coming out with my first CD.
Q: Is it a solo CD?
A: No, it's a dual CD with my friend Maurice Dat.
Q: What is the title of your CD?
A: The Vietnamese title is "Doi Van Vui" translated it means "Without you life is still happy. "
Q: That is a very interesting and different, why did you choose that title?
A: Well, I looked around at all of the other CDS and they mostly talk about heartbreaks and sadness such as: "Tinh Xa", "Tinh Buon", "Nguoi di con mong nho" etc. I thought to myself, not all breakups are bad, some relationships are not meant to be, and some couple should not stay together so they are better off apart. Plus, i believe, and again this goes back to my basis optimistic outlook, that things always happen for the better, even if it seems disastrous at the time. So there is no reason to subject yourself to a life of misery just because you end a relationship that probably should not have been started in the first place.
Q: So when will your CD be out on the market?
A: Probably within the next month or two.
Q: Thank you very much for giving us this interview. Any last words you want to give to our readers?
A: Well there is an old saying that I really love from an unknown author, it goes something like this: "Live every day of your life as though it's your last day and someday you will be right. "