We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Collins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tina, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I have had the incredible privilege to work with actors and actresses that are either Chinese adoptees or Chinese American kids who have grown up in America. Each actor or actress has different levels of cultural understanding and Mandarin exposure, depending on the area they grew up in and whether or not their parents had a different dialect or was able to continue Mandarin education in the home.

I offer Dialect Coaching for a role and also Mandarin classes which combine reading, a cross-cultural perspective from 10 years in China, and dialect training which has given my students a more full understanding of their own culture, language, history in addition to using Mandarin in a script.

Scripts we have been working on in procedural TV ranges from Mandarin accented English to full Mandarin speaking, to a bilingual mix so any combination of these things are at times difficult to achieve.

Oftentimes the turnaround time for actors is extremely quick, so getting a script in Mandarin and having an accurate recording to practice off of and then a quick 30 minute Zoom session allows them to knock this audition out quickly and efficiently, and further having access to regular 1 on 1 online Mandarin Chinese lessons helps prepare them for future auditions no matter where they are in the world.

What this also does is build confidence. Adds an undeniably useful skill in their acting toolbox. Builds a personality in the language. Develops a part of who they are. And an excited, engaged passionate love for one of the more complex and beautiful languages in the world.

I believe this helps the Chinese American Community connect to their unique culture, language and heritage in a way that accurately portrays Chinese American actors on screen which translates to a better education of the greater population.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I first started acting it was all local plays, church, and groups in my community. Starting out there in a safe environment with so many friends and family supporting me meant a lot. I was also able to have a platform to really help and inspire children locally.

Locally, they would usually do 16 shows and matinees a month, so the amount of time I had the privilege of investing in the craft at an early age really created a brilliant background for transitioning to Film and TV when I was older. It also allowed me to play with things without people’s eyes being on me as an individual growing and developing many skills. We were able to try out theatre in the round, open air theatre, Puppetry, Playhouse Theatre, Improv, summer camps and experience auditioning for both musicals and Shakespearean theatre. I had the time to develop skills as an actor in many areas: dance, picking up choreography, singing, memorization, awareness of audience, tension and timing, body work, breath work, vocal warm ups, auditioning, stamina to successfully complete shows lasting 3 hours long four to five days a week, and learning the hard lesson that I can’t be everywhere whenever I want, but once I made a commitment I had to stick to it.

When I was 12 years old I started learning Mandarin Chinese which took my career in an entirely different direction. I moved to China in 2010 and had the beautiful privilege of a 10 year career encompassing Voiceover, TV, Film and commercial work as a bilingual actress. It was a fun, thrilling, exhilarating ride that lasted until 2020 when the pandemic hit and I came back to the Southeast.

Pivoting quickly, I asked the Lord what was next? He protected me, kept me safe, brought me through many wild rides and trials, now there was an anticipation and excitement to see what He would do next!

During the beginning of the pandemic, the Entertainment community was hit with a shakedown like nothing we’ve ever experienced.

In response to safety protocols, many of the industry’s top coaches went online with Zoom. I would’ve never been able to have access to them unless I was physically in the area they taught, and even then the difficulties of finding the location in sprawling LA, financial cost of driving there, additional high cost of tuition, insurance on a car, having a car, rent on an expensive tiny box of an apartment, finding parking, getting lost, and parking in sketchy places evaporated overnight. Access was granted across the board and many offered financial support for many actors who were hit by job losses.

In addition to taking various Acting classes 4 hours per day, I also began teaching online, Mandarin dialect coaching in Atlanta for various TV series, and teaching one on one Chinese classes. Setting up an at-home Voiceover and Self-tape studio was a no brainer and in March 2020 I had the privilege to begin working as a voice over artist for a Medical company called Osmosis.org that helps Medical professionals study for their exams with informational videos.

Every step I ended up taking was uniquely guided by Jesus, with perfect timing and protection. The world is often extremely unpredictable, and things come at us fast as artists and business professionals. One thing I’ve learned through this wild ride is to Trust God that everything will be more than good, and that He has this amazing plan for your life that can use all the incredible talents and gifts He’s put in your heart for His Glory. Walk with Him, stay grounded in the Bible, go slow, and Love others well.

Pep talk for Actors: There is only one you in this world. You are unique, you are loved, you are incredibly valuable. Your personal story, experiences, background, family, artistic talents and gifts, relationship with Him are all unique. He made you special. Understanding the intrinsic value you have to the Creator of the Universe is key to becoming a whole artist. You are Worth So Much. And you are so Loved.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Every Chinese, Thai, and Japanese food restaurant I could find. Midtown ATL had a noodle shop a bit up the street from Sugar Factory that was so authentic. Dunkins being right down the road nearly everywhere is also fantastic. I also had the privilege to meet the owners of Atlanta Voiceover Studio, for any actors in the area they are a one stop shop for VO recording studio at high professional level quality right there in ATL.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Two incredible groups to spotlight:

Erin, an incredible vocalist, Dominican-Filipina musical powerhouse, this girl can sing, has star performance quality AND loves to encourage young artists throughout their journey

Encouraging her students: https://www.tiktok.com/@therossauce/video/7051771004460272942?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en

EP: https://open.spotify.com/album/2N9rhE1wVsRMO8w80xXZds?si=OvgaiPvPQNqCHBGVD9-qjg

ROL Records! This label is so supportive of their new emerging artists and helps get their minds right as they work through their unique art and style. ROL Records was founded on bringing artistry, authenticity, and real music back to our generation.

https://www.rolrecords.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rolrecords/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@itsmamadaph

Website: https://www.dialectcoachtina.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dialectcoachtina/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100054850981258

Youtube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3OrGmcDuf6TZQqfYuSJtD2c48AKFCLRp

Other: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9574244/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Image Credits
V Tony Hauser

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