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Opportunity Didn’t Knock? Build a Door. Roxy Shih
Our next guest is Roxy Shih. Roxy is a Taiwanese-American producer and director who was recently nominated for Best Directing at the Daytime Emmys for her work on Dark/Web.
Her latest indie feature, List of a Lifetime with Kelly Hu and Shannen Doherty, was acquired by Lifetime and served as their centerpiece film for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this past October. Roxy also directed the entire series of Facebook Watch’s Mira Mira, a smash-hit seen by over 60 million viewers. Other popular projects from Roxy include The Tribe, Hulu’s Painkillers, and two episodes of Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, a new series produced by Eli Roth.
Roxy co-founded the Taiwanese American Film Festival in Los Angeles and served as the festival director for two years.
Ep 160. Bob and Roxy talk about:
[3:29] Directing List of a Lifetime.
[8:17] Breaking down Asian American stereotypes.
[15:16] Showing up, stepping up, and speaking up.
[19:44] How much money do you need to make for you to feel secure?
[22:32] Recalibrating the way we approach money.
[25:00] Cultivating our self-worth and trusting our value.
[35:02] Remaining true to ourselves.
Roxy Shih currently hosts a podcast called Two Horny Goats, where she and her co-host Priska dismantle Asian-American stereotypes by tackling difficult subject matters.
Connect with Roxy Shih:
Click to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:30] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money. As a CPA for the past 30 years, wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger, I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.
[00:00:51] And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is, an emotional rollercoaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.
[00:01:13] Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
[00:01:35] Our next guest is Roxy Shih. Roxy is a Taiwanese-American producer and director who was recently nominated for Best Directing at the Daytime Emmys for her work on Dark/Web. Her latest indie feature, List of a Lifetime with Kelly Hu and Shannen Doherty, was acquired by Lifetime and served as their centerpiece film for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this past October.
[00:01:56] This year, Roxy also directed the entire series of Facebook Watch’s Mira Mira, a smash hit seen by over 60 million viewers. Other popular projects from Roxy include The Tribe, Hulu’s Painkillers, and two episodes of Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, which is a new series produced by Eli Roth.
[00:02:13] A big champion of her community, roxy co-founded the Taiwanese-American Film Festival in Los Angeles and previously served as the Festival Director for two years. She currently hosts a podcast called Two Horny Goats, where she and her co-host, Prisca, dismantle Asian-American stereotypes by tackling difficult subject matters on a weekly basis.
[00:02:33] Roxy, I’m so excited to have you here today.
[00:02:35] Roxy Shih: You made it through the bio, yay!
[00:02:41] Bob Wheeler: I made it through the bio!
[00:02:41] Roxy Shih: Round of applause for Bob!
[00:02:41] Bob Wheeler: She’s got about a 42 page bio because she’s that accredited. And it’s amazing.
[00:02:47] Roxy Shih: I just feel so bad. I’m like, “Oh, you’re going to read the whole thing. Like staring into your soul as your, your hands shaking as you’re reading the paper in front of you.
[00:02:54] Bob Wheeler: There are so many big words and more than two syllables.
[00:02:57] Roxy Shih: So sorry!
[00:02:59] Bob Wheeler: I’m just a little kid from the country. You know what I’m saying? Big words, big words.
[00:03:03] Roxy Shih: I saw you sweating.
[00:03:04] Bob Wheeler: I love it. Well, we’re actually, I had the privilege of seeing List of a Lifetime, and that is a movie that is not normally in your genre.
[00:03:13] Roxy Shih: Right. It’s my first sort of dramatic feature film that deals with, sort of, these female stories regarding the topic of breast cancer. I usually like to kill people in my work, so the bloodier the better. So I was known mostly for my genre work before I started doing this.
[00:03:29] Bob Wheeler: And how did you get this opportunity? And I know that you shared on stage, because I was at the premiere, you shared that you really had wanted to work with Kelly, and this was sort of like a dream come true.
[00:03:41] So how did you get this gig? And what was it like working with Kelly?
[00:03:45] Roxy Shih: You know, it’s kind of crazy because I think that with anything, we become pigeonholed into certain spaces where people can identify us the best. Like for me, it’s genre films. With Kelly, she’s a sex icon, you know, like representing an Asian sex icon for so long in the industry.
[00:03:59] I grew up watching her. So it was like, such a dream come true. As you saw me still geek out over the fact that we’re now friends, that we hang out and all of that. But I first got the project because I’ve worked with Ninth House a lot, who is a production company. And we make some films for Lifetime, mostly thrillers in that space.
[00:04:18] But the producer, Autumn Federici, basically had an interest in diving into more important subject matter. And so she gave me this script that was API led, so Asian-American Pacific Islander led, for the cast and it was written that way. And I was really burnt out from a series of jobs that I was doing, and I didn’t really feel compelled to do it.
[00:04:37] But when I read it, within the first 15 pages, I was so moved by this conflict that Brenda, the lead character, was dealing with, and it resonated so hard. Was sort of this like, immigrant growing up in a foster situation, feeling alienated and alone. Like, there’s so many connections that we can make to that as human beings. And then especially with the added layer of her giving up her daughter.
[00:05:00] And so it’s a very female story. It’s a very, like a lot of women will sort of understand this grief. Especially the mother-daughter arc is something that I’ve longed to explore more of in my work. So it just presented this very seductive opportunity for me to also explore my own voice in this space.
[00:05:20] And then Kelly was definitely like, my top choice to play Brenda, because also, like you said, I like dismantling stereotypes and I don’t want people to see me as a stereotype. I don’t want people to see us as a stereotype. I don’t want them to see Kelly as a stereotype. She’s stunning and gorgeous. Yes. But also, she has said to me, time and time again, that she never gets offered roles like these.
[00:05:43] And why? You know, she was phenomenal in it. So for her to explore this expansively into this space, I think it was really rewarding for all of us to be given an opportunity to show that we also have all these other stories and characters inside us all.
[00:05:59] Bob Wheeler: That’s so great. And you know, it’s funny as I was watching it, and of course I didn’t realize until I got to the event that it was about breast cancer, so I realized, “Oh, this is not going to probably be a comedy.” But I was, I found myself getting mad at Kelly, because I’m like, don’t make that choice.
[00:06:15] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:06:15] Bob Wheeler: Okay, wait, this is a movie. Right? And you know, I don’t think there was much of a dry eye by the end of the film in the room. I think people were really impacted.
[00:06:24] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:06:24] Bob Wheeler: There was so much conflict. There was, all those different pieces like you mentioned, the layers of adoption, immigrant, not advocating for herself. And it was just such a great story. And so, job well done.
[00:06:37] Roxy Shih: Thank you so much. That means a lot. Yeah. There’s like, another aspect of something feeling very drawn to, is the coming of age of an older woman. And I feel like this isn’t seen a lot in our TV shows or movies. And for Brenda’s character, she felt like she was disappearing. And a lot of women in their mid-forties and later on feel like they don’t get seen or validated anymore.
[00:06:58] Like my mother, she would always say, “Oh, I’m too old. I’m too old,” as an excuse or a reason for why she can’t pursue what she wants or she can’t grow or evolve. So I hope that this movie shines a light on the fact that our coming of age is always coming.
[00:07:12] Bob Wheeler: Yeah!
[00:07:12] Roxy Shih: It’s never ending. Our growth as people, as humans in this existence, we could continue to expand if only we allow ourselves to.
[00:07:20] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:07:20] Roxy Shih: And there is some comedic elements in the movie, don’t lie.
[00:07:23] Bob Wheeler: There are for sure. There for sure, there are, there are. It’s a great show.
[00:07:26] Roxy Shih: Thank you.
[00:07:27] Bob Wheeler: But speaking to stereotypes, especially Asian-American stereotypes. So it would seem that people would ask you, “Are you good at math? And why are you going into creative arts?”
[00:07:38] Roxy Shih: Oh my gosh.
[00:07:39] Bob Wheeler: Right?
[00:07:40] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:07:40] Bob Wheeler: Did you get that? Did you get pushback? You know, “Roxy, you should be doing math things.”
[00:07:44] Roxy Shih: Well, let’s just start by saying that, you know, I’m an immigrant to this country. So I was born in the Netherlands and then, my parents are Taiwanese, and then I moved to the United States with them when I was seven years old and we got naturalized and became citizens.
[00:07:58] And I’m an only child. So this is just to paint you a picture of what the expectations are for my existence. And as we grew up, we followed the American Dream, and my parents wanted the best for me. I wanted to be that A student. I was in very competitive Asian communities where it was about achieving as hard as you can, as best as you can.
[00:08:17] You know? It’s all recorded in the report cards and your extracurriculars, et cetera, et cetera. And I just never was that person. I could never be that person, and I didn’t get into, you know, the best school that they wanted. And my parents were like, this is with the most love. I love them a lot, but they said to me, “You’re our biggest investment.”
[00:08:38] Bob Wheeler: Wow.
[00:08:39] Roxy Shih: Yeah. And so…
[00:08:41] Bob Wheeler: Not heavy.
[00:08:42] Roxy Shih: Not heavy. And to this day, I’m like, well, I’ve never made you your return of investment. I’m still in a way, like, there’s still so much return left. And I became a filmmaker. I did everything unconventionally. I never got a master’s degree. I never did what they thought would lead to the paths of “so-called” success. Right?
[00:09:00] But that’s like, recalibrating what success means to you, whether it’s financially or whether it’s like, for your own spiritual purpose or emotional purpose. Right? So then I think I got a lot of pushback because I never went to film school, you know, I did everything the hard way. I carried, you know, coffee as a PA, I learned on set. I’m a visual learner, I’m a hands-on learner, and this is where I excelled.
[00:09:22] So it’s not my nose in the books as much as I love reading, but it’s just, if I can’t apply it, I can’t learn. So then I started to make my way up. I became a producer. So I knew that I was good at putting people together. I knew I was good at finding the main point of a project, excavating it, and also refining it with the people that I was working with.
[00:09:43] I really like collaboration. This is all stuff that I like, but being a director was just a pipe dream. Like being a creative as an Asian-American woman was impossible. I came up before the inclusion conversation started happening. I came up before the women conversation was happening. At the time when I wanted to be a director, or I was budding, it was like 2% of directors were working women, you know?
[00:10:05] Bob Wheeler: Wow.
[00:10:06] Roxy Shih: It was all these statistics stacked against me. And I have to say like, my family, a lot of what they said impacted me, you know? And they moved back to Taiwan when I was 18. They’re looking at the United States economic foundation through that lens, but it’s not through me. I’m actually living here. I’m in Los Angeles.
[00:10:23] I’m trying to navigate it the best way I can in one of the most expensive cities in the country, and freelancing, this is all just really terrible. Like, this is like, the worst way to build up your finances. But I was like, chasing after this crazy dream because I just thought there’s something about it that I know that I’m really good at.
[00:10:43] And so people have told me, my first movie was The Tribe, and my own community has said to me, “Why isn’t it Asian-American? Shouldn’t you be doing romantic comedies, and shouldn’t you be doing documentaries because you’re a woman?” What the _____?
[00:10:56] Bob Wheeler: Right. And let me ask you this, with that stereotype that you were dealing with, being Asian, but also being a woman, you were an only child. So there may have been some unconscious disappointment that they didn’t have a boy, because that is a stereotypical piece, right?
[00:11:13] Roxy Shih: Yes, yes, absolutely. My father, one day when I was back in Taiwan, I was in college and I flew back to go see them, and he put like, a big bottle of whiskey between us. It’s not that he regrets not having a son, but he’s just like, you aren’t my son, you know, it’s like insinuated that way.
[00:11:29] He’s like, “You’re going to drink all of this with me and you’re not going to pass out.” It’s like, I tried to be sporty. I tried do all of these things to appease both of their expectations. And there is that shame, you know, of like, maybe I can’t be all these things. And also the layered expectations of what a woman can contribute to society both in Asia and both in the States was a conflict many times.
[00:11:53] So I find myself being a different person depending on where I was. But all in all, I think the biggest detriment that I had was my people pleasing, because growing up Asian, and this is Brenda’s character as well, she couldn’t find her voice, and we’re afraid to speak up.
[00:12:09] And we are complicit in our silence and with all the Stop Asian Hate that happened earlier this year, was it this year? Yeah, earlier this year. It was just, our parents would say, “Let’s not make waves. There’s no need to like, speak up about it.”
[00:12:22] So for me being in this position now, creating the work that I’m doing, having a voice, having a seat at the table in the rooms where producers are having these conversations, it allows me more of a platform to be able to fight for the silence that we allowed ourselves to be sort of cornered into for all these generations in American history.
[00:12:42] Bob Wheeler: And what would you say to women of color, underrepresented people out there, who haven’t found their voice or don’t think their voice matters in this creative world?
[00:12:53] What would you say to those folks? Because a lot of people will say, “Don’t follow your passion, especially if you’re going to go into entertainment. It’s just a dead end.”
[00:13:02] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:13:03] Bob Wheeler: So many people can’t succeed in this.
[00:13:04] Roxy Shih: It’s so crazy because I think with that, we’re always constantly seeking outside validation.
[00:13:10] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:13:10] Roxy Shih: We’re always looking for someone to say, “You matter, you’re seen, your story matters.” I grew up for the longest time thinking no one would care about my stories. That’s why I went into genre, because I’m like, I can just make believe with other people’s stories. But I realized that none of it really hits unless I start applying my own experiences and putting in what I truly know.
[00:13:29] And the thing is that every experience you have is a tool in your tool belt. Your experience in your life, in your body, in this existence, only belongs to you. And that makes it unique. So I don’t know about you, Bob, because I’m really curious to what you think about this in terms of people’s like, career climbing sort of expectations.
[00:13:49] But for me, you know, if someone’s just like, “Hey, I’m in my thirties or forties, I’m doing a complete career shift.” Right? And I think that’s great because there’s no one in your engineering sort of space that has done like, this marketing arts. I think it provides a very unique perspective. And it’s all about how you use it to empower what different strengths you could contribute to something that’s probably very, like a monolith.
[00:14:14] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:14:14] Roxy Shih: So that’s how I see it. I don’t know, what do you think?
[00:14:18] Bob Wheeler: I absolutely think that one should follow their passion.
[00:14:21] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:14:22] Bob Wheeler: If I’m not having fun, for me, a measure is: am I having fun? Am I enjoying this? Because if I’m just drudgingly showing up and having to go through the motions, it’s not feeding my soul. And at the end of the day, if I’m not getting emotionally fed, spiritually fed, what’s the point?
[00:14:40] And even in the movie, Brenda at a certain point was, “I’ve shared my information. I can just go die.”
[00:14:47] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:14:48] Bob Wheeler: And didn’t see a reason for finding her voice and discovering that it actually did matter. And I think there are so many people out there that give up, that don’t have hope. And so the more people out there following their passion, speaking their voice, knowing that their story matters, even if somebody else says, “Well, that’s trivial,” it still matters.
[00:15:09] And that hope can model for other people to stay the course and show up and speak up and step up.
[00:15:16] Roxy Shih: And I think that’s what’s happening with the great resignation, right?
[00:15:19] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And are you finding that, for people that don’t know, there’s just been a mass Exodus of people saying, “This isn’t good for me, and I’m not going to work these many hours at this kind of pay unless I’m valued, unless I’m appreciated, and unless I’m compensated.”
[00:15:36] And I think that the pandemic has really given people an opportunity to really reflect on what’s important. We were forced to shut down and sit with ourselves very uncomfortably for a very long time.
[00:15:51] Roxy Shih: I love that, because it’s almost like things are getting turned over at a crazy rate and there’s like, revolutions happening in every little corner that we see.
[00:16:00] The film industry is going through a major turnover right now with the IATSE strikes happening, with producers being held accountable for unethical practices, and corporate company culture being called out as well, you know, for toxic environments, where I think the ones who are surviving in that sort of corporate culture are ones who are listening to their workers and making changes as needed.
[00:16:22] So it’s like, yes, the pandemic was shitty, but also, look at what’s happening. And it’s happening at a crazy pace.
[00:16:29] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, and I think it’s so important, you know, as you’re saying that, I’m reminded, some of my employees in the past have told me I’ve ruined it for them when they go work other places, because I really try to welcome their opinions, and I really welcome their feedback. It doesn’t mean they always get their way.
[00:16:45] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:16:46] Bob Wheeler: I think for so long, I was focused on “No, it’s my way. And I know everything and…” which is a humbling thing to realize, actually, I don’t know much. And for me to be able to welcome in, in a safe space without making them wrong or bad, it’s much more valuable because they’re much more invested in the success of the company when they actually feel valued.
[00:17:10] Roxy Shih: Because you make them feel like they have a seat at the table.
[00:17:13] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:17:13] Roxy Shih: Like they’re allowed to talk at the table and they’re not just banished with like, a little toy chair, like, in the kid’s corner.
[00:17:19] Bob Wheeler: That’s so important. And you know, for me, for so long, I didn’t feel like I had a voice, and I’m aware that I’m also a white male. I get some inherent privileges. But for me internally, my personal journey, I didn’t feel like I had a seat at the table. And I think for many of us, go make your own table and invite a bunch of people to sit at it. Right?
[00:17:39] Roxy Shih: Oh, a hundred percent. YES!
[00:17:41] Bob Wheeler: We don’t just sit at that table. Let’s make a couple more tables. Let’s have a bunch of tables.
[00:17:46] Roxy Shih: I love that. I love that. It’s like opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door, right?
[00:17:51] Bob Wheeler: That’s right. I mean, we have to be proactive, and it’s not always easy. And it may involve asking for support or asking for help. And sometimes there’s embarrassment in that, and there’s so much power and reward in stepping up, reaching out, getting the support, and being heard, and having a seat at the table.
[00:18:10] Roxy Shih: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. So that’s all very exciting as things change.
[00:18:15] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And what is your experience now as you’re starting to get there? I mean, it’s the middle of a pandemic, right? Being a creative person and working job to job, it’s not stable.
[00:18:27] Roxy Shih: I love this question. Let’s talk about it. Because I think when the pandemic happened, everything stopped, right? Especially the film industry. And a lot of my friends are panicking over the fact that we can’t shoot. We can’t do whatever. Things slowed down. I, on the other hand, got very lucky.
[00:18:42] I probably got the most opportunities I’ve ever had during the pandemic. And I was able to navigate sort of these different scenarios. I shot in Utah. I went to Toronto. I did a lot of different TV shows and different series. I did, you know, Mira Mira was done during the pandemic. Haunted Museum, pandemic. List of a Lifetime was done during the pandemic.
[00:19:00] So I was pretty busy. However, I came back and everything just sort of stopped. And I used to have this lack mentality when it came to my money. Like I’m always fighting paycheck to paycheck. And I realized during the pandemic that I have a very, this relationship with money is very dangerous with me because I made the most I’ve ever had. And I looked at my bank account, and for some reason I don’t feel like it’s mine.
[00:19:26] So for example, I would hit $15,000, $20,000, whatever, you just keep going. Right? And then somehow if I spend money, and I spend beneath my threshold, like my new goal poster, I feel like I have to go scramble to make more money in order to hit that goalpost again.
[00:19:44] And I was talking to my mom about it and she’s like, ” You know, you should go buy a new car, should go do this.” And I go, “No, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t because then it will go beneath this.” And then she’s like, “Well, how much money do you need to make for you to feel secure?”
[00:19:56] And because I freelanced my entire life, I have that sort of survival mentality. And I just said, “I don’t think there’s ever going to be a number. You could put a million dollars in my bank account, and I still feel like I need to make more.”
[00:20:07] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. That’s, even for myself, I really hear you. And I talk about this a lot about, we have a comfort level, whether it’s not overdrawn, whether it’s $1,000, whether it’s $10,000, and then when it starts to go below that, we get uncomfortable. And when it goes above that, we often clear it out.
[00:20:24] Roxy Shih: YES!
[00:20:25] Bob Wheeler: And get back to that comfort level. Right?
[00:20:27] Roxy Shih: What is that?
[00:20:27] Bob Wheeler: Oh, it’s $15,000. Wait, I have $20,000? Wipe out $5,000.
[00:20:30] Roxy Shih: Yeah, what is that? What is that?
[00:20:33] Bob Wheeler: It’s what’s comforting. It’s comforting to us. And even myself, I really love that you talk about this, because when I’m at my threshold, then it has to stay there.
[00:20:43] Roxy Shih: Yes.
[00:20:44] Bob Wheeler: And I come from a scarcity mindset. I grew up in a family with not a lot of money and a big family. So I’ve got to have six months worth of food in the pantry. And so if my threshold dips, even if that number is $50,000, I’m freaking out!
[00:20:58] Roxy Shih: Yeah, same! And then I increase it if I happen to make more money, then my threshold continues to change, but my anxiety with money continues to remain the same.
[00:21:08] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, and I think that’s what people don’t fully understand, is that even if we have lots of money, we may still have the emotional mindset attached from the scarcity.
[00:21:17] Roxy Shih: Yes. So how do we have an abundant mindset instead?
[00:21:22] Bob Wheeler: So that’s a great question. How do we come to abundance? And for me, it started with gratitude. Starting to say, wait a minute, I have running water. Because I travel a lot and I see what other people don’t have that I take for granted.
[00:21:36] And having a hot shower every day, having a car that gets me to work, even if I’m stuck in traffic, all these things. I started to shift and say, “Wait a minute. That’s a story that I have, that I don’t have enough.” Cause I do, I can get into the story of like, “Oh, I don’t have this and that.”
[00:21:52] And then I actually look on paper. I’m like, “Shut up you whiny baby, have a little gratitude. It’s actually going pretty well.” You know, there were times when it didn’t go so well and things were really stressful, but it’s not the case now. And so I keep checking in my story. I keep checking it out. Is this true or is it a story?
[00:22:11] And the more I can let the story go and start to then just really appreciate, again, that gratitude piece for me is so important. And I can still laugh now when the mindset comes in. “It’s not enough. It’s not enough. You can’t spend 50 bucks.” Oh, silly boy. Go play somewhere else. That story doesn’t work here.
[00:22:32] Roxy Shih: Yeah. That’s so interesting because I think what you’re talking about is recalibrating the way you approach money. Right?
[00:22:38] Bob Wheeler: That’s right. You gotta reframe it.
[00:22:39] Roxy Shih: You gotta reframe it. And so, because, you know, I would get a job and they’ll pay me X amount. Right? And then I go for months and months and months at a time, not working on a film, I’m like developing or writing scripts and I’m not getting paid for that. Right?
[00:22:52] So I’m a Capricorn. So for those of you who don’t know, Capricorns are known to be voraciously hardworking and ladder climbers in terms of their career. So in the meantime, I also discovered that I’m really, really good at, I’m also a psychic. So I do tarot readings on the side. So I schedule maybe two to three terror readings a day.
[00:23:13] And I charge, it’s $100 an hour for like, a reading. And at first I was so afraid of charging that much because I wasn’t sure of my value.
[00:23:22] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:23:22] Roxy Shih: And then I realized like, once I upped my price, because inflation is happening at like a really rapid pace right now, and you have to match competitive rates with other people.
[00:23:31] I realized that those who are willing to spend the money and respect my time and my craft are always willing to pay the fee. And I actually didn’t lack in the amount of appointments that I get, it’s still matched, like what I had before, you know? So I think even just a couple of days ago, I was like, “Oh man, like I’ve been spending a lot recently and I don’t know how I’m going to make it back.”
[00:23:53] And then, I don’t know, it’s the universe or something, but literally the next day I got like, 10 new requests, you know, like to schedule something, to put in the books. And then I get these random requests, like teach workshops and stuff. And I have to say that I do wish for a little bit more consistency, because I am the type of person that really likes to know what’s coming.
[00:24:12] But with the pandemic and with the way that these past two years have gone, I think we need to be a little bit more mindful about what we can practically do, and then just put our intentions in the present as much as we can, because I think we have so much anxiety about the future, that we forget what we can do in the now, to invest in that as well.
[00:24:32] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. There’s two things that I really heard that feel so important in this, it’s, one is trusting your value.
[00:24:37] Roxy Shih: Yes.
[00:24:38] Bob Wheeler: Because everybody else can tell us that we’re worthless or we’re whatever. But if we don’t trust our value, if we don’t believe in it, it’s hard to sell other people on that. If we’re doubting.
[00:24:49] Roxy Shih: Do you think that, I think human beings being human beings, they still need some sort of external validation. Like, is it possible to self-motivate to the point where you think you don’t need that?
[00:25:00] Bob Wheeler: I do. I think it is great to hear it from other people. And I think internally, we can cultivate our self-worth and our value and not need everybody else to affirm it. It can be reaffirmed. And I think initially we have to do the affirming. Not that it’s easy. I struggled when I first, charging rates and I’m like, “The people paid that?! What?!”
[00:25:23] Roxy Shih: Yeah!
[00:25:23] Bob Wheeler: And for me it was because like, in accounting, it came so easy. I felt guilty because I thought you had to work really hard, it had to be painful. And so how can I charge for something that’s an easy thing for me? And so that is a piece that I think we all have to just keep working on.
[00:25:40] And the other thing that you said, I think that is so important is, we’re all worried about the future and learning to trust that the present moment is enough.
[00:25:51] Tomorrow’s not promised, right? Tomorrow is not promised. And if we can trust that, I’ve done everything I can do for today. I’ve showed up fully today. I’ve given my voice today. I’m saving my money and I’m not going crazy today. Trusting that the universe is going to keep providing abundance. It’s going to keep showing up for you.
[00:26:13] And for me, when we can actually trust that we don’t need, “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.” We can’t change the future. And we can’t change the past. We can be in the moment. And so I just think it’s so important. And I struggle with this sometimes, of living in the moment. Sometimes I’m, “Wait, no, no, no! What about three weeks from now?”
[00:26:29] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:26:30] Bob Wheeler: No, just like, right now. Right now.
[00:26:32] Roxy Shih: I hear you because like, this moment was like, the past is future too. So it’s like, I don’t want to go to woo-woo on things, you know, because I know that a lot of our reality is because of our practical reality and material things.
[00:26:46] Bob Wheeler: For sure.
[00:26:47] Roxy Shih: But at the same time, it starts with you, right? And how you see things and give value to things and how you see yourself.
[00:26:51] Where it’s because, you know, my father is an incredible man. He’s Taiwanese. He moved to the Netherlands like, when he turned 30 with my mom and he had to learn how to speak Dutch and like, get people to respect him and speak English and learn English. And he came to the United States and worked for a little bit, but he always had this charisma about him.
[00:27:11] He calls himself a dorky nerd, but he’s so amiable. People love him. And I remembered when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in college, and my father said, he was like, “Roxy, when you find what it is that you want to do, I want you to talk as if you’re already that person.” And I said, “That’s lying. And that’s like, pretending and acting.” He was like, “No, no, no. No, it’s not.”
[00:27:32] He’s like, “You have to be that person. Even if you don’t believe in it, you have to talk like you’re that person.” And that was like the most insightful advice I’ve ever gotten, and I still remember it to this day. And I was like, “Dad, you know about the law of attraction before you even put a term to it.” and that has really served me.
[00:27:48] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I think that is so important. Amy Cuddy. There’s a great TedTalk with Amy Cuddy, and she talks about, you know, “People will say fake it till you make it,” right? You could say that I’m this, I’m this. Then she actually said, you know, “You fake it until you become it.” You actually, until it integrates.
[00:28:03] And so it isn’t lying to yourself. It’s actually envisioning and allowing it, because if the universe can see it, if you can see it, then it can actually come to fruition.
[00:28:13] Roxy Shih: Bob, do you still think that hard work pays off, or do you think there’s like, working smarter is a better payoff?
[00:28:22] Bob Wheeler: I think working smarter. Hard work does not always equate to payoff.
[00:28:27] I know people that work hard in the industry. I know people that work hard in other industries and they do everything. They follow all the rules and they don’t get rewarded. I think just hard work in and of itself doesn’t always serve us. Cause sometimes we can be running on a hamster wheel very hard and we haven’t moved an inch.
[00:28:43] Roxy Shih: Right! And what does it mean to work smarter? Like in the most general sense?
[00:28:47] Bob Wheeler: So a lot of us, for people that work a 40 hour week, they make sure they fill up 40 hours. “Oh, I got to put in my eight hours.”
[00:28:54] Roxy Shih: Right.
[00:28:54] Bob Wheeler: Instead of saying, “You know what? I was super effective with five hours. I’m going to take these three hours and go relax.”
[00:28:59] And so, actually learning, and I struggle with this sometimes too, because I’m a workaholic and have to do 800 things at the same time, but I sometimes don’t always slow down, even though I know I’ve already done everything I needed to do for the day. Now I’m just surfing the internet.
[00:29:14] Roxy Shih: Right, right, right.
[00:29:15] Bob Wheeler: Just go ahead and say, “I’m leaving.”
[00:29:17] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:29:17] Bob Wheeler: “I’m going to go. I’ve done the task at hand, and now I’m going to go and relax. I’m going to go have a connection with somebody. I’m going to go take a weekend trip. I’m going to reward myself.” Because the whole point of being alive is to actually enjoy living.
[00:29:33] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:29:34] Bob Wheeler: And so, if we can nurture and affirm those places where it’s not just about putting in the time, it’s about being effective.
[00:29:42] Roxy Shih: Right, and I think that’s like, the shifting narrative in terms of this time that we’re living in, because what we were taught, I’m not sure what you were taught growing up, but it’s like work, work, work, work, and you’ll be rewarded later in your retirement. And I’m like, by the time I’m retired, I don’t know how much money I’ll have or how physically capable I am to enjoy life itself, you know?
[00:30:03] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. It’s interesting, I saw a little statistic, very wealthy people think that it’s all done through hard work and saving, but most of them inherited a very large amount of money, and the rest of us, yeah there’s work to be put in, but it can be more effective.
[00:30:18] And it could be something as simple as putting away 50 bucks a week, or starting to put money into an IRA when we’re 18. And even though money doesn’t mean anything. I’ve got several child actor clients who, “Oh, I don’t care about money,” but the parents certainly care about the money.
[00:30:35] And trying to tell a 16 year old or an 18 year old that you need to save for the future, like you’re making a lot of money now. Let’s bank it so you can do what you want later. It’s hard for some people to do that. “No, let’s spend it.” Especially with social media and everything. Gotta have it now. Learning that delayed gratification and learning to actually advocate for yourself in the short-term and the long-term in terms of your finances is so important.
[00:30:57] Roxy Shih: That’s something I really need to practice as well. I get really trigger happy. I have over 35 houseplants that I just bought over the course of like two months. So just maintaining them and not killing them and all of that.
[00:31:09] Bob Wheeler: Exactly. They need lots of…
[00:31:10] Roxy Shih: Good advice, Bob. Thank you.
[00:31:12] Bob Wheeler: Lots of water. Lots of water.
[00:31:13] Roxy Shih: Yeah, lots of water.
[00:31:15] Bob Wheeler: Well, we are at our Fast Five, which is brought to you by PodMatch, a service that matches ideal podcast guests and hosts for interviews. And I now have five questions for you.
[00:31:24] Roxy Shih: Okay. Let’s go.
[00:31:25] Bob Wheeler: Alright. Would you consider yourself a spender or a saver?
[00:31:28] Roxy Shih: Spender!
[00:31:31] Bob Wheeler: Even though you won’t buy the new car.
[00:31:33] Roxy Shih: I did buy the new car, it’s a convertible.
[00:31:35] Bob Wheeler: Oh sweet! Alright, we’ll talk, we’ll talk. How would you say working in a creative industry impacts your relationship with money?
[00:31:42] Roxy Shih: It’s really difficult. I have a fluctuating relationship with money, but I’m learning to nurture it a little bit more as I get older.
[00:31:49] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. What’s your financial superpower?
[00:31:52] Roxy Shih: Uh, oh shit. This is a really hard one. Do I have a financial superpower?
[00:31:58] I always know when a great deal is. I’m really good at bargaining for deals. I could get really good deals. That’s it.
[00:32:05] Bob Wheeler: That’s good!
[00:32:06] Roxy Shih: Okay, great. Okay, good. Good, good, good, good.
[00:32:07] Bob Wheeler: That’s good! That’s a good superpower. If you were given an unlimited budget on your next film, what’s the first thing you would splurge on?
[00:32:14] Roxy Shih: My fee!
[00:32:16] Bob Wheeler: That’s cool! It’s not a helicopter, huh? It’s not a helicopter.
[00:32:21] Roxy Shih: No, my fee.
[00:32:22] Bob Wheeler: Your fee.
[00:32:22] Roxy Shih: Roxy! I want a private jet.
[00:32:26] Bob Wheeler: There you go, that’s it. What do you want your money to do for you that it isn’t doing yet?
[00:32:32] Roxy Shih: I want passive income. I think that’s the one that I’m trying to figure out what would work the best for me right now.
[00:32:39] Bob Wheeler: Alright.
[00:32:40] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:32:40] Bob Wheeler: A duplex, buy a duplex.
[00:32:43] Roxy Shih: But then I have to like maintain them, and I have to flip it, I have to, ugh! Everything’s so much work.
[00:32:50] Bob Wheeler: It is!
[00:32:50] Roxy Shih: I just want to be a lazy person. I just want to sleep all day and water my plants.
[00:32:54] Bob Wheeler: Okay. Alright. Mutual funds. Mutual funds. That’s passive income.
[00:32:57] Roxy Shih: Well mutual funds, yes. I have some mutual funds.
[00:33:00] Bob Wheeler: All right, there you go.
[00:33:00] Roxy Shih: I should get more. Yeah. Thank you.
[00:33:02] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, so get more. You’re on the path. Well, let me ask you this. We’re at our M & M Moment, our Money and Motivation sweet spot.
[00:33:09] Do you have a practical tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that you could share with our listeners? Especially the creative folks out there.
[00:33:16] Roxy Shih: I would just say, as your paychecks continue to change, really evaluate your weekly budget. I think that budgeting is still a very important tool for me. As I get more social, as things start opening up, I realized that my monthly budget is very different from what I’ve been spending in my 2020 and 2021 years.
[00:33:33] So just be very mindful of that. That is always a really good tool no matter how far you get in your financial journey, I think.
[00:33:40] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Budgeting so important. You know, the number that I use for people, I just say, look, take 35% of your money. That’s for taxes, put it away. And then whatever’s left, 50% is for what you need, and then the rest is for savings and wants and all that stuff.
[00:33:56] So try and live off of 65% of your money, because 35% goes to taxes. Live off of 50% of that 65% and then you’ll have money when it gets really lean and tight.
[00:34:08] Roxy Shih: Private jet.
[00:34:09] Bob Wheeler: Private jet.
[00:34:10] Roxy Shih: There’s no rhyme or reason for it, I just want one.
[00:34:16] Bob Wheeler: Private jets are a good thing. They’re good. I mean, they’re a lot of upkeep. That’s more than a duplex. I will just say.
[00:34:20] Roxy Shih: Yeah, that’s probably really good advice. I should listen to that.
[00:34:24] Bob Wheeler: It might be cheaper to just rent a private jet every once in a while.
[00:34:28] Roxy Shih: That’s actually true. It’s like the same reason for why I would want a horse. I’m never going to ride the horse, but I would just upkeep it.
[00:34:36] Bob Wheeler: You can just rent one for the weekend and put it in your backyard and go, “that’s my horse.”
[00:34:39] Roxy Shih: That’s true.
[00:34:40] Bob Wheeler: That’s my horse. Of course.
[00:34:43] Roxy Shih: Thank you, I was like, wow, my own financial consultant and financial, you know, just sort of advice like in this podcast that everyone is going to hear. Amazing.
[00:34:52] Bob Wheeler: It’s amazing.
[00:34:52] Roxy Shih: Yeah.
[00:34:53] Bob Wheeler: So we all know she’s going to have a horse and a jet soon.
[00:34:55] Roxy Shih: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:34:55] Bob Wheeler: But they will both be rented.
[00:34:57] Roxy Shih: I’m manifesting that, thank you.
[00:34:59] Bob Wheeler: And there’s no shame in renting.
[00:35:01] Roxy Shih: Yes, no shame.
[00:35:02] Bob Wheeler: No shame. Well Roxy, here’s what I loved about this conversation, because we covered so many things. I love that you didn’t let anybody put out your light. Right? You had this creative spark, you had this idea of what you wanted, even if you weren’t completely sure, but you had a sense of what it wasn’t.
[00:35:19] And even though your parents, even though there may have been cultural pressure to do all these different things, you really stuck to your guns and held true to yourself. And I think that’s so important. And even with your parents having this big investment in you, they might’ve thought you were an IRA and you turned out to be, you know, a 401k. Right?
[00:35:40] But there’s also no blame. Like I’m not hearing, “Oh, my parents were evil.” You even said with such love, you said, “I love them so much.” And they just had a different expectation.
[00:35:52] Roxy Shih: Exactly.
[00:35:53] Bob Wheeler: Or a different set of goals that didn’t always line up. And so I really love that there’s not this baggage of, “Oh my God. Oh my God.” And even knowing that you’re a people pleaser, and even knowing that these were parts of you, that you’re not making that bad. You’re just saying, That was part of my experience.”
[00:36:09] Roxy Shih: Exactly.
[00:36:10] Bob Wheeler: And it’s so important for people to find out who they really are. You know, you don’t have to do it and it’s not always easy. But the rewards are so amazing when you actually find your voice, you step up and have a voice, and actually show up in a way that’s full of gratitude and abundance.
[00:36:29] And we can, we maybe can’t have everything, but we can have it all.
[00:36:33] Roxy Shih: Yes, yes, yes. I agree. Oh, that’s so good. Ooo, welcome to Bob Wheeler’s TedTalk. That’ll be it for now, ladies and gentlemen, and they/thems.
[00:36:42] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Roxy, where can people find you online and social media?
[00:36:46] Roxy Shih: You can follow me on Instagram @RoxyShih, it’s just my full name, no space. And you could DM me if you have any questions. We are also on Instagram @TwoHornyGoats. Just spell it out, Two Horny Goats. On Twitter, it’s @RoxyShih88, and I think that’s it. RoxyShih.com if you want to find more stuff about me. Thank you.
[00:37:03] Bob Wheeler: And besides List of a Lifetime, what other movies do you have coming out? People should check this stuff out. She’s an amazing director. You got to see List of a Lifetime on Lifetime Channel. It’ll make you cry. But what else are you doing?
[00:37:17] Roxy Shih: So I have two episodes on the Haunted Museum, one of them has already released on Discovery Plus, and then one is releasing on November 6th on the Haunted Museum on Discovery Plus. So those are my two big things right now, and then I’m working on developing more fun stuff for the future.
[00:37:31] Bob Wheeler: And if you need an amazing director to hire, reach out to her, cause…
[00:37:35] Roxy Shih: Please hire me! Yeah, because I want to grow my threshold.
[00:37:39] Bob Wheeler: And she needs a private jet.
[00:37:40] Roxy Shih: Yes. Need it. I need it.
[00:37:44] Bob Wheeler: “Need,” the important word, “need” there. Roxy, thank you so much. This has been so much fun.
[00:37:49] Roxy Shih: Oh my God, thank you so much, Bob, for having me. I had so much fun as well. Thank you.
[00:38:00] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they, too, can get off the rollercoaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.
[00:38:16] To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com. That’s nerve, not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.