Angelina Phengphong graduated from Queensland Academies Creative Industries (QACI) in 2010 after achieving her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and developing a signature creative identity in Theatre.
We connected with Angelina recently and here is her story …
Angelina here. QACI alumni. Class of 2010. Theatre kid. Chaos addict.
I am a producer and operations manager at Nylon Studios, a boutique sound and music house with studios in Sydney and New York. We specialise in high-budget advertising, film and television, and, more recently, the world of VR.
During high school, I wanted to be a producer but when I graduated I decided to try something different. I completed my Bachelor of Business Marketing and went into a year of research for my Honours degree at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in hopes to complete my PhD. I didn’t see being a producer anywhere in my future – I was going to be a marketing consultant, an academic, and I was excited about it.
I spent a year travelling after university, and found myself still working in production on short films and independent features – mostly for free – and I balanced this with my job at a cafe. Even after 3 years of studying marketing, without even consciously thinking about it, I was still working in production. I was still involved because I loved it. I loved the work. I loved the chaos. I loved the problem solving. I thought, “Before I go down the academia path, I have to see where this path will take me, because I can’t seem to shake it.”
So, I made the move to Sydney. After a short few months making more coffee, I found myself at Nylon Studios as their front-of-house co-ordinator. Two years later, I have been the producer for the post department and now producing the VR and Long-form projects here at Nylon. Every day I’m challenging myself to learn and develop new skills. My work ethic remains to be one of strongest assets to my career and QACI helped me build that.
When I think about my time at QACI, I think about its challenges, along with its rewards, and how they helped me develop the skills and mind-set to work under high pressure – skills that now help me deal with unpredictable days in the studio. When you fail – and you will – you learn to pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes. When you succeed – and you will – you’re inspired to find new ways of growing and pushing the boundaries. Neither of these situations are valuations of your worth. They are practices necessary in achieving your goals. The thing about QACI is that it encourages and challenges students to develop a whole, balanced self. The QACI kids think differently. They are creative. They are fearless. They are resilient.
My path, from my time at QACI to where I am now, was not the straightest of paths, and, to be honest, I don’t think it’s set to straighten any time soon. I would have scarcely imagined I would be where I am today. From wanting to be a performer, to then a producer, to a marketing strategist and academic, I have found myself in a job that utilises all my strengths and passions. Not only do I get to work on some amazing Film & TV projects, but I also get to appease my appetite for hard balling, budgeting and scheduling.
For any past, present & future students of QACI – remember that hard work and persistence are key. In everything you do, give it your all. Be a risk-taker and allow yourself to have the courage to follow your instincts and be a critical thinker. Learn to make decisions for yourself and, most importantly, own the decisions you make. Find the opportunity in every situation you may be in. Don’t be disheartened when your path seems to take you further away from your destination; sometimes it turns out to be a shortcut.