22_interviewProfession: Dancer
Location: New York City

You’re a member of Soka Gakkai International (SGI). How were you introduced to Nichiren Buddhism?
My best friend from college was an SGI member who was born into the practice. I would see her chanting all the time, but it never occurred to me to ask her about it—it literally took me four years to go, “What are you doing?” She explained to me that she was chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,” the mystic law of the universe and part of the title of the Lotus Sutra [the main text of Nichiren Buddhism], and that it was a way to tap into each person’s innate potential for great wisdom and compassion—their buddhanature. I went to a meeting with her and began to chant, and it just spoke to me. I started to feel different. Things started to happen in my life.

How so? I got fired. Sort of.

What? I had a nine-to-five job as a graphic designer, working for a Korean company, but I’ve always danced, and every once in a while I’d go to an audition and book a dancing job on the side. Even before I started chanting, I was beginning to book more and more dancing gigs, and I realized that I could actually work as a professional dancer. But I still had this job at the office.

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