Comedian, rapper, and actress Awkwafina (real name: Nora Lum) has come a long way since her days of self-publishing music videos on YouTube. From her turn in Ocean’s 8—in which she acted alongside Hollywood A-listers like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett—to her role in the highly anticipated Crazy Rich Asians, she’s got some well-deserved star power under her belt. Despite her success, however, she’s never forgotten where she started. And a touching open letter she wrote to herself and shared on Twitter shows just how important that is.
In her post on Sunday, August 12th, Awkwafina recalled putting her song “My Vag” on YouTube in 2012, which she followed up with another track called “NYC Bitches.” Although her work got the attention of an executive at a major record label, the potential deal never worked out.
Five years later, Awkwafina found herself on her way to the Crazy Rich Asians premiere in an Escalade on Hollywood Boulevard. The one connecting thread between those two experiences? Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” which she listened to on her way to both the record label meeting and the movie premiere.
The actress-rapper went on to describe how she kept working toward her goals, despite the naysayers.
Her tenacity certainly paid off. In addition to her ongoing rap career and Hollywood roles, she created the hilarious late-night talk show Tawk and has become an advocate for diversity in Tinseltown. Her achievements are a reminder that you should never give up on your dreams, even if you’ve been told “no.”
Read her full open letter below.
We can’t wait to see what she does next. Keep doing you, girl.