Episode 191

Kasey Ma ·  First Asian American Female on American Dating Reality Show

“Uplifting entrepreneurs and content creators, and being able to tell their stories is something that I want to do always. ”

Kasey Ma is a well-known content creator, Twitch streamer, blogger, owner of TheStyleWright LLC (social media coaching, influencer relations management), and now founder of a gaming tech brand. She most recently made her TV debut on Amazon Prime Video’s “The One That Got Away”, making her the first Asian American female lead on an American dating reality show. With her being in the “bachelorette” role on television, she portrayed herself with a lot of passion and strength in her love journey, which is something you typically do not see as Asian American females on the screen.


Having been a full-time content creator since 2015, Kasey is no stranger to the spotlight, but she remains genuine in her intentions to inspire and motivate other females in the media space.


Social Media Handles:


Instagram: @KaseyMa

Twitch: @KaseyMa

TikTok: @KaseyMa

YouTube: @KaseyMa

Twitter: @KaseyMa__

Website: TheStyleWright.com

Listen to the podcast

Watch the interview

Podcast Transcript

Kasey Ma Interview

[00:00:00] Maggie Chui: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Asian Hustle Network podcast. Today, we have a very special guest with us. Her name is Kasey Ma. Kasey, welcome to the show. 

[00:00:11] Kasey Ma: Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure being here. 

[00:00:14] Maggie Chui: We’re very excited to have you on the podcast so let’s get right into it, Kasey we would love to know what your upbringing was like, where you grew up, where you were born, and raised, and what your childhood kind of shape you to become the person that you are today.

[00:00:28] Kasey Ma: Yeah. So I was born in North Jersey, very close to Manhattan and New York City up until I was 18 years old. I grew up actually in a very, Caucasian neighborhood. From my upbringing, I already experienced a lot of, I guess you would say like, unfortunately bullying and everything from my schoolmates and stuff like that, just because I would look different or my culture was very different.

[00:00:55] I had to assimilate quic figure out how to kind of blend in with my American heritage because my parents had no idea what was going on since I was the first generation. It wasn’t until I went to school in the city at NYU that I realized there are a lot of people that look like me and diversity is a thing.

[00:01:20] It was the first time I felt able within my own skin. Sucked that it took my whole childhood to kind of realize that I am normal, there are people like me, and I can be seen even just as beautiful or accepted. I had a very interesting semi, I guess traumatic experience, like growing up, and looking different, but I think it shaped am today and made me a lot stronger of an Asian woman in America today.

[00:01:55] That’s how I grew up. I studied economics in school. I also landed a job right out of college in the fashion industry, but more on the analytics, like number sides. I’d work a lot with the buyers, I would be a financial planner for Lord & Taylor, and then I got recruited into Macy’s as a pricing manager and analyst.

[00:02:19] I got recruited again, buying an external data analytics firm slash consulting company as well. I just kind of jumped salaries quickly and I felt everything that I thought was going against me when I was younger, was all of a sudden coming into fruition, and, in my career, it didn’t matter at all.

[00:02:43] Being Asian was ane because we’re just smarter people. We’re really smart and intelligent. Because I had to learn how to socially adapt quickly to people who might have not accepted me right away, it’s easier now for me to read the room, and even if someone doesn’t initially like me, how do I break that barrier and make them feel comfortable to make me feel comfortable too?

[00:03:10] I think that helped a lot with my job experience. Throughout all of these jobs, I finally landed that six-figure income job. I was so excited and made y parents prouver, I was traveling every other week and I la blog the first year out of college. I did content creation in the old school where I would write articles on my blog.

[00:03:34] We were called “bloggers” and it was about fashion. Take my iPhone 4 at the time and ask my coworkers to take pictures of my dresses during lunch, outside of the department stores and find random parks that just take photos in. Nothing has to be perfect in order effort anything.” Excuse me.

[00:04:02] I don’t know. I just launched my blog that day. I post three times a week. I would stay up until two or three in the morning every day after my job, just posting on a blog post and coupling that with my Instagram at the time as well to drive more traffic to the website. I had no idea that it was going to be lucrative until maybe six months later after launch, I had been very consistent about it, barely sleeping. 

[00:04:30] Someone offered me money to wear their hat and their shirt, six months into just launching, and I was like, “Oh my goodness, you can make money off of this?” It was like a shell shock because I was just doing this because I. After all, writing, I loved to take photos, and I loved social media at the time.

[00:04:53] Influencer wasn’t even coined a term at that point so it was back in 2015 like nobody knew what that was. It was realizing as to why people were paying me to wear stuff when I wasn’t even that big or anything like that. I just kept up with it, I was being consistent, and started going to New York Fashion Week every single season.

[00:05:17] I became really big in the New York fashion industry of influencers. Two years later, the influencer term came around. A lot of people started flooding the industry, the market. The workload was getting very heavy. I started hiring assistants, photographers, videographers, and people that would help me run my newsletter, publish my YouTube videos, edit my videos and found New York City and New Jersey to take photos and help me kind of put everything together. It was really like a full-blown social media agency almost like self. I just learned so much through that experience. Can I just take a sip of water?

[00:06:01] Maggie Chui: Yeah, of course. 

[00:06:02] Kasey Ma: Okay, sorry. 

[00:06:03] Maggie Chui: No worries.

[00:06:09] Kasey Ma: So anyway, I was running a business but instead of the product being an actual physical, tangible product, it was me. As Asian Americans, we’re not taugrag about ourselves, if that makes sense. It was really weird that the spotlight was on me. I was still trying to be humble as much as possible, like writing about motivational stories, growing up, and how that has kind of affected me, like my troubles and my struggles.

[00:06:41] I still try to keep as grounded as possible. I think a lot of that has helped me keep the humility that I have within this industry. It’s that I came from where the influencer industry was not a big thing. It wasn’t very vain. It was posted because creatively, we liked it. We liked writing. We liked the photos.

[00:07:00] There was no clout chasing back then, we just wrote to just do it, publish things, and make ourselves happy and fulfilled in a creaticreativelydefinitely a weird experience. My parents were like, “This is a cute project. You’re doing it on the side. This is adorable. This is great.” 

[00:07:23] And then once I hit my six-figure income job, traveling every other week, I was like, “Hey dad, I have to tell you something.” And he’s like, “What?” And I go, “I’m going to quit my job and pursue being an influencer full-time.” I remember it was at a steakhouse.

[00:07:47] He just looks at me and he’s like, “Are you kidding me?” He’s like, “How are you even going to make money?” I was like, “What do you mean dad? I’m already making money. I’m making a part-time income with my part-time hours and a full-time job.” And he is like, “How much are you making a year? And I’m like, “Like $30,000 a year.”

[00:08:10] And he was like, “Oh, wow. I thought you were making like $200 a year.” He was just so surprised and obviously, $30K is not enough to live off of either, but I just believed in myself so much that if I had put all of my hours into something that I love like I could make time.

[00:08:32] Before quitting my job, I made sure to save up a year’s worth of savings which is like a ridiculous amount of cushion. Usually, people have three months or six, but I was like, “No. Six months of savings and if all else failed, then it’s fine. I can always go back to my job.”

[00:08:50] So I quit. I quit because I was taking on too much as well. What pushed the needle for me was I was traveling in a plane from Ohio because we were traveling a lot and I remember getting up out of my seat and I wanted to get water from the flight attendant. As soon as the seatbelt sign turned off, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to go get some water.”

[00:09:18] And I remember my hand is like reaching up towards the kitchen and all of a sudden, I faint and I black out. I hit my head on the corner of the seat, like a plastic armrest. 

[00:09:31] Maggie Chui: Yeah. 

[00:09:33] Kasey Ma: I really hit my head and then next thing I know, I’m like sitting up in a chair. I wake up and I’m like, “Did I just faint?”

[00:09:43] I’m just looking at so many people surrounding me, like wondering if I’m okay. I know I had drank before water, eaten food, and eaten dinner-eaten forehand, but I think because of the stress level, my body physically couldn’t handle a full-time job, with such high demands, and also me trying to succeed at a side hustle.

[00:10:05] It was at that point where I was like, “Okay. I need back and realize what just happened to my body.” At that time also, like two months before that, my mom had just gotten diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, so that coupled with me fainted blacking out, and actually, we had to rush to the hospital.

[00:10:31] They had emergently landed the plane for me. The whole United Airline, like literally we landed two hours into the flight and I had to stay overnight until like four in the morning. I couldn’t even tell my parents because they were sleeping at the time so I was just all alone. Even my boyfriend at the time was sleeping too.

[00:10:51] It was just like I felt so alone. It brouinto this mindset where I’m young and I need to do what I love to do now. With my mom being sick, I wanted to spend more time with her. She also made me realize how life is precious and you never know when it’s going to end, so you might as well just give everything your all and not make your body suffer like that.

[00:11:19] All of that together, it j made me really wanna pursue my dreams. That’s basically like a ring story about how I came to be where I am for at least content creation. So that’s why I decided to pursue that route. 

[00:11:39] Maggie Chui: First of all, I’m so sorry to hear what happened with your mother. 

[00:11:43] Kasey Ma: Oh, thank you. 

[00:11:43] Maggie Chui: That must have been such a heartbreaking time for you, especially when you were juggling both your job and being a content creator full-time, doing both of those things, and with health issues with people in your family. That just weighs down on you so much. 

[00:11:59] Kasey Ma: It does.

[00:12:00] Maggie Chui: It just goes to show like if there’s just so much on your plate, all that burden on your shoulders, we get burnt out. We get burnt out so easily and that’s why you probably fainted. That’s probably why you fainted on that plane.

[00:12:14] I’m so glad to hear that you’re okay now. 

[00:12:17] Kasey Ma: Me too. 

[00:12:18] Maggie Chui: That is such an amazing story, Kasey. There’s so much to break down there and I was just going to ask what year you started content creation, you said it was 2015 and you’re right. At that time, no one knew what an influencer was. 

[00:12:32] No one knew could make money on social media and people were just posting on Instagram just to post on Instagram, like posting their food picks. 

[00:12:39] Kasey Ma: Food picks! Selfies, like pictures of your jewelry, like it was for name stuff. 

[00:12:46] Maggie Chui: Exactly. Like very basic stuff, everyday kind of stuff, but no one tookiously to the point where they knew, “Oh, I could be one-off this.” So for you to actually kind of think a couple of steps ahead of everyone else and even if you didn’t know that you can make a lot of money off of it but you still went at it and kept at it, it just goes to show that perseverance like maybe this will be something in the end, and its red become something in the end. It’s just so amazing to see. 

[00:13:15] I know that you were juggling both your job and content creation. Did you always have this entrepreneurial mindset? Did you grow up thinking you were going to become an entrepreneur or was it something that just came out of nowhere because you started content creation? Working your nine-to-five, everyone always says if you don’t come from an entrepreneurial background, it’s really hard to see that entrepreneurial mindset or have that entrepreneurial mindset.

[00:13:42] I want to hear from your perspective. Did you always know that you were going to become an entrepreneur? 

[00:13:48] Kasey Ma: Yes, When I was a kid, it probably helped because my dad is also an entrepreneur as well. He acted us to all have a stable job because I know he said he struggled so much to launch his business.

[00:14:05] He wants the best for us and to have a stable job, but within myself, I knew I always wanted to start something of my own and I knew I wanted it to be in fashion, so hence fashion blogging, which is what I started in. Originally, I bought my domain. My company is called TheStyleWright LLC.

[00:14:27] Under that company, I was going to actually curate local designers and boutiques and sell them via a storefront online. It was going to be very similar to Ideally or Gilt, but less about flash sales and more about promoting local businesses. That was the domain I originally got and it was on Shopify.

[00:14:49] Then I realized, even though I landed these meetings and was able to talk to these store owners and they loved the idea, I couldn’t leave my job in the middle of the day to negotiate these meetings for three hours and by the time my work ended, I couldn’t see them at 7 or 8 PM, like they had to go home. So I knew that wasn’t viable for my first type of entrepreneurship.

[00:15:16] Yeah, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and even now, I’m considering this idea and I’m starting a gaming accessories tech brand. It’s just always within me to create something and try new things.

[00:15:32] I’m a go-getter and I’m not afraid to take risks. I always make sure they’re very calculated. I’m making this brand for females. I’m all about female empowerment too. Everything that speaks to my soul is I just try it out and it’s not my first idea either.

[00:15:52] I’ve had five other different ideas. I’ve had a fitness brand idea, like a lifestyle clothing brand. I’ve had jewelry. I’ve thought about beauty. I’ve thought about so many things, but I want back to the industry that saved me during the pandemic and that’s when I pivoted to Twitch gaming and streaming. 

[00:16:13] I realized how much of a struggle it is to become a female streamer and I was like, “Let me give women all the tools and the confidence they need to be able to make these cute setups.” Marketing themselves is important and I want to give them the tools to be able to create that type of environment for them. 

[00:16:37] Maggie Chui: I loved that. I can tell that you have done so much for female representation and woman representation. Especially with being a Twitch partner, we can talk about that as well. I want to know, what was your experience being on Twitch?

[00:16:55] Because I’ve heard from so many other different women on Twitch saying how hard it is, especially because that industry is so overpopulated with males, with men. Right. That goes with any industry. I think a lot of different industries are overpopulated with men and it’s just natural.

[00:17:14] I think it’s because women don’t speak up as often. Either that could just be imposter syndrome or people don’t give us the time of day to let us tell our stories or voice our opinions. I think it’s so amazing that you’re increasing that representation for women on screen. For example, on Twitch. 

[00:17:35] I want to know. We can go into that a little bit more too because we know that you’re on The One That Got Away but before we get into that, tell us what your experience is like on Twitch, how it shifted, and how it has changed your perspective on woman representation online and on Twitch.

[00:17:56] Kasey Ma: Already it was tough as an influencer to be a female, I think in my experience but luckily, because so many females had entered the market, when I went to events, there were always other females there in the room to support you, especially in fashion. Luckily, I was always surrounded by females or gay men. Usually, it’s not straight men who would harass me or whatever like that. 

[00:18:25] I would get a few jabs here and there online but because mostly my audience was female, it was totally fine and the content that I was posting about was catered towards females. I’d always cater to a predominantly woman audience. 

[00:18:42] During the pandemic, however, a lot of fashion and beauty brands had cut their marketing a lot and that included social media marketing as well. So I was basically out of all of my campaigns for almost a year, I would say, and it was terrifying because how was I going to pay the bills and how was I going to put food on my table? All of these things, I was worried about all of a sudden, and I hadn’t had to for a while.

[00:19:10] I switched to gaming because I was playing this game called Animal Crossing and again, luckily, a predominantly female game too. It’s a calmer game. It’s about decorating your islands and changing clothes.

[00:19:29] It felt like I was being a fashion icon but in Animal Crossing. It was like the perfect game for me to be naturally gravitated towards. I wasn’t even a gamer before then, but I picked it up because I was just so sad and depressed about my life. And I was like, “What do I do with my life? I have no campaigns. I have no work. I have no gigs.” And I was like, “Let me just take my stress out on this game.” I started playing 10 hours a day and realized the addiction was real. I started playing with my friends. 

[00:20:01] I found out that a lot of people online were playing the game. When I posted it on my Instagram, some of my communities and some of my friends were like, “Oh, I play that game too. We should play together sometime.” And I’m like, “Okay. Yeah, sure. Let’s do that.” I realized the camaraderie that was built just by gaming with people for so long during this really hard time.

[00:20:22] One time, my friend, he’s like, “You’re so good at talking on the spot. Have you thought about Twitch streaming?” And I go, “Oh, no. That’s not for me. We’re not doing that.” I was like I like everything to be edited and I think about it before it’s posted and he was like, “Well, I know you like content creation and you’ve been depressed about not being able to produce anything and make any money off of it, so maybe you can try building your audience on a different platform while you’re bored and sad.” And I’m like, “Okay. No.” I sat on it for three months and then after that I was like, “All right, screw it. Let me just try it. I have nothing else to do. I like learning new things.” So I started and I was so scared.

[00:21:10] I did my first stream on my MacBook Pro, which is not a computer you should stream on, by the way. It will eat your processor alive and make it die, but I did it anyway and I streamed for six hours on my first stream and then I knew I’m in love with just building a community all the time.

[00:21:32] This is my calling. It was just so natural for me. The gameplay didn’t save on my Twitch so then I got really upset. It took me a while to start streaming again. I waited like a month and the first consistent stream I did, I was no makeup. I did it on my phone and it was just a chatting stream, like a FaceTime quality type of stream.

[00:22:00] I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to press go live because if I don’t do this now, I’m never going to do it.” And I was like, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.” So I just went live and I was just like, “Hey, how are you doing? I play Animal Crossing. How are you? I know the game’s not on the screen, but I thought this was a great way to introduce myself to you guys.”

[00:22:18] That was my first stream and then from then on I was like, “Okay, I know to grow on anything, you have to be consistent.” So I streamed four to five days a week and then I finally got my act together. I just started to stream Animal Crossing on my laptop for three months and my laptop died because you’re not supposed to stream on that. 

[00:22:40] I taught myself how to build a computer from scratch just so it can handle both gaming and streaming at the same time because I realized in three months, I had grown so much and it was like a new audience. Luckily again, as I said, my audience was mostly female so I didn’t experience too much trolling yet.

[00:23:01] So it took three months, to build my computer. I started making $200 a month to eventually $3,000 a month within six months. I was like, “I’m paying my bills again. Are you serious?” I was so excited like it was such a huge success story and in six months, I also got a Twitch partner too.

[00:23:23] I had grown so much within such a short peperiodOnce the Animal Crossing hype died down, the game kind of concluded, it was again the right timing, right place. I think the game was launched, so I capitalized on that moment. Right now, even though my audience has dwindled because I changed into Fortnite mostly now, I like trying out new games, and I guess I’m not as organized because I have a lot going on, but I still stream three times a week. 

[00:23:53] It was only when I started streaming on Fortnite and did more than just chatting streams where I would just chat for two hours before the game, then I started to receive a lot of trolls and a lot of hate.

[00:24:08] I swear like people just see a female on screen especially if she’s a minority and they will say very sexist things or things about me being Asian. It was terrible. They would just be like, “Oh my God, open your eyes.” Or things like, “Why are you streaming on here? This is for boys. This is for men. You don’t know what you’re doing here.”

[00:24:35] I’d get a lot of hateful messages like that and streaming is a little bit more difficult to manage because they’re saying this stuff to you live and you have to think about how to respond to it in a second versus something on Instagram or like a blog post, you can just think about it and maybe delete it. I did teach my mods to delete comments like that pretty quickly and ban them so they don’t affect me as much. But I have to choose between ignoring them or sometimes, I like to call them out because it’s fun.

[00:25:13] But again, obviously if it feeds too much into it, then ban them. I like to set an example for my community since they are mostly females, and if a man talks to you like this or a boy talks to you like this, it’s not always great to be silent about it. They’re just going to keep doing it because they’re not receiving any repercussions or any fighting back. 

[00:25:37] I’m a person where I’m like, “Hey, why did you feel like you needed to bring your trauma into my community? This is a place where we’re trying to be positive here so regardless of what I look like, you can keep your comments to yourself because they’re coming from a place of hurt and I hope you get the help you need to become a more secure version of yourself.” I say stuff like that. I just want to stand up for myself and I hope even in relationships, if their husband if their boyfriend or their friend talks to them like this and they’re uncomfortable to know that there are people like me that will say something back and if you want to say something back, that’s okay too. 

[00:26:20] That’s why I do that on Twitch. Over time it was tough, but you do start to ignore these things and realize it’s not about you. It’s about them a lot. That’s what got me through, I would say Twitch streaming for sure.

[00:26:39] Now, it’s just I have amazing mods who know if any of that happens, they just ban them immediately, I just have to ignore them, and I just start focusing on the game again. Why I’m streaming in the first place is to create a community of people together to feel comfortable. I know many people have said that I’ve saved them throughout the pandemic because I was like a sister to them or a mom to them if they were younger.

[00:27:06] I helped them a lot through their anxiety or their depression when they felt so alone being isolated and quarantined. When I remember that’s the reason why I stream and why it keeps me going, it makes these little comments so minuscule and much easier to ignore. That would be my advice. Just focus on why you did it in the first place and the more successful you become, the more haters you’re going to get. So you’re doing something right. 

[00:27:38] Maggie Chui: Definitely. I was just going to say that because oftentimes, I hate comments, it’s rest a reflection of the person who’s leaving that comment. It’s like they don’t know you, they don’t talk to you daily, so it’s like where do they find that foundation to have or comment that hate comment?

[00:27:57] I do agree with you, like the bigger you get, the more hate you’re going to get. That’s just natural. You’re going to get it. Maybe there are a lot of younger people on social media who just haven’t experienced a lot yet and they don’t row the right things to say.

[00:28:15] And a lot of times, they’re just projecting from themselves and it’s a reflection of who they are. But I agree with you. If you have the opportunity to educate them, then I think it’s important for you to make an educated response for you to teach them and make sure that they don’t do it again.

[00:28:34] But sometimes, it’s not worth it to leave a comment. It’s not worth it to respond to them. It depends. You either do not respond to them and delete their comment, or ban them, or you can try to educate them and if they still don’t change, if they still feel like they want to leave a “he” comment, at least you know that you did your part. You did your part to educate them.

[00:28:57] I’m glad that you’re able to find the right way that worked for you to educate your followers and your platform. The people who are following you. I love that advice. It’s really good. You’ve done so much and it’s just amazing to see how fast you’ve grown.

[00:29:18] I just wanted to circle back on the fact that you just had your iPhone now, you didn’t even have your makeup on. Oftentimes, the ones that are super laid back or the ones that do well and that goes for TikTok too. I feel like people are so honed in on making their content perfect that they spend so much time perfecting it.

[00:29:39] “Oh, it has to be perfect. I have to edit it. I have to make sure the sound is good.” But then most of the time when it’s like the most laid back content, like when you don’t even have your makeup on or if you don’t even edit it, oftentimes it does well because your audience or your followers feel like they’re seeing you’re natural you. 

[00:29:57] They’re seeing the most real you and so they’re able to connect with you more. 

[00:30:01] Kasey Ma: Exactly.

[00:30:01] Maggie Chui: I think that just goes to show. Just do it. Just post your content. Just, stream. Just do it, but don’t worry too much about the minuscule stuff, which is like exactly what you did. 

[00:30:13] Kasey Ma: Yeah. People appreciate authenticity. I know a bunch of friends and people who have come up to me and asked me for advice about social media, and how they start, and it’s never about the skill or the fact that they don’t have time to do this. I find that’s usually an excuse. Most of where I think it comes from why they feel like they can’t start is this need to be perfect and this need to have the best equipment, photos, and all of this. If they can’t achieve that level of greatness on their first post, they don’t want to put it out there. I find that hinders a lot of budding entrepreneurs from taking that first leap of faith.

[00:30:59] There is beauty in being able to embrace mistakes and embracing risk because once you make these mistakes or these thoughts that maybe you didn’t want, there’s at least a foundation. You like measurements on which you can improve upon. There’s only one mistake. That’s where I look at success and why maybe I have a more positive outlook on trying new things is because I’m like, “Mistakes? I love those. Those are great because tomorrow, it’s going to be even better. There’s no more. It can’t get worse.” I believe the world is just fighting for balance. There are a lot of downs, but if it’s down for so long, it’s going to go up soon. That’s what I believe in.

[00:31:54] Just knowing that the universe has its way of balancing things out for you, then you don’t have to be afraid. A lot of people want to achieve this extreme level of happiness whereas I view life as I’m trying to get to this level of contentment which has waves of happiness, sadness, and depression, and that’s normal. You just want to get as close to the middle as possible, but you don’t have to go all the way up there because that’s unrealistic. That’s where I think contentment comes from. 

[00:32:24] Maggie Chui: Absolutely. I do want to shift the podcast a little bit and talk about The One That Got Away.

[00:32:30] Kasey, you were cast as a lead along with Vince Xu on the reality dating show, The One That Got Away. It’s on Prime Video and Amazon Freevee that just came out. So this is the first time. An Asian male and female have been cast as leads on an American reality dating show which is amazing. That’s being in the bachelor or bachelorette role instead of a suitor. Tell us how this all happened. What was that experience like and what was that process like? Did they approach you or did you reach out to them? Have you ever had any acting experience before?

[00:33:12] Kasey Ma: Okay. No to the acting experience. I took one acting class in high school, but I never wanted to pursue that route. That’s even harder than content creation. No, thanks. No, thank you. I had been reached out by MTV first and Viacom to star on another show. It was kind of similar to the Bling Empire, but without the money. It was about Asian entrepreneurs within a friend group.

[00:33:44] That was before the pandemic started. I had made it to the final round. My friend group and I were going to be the ones in the middle, like the main character. It was like my group of friends like I was going to be like Kevin Kreider. They were in between an LA group and a New York group, and they were going to fly us out to California.

[00:34:09] Then literally that same week in March, I think it was 2018, that’s when the pandemic happened and it was a worldwide shutdown. I was so upset because this was the perfect show for me and again, I was able to represent Asian minorities. I was just so excited to do it, but that never went through.

[00:34:35] The casting recruiter was saying that they’ll keep me in mind for future opportunities and honestly, I didn’t think much of it because everyone who’s ever applied for a job, you hear that all the time like, “This is not a good fit at this moment, but we’ll keep your resume on file for future opportunities.” And then you never hear back from them. I thought I was never going to hear back from them ever. Fast forward two years later, I had just ended my seven-and-a-half-year relationship actually, and that’s when The One That Got Away casting producers reached out to me.

[00:35:12] I’ve probably been about six months out of the relationship for a year. They said, “We have this opportunity where you will get to date people from your past, whether they went to your school, you were in the voice class together, or it’s a mutual friend that you know.” And I was like, “You’re kidding me. This is perfect!” Because I’ve always been such a monogamous type of relationship person. I’ve always been in a relationship so I never got to date before ever. I’ve only been single for as long as maybe six months, so I had no idea what dating was about. I was like, “This is perfect. 

[00:35:51] I’ve caught my eyes with a cute guy in my class, but couldn’t say anything because I was in a relationship and I’m good at being loyal. All of these things. I was like, “Oh my God. Who has had a crush on me? Who would date me?” I’m like, “This is so exciting.” They did follow through. They did think of me and the casting process was long.

[00:36:13] It was six months because it wasn’t just me they were casting, it was me plus six other dates that would want to show up for me. Quarantine for two weeks would need to take off their job for a month and a half. They’d have to take off. To show up for me, they would have to be single, like not married. No kids.

[00:36:35] At 30 years old, that’s a little difficult to find some time. There was a longer casting process and it was like that for all six of us too. They dug through our social media, our Instagram, Facebook, everything, and then if they couldn’t find anyone, they would ask us, “Okay. Can you also submit a list of guys that might be interested in you, are single, and from your past?” And I’m like, “Oh my God. Okay.” That’s kind of like how it happens and none of us knew who was going to show up for us at the portal. That’s how chaos happened on the show. 

[00:37:17] Maggie Chui: Oh my gosh. That is so crazy! That would be so much pressure on me. I’m like, I don’t even know who to name.

[00:37:23] Kasey Ma: It was crazy. There was a point where some guys were falling through because they have jobs and they can’t take off. They were really good candidates and I’m like, “Uh oh.” So I go through my Facebook and I’m like, New York University, alphabetized.

[00:37:39] And I’m like, “Okay. This one. This one. This one. This one. High school. Okay, here we go.” It was crazy. It felt so regimented and I wish I had people on the top of my mind but a lot of them, you’d be surprised like, “You can’t make this happen because of their work and stuff.” 

[00:37:57] Maggie Chui: Wow. That’s amazing. We’re not going to give away too much about the show because we want our listeners to watch it themselves and find out what happens. It’s just amazing how Vince has done so much to represent Asians on the show. I think it’s very special because there is a lot of other dating shows that are just only Asians and there’s nothing wrong with that. I do love seeing a lot more Asian reality dating shows on Netflix. 

[00:38:26] The one thing that’s so special about The One That Got Away is that not everyone on this show is Asian. It just exemplifies that Asian representation is so important. It’s good to see Asians being on the same show as other ethnicities that are non-Asian. It is amazing to see.

[00:38:47] What was that one thing that you learned from the reality dating show that you could take away from you, just in regards to Asian representation and woman representation from the show?

[00:39:01] Kasey Ma: Stick to your guns, I would say is the best lesson I’ve learned. Know who you are and don’t settle for anybody.

[00:39:11] If you are sacrificing so much of yourself to give to someone else, that’s not the person for you. Even though this person will show how much they adore you or they’re being a gentleman and they’re doing all the right things, if they’re not uplifting you, if they’re not challenging you to become a better person, this is not a right fit for you. I realized you’re not supposed to be in a relationship to fulfill your happiness. You’re wanting to be in a relationship or find that partner to complement your happiness. I think that’s the most important lesson that I’ve learned. I need to be happy about myself and where I am in life before I can even chip away at that and share it with someone else.

[00:39:59] Other partners should also be thinking the same thing. There are so many codependent relationships out there that are super unhealthy. You can see at the beginning of the show, I kind of have that and I’m struggling with my past self and my past choices in relationships, whereas if the guy is being an amazing suitor and saying all the right things, I’m like, “Oh my God, I’m in love.”

[00:40:23] And it would fool me. That’s not who I should be picking to share with in my life. Now, I’m extremely selective in who would possibly be my next boyfriend because I would hopefully want them to be my husband too. I want them to not only say the right things, but do the right things, show me that they do appreciate and value me, and want me to grow individually too.

[00:40:53] Maggie Chui: Spot on. That can go for relationships, business partners, your community, everything.

[00:41:00] Kasey Ma: Friendships. Oh my God. 

[00:41:02] Maggie Chui: Right. It’s so easy for a lot of people to have this face or mask to try to show that they’re like the best person, but you have to make sure that there are values aligned with yours and this could go for your girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever business partner, friend, whatever it may be.

[00:41:21] I think that’s a really good lesson and advice that you gave. Just make sure that person has your best interests and vice versa because there are a lot of people who might not have that for you. 

[00:41:33] Kasey Ma: Exactly. I’ve also learned how to put even friendships in different categories, almost.

[00:41:39] It’s like, “Okay. Here are the friends that I can share everything with. My soul, my heart, my everything.” And then some friends are like, “Maybe they’re more acquaintances or like business professionals and we can keep friendly lfriends.” And there are people that you don’t get along with and maybe you’ll just see them when you see them.

[00:41:57] Then there are people you don’t like, which hopefully is not that many. When you meet someone, it’s almost like you have to put them in these four different categories and it’s a really interesting process. I’m learning as an adult that I used to put everyone in the first category.

[00:42:14] Like, “Let’s share everything with them. I want to be best friends with everyone.” But I realize not everyone wants that and it can hurt you if you put too much of your heart on your sleeve in that way. I’ve been learning that through friendships too. 

[00:42:29] Maggie Chui: Absolutely. Kasey, what’s next for you in the next five years? What do you have planned for yourself? Do you have anything that you’d like to share with the audience? 

[00:42:40] Kasey Ma: Yeah. Basically like on my Twitch streams, I’m doing some sort of a talk show soon, like set up, where I’m going to be inviting other entrepreneurs.

[00:42:53] I’m going to favor the Asian people, but I’m not just going to do that. Uplifting entrepreneurs and content creators, and being able to tell their stories is something that I want to do and give back. Also again, my gaming tech brand as well. I’m hoping that in five years, it should launch by then.

[00:43:18] I’m hoping that it’s successful. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll make another TV appearance, hopefully not a dating show. Maybe something else that’s more focused on either my life or my entrepreneurship, something that’s also uplifting but in a different way.

[00:43:38] Hopefully in five years, I’m married as well. All of these good things, hopefully, you’ll be able to expect and see for me in five years. 

[00:43:50] Maggie Chui: Yay! We can’t wait. I know for sure those things are all going to happen. 

[00:43:54] Kasey Ma: Thank you. 

[00:43:55] Maggie Chui: Yeah, of course. Kasey, we have one last question for you and that is if you could give one piece of advice to someone who is trying to find their voice and trying to represent themselves whether they be Asian, any other minority group, or as a woman even, what would that one advice be? 

[00:44:20] Kasey Ma: Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Know your value. Know your worth. Make sure people know that. Don’t shove it in their face and say, “I’m the best.” But show it through your actions and exude that confidence that you have.

[00:44:40] The world is full of haters. You cannot stop them, but don’t let that stop you from being the best person you are. 

[00:44:48] Maggie Chui: I love that advice. Thank you so much for that.

[00:44:51] Kasey Ma: Of course. 

[00:44:52] Maggie Chui: Where can our listeners find out more about you online and The One That Got Away? 

[00:44:58] Kasey Ma: You can watch The One That Got Away. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime and on Amazon Freevee which is a free service so even if you don’t have Prime, you can watch it as well. I’m Kasey Ma on all socials. Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch. You’ll be able to talk to me live on Twitch so that’s cool. On Twitter, Kasey Ma with two underscores. I don’t know who took my name, but someone did. 

[00:45:25] Maggie Chui: Awesome. We’ll leave all of that in our show notes of this episode. Kasey, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It was amazing having you on our show today. 

[00:45:32] Kasey Ma: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:45:34] Maggie Chui: Awesome.