So the other day my parents are watching an old Miss Vietnam Global dvd and I see one of the judges and think, hey, she looks familar! It was none other than Michelle Zen, I knew she might have been part Asian, but no idea was fluent in Vietnamese. You can prob google more about that (her mom’s Vietnamese, Chinese, Mongolian, and Russian while her dad’s German, Cherokee Indian, and Irish. She speaks Vietnamese and English), here’s a quickie interview to see what she’s been up to:
Who are ya?
I’m just a girl making the most of what I’ve been given and having fun with life.
Where ya at?
When I’m not traveling for work, I’m in my apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, there are Asians in Kentucky, and yes we do wear shoes. No, I don’t own a goat. I can bet you the cost of living is most likely a lot cheaper than where you are, and our clubs don’t close until 4 AM. Beat that. haha…
Why are ya different?
I’m a nerd majoring in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Information Security that just happens to travel the world and model on the weekends. How many girls do you know do that… or better yet.. how many CIS majors do you know in the same position? I’d love to meet them.. I’m sure they’re pretty cool! ;)
How did you get started/your Aha moment?
I suppose there was no one defining moment. I’ve gotten to where I am today through constant persistence and motivation. I’ve always just pursued what interests me, and over the years I’ve met many people who’ve shaped my career and my life. I began modeling locally in 1999, and I got my start competing in 2004.
What is your goal(s)?
My goal is to be content and happy. I’ve never been motivated by money, prestige, or success. I’ve just always been motivated by that feeling of accomplishment.. the wonderful feeling of self gratification. Anything else that comes with it is just a bonus.
What are all your links to yourself? side projects?
I can provide links to Myspace and Facebook pages, which happens to be the best method of keeping up with what I’m doing. I happen to use Facebook a lot more, though:
http://www. myspace. com/michellezen
http://www. facebook. com/profile. php?id=730500135
As far as other sites, I can provide links to organizations and agencies that I have been associated with, but I can’t promise to be plastered all over these sites! haha..
One of my main agencies that has gotten me quite a bit of work is Prestigious Models- http://pmgirls. com
I work quite a bit with them touring with Hot Import Nights- http://www. hotimportnights. com
and lately we’ve been touring with the Asian Poker Tour- http://www. asianpt. com/
Any upcoming projects/events coming up we def should check out?
I will be attending the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Illinois State Finals as well as the National Hawaiian Tropic Finals this year (I am the current Hawaiian Tropic state winner for Indiana).
Hopefully, I will also be in attendance at SEMA in Vegas, Sport Compact Performance in Montreal, and on tour with the Asian Poker Tour to Korea and Singapore before the year is over.
I am currently on tour with Hot Import Nights, and I will definitely be attending the Dallas and Miami shows this year. I plan on going to the majority of their events in 2009.
I also plan on touring with Formula Drift in 2009.
Look for me in a few upcoming national publications (I cannot disclose what those are as we’re still working out the details). Of course, in the midst of all of these events, I work quite a few local events as well as attend classes to finish up my degree.
Any links to friend’s project that we should check out?
I think the best resource I am able to provide is links of organizations that might be beneficial for women looking for the same opportunities that I was given. So, here are a few that I recommend:
One of my bigger accomplishments was to win the title of Miss Kentucky USA 2007 and go on to the Donald Trump owned Miss USA pageant, and that website is http://www. misskentuckyusa. com For those women in other states, simply go to the main Miss USA site and obtain information about your particular state through that- http://www. missusa. com
I also hold the International Miss Beauty Queen World 2004 title in which I represented the United States- http://www. mbqw. com
I’ve been very heavily involved in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic competitions since 2005- http://www. misshawaiiantropic. com
Tara Vaught, the Hawaiian Tropic director for the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee is a great friend of mine. Feel free to check out her site at http://www. terra-productions. com
I have also worked with judging in the Miss Vietnam Global organization which I feel is an amazing opportunity for women of Vietnamese heritage. I encourage young Vietnamese women to consider competing for the title- http://www. missvietnamglobal. com/
If you had to combine 2 random things to describe your style in a nutshell, what would it be?
Weezer and Hello Kitty :)