Hello, everyone! My name is Nathan Sam Nghia Phan, my pronouns are he/him/his, and it’s a pleasure to have you reading my bio! :D
I am a Comparative Literature major pursuing certificates in Theater and Musical Theater. I am from Rosemead, CA (very close to Los Angeles), and I am a low-income, first-generation college student (and proud member of FSI Class of 2019 and SIFP!) who is very passionate about theater, representation, and diversity in the arts. I am Vietnamese American, and both of my parents are Vietnamese immigrants. They are my heroes, and they inspire me to keep pursuing my dream in acting and entertainment.
I am the current president of Princeton East West Theater, an all-inclusive Asian American theater company that strives to diversify theater at Princeton and give people, regardless of experience or ethnicity, the chance to be a part of theater.
I came into Princeton having no idea what I wanted to do and with almost no theater experience. My first year at Princeton was challenging in not only adjusting to a new environment full of academic rigor and independence, but also facing so much rejection from so many auditions for shows and performance groups. I was demoralized for months and thought that maybe I was not cut out for the arts. But after speaking with my friend about her struggles with finding her place in theater as a person of color, I realized how challenging it is for people of color to get cast when there are no roles for us to play and no place for us to find community and support. So we decided to start Princeton East West Theater, and since then, we have helped organize audition workshops, an Asian American theater symposium, and a showcase of scenes featuring artists from many different backgrounds.
If there’s one thing I want you to know, it’s that anyone who is even remotely interested in the arts CAN pursue them! The arts are meant for everyone, and I want to provide as much support and advice from my personal experience. So please, don’t be afraid to ask me questions whenever you see me! I’d love to say hi.
Outside of theater, I am a cartoonist for the Daily Prince, a freelance journalist for the University Press Club, and a member of the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP). I also love drawing, singing, supporting the LGBTQ community, eating snacks, and watching anime – so please feel free to talk to me about these things, too!