Alex Lontoc and Christopher Hartwell
From textbooks to scripts, classrooms to stage sets, teachers to directors. Harold Ny, a student at Las Positas, juggles schoolwork and acting.
A third year student at Las Positas, Ny majors in theatre and has one more semester to go at LPC. For LPC students that are fans of the original Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” you may have caught a glimpse of Ny in an episode or two playing one of the students on the show.
And for his friends, you simply know him as the ‘Cambodian salt god.’ Nicknamed after beating his fellow Super Smash Bros. club president and offering him a brown paper bag filled with salt packets. Who’s salty now?
Ny is the son of Cambodian refugees who moved to California during the Cambodian genocide. Born in Oakland and currently residing in Tracy, he was not always set on being an actor. While other kids dreamt of being astronauts or firefighters, Ny wanted to be a chopsticks as a kid. He got into acting a few years later while he’s in high school. After doing a Shakespeare musical which he didn’t expect to have a great turn out, ended up killing the performance and thinking “you know what I could stick to this… and I have,” said Ny.
The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” is his first acting job. He got into the show after seeing a flyer on campus for auditions which took place in Vallejo. Ny got casted into the show and celebrated his 19th birthday on his first day on set. Juggling a full load of class and being on the show, Ny at the time was also part of a musical “In the Heights” by the Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre. He managed to be a full time student by doing his school work in between takes on set of the Netflix show. Always full of energy, Ny was able to get through his school and job.
“He’s making moves… trying to get his name out there for a while and I’m really glad he’s finally doing things,” said Derrick Ko, one of Harold Ny’s close friends. Ko, a metabolic biology major at LPC, has known Ny since their freshman year of high school. The two were both part of drama class and became friends. Ko proudly says that he would love to see his friend in the big screen someday as a part of the main cast. According to him Ny “loves life, he likes what he does and that’s one of the mainstays of the ‘American Dream’” that Ny is slowly approaching.
When asked how his parents feel about him pursuing acting, Ny mentioned that they are scared for him. The first signs of his parents knowing that he’s serious about acting was when he bought a book on Stanislavski’s method, which are techniques used by actors to portray their character, during his junior year of high school. Determined to learn he read the whole book, which in turn, his parents saw his fervor for acting as he mentioned that he rarely reads books.
Going into the business can be tough and scary. Some are just in it for the fame and glory. Ny is in it for other reasons.
“I see fame more as a side product of what I want to do,” said Ny. His love for movies as a kid was what drew him into acting. Driven to make a name for himself, Ny also wants to help pave the way for Asian actors and actresses for the lack of representation in the industry. He wants to break stereotypes of how Asians are portrayed in film.
On the topic of goals, Ny dreams of being a part of a good production whether it be film, play or television. Five years from now he sees himself “in LA, on set.” He hopes to have a career where he can do a variety of roles and productions. Comic-Con, one of the biggest conventions for multi-genre entertainment and comics held in San Diego, is also one of the events Ny wants to attend someday. His only dilemma? “Do I want to go as a fan, or do I want to go as a cast,” said Ny.
Known to make a presence in the room, Ko says that they “can tell when Harold’s in the room.” As Harold Ny slowly makes his way into acting, approaching every opportunity with an upbeat and passionate attitude he’s surely one to watch out. You might even catch him in an upcoming blockbuster film in the near future.