By Sydney Falchook
After attending South, few end up on television, in theaters, or on the red carpet signing autographs. Former student Yin Chang, however, has experienced all of this.
Since graduating from South, Chang has been featured on the CW network’s Gossip Girl, playing the role of Nelly Yuki. “I am proud to be part of a TV show that is airing its sixth season, which has not only catapulted careers but also influenced the fashion world,” Chang said.
Gossip Girl was Chang’s first stable acting job. She worked on the show throughout her college years, postponing a few semesters due to her filming schedule. Even though she did not have the traditional college experience, she doesn’t regret her decision. “I’ll never forget the fun I had getting ready at Leighton Meester’s place before the Gossip Girl wrap parties,” Chang said. “She would always be so gracious to open her home for us to get ready, and she’d bake cookies and prepare us some food before we’d head out, indirectly teaching me that no matter how much success you have, it’s important to stay true to yourself and be humble and gracious.”
Chang was pleasantly surprised when the producers of Gossip Girl called her to reprise her role for the final season. “The show is wonderful to its loyal fans,” said Chang. “The show’s final episode answer[s] a lot of questions, and the fans should be thrilled.”
Chang has met many different people in her seven years of acting. She has been able to make friends in the entertainment industry while seeing the egocentric side of it as well. “I don’t ever want to be like one of those people who only care[s] about themselves. I’ve met some people like that, and it sickens me,” said Chang. This has driven her down a new path to write, direct, and produce an anti-bullying film.
“I decided to give back to the community in the best way I know how—through means of entertainment,” Chang said. Her goal for this film is to emotionally touch audiences and ignite compassion.
Working on the anti-bullying film has made Chang very curious about what happens on the other side of the camera. She is interested in the power that writers, directors, and producers have to inspire people to make a difference in society.
Chang’s goal for the future is to write a book. “I’ve always had a love for creative writing. Creative writing classes were always my favorite throughout middle school, high school, and college,” Chang said. In the near future, however, Chang is interested in creating more projects that touch the heart.
Playing the part – South’s alum Yin Chang (right) plays the role of Nelli Yuki in a Gossip Girl scene with Blake Lively (left) as Serena van der Woodsen.
Reproduced by permission of Yin Chang