Meet Patricia Koo, a podcaster whose roots began with her love for media and her desire to tell authentic stories.
On call between Ithaca and Korea, my conversation with Patricia Koo (‘21) kicked off with a discussion about the struggles of managing time zones, the duality of geographical placements and how one navigates to find a home between them all. She added layers of meanings to the word ‘roots’ and how they influence creativity.
Patricia is a (now graduated!) senior at the Hotel School who has always loved sharing stories and empowering voices. Having always found expression through media, Patricia experimented with film and production before launching her podcast ‘Brainchild’ last year.
Patricia’s creative journey reflects how creative roots evolve in the most unexpected of ways. Building, fluctuating and evolving with time and experience, Patricia’s creative roots grew alongside her identity as a creator, culminating to the creative niche of storytelling through podcasting.
📽➡️🎤From Filmmaker to Podcaster:
“My uncle always had a career in media and has been a great mentor for me. Even when I was as little as four or five, I loved going to movie theaters with him and watching him work.”
Even when media wasn’t formally her main focus, Patricia would find herself making short movies with her high school film club or testing out film classes during her first year of college.
From edits to production and style, she loved the expansiveness of media’s creative license and how these elements can be used to convey a message. But in engaging with different areas of content creation, Patricia found what she really loved.
“Whether I was in front of a mic or in front of a camera, I wanted to be a creator within the project itself.”
Patricia talked about how the art of authentic and raw storytelling in media has always fascinated her. With film, she found that focusing on making the visuals look a certain way tended to take away from what she really wanted to say. As she began listening to podcasts, she found the perfect balance.
Patricia fell in love with the art of podcasting: its slower pace, the power of engagement between your message and the listener and how it's conveyed by something as simple and unfiltered as the power of voice.
“The interesting thing about podcasting is that it has no algorithm. There is no system where people have recommended videos on the side of your podcast, so there is nothing pulling them away from engaging with what you’re saying. I love how people will just turn on the podcast and put their phones away, listening with genuine attention.”
🗣🗺 The Influence of and on Identity:
Podcasting ended up being a perfect fit for Patricia’s personality. As a self-described outgoing person, with a love for meeting new people and having powerful conversations, she still faced the familiar discomfort of being camera-shy. Nevertheless, Patricia also reflected on how audio has fueled her personal and professional growth.
“In the past, I wasn’t always a great public speaker. I was often asked to speak louder and with more confidence. But now, hearing myself speak during the podcast as well as during editing has helped me project my thoughts more clearly and become more comfortable with speaking confidently. It transformed the way that I’m better able to express the truest form of myself.”
When I asked Patricia for a single word to describe her creative journey, she answered with a strong desire to remain true to herself with the word rawness.
“Rawness is powerful because it encompasses honesty as well. When you are open and honest about your experiences and stories, people can feel it.I tend to get my most positive feedback when I’m at my most vulnerable, and while that takes courage and practice, I’m focusing on getting better at it so I can be more honest, unfiltered and truly myself.”
In discussing more literal and geographical creative roots, Patricia reflected on her unique Asian-American identity. As a dual citizen, Patricia grew up moving between the U.S. and Korea, creating a cultural hybridity that has found its way into her creative work.
“It's important to know that even though I’m American and I’m Korean, I don’t feel Korean-American, because that's a completely different culture.”
Housing two different cultures brings with it something special. Following no strict pattern, it depends on a natural process where you feel and project the cultural aspects of both sides that you identify with the most.
🧠🎧 Brainchild: Converging Passions and Creating at Cornell
Brainchild is a career-centered podcast where Patricia interviews professionals about their passion projects across industries such as hospitality, media and technology. Patricia also conducts solo episodes where she shares her own experiences of transferring colleges, changing majors and navigating her career.
Brainchild reflects a coming together of old and new creative roots, and how they have the power to converge in unique passion projects.
Patricia reflected how the creative roots of Brainchild was aided by a community of creators at Cornell. Although she is interested in hospitality, she finds it important to explore different perspectives so that the identity of her brand is ever-changing and unique.
“Before I started podcasting, I reached out to other creators at Cornell. I even collaborated with some of them by inviting them to speak on my podcast. A few podcasters at Cornell also helped me in going through the logistics of equipment and what to be mindful of when talking to guests.”
🔮🔜 Brainstorms for the Future of Brainchild:
Patricia’s vision for Brainchild continues to grow. She has plans on interviewing older and more seasonal professionals while continuing to work on solo episodes. She even plans to widen the reach of her production style by experimenting with music, having a creative team, and expanding to a website or tiktok.
Wherever her ideas take her, I could tell that Patricia would continue to carry with her the rawness that made her fall in love with podcasting, as she has done with her new role as a radio broadcaster at TBS efm and Arirang TV in Seoul.
Her journey with creative roots highlights how every creator should trust the process and be innovative in reviving old roots alongside new ones.
By Sasha Zuberi
Sasha is a sophomore in Arts and Sciences from Pakistan majoring in Government. She is a content writer for CC but also loves playing guitar and writing on her blog.
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