We had the good fortune of connecting with Kennedy “EraNetik” Phounsiri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kennedy “EraNetik”, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Everyone should take risks, before they live life in regret. When I finished high school, it was either college or move to Las Vegas to pursue a professional dance career with the Jabbawockeez. Of course, I chose to follow my dreams. I was 18 years old, no money, living motel to motel for a couple months until I had enough to get my own place. Thankfully, my older brother was by my side through all this. It was one of the best times of my life. After 3 years in Las Vegas, I made a decision to move back to California to further my career elsewhere. I went back home to San Diego to be back with family before transitioning to move to Los Angeles. During my stay in San Diego, I received a television gig to compete on season 1 of TruTV’s Fake-Off, where we became finalists and lasted till the last episode. After the show, my team and I did a few shows and unfortunately I had a freak accident where I teared my tricep and snapped my elbow ligaments and had undergo a Tommy John Surgery. It put me out of dancing for almost 2 years. This crushed my plan of moving to Los Angeles, but brought in another plan of pursuing a professional chef career. You take risks, you fall, you adapt, and good things will always happen.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I pursue something, I always go all in. With dance, I pursue it professionally and competitively still till this day. With music, I was able to perform and meet many fans who were super excited to meet me. With food, I was able to be an entrepreneur and establish myself as a professional chef. The road for each passion was not easy, but it took years of development to get where I am. I have been dancing for 18 years, pursuing music for 13 years, and working in the food industry for 6 years now. What I can say about all three is that everything was accomplished through trial and error. Through making mistakes, but finding a way to make it work. I’ve had two surgeries and other major injuries that put me out of dancing. I’ve had a time where no one was buying or listening to my music. But I remained composed and told myself that something will happen as long as I don’t give up. I was able to travel the world and experience things I’ve always dreamed of. Even if now I can honestly say that I am not making a living off of dancing or music, I still feel truly accomplished for what I was able to do through it. I come from Southeast San Diego, where it is very hard to make it out. I am Lao, a race that the majority of Americans never heard of. I was always an underdog, but exceeded expectations. Life will sometimes hit you and you will know when it’s your time to transition elsewhere or continue to do what you do. But never forget where you came from, why you do what you do, and what else you could do to make your life more impactful.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For food, they have to have to eat at Tacos El Gordo. It is the closest thing to tacos in Mexico. I’ve been deep in Mexico like Mexico City, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, and of course various cities in Baja California. Tacos El Gordo is the best tacos in America. For beaches, I would take them to Mission Beach / Belmont Park. I know people say La Jolla, but lets be real… Mission Beach is the only beach in San Diego that has things at the beach that you can do, besides sitting on the sand and playing in the ocean. For views, I would take them to the ferry landing in Coronado to get the most beautiful view on the San Diego skyline over the San Diego Bay. My favorite place in San Diego to visit and wind down. For drinks, I enjoy rooftop bars in downtown because the weather and view is always amazing. For free time, Balboa Park is always a fun place to be to take walks, check out museums, and even grab drinks. And of course, my house to drink, eat, karaoke, and wild out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family always believed in me. Regardless of all the failures and troubles I had growing up, they always believed I would find a way to make it out. My brother especially, always kept me focused and inspired me to do better. He taught me lessons that made my life the way it is and I will forever be grateful.
Krysada Phounsiri, Kien Quan