Check out the winners of the 2023-24 Cre8sian Project Scholarships!


Your Cart is Empty

July 01, 2023 6 min read 1 Comment


Marissa Lichwick is a playwright, actress, filmmaker, and mother based in Chicago. She fell into the Arts at 10 years old during her fifth grade play, and at 18 made the move to NYC with only $100 in her pocket. Now, she and Summer Hill Films are in negotiations regarding distribution of her feature film, Searching For Yoo, has worked with Goodman Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Court Theatre, and Connecticut Free, and created and toured her solo show,Yellow Dress. Offstage and screen, Lichwick is a huge supporter of Korean Adoptees of Chicago (KATCH) for their outreach work for children and adults. Her advice to young artists? “Create your own work… This is where I learned to empower myself… [and] get training, take classes, meet people, collaborate, and build relationships.” Read on to learn more about Marissa Lichwick and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!

Name:   Marissa Lichwick

Heritage:   Korean American

Hometown:   Otisville, New York (originally South Korea)

Current City:   Chicago, IL

Current project:   in negotiations with Summer Hill Films about distributing my feature film SEARCHING FOR YOO which I wrote and filmed last June 2022. And, finishing a horror feature script.

What are some of your favorite credits/projects:

Projects: Writing and shooting my latest feature film Searching For Yoo, my short film, Yellow Dress (which won 16 Best Short Film awards), various new works at the Goodman Theatre, creating and touring my solo show,Yellow Dress, with a brief run at Silk Road Rising in Chicago (which was my favorite iteration). Credits: Water by the Spoonful at the Court Theatre in Chicago as Orangutang; Puck at Connecticut Free Shakespeare; The World of Extreme Happiness at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago as Sunny.


Any advice for young people getting into the arts? 

Create your own work, first and foremost. Not everyone believes this or feels this way, but this has been my experience. In my twenties I relied on auditions and other people to give me work and I was always chasing and relying on other people's time. Then when I was in graduate school, I learned how to take an empty space and create a performance in it. This is where I learned to empower myself and I found the agency that would fuel me when I wouldn't and didn't get work. 

Second and standard advice: get training, take classes, meet people, collaborate, build relationships, and while you're building your tribe and honing your craft, create your own work. This holistic approach will make you a good artist surrounded by people that will help you create and come up the ranks with you. This is a formula and a traditional one that has worked for many and the greats. ie: both Second City and Steppenwolf were created this way.

How did you get your start? 

When I was 18 years old, I moved to New York City with $100. and one month of rent and I never went back home.The rest is history. My first acting job was Gerda and the Snow Queen for a Children's Theatre in the West Village.

Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share? 

Performing my solo show both at the New York International Fringe Festival and closing night at Silk Road Rising because I had never performed to a sold out audience, let alone mine. They had to turn people away, it was surreal. Lastly, producing and shooting my feature film, Searching for Yoo, last summer. Another surreal moment manning a set of 12-15 people that I had assembled, for a piece of art I conceived at my kitchen table, wrote, and funded. A year later, a sales agent and I are negotiating a distribution deal for the film. This is a great moment (I'm typing this as of  June 15, 2023)!

What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career? 

Accepting that I had to slow down once I had a baby, slowing down once I had a baby, and now balancing motherhood, marriage (partnership), and attempting to fulfill my ambition for a full time career as an actress, screenwriter, and filmmaker. 

What are some interesting facts about yourself? 

This is not very interesting exactly, more revealing than anything. I'm very clumsy, unfortunately sloppy, and have a terrible sweet tooth. I gave up drinking about six years ago, so I'm incredibly sober (which helps productivity). When people drink, I have ice cream!

Do you have any organizations or non profits you work with you’d like to highlight? 

KATCH – Korean Adoptees of Chicago. They do a lot of great outreach for Korean adoptee adults, and children. 

Who do you admire? 

Mel Robbins for lifestyle and motivation, Oprah for inspiration, Cate Blanchet for artistic view and approach to acting/acting career, Dr. Joe Dispenza for life empowerment, Ally Wong, Steve Yeun, Michelle Yeoh the leaders of the changing landscape of Asian American Entertainment.

Did you always want to be in the arts or did you have another path before you got here? 

Maybe a nurse, since my mom was one, or a journalist.

When did you know you wanted to have a career in the arts? 

When I was ten years old, while I was doing my first play in fifth grade. 

Is where you are now where you thought you’d be? 

No. I never really thought about where I would be. I just knew I'd still be acting and creating. The beautiful surprise is my smart, wonderful little boy (with red hair), and my kind, generous husband. 

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self? 

  1. Your people will find you. 
  2. Invest now. 
  3. Grad school is expensive. You sure you want to go? 
  4. Chicago is REALLY cold, try it first. 
  5. Just you wait, the tables will turn. 

What skills did you find to be the most helpful in your career? 

Tenacity, persistence 

Where did you study at? 

University of Washington, Master of Fine Arts in Drama/Acting.

What is your greatest accomplishment? 

Motherhood, of course. Making, having, and raising a child. 

What helped you most to rebound from what you considered your biggest failure or mistake in your career? 

Changing my point of view and mindset, knowing that it's all a matter of time, what's happening is not failure or a mistake but an event in which there is a takeaway or a lesson that will help me grow. 

How do you deal with performance anxiety? 

A lot of rehearsal/practice/preparation

Do you have any self care practices you do to stay focused and sane? What was your self care routine before the pandemic and how has that (as well as your views of self care) changed throughout the pandemic? 

Today my self care practice is sleep and time. I need to get sleep and have time to stay focused and sane. Sleep of course for mental clarity and time to eliminate pressure and expectation. Meditation also helps with focus and I started a routine in January for goals I want to achieve in the coming year as well as a strong system of visualization to have a step by step process of achieving my goals. This is my self care as of late for staying focused AND sane. Before the pandemic, my self was given mostly to my baby/toddler then, and during the pandemic I put all of my attention on writing my screenplay because I had the time and the mental bandwidth (due to the time and lack of drinking which created the clarity and focus). So, my self-care really revolved around the progress of my creative goals, (enrolled in a screenwriting program at UCLA) which was satisfying for me as my son was becoming bigger and more independent, and my husband was at home.  

How do you think your creative process has changed over time? 

I put in a lot more preparation and rehearsal now.

Since so many of us spent a lot of time isolated during the pandemic, how has that experience specifically changed your creative or preparation process or your outlook on life? 

I really enjoy being by myself now. That's when I do most of my creating; late at night or when everyone else is away.

If you could name one point in time when everything changed for you, what was it? 

In 2008 I was exhausted by New York City. I had been there for ten years and I was burnt out from auditioning, working two jobs, living in a closet-size room, and going through a breakup. So when, serendipitously, I received a letter from my birth father and got a job teaching/performing in South Korea, I packed up my life and went. I intended to stay one year and return to New York but I met a young man (who later became my husband) on my first night in South Korea. I knew something shifted. Therefore, I can say that this is the point in time when everything changed for me.  

To find out more on Marissa Lichwick, please visit her at:


Socials:   @searchingyoofilm and @marissa_lch 

1 Response

Jeanne Achenbach
Jeanne Achenbach

July 07, 2023

Marissa, how wonderful to learn more about you! It makes me appreciate and love you more than I ever have. Keep up the good work. You will achieve your goals!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Subscribe to our newsletter