Stage & Screen

Talking Dating With The Cast Of The One That Got Away: Part Two, Kasey Ma

As Season One of Amazon Prime's reality dating show wraps up, &ASIAN got the chance to sit down with two of its stars to chat about good dates, red flags and more. In part two, we talk to content creator and social media maven Kasey Ma.
Kasey in 'The One That Got Away'. Photo: Amazon
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Talking Dating With The Cast Of The One That Got Away: Part Two, Kasey Ma

Hey Kasey! A little question to begin... describe yourself in a maximum of five words.

I'd say ambitious, loving, spicy... Oh my God, I don't think I've ever answered this question before clearly. Um, oh my god. What? family-oriented and quirky. There you go. Okay.

Sounds good! Next question: who would you want to play you in a movie and why?

That girl, you know, do you know Lana? What's her name? Lana…? Lana Condor? Yes, I really, I really like her vibes, her personality. And her attitude. I've seen her in many, many movies and shows and stuff like that. And I feel like if there was a movie made about me, she would play it perfectly.

Dylan and Kasey in The One That Got Away. Photo: Amazon.

That's a really good one. Can you tell us the story of your worst and best date ever?

Okay, well, I would say… I wouldn't say it's like my worst date ever, but definitely the most awkward one was with me and Vinny for sure. I think he's a great guy, but it was just really hard to connect with him emotionally. Because every single time I asked about [his] family or like, what he thinks a relationship should be, he would literally just pick up a block of cheese and start talking about its origin. And like the history of it all. So I would say that was definitely the most awkward. I love the cheese, but I'm lactose sensitive so it was really difficult to fully enjoy myself on the date. So that was definitely really awkward.

What about the best date?

Best date? Definitely the one with the stargazing with Simon, like, that was so cute. And the Volkswagen, like, it was set up so beautifully at dinner, we were chatting, and we were just vibing. It really showed me that connection with someone and similarities is so important in making you feel a certain way about someone or having the potential to. But yeah, it was obviously the best date because I usually don't: one, kiss on the first date and two, initiate the kiss but I did that time. So he obviously did something right for me to want to do that. So yeah, that was definitely the best vibes.

Okay, what does connection mean to you? And how has that changed over time?

Okay, so previously in relationships, connection meant the guy would be very chivalrous, very much a gentleman, be very caring, do a lot of things for me: treat me like a princess pretty much. And I was just like, so in love with that. And like, that would make me fall in love with the guy. While those things are beautiful, fine and dandy, and we should all want those things in our life, there's definitely more to it. So for me, it's not just about those things anymore. It's those plus the fact that a man would be very supportive of my career, would be willing to lend a helping hand.

So like in my content creator career, you know, be willing to take my photos or help me edit videos or speak highly of me in front of like his friends, you know, just be very over... not overly supportive, but be supportive enough where you know, he's proud of who he is dating just the same way that I would want in my partner and I think that would be the ultimate connection.

Dylan and Kasey in The One That Got Away. Photo: Amazon.

Awesome. What has been the reaction of your family and friends? What has the reaction of your family and friends been like two your participation in the show? Have you shared spoilers with them at all?

So most of them have really loved it. I think my dad has a very big mouth, so he's been telling everyone at work, who by the way, he works in a finance firm. So that's hilarious that he told like people at a finance firm who are like in their late 60s to go watch a dating show about his daughter. I think that's really funny. But I mean, again, that shows that he's very supportive. Some of his friends have reached out to me on my instagram DMS and Facebook messages saying how proud they are actually, that I was representing an Asian American woman on reality TV as like a strong individual who doesn't take shit from anybody pretty much.

So far the feedback has been really great. Unfortunately, my brother, he's like, this is so disgusting. He's like, “I don't want to see you kissing anybody. This is so gross.” So I think he's only gone through like, two episodes and he's like, “Ew, I don't want to see my sister make out on screen.” That's pretty much…  I've gotten mixed reviews. Of course, my brother would say that though.

What made you decide to get involved in the show? And what was the process like?

So basically, I was reached out to on Instagram for another show previously also about actually being about Asian American entrepreneurs in New York. However, because the pandemic happened, it wasn't able to go into fruition and basically, all of production across the world had to shut down.

So the casting producer kept me in mind for another TV show and it happened to be this one, which was perfect because it was at the end of my long term relationship. And I was single and ready to find love again. So basically, one interview led to the next and six months later, I was shooting the film. 

Dylan and Kasey in The One That Got Away. Photo: Amazon.

Without revealing any spoilers. What were your favourite three moments from the show and why?

Okay. Favourite three moments. You know, even though it was the most awkward experience, the cheese date was for sure my favourite moment. It was so memorable and for someone to spend like $450 on the wheel of cheese for me is just, it speaks volumes. One of my love languages is gift giving and that was a really cool gift, I gotta say. So that was definitely very memorable, even though it was extremely heavy, like 25 pounds. But that was definitely probably one of my favourite experiences, because it was so light hearted and funny. And the whole experiment for everybody else was so serious. So it was awesome to bring some humour to the show. That's one.

Two, meeting Simon: I would say I had never been so happy to see someone right away, even though I hadn't seen him in forever. Like I thought it was a saving grace. Because my experience on the show had not been so great up until that point. So yeah, he was definitely a breath of fresh air. And then a third moment well, in the beginning, my greatest moments were with Dylan, but we all know how that turned out so… I can't think of a really great, like, third example. But for the time that I had with him, I appreciated it. But it did, you know, turn the wheels later.

How do you think your Asian heritage has influenced your approach to dating?

I think my Asian heritage has influenced my dating to be very cautious. Which is kind of actually, that doesn't make any sense because I always jumped into relationships. But, okay maybe to stay very loyal, is definitely a huge emphasis. It's to stick through things. As an Asian culture, it's really frowned upon to divorce like it's just you don't do it. Even if you are fighting with your significant other like your wife or your husband, you never get divorced. You have to stick together and work it out despite all of the problems you might have.

So I kind of fought with that mentality through every relationship I've ever had, even if I've seen red flags, or I've seen problems over and over again, love triumphs, triumphs all. So I always gave it my all, I forgave a lot. And I really, really worked hard at making the relationship work because of initial connections. So I think it has really taught me to be very loyal, and work hard through any relationship.

Simon and Kasey in The One That Got Away. Photo: Amazon.

Awesome. You're incredibly accomplished in your career. How do you find this has or hasn't affected how you manage relationships, both romantic? And otherwise? I think the question is this meaning like your career, like how has your career affected your relationships?

Um, I would say for the better or for worse, I think previously, it affected it negatively because I was so focused on my career and succeeding and trying to make a living from content creation and social media and Twitch and all of that: it's a very arduous journey.

It can be very lonesome sometimes like, you can feel very lonely because you only have yourself at the end of the day to fight for something you believe in and that's yourself every day. So when that happens, sometimes I can become neglectful in relationships and forget to give some time –quality time – to my significant other.

You know, sometimes that other person may not have an interest in my career to directly assist me in terms of photography, editing, like anything like that. So it can dampen the relationship at times, which is why I've said, you know, on the show that it's so important to have someone to support my career, because it's such a big part of who I am and why I am the way I am. So, yeah, it's really important for someone to be supportive of, you know what I do.

If there's anything you would do differently from your time on this show, what would it be?

I think I would have kicked off Dylan sooner. I like, in my heart, I was like, “can he go before Vinnie at this point?” Because I was just so angry. I wish I was quicker to see red flags. I think that was my biggest regret. And, you know, it's okay. Because it was a huge lesson for me to see that a part of my past not great decisions were still creeping up on me, and still being reflected in my decisions when it comes to relationships. So I was kind of glad I messed up a bit. Because now I'm able to have a much more clear path in what I will tolerate and you know what I won't, and what I want in a future relationship.

The pandemic did a lot to change how people see themselves and structure their lives. How did it affect you? And was there anything you learned about yourself that you will apply during the show?

Yeah, so during the pandemic, I ended my relationship, I forgot how far in... maybe like seven or eight months in when everything was shut down. And I had to learn how to do everything on my own again. I've been living with this guy for like, almost seven years. It felt like I was breaking up with, like a husband at that point. But I learned how to be super independent again, and love myself, put my energy back into my career, not worrying about someone else and how I make them feel just because I'm focusing on my career.

You can definitely see that trajectory of growth throughout the show. You know, in the beginning, I wanted to make everything work with Dylan, but it didn't it didn't work out. And then at the end of the experience, you kind of see that I do fight hard for what I want. For my independence, for protecting my strength in my inner peace, and seeing that Simon could be a great counterpart to that, but not the solution to my happiness,  I think that's the biggest lesson I've learned throughout the pandemic. And then you can see later on in the experience in the show that I do apply that as well.

How has your participation in the show changed your perception or attitude towards dating and relationships? 

I would say that the experience on the show helped me realise what kind of guys I should go after and what guys I shouldn't and being okay to say no to things that are just not a perfect fit for me. 

Is this an experience you would recommend to friends and family? There are so many different dating shows out there. Do you think this kind of reality show experience could work for everyone looking for relationship? What kinds of people do you think this might suit best?

I think this experience is great. Like, I would totally try it again with different people. Oh, my God, please. I think it was a great experience because we all wonder like “what if”, we all wonder “Oh my God, that guy that caught my eye and we totally locked eyes before but I'm in a relationship so we can't do anything about it.” We all have those, you know, moments of “what ifs” so it was really, really great to explore that.

What piqued my interest the most about this dating show over other ones was that it gives you the opportunity to reconnect with someone that you have had a previous foundation with already, so already you're starting off and on a positive note, you have similar experiences, whether it be school or your work. I love that it's just not a blind dating experiment. But you go into this very hopeful and that, you know, hey, like this could actually actually work. 

Dylan and Kasey in The One That Got Away. Photo: Amazon.

What are your red flags? And what are your green flags?

I would say my red flags are one, only communicates via social media and that I mean, only Instagram DMS, never texts me or like asks for my phone number: huge flag. Just seems like he's juggling multiple women. No, definitely. No.

Let me see two... when you text him at night and he goes, “Sorry, I fell asleep.” I hate that. No you didn’t! You were off, probably busy dating other people. And that, like so far has been true, every single time. I've even like, wondered what I was going to say back in the morning. Oh, man. Okay, so I read somewhere that this is how you should respond. You respond the next day and you say, “Oh, no, it's okay. I just got back home.” Boom! Hit him like that.

Let me see the third one… I think the red flag is just that if he's like boring, unambitious in life, and extremely unadventurous.

And then my green flags. Let's see one, supportive of my career. Two, he's a go-getter. No matter what aspect in his life, whether it's for relationships, his own dreams, aspirations, he doesn't necessarily have to be successful; but he has to want it so bad that like, he's just gonna keep trying. That's super sexy to me. And three, when he gives words of affirmation, and compliments, not only my beauty, but also my brains and intelligence. I'm looking for someone to hype me up and support me. So yeah, those are my three green flags and three red flags.

Last question, what romantic movie would you recommend to our readers and why?

Romantic movie… I think it's also, I'm thinking about the one with Lana Condor in it, to what was it called? It was so cute! To All The Boys…[I’ve Loved Before]. Yeah, it's just, it's so innocent. And it's like, I wish I learned all those lessons when I was in high school, what the heck?

It's so beautiful to see these important lessons learned but in an innocent lens. It's so beautiful to see; whereas like, you know, I would suggest The Notebook but like, you would just cry the whole time. You know, it's like so serious, but like this is in a way where it can lightheartedly, you know, teach you some lessons about love and you know where it kind of stems from. So I love that and also Lana is just a really good actress, and she's amazing. So she told the story great.

The entirety of Season 1 of The One That Got Away is on Amazon Prime Video now. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
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