What I Learned About

Kindness from Levy Tran

An Open Letter

Hey Levy, 

My name’s Kenny.

You don’t know me but 3 years ago we crossed paths at Paramount Studios and you did something so kind, I’ve never forgotten.

After reading your post, I decided to use the time I schedule on Sunday’s for writing, to express gratitude.

At the time you were making moves auditioning at Paramount. 

Back then I was working valet at 10 bucks an hour and struggling out of college to find a job. 

I remember the first time I saw you was Paramount’s central parking where security pointed you to. 

I was probably reading on my phone or my kindle. 

During my shifts, there was a lot of time to kill so I put my time to use and voraciously learned.  

I put my attention away from reading when I saw your car come in so I could get ready to park it. When you got out you had a headshot in-hand. 

I gave you a valet ticket like I would with any customer. 

However, when you left I had to take a double take. I asked myself “Hey isn’t that Levy Tran…?” Embarrassingly but admitting, I grabbed my phone and googled your name to see if the girl I gave a ticket to was Levy Tran. 

After a quick scroll through Google Images, there was no denying it. Pretty girl with Tattoos? Yep, it was you. 

By the time you came back, I asked you how the audition went. 

You said you weren’t sure but you gave it your best.

Before you left I asked for a picture and you were happy to take it. 

Looking back I regret being so transactional asking for a picture at the end of meeting you. I was more focused on “Man, it’s Levy Tran, the model. I need to get a pic” rather than being fully present in that moment with you.

Funny how life works because a few months later I saw you a second time and this time I wanted to make sure I was present and at the very least, be a stellar valet to you. 

The second time I met you, I remember a white car pulling in. I recognized it was your car and looking through the window I thought “holy shit, it’s Levy again”.

When you came out of your car, I gave you your ticket for the second time and I asked about about your previous audition. 

My memory might be off but you said you didn’t get it but you were there for another audition. 

Despite that, it was great to see you got another audition going. It shows your character.

They say the biggest indicator if someone’s got “It” is their aptitude for taking failure and the decisions they make after that failure.

As we continued talking, I wished you the best saying “You’re gonna kill it”. 

Before you left for your audition, you asked for my name. 

So I told you, “My name’s Kenny” 

An hour or two later I saw you walking back. I asked how this audition went this time and you said something along the lines of not being sure because it’s hard to say with these things.

Then you gave me your valet ticket and I picked up my pace then I usually did and I ran to get your car. 

I remember vividly in the back of your white car there was dog food and a blanket. 

Carlos approved

A post shared by Levy Tran also known as V (@hellofromlevy) on

That’s when I learned you had a dog. It’s hard to miss Carlos after I started following you on Instagram! Makes sense now.

After pulling up with your car, we talked a bit. At one point I remember we bonded over being Vietnamese.

Now this is where the punchline happens. 

During our chat, at one point you mentioned my name. 

You mentioned…

My name.

That caught me off guard. 

I only told you my name once and that was before you went off for your audition. 

In my experience, most people when they ask for my name, they don’t remember it. 

But this time, someone remembered my name and that person was you. 

It takes intention to remember a name. 

It shows genuineness and a kind of thoughtfulness. 

For that, thanks for showing me kindness Levy. A small detail but it meant a lot. 

At the time, I was at a low point in my life. 

Not necessarily that day but the time period as a whole. 

All my friends were going to grad school, med school, getting job at awesome tech companies. And there I was, I had a bachelors degree and I valeting cars. 

On top of that I was living in a toxic living environment and my dad had just gotten diagnosed with dementia.

I was pretty down–the binge netflix all day with no fucks kind of down.

But moments like the one you gave me, brightened up my day.

You know, you even tipped me $5 too. 

I think about this from time to time and I’ve always felt gratitude that you gave that tip.  

In retrospect sometimes I think “Man, last thing I should have done was take Levy’s tip”. 

Now that I’m writing this, I realized I wasn’t grateful for just the $5 but more-so, I was grateful that you you were thoughtful enough to remember my name. 

That picture I took with you months before, I never posted it up anywhere. 

I felt it was so transactional especially when you had treated me so kindly the second time I met you. 

Kindness sticks out when having deal with condescending people on a regular basis and told to “fetch” their car. 

So looking back at the photo, it reminds me of the rare time that someone I valeted was thoughtful.

I figure if it’s anyone I shared the photo with, it should be you. 

I’m grateful to have learned a lesson of kindness from you. It’s one thing to talk about kindness but it’s another to be kind. 

And that’s who you are.

You’ve taught me that kindness can be as small as remembering someone’s name. Though even if it’s small, that kindness can perpetuate for years–hell, it did for me 3 years later and I’m better for it.

Thank you Levy,

 

P.S. I appreciate your meaningful posts on InstagramYou keep it real. 

If you‘re ever missing Viet food and need some recommendations, you let me know. I still owe you $5, so hey, I’ll pay it forward. 

Keep kicking ass.