Last year, when content producer Mailchimp paired up with VICE Media Group to produce Second Act, a short-form original series about people who quit their day jobs to follow their true passions, Houston couple Chih Lin and Micheal Dorsey were just beginning to plot changes in their own careers.
The married duo, also known by their business moniker Dumpling Dudez, decided to leave their longtime careers in April 2019 and create a business venture to teach the techniques behind their elegantly wrapped Eastern-inspired delights. Their success story will be featured on the second season of Second Act, which starts streaming December 10.
“We quit our jobs, started a business, both turned 40, and got married,” Lin says. “They say you’re not supposed to do big changes like that all at once, but we did.”
When they met in 2007, Dorsey and Lin were both engineers in the oil and gas industry. Despite being successful, they both felt something was missing in their lives. Lin, who learned how to make dumplings from his beloved grandmother, taught the skill to Dorsey. Then they began to host dumpling-making parties to get their friends involved in the culinary fun.
Less than one year after launching Dumpling Dudez, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the couple’s in-person classes. Dorsey and Lin’s dumpling-making parties and cooking classes are now virtual, and they sell frozen dumplings made of all-natural ingredients on their website.
And after Lin shared a story about his grandmother on social media, the TV producers came calling.
Lin’s post highlighted how his grandmother turned down family money to get an education in Taiwan during World War II. He also explained how she taught him the art of dumpling making, and how that has inspired him every day since.
The creators of Second Act saw Lin’s post and reached out to the couple in hopes of capturing and celebrating their story. “We had two interviews, and they were excited about our ‘second act’ story and our relationship. I think they are going to show a lot of that in the series,” Lin says. “They shot for three days in our home, [filming] us making dumplings for friends and also in our commercial kitchen in EaDo—all the while showing our COVID precautions: masks, social distancing, and all. It was a lot of fun, but it was very intense.”
In total, Season 2 of Second Act follows six people who have quit their day jobs to start their own businesses. Lin says he loves the concept of the series and hopes it will inspire others to follow their own dreams. He knows the path he and Dorsey have chosen isn’t for everyone, but he and his husband have never been happier with their second act.