Well, I am half Japanese from my mother’s side and quarter Irish, quarter French
on my father’s side. I was born in Huntington Beach, CA but really don’t call it
home since I only lived there for three months. See my father served in the Air
Force, so growing up, I was always moving from one place to another. After leaving
California, we moved to the Philippines, then Honolulu, then to Tokyo, Japan. After
my father retired from the Air Force, we returned to his hometown of St. Louis. However,
he eventually began working for Allied Signal Bendix and we ended up moving back
to Tokyo, where I lived till I graduated high school and then returned to the US
for college. So looking back, I always consider Tokyo my “home” since that is where
I spent the majority of my youth.
What was it like growing up in Tokyo?
It was awesome! Tokyo truly was the ideal environment for me to grow up in. I got
to connect with my heritage, learned Japanese, and attended St. Mary’s International
School where I got to meet friends from all over the world which opened me up to
all kinds of different cultures and personalities. It also made me very independent
since I didn’t have to rely on my parents much to get around since Tokyo is such
a safe and accommodating environment. Looking back, my time in Tokyo is really what
defines me as the person I am today.
Were you always interested in becoming an actor?
Actually, growing up, sports were always my main passion as I played basketball and
baseball all through high school and a little in college. I didn’t get into acting
till my mid 20’s. After college, I generally stopped playing competitive sports
and was always looking for another outlet to fill the void. Fortunately, a friend
turned me onto some acting classes and I instantly fell in love with the craft. Nothing
reminds me more of playing sports than when I’m acting. The rush of performing on
a live stage or in front of the camera feels exactly like stepping onto any field
or court. Also, much like sports, your performance is a direct correlation to how
much time and effort you put into your training, practice, and rehearsal. But honestly,
I love acting because I truly enjoy being a part of a team again. However, now my
coaches are my directors and my teammates are cast mates, but the goal still remains
the same...to perform to the best of our abilities!
How did you get started as a “newbie” in Hollywood?
Ha, well I was definitely a “newbie’ when I got here! My only experiences as an
actor was working as an extra on two feature films that filmed out in St. Louis.
So I immediately started taking several different acting classes to strengthen my
craft and build confidence. I also figured the best way to attain some much needed
experience on a set was to start at the bottom and work my way up. Some of my first
jobs out here were as a production assistant and grip on several student films and
independent movies to see what happens on an actual set and how everyone works. Then
I transitioned on to doing Extra and Stand-In work for TV shows and Feature films
so I could observe the actors, firsthand, and see how they prepare for each scene
and all the adjustments they make between each take. Next, I was fortunate enough
to find representation early on and began going out on actual auditions, eventually
booking a Union commercial and getting Taft-Hartley’d into SAG. From then, I got
into improv at Second City and graduated from their conservatory program. Which
was an amazing experience since I not only got the opportunity to learn the fine
craft of Improvisation but also what it takes to develop my own material and what
goes into creating an actual Sketch Comedy show with my troupe, iGod. I eventually
segued into theater and gained an even stronger understanding and love for performing
on stage. Then I was fortunate enough to get into the lucrative and fun filled world
of Voice-over work...thanks to my Japanese and improv experience. All throughout
this, I was able to act in front of the camera on several films, large and small
productions. So it’s been a gradual process but a journey I’m very thankful for,
as I feel every project that I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of has allowed
me to grow into the actor I am today.
So what are your goals as an actor?
Well my short term goals are to continue refining my skills/craft and finding work
throughout the entertainment industry. My long term goal would be to become a bona
fide working, successful, respected actor. Not so much in the sense of acquiring
the highest fame or fortune, but rather, making a career out this passion and being
able to continue doing what I enjoy most. The thing that I love most about acting,
is that I’m constantly learning and that there’s always something to be gained from
working in this field.
Thank you for your time and letting me talk a little about myself. I leave you all
with one of my favorite quotes:
“The art of love . . . is largely the art of persistence.” - Albert Ellis