I’m half Japanese, a quarter Spanish, a quarter Mexican, and am told I look Hawaiian. If that doesn’t scream ethnically ambiguous, I am not sure what does. Looks aside, I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Orange County, California. Unlike the other ninety percent of California natives (not at all a fact), I chose to leave immediately after high school. I headed to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, leaving behind friends, family and warmth. Both literally and figuratively. I was horrified, at first, to admit I wanted to be an actor, so instead chose to be a voice major. Quickly, it became painstakingly clear that I had made a mistake. I did and always will love to sing, but the marriage of singing AND acting was what I truly sought after. A hop, skip and transfer of majors later, I was on my way to earning a BFA in Musical Theater (which I did in 2013). I am grateful everyday I was brave enough to make that decision. Upon graduation, I did what the majority of my friends decided not to do: move to New York City. Philadelphia has a thriving, but small theater community. Rather than ride out the momentum from our Philadelphia Showcase, I decided to put my chips elsewhere. Ironically, Philadelphia, more than any city, has provided the majority of my work over the past few years. And I am not complaining. I’m grateful as f**k.
Whilst performing in a University production many moons ago (it was 2011), a close friend noticed I was extremely stressed. I was a sophomore and landed a nice supporting role for the main stage musical in a competitive class of thespians. “Why are you stressed?” he asked. I didn’t really have an answer, but obviously it is not uncommon to be stressed out whilst performing. Unfortunately, the stress was not strictly confined to rehearsals and performances, but infiltrated my everyday life. I knew right then and there, I needed to reshape my approach. How could I let my dream and my deepest passion stress me out even when I was succeeding? Since that time, stress has certainly come and gone, but I am now, at last, able to do what I have always wanted: to play and tell stories. I mean I have the best job in the world. Each production I work on is a new chance to make magic, experiment and to coin a phrase, cultivate enthusiasm.
“In my eyes, I must be exceptional” (thanks for that one Forrest) and I will continue to lean forward and grow until I am an old and wrinkly cat lady.
I am tiny. I am mighty. I am fiercely friendly. I am for hire.