We might have to try the KFC, Christmas Eve tradition this year, Resa!!!
Hi Resa! Thanks for being here!
Hello! Thanks for having me. What does success look like to you?
I think success is when you get to do something that really fulfills you and makes you happy. So that can look different for everyone. It's not necessarily about the money or the size of a project. For me, success is when I'm actively performing in a piece of art that I feel passionate about and can be meaningful to the audience.
Have you celebrated any recent victories in your life? If so, tell us!
I recently finished my first live performance project during a pandemic, and was featured in The New York Times! I was a principal dancer for Kenneth Tam's The Crossing, which was commissioned by The Kitchen in NYC. We rehearsed in person for 6 weeks while following strict COVID regulations and guidelines. It was exciting to be a part of one of the first live performances in New York since the lockdown and to experience a process that could become the new normal.
How do you stay focused?
I love to make goals for myself. They're not big goals but smaller and realistic, short term goals, like getting a callback, or perfecting a dance move. Working towards achievable goals and allowing them to be stepping stones really help with my focus and drive.
If you had a time machine would you choose to go back in time or visit the future?
It's so tempting to say the future, but I think I'd prefer to go back in time and relive some of the most exciting and happiest moments in my life, like my first National gymnastics competition or the first time I got to perform in a major role in a show.
Do you have any superstitions?
Yes! I will never say "Good luck" or the title of the Scottish Play (Macbeth) in a theatre before a performance. Both are common theatre superstitions. When I was performing in White Pearl at Studio Theatre in DC, someone jokingly mentioned the Scottish Play before a performance. We then had an unexpected technical difficulty during the show and our stage manager was so spooked, she burned sage throughout the theater before our next performance.
Is there a particular song that reminds you of yourself?
I love "Like Other Girls" from my favorite musical Daddy Long Legs. The show follows Jerusha, an orphan girl who is sent to college by a generous benefactor. The song starts with the lines, "I am in a foreign world, I am different I am strange" and that's exactly how I felt when I first arrived in America for college. She then goes on to tell how she wants to be "like other girls" but her descriptions of these girls are so grand and inspiring, like "Cure disease and write a symphony, And win the Nobel prize". Like Jerusha, I have big dreams and I love how hopeful and sweet the song is.
What is your biggest passion in life?
I'm gonna have to give you the cheesy answer and say that theatre and the performing arts is my biggest passion. I'm such a big fan and a big nerd when it comes to Broadway. Ever since I was a little in Japan, I would obsess over all things Broadway musicals. I would listen to cast recordings, watch every Tony Award performance, and scribble names of Broadway stars onto my school notebooks. So to be able to now work in New York as an actor alongside these Broadway professionals that I've looked up to is quite magical. My love for musicals and theatre is still my biggest driving force and motivator for my career.
Are there any holiday traditions you are looking forward to this season?
In Japan, we have a weird tradition of eating Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas Eve dinner. I'm not sure how it started but it's very popular in Japan and KFC even comes out with special Christmas buckets that you need to make reservations for in advance. I won't be able to go home to Japan this holiday season because of COVID but I might get some KFC to get a little taste of home.
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Thanks! And Happy Holidays!
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