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Aloha and Welcome!

WHO AM I?

I am a trained dancer, circus artist, and performer tucked into a 5-ft tall frame. Despite being the size of a baby squirrel, I am known for my explosive energy and athleticism. As a "Blasian" individual (half Japanese and half Black) I am fluent in speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. Thrilled to call Chicago my current home, I am represented by Gray Talent Group.

 

MY "WHY"

I was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Black father, and was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii from the age of 5. As an energetic child who loved jumping and leaping about, I was first enrolled in dance classes by my mother in an attempt to tire me out before bedtime. My love for performing was passed down to me from my Japanese obachan (grandmother) Ayako Sugimoto, who has always been a huge influence in my life. Ayako was a gymnast and highly gifted Kendo martial artist who had dreams of competing in the Olympics one day. However, her dreams were cut short when she was forced to give up her passions to become a housewife- it was highly looked down upon for women to pursue dreams that were considered to be "unfit" for a woman in society at the time. During a visit to Japan, my obachan pulled out her old high school gymnastics uniform for me to try on- it fit my body perfectly. In this moment I decided that I must continue in my obachan's foosteps and pick up where she left off. I feel so fortunate to have had the chance and opportunity to go after my dreams with full speed ahead. Everytime I perform, I bring my obachan's heart and strong spirit onto the stage with me. I perform not only to express myself, but to honor my roots and my family's sacrifices. I also perform for underrepresented children to see another multicultural individual up on stage and feel inspired- as a young child I so wished to see myself represented on stage, and I feel very honored to have the chance to be the very thing I wished for, for children today. Representation truly matters.

MY JOURNEY

After graduating from the Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts in Honolulu, I left the island to attend The Ohio State University, graduating in 2015 with a BA in Sociology and Dance minor.

 

Moving to Chicago in 2016 I attended the Actors Gymnasium's 9-month Professional Circus Training Program, where I trained 27 hours a week in various circus disciplines. Upon graduating circus school in 2018, I have been honored to take on many professional performing opportunities. Regionally I have performed at the Goodman Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Porchlight Music Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Skylight Music Theatre, Music Theater Works, Short North Stage, Cocodaco Dance Company, and Diamond Head Theatre.

 

With my taste for adventure, I am always looking for new opportunities to challenge myself. I have traveled across the US and Canada with the First National Tour of Broadway's The Spongebob Musical, have appeared in several commercials, and my wildest adventure yet- traveled to Australia during the pandemic to compete on an athletic competition reality TV show based on a 1980s arcade game. Catch me competing on episode 7 of NBC's TV show, FROGGER on Peacock TV!

 

Outside of performances you can find me reading books, hanging from the ceiling upside down at events, teaching youth dance and circus classes, or occasionally performing as Princess Moana at birthday parties. I absolutely love working with children- it is an honor whenever I get to have a part in helping the next generation of adults finding their voice in this crazy world. 

 

No matter where the unpredictable twists and turns of life take me, I will always be an island girl at heart!

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