Joanna Sotomura is a TV/Film actor based in Los Angeles! She has been in Major TV series like Hawaii 5-0 and Criminal Minds, has a recurring guest role on a series called Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye, and appeared in the Emmy Award winning film Emma Approved! Keep reading to find out more about what makes Joanna an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Joanna Reed Sotomura
Heritage: I am Japanese (my father’s side) and German (my mother’s side)
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Current City: Los Angeles, CA
I'm currently guest-starring on a series called "Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye". It's a fun comedy created by The Tin Can Brothers and stars many familiar faces like Sean Astin and Darren Criss.
What are some of your favorite credits/projects?
I loved working on Hawaii 5-0 because I got to film back home. I also loved playing The Duchess of Kart in VGHS and of course Emma Woodhouse in Emma Approved.
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
If you're getting into film and television, make sure you are kind to everyone on set. Kindness and compassion go a long way in this industry.
How did you get your start?
I loved performing in school plays back in Hawai'i and even won 2nd in the state for our local Shakespeare competition. My REAL start happened when I booked an indie horror movie called Madison County and have been working since!
Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you’d like to share?
A highlight would definitely have to be winning a Creative Arts Emmy for our show Emma Approved. I didn't get to keep the Emmy but I got a certificate! That counts right?
What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?
Believing in myself even when I bomb an audition (which happens A LOT). I am so passionate about acting and the fear of losing or flubbing these chances can be hard to shake off.
What are some interesting facts about yourself?
I always drive barefoot. No idea how that started.
Who do you admire?
My husband. He is one of the kindest humans I have ever met. He's compassionate when I'm frustrated, silly when I'm sad, and has one hell of a brain when it comes to business and board games.
Do you have any mentors?
My mama. She moved to Hawai'i when she was 19 and built herself up from nothing. My mother created and expanded her Christmas ornament company which single handedly put me and my sister through Iolani and college. Check her ornaments out at SantasPen.Com!
Did you have any interesting “odd jobs” you worked at between shows to pay the bills?
I was a nanny for 4 years, worked in client service at a sound studio, tried soliciting beauty products at the mall for a day, was a hostess, worked as a casting assistant, and last but not least, I think I might still be employed at Hollister...I left my shift at 17 and never came back.
Do you have any side projects you’d like to highlight?
I just shot a short sketch with my buddies over at Wong Fu Pro. I absolutely LOVE working with those humans. You can check out their new video Friend-Zone-Giving on their channel now!
If you come from parents aren’t in the arts, what parts of them do you see in yourself that have helped you succeed in the business?
I've been SOOO lucky to have such encouraging parents. They drove me to every rehearsal, saw every performance, and in high school my dad even faked sick notes so I could sneak off to auditions. I couldn't have asked for a better support system.
What skills did you find to be the most helpful in your career?
I'm fast at memorizing lines and I'm usually never late to set :)
Where did you study at?
Iolani High School and Loyola Marymount University.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Believing in myself enough to leave the comfort of my hometown and moving to Los Angeles.
What are some goals you hope to achieve?
I would love to be a recurring character on a comedy like What We Do in the Shadows or The Righteous Gemstones. Love a good, quick, wit!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love and miss being on set. There is something magical about the buzz of filming.
What helped you most to rebound from what you considered your biggest failure or mistake in your career?
Remembering that that wasn't the path I was meant to have taken.
What inspires you?
A good dad joke.
If you could name one point in time when everything changed for you, what was it?
Still waiting for the big one!
To find out more about Joanna, please visit her at:
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