Check out the winners of the 2023-24 Cre8sian Project Scholarships!


Your Cart is Empty

May 04, 2024 4 min read


Natsuko Hirano is a performer and flight attendant based in NYC. At five years old, she began attending ballet classes, and fell in love with musical theatre after seeing a production of Sailor Moon at 10. After attendingSanta Monica College and AMDA, Hirano’s resume boasts Off-Broadway credits with Pan Asian Rep, a YouTube horror web series (Demon Doctor: The Second Codex), and voiceover with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise for their Super Bowl commercial in 2024. She credits her strength in dance and her native language for furthering her career, and advises young artists to“be flexible and go with the flow. Be nice and be a good human.”Read on to learn more aboutNatsuko Hirano and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 

Name:   Natsuko Hirano

Heritage:   Japanese

Hometown:   Fukuoka, Japan

Current City:   NYC

Current project:   Demon Doctor: The Second Codex  by Sidekick Production, a horror web series on YouTube. I played Kuchisake, the monster in that show. You can find us at @demondoctorseries on social media. 

What are some of your favorite credits/projects:

Off-Broadway shows with Pan Asian Rep (Sayonara, The Brother’s Paranormal) and a V/O job for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, “Mayo Cat” (Super Bowl, 2024).

Any advice for young people getting into the arts? 

Be flexible and go with the flow. Be nice and be a good human.

How did you get your start?

I had been in ballet class since I was five. When I was 10, my favorite anime, Sailor Moon, got a musical theatre production and fell in love with that. I watched the recording over and over and decided to be a musical theater actress.

Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share?

There were several auditions that I wasn’t even planning to show up or apply for, but I bumped into my friend on the street, and they told me to go, so I either showed up or shot an email and got the job. I felt like,“If that’s meant to be, that will find you”

What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?: 

Getting a green card through my artist visa. I can’t thank enough the people who supported me and gave me a huge opportunity. I would like to say thank you again here if any of them are reading this.

What are some interesting facts about yourself?

I was a musical theater performer for about 15 years. I joined one of the legacy airlines as a flight attendant last year. I’m still auditioning/working for smaller projects, staged reading, V/O, commercials etc.! 

Who do you admire? 

Emily Kuroda – I'm a huge fan of her.

Is where you are now where you thought you’d be?

Not at all. I didn't expect to stay in the U.S. this long nor became a flight attendant and still pursuing arts. Life is a mystery.

Do you have any other “special skills?”

Japanese Language Teacher Certificate from Japan Society (Beg, Int).

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?

Do your best and you can’t control what happens after that. Health is the number one priority. Rejection is redirection. 

What skills did you find to be the most helpful in your career?

For musical theatre, dance skill helped me a lot to get cast. Because if you can do ensembles, there are more slots than lead roles, so naturally you will land more jobs. For everything else, the ability to speak Japanese. Speaking English without an accent is important, and I wish I could do that – but I can’t. But my accent is my story, my heritage, and I actually landed more roles because I’m Japanese who speaks Japanese. So I’m accepting and embracing the fact now.  

Where did you study at?

Santa Monica College, CA (Theatre A.A), AMDA, NY.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Living in America for 20 years and becoming fluent in English :)

What are some goals you hope to achieve?

I would like to keep being creative while traveling the world. Also, I would like to help the next generation going into arts. 

What helped you most to rebound from what you considered your biggest failure or mistake in your career? 

I didn’t even make the first cut of a Broadway show’s dancer’s call that I was great for. All of my friends made it except me. Then I had an Off-Broadway show callback on the same day, for which they gave me sides that required me to sob. I cried so much in the audition by tapping into the rejections earlier that day, and got the job! 

How do you deal with performance anxiety?

Focus on telling the story.

If you used to be in the arts and have gone into a new profession, what prompted the change, what skills that you already had led you to gravitate towards it, and what was your transition into your new profession like? What kind of challenges did you face, and what did you find you were very comfortable with? And what skills from your arts training did you find helped you in your new profession?

The pandemic’s effects on society – and contracting it – made me think of the new profession. Financial stability and flexibility, so that I can still continue pursuing arts, were the biggest benefit for me to transition to be a flight attendant. Dancing helped me memorize emergency drills, V/O skill helped me make announcements in the aircraft, theatre work in general helped me adapt to the flight attendants lifestyle in which I have to work with new crew every sequence and sleep in different hotels every day. Flight attendant training was stressful. I never studied so intensely and it lasted 6 and half weeks. On average, I only slept 4 hours each night in order to continue studying. For me, nothing was comfortable in the training, but I met some lifelong friends there. 

What inspires you?

Traveling to new places, talking to strangers, and watching shows.

To find out more onNatsuko Hirano, please visit her at: 


Instagram: @natsukohirano7

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Subscribe to our newsletter