Riza Takahashi is a performer based in New York City! Her passion for musical theatre emerged at the age of 4 when her mother enrolled her in a studio in Japan. Her resume now includes some of the most iconic shows in history from her time in regional theatre, including Mamma Mia!, How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying, Spelling Bee, The King and I, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, and more! In addition to this, Takahashi made her Broadway debut as an original cast member for Mean Girls on Broadway! Offstage, she fly fishes (a skill she picked up in quarantine!), teaches private lessons and workshops on a platform called “Broadway to Japan,” and founded Celebrate Asian Joy, “an organization committed to support and celebrate AAPI theater artists, filmmakers, and musicians to tell their stories through arts” that just released a new music video, “I Choose Joy!” Her advice to young artists? “Don’t be afraid to be who you are! You are already enough.”Read on to learn more about Riza Takahashi and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Riza Takahashi
Hometown: Hyogo, JAPAN
Current City: New York City
What are some of your favorite credits/projects:
Being in the Original Cast of Mean Girls on Broadway!
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
Don’t be afraid to be who you are! You are already enough.
How did you get started?
My mom put me in a musical theater studio in Japan when I was 4 years old and that was the start of it all!
Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share?
One of my favorite moments of my career is the first time I stepped on a Broadway stage at August Wilson Theater where Mean Girls on Broadway was. I remember the day we moved into the theater so vividly. We’ve done an out of town try-out in DC and we’ve been in rehearsals for Broadway about a month but it didn’t feel real until the moment I stepped on that stage and looked out to the audience. It was an empty theater with just the cast and crew moving in for tech, but it was a magical moment for me for sure!
Do you have any organizations or non profits you work with you’d like to highlight?
I’d love to highlight the organization Celebrate Asian Joy which I’ve recently founded!
Celebrate Asian Joy is an organization committed to support and celebrate AAPI theater artists, filmmakers, and musicians to tell their stories through arts. The organization has recently produced a music video called “I Choose Joy” with a huge number of AAPI creatives and casts and will continue to produce more AAPI driven productions in the future. Check it out at celebrateasianjoy.com!
Do you have any other “special skills?”
Fly fishing! Believe it or not, I've developed a hobby of fly fishing during the pandemic. It's a completely different skill from performing, but it's a really nice way to get away from the craziness of the city and to be surrounded by nature.
Do you have any side projects you’d like to highlight?
I’ve started an online lesson platform called Broadway to Japan where I teach private lessons and workshops for young theater artists in Japan. I was born and raised in Japan, and the mission of this platform is for me to support and give back to my community in Japan from New York City.
What are some goals you hope to achieve?
First and foremost, I'd like to keep performing, and keep telling stories through art.
As a founder of Celebrate Asian Joy, I hope to create more space and opportunities for the AAPI artists and immigrants in the entertainment industry.
To find out more about Riza, please visit her at:
Celebrate Asian Joy
BROADWAY TO JAPAN
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