Having been a big hit in her home country of Japan as an actress and singer, JATV (Japanese America Television) host and producer is making her niche here in the U.S. as well. She hosts JATV – ” the only Asian news show that is subtitled for all people to watch and enjoy. Asiance talks with Eriko about her career as a host/producer and the dual career she leads both in Japan and the U.S.
There are a lot of really talented Asian American actors and actresses vying for the limited roles available.
ASIANCE: How did you become the host of JATV News?
Eriko: Yoshihiro Nihei is a good friend of mine and he asked me if I was interested in hosting the show.
ASIANCE: What are you goals, as the host, for JATV News?
Eriko: Our show broadcasts accurate and relevant local news for the Japanese, Japanese American (Nikkei), Korean, and Chinese people who live in Southern California, in addition to all the current news from all around the world.
ASIANCE: What do you want television viewers to learn and/or gain from watching JATV News?
Eriko: We want our viewers to feel empowered in, and connected to, their local communities. We are the only Asian language local news show that is produced in Southern California and that uses English subtitles so that everyone can understand the information we are broadcasting.
ASIANCE: What other projects are you involved in, in terms of acting and what not?
Eriko: In addition to producing and hosting for JATV News, I just completed my first English language film entitled, “Surf School”. We filmed in Costa Rica and Laguna Beach. It was A LOT OF FUN and I look forward to doing more American movies.
ASIANCE: Why did you want to get involved in the entertainment industry?
Eriko: I never tried to get involved in the entertainment industry. I started when I was really young. I have always had an interest in singing, and I won a singing contest. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was acting, and singing professionally.
ASIANCE: What are your long-term career goals?
Eriko: I aspire to be in a place where I can just do the work that I want. I have been very fortunate in my career so far, but the most important thing for me is to live a balanced life. I want to be surrounded by the people that I love.
ASIANCE: Are you more involved in the entertainment industry here in the U.S. or in Japan? Or is there a balance between the two?
Eriko: I have had a successful career in Japan, but I am just beginning to find my way here in Hollywood. So, currently I am staying involved with the Japanese entertainment industry while trying to increase my opportunities here in L.A. Hopefully in the coming years I will be more involved in L.A. and less involved with Tokyo. However, I don’t ever want to fully leave the Japanese market, I’d always like to have a foot in both countries.
ASIANCE: You’ve done both singing and acting. Is there any other profession within the entertainment business you would like to pursue?
Eriko: I really like singing and acting, but I just started writing columns for a Japanese website, and I am really finding that fulfilling. I think that as I progress in my career, I’d like to write more – “maybe screenplays, novels, plays, poetry, who knows? I just want to see where things will take me. I’m trying to take it one day at a time, and I think things will work themselves out.
ASIANCE: What is a typical working day for you?
Eriko: Everyday presents new challenges. I have to balance being in front and behind the camera, as well as dealing with issues here in LA and in Japan. So in the end, no two days end up the same, which is how I like it.
ASIANCE: Do you have any plans of trying to break into mainstream American film and television, like some other Asian actors and actresses?
Eriko: Yes! I would like to work in mainstream American film and television. However, it is very hard because there are not a lot of roles for Asian actresses. And there are a lot of really talented Asian American actors and actresses vying for the limited roles available. As I mentioned before, I just finished filming my first American movie, and hopefully, this will serve as a new calling card for me in Hollywood.
ASIANCE: What has helped you stay humble all these years you’ve been in the entertainment industry?
Eriko: My fans have been very supportive of me as I am trying to transition from Japan to Hollywood. I really appreciate all their encouragement and I want to let you know it has really meant a lot to me. It hasn’t been easy getting here, and I wouldn’t have made it without my fans. Thank you so much. You are the best!
Visit http://www.erikotamura.net for more information on Eriko Tamura.