Hi, my name is Mao and I am originally from Tokyo, Japan. Around four years ago, I packed my things and moved to LA to pursue my dream of film, acting, and modeling. I went to school for film in Japan but realized I wanted the real deal and so I moved. It was the scariest thing I have ever done and I am happier for it. Moving to LA from Japan was a culture shock at first and was a big adjustment, but now it feels like home.
Overall, I feel as though the culture in Japan with regards to equality between men and women is still something that needs work, even in Tokyo.
My family in Japan was a small one. I had one older brother and we all lived in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. My parents were initially from the countryside, so we had a very different life from them. Because we were in the city, we both grew up with the ideology that we would work and pursue our dreams. Overall, I feel as though the culture in Japan with regards to equality between men and women is still something that needs work, even in Tokyo. Women uphold positions that are slightly lower in status than men. I feel like it is slowly changing for the better, especially since a lot of my parent’s generation was a lot more traditional and women were mostly housewives. Now, everyone is working and making some sort of an income for themselves which is great.
She is also very responsible, which I feel has helped me find the courage to leave Japan and come to LA to pursue my dream.
One of the biggest influences in my life was my best friend. I have known her my entire life and she has always helped me be a better version of myself. When we were in elementary school, she would always help me make friends since I was so shy back then. Years later, we are still best friends, and she has always helped me get out of my comfort zone. Her carefree and talkative personality helps me break out of my shell as well. She is also very responsible, which I feel has helped me find the courage to leave Japan and come to LA to pursue my dream.
My career in film making and directing has been a very rewarding one. I actually just directed a music video with a fellow female independent artist who had just won a Grammy award as a co writer. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to work with her. Overall, it’s always great to see female directors in the film world because it is still a very male dominated field from my experience. I have worked with a lot of American females here and they all had strong personalities. They inspired me a lot because that’s something I hope to be one day. I see how hard they work, especially since a lot of the time in this field men won’t take women too seriously and that can be challenging. What impresses me is that they still try hard and I know that that’s what I want to do in my career as well.
Overall, it’s always great to see female directors in the film world because it is still a very male dominated field from my experience.
My words of wisdom for anyone pursuing their dream, especially if it is in a different country, is to be yourself. Sometimes women cannot be who they are because of society but always follow your dreams. Things will happen for you, you just have to take the leap, break out of your comfort zone, and be brave. The rest will follow.