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Life & Work with Yui Shibata

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yui Shibata.

Hi Yui, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Most of my family engage in the medical field… except for me. I was born and raised in a small town, in Japan.

When I was a kid, I loved to watch Hollywood movies and listen to American pop music because the entertainment world looks so gorgeous, dazzling, and opposite from the environment I lived in.

This is a good enough reason for a little kid to aspire to be an actor. Several years after I graduated high school, I got lucky to have many opportunities to perform in films, TV/web series, and theatres and met a lot of people who influenced me for my career including world-famous celebrities and filmmakers.

The first award-winning film in that I played a significant role in “The God Chair”. All of the cast, directors, and producers on the production have heavy backgrounds in theatre and film acting. I got inspired a lot and developed as an actor. When I played a leading role in another film “Stalking Elvis”, I learned the business side of entertainment by working with well-known producer and actors who has numerous works on blockbuster movies, television series, and social media videos.

I’d never thought about the business side as an actor before, but at that time, I got able to see my artistic works from other perspectives for the first time and started being interested in other than acting (just playing a character).

Looking back at my early life since I started my actor’s career, I realized that I have always stayed in the entertainment industry: I’ve been working only with people from the art and entertainment field, and I didn’t know about other fields. At the same time, I felt struggling to improve my performance quality because of having a narrow view of the world. Then, I decided to work on getting experience in other fields.

The first thing I got in my mind is the medical field. As I mentioned earlier, my family members work in medical jobs such as pharmacists, doctors, and nurses. I grew up in this family but never paid attention to their job. So, I tried volunteering at the hospital during the pandemic to know my family’s job.

There was a patient who had a limp. She was an old lady and just had a big surgery. This lady told me how much appreciation she has for the doctor and talked that it is a bigger responsibility than other jobs like my entertainment business to work in a hospital. She said, “Even if you messed up your lines in the scene, no one is going to die. But if a doctor makes a mistake during a surgery, the patient is going to die”.

I was crying when I heard the words. Do you know why I was crying? Because I used to believe that actor is the hardest job when I was young honestly. I work very hard on every project and sometimes can’t sleep enough. However, there is a more important thing in the world and your life. I think everyone knows it in their head but does not fully accept it in their heart.

From that time, I could see everything from a wide perspective. It even changed my attitude toward my acting job.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
No, it’s sometimes a challenge for me. When I focused on performing on camera, I used to care about only my feeling for my character, and I didn’t care about my look and what people think about me. But I realized I’m back to a narrow view of the world.

I am also a fitness actor for a wellness brand Fitbit, When I performed on the promotion fitness videos, I realized I focused on my workout too much for the first couple of times, then I immediately changed my perspective to wide. This is not just acting, but this is the kind of stuff I should more care about in viewers’ minds than what I feel and what I want to show.

So, this project became a good practice for me to step up to an advanced level as an actor and person as well.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m an actor, originally from Japan.

What I’m most proud of myself is coming to the United States and working as an actor even though facing a language barrier. However, I think there are a lot of foreign artists who have the same issue as me in Hollywood, so I should talk about something else to set myself apart from others for the question. Haha.

I’m working on developing myself as a person very emotionally like a passionate artist and very logical as a business owner.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
The best way to find a mentor is to meet many people at work, school, or whatever in your community. Ideally, if your mentor is someone you can ask questions directly and is able to see his/her work in person, it’s perfect.

For networking in general, I recommend you to build up your social media first; such as posting the stuff you are interested in. If you post good quality stuff, you are easy connected to the people you want.

It actually works more than going to a networking party without preparing anything.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Film: Graduation and The God Chair. Web series: Actors Life in Hollywood

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