We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmen Kobayashi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmen, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I started to pursue an acting career first because I just simply liked to pretend, to be able to understand others life and experience it. Later I realized that is more profound than that. As I learned about art (acting, filmmaking and singing), I grow so much as a person as well. I think that the philosophy of life is hidden in art in general. So the more I learn about acting I learned about life and vice versa. I believe that the art and personality are deeply connected, therefore the better person you become the better art would come out from you. And of course, all the struggles and obstacles that appears in life, for an artist is just a good source for creativity. I don’t regret choosing a creative career, because this is the only way I can express my self in my own way. Sometimes of course it’s hard, but each time I know myself better. As you become an artist, you will encounter a lot of different sides of yourself and sometimes you will see a very dark side of you. But I see as an opportunity, and a tool to meet your true self. Watching movies, always gave me hope, game me courage and encouraged me a lot in my dark times. I think that, by watching one movie can really change your life. And I wanted todo the same, by giving hope, courage and encourage others, using my Acting /Singing career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think what sets me apart from others is that… I’m not only an actress but also a Flamenco singer. And also a filmmaker that put this three things together and made a film with that. I think my background is kind of interesting. I grew up in flamenco family between my gipsy Spanish father and my Japanese mother. I never wanted to be in the flamenco industry. I always liked movies and that was my only interest. But somehow, along the way I fell in love with the Cante (flamenco folksong) and started to be a part of my flamenco family. It’s so mysterious because every dark times that I had, singing Flamenco was what made me happy. The challenges in art, in life is to accept yourself just the way you are and love it. I think that we are now in a world where there are many comparisons and competitions. And it is really easy to loose yourself. My challenge is to make a film using my background and story to give hope, give courage. Especially to the kids and young generation because they are our future. And to use the art of flamenco as a national bridge!!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would go straight to Warner Brothers Studios Tour or to the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour! Jajaja I just love it so much that i never get tired of these two places. Also I would want to take them to the Grand Canyon but just because I’ve never been either! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Want to thank my family, friends and my partner. But Especially to my mother. She never gave up on me, even that times that I even gave up on myself. She Always had faith in me, and without her support, mentally I would had gone crazy. Also the organization of SGI (Soka Gakkai International). It’s like a family and in NYC, in Spain and in Japan, every time that I had so many difficulties, the members of the SGI always encouraged me with a warm heart wherever I was. Without these two pillar of my live, I wouldn’t be here doing what I like and keeping creating hope.
Photographer: Julia Icy, Yuki Omori, Armando Gonzalez.