We had the good fortune of connecting with Rina Hoshino and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking

Taking risks… It’s sometimes excruciatingly daunting and… scary. Who wants to take the road less traveled, right? But, how do you grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally without embarrassing yourself, without taking risks, without committing to see if you have what it takes… because you know deep down yourself that you deserve more in life?

Hey, don’t get me wrong. With all the beautiful flaws I carry within (I used to not consider my flaws this way until one day my acting coach advised me to make beautiful mistakes during auditions, and that shifted my perspective in how I see imperfections), I often ask myself after taking gigantic risks, “Wait, did I make the right decision? Had it been better off continuing where I left off? Who is going to tell me if my path leads to success or not?” It’s an endless question you keep asking yourself until you are drenched in self-loathing doubts and regrets. lol So, don’t worry, I hear you.

But… would I have regretted my decision otherwise? Absolutely. Stay present, grateful for the opportunities gifted to you, and trust that everthing is happening for a reason, and though I have no clue as to how it’s all going to work out, it will… all in time. And I believe I shared somewhat similar shared goals and visions when I was fortunate enough to get featured in a Voyage LA article around two years ago. And this is me paraphrasing what I said back then somewhat, but my goal and vision has been consistent, and hasn’t changed since.

I believe 2020 has been an insane year for all of us. In fact, I moved out of my LA apartment, got married in Vegas (of all places!) on the very day that we moved out of LA. With three hours of sleep, we drove directly to Vegas strip from LA in separate cars, all packed with our belongings. We had dated for a solid six years and we arrived to the surreal conclusion that we had to get married in Vegas because that was the fastest and only place we could receive the marriage certificate in order to apply for my husband’s Spousal Visa in time, and move to Tokyo in hopes of better work opportunities for my acting career during Covid. (In regards to the Visa, we’re still waiting to hear back from the immigration office actually. So, we’re newlyweds without a proper honeymoon (yet!) and we’ve been away from each other for four months now, with him being in his hometown, Chicago, and me being in Tokyo.) We found out about Covid restrictions and Visa limitations at the last minute, so it was quite heartbreaking, but I had quite a large studio audition in Tokyo, so I had to leave the U.S quite urgently, and Kenneth has been supportive all this time with my career decisions. I sometimes hallucinate his presence in Tokyo sometimes because of how much I miss him, lol, but hopefully by the time this article gets published, my husband can legally enter Japan.

I’m super grateful that my partner was open to move to a country he has never lived in before and I consider myself very lucky! We’ve thought this through, and kept asking ourselves questions such as: “How can we grow to be better versions of ourselves?”, “What are pros and cons of making this decision?”, “How would our lifestyles change?”, “What do our guts tell us?” (very important!), and most of all, “Is it all worth it in the end?”

So, looking back, those were several insane layers of risks I was willing to take because I figured if I don’t make the move now, when would ever be the ‘right’ time, you know?

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think I would literally shrivel up and die if I can’t act. lol

Personally speaking, Acting is a breathing, living form of intangible art that constantly changes its shapes and colors. The craft of acting often gets impacted by the choices you make in your life. It has hyper-sensitive sensors to detect your inner truths and lies, so when you are emotionally stuck in one aspect of your life for instance, it directly influences your creative faculty and your instrument. And quite obviously, audiences can feel and see those truths and lies through your artistic expression, but it is up to the audience to reciprocate those inner struggles or unresolved attachments in their own life too. The more you experience in life, the stronger your core becomes, and Acting is an ever-learning experimental facility that you can use to learn more about the human condition.

When I get to act, I feel like I am actually breathing, like a fish that was finally able to get back into water.

The best advice I can give to anyone who wishes to be on this journey is to live life and find a good balance between work and your personal life while staying grateful for your previous bookings life has gifted you, because otherwise your career might crush your soul.

This is because, more often than not, in pursuing the very thing you’re passionate about, there are outer forces in life that you just don’t have control over, no matter how hard you try.

And when that happens, you need to be strong enough to believe that nothing is a waste (a gentle reminder to yourself to not discredit all the necessary work you’ve put into) that the role was not meant for you at that time, even if you managed to book it and shot or recorded the entire part. And the more you’ve invested your hopes and dreams into the project you’ve auditioning for, especially when the roles or those projects are exciting or large and prestigious, the harder it’s going to hit you on a gut level. And inevitably, it crawls up on you when you least expect it. Trust me, I have been there… more than several times. It quite literally kills your motivation to do anything, and sometimes you feel so jaded you want to start doubting everything you have built up. It hurts. It hurts your soul… especially if it happens more than once. But what you’ve gotta do after bawling your eyes out like there is no tomorrow and emptying out boxes of Kleenex while battling with fluffy teddy cushions is, you need to tune in to your inner-Samurai and slice those destructive voices and scared demons in half. That way, no matter what, you can protect your soul with all your might and trust that your time will come! In time.

There are so, so many times in life that I wished I could just quit this career because of how demanding it can be, on so many levels. No matter what, when you are pursuing your career as an actor, acting becomes your first priority in life on a fundamental level, and everything else inevitably gets aligned like a supportive shield to fortify your acting career, whether it be your secondary source of income, work environment, time management, diet, or health. And you are going to have to be okay with that.

This is a highly sensitive subject but I want to take the time to share this with you because I believe this is crucial in grounding yourselfIf possible, create healthy boundaries with individuals, whether they be your friends, family, your loved ones, or a certain group you belong to that are actively hurting your soul in an abusive manner that constantly brings you down and drains your energy especially if it takes you weeks to feel like you are yourself again. They say you’re the average of 5 people you spend time with the most.  Having those boundaries would give you some space to objectively assess yourself and see if you are surrounding yourself with those who bring out the best version of you, and that you are creating a mutually beneficial, lasting relationship on both ends.  This one is quite tough, it is a working progress, and more often than not, you don’t realize the impact that these individuals have on you especially when they are so close to you at heart.  It also hurts you to recognize this toxic relationship because more often than not, they believe they have good intentions.  But creating distance might actually help them in the long run in realizing how their actions directly affect others because otherwise they might never have the chance to grow on a spiritual level especially if it is a one-way road and they don’t want to hear your side of the story at all.  Also, check in with yourself to make sure that you’re making an effort to not let negatively consume you (no one is perfect, but I think there is a value in trying to always better yourself), and that you are striving to be a positive influence for your friends. 

Don’t get me wrong. I often try to primarily focus on positive or inspiring things that might be helpful to others when posting on any social media platforms, but I am full of flaws and it is scary to admit but I myself still struggle from depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues because life sometimes throws things at you to see if you can take it. So, if you’re going through it, hey, don’t feel like you’re excluded from this world because you’re not alone. When my mind is cluttered, I have this strange habit of cleaning like a total maniac.  (Imagine Levi from Attack on Titan Anime. If you haven’t seen the show yet, it’s super inspiring!) I feel like by clearing out the space, I am able to invite fun and positive things into my life… which… I don’t know if that’s how things work, but that’s just how I cope with my personal struggles. Lol  Sometimes, acknowledging that you’re going through it can be liberating because you are admitting to yourself that it’s okay to have flaws. We’re only humans after all, living through insane times… Let’s give ourselves some slack. It’s easy to find things that are wrong or terrible in life, but sometimes it’s harder to focus on the good things in life. But always remember to look at the brighter side of life no matter what because that’s what’s going to bring the best in you!

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?
Now that sounds like fun!

Covid aside, Tokyo is quite a walkable city full of fun things to do.

I don’t know if a week would be enough to see Japan, but I would spend maybe the first two, three days introducing Tokyo because there is a lot to see.

Let’s see. I’m going to take a bit of a unique detour instead of a traditional tour route.  We would wake up in the morning, and we head out to the Tokyo-bay/Odaiba area where we can see the morning sun and feel the gentle breeze on our cheeks… we can take a walk by the pier, stretch our legs and have some breakfast on a bench. We can either bring home-made sandwiches or find a cute little cafe by the Tokyo-bay area and eat there!

If my friend likes traditional potteries and dishes, I would take him/her to Kappabashi area, where you can select from a wide variety of wholesale well-made works of art. You’d find yourself surrounded by wide arrays of pottery, almost scared of knocking over dishes while walking around. Maybe my friend made his/her decisions, but I think he/she bought way too many considering we’re still going to continue exploring the rest of the city!

In the same district, we’d see a street full of sample food displays that looks exactly like the real edible dishes they represent. From Sushi platters, deep fried tempura bowls to curry, these tantalizing meals look quite surreal. You almost wanna bite into it, and you realize that it’s actually just made of plastic. We learn that this is where the sample food displays come from and that if we ever get hungry, we can come back here and stare at the display to ease our hunger.

Maybe my friend did some research and he/she wants to go on fun cafe adventures! If he/she loves Harry Potter, we’ll first stop by at the Owl Cafe in Shimokitazawa and have owls land on our shoulders while we feed little munchies to them with thick gloves on so we don’t get bit. With their sharp beaks, they eat their delicious snacks, and we both look at this magnificent creature in awe.

Now, we’re visiting a 2D cafe in Shinjuku where we take photos ourselves after sitting down ordering our Houji-cha (Roasted Green Tea) Tea Lattes, and it looks like we’re living in the world of 2D! Whoaaa, even the furniture and the room itself are designed to give you an illusion that you are stuck in a two-dimensional world.

At night, we would have a romantic dinner at a restaurant built right in the middle of the train tracks in the Electronic City called Akihabara, full of Anime characters and machine parts. Anime is something somewhat new to Akihabara, brought here by the younger generation, and in the olden days, this area was known for its PC machinery parts for PC builders, so it is fun to walk around the neighborhood after dinner and see what they offer.

Since my friend just started watching the “Love Live” Anime series, I can take him/her to the real-life locations where this anime was based off of and give them a tour of “Anime sanctuaries”.

Let’s head out to Harajuku and the Shibuya area where all the young ones are hyped up in colorful fashionable clothes and we can check out the narrow streets in between to visit some vintage clothing stores, micro pig cafes, and when we reach the end of Harajuku street, we can visit the Meiji shrine that has built to commemorate the Japanese emperor during Meiji-era as well, so he/she can enjoy a nice walk full of trees and feel rejuvenated spiritually.

We can also visit the NHK Studio Park next the shrine to see what studios are like in Japan. You can learn about the history of how the Japanese broadcasting system was developed, and we can also witness actual live recordings of shows and news stations. The fun part about this is that you can even experience what it’s like to read as a newscaster as well!

Now that we’ve seen the modern side of Japan, let’s use our JR passes to take the bullet train that travels in 140 km/hr and visit Okinawa, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hokkaido! Wait, maybe traveling from all the way south to the north of Japan might be too much in a week. So, I would have my friend pick where they would like to visit, and I will try my best to show them around ϑ

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?
Because I’m primarily focusing this series on the creative journey of my career, I would like to dedicate this series to Kenneth, now my husband who always has my back even though I’m often a chaotic mess, his family for being supportive about both of our careers, and the awesome mentorship and unconditional love I had received from Jeffery Brooks for believing in me and my Inner Circle Theatre friends and LA friends that we can always take risks to aim higher in life. Last but not least, my grandma for being my best friend as well as pen-pal for decades now.  Thank you to my family for gifting me the opportunity to move out to the States to see the world outside of Japan.  I am privileged to be surrounded by such amazing friends from all walks of life and for that, I’m super grateful!

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Image Credits
Rilakkuma Photos All Rights Reserved by San-X And Then Short Film Stills All Rights Reserved by Jenn Ravenna Detective Pikachu All Rights Reserved by Pokemon Company

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