Many folks from the US may not grasp the scope of globalization a city of Hong Kong contains. Being a city that has embraced Western culture and has weaved it into its own is amazing. Yuyu Kitamura was bathed in this knowledge and has brought her talent and skills to the shores of New York. From the age of ten-years-old she was taken in by the sights and sounds of film acting and performing on stage.
When she hit her teens, she took part in such productions like “The Government Inspector” by Henric Ibsen and Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand where she performed in venues such as the Hong Kong Arts Center. During her high school years is when it was abundantly clear that acting was her calling. Ms. Kitamura would offer her first version of talent with her own book entitled “Circles and Lines”. Which can be found on Amazon Prime (click here to purchase). The book speaks about mental health, coming of age and loss, themes that are not talked about enough.
Only recently Ms. Kitamura submitted her own film, “Invited In” which has been working the festival circuit. It has been selected in the NY Lift-Off Film Festival for the Judges Selection and has been accepted into other festivals like New York Asian Film Festival, Regent Park Film Festival and Seattle Asian Film Festival.
“The goal with creating my short film was to highlight the mental health struggles people, specifically the younger generation, went through during the pandemic and how human connection is so vital and often forgotten about. Now, as life slowly returns to normal, the story the film shares has left an impact on me. Acting is my bread and butter, and film making became a passion out of my years of just being around storytelling. Seeing my version of “success” with my film was about sharing it with audiences who walked away feeling impacted somehow.”
Prior to this endeavor Ms. Kitamura would look to advance her talents when she graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts through the Atlantic Theater Company Acting Studio and Stonestreet Studios, receiving a BFA in Acting. Her first taste of film acting was with two short films “On the Living” and “Staying Afloat”. The first project was directed by Enrico Po and starred Jared Gilman (Moonrise Kingdom). Following that was a short which its cast was entirely made up of women, directed by Elizabeth Katz.
“This film about destruction, recovery and the difficulties of emotional connection highlighted how connection within the story and in a working environment play hand in hand. The importance of having representation and opportunity for women both in front of and behind the camera impacted all our performances and something magical was made from that.”
Ms. Kitamura would soon link up with the agency Take 3 Talent in 2019. The agency has represented some the most caliber talent in the industry. She would build on her career with a new medium in podcasts. Yuyu features in Naomi Shah’s podcast company “Meet Cute” on the episode “The Theme Park” and “Two Step”. This specific project was a scripted podcast that has become popular and has piqued the interest of even Hollywood with names such as Julianne Hough and Lisa Loeb. Shah’s Meet Cute — a very appropriately titled company — launched in February of 2020 and is a platform that makes 15-minute audio romantic comedies. To date, the company has produced and released nearly 200 rom-coms.This project led Ms. Kitamura into voice over work which she always had a passion for. She finds it to elevate a character with just the tone, quality, and personality of your voice is a journey.
When she was still in Hong Kong, Amazon Prime was filming the show “Expatriates” directed by Lulu Wang and starring Nicole Kidman. Ms. Kitamura made it her business to be a part of the project. She ended up working with some of the top stars in the world, and it was both a lesson and a gift to share the space for her. Only recently she was cast in a lead role for the HBO Max show “Dead Boy Detectives”. The project hosts an amazing team with Berlanti Productions, David Rapaport and Steve Yockey. The series regular she has managed to lock in is of Niko Sasaki which just happens to have deep similarities and an abundance of differences like Ms. Kitamura. They will begin shooting soon. Yuyu’s current short film “Invited In” can be seen via Vimeo on Demand until August 1st. Stay tuned for more.
Yuyu’s Website – http://yuyukitt.com/