Akana at VidCon Amsterdam in March 2018
Anna Kay Akana
August 18, 1989
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Subscriber and view counts updated as of November 5, 2018.|
Anna Kay Akana (born August 18, 1989) is an American actress, filmmaker, author, and comedian. She is known for her YouTube channel, which has over 2 million subscribers and over 226 million video views.
Anna Akana was born August 18, 1989. Her ancestry is Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Irish, German, Spanish, French, and English. Akana's father was an officer in the United States Marine Corps as she grew up. Her family moved every few years to a new state or country. As a result, Akana picked up several languages including Japanese and Spanish.
On Valentine's Day 2007, Akana's 13-year-old sister, Kristina, died by suicide. Several months after her sister's death, Akana watched Margaret Cho perform on a Comedy Central special and laughed for the first time since the suicide. She began to see laughter as a means of trying to move on with her life and decided to seriously pursue comedy. Akana is very vocal about her sister's suicide and is a strong advocate for suicide prevention. In 2013, Akana uploaded a YouTube video called "please don't kill yourself" where she explains how it felt for her to have a family member die by suicide. In that same year, she released a book called Surviving Suicide which contains her journal entries from the two years after her sister's death.
Akana first started performing comedy at the age of 19 but ended up switching her platform to YouTube in 2011 after experiencing massive panic attacks and anxiety before going on stage. Akana has since resumed performing stand-up.
In 2014, Akana formed a comedy music duo called Cat Benatar with fellow comedian and writer Megan Rosati.
Akana creates both comedy and documentary YouTube videos. In 2014, Akana was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #72. In that same year, Akana decided to focus more on her skills as a director and attempted to make one short film a month. While she did not reach her goal of 12, she did make six short films which were received well by her YouTube audience. Akana starred in all of her short films and has starred in various other short films produced by other YouTube stars. Akana has since continued to create short films.
One of her short films, titled Miss Earth was partially financed by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's production company, New Form Digital. It was part of the 2014 Incubator, a series to showcase and produce original stories by YouTube Creators and filmmakers. Miss Earth was later adapted into a web series retitled Miss 2059 and released on Verizon's go90 app in June 2016, with a second season released in late 2017.
Film and television
In 2016, Akana appeared alongside Sally Field in the indie comedy film Hello, My Name Is Doris, written by Michael Showalter. That same year, she also appeared in a short Star Wars fan film called Hoshino.
In 2015, Akana released a clothing line called Ghost & Stars, which features several cat-themed designs as well as formal dresses, leggings, and a variety of T-shirts.
Akana also hosts the podcast Explain Things to Me with fellow comedian Brad Gage where the two interview experts in various fields about their work.
In 2017, Akana's book titled So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister was published. The book describes Akana's struggles and experiences growing up and offers advice to her late sister.
In reviewing her video, “Why Guys Like Asian Girls" (which references "Yellow Fever", a term for an Asian fetish) Cate Matthews of The Huffington Post wrote: "A step-by-step takedown of 'yellow fever' or the desire to date Asian women often accompanied by bizarre, offensive attempts to do so, could start the healing. Luckily for us, YouTuber Anna Akana was more than up to the video-making task."
Deadline referred to Akana as "a prolific online creator whose channel boasts 60 million views and 900,000 subscribers, and last year wrote and starred in her own narrative feature Riley Rewind, scoring a none-too-shabby 20M views online."
|2013||Inappropriate Comedy||Student driver|
|2014||Here She Is||Miss Hawaii||Also writer|
|Kids vs Monsters||Daisy|
|2016||Hello, My Name Is Doris||Blogger|
|Dirty 30||Ashley Driscoll|
|2017||You Get Me||Lydia|
|2018||Next Gen||Ani||Voice role|
|TBA||Go Back to China||Sasha Li||Filming|
|2011||Awkward||"Knocker Nightmare"||Asian girl|
|2012||Shake It Up||"Made in Japan"||Tomoka|
|The Beauty Inside||5 episodes||Alex #29|
|2013–2014||The Fosters||2 episodes||Lily|
|2016||Adam Ruins Everything||"Adam Ruins Shopping Malls"||Female Shopper|
|2017||Stitchers||7 episodes||Amanda Weston||Recurring Role|
|2018||Corporate||4 episodes||Paige||Recurring Role|
|2018||Big City Greens||11 episodes||Gloria||Voice role; recurring|
|2011||Breaking Los Angeles||9 episodes||Herself||Also producer|
|10 Second Traumas||8 episodes||Various||Also a writer, executive producer and director|
|2013||Riley Rewind||5 episodes||Riley Brown||Also writer and producer|
|2015||52 Ways to Break Up||"#24 and #25- Compare Notes"||Anna|
|Command Center||Commander||Also writer and director|
|Broken People||2 episodes||Pinches|
|Last Moments of Relationships||"CRAZY DATING STORIES"||Fay|
|Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures||5 episodes||The White Spirit|
|Adult Wednesday||2 episodes||-||Executive producer|
|Rough Day||Detective Mah-jong||Also executive producer|
|2016||Hipsters||3 episodes||Jane||Also director|
|Tiny Feminists||"Linda"||Ms. Applebaum|
|This Isn't Working||5 episodes||Nicole|
|Transformers: Combiner Wars||4 episodes||Victorion||Voice role|
|Single by 30||6 episodes||Grace|
|12 Deadly Days||"Coffee Cups"||Judalina|
|Go-Go Boy Interrupted||10 episodes||-||Co-producer|
|Miss 2059||24 episodes||Victoria Young||Also creator, executive producer and director|
|2017||Drive Share||"Garbage Mommy"||Driver|
|Search Bar||12 episodes||Various||Also creator, executive producer and director|
|2018||Youth & Consequences||8 episodes||Farrah||Also creator and executive producer|
|2011||Katy Perry||"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"||Extra|
|2014||San Diego Asian Film Festival||Digital Pioneer||Won|
|2015||Streamy Awards||Best Actress||SnapperHero||Nominated|
|2018||Streamy Awards||Acting in a Drama||Youth & Consequences||Won|||
- "YouTube: Anna Akana". YouTube. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- "Facebook: Anna Akana". Facebook.
- "Japanese Hawaiian Filipino etc". Twitter. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
- "My dad was right". YouTube. March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Surviving Suicide". GoodReads. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Luhar, Monica (November 13, 2015). "Anna Akana is 'Chasing Laughs' and Telling Stories". NBC News. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Akana, Anna (September 27, 2013). "please don't kill yourself". YouTube. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Akana, Anna. "Surviving Suicide". GoodReads. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- "be uncomfortable". YouTube. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Yu, Tiffany. "How Death Shed New Light on 'Riley Rewind' Actress Anna Akana's Life". Mochi Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 75-51!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Focus//Anna Akana". YouTube. February 7, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Anna Akana- Short films". annaakana.com. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Incubator Series | New Form Digital". newformdigital.com. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Filmmaker Spotlights | New Form Digital". newformdigital.com. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "New Form Digital Press Kit 2016" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Spangler, Todd (September 25, 2015). "Verizon's Go90 Orders 6 Series from New Form Digital (Exclusive)". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Hamedy, Saba. "Anna Akana takes action in New Form Digital's 'Miss 2059'". Mashable. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Dry, Jude (June 20, 2016). "Watch: Exclusive Clip From New Form Digital's 'Miss 2059,' Starring Anna Akana". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "MISS 2059 | OFFICIAL TRAILER". go90. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Miss 2059 go90 page". Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- "Last Friday Night (2011)". IMDB. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- Jarvey, Natalie (January 29, 2015). "AT&T Launches Scripted Series on Snapchat". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
The series, SnapperHero, stars YouTubers Anna Akana, Freddie Wong, Harley Morenstein, and Jasmeet Singh alongside Snapchat celeb Shaun McBride, who also served as creative director.
- Yamato, Jen (July 11, 2014). "'Hello, My Name Is Doris' Uploads YouTuber Anna Akana". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- "Hoshino - Star Wars Fan Film" YouTube. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
- "Corporate Scripted Series". Comedy Central Press. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- "Ghost & Stars". Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "Explain Things to Me". iTunes. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "So Much I Want to Tell You". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Akana, Anna. "Why Guys Like Asian Girls". Youtube. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Matthews, Cate (July 29, 2014). "Here's What 'Yellow Fever' Really Means". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- Williott, Carl (April 29, 2015). "After A Breakup, Your Brain Basically Becomes An Episode Of '24'". MTV. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- Katzowitz, Josh. "YouTube star Anna Akana comes out as queer during Streamys speech". The Daily Dot. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- "Digital Pioneer Award". SDAFF. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- "Acting in a Drama - Streamy Awards 2018: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
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