Akira can’t stay still. The Japanese singer/songwriter/actress/model is visiting Animethon at MacEwan University this weekend, and she seems to constantly be in a state of action. From conventions, to voice work (Black Butler) to magazine covers (KERA) and various performances, the J-pop mainstay doesn’t run out of batteries.
Even with all her travelling- and performing, she doesn’t think that she is spreading herself thin though. In fact, she considers all her artistic endeavours to be strengthened by the large shadow they cast.
“By spreading myself over many different directions, it gives me insight that I might otherwise not see by specializing in one thing,” Akira says, via email. “It also gives me the freedom to break away from the ‘common sense’ of a particular genre.”
Recently started her own fashion brand called Malus 14 and considers this just another challenge that gives her life a quality of richness. While not one to suffer from lack of inspiration, she does have to hole herself up in her bedroom to think now and again. When that doesn’t work, the inspiration for all her exploits comes from a more pragmatic centre. Namely, human interaction.
“I really enjoy listening to people’s stories,” Akira says. “Whenever I have time, I meet up with interesting people to talk. Listening to their worries, their thoughts, observing their expressions as they speak… I take a mental note of all of it and listen carefully. This really helps offer insight when I am creating.”
One thing that stands out for the Akira is the direct connection between success and failure. She thinks of the two symbiotic. While some people are overly careful not to fail, she sees this carefulness as folly. She has failed many times due to her creative impulses, and she has no intention of changing.
“The people who always succeed become fearful of failure. Failing is a very painful feeling, but at the same time, it opens up new paths,” she says. “Every time I overcome my failures, it makes me stronger. There’s no need to intentionally seek out failure, it’s important to live with a degree of caution. But it’s also important to not be afraid of failure.”
Akira’s visit to the Animethon will be her first visit to Edmonton and she doesn’t know too much about the city. She knows that there is a huge shopping mall, which originally she thought was a theme park, and she is open about exploring the city, if she had more down time.
Also on her to-do list is writing and performing a screenplay that encapsulates all her past experiences into one magnum opus. That, and she wants to produce an “idol unit full of super cute girls” as she calls it.
These goals are probably not far off because according her: “Life is short. Use your brain, follow your heart, take action.”
Fri, Aug 5 — Sun, Aug 7
MacEwan University Downtown, $25 — $125