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Actor / EntertainerHi, I'm Anna! Actress, cat lady, time lord. AMA

May 8th 2017 by Anna_Akana • 45 Questions • 202 Points

I'm an actress, online content creator, and cat lady! You can see me on Netflix's You Get Me, the 3rd season of Freeform's Stitchers and Comedy Central's Corporate.

PROOF: https://twitter.com/AnnaAkana/status/860873124249718784

https://twitter.com/AnnaAkana/status/861721474469515264

Q:

Who is someone you would really like to work with in the future, either in film or YouTube or another project? Love all your work xx

A:

I'd love to collaborate with Natalie Tran, Seth Rogen and Bo Burnham.


Q:

Hi Anna, will you be interested in doing an AMA with /r/asianamerican sometime in the future?

A:

absolutely


Q:

anna, how long does it take you to create 1 youtube video? all the way from writing the script, to filming it, to editing, and finally posting. how many crew members are involved?

A:

It varies. When I first started, it would take me 3-4 days to script, film, edit, etc.

Now that I have a crew, it takes me a day to script/film, and my editor 4-5 hours to edit, then my GFX lady 3 business days to add all the animated elements.

On an average day, I have: Cinematographer (also edits) Producer Grip Gaffer Sound GFX artist


Q:

Hi, Anna! I've been watching you for years now and just wanted to say I am proud of you for all of the progress and hard work you have done. You have been very inspirational to me and always send out an empowering message for women.

I was wondering if you'd be able to answer how your sister's passing affected you and your life? If so, how were you able to move forward and push yourself to keep succeeding?

A:

Kris dying is like the before and after moment of my life. It gave me an entirely new purpose. I was able to move forward because it forced me to confront my mortality at a young age.


Q:

When did you get your first cat? Just want to add I've worked with you a handful of times and you are as nice and kind as you are talented. You are one of the people. Wish you nothing but continued success!

A:

My first cat was Phoebe. I adopted her a few months after my sister's suicide because I knew my father wouldn't have the heart to make me return her.


Q:

What made you want to become an actress? Also, do you need a film scorer for any potential short films coming up? I make music!

A:

I've wanted to act since I was 5. I was the little red hen for a school puppet play and was hooked ever since. The fact that that's puppetry and not acting never dawned on me.


Q:

what exactly do you love so much about cats?

A:

I DON'T KNOW. I just look at them and my heart explodes.


Q:

Without getting too personal, what happened to you and Brad? He just seemed to disappear from your videos?

Big fan too :)

A:

We broke up, but are still amicable


Q:

Hey Anna!

1.) I know you've teased the idea of playing Silk someday; if you could cast yourself in any comic project, what other heroes or villains would you love to play?

2.) Is there any chance we might see a full-length stand-up special from you soon?

A:
  1. I would absolutely love to continue to be in the MCU and play Silk. I'd also love to be Mulan.

  2. I'm in no rush. Stand up is something I've always done as more of a therapeutic way for me to face my fears and feel alive. It's never been a calling in terms of my purpose. My relationship to the stage is more of a salvation if that makes sense.


Q:

Hi Anna! Gotta say I really love your videos! Also I made a reddit account just for you.

So, for my question. My boyfriend, with whom I live with, and I broke up yesterday and tonight is my first night alone. How do I get through it? I feel so alone and just wanna cry my eyes off and then call him and beg him to come back. How do you get through breakups?

A:

Time time time time time. Lean on your friends. Cry as much as you need to. Be a good friend to yourself. Take care of yourself. Exercise. Get enough sleep. Pet some cats (or dogs). Take walks.


Q:

Hi Anna! Love your videos! I never used to actually subscribe to channels on YouTube until I watched yours! I just wanted say thank you for being an awesome representative for young Asian Americans in film and media. You are a huge inspiration and I hope you realize how much you've done for our community already. On that note, my question is:

What advice do you have for asian american youth that want to break into the more creative industries, but don't really know where to start?

A:

Depending on where you want to go, I'd say starting is simply the best place. Immerse yourself in whatever industry you're going after. Research the hell out of what you can. Read books. Dive in. The more you focus on action the better off you'll be.


Q:

Hi, Anna! You have given me countless laughs, and I thank you for it. What is the best writing advice anyone has given you?

A:

Write about what hurts - Hemingway


Q:

Hi, Anna! First, I wanted to say that I wrote about you in one of my Stanford essays ("What matters to you and why?") and I want to thank you for everything (ps, I got in!).

I'm also curious -- what books were very transformative to you? What are things you would tell any incoming college freshman to do?

A:

"Does The Center Hold?" is a philosophy book that shaped how I view the world when I was in a few semesters of community college. I fell in love with the various perspectives people had on life and what it meant to them.


Q:

How long did it take you to be able to be open about your sister's suicide? As someone who lost 12 year old child in my family to suicide, the first few years I didn't talk to anyone about it other than a therapist. I would love to know your journey to where you are now, writing a book for her.

A:

Took me 7 years to be able to joke about it


Q:

hi anna! how were you able to get your role from Ant-Man?

A:

I auditioned. The process entailed being able to lip sync with Michael Pena's monologue, and since that's an odd gift I have, I was able to follow along pretty easily.


Q:

hi anna! what is your favorite youtube collaboration that you've done thus far?

A:

Loved working with Danielle Radcliffe. What a class act.


Q:

What are your plans for the future?

A:

I'd love to write/direct a feature film, be a series regular on a show that I find amazing, get married to someone I absolutely adore, have kids.


Q:

What happened to your book club channel? It's been inactive for a while now.

A:

Hahaha I stopped doing it because I am the worst at on-the-spot camera talking


Q:

Hey Anna, what advice would you give a vegan turned vegetarian (like myself) who is starting to think that for the sake of health reasons should probably eat some meat every now and then? You once said in a video that "the healthier you are the happier we can be be" ... but conflicting feelings such as as guilt and fear are just getting in the way

A:

I was a vegan for 4 years. I am not a mostly-vegetarian who occasionally consumes meat. I think everyone has to find what works for them. I kept getting sick when I was vegan (due to the level of activity I was involved in) and decided that once in awhile I would have to make a compromise but do the best I can with the circumstances I was given.


Q:

How many cats do you have?

A:

I have 6 of my own, 6 that I'm fostering (a mom and her 5 kittens), and my roommate's cat. So we have 13 in my house haha


Q:

Really enjoy your YouTube work suggesting quirks in our psycho-social system. Haven't seen any recent postings for your stand-up appearances - how is that going?

A:

I'm taking a break from stand up to focus on other projects! I just wrote a book that comes out 6/13 so have been heavily focused on that.


Q:

Hi Anna! What do you see yourself doing in the next 10 years?

A:

Having a career that I'm proud of. Being married to a man I adore. Having a few kids.


Q:

What would you say to someone struggling with the stress of school and final exams?

A:

You're gonna be just fine


Q:

Hey Anna! I remember about a year or two ago you made a bunch of short films and uploaded them to your youtube channel as a sort of year-long project (if I'm correct) and I absolutely loved them! I was wondering which one of them was your favourite? I really liked Hallucination and Emergency Call. Thanks so much!

A:

My favorite is by far PREGNAPOCALYPSE. That was such a fun one to film, and because I forgot my dress that day, we had to somehow make it work that my friend yanked off my pants to give birth to the baby alien.


Q:

hi anna!! do you remember all the short films you've created in 2014? they were awesome btw. do u plan on producing and releasing anymore short films in the future?

A:

Though I'd love to do more short films, they are not financially viable from a business standpoint. I'd love to do a few more passion projects but right now I'm focusing on longer form!


Q:

hi anna! how often do u travel for your own leisure purposes?

A:

I try to visit a new country every year. I grew up in a military family so I'm used to moving every 2-3 years, and so I get the travel bug quite often.


Q:

Are you bisexual?

A:

I don't think so. I find women attractive, but since I've never done anything beyond making out, I don't believe I have earned that title. Nor do I want to misrepresent anyone from that community.


Q:

What's the most challenging thing about being a content creator, that you never would have guessed before you started?

A:

The frustrated feeling that you want to do bigger and better content, but that you're limited based on what you can accomplish within a week.

Youtube is an odd game, and on occasion I'm tempted to step away from my once-a-week self imposed deadline to tackle longer form narrative projects. But those aren't a sustainable business model, and ultimately I do this gig because it helps me continue to pursue my passions with more of a selective power stance.


Q:

how do you feel about the fact that Asian-Americans are so often the butt of the joke in American comedy? What advice to you have to aspiring Asian-American writers to combat these stereotypes?

A:

I feel very disheartened by the fact that we're often perceived as harmless and therefore easy targets. That said, I know I could have it much worse, so I try to combat it in the ways that I can: by taking the power away from these jokes, by refusing to acknowledge them as true, by calling out racism when I see it, and by not being afraid to tell people when they're being dumbasses.


Q:

Hey Anna! I've been a huge fan of yours for a very long time now. I know you made a brief reappearance a while back, but what happened to Boner Book Club? I recall you saying something about you no longer having as much time to read as you did before, but I'm sad to see it go. That channel introduced me to a whole new set of books that genuinely inform my reading tastes today. Without Boner Book Club I never would have discovered some of my current favourites like Mysterious Skin or Mr. Nobody. (Side question: Have you read Fresh Off The Boat? Highly recommend.)

A:

I still read, but not as much as I would love to! Boner Book Club got annoying to do because I would just hit record, talk about the book, and upload it. I'm not very eloquent off the top of my head (versus the polished version of myself you see in regular videos) and I cringed while watching it.


Q:

Anna, what is your favorite beer and mixed liquor drink?

A:

I love IPA. In terms of a mixed drink, I go through phases. I used to love the Moscow Mule, then it was a Lemon Drop, and now I'm at Vodka/Cran/OJ


Q:

Are you planning on continuing to increase your political activism (I personally wish you would)?

A:

Absolutely. I am all about using my voice for causes I am passionate about.


Q:

Hi Anna! How do you feel about being an Asian American actress? Do you have any particular feelings regarding feminism as an Asian American?

A:

I love being an Asian American woman. So much of who I am derives from these labels. My work ethic, my perspective on life and family, etc. Though I am afraid it's going to limit the career I can have, it's something that I struggle with accepting.


Q:

How do you feel you have grown as a content creator? Have you ever re-watched some of your older content? Would you consider making a video of your own reactions to re-watching your older content, like a review/critique/react video?

A:

God, I've grown so much. I saw some of my older content yesterday and screamed out loud. Never want to do a reaction video because I'll probably shrivel up and die.


Q:

What was the hardest thing for you to deal with this year and what is your advice for dealing with a similar issue?

A:

The hardest thing this year was having a lot of my life fall apart. My relationship ended, a lot of my previous friendships ended, a few movies I was a part of fell apart and lost their funding. It felt like an entirely new chapter of my life was starting and I wasn't ready for it.

But I am used to change, and normally embrace it, so just sticking it out and knowing that things aren't permanent always helps me


Q:

Anna, do you play any sports? If so which ones? Do you watch any sports? If so which ones and which teams do you support?

A:

I do a lot of aerial arts - trapeze, silks, pole. I used to play soccer and dodgeball.

I don't really watch sports, though I have a feeling I'll be dragged to some baseball games soon.


Q:

I know you said that you are a comic book fan. So, DC or Marvel? And what is your all time favorite comic, or event, and what have you been reading recently?

A:

Marvel!

I've been reading SAGA religiously. I wanna get into Sandman. Also love Preacher!


Q:

Anna, beef or chicken ramen noodles?

A:

Veggie pls


Q:

Hey Anna. What are your bigges turn ons/offs when dating a guy?

A:

Turn ons - funny, talented, ambitious, kind Turn offs - materialistic, insecure, mean


Q:

Hi Anna!

I first found your channel through your "How to put on your face" video, which caused me to do a complete 180 in my life and focus on self-care as well as bringing up other girls, rather than tearing them down. While I've seen countless videos of yours, that still really holds up as one of my favorites (along with the "My cats review stuff" series). What is your favorite video on your own channel and why, and also, what is your favorite video on another YouTube channel?

Thanks for doing this AMA (:

A:

Aw thanks so much!

My favorite video is Loose Ends. I love directing, and I think that project holds a special place in my heart because we had an all female crew.

My favorite video on another Youtube channel is everything Natalie Tran makes


Q:

Anna, what is the best thing about cats?

A:

dey cuddle


Q:

Anna, what types of music do you listen to?

A:

I love hip hop and pop


Q:

First off I would like to say i love you, your cats and how talented you are. How do you manage all your workload like producing shows like Miss 2059, YouTube, voice acting, etc.?

A:

I'm naturally gifted at time management. I'm able to schedule myself down to fifteen minute intervals and get quite a bit done in a day.


Q:

Hi Anna!

When it comes to acting, what types of roles do you really -really- want to play? The serious badass character or the lovable goofball?

Thanks for the feedback and I'm a huge fan of the youtube vids!

A:

I love the idea of being a comedic badass. Stunts are some of my favorite technical things to do on set, and I'd love to have fighting sequences combined with some hilarious unexpected twists. The perfect example is Ryan Gosling's character in Nice Guys - when he punches through the glass window and just bleeds all over the place


Q:

Hey Anna! What is a movie you think everyone should see?

A:

Arrival