Yumi Nagashima discovered her calling whereas on a date in Canada 4 years in the past.
“The man I used to be with introduced me to the native comedy membership and he did a stand-up set that I actually cherished, ” stated the Vancouver-based Nagashima.
When she went house, she instantly delved into the world of stand-up, satisfied that she may need one thing to say on stage.
Previous to that, she had by no means heard of stand-up comedy.
“We don’t have conventional stand-up comedy in Japan. What we have now is rakugo, a man in a kimono telling tales, and we have now slapstick comedy the place two comedians – a humorous man and a straight-faced man – change jokes on stage, ” she defined.
Nagashima, 28, spent a couple of weeks writing and tweaking her jokes, testing them on her fellow colleagues on the Japanese restaurant the place she was working on the time.
And he or she lastly “killed it” when she acquired on stage for the primary time the identical 12 months.
“I fell in love with the feeling of being heard and celebrated. It was probably the most empowering feeling that I’d ever felt, and I used to be hooked from then on, ” she stated.
Right now, Nagashima has not solely made waves within the North American comedy scene together with her sassy stage presence, her profession has taken her to the worldwide stage, performing in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and London.
On prime of that, she is breaking conventional gender stereotypes as a Japanese comedienne.
“I selected comedy as a result of I can journey everywhere in the world, make individuals snicker, and really feel pleased whereas empowering myself, ” she added.
Nagashima’s Japanese heritage and residence in Canada have confirmed to be a bonus in her profession.
“Being a Japanese lady with a novel perspective and accent makes me stand out instantly. And being in Canada has taught me the true which means of feminism, ” she stated.
In response to the World Financial Discussion board’s International Gender Hole Report final 12 months, Japan ranked 121 out of 151 nations by way of gender equality.
“I really feel so grateful that I’ve met so many robust Canadian ladies who impressed me to interrupt the mould, ” she stated.
However she added that though it is a bonus to be a Japanese lady in comedy, there are additionally challenges.
Though her distinct Japanese accent is now seen as a bonus, when the Tokyo-born-and-raised Nagashima first moved to Vancouver, she was informed to “lose the accent”.
She had began off educating Japanese to English-speaking locals and taking appearing lessons, however was restricted by her accent to stereotypical roles similar to “Japanese scientist paying off her Japanese change scholar mortgage by moonlighting as a Japanese waitress”.
Nagashima was even suggested to see a dialect coach, however she declined.
“To talk English completely versus being not-from-around-these-parts would make it appear to be I used to be attempting to cover the place I’m initially from. However although Vancouver has been the launching pad for my profession, which has taken me all over the world, I’m nonetheless proud to be from Japan, ” she stated.
One other problem she faces is getting ready her stand-up routine in her second language.
“It isn’t straightforward to put in writing jokes in a single’s second language. I take a very long time to put in writing only one joke in English. However the dictionary is my greatest pal and the individuals who train me the best way to pronounce the phrases correctly are my treasure, ” she defined.
Her materials ranges from delicate to raunchy, however largely the latter.
It consists of her worrying in regards to the sodium consumption of white of us at sushi eating places the place restraint isn’t a phrase utilized to soy sauce. And as somebody from the land of the fabled “Japanese bush”, she marvels at how the North American model would not appear like an “over-fertilised Chia pet”.
When requested what her relations consider her comedy type, she quipped that it’s a blessing that they don’t perceive English very properly.
So far, Nagashima has appeared on the CBC radio programme, The Debaters, and likewise on CBC TV throughout the 2019 Winnipeg Comedy Competition.
The Canada Yuk Off Comedy Competitors 2016 and 2017 finalist was additionally featured in part of the Simply For Laughs North West comedy pageant.
As well as, Nagashima is an completed actress with many appearing credit to her title, together with HBO’s The Man In The Excessive Fort. She additionally launched her first music video entitled My Identify Is Yumi final 12 months.
When less than any humorous enterprise, Nagashima stated she enjoys the easy issues in life, particularly sleeping, consuming scrumptious meals and being human.
Her future plans embody having her personal speak present, “identical to Oprah or Ellen”.
“I’ll invite individuals I really like and have a number of enjoyable.”
Watch Yumi Nagashima carry out at Queens of Asia Comedy on March 13 at HGH Conference Centre in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, at 8.30pm. For more information go to qoa.qtic.my