AMERICAN POP STAR
Awbrey Madison is the quintessential American Pop Star. Listening and watching her music videos feels like being 21 again and taking a carefree stroll through Disneyland on a bright and happy sunshiny day. We can totally imagine Awbrey as an enchantingly awkward modern-day princess riding a unicorn singing catchy tunes at the top of her lungs. The reality is Awbrey lives in Los-Angeles, but don’t let geography fool you. She is more than an airy fairy wide-eyed singer/actress seeking fame at any cost. Apart from her natural good looks, Awbrey is bi-lingual, highly educated and articulate. (Tri-lingual actually – she is also learning Mandarin). Awbrey can read, write and speak Japanese fluently. In fact, Awbrey is very popular in Japan and anyone who knows Japanese culture will tell you that they are one of the wisest and most culturally progressive people on the planet. We at Pizazz News just adore Awbrey and believe she will be an even bigger success.
Welcome to Pizazz News Awbrey Madison – you are our first American Pop Star
and we are just so chuffed to have you with us.
Congratulations on the success of your work in the US and internationally in Japan Awbrey. How long have you been developing your craft in singing, acting and learning Japanese?
A. Thank you so much! I have been singing all my life! I would sing along with every Disney movie, soundtrack and cartoon I saw. My parents tell me that when they would read nursery rhymes, I would demand…”Sing it!”. When I started school I would steal away to the bathrooms to sing because the acoustics were so good! That lead to a teacher sent to find me suggesting I sing at the school talent show. What followed was the usual local community theatre productions. At age 14 I finally worked up the nerve to go on my first audition. That audition landed me my first acting job working on a project with Jerry Zucker – the Director/Producer of such classics as “Airplane!”, “Top-Secret” and “Ghost”, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I decided to tackle it seriously.
[JERRY ZUCKER is a LEGEND, who was the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER/WRITER for The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Friends with Benefits, Mental & MORE. SO MUCH MORE.]
(YES, THE JERRY ZUCKER)
JERRY ZUCKER on the set of “GHOSTS” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore
AWBREY MADISON on her ‘Secret Passion’
(this is not lewd you guys – come on it’s AWBREY! Remember? American Sweetheart/Disney Princess!)
A. Japanese was my secret passion. I was fascinated with all things Japanese…I particularly loved the Japanese music I was listening too. As a result, I started teaching myself Japanese to better understand the lyrics. It was just for fun, so I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. Just picking up things online. It wasn’t until a few months later that I told my dad that the little sticker with Japanese characters on it in our car said “cupholder”.
He, of course, was shocked and suggested that I start taking proper Japanese courses, I told him “Only if it could still be fun”. Because it was fun learning Japanese, and I didn’t want it become a formal schooling project.
At first, I was so nervous about speaking in front of people, afraid my Japanese wasn’t very good. But thankfully, that wasn’t the case. I credit my love of singing with helping me learn the rhythm and intonation of the language. At 17, I took the JLPT (the Japanese Language proficiency Test), offered by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce. When asked what level I wanted to test, I thought what the heck, it’s only given 2 times a year and my parents had to drive me 2 hrs. to get to a test location, so I thought why not try the expert test. I passed!
Now I have started on Mandarin….
[Wow -she’s the total package.]
You have used your passion for the Japanese language to star in a Japanese/American TV webisode titled, “We Love Coach TC!” It has been described as a comedy with a plot that centres around a Japanese Tennis World Champion who arrives in America to work as a tennis instructor. I have seen an episode and loved the quirkiness of the characters! You play Maria, the daughter of Papa Gonzo and Mama Nobuko, what was it like working with Japanese creative talent? Was the filming done in Japan or the US?
“We Love Coach TC!”
All the filming took place in Los Angeles! The Japanese film community in LA is small and tight-knit, so I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to receive me, but everyone I’ve met has been really supportive and welcoming, and it’s cool seeing their unique take on humor and film making. Coach TC has started its second season and is shown on Youtube and Japanese language stations in the US and on a regional network in Japan.
Another role you were featured in was ‘Bear Tours’ – what is that about? I saw a hilarious scene you were in where the two male actors bumped chests. Can you share another scene with us at Pizazz?
Bear Tours: Awbrey Madison and Hidetoshi Imura
Bear Tours is about a Japanese businessman named Hide (played by Hidetoshi Imura, who you may recognize from his recurring role on the award winning show, “The Office“) who is transferred to an American branch of a travel agency called Bear Tours, and his wacky day to day shenanigans. It’s a lot of fun playing the straight-laced, kind of uptight coworker Alice, who is usually the foil to Hide’s mishaps and language foibles. Season one can be found on Youtube, and season 2 is currently in post-production. Season One airs on Japanese TV channels in California and network in Japan, which is really cool.
Q . I heard an interview you gave for CBK Radioland, great interview by the way, and you talked about how you were discovered in Japan by something you uploaded on Youtube – can you tell us what it was that you uploaded on Youtube? What work did you do in Japan and did you have any free time at all to discover Japan? Can you share with us some quirky places/activities you observed during your time in Japan? Did you eat anything like Fugu or San-nakji?
A. Thank you! TheYoutube video was just one my father shot as a Japanese language exercise. I sang a cover of singer Ayaka’s “Mikazuki” which translates to “Cresent Moon”. They contacted me directly through Youtube, saying that they were launching a pilot of a Japanese language singing show where foreigners sang Japanese songs called “Nodojiman” –(“ The World”). I was the first one they contacted and they wanted to know if I was interested! I was surprised, but my parents were a bit skeptical. After doing our research, and going back and forth with them, we finally realized they were legit and I was really going to Japan!
It was sooo awesome! I got to go with my sister, and we got to extend our stay from 3 days to a little over a week, so we could do some sightseeing before we left. Because of the shooting schedule, we couldn’t visit all the places we wanted to see, we did get to go to some really fun places like Asakusa, Shinjuku, and Odaiba. The people we met were so friendly and helpful, and were surprised at how proficient I was at Japanese and really appreciated the effort I made, which made me happy. It even impressed my older sister, since she hadn’t seen me speak Japanese before.
And no, I didn’t eat any Fugu, but I did eat some unagi (or eel), and maccha ice cream, so hopefully that makes up for it! Also my sister tried to order some pudding at a traditional resturaunt, and it turned out to be chawanmushi ( or egg custurd filled with chicken and shrimp), needless to say, it was not what she expected.
I just love, love, love your newly released music video and song “Rather B Loved” – I just thought it was a perfect song for a Pop Princess. I totally loved both versions of the song – the English version and the Japanese version. And I LOVED the direction, choreography and film work – the after effects were just perfect too. How long did it take to put all that work together? What were some challenges involved in that music video? And who made that gorgeous Polka Dot dress?
A I’m glad to hear you liked it! Definitely have to give a big thank you to my director Krystina Christenson, as she was the one who really took the concept from idea, to art direction and set design and camera direction. I really love vintage looks and bright pastel colors, so when I saw the first draft of it, I knew this was it!
Alex McComb played the boyfriend, and a really nice guy! He even tried to teach me how to play chess on break, which is hard to do in 15 minutes.
We were on a shoe string budget, so we shot both video’s (English and Japanese) in one day. The lovely dress and the other costumes you saw were truly mail order…direct from Modcloth!
You have done some independent films, which characters did you enjoy expressing the most?
I like playing the good girl next door, but then it’s always fun to balance it out by playing the bad girl. It’s definitely a challenge, but a fun one. I also played a blind girl in a short film I did, which was an interesting challenge.
What creative work are you currently working on?
A I ’m trying my hand at more song writing, and some more on the acting/voice over side. I’m planning on uploading clips of me doing some Japanese anime character types like the Loli and Tsundere, (basically little girl and hot and cold type).
A web series that I also worked on, called “Sisterhood“, about a group of quirky sorority girls, is currently working on funding for season two. Season one can be found on Youtube.
I also went through complete improv course at Upright Citizen’s Brigade. It was a lot of fun, but definitely harder then you’d think. I realized how much of a safety net scripts can be, so I really appreciated the ability to think on my feet and create realistic reactions.
How do you keep up with all the hard work you do without burning out? Have you got any de-stress tips for us?
A I think that you should take some time out to do something you love, whether it be reading, drawing, or in my case, playing video games. At least 10 minutes of doing something you really enjoy can go a long way.
When you are not working on a film, a television show or singing, do you still work on your voice and body? Do you work with any people that help train you? What acting method do you use?
Even when I’m not working on a project, I always try to keep practicing, whether it be dancing, warming up my voice, or just going over practice scenes in the mirror, because you never know when you’re going to have something come up. My acting coach, Annie Grindlay has been such a great help over the years; she’s who I always go to when I have a big audition. It really makes a difference working with someone else and just seeing the work you do played back on camera.
And regarding acting method, while I respect those that can fully immerse themselves in a character, I go back to some great advice Robert De Niro gave, which boiled down to, “You have to remember you’re not you, you’re someone else, and you need to be real in the moment”. While I’ve never taken drugs or had children, that doesn’t mean I can’t play someone who has. Because at the end of the day, that’s what acting is all about; acting!
What American show(s) would you most like to appear in?
I love sci-fi and dystopian themed fiction, so shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Star Trek: Discovery” look like a lot of fun to work on.
It would also be really cool to be on “Man in the High Castle” because I could actually use my Japanese and it would make sense in that context. There are so many great shows coming out and distribution venues, I can’t keep up!
What television shows are you currently watching?
A I’m currently watching Glow, American Gods, and a guilty pleasure of mine 90 day Fiancé: Before the 90 days. It’s crazy and I love it. I also can’t wait for the new season of The Walking Dead.
I also love the shows “Episodes” and “The Middle”, such great casting and writing.
What are your top 3 all-time favourite movies?
A That’s a tough one. If I had to pick, I’d say: Bridesmaids, any John Hughes movie, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1.
Those may be subject to change as the year goes on though, I love movies so I watch a lot of them.
Which actresses and actors would you most like to meet?
A I’d love to meet Kirsten Dunst, Keanu Reeves, Brie Larson, Chris Pratt, Meryl Streep, Scott Eastwood, the list goes on.
What style(s) of music do you like and which singers do you like listening to?
A I’ve always been a fan of pop songs and ballads, as it’s apparent in my own music, but I also enjoy R&B and hip hop. I enjoy artists like Keane, One Republic, Imagine Dragons, Jay Park, Adele, as well as listening to the classics like Earth Wind and Fire, Queen, ELO, and more.
How do you handle critics and what advice would you give to people who are anxious or insecure about pursing their artistic pursuits?
A Constructive criticism is one thing, because it’s always good to keep improving and learning, but when someone says something just for the sake of being mean, it’s tough. The fact of the matter is, not everyone is going to like what you do, and that’s ok.
Because for each person that doesn’t like what you do, there will be many more that do and will appreciate you for it. Surround yourself with a great support group, and keep reminding yourself that what you do matters. If this is your passion, you were meant to follow it and I believe there are people out there who need it.
Speaking frankly as a Millennial, how do you feel your generation is different than my generation – the Gen X’s?
A I know a lot of my generation is seen as being social media addicted, selfie taking, self-absorbed people, and I understand that. But they are incredibly scheduled, with many activities from preschool on. It’s really all about perspective. But I really haven’t paid much attention to the generation labels. My sister is an early millennial, my mom and dad are baby boomers, so I honestly don’t think in those terms. I probably fit more your generation, Gen-x than I do my own. With the exception of video games, I kind of have to force myself to update my social media, because while I love interacting with friends old and new, I prefer personal interactions, even if its text. While I enjoy Instagram and Twitter from time to time, it takes a back seat to hanging out with family and others that share a common interest, like music, video games, acting, or animal rescue.
Thank-you so much Awbrey for taking the time out of your schedule to join us on Pizazz News. We really appreciate it and believe that you will be a hugely tremendous success!!!
If you have a project that you think Awbrey Madison will be just perfect for then please direct you enquiries to her Agency as follows;
Momentum Talent and Literary Agency
Garry Purdy (Commercial) or Mike Baldridge (Theatrical)
9401 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 501
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
American Sweetheart Pop Star ‘Rather B Loved’
AWBREY MADISON Singing in JAPANESE ‘Rather B Loved’
AWBREY MADISON – What’s a Girl to Do?
Awbrey Madison – I’m Yours
(Can you remember being this sweet? – Tears and typing away.)
Look who snuck their picture in here – it’s Awbrey’s cat Miss Dee.