Rina Salmon is a 24-year-old Japanese-American actress, model, writer, graphic designer, and teacher living in Tokyo, Japan. Her dream to act started in the 5th grade, but she didn’t get involved in acting until high school. Her parents were not enthusiastic about her decision to pursue acting but when her calling grew stronger she continued performing in college and also enjoyed working as a stage crew and costumer. She has performed in many plays and musicals such as Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars Day, and Cirque de Varieté, has had some experience in directing, has worked as a variety of costume characters, and debuted in a few commercials and a short film.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Rina to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
I am one of 5 siblings. My father was a General in the U.S. Military working as an optometrist and later also a professor. My mother was a hard-working housewife. I had a very happy childhood and both my parents had their hands full raising the 6 of us patiently and faithfully. I’m so thankful for such wonderful parents. When it came to my desire to pursue acting as a career, however, they weren’t enthusiastic, and starting young was out of the question. They encouraged me to seriously consider other, safer, career paths. Whenever I talked about the next opportunity for me to take concrete steps further towards this dream, I could always sense their dissatisfaction and these conversations wouldn’t last long. Nevertheless, as my calling grew stronger, I resolved not to give up. My sister has always a huge proponent of my pursuing acting and I am always thankful to her for it.
My dream to act was born in the 5th grade when, seeing the movie “Prince Caspian”, I became enthralled by everything that went into making a film, and the way it impacted me was unforgettable. In anticipation for the third film, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, I began earnestly looking into auditions and casting calls. My role model and inspiration at the time was Georgie Henley who played Lucy. Since then each new film I’ve seen has only fanned the flame of my passion for acting and has been one of the driving forces that keep me going. The first time I performed was my Junior year in high school as an ensemble character. Since then I have been in many plays and musicals including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Mary Poppins”. Aside from tv commercials and a radio drama, I played a principal role in a comedic short film, “The Regency”, currently in pre-production.
What do you like most about acting?
Two things that are tied up together. First is the community. The friendships and memories that one forms throughout the process of production are priceless. Second, as storytellers actors have the amazing opportunity to, together, influence the world for the better. I’ve been impacted by many movies and their stories for as long as I can remember and I hope to do the same for others.
What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?
Getting as fully into the moment as I would like and keeping myself from getting distracted by the fact that I’m performing in front of an audience. I try to improve this by delving deeper into character study, drawing from relevant personal experience, so as to make my character’s memories and inner joys and pains my own. To, in essence, live and breathe the character.
What are your strong points as an actor?
Empathy and imagination.
What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?
Value your scene partner(s), make the most of every opportunity no matter how small, don’t be afraid to experiment, and be reliable and on time no matter what.
What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?
I think anyone in the industry would agree with me when I pinpoint the competitive and unstable nature of the acting business. But also knowing who to and who not to trust when starting, especially without an acting agent.
What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?
Getting past my own insecurities about doing the role justice.
What do you do when you’re not filming?
When I’m not filming or modeling I work as an English teacher for preschoolers and in my free time I write and self-publish, read, illustrate, and further develop acting and singing skills.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
I would say filming my role as a French Resistance fighter in the WWII play, “Flames of Freedom”.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
A fellow actor I met on my first day of filming of “The Regency” who worked in administration for the military but wanted to pursue acting as well. Also my director in college, Mark Young.
If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
Besides teaching for steady income I plan to continue taking modeling and acting gigs through my Tokyo agencies while building my portfolio. I’m currently an ambassador to the upcoming Hollywood film, “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ”, and plan on auditioning when casting begins. Outside my career, I plan to continue self-publishing as well as developing my graphic design skills.
The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie I’ve seen: “Wonder Woman 1984”
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Those who boldly stand up for the truth no matter the consequences. And love, real love, because real love always protects, hopes, and perseveres.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Travel to New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Italy, and the UK.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” If I had no fear I’d go backpacking across Europe
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?Being meticulous.