I’m Keiko Elizabeth and truthfully, I came to acting much later in life than most. Though I’ve been fortunate enough in my short time in Los Angeles to work on such diverse television shows as Hawaii Five-0 and Hot in Cleveland, I didn’t grow up wanting to perform.
I grew up wanting to change the world, first dreaming of becoming a doctor with Doctors Without Borders (as a pre-med biology major at Stanford), and then as a teacher at inner-city schools in the Bay Area. I worked with middle school kids transitioning out of juvenile hall in San Francisco and helped found a K-8 in Oakland’s culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood. Both of these schools were arts-based, and it was in these performance-rich educational environments that I saw first-hand the power of storytelling to heal and connect communities and individuals.
Aimee Musilcasting assoc.
“When I first met Keiko, I wondered why, based on her obvious talent and great look, she wasn’t already a television star. I quickly learned the reason–in addition to being a skilled actress, after an accomplished and admirable ‘past life’ as a teacher working with troubled teenagers in San Francisco, she only recently made the decision to follow her dream of acting professionally.”
My first experience as an actor was running around as a grown woman in a green wig in a local production of The Wizard of Oz, and I became instantly obsessed with the craft and process of an actor. A few more stage productions quickly led to acceptance into an MFA program at CSU Fullerton, where I recently graduated with my MFA in acting.
My passion for the craft, for unlocking deeper performances and pushing the limits of my instrument, has led to a bit of genre surfing—I enjoy the immediacy of theatre, the specificity of film and television, and the focus required to do both well! My heart lies in the kind of stories and characters that are currently being created in dramatic television, but it seems that lately I have been working my comedy chops: I had the honor of working with the legendary Betty White and the fantastic cast of Hot in Cleveland; my debut with Theatre of NOTE, Eat the Runt, won a Scenie Award for Best Comedic Ensemble; and I’m producing a comedic webseries called Manny in Real Life. I am looking forward to taking on whatever comes my way next–whether it be funny or serious, I’m up for the challenge!