Anna Kay Akana (born August 18, 1989) is an American actress, filmmaker, singer, musician, author, and comedian. She is known for her YouTube channel, which has over 2.5 million subscribers and over 226 million video views.
Akana at VidCon Amsterdam in March 2018
Anna Kay Akana
August 18, 1989
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Updated May 30, 2019|
Early life, family and educationEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2019)
On Valentine's Day 2007, Akana's 13-year-old sister, Kristina, committed suicide. Several months after her sister's death, Akana watched Margaret Cho perform on a Comedy Central special and laughed for the first time since the suicide. She began to see laughter as a means of trying to move on with her life and decided to seriously pursue comedy. Akana has been vocal about her sister's suicide and is a strong advocate for suicide prevention. In 2013, Akana uploaded a YouTube video, "please don't kill yourself", in which she explains how it felt for her to have a family member die by suicide. In that same year, she released a book Surviving Suicide which contains her journal entries from the two years after her sister's death.
She is openly bisexual.
Akana first started performing comedy at age 19 but switched to YouTube video performances in 2011 after experiencing panic attacks and anxiety before going on stage. She later resumed performing stand-up onstage.
Akana creates both comedy and documentary YouTube videos. In 2014, Akana was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #72. In that same year, Akana decided to focus more on her skills as a director and attempted to make one short film a month. While she did not reach her goal of twelve short films, she did make six short films which were received well by her YouTube audience. Akana starred in all of her short films and has starred in various other short films, and she has since continued to create short films.
One of her short films, Miss Earth, was partially financed by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's production company, New Form Digital. It was part of the 2014 Incubator, a series to showcase and produce original stories by YouTube Creators and filmmakers. Miss Earth was later adapted into a web series, Miss 2059, and released on Verizon's go90 app in June 2016, with a second season released in late 2017.
Akana executive produced and starred as the lead role in the original comedy-drama web television series Youth & Consequences, created by Jason Ubaldi and released in March 2018 on YouTube Red. She is also the host of the web series Crash Course Business: Entrepreneurship beginning in August 2019.
Film and televisionEdit
In 2016, Akana appeared alongside Sally Field in the indie comedy film Hello, My Name Is Doris, written by Michael Showalter. That same year, she also appeared in a short Star Wars fan film, Hoshino as well as the comedy film Dirty 30.
In 2019 she announced in RHPC's "Off the pill"-podcast to be part of the Netflix original "Jupyter's legacy"
Akana also hosts the podcast Explain Things to Me with fellow comedian Brad Gage where the two interview experts in various fields about their work.
In 2017, Akana's book So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister was published. The book describes Akana's struggles and experiences growing up and offers advice to her late sister.
In 2019, Akana released her debut single, "Intervention". Its music video was directed by Auden Bui. She has since released two more music videos, one for “Pretty Girls Don't Cry” in July 2019 and “Not My Proudest Moment” in August. She continued to release music videos for songs named "Alone Together", "Disappointment" and "Let Me Go". Her debut album "Casualty" came out in October. 
In reviewing her video, “Why Guys Like Asian Girls" (which references "Yellow Fever", a term for an Asian fetish) Cate Matthews of The Huffington Post wrote: "A step-by-step takedown of 'yellow fever' or the desire to date Asian women often accompanied by bizarre, offensive attempts to do so, could start the healing. Luckily for us, YouTuber Anna Akana was more than up to the video-making task."
Deadline referred to Akana as "a prolific online creator whose channel boasts 60 million views and 900,000 subscribers, and last year wrote and starred in her own narrative feature Riley Rewind, scoring a none-too-shabby 20M views online."
|2013||Inappropriate Comedy||Student driver|
|2014||Here She Is||Miss Hawaii||Also writer|
|Kids vs Monsters||Daisy|
|2016||Hello, My Name Is Doris||Blogger|
|Dirty 30||Ashley Driscoll|
|2017||You Get Me||Lydia|
|2018||Next Gen||Ani||Voice role|
|2019||Go Back to China||Sasha Li|
|2019||Let It Snow||Post-production|
|2011||Awkward||"Knocker Nightmare"||Asian girl|
|2012||Shake It Up||"Made in Japan"||Tomoka|
|The Beauty Inside||5 episodes||Alex #29|
|2013–2014||The Fosters||2 episodes||Lily|
|2016||Adam Ruins Everything||"Adam Ruins Shopping Malls"||Female Shopper|
|2017||Stitchers||7 episodes||Amanda Weston||Recurring Role|
|2018||Corporate||4 episodes||Paige||Recurring Role|
|2018||Big City Greens||11 episodes||Gloria||Voice role; recurring|
|2019||Amphibia||3 episodes||Sasha||Voice role; recurring|
|2011||Breaking Los Angeles||9 episodes||Herself||Also producer|
|10 Second Traumas||8 episodes||Various||Also a writer, executive producer and director|
|2013||Riley Rewind||5 episodes||Riley Brown||Also writer and producer|
|2015||52 Ways to Break Up||"#24 and #25- Compare Notes"||Anna|
|Command Center||Commander||Also writer and director|
|Broken People||2 episodes||Pinches|
|Last Moments of Relationships||"CRAZY DATING STORIES"||Fay|
|Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures||5 episodes||The White Spirit|
|Adult Wednesday||2 episodes||-||Executive producer|
|Rough Day||Detective Mah-jong||Also executive producer|
|2016||Hipsters||3 episodes||Jane||Also director|
|Tiny Feminists||"Linda"||Ms. Applebaum|
|This Isn't Working||5 episodes||Nicole|
|Transformers: Combiner Wars||4 episodes||Victorion||Voice role|
|Single by 30||6 episodes||Grace|
|12 Deadly Days||"Coffee Cups"||Judalina|
|Go-Go Boy Interrupted||10 episodes||-||Co-producer|
|Miss 2059||24 episodes||Victoria Young||Also creator, executive producer and director|
|2017||Drive Share||"Garbage Mommy"||Driver|
|Search Bar||12 episodes||Various||Also creator, executive producer and director|
|2018||Youth & Consequences||8 episodes||Farrah||Also creator and executive producer|
|2011||Katy Perry||"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"||Extra|
|2014||San Diego Asian Film Festival||Digital Pioneer||Won|||
|2015||Streamy Awards||Best Actress||SnapperHero||Nominated|||
|2018||Streamy Awards||Acting in a Drama||Youth & Consequences||Won|||
|2019||46th Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Digital Drama Series||Youth & Consequences||Nominated|||
- "YouTube: Anna Akana". YouTube. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- "My dad was right". YouTube. March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Luhar, Monica (November 13, 2015). "Anna Akana is 'Chasing Laughs' and Telling Stories". NBC News. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Surviving Suicide". GoodReads.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Luhar, Monica (November 13, 2015). "Anna Akana is 'Chasing Laughs' and Telling Stories". NBC News. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Akana, Anna (September 27, 2013). "please don't kill yourself". YouTube. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Akana, Anna. "Surviving Suicide". GoodReads.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- "be uncomfortable". YouTube. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Yu, Tiffany. "How Death Shed New Light on 'Riley Rewind' Actress Anna Akana's Life". Mochi Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 75-51!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Focus//Anna Akana". YouTube. February 7, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Anna Akana- Short films". annaakana.com. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Incubator Series". newformdigital.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Filmmaker Spotlights". newformdigital.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "New Form Digital Press Kit 2016" (PDF). newformdigital.com (Press release). 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 24, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Spangler, Todd (September 25, 2015). "Verizon's Go90 Orders 6 Series from New Form Digital (Exclusive)". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Hamedy, Saba. "Anna Akana takes action in New Form Digital's 'Miss 2059'". Mashable. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- Dry, Jude (June 20, 2016). "Watch: Exclusive Clip From New Form Digital's 'Miss 2059,' Starring Anna Akana". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "MISS 2059 | OFFICIAL TRAILER". go90. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Miss 2059 go90 page". Archived from the original on January 31, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- "Who Even Is An Entrepreneur?: Crash Course Business - Entrepreneurship #1". YouTube. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "Last Friday Night (2011)". IMDB. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- Jarvey, Natalie (January 29, 2015). "AT&T Launches Scripted Series on Snapchat". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
The series, SnapperHero, stars YouTubers Anna Akana, Freddie Wong, Harley Morenstein, and Jasmeet Singh alongside Snapchat celeb Shaun McBride, who also served as creative director.
- Yamato, Jen (July 11, 2014). "'Hello, My Name Is Doris' Uploads YouTuber Anna Akana". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- "Hoshino - Star Wars Fan Film". Retrieved June 24, 2017 – via YouTube.
- "Corporate Scripted Series". cc.com (Press release). Comedy Central. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- "Explain Things to Me". iTunes. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "Ghost & Stars". Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "So Much I Want to Tell You". GoodReads.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- "Intervention - Anna Akana (Official Music Video)". Anna Akana. May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019 – via YouTube.
- Blynn, Alex (May 8, 2019). "Anna Akana Talks Mental Health, Coming Out & Her Music Debut With 'Intervention'". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Akana, Anna. "Why Guys Like Asian Girls". Youtube. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Matthews, Cate (July 29, 2014). "Here's What 'Yellow Fever' Really Means". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- Williott, Carl (April 29, 2015). "After A Breakup, Your Brain Basically Becomes An Episode Of '24'". MTV. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- "Digital Pioneer Award". SDAFF. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Gutelle, Sam (August 12, 2015). "Snapchat Series 'SnapperHero' Leads Streamy Award Nominations". Tubefilter. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- "Acting in a Drama - Streamy Awards 2018: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- Mistretta, Amy (March 20, 2019). "2019 Daytime Emmy Award Nominations Announced". Soaps.com. Retrieved March 22, 2019.