Akana at VidCon Amsterdam in March 2018
Anna Kay Akana
August 18, 1989
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Updated May 30, 2019|
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.
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.
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.
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|
|TBA||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|
|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|||
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.