Mauna Kea Chan (Kea Chan) most recently played a CSI Photographer on the Amazon Prime TV series, Homicide City.
Performing since she was 11, Kea was Philippine Child Performer of the Year when she was 13. She has been a featured guest performer in The Charlie Romo And Friends, Asian Artists Step Forward and Serving Up Sondheim 2 concerts at Green Room 42 in NYC. She was featured in a story in Times Square Chronicles as “A Performer to Keep Your Eye On” after moving to New York from her native Philippines, where she made an immediate impact within the American entertainment community as she was a finalist for the lead role of Kim in the recent Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.
Ms. Chan also performed in Las Vegas twice as a featured performer in musical shows at major hotels; did two live off-Broadway children’s shows for PlayNice Productions, was featured in Steppin’ Forward! at The Triad, and has had numerous guest appearances in concert and cabaret shows since moving to New York. Her work was seen in Scott Siegel’s Broadway’s Greatest Hits at Feinstein’s /54 Below; An Evening About Whatever Gets You Through the Day at the Hudson Guild Theater and has had the honor of singing for the Presidents and/or Ambassadors of the Philippines, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Kea is the “Other Girl’ in the Indie Short that is touring the Film Festival circuit. She portrays a murdered, underage “Asian Prostitute” in the Amazon Prime TV series, Bronx SIU; and Step Forward Entertainment has a TV ‘dramedy’ in development loosely based on Kea’s life in the Philippines and her journey to America entitled That Manila Girl!
Mauna Kea a/k/a Kea is represented Theatrically and Commercially by Amy Lord of Eris Talent Agency in Los Angeles/London/New York/Mexico City and managed worldwide by Robert R. Blume of Step Forward Entertainment NY/LA.
T2C: How are you dealing with home containment in Elmhurst?
Kea Chan: it’s really alarming, especially right now. Elmhurst has been called the Epicenter of the Epicenter. Im just staying home and trying to be optimistic with everything that is happening right now.
T2C: What would you say is the difference of being in self lockdown between Queens and LA?
Kea Chan: I believe at this time ,most of the states in the US have almost the same precautions from the government. But being the epicenter of the virus and living in a tiny apartment where people have less freedom to walk around, I have to be more careful and take extra precautions.
T2C: What have you been able to accomplish in this time?
Kea Chan: Actually, I get to have more time to work on my craft, learn new songs and preparing myself for upcoming projects. I was able to focus and work on my self tapes more than ever before. My attention was kind of scattered, since I was working, taking classes, doing shows and auditioning all at the same time. I have more time for myself which is really good.
T2C: What has this time stopped you from accomplishing?
Kea Chan: Other than cancelled shows, I would say the ability to do live musical theatre auditions, which helps me to get more experience as a musical theatre person. I didn’t get much training in the Philippines for this. They have self tapes here and there for musical and TV shows, but it is still different than here where I can be seen live by casting directors.
T2C: What kind of emotions does this time bringing out of you?
Kea Chan: Honestly sometimes, I can’t help but think what will happen after all of this, like “will everything be back to what it was before?”Will I still have my job?” Will I still be able to eat in my favorite diner or will it be closed for good because of the economic crisis?” But, I am trying to remain positive and hope that everything will go back to normal soon and that everyone will have their job back and people will be more appreciative of everything they have.
T2C: If you were to equate this time to a song or song cycle what would it be?
Kea Chan: I can’t think of a song that is a better fit for this time than “You’ll Never walk Alone” which is one of my favorite broadway songs from Carousel. Like the lyrics say “ at the end of the storm is a golden sky” which reminds us to not give up and stay strong because there is a beautiful tomorrow that is waiting for us.
T2C: What message would you like to give the world right now?
Kea Chan: To all of us, hold on and have faith”. I once read a quote “Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” This is a tough time, but we are not defined by a single virus, as we are stronger than that!. Let’s help each other by staying home and staying healthy!
T2C: What is the first thing you will do when we are no longer self quarantined?
Kea Chan: I will definitely give my family and friends a big warm hug! As much as I ‘wanna’ say I ‘wanna’ go shopping and eat in my favorite restaurant, but I’m not ‘gonna’ do that. lol. I will get back to work, take classes, do some shows and keep auditioning. I’m just going to continue my life as how it was before.
T2C: What are the things that are getting you through this time?
Kea Chan: I would say, my passion, my dreams and never ending hope, especially with my family and friends continuing to believe in me. I just think of them and I have all the reasons to keep going.
T2C: What haven’t we asked you that you would like to say?
Kea Chan: I hope, that after this pandemic, everyone will appreciate life more and continue to help each other. Also understand how important a simple hug is and to just shake hands., a simple shake hands.