Role in 'Old Dogs' a coup for local actor Yamada


POSTED: Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hawaii native Kevin Yamada has interesting stories to tell from his first feature film role in “;Old Dogs,”; a movie released this year with Robin Williams and John Travolta. “;It was super intimidating,”; Yamada said of a scene he shot in a karaoke bar with the two stars and 200 extras (unfortunately, it didn't make the final cut). “;I couldn't eat for, like, the whole weekend. I just kept studying my lines. It was a little surreal at times.”;

Yamada is also featured with Williams in a promo on IMDb. The scene, entitled “;Nut Job,”; shows Yamada enduring a painful hit from a golf ball to a sensitive area. Ironically, Yamada doesn't actually play golf; in fact, his first experience with the sport took place with Williams and Seth Green in front of cameras. “;That's kind of a bizarre statement,”; noted Yamada, who has lines in three or four scenes in the movie.

Born and raised in Hawaii, the 39-year-old attended McKinley High School and the University of Hawaii. He started acting after college, when he began participating in community theater productions in Honolulu. For a while, he taught high school and continued to develop his acting skills, until he decided that he wanted to pursue acting as a career.

A break came when he landed in the national touring group for “;The King and I”; (yes, he also sings). For the past 4 1/2 years, he's hosted a children's series called “;The Sunny Side Up Show”; in Philadelphia. Because that work has left him little time to audition for larger roles, he's decided to leave the series and move to New York in January. What's next? He's not sure, but he said he's “;more or less rolling with it …”;

Soap star and Kaiser High School graduate Darin Brooks has a new series premiering Jan. 12 on Spike TV. “;Blue Mountain State”; is a half-hour comedy about the antics surrounding the arrival of freshman players to an iconic New England football team. Brooks plays a talented but unmotivated second-string quarterback.

After growing up in Honolulu and working as an extra in movies shot in the islands — “;Blue Crush”; was one of his early efforts — Brooks landed the role of Max Brady on “;Days of Our Lives.”; This year, he earned a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor, but has since left the show to start work on “;Blue Mountain State.”;

Check out the trailer (http://www.spike.com/video/bms-trailer/3277410), but only if you're older than 18 (and maybe under 25, as I'm guessing that is the target demographic). I'd like to say it's full of sexual innuendoes, but that would imply some level of subtlety. The most delicate reference includes promotions like, “;Go long! Go deep! Go State!”; …


A cat named Rubble has become popular on YouTube after a guest at the Dolphin Bay Hotel in Hilo videotaped the feline opening the screen door, letting himself in, asking for food and dozing in a chair. It's pretty tame stuff, but apparently it's gone viral. At the very least it's a nice promotional bit for Hawaii, as the cat seems to have been the highlight of the visitor's visit. I'm not sure what it means for the couple's marriage, but it's moderately entertaining: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrUWar1kt2M


Want to avoid the malls? A new home shopping TV show featuring local jewelry, electronics, clothing, art, music, household items, food, travel and hotel packages is now up and running. But “;Showcase Hawaii”; isn't just about shopping. Created by veteran television producers Wayne Nunez and Laurie Wong and shot in high-definition, the show also features a local artist or entrepreneur each week.

The show premiered last month on Oceanic Cable, but why not check it out now online? Visit www.showcasehawaii.tv. For more information, e-mail the producers at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Contact Katherine Nichols at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).