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Gen, pronounced as in the second syllable in the word "again," is a Japanese-British actor who has starred in multiple Official/Original Japanese cast productions of Broadway musicals, before making his way over the New York.
Gen’s passion for performing has graced him with opportunities to perform professionally in world-renown productions across Japan. Gen debuted professionally when he was cast in the Official Japanese cast of the Pulitzer Prize winning musical RENT in 2008, as Angel Dumot Schunard (lead). This play also won the Tony Awards for best musical on Broadway, and Gen was chosen after a competitive audition of more than 3000 submissions. Gen was also seen in the official Japanese cast version of the Broadway musical Rocky Horror Show playing the title role of Rocky Horror himself. The production was directed by Japan Theatre Committee Award winning Hidenori Inoue and received rave reviews. Gen landed the lead role in an original Japanese musical Mitsuko ~Love Crosses All Borders~ in 2010, composed by the Tony Award nominated Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, The Civil War), and directed by the Kikuta Kazuo Award winning Shuichiro Koike. Mitsuko attained much critical praise and interest by the Japanese media, including extensive featured interviews in Asahi Shimbun National Newspaper, ASAHI.com, Seoul Newspaper, Sankei Living Newspapers along with publications such as Musical Monthly,Theatre Guide, and more. In 2008, Gen performed alongside Tony Award winning actor Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Broadway: RENT, La Cage Aux Folles), and Daphne Rubin-Vega (Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, RENT) for an HIV/AIDS charity concert in Tokyo. In 2013, Gen landed the iconic role of Gabe in the Pulitzer Award winning musical Next to Normal, produced under the original Broadway direction by Michael Greif, solidifying his position as a sought-out musical theatre actor in Japan. He since has performed in the lead role of Jason in award winning Off-Broadway musical BARE, as well as the role of Jonathan Harker in Dracula, the musical at the 1500-seat Tokyo International Forum. Gen has also self-produced three solo cabaret shows, in which the latest one he translated and performed My Shot from Hamilton in Japanese (which he is very proud of!). Check it out here! As you might have guessed, Gen loves musicals, and also loves Japan. So much so that he co-founded a company called Broadway in Japan, which introduces Broadway musical theatre faculty to Japanese aspiring musical theatre performers, offering invaluable education opportunities in Japan. Ever expanding, Gen was able to produce 4 shows via BIJ, including broadway actor Telly Leung's first solo show in Japan, as well as the first concert version of The Last Five Years which Gen also performed in. You can learn all about it on facebook!
Gen has since made his way over to New York, and after an arduous process of attaining an Artist Green Card, is now represented by manager Josselyne Herman-Saccio. He has partaken in over 30 musical/play readings since arriving in NYC, including Other World directed by Broadway director Gabriel Barr and written by Tony Award nominated team Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen of Title of Show, off-Broadway sensation K-pop, and Mafatu produced by Broadway veteran Telly Leung. Additionally he has played the lead in readings What I Learned from People opposite Ashley Park (Mean Girls, The King and I) directed by Noah Himmelstein (I Am Harvey milk, Lincoln Center), and Hold On, the musical directed by Richard Hinds (assoc. director of Come From Away and choreographer of Here Lies Love) and more.
Regionally, he performed the role of Thuy in Miss Saigon produced by Playhouse on the Square.
Recent US bookings include roles on Season 4 of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt opposite Tittus Burgess and Norm Lewis, and The Other Two on Comedy Central. Hodo Buzz, a mini TV-series produced by Derrrrruq and filmed in NY, is slated to be streamed on Netflix Japan where you can find Gen acting opposite of Yuki Matsuzaki (Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima). Gen also booked a role in the webseries Platt-Turners directed by Jake Wilson, co starring Nico Tortorella (Younger) and three time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello.
Gen is currently the main presenter of TV JAPAN CLUB, a US based Japanese cable company owned by Japan's national broadcasting corporation NHK, and has hosted over 150 episodes. He is also the host of BATSU!, a Japanese gameshow-themed improve comedy show performing in the East Village. Additionally, Gen hosted and produced Made in Japan, an online show that aired on the Airtime App in which he invited guest comedians to watch Japanese gameshow videos and commentate on them.
As a featured actor, Gen has starred in TV commercials such as SAMSUNG "Tab-S" SONY “VAIO”, ASAHI Breweries “Slat ~Chuhai~”, Burlington Coat Factory, and ABC-MART “Happy Boots Collection”. As a model, Gen worked with film producer Lee Bong Woo and published a one-time fashion publication “KNIT”, in which Gen was featured on the cover along with an 8-page photo segment as an uprising actor. Other modeling credits include featured model for the fashion brand Marithé François Girbaud in lifestyle magazine PEN, Wacoal CW-X, and Anniversaire. In 2009, Gen played the voice of five roles for the X-BOX game “Trouble Witches!”.
Gen debuted as Angel in the official Japanese cast of RENT in 2008. Only then he realized (yikes) that if he wanted to do this as a career, he needed formal training. Hence, skipping his college graduation ceremony, he dove into the One-Year Conservatory program at the T. Schreiber Studio, NY, and completed the curriculum on a tourist visa (You're not supposed to do that? Oops!). He has taken classes with various teachers and casting directors, but notably he studied under Bob Krakower in the Advanced On-Camera class, and scene study with Anthony Abeson.