It is thrilling to be immersed in a multicultural environment. It stimulates your imagination and creates a natural openness to diverse traditions, languages, and people. Those who are raised in multicultural traditions or from households surrounded by different languages are raised in a place where they don’t have to choose one side of themselves or the other but can be part of all of it and celebrate what resonates with them most. They can embrace all the cultural aspects without comparing one with another, experiencing equal value and appreciation for all of them and our world at large.
Liliana Inouye is a young artist born into a family with an Israeli Canadian mother and a Japanese American father. She shares her experiences about being immersed in a multicultural household, saying, “It’s a lot of fun growing up with different holidays to celebrate; it’s really amazing to experience the different cultures: the traditions, the foods, the language. We speak Hebrew at home. And I always speak Hebrew to my grandmother on my mom’s side. And then, when I’m with my dad’s side of the family, who lives in Hawaii, we get to make cool recipes with my grandmother and practice my Japanese—we always get to go to Japanese festivals in Hawaii together. It’s really fun.”
Liliana stars in Amber Brown, an Apple TV+ family series based on the beloved best-selling kids’ books by Paula Danziger. She plays Brandi Colwin, the best friend of the main character, Amber Brown (played by Carsyn Rose). The core essence of the series is that even in challenging times, we can find ease, release resistance, and be more lighthearted with ourselves. Often, the vicious cycle of our problems blinds us from looking in the direction of the solution. When we recognize that we can change our focus, directing our flashlight of attention in a direction that feels better, we can deliberately choose to soften up our focus and gradually start moving in the direction of what feels better.
“I think the book series will become even more popular with the show coming out,” excitedly says Liliana, “And I remember one time when Carsyn and I were on set, we got to meet Carrie Danziger. She is Paula Danziger’s niece, who the book is written about, and she was so kind and fun to hang out with. We had so much fun with her,” candidly says, Liliana. Then she continues, “When I got the audition for the role of Brandi Colwin, I was actually in Hawaii visiting my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family. I read the script, and I thought, ‘This is so perfect for me. Then I auditioned for it, got a call back, and booked it.”
There are always two opposite perspectives on the same topic. It can be challenging to see the value in life events that cause us discomfort. But nothing can’t be solved for us to feel better than we did before. Children constantly remind us to take in things with a lighter heart; they teach us to be more present within ourselves and to loosen up. Liliana shares that about her character, Brandi, by saying, “I feel like me and my character, Brandi, we have a lot in common. We’re both very eccentric, and we don’t take things too seriously. And we’re always having lots of fun. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from being Brandi is that you can always look at things a little differently and in a more positive way, because Brandi’s character is always very positive. And, honestly, sometimes, I’m not as positive as Brandi. But I think I’m learning from her always to see the positive side of things. And I strive to be more like Brandi.”
During their work on set, Liliana and Carsyn became very good friends. The magical moment of having fun while filming Amber Brown bonded them within that memory forever. “Carsyn and I became such good friends right away, even before our first day on set. We were both staying at the same hotel while filming in Salt Lake City. So, we actually met by the pool, and we were always just giggling and laughing and goofing off. And after we finished filming and went home, she lives in LA, and I live in Vancouver; we had regular scheduled FaceTime calls every week. It was so much fun. The characters of Brandi and Amber we play in the series are actually very close to our individual personalities. Carsyn is always more grounded, and I’m the ‘crazy’ one. And we’re always together giggling and doing TikTok dances,” shares Liliana about her friendship with co-star Carsyn Rose. Then Liliana continues reminiscing her time on set, “It was so amazing. Like the adult cast members and the crew, they were fun to work with. It was so cool to see them being goofy and silly and also totally professional and ready to work. I learned so much from watching the adult actors on set. They’re so amazing and funny to watch. And of course, Bonnie Hunt, she’s like the warmest and most supportive director I could ever dream of working with. She always makes you feel so loved and cherished. I feel so lucky to have gotten to work with her.”
We all, from time to time, find a pebble in our shoe, but it doesn’t mean we have to perceive it as a boulder. We all have the capacity to turn any challenging event into self-empowerment. Even in situations when someone else seems to be unkind to us, by holding for too long any negative emotions, we are not letting the positive emotions come in. Ultimately, we all want things to be the way we want them to be because we think we will feel better. What about taking our power back to feel a little better, and a little bit better, and a little bit better, and better, and loving, and joyful, being more unconditional to what is happing outside of us? As the love we feel always flows from within—that is who we are.
“I hope the audience sees that change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be terrible. Like with friends and family who support you, you can even have fun in the hard times. And I also hope young people watching the show can see Brandi as a role model and realize that you don’t have to be someone you’re not. And being yourself is what really matters,” says Liliana about her expectation for the audience to take away from watching Amber Brown. She continues, “When I got the call from my agent telling me that I booked every round, it felt like an actual dream. And it’s actually a really funny story because I was with my grandmother, who’s hard of hearing. And we were in the car. And she didn’t recognize the number that was calling her. And didn’t recognize the voice. So, she says, ‘Stop calling this number,’ and she was about to hang up. But then I grabbed the phone. And then I was talking, and they told me I had booked it. And we were all so happy. We jumped around, and then we had a fancy dinner to celebrate. It was so much fun. I’ll never forget.”
It’s fun to daydream, because that’s when we are in the process of imagining and feeling what we want. And even though sometimes there is a bit of a judgment for people who love to daydream, dreaming big feels much better than imagining the opposite of what we desire. Liliana discusses her own dreams, saying, “This is actually really funny, because a dream role is actually to me like a superhero, or like a fairy, basically, anything that can fly, because my dream is like to be attached to one of those harnesses. And like, yeah, that sounds so fun to me to be able to fly. But other than that, I would love to play more dramatic and stretch my acting abilities.”
And when we asked Liliana about her favorite aspect of herself and what she loves to see in other people, she said, “I think my favorite thing about myself is that I’m very spontaneous. And I love to see other people being spontaneous, too, and having fun and being silly. And not taking things too seriously.”
Like Liliana, are you daydreaming enough? Are you lighthearted and playful with life? Try it—it’s really, really fun!
Photography // Jason Benson
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