Defining Who She Is – An Interview with Jyl Kaneshiro

by moxielicious

0dd8ce0Making a debut at a theatre company is the beginning of an exciting relationship. We’re thrilled to be opening a new door with actress Jyl Kaneshiro, who plays the challenging role of Merrell in MOXIE’s production BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY) playing through Feb 28, 2016. “Kaneshiro is excellent in the difficult part of Devine’s mother Merrell…Her hesitant push-pull with Devine and Tray presents a moving portrait of a woman who messed up and knows she can’t make it right.: SDGLN

Kaneshiro is working all over San Diego at places like the La Jolla Playhouse where she performs in their POP Tour production of Alice Chan or Inner Mission Productions where she starred in the critically acclaimed production Precious Little. Here she gives us incite into her character and process for BROWNSVILLE.

How would you say your are alike or different from your character, Merrell? 

One thing I am very different from Merrell is in a way that I truly envy, that being her ability to stand and define who she is. Who creates her family and what those who don’t accept that can do. It’s a fierce character trait when one can redefine and stand up to those who are supposed to be the definitive of kin for those who are yours absolutely in your heart and soul, your people.


“Jyl Kaneshiro is excellent in the difficult part of Devine’s mother Merrell (an English teacher before she lost her job due to addiction), who comes back into their lives in order to tutor Tray on that pesky essay.”-SDGLN



Photo by Daren Scott

Has this role challenged you in any way?

Merrell is an incredibly challenging character to portray in several ways. Emotions, as an actor, are an easy card to call. One adjective that is incredibly difficult to play while trying to convey all the underlying emotions is stoic. And the character of Merrell is of one who has fallen into the pits of despair and is now trying to claw her way out to fight for what she comes to realize is the primary aspect in her life, her daughter. She tries to retain her passiveness so as not to show vulnerability.


What would you say is the most moving part of this play?


One of the things I really appreciate about this play is the individuality of it. His death is not jus another one. I love the focus on what we as a society lost, who this boy could have been. We are each a story separately and yet we are weaved together subtextually, because…humanity. The humanization of it, not the statistic. Also, I love the breakdown of defenses when we each realize how fragile life is.


What would you like the audience to take away from this production?

I would like people to reexamine the possibility of forgiveness. If there is something unsettled within their life, just to think for a moment because each moment is just that a fleeting period of time that we will not get back.

Don’t miss Jyl’ s performance in BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY). Purchase Tickets Now or call 858-598-7620