Anna Kay Napualani Akana (born August 18, 1989) is an American YouTuber, actress, filmmaker, comedian, singer-songwriter, and author.
Akana first started performing comedy at age 19 but switched to YouTube video performances in 2011 after experiencing panic attacks and anxiety before going on stage. She later resumed performing stand-up onstage.
In 2014, Akana formed a comedy music duo, Cat Benatar, with fellow comedian and writer Megan Rosati. (The duo's name is wordplay for the pop singer Pat Benatar.)
Akana creates both comedy and documentary YouTube videos. In 2014, Akana was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #72. In that same year, Akana decided to focus more on her skills as a director and attempted to make one short film a month. While she did not reach her goal of twelve short films, she did make six short films which were received well by her YouTube audience. Akana starred in all of her short films and has starred in various other short films, and she has since continued to create short films.
One of her short films, Miss Earth, was partially financed by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's production company, New Form Digital. It was part of the 2014 Incubator, a series to showcase and produce original stories by YouTube Creators and filmmakers. Miss Earth was later adapted into a web series, Miss 2059, and released on Verizon's go90 app in June 2016, with a second season released in late 2017.
Akana executive produced and starred as the lead role in the original comedy-drama web television series Youth & Consequences, created by Jason Ubaldi and released in March 2018 on YouTube Red. She is also the host of the web series Crash Course Business: Entrepreneurship beginning in August 2019.
On October 10, 2019 she was featured in a 30 minute YouTube documentary created by SoulPancake in collaboration with Funny or Die wherein a variety of comedians discuss mental health called Laughing Matters.
Film and television
In 2011, Akana appeared in the TV series Awkward. In that same year, she also appeared as an extra in Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" music video.
In 2015, she appeared in the films Ant-Man and Kids vs Monsters.
Akana starred in Snapper Hero, a scripted video series distributed via Snapchat. The series was sponsored by AT&T.
In 2016, Akana appeared alongside Sally Field in the indie comedy film Hello, My Name Is Doris, written by Michael Showalter. That same year, she also appeared in a short Star Wars fan film, Hoshino as well as the comedy film Dirty 30.
She has a recurring role in the Comedy Central show Corporate.
She also has supporting roles as Gloria Sato in the Disney Channel show Big City Greens and Sasha Waybright in Amphibia.
In 2019, she announced on Ryan Higa's Off the Pill podcast to be part of the Netflix original Jupiter's Legacy.
Akana also hosts the podcast Explain Things to Me with fellow comedian Brad Gage where the two interview experts in various fields about their work.
Voices in Idea Wiki
- Zippy - Mandy Taylor
- Zippy: The Movie - Mandy Taylor