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Arika Sato - Tough Cookie

Luke Munnell
Feb 10, 2011
Photographer: Christian Arias

Produced by Slickforce Studio
Styling by Al Ingram
Makeup by Gaby Ramos

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We come across all different people in this line of work. A quick read into the personalities profiled in this issue will attest to that. Some follow preconceptions; some shatter them completely. Arika Sato is one of the latter. Pronounced "uh-'re-ka," Arika is a model, pop-culture personality, and-though she may be too modest to admit-an actress. But she's also an honors student in the University of Southern California's broadcast journalism Masters program, does not work in a club to make ends meet, and is not the least bit bouncy, giddy, or girlie (OK . . . maybe just a little). She isn't anyone you'd want to cross-in conversation or otherwise. In short, she's one to watch out for, in all the right ways.

[A.S.] Sorry I'm in such a hurry. I'm slammed with school and work right now. It's taking up all my time!

[2NR]Fill us in. What are you studying?
I'm mastering in broadcast journalism at USC. I studied communication and Japanese studies when I was an undergrad at UCSD.

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So you're from L.A., or San Diego?
L.A. Well, I'm originally from Torrance, but I'm in L.A. now, for the most part. Sometimes Hollywood.

And you're already working in the field? What's a typical day like for Arika?
Busy! I'll go to class if I have it, then after that I'll do whatever gig I have. I work in production at E Entertainment two days a week, sometimes host TV shows or live events on air, or do some acting work as an extra.

Or modeling. What made you want to get into the sort of work you're doing today? How did the doors open up for Arika?
I guess it started at a young age. I've always been an inquisitive person. I love to learn and teach others what I learn, hence the journalist in me, but I've also always wanted to be on TV ever since I was little.

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So what came first: TV, modeling, or acting?
Modeling, actually. I think it all really started back when I was at UCSD and other students would ask me to model for their clothing lines-since everyone in California has their own clothing line [laughs]-and from there I just made the connections. Lynx Clothing was one of my first, I think. When I tried to get into broadcast, all the modeling I did really helped show that I have a good look. I got an internship with, and that really opened the doors. I actually officially began hosting there.

What was your first time in front of a TV camera like . . . nerve-racking?
Very! I remember asking the camera guy if I was doing alright [laughs]. But once I got in the groove of it, it became an addiction-I just wanted more.

You stay pretty busy. Do you have time for a personal life?
Yeah, it is all very busy, but that's what I love. I love when it's "go" time! I'm a huge adrenaline junky, and staying busy and trying new things is really what I love.

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You mentioned extra work; Where can we see more of you?
Oh man, I've had a lot. I did Entourage, some stuff for Zeke and Luther, where they had me in no makeup and I played the role of, like, a 13-year-old little kid [laughter]. I did Manswers, 1,000 Ways to Die, some other stuff for Spike TV, um . . . I actually did a couple of Trojan Ecstacy commercials [laughter].

Awesome! What was the um, "gist" of them?
Well, in the one I was a maid of some kind, and to be honest, I don't remember the other one. I just remember they were funny to film!

Do you get a lot of odd acting/extra requests?
Ehh . . . kind of. Kissing! I hate kissing scenes. They always take tons of takes, and kissing a random stranger in front of a camera is nasty, $800 or not.

Favorite movie. Go:
Legally Blonde [laughter]. I can't help it! It's a good movie with a really good message and I like it. Definitely my favorite.

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So would you call yourself an actress?
Not at all. I mean, I have my hours and I'm in the union and all that, but I'm better at sticking to my personality. And I like being part of production and learning something new every day. I don't think I could be comfortable playing other roles.

Thinking long-term, where do you want to be in X amount of years?
Hmm . . . Definitely in broadcast journalism, preferably working on things that will help people. That's why I like a lot of the programming on E. It deals a lot with overcoming emotional and confidence issues, things along those lines. I'd like to get more into that.

In your line of work you're crazy busy, and as a personality you always have to walk that line between being friendly and cordial, but not overly available, say, if some creeper wants a piece of the action. What's that like?
Difficult. You have to be nice-I'm generally a nice person. If someone looks my way or says, "hi," I'll say it back. There's no reason not to be outgoing and friendly. But sometimes you just gotta know how to shut 'em down without being mean.

But what about when you don't want to shut them down? What's the secret technique to getting attention from Arika?
First of all, I think people need to know how to separate work from personal time. When I'm in the work zone, I'm there and that's where I want to be. In my personal time I'm just like anyone else. Come talk to me if I'm out with some girlfriends looking to have fun. Be yourself, be funny, and who knows?

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What not to do. Go:
Awkward touching, invading personal space, being annoying or drunk, all the usual stuff. No pick-up lines, please! If you learned it from a TV show, don't use it. Just be straight-up. Be real.

Arika Sato
Height: 5'5"
Measurements: 32-24-33
Ethnicity: Japanese
Sign: Gemini
Birthday: May 26th
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Thank you list:
Thank you to my mom, dad, and older brother for supporting me from day one to follow my dreams.

By Luke Munnell
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