Enjoy a moment with Los Angeles based actress and model Kanea Blokland.
Photography and Interview by Keitaro Cloward
Keitaro: Just following up on the text, wanna intro yourself?
Kanea: Sure, I’m Kanea Blokland. Actress, Voice actress, Model and Performer.
I’m from the Netherlands but have lived in LA for three years now.
Keitaro: What are some of the diﬀerence you find between here and the Netherlands?
Kanea: There’s a lot of diﬀerences, I would say the one that stands out to me the most is the people. In the Netherlands people are very straight forward, they say what they think and there’s no time to lose. Where as here in LA it’s kinda the opposite. People like to talk about things that are going well, and only the good things. So I think the main diﬀerence is the people, besides that for me, there’s so many career options here, in LA. That’s why I moved here opposed to the Netherlands, but both places are very international.
Keitaro: So, do you like it here in LA better, “beating around the bush” and hinting at what is what?
Kanea: No, I like the straight forwardness better!
Keitaro: Do you think in the Netherlands as time goes on there will be more opportunities in your desired careers, would you wanna go back and work there?
Kanea: Yeah I think the Netherlands might get more opportunity in the future. But, I don’t know, I like living somewhere else, now, while I am young. Perhaps eventually I want to go back there…
Keitaro: What are some of the other things you like about LA?
Kanea: There is also so much nature here! The Netherlands is below sea level, and there’s simply not as much nature. Here everywhere you look, even when you’re on the freeway, you see the most beautiful plants and palm trees, I really admire that.
Keitaro: Yeah, LA is nice. California is nice.
Kanea: And that’s something else I really like, yes we are in the city of LA. But, in only half an hour you can be in a completely diﬀerent setting. You can go to the beach, drive another two hours and you can have Joshua tree, and a couple more hours and you’re in Sequoia. It’s just so nice, because there’s also just so many also rural looking areas here, although it’s just one city. I like how spread out it is, I like how versatile it is. Besides that, there’s just so many crazy events happening here, things that I would have never thought of. But I love them. Whenever I go out, I meet new creative people and I stay inspired in that.
Keitaro: Tell us about one of the last ones that made an impression on you?
Kanea: Ok, so it was this event. I didn’t know it was “Alien” themed, everyone there was dressed “Alien” like. There was this room, where this girl was doing makeup and just making everyone look super other worldly. And since I came late, everyone there was already in some kinda of crazy, weird, not weird (Haha) very very cool costume. Or had really detailed colorful eye makeup or something. So that one was really cool. And there were two people I remember that had these sorta puppet costumes, where.. I don’t even know how to explain it. But, they had like a second person on them. They were one person and they had on them, a second kinda like doll or something , that they had built with paper-mache or something. And yeah I wasn’t ready for that, I was not informed, but it was great (Haha). That’s what I mean by I stay inspired by going out here.
“Taking it day by day and watching the sunset each one,
Focusing on the now and not when this begun.”
Keitaro: Where were you when all shutdown began?
Kanea: So, I was actually on set in New York, in Ithaca. When I left LA, nothing was serious at all we heard about Asia but nothing was serious over here, and there were no confirmed cases here yet. So, I left to New York to work on this film set , and for another campaign as well. I was there on set, and then we started getting the news. Ithaca, is such a small city, that no one was really worried at first. I did start seeing on social media that people were starting to get more stressed out about it. But, because I was working everyday on the set and when it was over I’d just go to sleep. I wasn’t on my phone a lot, didn’t have time to think about it, so until the big college, that is there, got shutdown. It was during spring break, when they gave the announcement that all students wouldn’t have to return for this semester. That’s when we were all like “Oh, wait this is huge, that’s huge, that this is happening.” So it was a strange time, because that was toward the end of the set, but at the same time we hadn’t finished yet.
Keitaro: What happened to the production?
Kanea: So we continued shooting, only because everyone there had only been and had already been seeing everyone there. So we were contained to just the set, you know just crew and cast. Still it was weird, towards the last day, I remember people where a lot more aware of social distancing rules. Not at all drinking from the same cups and stuﬀ like that, which before wouldn’t have been such a problem. And then I had to go back to the city which was chaos, because there was hardly anybody on the street compared to normal New York. It wasn’t completely empty, but it was a lot quieter outside. It was just starting to get warmer. So usually that wouldn’t happen, the opposite would happen. There would be ten times as many people outside. So it was just kinda strange, there was a strange feeling in the air. Or maybe it was that the regular New York energy was just not in the air. So that part was weird, because usually New York is such a welcoming place, everyone is just talking to each, and that wasn’t there anymore. I did go on the subway one more time to say goodbye to my friend. Everyone was not really wearing masks yet but using scarves, pulling their turtlenecks over their mouths or using anything they had to cover their mouths with. So it felt very diﬀerent.
Keitaro: How was the trip back to LA?
Kanea: The flight back was super empty, I had six rows of seats to myself. There was only nine or ten other people on the flight back to LA.
Keitaro: How have you been during this quarantine time?
Kanea: I try to really stay positive and in a way, I think it’s really forcing people to really spend time with themselves and find out what’s really important. I think a lot of people are forced to think about what they have already become or accomplished instead of this default setting of “it’s never enough, this is what I need to do”, kind of ignoring what happened in the past, the things you might have accomplished in the past. So I hope in a way people can become a little bit more proud of themselves.
Keitaro: Anything interesting you think is gonna come out of it?
Kanea: I read this article today, about how this situation is really good for dating. Because, instead of focusing on physical attraction, I read also that people are doing a lot of video dating because of this, not for me but (laughs) it forces you to focus on what this other individual is saying instead of just getting infatuated with their looks and anything else.
Keitaro: What else have you been reading that you like?
Kanea: I’m reading this book called “Into the wild”, which is a really interesting read, especially right now. I love that the main character is so down to earth and doesn’t want to be part of society at all. Which is kinda what we are being forced right now to do, and is the opposite of what most people want. So reading this and kind of agreeing with him, is really interesting.
Keitaro: Any quotes to leave us with?
Kanea: I wrote poem..?
Keitaro: Read it!
Kanea: Alright, let me grab my notebook one second. And maybe you can find a cool quote in there.
“This is a one of a kind,
Tossing and turning at daytime and night,
A Tornado of things is going on in my mind,
Trying to give this still desert some light,
I forget how to sleep, I forget how to walk,
Not seeing my friends I forget how to talk,
Untie me from this chair providing the rest that I needed, Body is rested, my mind now depleted,
Taking it day by day and watching the sunset each one,
Focusing on the now and not when this begun.
Keitaro: Thank you!