How a ballerina became a gamer and entrepreneur: The Mari Takahashi origin story
This story is part of, our podcast with interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creatives about their work, careers and current obsessions.
Mari Takahashi’s life reads like the genesis of a comic book character. She was a professional ballet dancer for 10 years. She then recorded an acting appearance for a YouTube video, which led her to another career doing sketch comedy and video games for them. She was co-founder of the channel Smosh Games and is now self-employed as an entrepreneur. Oh, and she was on the CBS show Survivor, specifically the Millennials vs. Gen X.
OnTakahashi explains how she came about and how she enjoys the creative freedom that life offers in the early days of online content creation.
“I was a professional ballerina for about a decade, and then I was doing a YouTube gig on the side and I thought it wasn’t going to come of it. And that with an incredibly large empire on the Internet called Smosh,” said an optimistic Takahashi. “I’ve been in this field for 10 years, not only playing video games and creating content, but also co-founding a channel on Smosh. Generally, I keep spreading out and see what I can do because there is no real roadmap for what what you’re doing in this digital space. We’re still writing the book. “
Last summer, Takahashi was the correspondent for the quibi and polygon show Speedrun. The series featured a mix of game news, culture, and trends. Takahashi’s role enabled her to explore deep and compelling stories on game themes outside of the mainstream. I should note that I interviewed Takahashi in late July, a month before the last episode of Speedrun aired.
“We interviewed a person named Steven Spohn who is a disabled gamer. He’s the COO of AbleGamers. And he’s really open about the importance of making games more accessible to disabled players,” said Takahashi. “I was also able to speak to another gamer named EbonixSims who modified Sim’s accessories and hairstyles as well as skin color to better serve the black community. And it is these stories that I can review for my own privilege and learn about and say.” You: “Gosh, I never knew that.”
During our conversation, Takahashi discusses how her professional ballerina past is helping her in her current career as a player and hostess. She also tells of her obsession with the PS4 game Ghost of Tsushima. And we’re talking about the time she was with Survivor.
Listen to my entire conversation with Takahashi on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can find Takahashi on Twitter, YouTube and Twitch. You can also subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I meet an artist, actor, or creator to learn more about work, careers, and current obsessions.