Thanks for visiting the site for the Michigan Performing Arts Camp – a GREAT new summer day camp and sleepaway camp for young musicians and performers. This is the first in our new series of interviews with MiPAC’s talented and dedicated administrators, staff, and faculty.
First up: Co-Founder and President Keisuke Hoashi.
President of MiPAC Keisuke (pronounced CASE-kay) Hoashi is a very busy man. In addition to founding the greatest summer performing arts camp in the history of the world, he is also a working Hollywood actor who has been in more than 150 TV shows, movies, and TV commercials. A former music camper himself, he’s now a sought-out speaker who talks to high school and college students about building realistic and sustainable careers in the arts. Keep reading to learn more about our visionary co-founder.
1) What made you and co-director Tim decide to start a new music camp in southern Michigan this summer?
Tim and I met in 2011, when he was my teaching assistant at another music camp where I was teaching my New Musical Workshop program. We immediately became great friends and a terrific creative team! When that other camp unfortunately shut down last year, Tim came to me with a great idea: why not carry on the best of the old camp in a brand new one? He had already lined up the support of Adrian College, where he worked in the Admissions and Music departments. What was needed was not just someone with experience running a music camp — but a friend that Tim could trust to make that camp a fun-filled, musically-rich, and camper-focused experience. I was very honored when he asked me to join him.
2) What’s your favorite memory from your years of teaching?
My very favorite memory happened every time I ran the New Musical Workshop. In this class, I teach my students the difficult process of collaboratively writing an original musical. Every camper contributes ideas, scenes, songs, music, etc. We put it all together on Day #8, when we do our first read-through of our brand-new script.
My very favorite moment as a teacher always came right after that read-through. That’s when the whole class realizes that they, as a team, have actually created a brand-new show! And not only have they lived through the process, they have learned how to do it themselves going into the future.
It is always such a thrill to see an entire room of students realizing what they have accomplished, and a privilege to get to share in their pride.
3) Why is MiPAC the best summer music and performing arts camp in the Midwest? (And maybe in the history of the world?)
At MiPAC, your primary instrument is simply your starting point. Some camps require you to declare a single interest, but at MiPAC, every camper is welcome to participate in every program that we offer, at no extra charge! Your only restriction is how much you can fit into your daily schedule. For example:
- A viola player, in addition to orchestra and chamber ensembles, could choose to join a jazz combo, a rock band, and to become a scriptwright in the New Musical Workshop.
- A singer may focus on singing in all four choirs, take the Songwriting class, and sing some more in Musical Theater Repertory Ensemble.
- A trumpeter, in addition to jazz, wind ensemble, and brass ensembles, may decide to learn to play the flute in the Repertory Band, sing in the Jazz Choir, and take beginning Composition and Piano.
4) MiPAC’s inaugural season is almost here. What are the three most important things new campers — and parents — should know when they show up this summer?
- You are going to be astonished at the opportunities and the freedom of choice you will have. MiPAC doesn’t restrict your choices at all — so be ready to take advantage of the opportunities. Seriously, we encourage you to try out something new, something you have always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance. Maybe you will discover your path lies in composition, or jazz, or playwrighting!
- Prepare something fun for the Kitchen Sink Recital each week! This truly is an “anything-goes” performance, and is the perfect place to show off any hidden skills you’ve honed through the years. Of course, you may also prepare a movement from a concerto, but maybe you can write your own cadenza! Or mix interpretive dance and gymnastics into the coda.
- You’re not going to have much, if any, “down time.” Make sure to take advantage of the built-in breaks during the day, as well as all of our “Mandatory Fun” activities, to ensure you are recharged both mentally and physically every morning!
5) Five fun facts about Keisuke — go:
- In high school and college, I played trumpet, clarinet, and French horn — well enough to perform in New York City’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and to be accepted into the Crane School of Music at Potsdam College.
- When I played a doctor in “How I Met Your Mother,” I was so convincing that I fooled star Alyson Hannigan (“Lily”) into thinking I actually WAS a doctor.
- My favorite TV role to date was on FOX’s animated hit “Bob’s Burgers.” I played a 70-year-old Japanese actor named Kojima in the episode “Hawk and Chick.”
- I started my acting career in musical theatre in rural New York State, where – despite the total lack of ethnic-appropriate roles – I thrived entirely due to my singing, dancing, and acting chops. My first roles were lead singer/dancer Jamie the Cockney in “My Fair Lady;” Congressional Secretary Mr Thomson in “1776;” and Elisha Whitney in “Anything Goes.”
- I have a Masters Degree in Technical Communication, and I have worked for some of the biggest technology corporations in the world, including NCR, AT&T, and IBM.
Thank you, Keisuke, for your time! Keisuke will teach acting and musical theater at the Michigan Performing Arts Camp this summer. Join him and our other great faculty on the campus of Adrian College this June and July, 2016.