During the original run of BLOCK 8 in 2009, actor Bryan Kido suffered from not one, but two collapsed lungs and was unable to complete the run. He ultimately spent more months in the hospital over the ensuing months. Read The March 2, 2009 story in The Salt Lake Tribune here. I asked Bryan to share with us his thoughts as we prepare for a free reading of BLOCK 8 a full three years later as part of the 2012 Japanese Day of Remembrance events on Saturday, February 4 at 7pm at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple (click here to order free tickets) .
Three years ago BLOCK 8 was one of the biggest challenges I have faced as an actor.
Playing the role of Ken helped me understand how difficult things were for Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.
Working on BLOCK 8 also gave me an opportunity to look at my family history. My uncle Tom Morita was interned at Topaz and my uncle Tsumatsu Horiuchi was in the 442nd regiment (the all-Japanese combat unit). That personal family connection, along with paying a visit to the actual Topaz site, really helped me understand the role of Ken. Putting myself in his shoes made me feel enraged and saddened – although he is an American citizen, he is interned with his family and feels he must enlist in the 442nd to prove his loyalty to the United States.
I am honored to be able to revisit BLOCK 8.