Monday, August 22, 2016

Kathy Collins Maui Actress and Entertainer

This is what I know of Kathy Collins.  She is a local talent here on island and has lived on Maui most of her life.  I recognize her as an actress and radio personality with a distinct sultry voice.  She also had a role in the full-length movie Get a Job, which premiered at the Hawaii International Film Festival.   I saw the movie when it first came to Maui and loved it!  The actors do a great job portraying the colorful characters that only Maui can inspire.  Trust me it will make you laugh and help you understand the vibe of Maui.

I was introduced to Kathy by a mutual friend while at the Willie K show at the Marilyn Monroe mansion; this venue is located at the King Kamehameha Golf Club. Kathy Collins connected to the music and I admired her dancing style and finesse! She has the moves that flowed with the cool blues and original songs of Willie K and his Warehouse Band. What a beautiful place, designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The views are amazing of the valley, distant ocean and Mount Haleakala. People are nice here on Maui and I asked Kathy if I could interview her for my blog. She graciously agreed to talk story with me.

I did some research and discovered there is so much more to this energetic creative woman that I did not know about.  She is a storyteller, comedienne, and dancer.  She writes a weekly column for the Maui News Sharing Mana'o and is a regular contributor to Maui No Ka Oi magazine. Kathy and her husband Barry Shannon founded Mana‘o Radio 91.5 FM and as of this writing, she is no longer involved in the day to day operations of the station:

Collins has been entertaining audiences for more than 40 years and regularly performs at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and has done several one-woman shows and owes much of her success to a girl she simply calls “Tita” her alter ego pidgin-speaking character.  Tita is a local girl with a lot of attitude and won her the 2005 Hawaii Music Award for Comedy Album of the Year Tita Out.  This was the first act she recorded.   Collins frequently appears at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and is an emcee around the island.

Other performances include playing Bloody Mary in Maui Academy of Performing Arts' production of South Pacific.  Collins has been participating in storytelling and spoken word festivals since 2001.  She has entertained audiences in California and Arizona.  She brought the story of Pele to life in New York City at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Project.  She has attended a storytelling festival in Canada’s Northwest Territories and is now a regular at the annual Talk Story Festival in Honolulu. 

Kathy Collins' Death Comedy Jam is an irreverent look at death and widowhood.  When she lost her husband in 2007 she turned her sorrow into a one-woman show.  On the show’s opening night in January 2009, she played to a sold-out crowd.   Collin tells me, “I've been fortunate to have Willie K as a musical guest at each of my shows; at the Death Comedy Jam, he did a deeply personal, poignant monologue about his father's passing.”  Her most recent show at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center was Sharing Mana'o and More in 2015.

I asked Kathy Collins:  What inspired you to become an actor, comedian and DJ?  When did you know and at what moment did you decide to take make this your career path?

Kathy:  “I was very active in speech and drama activities while attending Baldwin High School.  My teacher Miss Sue Ann Loudon taught drama at BHS.  She built a remarkable program which spawned  professional entertainers like Amy Hanaialii and Eric Gilliom, even Candis Cayne (now a friend and mentor of Caitlin Jenner), as well as many of Maui's community theatre performers. Miss Loudon put the greasepaint in my blood and I owe my career to her guidance and encouragement.  The first time I stepped on stage before an audience, playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, I was hooked. I was 13 and I knew then that theatre would be a lifelong passion. When I graduated from high school in 1974, there were very few opportunities for Asian-American actors. That's why I got into radio. I got my first radio job at 17 and did a little community theatre whenever I could. Storytelling as a profession grew out of the skits I did on the radio.

My last question for Kathy Collins:  Sum up the reason you feel Maui is special to you.  What does the expression or the meaning of the Maui Magic mean to you?

Kathy: “I think anyplace one calls home is special. To me, Maui Magic is the beauty and diversity of the island itself.”

Kathy Collins will be performing 12 Angry Jurors at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. The 12 Angry Jurors, is a fascinating peek into the jury room and a true glimpse of human nature and social dynamics. Best known as the 1957 film 12 Angry Men, starring Henry Fonda, the story was written as a 1954 teleplay by Reginald RoseThe Maui version of the 12 Angry Jurors is directed by Angela Thompson, and will be presented four times this weekend, at 7:30pm August 18th Thursday through Saturday August 20th, and at 3pm August 21st Sunday. Tickets may be purchased by calling 463-6550 and you can get more information online at

Kathy’s other upcoming emceeing gigs, include the Plantation Festival at Kaahumanu Center and Kihei 4th Friday August 26th, and the 1st Friday in Wailuku September 2nd.  Drop by and say Aloha!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Strength & Grace a book about Ashtanga Yoga

Derick and Jean Yu
I have known Derick and his beautiful wife Jean for over three years. I met them through my Maui Vision business. They rented one of our vacation condos and soon purchased their own and asked for my assistance to keep their beautiful home booked with visiting guests. Derick and Jean take pride in their Maui home by providing comfortable furnishings and insuring that their place is well maintained and nicely decorated. They really care about the guest experience. They visit as often as they can. Their rental has great mana (energy) and I believe it is because of the aloha spirit that Derick and Jean bring to it.

What intrigues me about Derick is his dedication to the spiritual practice of his yoga. He amazes me with his advanced yoga poses. I love yoga too and know it is a healthy discipline. It makes me feel good and I want to learn more. He has made several videos and wrote his first book that will inspire and educate the reader about the benefits of this ancient discipline "Strength &Grace."

Kathy: Derick thank you for sharing your story with me on my blog. I am amazed by your knowledge of yoga: What inspired you to start this spiritual ritual? You now teach it part-time and have a book out. Tell us what shifted in your personal li

Derick: I got into the Ashtanga Yoga practice in the middle of 1999 when my wife Jean proposed that I take up an activity that would help me grow old "gracefully." I guess she felt that I needed some balance. I was living in a corporate world, working extremely hard and playing hard as well. She knew this lifestyle could not sustain itself.We both started doing the practice after a bit of research of what a good yoga "style" would be. Jean eventually moved on but I surprisingly kept at it. Maybe I needed it much more.

Ashtanga Yoga is known for its very rigorous movements and most people initially get attracted to its physical benefits (strength, balance, flexibility). No one really sees the "spiritual" aspects of it since from the outside, it does seem like how can one develop some sense of spirituality by doing gymnastics.

It was quite a slow, gradual revelation in my part that this yoga practice develops a sense of devotion and awareness after some time. It's very hard to explain but in some sense, the daily physical routine that is required does progress from the physical to the mental and spiritual. It taught me specifically that life consists of two things: 10% of what happens to us and 90% on how we react to it. It does not hide the fact that everyone goes through happiness, sorrow, pain and pleasure.

I have seen the value and benefit of this yoga practice. Physically, it is an investment since we all lose mobility as we age. Mentally, it has taught me not to react impulsively. It's still a lesson I am learning but certainly something I hope to be able to achieve in this life. Spiritually, it has shown me that there is a higher power, but not in a dogmatic kind of belief.

I have been doing Ashtanga Yoga practice for well over 15 years, but I do not really think it is my fullest vocation to teach it. Though I have had the opportunity and privilege to share what I have learned with other students by occasionally teaching and helping out in the Vancouver studio, there is something to be said in teaching yoga as one's profession. Two things that I am absolutely aware of and which makes me very reluctant in teaching as a vocation are:
- The energy expended in teaching and adjusting students. Practicing daily is already an activity that requires a lot of energy to utilize; and to teach and adjust students regularly expends twice as much. Some teachers have taken to skipping practice in order to have energy to teach. My practice still takes precedence and I usually only help out in the studio a couple of days a week and I know I have the time to recuperate
- The realities of life and obligations where one still needs to work in order to sustain a lifestyle. Both Vancouver and Maui are places that require substantial financial resources in order to justify maintaining a balanced livelihood.

I have, however, opted on alternative ways to share the benefits of this yoga ritual. These have been through various projects such as:
- Helping out a yoga resource website and looking after the editing of interview videos and promotion.

Examples are on the following YouTube channels:
Self-published book titles Strength & Grace (

Kathy: Please sum up the reason you feel Maui is special to you. What does the meaning of the Maui Magic mean to you? What made you and Jean decide to purchase here on this island.

Derick: On our first visit to Maui, we knew instantly we had made a connection to this special island. We have travelled extensively throughout the world and only have truly connected to a handful of places, Maui being one of them. There is something that can be said about the island of Maui, certainly more on what the island espouses in terms of lifestyle: living simply, enjoying what our fragile environment has given us and how we should be highly sensitive of its dire changes. Both Jean and I do hope to spend longer times on the island in the future.

This is what Maui magic is to us:
-.The realization that we have a place in the most geographically isolated group of islands on earth,
- That we don't need a lot of "stuff" to enjoy life
- The time we are able to spend together throughout the whole day
- The people on the island who reflect and display what "Aloha" really means

Jean and I were very fortunate to have bought a piece of paradise, especially as the conditions during that time were so hard to ignore:
- The lower cost of real estate due to the US economic downturn
- The higher value of the Canadian currency against the USD

It has always been my goal to buy property outside of Canada, and where my wife and I can enjoy a slice of life outside of the usual daily grind. And it is no exaggeration that we both still pinch ourselves realizing we've been able to achieve that dream whenever we fly back to Maui and when we drive towards Kamaole Beach Park II where the Kihei Akahi is located only a few meters away.

Kathy: To the readers who want to vacation in Derick and Jean’s beautiful condo with great mana (energy) please visit this property page and make your reservation today:


Kathy McCartney RS#77317
La Costa Realty Hawai’I LLC
Maui Vision Rentals LLC