From ballerina to gamer and entrepreneur: The Mari Takahashi origin story

Mari Takahashi is likely one of the most fascinating individuals you need to know. For 10 years she was an expert ballet dancer. And now she’s a extensively recognized and revered gamer and entrepreneur.


This story is part of I’m So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

Mari Takahashi’s life reads just like the origin story of a comic book e book character. For 10 years, she was an expert ballet dancer. Then she took an performing gig for a YouTube video, which launched her into a distinct profession doing sketch comedy and enjoying video games for the YouTube behemoth Smosh. She additionally co-founded the channel Smosh Games and is now on her personal as an entrepreneur. Oh, and she or he was on the CBS show Survivor, particularly the Millennials vs. Gen X season.

On PJDM’s I’m So Obsessed podcast, Takahashi explains her origin story and the way she enjoys the inventive freedom afforded by residing through the early days of on-line content material creation.

“I used to be an expert ballerina for a few decade, after which I took a YouTube gig on the aspect considering that it would not flip into something. And that was with an extremely enormous empire on the web referred to as Smosh,” mentioned an upbeat Takahashi. “For the previous 10 years now, I’ve been on this realm attending to not solely play video video games and create content material, however co-founding a channel by means of Smosh. Normally, I am persevering with to unfold out and see what I can do, as a result of there is no such thing as a actual street map with what you do on this digital realm. We’re nonetheless writing the e book.”

This previous summer time, Takahashi was a correspondent on the Quibi and Polygon show Speedrun. The collection coated a mixture of gaming information, tradition and traits. Takahashi’s function allowed her to discover in-depth and compelling tales centered on gaming matters exterior the mainstream. I ought to observe that I interviewed Takahashi on the finish of July, a month earlier than the ultimate episode of Speedrun aired.

“We interviewed a person named Steven Spohn who’s a disabled gamer. He’s the COO of AbleGamers. And he is actually outspoken about how necessary it’s for video games to develop into extra accessible to disabled gamers,” mentioned Takahashi. “I used to be additionally in a position to speak with one other participant, named EbonixSims, who has been modding Sims equipment and hairstyles, pores and skin coloration, with the intention to higher serve the black neighborhood. And it is these tales that I really feel like I can examine my very own privilege and study extra about and say, ‘Gosh, I by no means knew that.'”

Throughout our dialog, Takahashi discusses how her skilled ballerina previous helps her in her present profession as a gamer and host. She additionally opens up about her obsession with the PS4 game Ghost of Tsushima. And we speak in regards to the time she was on Survivor.

Take heed to my total dialog with Takahashi on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You’ll find Takahashi on Twitter, YouTube and Twitch. Additionally, you may subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In every episode, Connie Guglielmo and I meet up with an artist, actor or creator to study work, profession and present obsessions.

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Patrick Holland