PSA: A Bloom By Any Other Name…

A random promo for the forthcoming season of Superstore alerted me to the fact that one of its stand-out cast members, Nichole Bloom (born “Nichole Sakura O’Connor”), had recently chosen to change her stage-name. To quote her Instagrammed explanation:

Nichole Sakura as 'Cheyenne' in "Superstore" (S1)“I get asked a lot of questions about my name, and now to add to confusion I just changed it back to Nichole Sakura. Thought I would share why: Being half Japanese, my mom’s side always felt like a prominent part of my identity. As a kid, I was called Sakura at home, brought bento boxes to school, and loved visiting my relatives in Nagoya. When I arrived in LA as a teenager to pursue acting, I was told by my first agent that getting cast would be a challenge for me because I didn’t fit into any one category- I didn’t seem Asian or White enough. The fact that I wasn’t able to book roles enforced this perspective in me. I began to look at my Japanese side as a hindrance to my career, and something that would lessen my odds of getting work. So I stopped using my middle name and picked the last name Bloom to seem as ambiguous as possible and downplay my Japanese side. (Bloom was born out of Sakura, which means Cherry Blossom). Whether this ‘worked’ to my benefit or not, I don’t know. I’m still finding my place in an industry that is now beginning to include more people of color and mixed backgrounds. However, as I’ve grown into myself and my career, I’ve come to feel more and more how important it is to embrace who I am, including my name. So call me Nichole Sakura from now on.”

Will do! And let’s hope that all the casting directors are taking note too, because she’s absolutely hilarious, and I want to see much more of her in the future! But until Superstore returns at the end of the month, there’s always the “Nice Girls” skits she recorded with comedy-partner Elizabeth Guest to (re)watch…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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