Atsuko Okatsuka
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Atsuko Okatsuka

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Margaret Cho, Jenny Yang and Atsuko Okatsuka Talk About Race And Comedy In New Podcast"

If you haven’t heard, comedic superheroine Margaret Cho has a great podcast called Monsters of Talk, where she and co-host Jim Short discuss music, comedy and life in general with all sorts of interesting folks ranging from Billy Bragg to Tegan and Sara. Her latest guests were Jenny Yang and Atsuko Okatsuka, founders of Dis/orient/ed Comedy, the first (mostly) Asian American female stand-up comedy tour, which stops in Los Angeles this Saturday.
On the show, the funny ladies chat about everything from the lack of Asian American women on the stand-up circuit to the importance of comedy in times of tragedy and sorrow, such as the aftermath of the Isla Vista killings near UC Santa Barbara. They also get real about the boxes that people have tried to force them into throughout their lives.

“As Asian American women, we’re raised to not take up a lot of space,” Cho says. “You don’t want to be too much. My mother would always say, ‘That’s too much! Too much!’ Everything is too much. That’s really the worst thing you can be. For me, I was always too fat. And then it was too loud. Or too emotional.
“But it’s weird how you’re encouraged to have a life in the arts. My family was very interested in me learning how to become a good musician, but not love it too much, not be devoted to it, not be obsessed with it. They don’t want you to become a true artist.” - Michelle Woo

"EP. 44: The Asian Insurgents"

When the Tomboy Tarts, Persis and Raven from the ‘Chindian’ faction bump into Asian funny gals, LA comics, Jenny Yang and Atsuko Okatsuka from the Disoriented faction in the dystopian city of Chicago, an insurgence of simulated proportions takes place in this new ‘Fresh off the Boat’ episode of Tomboy Tirade that takes you into the world of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series as we talk everything Asian American comedy!

The Asian Insurgents are coming as the Divergent sequel ‘Insurgent’, based off on the popular Veronica Roth books, hits theatres this week!
The Tomboy Tarts, Raven and Persis once again, find themselves on the run. This time they are factionless, fleeing out of dystopian Chicago on a train.
They bump into the Disoriented Comedy faction members, Jenny Yang and Atsuko Okatsuka, who are also on the run and looking to escape a city at war.
Jenny and Atsuko share their story on how Disoriented Comedy came about and how they forged a pretty cool comedic partnership and their upcoming nation-wide tour with the rest of the Disoriented troopers.
Nobody wins of course except the newly formed Asian Insurgents as Jenny, Atsuko, Raven and Persis take a final stab at escaping. Will they succeed? You’ll just have to listen to find out!

– Jenny and Atsuko share with the Tomboy Tarts how they got together and formed Disoriented Comedy, typical Asian style – at a stand-up comedy class. Did they earn their degree there too? We probe the girls and find out.
– With ‘Fresh off the Boat’ getting critical praise and possibly even potential Emmy nods, Jenny and Atsuko fire us up with a passionate discussion on where Asian American comedy stands today in 2015 USA. How has Fresh off the Boat, an autobiographical new comedy series based loosely off of chef Eddie Huang’s life, changed the game? Is this just a fad in the entertainment business or a serious forging of a place for Asian Americans to come together and share their brand of funny?
– Then it’s time to take Jenny Yang’s best-loved Buzzfeed video series on YouTube ‘Ask an Asian’ and place our guests on the spot (with spicy sauce of course). Watch the video below! - Tomboy Tarts

"Dis/orient/ed Comedy-- Five Asian comedians visit Seattle in sold-out show"

Random, hilarious, and relatable, five funny Asian women took Seattle by storm at the Renton Civic Theater last Saturday, March 16.
The brainchild of Yola Lu, Atsuko Okatsuka, and Jenny Yang, Dis/orient/ed Comedy showcases the comedic and powerful voices of Asian American comedians. Joining the crew in Seattle were Concepcion and headliner Aparna Nancherla. The tour kicked off last summer in Los Angeles and made Seattle its first out-of-California stop, performing for a sold-out crowd of 300.
The first of its kind to come to Seattle, Lu believes that Disoriented is important because it breaks down barriers, including the stereotype that women aren’t funny and that Asian women have to be in a specific line of work. She noted how difficult it is to find Asian comics outside of Los Angeles.

The night started with Okatsuka hosting. Born in Japan, Okatsuka came to the United States in the 3rd grade and to her dismay, teachers and classmates called her “Stacy,” because Atsuko was too foreign for them. She included nods to her former gigs as a math tutor to kids of rich Valencia soccer moms and waitress in a Japanese restaurant.
She said that her ethnicity helped her learn the basics of life and “has inevitably become a big part of who I am, and a big part of my storytelling.”
Her self-deprecating humor warmed up the crowd and prepared them for the remainder of the show.

Concepcion is a Seattleite that was featured in the show. Originally from Saipan, an unincorporated territory of the United States, Concepcion described her racial experiences growing up. People would confuse her as their masseuse and often asked about her tropical upbringing. Concepcion adamantly told ignorant strangers that she always wore coconut bras, drawing laughs from the crowd.
Following Concepcion was another Seattle comic, Yola Lu, who started off her set with a joke addressing her “daddy issues,” referencing a former boyfriend who was significantly older. Her act became more and more personal and relatable, as she described how her Taiwanese mom constantly called her fat and how her aunt provided a weight loss cream to help her reduce her belly.
Lu’s co-producer, Yang, joked about how she wanted to tattoo “CHINESE TATTOO” on her arm, poking fun at people who adorn their skin with Chinese character tattoos. She also emphasized that she wanted to be remembered as the girl who rewrote a Snoop Dogg song for extra credit during her freshman year of high school.

In addition, Yang described her vivid and traumatizing experience at a Korean spa, where she made eye contact with a naked older Korean lady.
But perhaps the highlight of Yang’s act was her oh-so-catchy and hilarious rap about her love for frozen yogurt, with lines like “I see all the toppings and I lose control” and “Like Manny Pacquiao, it can’t be beat.”

Nancherla was excited to join the group again after performing in LA last year.
“I think it’s just cool that if a group knows their audience and their voices, they can produce their own successful shows,” Nancherla said.
Keeping a serious and straight face throughout her act, the self-proclaimed “sassy drag queen persona” described her sense of style as the “before picture.” She also explained that she wanted to date a vending machine after it returned her money and gave her a snack.

But aside from her jokes, she said, “I hope they (the audience) realize ultimately, your identity is something you construct yourself, regardless of what the rest of society wants to put on you.”
In addition, Okatsuka wanted the audience to feel the diversity within the group of Asian female comics. “We all have a different voice, even though we’re all Asian females,” she said.
Their next stop? San Francisco. (end)
For more information, visit
Nina Huang can be contacted at - Nina Huang

"Angry Reader of the Week: Atsuko Okatsuka"

What's up, folks? Please open your hearts and gather 'round to meet the latest Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Atsuko Okatsuka.

Who are you?

Atsuko Okatsuka!

What are you?

I'm a stand up comedian, performer, and filmmaker. Co-founder of Dis/orient/ed Comedy. I like to make people laugh in different mediums. And, I'm half Japanese and half Taiwanese.

Where are you from?

Chiba, Japan where Tokyo Disneyland is.

What do you do?

I make films, do stand up comedy, performance art and tutor rich White kids. I like to fuse the practices together.

What are you all about?

Fusing worlds together - creating space for empathy, love, and laughter in places that usually aren't thought to be the appropriate place to feel or emote (i.e. Family gatherings, art galleries, classrooms, etc.).

What makes you angry?

Recently, I'd been on a kick about trying to find a happy medium between the art world (which I've recently delved into) and the rest of the world. I'd been frustrated about the divides between worlds like this -- why certain types of art are only seen by a certain type of people, and been playing with ways in my practice on how to make my message accessible to everybody -- to mold things so that it speaks to a larger group of people without having to 'dumb things down' or obscure emotions for 'high art' heads. - Phil Yu


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members