Whether it’s J-WAVE, Lawson or Roppongi Hills, the next voice you hear may belong to Mai Shoji
When you meet Mai Shoji, the first thing you notice, besides her down-to-earth charm, is that her voice sounds familiar. Anyone who tunes in regularly to radio station J-WAVE’s Entertainment Express segment each weeknight from 8:30pm will certainly recognize the cultured voice that has endeared Shoji to listeners, including the occasional taxi driver.
The bilingual Shoji has an impressive list of career achievements. Ask her for a business card and you’re likely to get half a dozen. Having studied at TV Asahi Announcer’s School and Tokyo Announcer’s Academy, she serves as the exclusive MC at Roppongi Hills Arena events; she is the voice for Lawson CS Hot Station and does Nagoya Radio-I Road to Tomorrow each week. She has been in demand at numerous events over the past few years, including as stadium announcer at the 2002 World Cup. On top of all that, the stylish Shoji has modeled in ads for Max Factor and Sony Dream World; she sings with R&B group Prince Squad and Diva Rose (she’s Diva Rose), and is a licensed beauty consultant for Shiseido. She even finds time to do admin work at her mother’s drugstore in the Asakusa View Hotel.
Born in Tokyo, Shoji received an international education at Aoba, Nishimachi and the American School in Japan. She recalls being attracted to show business early on. “I started singing seriously when I was 13,” she says. After high school, her interest shifted to mass communications; she studied it at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her year there was an “eye-opening experience,” she recalls. Entertainment Express, which Shoji has been doing since April, occupies most of her time. “I report on Hollywood gossip, concerts and movie info. I interview lots of artists, both Japanese and Hollywood stars. It’s a real challenge because I only get about 10 minutes with them,” she says. Of the celebrities she has interviewed so far, Shoji has no hesitation in nominating Johnny Depp as her favorite. “Meeting him was like a dream come true. Morgan Freeman was great, too. He has an aura and such confidence in himself that you can feel as soon as he walks into the room. Cameron Diaz was a ball. Her eyes were so transparent and captivating.”
Each week is different for Shoji, with requests coming in for MC and narration work (she jokes that some months “I eat well, others it’s fast food”). Her music is on the move, too. “We’re working with a record label at the moment.” Her next goal is to be a professional interpreter (she is studying at Simul) and perhaps start her own business. “I read magazines and translate in my head and whenever I watch news on TV, I try to retain whatever I hear,” she says of her training.
Shoji’s beauty counseling, which she does at her mother’s store, is another passion. “The cosmetic industry is always changing its ‘in’ products, so I have to keep pace with what is cutting edge,” she says. “I advise girls on skin care, make-up and how to be stress-free, which is directly related to skin problems. Sleeping habits, work hours, how often they go outside, how much they drink, whether they eat sweets—these are all important.” Sho ji credits her parents (her father is a well-known lyricist and her mother a pharmacist) for much of her success. “I am very proud of them,” she says. “They invested quite a lot in me and I want to return something to them.”
By Chris Betros http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/617/faces.asp
5歳より都内のインターナショナルスクールに通う。 大学時代に渡米し、ブロードキャスト・マルチメディアを専攻する。 帰国後、MC、アナウンサー、レポーターとして活動中。
|English Name||Mai Shoji|
|Traditional Chinese Name||東海林舞|
|Member Since||November 27, 2007|
|Simplified Chinese Name||東海林舞|