About Ninja Mom
The dream of Ninja Mom started almost 20 years ago when Ren Hanámi began creating a female ninja action hero called Ninja Girl. Ren referred to her as a She-ro—A sexy crime fighter inspired by the comic book characters SHADO from The Green Arrow series and SHI by Billy Tucci. Several years and outlines later Ninja Girl morphed into Ninja Mom, a do-gooder mom with some substantial secrets. The Ninja Mom script is written by Ren and has been selected in the semi-finals of the UCLA Extension Feature Film Writing Competition.
The Creative Team
Multi-talented REN HANAMI (Creator/Writer) brings her brand of "Aloha Spirit" to everything she does. Ren acts, sings and dances on stage, screen and television. Her film and television credits include working alongside Academy Award winners Glenn Close in Airforce One, Martin Landau and Lee Grant in The Ali Gertz Story, Patty Duke in One Woman's Courage, and Sally Field in a recurring role on ER, as well as numerous other network series and movies such as Pretty Little Liars, The Storm, SouthLAnd, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, and Without A Trace. Ren has enjoyed many regional stage productions including Company, My Fair Lady, The King and I, South Pacific with Reba McEntire at The Hollywood Bowl, and Makeover at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. Ren is also very proud of her early leading roles in Performance Anxiety and Canton Jazz Club at East West Players, the oldest Asian American theater in the country.
Ren is greatly influenced by her multi-cultural family, especially the strong ties to her Hawaiian heritage. One of Ren's most important on-going roles is as the television host and spokesperson for AAA Hawaii. On her father's side she is part of the Clan Hannay Society and writing a screenplay called Sorbie Princess inspired by the clan's ancient Sorbie Castle in the south west of Scotland. She is also the National Chairman of the SAG-AFTRA Asian Pacific American Media Committee.
NATHAN WANG (Composer of Ninja Mom animated theme song) started his musical studies at the age of four. When he was nine, he was accepted to the University of Southern California to study musical theory and composition. However, after high school he decided to get a liberal arts education from Pomona College and received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at Oxford University, England. He is proud of having started his career in theater, composing music for shows such as The Traveler at the Mark Taper Forum, Shakespeare's Timon of Athens at the Old Globe in San Diego and Bouncers at the Tiffany Theater. Nathan has composed over the years for East West Players, the oldest Asian American theater in the United States. He has worked on shows there as Big Hunk of Burnin' Love, Performance Anxiety, Sisters Matsumoto, and for Chay Yew's Reds. He has written two musicals for East West which received NEA funding: The Canton Jazz Club, which was one of East West Players' most successful musical runs in the history of the theater, and a reading of The Cathayian Pirate.
Nathan has composed for the CD interactive games, "The Muppet Treasure Island" and "The Return to Zork." For television, Nathan has worked on the popular animated series "Eekstravanza," as well as "China Beach," and "The Excellent Adventures of Bill and Ted." Nathan's movie credits include scoring Jackie Chan's Who Am I? and the Asian versions of Rumble in the Bronx and First Strike. He worked with Hans Zimmer on The Last Days for DreamWorks, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
NOAH WYLE (Angel) has been involved with the Ninja Mom project since the first draft and is still a champion of it. Noah was born in Hollywood, California, to Marjorie (Speer), an orthopedic head nurse, and Stephen Wyle, an entrepreneur and electrical engineer. He is one of six children. His father's family was Russian Jewish. Noah had early support for his acting ambitions from his stepfather, film restorationist James C. Katz. He had small parts in high school productions (and won an award for a play he wrote).
He participated in a Northwestern University theater program, and was hooked - acting rather than college after high school. After graduation he learned from acting teacher Larry Moss while living in a small apartment on Hollywood Boulevard. His first part was at age 17, in Blind Faith (1990), but after a few good roles he hit a dry spell for two years (no acting, waiting on tables). Then came A Few Good Men (1992) followed by another dry spell in which a return to restaurant work looked like a good option. Television shows seemed possible but Noah steered clear of these because of the 5-year contract commitment. Then came the script for the pilot of "ER" (1994), and the part of Dr. Carter looked very good. Three auditions later, he had the role.
He is the producer and star of "The Librarians" series and was the star of Sci-Fi hit "Falling Skies."
DON SCHMIDT (Artist Ninja Mom Comics) began drawing at the age of five and found inspiration in the cartoons, books, movies, and comics of his childhood. In keeping with the philosophy of his teacher, he strives to "Keep Going" and polish his art. Decades later, Don still finds that he is inspired by cartoons, books, movies, and comics and has found himself collaborating with Ninja Mom's very own Ren Hanami on the all-ages comic strip entitled "My Mom's A Ninja" and with Mike Wellman of Atomic Basement on two of their upcoming anthologies. When not drawing, Don may be found teaching a centuries-old martial tradition to aspiring ninjas. Don's artwork may be found at http://bujinkomix.deviantart.com.