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Kathy Yogi Collins Bio

Born in Chicago and raised on Maui, Kathy Collins began a broadcasting career at the age of 17. "I chose radio as my profession because my passion is acting. When I graduated from high school in the mid-1970s, stage or screen roles for 5- foot tall Asian women were few and far between. On the radio, I could play any role I wanted."

Besides doing radio news, production, and show hosting, Kathy has worked as a television news reporter and anchor, voice-over artist, and (coming full circle) an actress and comedic storyteller.

Her alter ego, “Tita”, is a regular fixture at Oahu’s annual Talk Story Festival and at local schools and community events, sharing Hawaiian legends and spreading the word of “pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English) pride”. Tita has also performed at Polynesian themed events in California and Arizona, and was the spokeswoman for the County of Maui’s anti-litter campaign “Listen to Tita…No Littah!“Tita Out”, Kathy’s first CD release, won the 2005 Hawaii Music Award for Comedy Album of the Year. The live performance CD was recorded at the first of several sold-out one-woman shows at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

Recent credits include performing and touring with the Barefoot Natives (Willie K & Eric Gilliom), featured roles in acclaimed Bay Area actor/playwright Lane Nishikawa’s historical dramas “When We Were One” and “We Were Brothers”, hosting Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku Jr.’s “’Aha Mele” and “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar” weekly concerts, and being a keynote presenter at the 2009 National Storytelling Conference in Waikiki. 

Following the death of her husband in April 2007, she wrote and produced Kathy Collins’ Death Comedy Jam – an irreverent look at death and mourning through comedy and music. The first DCJ played to a standing room only crowd at the MACC and has led to numerous requests for Kathy to present her comedic monologues on widowhood.

With her late husband Barry Shannon, Kathy co-founded Mana'o Radio/KEAO-LP (91.5 FM), a non-commercial, non-profit (501c3) radio station staffed entirely by volunteers. Mana’o Radio made its on-air debut on March 11, 2002 and has earned a devoted following with its wildly eclectic mix of music and spoken word.

When not performing on-air or on stage, Kathy enjoys dancing in clubs and in classes (tap, jazz, hula, classical Okinawan), writing, and other creative pursuits. She holds a black belt in Okinawan shito-ryu karate and has studied iaijutsu (Japanese swordsmanship).