PODCAST: ‘Superstore’ actress, Kauai native Kaliko Kauahi talks breaking in to Hollywood

‘Superstore’ actress, Kauai native Kaliko Kauahi talks breaking in to Hollywood

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kauai native who starred on NBC’s Superstore is revealing her roots.

Actress Kaliko Kauahi played the wacky character Sandra on the hit comedy television show for six successful seasons. Kaliko now lives in California, but she’s still a local girl at heart — and hasn’t lost her aloha spirit or her pidgin skills.

“I actually had to learn how to speak properly,” said Kauahi.

The Kamehameha grad went from the small town of Lawa’i to the big city of Los Angeles where she attended Loyola Maramount University. She studied acting and worked up the courage to audition, landing her very first role on a national television show back in 2006.

“I thought to myself, I might as well chance ‘em and try for ‘Plan A’ and at least pursue something that i am passionate about or interested in.”

Even though people often got tongue-tied saying her name, Kaliko refused to make it more “screen-friendly” and stayed true to her Hawaiian roots.

“My family would be livid if I ever changed my name and what would I change it to? Kaliko Smith? There’s only so much you can do with a name like Kaliko Kauahi.”

Kaliko’s talent and infectious personality won over many directors, who cast her for well-known shows like Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and Raven’s Home, along with her longest-running and biggest role on Superstore.

“It was a really special experience. It’s not often you get a combination of great writing, actors and a really kind and welcoming crew. I was so happy to be on the show. I would have been that quiet character in the backroom for six seasons and be perfectly happy.”

Kaliko says her success is due in part to her upbringing in Hawaii and the values she was taught about hard work, staying grounded and being kind to others.

“How you treat people says a lot about you and that’s from growing up in Hawaii. Hawaii is such a special place, I couldn’t be prouder to be from Hawaii.”

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