break lands our favorite Israeli actor on a groundbreaking web series.
“I’ve been making [filmmaker] Jon Avnet espresso for the last five
years,” says actor Yaniv Rokah, who spends part of his time as manager
of Santa Monica’s Caffe Luxxe coffee shop. “You can say that he gave me
a break, basically, and wrote a part for me, a really nice part on his
Even under normal circumstances, this would be the stuff of show
business “how I was discovered” legend. What adds sugar to the coffee
here is that Rokah will be a cast member of Avnet’s much-anticipated web
series, on a ground breaking YouTube channel called WIGS (Where It Gets
“It’s an original-scripted high-end drama and it revolves around women,”
Rokah says. “It attracted a lot of big names like [film director]
Rodrigo Garcia, who is producing as well as directing and writing. Also
actors like Jennifer Garner and Virginia Madsen.”
channel, which launched in May and is already surpassing 10 million
unique views, is being touted as the future of television. Producers,
writers and A-List actors are flocking to this next medium, which caters
to the newly shortened attention span (episodes run about five to ten
minutes) yet pays plenty of attention to user-generated comments.
Characters can break out or be dropped as a result of instant user
“I play Dr. Rokah,” he says, which will at least surely delight his
mother back in Israel. “Both my parents were in the hospital when I was
performing the role, and I was Skyping with them, all dressed up like a
doctor in a hospital.”
Rokah’s story arc begins in the fall, under the series name Kendra.
And what seemed like an unthinkable concept only a few short years ago
is now providing us with future shock.
“It’s genius, “ Rokah says. “It’s obvious that we’re all watching stuff
on our phones, laptops, and iPads. It’s changing very fast. And why not?
The series quality is the same as shows on Showtime and HBO.
It’s a pretty amazing invention.”
Rokah, the youngest of ten children, was brought up in Netanya, outside
of Tel Aviv. In the Eighties, an uncle in America sent back a color
television. As a result, Rokah was bitten by the acting bug.
“It was always difficult to be in actor in Israel,” he says. “Everybody
raised eyebrows back then if you were an artist. Now it’s a different
story, of course, but back then it was hard to get around.”
With a growing resume of TV commercials and network and cable series
parts (including a role in the upcoming feature film World War Z),
Rokah is looking forward to the next phase of his career.
“There are no more excuses for anyone,” Rokah says of the digital age’s
boundless opportunities for artists, “because you can write, create, do
yoga, dance, and perform on the street as well as on the Internet. It’s
everywhere, and it’s happening now.”.
To view WIGS,
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