Nearly 15 years after departing Hawaii for personal and global ventures, Kona Carmack has returned to the place she calls home. She couldn’t be happier.
“I have been back for two years now, I love it. I’ve been surfing, which I don’t get to do as much I’d like because I don’t have a lot of time off. After being away for so long, it is just so nice to be back,” says Carmack, who is pictured above with her pug Malia.
Carmack jumped into the limelight in 1996, posing as a centerfold for Playboy magazine. From Hugh Hefner’s notorious mansion Carmack took to traveling, exploring Europe and living in Tokyo for some time. After returning to the U.S., she earned her degree in cinematography from USC and put it to constructive use almost immediately, obtaining a production assistant position on the HBO series Deadwood. From Deadwood, Carmack began to get more comfortable in Los Angeles, transitioning to a position on the popular Monk series, starring Tony Shalhoub as the obsessive-compulsive detective, on USA Network.
“I pretty much had all-access to every aspect of those shows because I worked for the executive producers. On set I was involved with costumes, props, hair and make-up, and a lot of it became casting work with some of the heads of the studio,” says Carmack – who was featured in MidWeek‘s cover Jan. 17, 1996.
After Monk’s conclusion in 2009, Carmack decided to head home where she got involved in the one-season series Off The Map, which depicted Hawaii as the stand-in for the location of a remote South American medical center.
“I was asked to jump on board in casting after they were in a tough spot. I was asked to fill in and help cast the show, which I had never really done on my own before,” adds Carmack, who since Off The Map‘s ending has been working in casting for Hawaii Five-0, specifically assisting in the selection of background and extra performers. “Anyone can sign up to be an extra, we look for so many different types of people all the time.”
Aside from her work, for the past seven years Carmack has been studying the Japanese stress-reduction and healing practice of reiki.
“I started in L.A. and worked up to the master level. When I came to Hawaii I began working with another reiki master. He ended up becoming my teacher here, so now I have two masters from them,” says Carmack – who in 2010 took a reiki service trip to select sacred valleys in Peru, close to Machu Picchu.
“I feel drawn to reiki, I have some clients, and probably it will be something that will evolve naturally in years to come.”