Hayley Kiyoko, 24, has strong ties to the Conejo Valley. Her parents are actor/comedian Jamie Alcroft and figure skater Sarah Kawahara. Raised in Westlake Village, the versatile actress/singer–currently starring in the CBS hit drama CSI: Cyber alongside Oscar winner Patricia Arquette–is an Agoura High School graduate who was grand marshal for the 2012 Reyes Adobe Days parade.
“I’m really excited to be a part of it, to bring the community together and see old faces and new faces,” Kiyoko said in an interview at the time. “I grew up in the First Neighborhood and had such a great childhood here. It’s such a family community, everyone knows everyone and everyone’s so supportive.”
Kiyoko began acting in musicals at Lindero Canyon Middle School. In seventh grade, she booked high profile national commercials for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, On Star, GM and Kmart. Before graduating high school in 2009, she performed in several theatrical productions as well as created and choreographed the Agoura High Step Team, which has since been faculty-approved as a school club. “I always loved performing,” said the actress reflecting on her childhood.
Kyoko went on to become a Disney star and had featured roles in two live action Scooby-Doo mysteries, The Wizards of Waverly Place and in Lemonade Mouth.
The latest incarnation of the “CSI” franchise is inspired by the advanced technological work of real-life cyber psychologist Mary Aiken. The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI, headed by Special Agent Avery Ryan (Arquette), is a unit at the forefront of solving illegal activities that are enacted online and played out in the real world. Kiyoko plays “Raven Ramirez” on the series that also stars Peter McNichol, Bow Wow and James Van Der Beek.
“I feel that every actor is on ‘CSI’ at some point in their career,” said the actress who sent in an audition tape while in Sweden a year ago. “I was called back a week later and began shooting the pilot.”
Her character is described as a rookie tech who is an expert in social media, cyber trends and international relations. “I like to think she brings a cool, young vibe to the show,” she said.
Because Raven is supposed to be the expert, does Kiyoko have a difficult time with the technical jargon? “I did with the first episode, but as we progressed into shooting, I learned a lot of the terminology,” she said.
Though it is her first major stint on a network show, Kiyoko said she especially enjoys the camaraderie with fellow cast members. “It’s a very warm and giving environment,” she said.”I especially love Peter MacNicol, who has become sort of a mentor to me.”
In addition to her acting successes, Kiyoko remains true to her true passions–singing and songwriting, evident in her latest EP “This Side of Paradise,” released earlier this year. “I love performing,” she said. “Music is where my heart is. I am excited my music is finally in a place I am proud of.”
Describing her style as “pop alternative,” she recently completed a world promotional tour. “We had lots of fun,” she said of the experience.
Though no longer living in the area, Kiyoko often returns to see her parents, who currently live in Thousand Oaks. “They just got a puppy, so I’ve been going to visit a lot lately,” she said.
For the latest on Kyoko, go to her website: http://www.hayleykiyokoofficial.com/.