Actor and Model Sebastiano Serafini and Writer La Carmina on the 9.0 Earthquake in Japan
See more photos in "La Carmina and Sebastiano Serafini: Fundraising for Japan in Los Angeles."
Sebastiano Serafini, otherwise known as Seba, is a multi-media personality in Japan. He has modeled for a variety of labels, including Paul Smith and h. Naoto. Last year, he played Luca on the Japanese TV series Nijonjin no Shiranai Nihongo. Recently, he co-founded HOPE, a t-shirt fundraising project for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief, with fashion company Like Atmosphere. Along with writer and fashion blogger La Carmina, he occasionally contributes to LA Weekly.
On the Sunday following the earthquake, Seba arrived in Los Angeles. I had picked him up from the airport and we chatted a little bit about what had happened when he was in Tokyo, but we didn't discuss his experience in detail until the following week, after Seba was back in his native Italy and Carmina had returned to Vancouver.
La Carmina and Sebastiano Serafini La Carmina and Sebastiano Serafini with Phyllis Navidad at Mr. Black
"Everything started shaking and everyone left the building and went out onto the street," he recalled.
"Everybody was screaming and nobody knew what was happening at that time," Seba continued. "Most of my friends who have lived in Tokyo for some time said that it's very common that earthquakes happen, but so strong of one, it was the first time that happened."
"It was very late at night, our time, Pacific Time," said Carmina, who was in Vancouver on the day of the earthquake, preparing for a work trip to Japan the following week. "I came back from dinner and saw that a lot of my friends in Tokyo had put up statuses like, 'Wow, what a giant earthquake!' or 'Apocalypse! Did you feel that?'"
Neither Seba nor Carmina felt any cause for alarm at first. The phone lines were down, but that's a common side effect of an earthquake. It wasn't until nighttime in Japan and morning on the North American West Coast, when they began to see images of the tsunami and realized that this wasn't a normal earthquake.