Daniel Pesina is a martial arts expert, best known for his portrayal of Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile in the original Mortal Kombat. He reprised his roles in Mortal Kombat II, where he also portrayed Noob Saibot and Smoke.
1 December 2011
Kamidogu: Do you still keep up to date with the Mortal Kombat franchise?
Daniel Pesina: I only get updates about the Mortal Kombat franchise through my brother Carlos, or other students who work on the game. I have now devoted my time to studying and teaching Chinese martial arts.
Kamidogu: How did it feel the very first time you saw yourself digitised in a video game?
DP: The first time I saw myself move around a little on a video screen was very exciting. Getting my head knocked off by myself (Johnny Cage is the father character to all MK characters because we shot him first) was a little uncomfortable. So much blood, LOL!
Kamidogu: What was your very first job?
DP: My first job ever was at 16 working the summer cleaning parks and schools for the school district. It was minimum wage but very rewarding.
Kamidogu: What does a typical week entail for you?
DP: Wake up about 6am, have a personal workout. Then off to teach Taiji, Xing Yi and Ba Gua (the internal martial arts). Eat some lunch. Then work on my book. Then off to teach again (external martial arts). I fit a beer and a late meal about two times a week. My weekends I try not to do martial arts stuff to balance my life.
Kamidogu: If you didn’t end up becoming a martial arts instructor what could you see yourself doing?
Kamidogu: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while at work?
DP: One of the funniest things to happen at work was when a fan from Germany came to visit me at the Guan (school). He was kind of a big guy and comes walking in. I thought he came in to challenge me. It turned out he had a lay over at O’Hare Airport and travelled the hour to see if I was at the school. I signed some stuff for him and we took pictures together. Some students were present and could not believe it. He was very well behaved and appreciative to visit and meet me. It was awesome. This is the first to come to mind and now can think of plenty wacky/cool stuff.
Kamidogu: What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work?
DP: In the summer I like to ride my motorcycle, a Honda Goldwing. As it would seem, I’m good at outdoor things like camping and hiking. I also just like enjoying time with family and friends. Sounds ordinary, but it makes me happy.
Kamidogu: What are some of your favourite TV shows and movies?
DP: I really like the Sci-Fi channel. Because of my schedule I do not watch any particular TV/cable show all the time. I like The Walking Dead when it’s not too soap opera like and the same with True Blood. I love scary movies and prefer first person shooter games. Fighting games never move how I like and do not fit in all the fighting moves I think would be necessary.
Kamidogu: What is your favourite food?
DP: I love all food. I eat just about anything. I really like pizza and could eat it everyday if it was not so bad for me.
Kamidogu: What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
DP: Did a lot of crazy things in my time. I’d be happy to share some over a beer. That’s an invitation to anyone reading this!
Kamidogu: What is something most people don’t know about you?
DP: I’m very down to earth and would prefer not to punch anyone in the head LOL!
Kamidogu: Do you have any famous last words?
DP: I believe we all live to experience life. So create. Draw, sculpt, sing, dance do anything to express yourself while respecting other peoples’ work. Enjoy your life and appreciate any art when you can.
Your greatest fan,