Born in Seoul (as Haena Kim), escaped to Panama, ex-patriated in the USA by way of NYC and Sopranoland, New Jersey.
Tora was already performing from an early age - singing before she could talk, dancing before she could walk. By the time she landed in New York, Tora was age 5 and tri-lingual. Soon thereafter she was dancing ballet, singing choir and playing classical piano by the age of 7. These outlets helped keep the parents of an overactive child relatively sane, not only for her overactive imagination, but for her budding sense of OCD and the positive discipline it would take to be a functioning member of society. She managed to graduate with honors and study acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute, but by the time she was majoring in Art History, Studio Art and Sociology at Barnard College, Tora was pretty much over trying to be functioning member of society. All that retreated into the shadows when she began cutting her teeth on the New York City club circuit with her first rock ’n roll band, the all-girl trio Six Degrees of Honey.
Tora went on to form Xtatika, the seminal New York City band notorious for their fierce live shows erupting with five percussionists onstage and Tora as their charismatic lead singer with the supernatural vocals. Indeed, their shows were often more like rituals, wild fetes of raw power and mysticism where her Korean-opera-trained voice, rock chops and intense physicality were on full display. After releasing a debut album on John Zorn's critically acclaimed Tzadik label, Tora went on to write, record and tour internationally on four continents with Xtatika and then solo, as Tora Brava. (Songs available on iTunes, Amazon and this music player).
In the interim between albums and tours, she kept busy. Graduating with honors from New York University with a BA in Performance Art and Writing, and bolstered by several writing awards for original prose, Tora fed a growing passion for installation and conceptual art as a performance artist working in experimental genres of text, image and performance with Marina Abramovic, Sally Silvers, Meredith Monk, Barnaby Ruhe, Lenora Champagne, among others. In 2009 her multidisciplinary approach led her to create 13 Wolves, a high-concept, multi-platform project that took her from New York all the way to Los Angeles in late 2010.
The move tapped into her life-long passion for movies and storytelling. By 2011 Tora had shifted her focus from music to acting for TV and film. After months of rejection, Tora landed a commercial job for Disney, followed by more commercials, as well as a few bit parts on television shows. In 2016 her credits include Glee [ABC], The Mentalist [CBS], The Magicians [SyFy], Hand of God [Amazon]. Stints in theater include “Strike Me, Lightning” [PS 122 NYC], “Five Sirens: Beware of Rocks” [The Hollywood Fringe Festival], and "Romeo and Juliet” [Shakespeare in the Shed]. She landed roles in art films by James Franco as well as the upcoming Paul Schrader film Dog Eat Dog  with Willem Dafoe and Nicolas Cage.
Out of her passion to write, create and act, Tora made the jump into directing her own films. Her first film Half-Life  was followed by Constellation 13 Wolves , a short film inspired by the original project 13 Wolves (now being reworked as a television series). The film screened at film festivals in Los Angeles and won Best Short Film and Best Director for Tora. Her next short film, The World, Baby! A Hairy Situation  also entered the festival circuit and won her best Short Film and Best Travel Film. In 2023, Tora found herself in Paris, France, writing and shooting a short film titled Inferno In Paris, in which she acts and produces alongside some of the bright talents of French cinema. She is currently developing several scripts for television.
When she’s not working (or even when she’s working), Tora loves to eat great food, practice hot yoga and travel. She lives in Los Angeles with her rescued jindo dog Sadie.