Much has changed of late, and is about to change more, some of it very sad, some of it risky, some of it tentatively hopeful. There’s no time for it all, so I’ll stick to a brief and unrelated note: On the weekend I went to Design Festa, an artists’ event at Big Sight in Odaiba. My friend Amber had rented a booth to display her artwork, and I went out to show my support.
Amber’s participation in the event was a huge eye-opener: I had never considered that renting a booth at such an event was something that an ordinary person could do. It costs money, of course—about $400 for the booth, $100 for every wall you want to have and another $100 if you want a table to put your things on and a chair to put your bum on. You can bring your own gear, of course, but unless you own a truck your out-of-pocket fees will probably come out about the same anyway.
I spent the day wandering from booth to booth, snapping up postcards from every artist with a stark style and getting tips on where to get such things printed. By the end of the day I was sharing these same tips with other artists who were still printing things at home or using overpriced services. I felt like a connector.
I was ultimately overwhelmed by the tidal wave of creative energy in the room, and the simultaneous realization that it was all so temporary and insignificant. Each of these artists had poured his or her life out into these works, and yet so little of it was acknowledged. At a few points I nearly broke down, and I finally had to encapsulate it all in a poem:
Art is a Form of Energy
Professional Actor & Photographer
Two things happened in the last week: I had my first paid photography job (thanks Jonny!) and I had my first paid acting job, if you exclude the ¥1000 I made doing a pre-performance of Of Mice and Men at the Jewish center in Tokyo three years ago.
I played a guy with a toy guitar fixation for a kids’ video for Benesse, getting some snazzy Pete Townshend duds and a Brian May wig to wear for a day. I arrived at 8:00 a.m. for makeup and was dismissed only at 11:00 p.m., while the rest of the principal cast (a twenty-year-old girl and a lady in a tiger suit) kept going into the night.
It was mad: lines changed between takes, sometimes even shifting between English and Japanese, and we were working through some rather elaborate dancing even though they had never checked my dancing at the audition. The kids never wanted to stop playing with me, so there was little down time, though they blessedly left around 5:30. By the end of the night I was leading the girl and the tiger lady in silly dances around the set between takes because we were all just so drained and crazy. It was actually lots of fun, but doing that every day would be madness.