Wow! It has been really long since I posted my last entry. How are you people? A happy new year! It is February 1st! I know!!!
So many things have happened to me since we were on a short break from our tour. I want to mention some of them here.
I spent Christmas and New Years with Derrik's family in Boston. Usually, Christmas in Japan is not like the U.S. It is more like an event for a couple. So we go out with our partner for dinner, a movie, or anything romantic. But people in the U.S cerebrate Christmas with their families. And kids can get more than one present! (Each kid gets one present for Christmas in Japan-- usually).
These past 6 years, I've had the new year count down in California. It was a bit of disappointment to me to watch that people who live in east coast could have and cerebrate a new year 3 hours earlier than Californians but not this time! I was one of these people who had the new year first in this country!!! Yeah!!!
From Jan 6th to 26th, I went back to S.F. I met many familiar faces and some new faces. There are too many events that happened to me, and it is impossible to state every single thing. So I highlight one event that dynamically changed my point of view.
How many of you have seen a street performer before? Where and what did he/she do? Painting? Miming? Dancing? or Playing instrument? What was your impression? Positive? negative? or nothing at all?
I assume almost all of you have seen street performers, but I believe only few of you have ever considered doing street performance yourself. Well I did for 2 weeks. Before I did it, my view of street performance is, I would say, pretty negative. How? I am sorry for my poor vocabulary, but I almost looked down those performers in the way of estimating them as failures of their dreams.
I was totally wrong.
I realized how challenging, and terrifying it is on the first day.
Let's say you are good at dancing, painting, playing music or any thing. But can you keep on doing it for more than 2 hours with out losing your focus and people's attentions?
Yes? Ok then...
Please imagine that you are on the middle of street which thousands of pedestrians walk across every day. You are by yourself and setting up for whatever you are going to do. The pressure you have there could give you a heart attack even before you start performing.
And now you are all set and ready to go. Look up straight and watch the pedestrians. They will not stop walking but give you those looks. They look at you with curiosity, indifference, but most of the time they look at you with emptiness. Like they are staring at nothing in the air.
This is absolutely a scary moment that can give you a mental break down. Especially for the first time.
Anyway, long story short, I did it and learned so many things
Just Like real life, you can not expect what is going to happen while you are performing. Many strangers would come up to you and start talking about nothing you are interested in... You can not be rude because those people might give you trouble later. Being patient is really important not only on this particular occasion but when you are performing too because you would get nothing for hours.
Enough for the bad side of street performance. Let's talk about the good side.
People who would come up and talk to you are not homeless people every time. You might have really cool people talking to you.
I started performing by myself and played my first 2 days alone. I only made $15 total. I was so disappointed in myself and felt I was not good at all at what I really want to do for my living. On the 3rd day, I could have given up and done something else but I didn't. Because I decided a long time ago that I would never give up what I want to do, even though I have to quit having an ordinary life.
So I forced myself to go out on the busiest street in S.F, Market St. By that time, I was not afraid of almost anything. So I quickly set up my kit and started playing beats. After 2 hours and half, I was surprised that I made 4 times more than I made past 2 days easily! Where you are going to perform is very important.
3 hours after I started, some marching drum kids asked me to join. They were performing across the street. Of course I welcomed them and we started playing together. Suddenly, whole street was full of audience! We played beats together and traded solos. People liked what we did. We played for about an hour together and police had to shut us down because there were too many people stopping to watch us. They said we are causing traffic.
Isn't that cool? I think that is cool!
Many people liked what we were playing. Those people did not know who we are. These marching kids and I had never met before. We met on that day, started playing, and created a good street scene. I made more than $100 in 4 hours that day.
Next day, I went to fisherman's wharf with my kit. Under the big crab sign, I started playing. In about 30 minutes, two musicians came to me and asked me to play with them. They are from Hubert Emerson, Sahar Miller & The Gro Wiser Band.
Mr Emerson and Miss Miller are very talented musicians. From that day, we played together at fisherman's wharf till the day before I went back to Boston. I am so glad that they asked me to play drums for them. I learned a lot by playing with them.
From this experience I earned so much courage and self esteem. I proved that I can support myself with what I want to do in my life. That fact is way more valuable than how much money I made. This is something that you can never buy. It does not matter of how much you spend.
There are still many things that I can write, but I should stop at here.
All Ages started it's 2011 U.S tour yesterday. We played at the Real Radio Show which is broadcast live from Times Square, New York to all over the world. Show was really fun and good over all. Personally, it was very challenging to me. I had to play on their electronic drum set and what I played was captured by PA system and sent straight to their main radio station to play it live. I was nervous and having hard time getting used to playing on their kit. Honestly, my performance was far from my best. And funny thing is that was recorded and would be played on the radio for about 2 weeks (I might be wrong). I guess that's how life goes. Never be perfect. And I love that.
We hope we can come back to their show sometime later this year.
Wow, I think I was sitting here and writing for almost 4~5 hours.
So these are bits of what I have been through since All Ages got a break. Hope you enjoyed.
I see you next time... Follow our tour www.iloveallages.com and www.shameless-self.com