What(-anabe)?!

And, yet again, 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe has shown up in my life.

I was visiting a friend in her classroom today at lunchtime, and some kids needed instruction and practice on how to do quick-changes for a theatre contest this weekend.  (We won’t discuss how they’re only just learning this skill, despite their not being new to theatre and despite their being enrolled in that particular contest [of many contests] over the weekend.)  I happen to have a rather strong background in the workings of theatre, and so I took over helping them, while my friend worked with other kids on tying knots (No idea, but maybe it connects with lighting in theatre?)

Anyway, as we were about to do a practice run-through of the quick-change I’d set up, using clothing items I’d found around the classroom, one of the kids with me asked, – and somewhat snarkily (though not rudely) I might add – ‘Are there even any shows that actually need this?’ I responded with an immediate affirmative, to which he queried, ‘Like what??’
Again, immediately, and out of seemingly nowhere in my brain stores, I said, “‘The King and I’… Yes.., Yes! ‘The King and I’!”
Somewhat chastened, though still quite happy, he said an, ‘O-kay…’
I had surprised even myself with my immediate response, and wasn’t entirely sure of how I’d found the video of that memory so quickly.  “There’s actually this really great video,” I said, “of a somewhat famous quick-change from it.  I’ll pull it up in just a minute, so you can watch it.  It’s actually really cool.”

And so, I pulled up the video and played it, admiring the quick-change and the whole concept of Broadway and fabulous singing voices and all that jazz, and explaining to the students what was happening and why.  Then, we resumed our practicing.  The video, however, continued on to another video, as YouTube’s auto-play feature does.  It was the same quick-change again, causing us to look briefly at it once more, but with the scenes before and after it included.  I happened to glance up after the quick change finished, and what did I see?

You guessed it: The leading lady dancing in the arms of 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe.

And I was blown away doubly.  Because, despite the fact that I was remembering this quick-change video from “The King and I” at (I think) the Tony Awards, I had not made the connection from having read 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe’s Internet info pages the other night that his being the lead in “The King and I” several years ago was the same production.  I’d even told my mom just this weekend about his having been in it, and we talked about it briefly.

But the two pieces of information were stored in such separate cabinets and files that they hadn’t linked up yet in my head.  Until, of course, I saw the video with him in it, and it all clicked.  And then I was actually jumping up and down, declaring that it was ‘渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe, it’s 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe!’

Boy, I’d really like to interview him.

I wonder how he’ll pop up next into my life.  I can hardly wait to find out. 😀

Post-a-day 2018

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Trumpet and Sex(?!)

This conversation happened between students and me this afternoon.  

Student: “We have to go to practice.”

Hannah: “Oh, really? What practice?”

Student: “We must practice trumpet and sex!”

After a stutter in the conversation, the second student, who wasn’t speaking, noticed the blunder, and she aimed to correct it.  As we all laughed almost hysterically, they did their best to practice the difference in pronunciation between the two words.  

Sex…sax…sex…sax…sax…sax…Sax… Back and forth we went, my pronouncing it, and their aiming to copy the sounds correctly and then reproduce it over and over again.  It was adorable and wonderful.  I love those two girls, and I will miss them loads after I leave here.
Post-a-day 2017

Perfection in the Unexpected

Tonight I went to a bar.  (For me, that’s actually a somewhat surprising event, for those who don’t already know this.)  A recent friend just started working there, and invited me to come by on her first(?) night, tonight.  I figured it would be nice to see the friend, as well as get to know a little place in my town (and, by going early, I could potentially avoid smokers filling the place).

In preparing to go to the bar, I figured I would bring along this speech I just wrote (like yesterday), so that I could spend my time practicing the speech, whenever the friend was busy working.  Plus, I knew there’d be a slight chance of getting a local to help me with the speech (because it’s in Japanese, so I can use the help!).

What I was not prepared to have happen, was pretty much everything that happened.

The bar was quaint and cool, and had an art gallery as half of its space, along with fabulous music playing quietly in the background, such that it was never a bother.  The people were not only friendly, but American-like in their open conversations and friendliness with one another – it was as though they were all already friends, although they definitely were not.  Following that style of friendliness, they all rather quickly learned of this speech I was reading over, as well as the details of the competition, and when I have to do what, and the fact that I decided to participate only last night.

As I was preparing to leave, and the people nearest me were wishing me luck on my practice, someone suggested I come back and read the finished product.  We all agreed that it was a good idea.  Then someone else suggested reading the speech now for practice. Seeing as how I had hardly practiced reading it, I knew it would take forever, and said so.

Thirty seconds later, silence was attained throughout the bar, and I read the first section of my speech to my avid audience of these Japanese bar-dwellers.  I messed up.  Of course, I did.  And it was fabulous.

It was totally terrifying, and I did it anyway, and I even did a decent job.  Some of it was perfect, and some of it was not even close to perfect.  But the experience, in and of itself, was absolutely perfect.  (Even though there was a guy smoking off and on…, but he, being the wonderful smoker he is, always held his cigarette high, and blew his smoke up as high as possible, to keep it out of our faces.)  And that’s the point of it all, anyway.  Once I arrived home, I even got to chat with a friend I’ve been missing lately, and that was a blast…  Perfection has been attained tonight, so now I shall sleep.  Goodnight!  😀

 

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