My stage debut (at least my Japanese stage debut) went very well. I do not exactly recall giving the lines, as they happened quickly and I was incredibly nervous. There was literally no safety net for me. I had to say the lines they gave me, because my Japanese is not strong enough to 1) know what was going on in the scene and 2) be able to cover my butt if I forgot. If it was in English I could forget a line, but make one up in its place. Not so here. I know I did not fub the line, and I recall that there were lots of “Andoru---!!!!”s being shouted from the audience. Afterwards kids came up to me from everywhere and yelled, “Maiku attayooo!” Just like I did. I have found that, though at times annoying, in Japan imitation really is the sincerest form of complement. I went around telling the kids that I was “Tanigawa’s new super star.” And that I was “A Tanigawa idol.” Surprisingly they understood that I was boasting and joking.
A funny thing is that I delivered my first line, and then they said something to me, and the poor kids were so nervous that I was nervous that when I paused ever so slightly in order to make a grand gesture with the Microphone of Legend one of the girls whispered to me, “Where?” thinking that perhaps if she repeated what she had said in English it would toggle my memory. Bless her heart for thinking I was good enough at Japanese to even have a clue what I was saying, and also bless her heart for “helping” me. I really didn’t forget, I was just acting! In a related story it seems I am the only one that knows how to project my voice with any ability, as most of the kids were barely audible but I boomed out my lines. You see, I’m more than a mere actor, I am a method actor. I knew that Papa would speak with a commanding voice, and for those few instants that I was onstage I WAS the barer of the Mic of Legend, I was “Papa”.
So the culture day itself went really well. It was a lot of fun this year. The third graders had a nice collection of plays, all involving cross dressing to some degree. Only one of the four seemed to have been thrown together in approximately two minutes. The drama club’s performance this year was particularly well done. Last year it was 99% dialogue and thus completely incomprehensible to me: something about someone dying in a hospital. This year’s was much better. It was a witch (who did not use magic), a swordsman, and a super happy monk traveling to defeat the evil witch princess. Along the way they meet a fairy who joins their party. The swordsman keeps dying only to have the fairy bring him back to life. It was actually very funny. The lead (the magicless witch) is one of my favorite students. Somehow she has figured out that a lot of what you do at school is total busy work BS. She is a bit of a nihilist and super mellow, which is so charming among my super charged life-or-death students. I once asked her if she had a sister in first grade and her response was, “Yeah, what’s the problem?” Love that girl!
Maybe I’ll have one of my people upload some pictures of the event, alas none exist of me onstage. Check ebay, I’m sure you’ll find them there going for a few grand each. People are always trying to make a dime off my name. Oh well, what are you going to do? Now, if you need me I’ll be in my trailer taking with my agent.