Monday, March 30, 2009

Fucho performance and lifestyle protection

Yesterday, 6 members of Kiraza and Ima Tenko performed in the garden at Fucho. It was beautiful! The sun was shining, we were dancing, Hisako-san and her partner were playing clarinet and mandolin... I felt wonderful. A good sized audience came out to watch, and they were all wonderful. Afterwards, many strangers approached me to express how they felt, and to even say nice things like "you really stand out! i like your movement! please keep dancing!" Hearing those words yesterday will last me for years and years. Thank you Ayaka, and everyone else whose names I forgot b/c we were drinking.
Dudes, I can't even express it. The dance wash so free and fun, the music was great, all of the people were beautiful and amazing, and my beautiful boyfriend came and when i finished i found him dancing with my best girlfriends during a live performance of one of my favorite bands. But, anyway, the dance felt very natural. I can't remember the last time i had this much fun dancing - being a monkey, a flying squirrel, a seagull, heckling old people, tossing my brain. AAAAH. there are no words. and then we all took a bath together. IM SERIOUS.

Which brings me back to the fight to protect my kyoto lifestyle, a thing which ordinary people call "getting a job." It's hard to find. There are few full-time jobs in my area, and i found one, but it's like 8 hours a day for 5 days in a row. Guys? If I work that much, what's the point of life? When will i go and enjoy a sunny day by myself or go out with friends and get them to dance, or rehearse? How can i do the eight hour rehearsals that i both love and loathe if i am working that much?
And all the other jobs i find are crap, or the bosses make it sound like i will get them and then reject me at the last moment. Really! They dangle a good job in front of me and say they will confirm and then, at the last minute, say that they found someone else. It's really tough. But, I want to combine a few part-time's, because what is the point of working every day for eight hours a day? If it was a job at a dance non-profit or organic food co-op, sure, i could do it. But teaching english is a job of working and talking to people continuously, focussing on what they are saying and what the next point will be. I am the kind of person that talking to people wears me out. I can't do it. That's one reason why i love music and dance.
Think positive thoughts about my job search!
Guys, my dance company is like professional! We are supposed to be getting money when we do shows. But, everyone is poor, so that money ends up being enough to pay for transportation and one meal. But, this means that what i do in my free time, butoh, is free and pays like maybe a dollar. !!! Hoorah !!!

This is me after me and my friends took a bath together and then went to another friend's goodbye party. This guy worked at the dance performance art event, and the whole day i thought he was really cute, and at the party his friends are like "whoa, he is your fan!" and he is like "yes, i took many pictures of you!" and then he gave me the pictures that i posted above and i was happier than a mouse in a cheese factory and then i called my hot boyfriend and said sweet nothings in japanese.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


Um. Let's see.
1. Oh! I went to a potluck dinner with two super-senior butoh ladies and they showed me butoh videos and told me stories. It was awesome! I think I will start learning shiatsu with the british one.
2. Two dance performances in the next two weeks.
a. One is at an irish bar, two acts. Act one is a performance piece with a friend connecting the audience with string. The second is me playing the role of an intestine while kanchan plays bass and nabe-san plays djembe. It is all improvisational! My sensei is coming to watch! It's either a recipe for success or hilarious failure. I look forward to both possibilities.
b. The other is with the Kiraza dance company, painted white, running around a garden with pillows on our head and acting like monkeys. Really. Part of some art expo thing.

But, the real thing that I just have to write about is the soap-opera-like turn of events of my job hunt. Yesterday, I was on my way to shiatsu and I got a phone call. Unknown caller! I thought maybe it was School A.

School A is a school within bicycle distance started in someone's home. The students are nice, the pay is great, and the owner is a world-famous eco-herbologist with a best-selling book. The job would also allow me to go to the countryside, just a 30 minute bus ride, and teach in public schools. This is the best of both worlds - some small classes chatting with adults, some bigger classes playing with children. This variety and control would really be good for me as a teacher and a person. I had my second interview with them, in which me and the owner talked about mutual acquaintances and the evils of plastic. Are they calling to inform me of their decision between me and the other interviewees.

But, no! It was one of the many many private schools that I mailed resumes to. Surprise! They want an interview. Can I come in ... today???
Well, sure. I change into a suit, copy the map, pack a rice-ball, and go. The map makes it look really easy, but in fact it is hard to find the school. I get lost. I call the school. I get lost again. I find the school, but 40 minutes late. They understand, and proceed to tell me about the position and the school. IT IS PERFECT. It is elementary, junior hi, and hi school all in one building. Each grade is between 5 and ten students only. It's a buddhist school. In the position, the japanese teacher would teach the junior hi and hi school students grammar in some classes, and then I would teach to give them cultural background information on readings and let them practice what they learned. I would teach my own classes, but develop the plans with the other teacher. I would go in 4 days a week, and teach until noon, and then leave. And the pay is really good!!!! AAAAHHHH. It's not a far commute, maybe 30 minutes for me, and it is in the mountains, you guys! Everyone is really friendly! The interviewer and I walked around school, chatting, and I felt like we got along really well. He says that he will talk to the principal when he gets back on the 24th, so I should call on that day. Ahhh, I want THIS job.

I am still waiting on School A, and unknown caller. Wow! Who is it?

It is the boss of my evil company! The one who is probably paying me less than they promised for the entire contracted period. I have yet to go to the labor bureau and lawyer consultation, so now is not the time to go on the offensive. He says they have a job for me. I can work directly with the school board (this is rare), use japanese a lot, and go to a few schools, but all in the same community, and close to me (this is rare, too - all the jobs here are like hours away). Huh. If the other two jobs fall through, this would be a good back up. Oh! The boss says. I need you to make a commitment to the job in the next 2 days or so. If I don't know by monday, it will go to someone else.

Say Whaaaaaa?

So, I say maybe and email questions for more information.

I am still waiting for School A. Maybe they will email me today?

I check my email and it is evil company boss. Oh... the old teacher in that position has decided not to give it up. So maybe there isn't a position there, or maybe there is. Ahahahaha.

Which brings us to the current moment, as I sew together an intestine costume out of old tank tops.

IT DOESN'T END. I sent out resumes to private schools. Today or tommorrow, I must call, confirm receipt of them and ask for interviews IN POLITE JAPANESE.
In my life there wasn't really a rite of passage, right? Like, no real ritual. I feel like my foray into the job world is very similar to eating psychedelic mushrooms and wandering in the desert for two months. It's like - this will either make me lose my mind or be a very strong and focused adult.

Not only is it very dramatic, but the people in these schools are quite strange. I won't give details, but it's the kind of strange that isn't a warning sign, but just a piece of disorientation, a chunk of hallucinatory mushroom. Mouthfuls until April.