Monday, May 14, 2012

Lazy Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! Treat your mothers right, ‘cause you’ve only got one of ‘em! (Yeah yeah, I know, some have more than one. Treat them well, too!)

So where was I? Ah yes, my dreams. I have a ton of dreams. I’ve mentioned the “doctor” dream and the “headmaster of a martial arts academy” dream already. But you may not know that I have other dreams; “closet dreams,” which I shall reveal now.

Acting. Have you ever wanted to be an actor? I was joking with some friends a couple weeks ago about becoming a タレント (“tarento,” or “talent”), which is the name given to TV celebrities who don’t really have any particular talent. But they’re just on TV for the sake of being on TV. Many shows in Japan have people just sitting on the side, occasionally commenting on whatever topic the hosts are talking about.

More and more foreign タレント are appearing on Japanese television, for better or for worse. The good is that Japanese people, especially those who live in the countryside, are getting more exposure to foreign culture. The bad is that sometimes this is the ONLY exposure some Japanese people get to foreigners, so the タレント end up becoming representatives of whatever country from which they come. This is a big problem because people in Japan have a tendency to think “Oh, David Specter said this on TV, and he’s a white American, so that must be what every American thinks.” (Conversely, people in the US are also guilty of this too, for Japanese people, or other foreigners. “He’s Asian? He must use chopsticks.” Etc.)

Anyway, back to the point. My dream isn’t to become a タレント. But I think it would be fun. And I would like to be on Japanese TV one day; ideally as a regular (like a タレント). But my real acting dream is to star in a hit blockbuster action/martial arts movie. I don’t know where I would get my start, though. I was supposed to star as the main villain in a movie that a friend of mine was going to direct, but the project got cancelled. (Actually, not the villain, technically; but rather, the last person whom the protagonist meets, fights, and kills. From the context of the story, though, my character is more of a hero, as he is the victim of the protagonist’s looting.)

My acting experience is minimal. I was an extra in my friend’s short film, “Mixed Drinks,” which is the story of a foreign English teacher who went to a party to meet a friend of his, another foreigner, who had been living in Japan for a few years. The two of them share stories and interact with other foreigners and Japanese at the party, but some drama happens, and the movie ends after a climactic physical argument. The short film serves as social commentary to various issues that occur between foreigners and Japanese people. I’ll post it here, if I can get permission.

I’ve also starred in a short documentary that my friend, a film major, created (directed, edited, filmed). The documentary was about me as a martial artist. I went with the approach of a comparison between traditional karate (using Shotokan Karate as an example) and modern karate (using my American Kenpo Karate as an example). It was really fun to make, and I’m thinking about doing a project like that again, where I delve deeper into the meaning of martial arts, and explain more philosophies and theories. Maybe I’ll make it a series...a YouTube Series…::gears are spinning in my head::..

To be continued…

Word of the Day: 俳優 「はいゆう」 “haiyuu,” which means “actor/actress/performer.”

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't sound like you're ready to give up on all your dreams. So why not make the rest of your 20s experimental? You've already experimented with being a teacher and living in a different country. Maybe you should figure out a way to stay in Japan for another 5 years and try to work on acting? Then leave your 30s and beyond to committing to the thing you liked best or going into medicine if you're still interested. Most people do things on a timeline: have a successful career and be married by 28-30 but who says you have to do the same? I think it'd be more fun to explore all the things you're interested in first. :)