Sunday, October 22

I Was an Elementary School Princess

This morning I woke up with the beginnings of a cold, something that never makes me happy, less still on a day when I have to be energetic and remember speeches in foreign languages so I can give them in front of large groups of people. However, I took some Tylenol Cold right away, took a nap after breakfast, another round of TC before heading out the door and was good to go.

Please enjoy some images from this afternoon's LES kabuki presentation.

Round 1
Get the chapstick!
After my first round of makeup. Just a little scary... but not as scary as I looked made-up, but without my wig on! Yikes! I looked not unlike a drag queen!

Waiting for makeup.
S-sensei and K-sensei chatting it up in makeup limbo. First, one went to the woman you see in the red apron and handed her a slip of paper with your character written on it. She rubbed a preliminary oil on to your face to prep the skin. Then, the liquidy white makeup reminiscent of watery Tempera paint was brushed onto your face, neck, chest and upper back, arms and hands with a wide, soft flat brush and subsequently blotted in with a foam pad.

After waiting for a spell while the makeup dried and settled, one went to the second fellow in the blue shirt. He did the detail work. While watching him do K-sensei's makeup I wondered how it might be for him to do face after face. I happened to be the last one to get made up, and when he finished, he sat back and sighed a thankful "Owatta!" "Finished!" I guess it does get tiring!

My wig, waiting for me.
I had the role of O-Sato, one of the two musume of the lineup.
Please view another O-Sato here.

Greeting one of the folks who entered from the opposite side.

K-sensei entering. He's one of the two young teachers at the school, the artist. He was very happy to not have the role of a woman, as previously threatened by Kyoto-sensei. Having him up there next to me was a great relief, as we could sympathize with each other during doki-doki moments of nervousness and apprehension.

Waiting for my turn to speak.
Doki doki.

Delivering my speech. I think I actually rocked it, in spite of a couple momentary lapses of memory. People laughed, I got some heckles, lots of coins thrown at me, and phew, I was done! Dekita!
Thank you so much, Melissa for helping me prepare my speech! You're my savior!

Finishing my speech with my name, a flip of my sleeves and a bow. I can't believe I was able to get that low, what with my sketchy knees and all!

There you have it, Melissa, "Ena's Treasure Chest"
Put that chuckle in your oven!

Our spot was the end of the show, and as we came off, several ladies were waiting to whisk the wigs off our heads. I had wanted a picture with K-sensei, but they got to him before my cameraman arrived backstage. And they packed up fast. In less than an hour makeup was removed, the wardrobe was boxed up and out to the vans, the sets were down and put away, carpets were vacuumed, rolled up and stored, chairs and tables were in their appropriate "drawers" under the stage, etc. etc.. True to Japanese form everyone helped and things got done lickedy-split.

After the show, I woman I'd never seen before (or had I?) came up to me and gave me this drawing she had done during the show. I was so flattered to receive it!

After the show and cleanup they had a dinner for all involved. Fortunately I got invited to sit at the "men's table", where things were bound to be more fun than the women's side. And they were. The running joke (?) throughout the production was that next year I would be the samurai. So during dinner we "practiced" some of the moves and head-rolls. We'll see - that's a slightly more involved role... At any rate, Good Times were had, I cut out a little early as I was beat and I have to go to GES tomorrow. I hope the semi-cold I woke up with this morning beats it and lets me get up genki tomorrow.

En resumen: I had a great time, in spite of the nerves and stress I suffered during the last week or so. I suppose that part could have been much worse, however. I would definitely do it again, in a year, and am very proud of myself for being able to deliver that speech - and better than I thought I might! During times of nervousness and anxiety I reminded myself that it would be a character-building experience, and it was. I'm very happy that I did it. And I can feel the surge in character as I type this! La vida es buena!


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