Tokyo has been crazy from the very beginning!!!! I should say for the record that I did not know I was coming to Tokyo in the middle of January. I was asked to come very last minute. My phone kept going off while I was teaching the Wednesday before I left. The number was international, which doesn’t happen that often, so I wanted to know what was going on. Soon, I learned it was Tokyo Broadway Dance Center, and they wanted me to come to Tokyo to teach last minute. I had a few other potential jobs going on, so making the decision to leave was certainly not easy. Ohhh dance life.. never a dull moment! Anyway,I got my flight itinerary on Friday, January 11th and left the country on Sunday, January 13th. I was supposed to leave 2 weeks later on January 26th.
When I arrived in Tokyo about 2 weeks ago, my plane literally landed during Tokyo’s first snow. Cool right? NO!!!!! I have not experienced turbulence like that in a very long time. My stomach flipped, turned, jumped, sometimes all at the same time, so I pretty much wanted off the plane immediately! We landed, spent an hour on the tarmac because another plane was occupying our gate, which was actually ok, because I was able to sleep. I rarely sleep on planes, so I was grateful my body decided to relax.
After we finally got off the plane, I cleared customs and immigration and was greeted by a man near the luggage carousel. I thought, “Cool, I have a driver.” Sike!!! He had a message for me. I was asked to call the production office in Tokyo. The producers of the show told me the roads and trains had stopped, so they reserved a hotel for me near the airport. I was not okay with that!!!! When I was leaving Tokyo in September of last year, my flight from was cancelled due to engine problems. Singapore Airlines had booked passengers hotel rooms near the airport, which I thought was cool, because I would kind of get to see a different part of Japan. Let’s just put it this way, I have stayed at nicer Marriots. I was not going to stay near the airport this time and was going to do any and everything possible to get out of Narita.
I found some Tokyo residents that spoke English, they told me only one train was going from the airport into Tokyo (which is a 70 minute commute), but the line downstairs was long. Long it was indeed! I waited in line for nearly an hour to get my ticket into Tokyo. Once I got to Tokyo, I had to switch trains, which required walking down and up a few stairs with 4 suitcases, and walking outside for 2 blocks in about a foot of snow. Glamorous right? Luckily, some really nice Japanese men and women assisted me while I switched trains. For the record, I did look for a taxi and there were of course none in site. 3 hours later, I finally made it to my apartment. I was spent!
Oh, I guess I should get to why I am in Tokyo. I’m starring in a tribute show for Mr. Frank. I don’t know his last name, but Mr. Frank is kind of like the Debbie Allen of Tokyo. He is one of the creators of Tokyo Broadway Dance Center and has started the careers of many dancers, choreographers, and teachers in Japan. He passed a way about a year ago, and the company asked me to dance in 3 numbers honoring him. Everyone has been really nice and very accommodating.
I’ve been here for about 20 days and have had 2 days off. I generally work about 3 hours a day not including my commute to rehearsals and/or teaching, but you wouldn’t believe how exhausted I am! I’m basically playing catch up, because all of the other dancers in the room know the dances. I found out they have been rehearsing since October!!! Crazy! On my down time, I find myself napping and responding to emails … and maybe grabbing a drink or two. I’m definitely enjoying myself, but I’m feening for a burrito and guac!
I had more pics to upload but the server keeps stalling. Will upload some later!