Saturday, December 22, 2007

Away in a Manger...

So it the Saturday night before Christmas. I just finished watching The Family Stone one of the many Christmas movies I have been watching this past week. I don't know if watching all these sentimental movies is good for me. More then ever I have been missing my family and friends this holiday season. But 'tis the season to watch these movies and order pizza right ;) It is going to be weird not going home this Christmas. I am going to miss my mom's cooking, watching my niece and nephew open their presents, and just hanging out with my crazy family. I hope they know just because I am not there that I will miss them and love them very much. This Christmas is going to be busy which is nice. I am off both Eve and Day. So Eve I am going to breakfast at a family's house that goes to my church. Then all day I am gonna bake alot of Snickerdoodles for my cast and friends out here. Later in the evening I am going to another family's house for dinner. The next day I am going to have Christmas breakfast at yet another family's house then going to Disney Sea for the day. I love free meals :) I hear it is going to be crazy stupid busy at Disney on Christmas day but it beats just hanging out at E-Village. And I have to use my last free ticket before the end of the year and that is the only day I can go. I think even though it will busy I am going to have FUN! I figure if I am going to be away from my loved ones for Christmas cause of the Mouse I might as well be treated to a fun filled day courtesy paid for by the Mouse. HA!

So I want to take this time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and remember the reason for the day. I know I forget at times. Remembering that Jesus Christ our beloved brother was born in a lowly manger. Because of his birth, ministry and death we can be saved and have Eternal Life. I find that through this time it is easy to loose sight of the real truth of this season. The truth, that for me has given me direction, hope and lots of happiness. God Bless everyone. I love you all! Feliz Navidad!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"FUNderful Disney" the title of the Tokyo Disney Resort Park Fan Club's magazine. This recent issue featured "Minnie Oh! Minne." The pictures they used of the show had me in it. These are the only pcitures I have of me in my show. But don't worry I am going to have a fan come take pictures/video recording of me now that I am settled in the show and ready for it :) Here are some pictures I took of the magazine. There were alot more pictures but they were thumbnail sized and hard to get a clear picture of them. THe article is obviously in Japanese. I am sure it says how awesome I am blah blah blah...hehehe! I am sure it doesn't. I think it is so funny that there is even a fan magazine. But I am glad I have it for posterity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Man's Stalking

Have you ever had a stalker? Not a good feeling. I don't think I necessarily have a stalker just fans that like to follow. I went to Disneyland yesterday with some people in my cast. One singer and one of the girls who plays Minnie Mouse. While we got out of watching out show. There was a couple of out fans. One of the them had his camera out and taking pictures as if he were the paparazzi and I Britney Spears. I waved hi and then moved on. Eri, one of the my girl singers was telling me to walk fast to get away from those crazy fans. When we thought we lost them. There were a couple who came up to Eri and started to talk to her. She kindly waved and kept going. During lunch. Someone in our group spotted some more of our fans watching us eat. I was laughing so hard. After lunch we walked out and there they were just staring and waving. I didn't want to be rude but I also didn't want them to keep following us. So I waved back and smiled. Then I heard one of the girls scream "I LOVE YOU!" as she giggled and covered her mouth. It was like I was Micheal Jackson after a concert. I might be exaggerating a little but they were real and they were following me. After that I think we lost them but all day we encountered people who recognized us. They would stare, smile and giggle to get my attention.

I thought I didn't have any fans and I thought these "crazy fans" I heard about didn't really exist. But they do. It was fun and harmless but just a little creepy. I've heard some stories that are pretty hilarious. Like one fan pulling a performer into a subway car and telling him to go with her. Another fan driving a performer home every night. Some even like to give expensive gifts and take out to elaborate dinners. Now, those are the fans I want! lol!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Goose is Getting Fat

It's DECEMBER! Christmas is just around the corner. LOCO! I am so excited. It is so pretty here in Tokyo. They love thier decorations. I can't wait to get to Disneyland lext week. Yahoo!

There is alot to post. Alot of Pics! Last time I posted it was right before thanksgiving. So I better report on how the eating holiday went. Overall, it was really great. The night before I made two Pumpkin pies. It was so hard to find everything I needed but at the last minute I found everything and put it in my little friendly Micro/Oven. I also found out the night before that the dinner was going to be cut in size. It was too much to have so many people. So it was just four of us. Josh, Maria, Zach and I. Josh, Maria and Zack are all in Big Band Beat. We made dinner in Josh's apartment. Turkey wasn't possible so we had Chicken Cordin Bleu with some of our favorite sides such as: green bean caserole, candied squash(I made), mash potatoes, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, and I think that was it. Everything was delicioso! Then there was dessert. My pumpkin pie came out incredible. Even I was impressed. Watch out Martha Stewart. I was scared but it tasted AMAZING! We ate about one pie and I had an extra to take to work. They love it when I bring baked goods. So a Turkey day with out turkey even though seemingly dissapointing became a great night had by al. I did end up eating some Turkey on that Saturday cause a family at church made me a plate from the dinner they had. It was good but I have to say our chicken was alot better :)

The week after Thanksgiving my friend Josh who seems to be the only person I hang out wiht. I promise I have other friends. They are just all Japanese and they don't have my days off. Little frustrating. That is the tricky part. Anyway, He and I decided to go on a radnom trip. I decided to go cause when will I be able to visit another part of Japan ever again. Our decision was to go to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka(USJ) on Monday and Kyoto, a beautiful area near Osaka, on Tuesday. We took the Shikasen which is a bullet train from Tokyo Sunday after work which took us about 3 hours to get there to Osaka. We stayed at a Universal sponsered hotel. It was water themed. It was cool! We got in late Sunday night went to bed, woke up had free breakfast(which was really good) then headed to Universal for the day. It was really fun. A highlight was the WICKED show which is a 30 minute cut of the Broadway show Wicked. Which is amazing and I am a big fan. The show is about the Witches from the Land of OZ. I was surprised put the production quality was really good and the singers were not too bad. It was mostly in Japanese. Good thing I know the show really well. The Elphba(the green witch) was American and the Glinda(the good witch) was Japanese. She was amazing. She was funny, dramatic, and overall a great singer. Aparently the writer of the show Steven Shwartz came and mounted the prodcution a couple of years ago. He wanted it to be a mini braodway show. I think he succeeded. They also had this awesome roller coaster called Hollywood Dreams that was so fun. You are strapped in and have person speakers by your ears and have a choice to choose from 5 songs. The first time I chose Eminen "Lose Yourself". Ghetto I know! But added to the ride! We rode it twice. Other then that we did the usual. Rode Spider Man, ET, Jurrasic Park, ate alot of food, and took alot of pictures. You have to understand that my buddy Josh just bought a brand new camera that cost him, let say ALOT of money. So he was trigger happy and wanted to get to know his camer. I have to say I got to use it too and it was fun to take pictures with. So be warned of the "artistic" shots

So the next day we were off to Kyoto of course after our yummy free breakfast! Kyoto was about 20 minutes away on the local subway system.

Kyoto: is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Kyoto was spared from the firebombing of World War II. With its 2000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and architecture intact, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan.

So when you think of what Japan should look like it's this place. It was especially beautiful at this time with the leaves changing. Just think Memoirs of a Geisha. We had a full afternoon then had to take the bullet train back to Tokyo cause I had to be back at work in the morning. Not much to say just the fact that I was really tired from the day before at USJ and had a good time being a tourist. I think the pictures will speak for itself and again there were some down times waiting for trains so we decided to have a photo shoot. That carmera which is named "Frank" btw was so COOL! We was our fun third person on the trip with us.

I hope you liked the pictures. I need a break after all that. Also it was pretty expensive. I don't know if that was the smartest thing to do right before the Holidays. Oh well, it was worth it! Now back to Tokyo and work. Things are good. But I have some good drama for you. So at work my counter part Adrian who shares the role with me and I decided to decorate our courner of the dressing room. We figured since we are at work more then we are at home it would be nice to have some Christmas spirit at work. He found some good stuff and we got alot of stuff at the $1 store. So we took a day when we were both at work and decorated between shows. It was fun and everyone seemed to like it. They next day I was off, actually I was on my trip to Osaka. Adrian sends me a picture message and said with not so kind words that they those "%$#@%&@!" took down our decorations. He was livid and so was I. But I was at Universal Studios and I didn't want to be bothered. But he had a meeting with our boss and they said it was a fire hazard and had to be taken down after we left that night. Couldn't they had waited till we got to work to tell us and let us taken it down. I thought it was kinda of harsh. I guess the rule is that nothing can be on the walls. It's the fire marshall's call. Out argument was that there are some other things on the wall in that dressing room that hasn't been taken down so whats up with that! Aparently the other things were aproved by the fire marshal. There is this huge poster/collage that is "really important" to the dancers. And the other things on the walls are posts that have important information. WHATVEVER! After making our stage managers cry and getting our bosses invovled we decided to drop it and not let this ruin our Christmas. Lets just say Scooge has come to Japan as the form of a Fire Marshal and Stage Managers that don't care enough to let us have the spirit of the Navididad in our lives. I decorated my room with lights and stuff so I guess that will have to do. I have no tree though. I should get one. They are just expesive. Anyway, I better go. I have to go buy some Christmas cards. I have been home for the last 2 days cause I have a really bad sore throat. It was my day off so it is all good. I went to the doctors yesterday. Seems I am there alot. Can we say problem child!? He said my throat is swollen and red. I could have told him THAT! AN INFECTION! YAH! SO he gave me some antibiotics and pain killers. I feel better already. Its not affecting my voice. Which is great. I just feel like CRAP! On a happy note. I hope everyone is having a good Holiday season so far and is not getting stessed or bogged down with having to buy presents and stuff. Its not worth it. Christmas should be a time of focusing on other things. Like bettering self and helping others. Not being bothered by the stresses of the world. There's my input :)

Culture Corner:
So for Christmas instead of putting up stocking and stuffing them. They have Boots. They use boots to stuff and give away. Kinda funny. Cause its very similiar but just a little different to make you laugh a little.

Take care all. Don't forget...the goose is getting fat PLEASE put a penny in the old man's hat :)


Monday, November 19, 2007

I Like Cranberry Sauce

Happy November! So its 3 days before Thanksgiving and I am getting giddy. Its Official. The Holidays are here. Its a bit chilly, all the streets/stores are all decked out with Christmas decorations, and holiday smells permeate the air. I am so freakin' excited! Today was my day off and while running errands I couldn't help but sing Christmas Carols and smile a bit more. While running errands I ran into an international store and guess what I found. Pumpkin Mix. For some reason I am big into baking nowadays and been wanting to make a pumpkin pie. And I found Hamburger Helper. Which I never really ate in in the States but for some reason I bought it and plan to eat it soon.

For Thanksgiving I think I am having dinner with some people here at E-Village. I think I am going to join the cast of Big Band Beat's dinner. My good friend Josh said I can come so I am THERE! There is a bigger party with alot of the Disney people but I know them as well as I know the cast of B.B.B. So after working all day I should be able to gobble down some turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. It won't be the same but it will do. Thanksgiving to me is such a family Holiday to eat and hang out. I will miss my family on that day and my mother's cooking!

So a couple of weeks ago I went to Disney Sea with my buddy Josh. We both had a day off and I wanted to go so bad. So we decided to go be it rain, sleet or snow. For those of you who aren't familiar of Disney Sea. Its a park that is owned by the Oriental Land Company who also owns the Tokyo Disneyland Resort where I work. The parks are right next to each other. So Disney actually doesn't own the parks just the rights and controls everything that happens in the parks. In a sense the O.L.C. is renting the Disney logo. They are also making alot of money from it. So they made a park that is kinda like a Water themed Disneyland. You have your Mermaid Lagoon where the Little Mermaid lives. You have the Thousand Leagues Under the Sea section. There is an American Section with a huge dock and ship. Reminds me of the harbor on the Hudson in NYC. There is a huge lake in the middle of the whole park where they do crazy freaky awesome water shows. Its so awesome. They do a day show and a night show. I took some video/pictures of it. The best rides there are Tower of Terror and Journey to the Center of the Earth. And the best show there is Big Band Beat which is a Broadway style show with jazz music. It also had a Christmas section that makes you feel you were at Radio City during Christmas. Its great. The water shows are also fantastic. The day was great. We spent the whole day there. We saw some shows a couple of times. Of course Josh wanted to see his show twice to see his cast perform without him. They knew we were in the audience and they gave us a great show. There were even some fans that recognized him. It was crazy how obsessed they are with the show. There were even some fans that recognized me from my show. It was fun to see meet them but a little weird I must say about how exited they get over these shows being grown adults. Whatever makes you happy I guess. We saw the Little Mermaid show twice which is so cool. The mermaid does the whole show in the air as if in water. It's cool. She is of course in a harness throughout the 15 min show. It has some of your fav songs and the production is overall fascinating. Anyway, it was great to see the Magic that I am a part of. This may sound cheesy but when you are back stage and doing the same show 5 times a day you kind of forget why you are on stage. I am glad I finally got to go to the park and experience it. I felt like a huge kid all day. I was so happy! Now when I'm performing I understand what the audience is expecting and feeling. It's so rewarding. The Disney magic is something else. I don't even know what it is but its all so wonderful. The parks really do a good job of making you feel you are in a whole new world(pun not attended). I made plans with some people in my cast to go to Disneyland the park I work at. Our date is set for second week of December. I can't wait to see all the Christmas decorations and shows. Here are some pics and a video from my day at Disney Sea:

Culture Corner: The Japanese are very by the rules. There is no wavering from these rules. I like to say they live "letter of the law" and there is no room for change. I think its a big strength and weakness for them as a people. Its crippling when there is a better, more logical, easier way of doing things. But it makes them a very discipline people and when a rule is set its followed and things run smoothly. One small example is their recycling habits. They recycle everything and people do it. The country is the most resourceful country in the world because of it.

Well, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. May your bellies be filled with turkey and your hearts with gratitude. I am thankful for so many things but I will pick just one. Entertainment! It is just such a great source to uplift, educate, and enlighten. I am glad I am in that line of work. I get to do all those things while reaping benefits from it. Love you all! Tony

Saturday, November 3, 2007

"B(r)ess You"

So Halloween has past, the temperature is dropping and now here comes the Holidays. Halloween was fun. I worked all day and got to see the kids come dressed up. Not alot of people dress up here like in the states. It's more for those fans who are obsessed with the show to come wearing costumes from the show. Its crazy how close they get to copying the costumes. One day there was the cutest little Japanese boy maybe 4 years old at the most with my opening costume on and a toy mic. Every time I was on stage he would mimic every move I made and looked like he was singing his little heart out with mic in hand. The kid was so cute and his mom couldn't have been any prouder. It made my day for sure! After the show on Halloween I went to THE HUB which is a bar near by that the Disney employees like to frequent. It was actually my first time going to this famous bar I heard so much about. Everyone was dressed, drinking and having a good time. I got to meet more people which was good for me cause I feel like I know no one here. I went dressed as a SUICA CARD or SUICA MAN which is their subway pass card that most people use. It is equivalent I guess to the Metro Card in NYC. All I did for the costume was copied the logo which includes a random penguin onto a shirt with paint and a Sharpie then made some underwear and a cape. I had fun making it. It came out kinda ghetto but everyone seemed to be amused by it. I didn't enter the costume contest but I wouldn't have won anyways. Two guys went as Zoolander and Hansel form the movie Zoolander. They performed the whole "walk off" sequence from the movie that they memorized and and had down. It even included the pulling of the underwear from their pants. It was HILARIOUS! I was laughing so hard cause I love that MOVIE! Here's some pics of the Halloween party:

Thanksgiving, Christmas then New Years is coming. I am excited to see how all that is going to work over here in Asia. I am thinking Thanksgiving is going to be hard to come across a good turkey dinner. I also work all day that day. Hmmmm, maybe someone from church will invite me over after work. That would be great! I have Christmas eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Year's Day Off. They both just happen to land on a Monday and Tuesday which are my days OFF! Which could be scary....cause what am I gonna do?!?!? I am not going to even think about it. I think it would be fun to go over a family's house from the ward and watch the kids open their presents or something. I need to stop thinking about Christmas its so far away. It is just that Disney is already Christmas-ed out. The decorations are up and the music is playing. It's so insane. I thought America were the experts on commercializing Christmas but the Japanese have it DOWN!

Life here has been kinda plain. I've been having some back problems but its getting better I think. I went to the doctors and they gave me some meds and massages that have ben helping alot. The shows are going great. I really do like my show and have a lot of fun. It actually have been really rainy here and I had like 3 days where I didn't do much performing but alot of sitting around in the dressing room. Which is a good break from performing back to back. I bought this really good Japanese workbook. I have decided it was time to crack down and start learning the language. Its been fun learning and then putting it into practice. My cast has been really great with helping me out and letting me practice on them. It could get really annoying for them when I keep asking "What time is it?" "What is your phone number?" and "How much does that cost?" Maybe by the time I get back to the state I will be able to have a simple conversation in Japanese. Here's to hoping. I also been into my TV episodes. I am all caught up with Prison Break and now got into renting 24 which is AWESOME!!! I am loving it. I also downloaded some Kid Nation on youtube which is fun too. Anyway, that's all for now.

Culture Corner:
Something that I find that is kind of amusing is that the Japanese don't say anything when you sneeze. In the states we say "bless you" and in Spanish we say "Salud" which means health and in French they say "Sante" which means health also. But when you sneeze no one says anything and is kind of awkward for someone who is used to hearing "bless you." And the Japanese do sneeze it's not like they don't. My cast is sooo funny cause they adopted the phrase. When someone sneezes at work the say "bless you" cause they are used to having so many foreigners around. Even when another Japanese sneezes they say it but it is more like "Bress You." Its great to witness.

Also here is a cafe that I found walking around I couldn't help but laugh. For those of you that don't speak Spanish Moco means Booger. Cafe Booger! hahahahaha!

Take care and hope everyone had a nice and safe Halloween. Till next time!


Monday, October 22, 2007

My New Toy

I got a NEW IPod!!!! My old one was acting funny. It kept freezing on me and not letting me listen to my music. I was already wanting to buy a new one with more GB so it was the perfect opportunity when my old IPod started to act the fool. I went to a MAC store in GINZA which is the biggest shopping area in Tokyo. I got the sleek Red IPod that is a(PRODUCT) RED Special Edition iPod model. Apple gives a portion of the purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. I hope they realy do that cause that would be really neat. While I was out I also ran into a Hard Rock Cafe where I had some lunch. Anyway, I have been playing with my IPod and one thing I am excited about is that it is a 8 GB which means I can put 1,500 more songs than my old 2 GB IPod. I guess it's an early Chirstmas gift to me. Or a Halloween Treat!

Here's a little update. Not much to report. The Shows have been going well. The other day on my day off I went to an ONSEN. An onsen is a Japanese hot spring. A volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth. Onsen were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism.

Onsen presently come in many types and shapes including outdoor and indoor baths. Baths may be either public run by a municipality or private often run as part of a hotel, traditional inn or Bed and Breakfast.

There is an ONSEN one right by the apartment. The one I went to is both indoor and out door. And there are 2 parts. One part is the naked part which I didn't go to which is not co-ed but the outdoor part is co-ed and we have to wear bathing suits. All it really is are a couple of hotubs with a different scenic design, temperatures, and water type. For example I went into a hot tub that was a salt water bath and in another that was in a steam room. The Onsen feels like you are in a really styalized spa. Its really calming, picturesque, and therapeutic. They also have a section where they give massages, play arcades, and a food court. I got a fruit smoothie and a 40 min masssage that was well needed. After you leave the bathhouses you go to your locker and put on your Yukata to walk around. A YUKATA is a light robe(summer cotton Kimono) that looks like this:

I felt like a native while hanging with other Japanese peeps, "bathing" with them and wearing a traditional robe. It was a great experience and will be back again and again. I forgot to mention how ceap it is. The baic plat fee for the bathing part is only 1800 Y which is about $16 and you can stay as long as you want. The massages and food is extra.

Cultrue Corner:
I guess I could use the ONSEN as a huge part of the culture but I won't double dip with my experiences.

Here is one thing that is AWESOME that I love! There is no TIPPING here! Which means you can order what ever you want at a restaurant and not pay for tip. So what you add up in what you eat is all you have to pay for. You don't have to tip your hair dressers, bellboys, taxis, ANYBODY! Its really cool. So eating out is not that bad. I don't do it much but when I do I get really excited knowing that I don't have to me NO TIP!

On a more serious note I want to send my heartful prayers to those in California or with friends or relatives there who are dealing with those wild fires. My prayers and thoughts are with those who lost their homes or even loved ones. Natural disasters aren't forgiving! Living through Hurrican Andrew in '92 showed me that. I hope they get control of it sooner than later.

Have a Happy and safe Halloween to everyone!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tokyo Station

So I had 2 days off. I was supposed to have pictures of my really awesome out of this world trip to Disney Sea but it decided to ran all day. Arghh! I was sooo mad. I was going to go with this family at church here The Welch's who have 3 kids. They are really neat and have fed me dinner many times. They are a half Japanese and half American family. The Wife is Japanese and really sweet. Anyway, it would have been fun and the only reason that day was important was because it was a holiday for them and on a day I had off. So it was perfect. Maybe there will be another Holiday that land on my 2 days off(Mon. & Tues.) Well, Instead of enjoying the Disney Magic I ran errands, watched alot of Prison Break and went on a little trip to Tokyo Station which is like Grand Central Station. It is where all the subways and railways meet. There isn't much in the area but really big buildings and a nice park. I took a couple of hours to take some pictures and eat some lunch. Here is a little slide show of my time there.

I am going to try this new thing called, "Culture Corner." This is where after every post I write a little things of the culture I have learned.

This being my first C.C. post I better make it a good one. Let's see...ahh I got it.
Something that I have noticed is the bowing. It is very different in our American way of communication. To say hello we either wave, shake hands, maybe even tap on the shoulder. Even though the Japanese accept those gestures it is not customary.

Bowing is an essential part of Japanese daily life. People bow when saying hello, thanking someone, apologizing, saying good-bye and introducing themselves. I noticed I wave alot either to say hello or goodbye. It seems to be weird when to those I wave to don't really respond back. I am used to feeling stupid around here. I am sure by the time I get back to the states I will be bowing alot. Please be patient, humor me and just bow back :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Foreign Wound

There are so many experiences to be had...BUT WHY DEY GOTTA HURT! I'll have to get to that after I catch up with what happened before. As many of you know I opened the show last week. Rehearsals was a slow and kinda stressful process but thankfully it's over. I opened the show Wednesday, September 26th, 2007. I was "A shift" that day which means the other singer that I share the show with was there until his shift. "A shift" does the 1st three shows and the B shift does the last two. We alternate that schedule on the weekends. The days I'm off he works all day and vice-versa. Now the schedule is 11:20am call time with shows at 12:20pm, 2:10, 3:40, 5:40, and at 7:10pm. When you are shifted you have to be there all day even though you are not performing which is crazy to me but those are the rules! Speaking of rules. The Japanese have alot of them and some of the time they make no sense but are followed not knowing why. That's the culture and it is hard to accept sometimes. Americans think different and I noticed by the way I have reacted to some of these rules that we are used to having our way. We are little spoiled I am going to have to say. I tried to get Sunday's off so that I can go to church but they wouldn't have it. I even had a meeting with E-Productions who works strictly with the foreign performers and is our link to anything that has to do with work and our well-being here. The meeting was pointless and even though my points were strong and clear they said no. They told me these are the rules and the only days off you can have are from Monday-Thursday. I smiled and said well it was okay. I thanked them for their time and went my way. I understand(kinda) and am willing to follow the rules with out making a big stink while I'm here. As it is I think I can make the first hour of church and still make it to work on time. Sorry, for that tangent but I think I had to get that off my chest :) Where was I? Oh, opening! It went well for the most part it was flawless and not too many mistakes. The next day it rained and I had to give a cancellation greeting speech. Remember that our Theatre is outdoors. The cancellation speech is done when they let the audience in and then it starts to rain or the wind picks up so much that we can't perform. The singers and the characters go out and say the show is cancel. We do a little greeting and song that takes all of 5 minutes. I was nervous cause I only looked at that speech only the night before. But it went well. I also got to do a halfway cancel speech for the 3rd show. That is when you start to do the show then due to inclement weather we cancel the show at the end of a number. So with my first to days of performing I had every situation that is possible. So when it comes up again it will be no problem. Last night it rained all day long and we did no shows. I didn't have to do the speeches cause they cancelled the shows even before they let people in the theatre seating area. So we hung out all day doing nothing. It was kinda cool but I would much have rather been home. After the first day, we had an Opening/Sayonara party for those new people coming in which were 3 of us. Me, a new girl dancer, and a returning percussionist. It was also for those who were leaving. The singer I was replacing and a drummer. We had the party at a restaurant near E-Village where we live. I had a great time and had my 1st experience with SUKIYAKI...which is a very traditional dish and very GOOD! Here are some pictures and video of the opening night party.

So as I explained opening went well. The 2nd day was unexpected with all those cancellations but gave me the experience I needed for future cancellations. The 3rd day was when it all went down! Hopefully the last bad day in a while. It actually starts the night before. As I come home from work I turn on my computer to check my email and watch some Prison Break on DVD when I notice that my adapter is not working. I looked at my adapter and the cord somehow was frayed and clearly dead. I was so mad! So I only had like an hour of computer time before it would shut down. I knew I had to get an adapter but I didn't know where to go. I was going to ask when I got to work the next day. The morning comes and as I walk out the door with my I-pod in hand and noticed it was frozen and not working. I knew the battery was full cause I charged it all night. Then it turns on for a brief moment and then freezes again. It does this the whole way to work and by this time I am frustrated to the max and want to yell really loud something horrible in a crowded subway. I knew no one would know what I am saying but I am a DISNEY employee. I decide to hold in, take a deep breath and walked briskly to work. I get to work and know that I am "B shifted" and have a lot of time before I go on at 5:40pm. I have no computer to watch my Prison Break, I just finished The Kite Runner a book I have been reading and my Ipod was being stupid and not working properly. What was I to do. In the dressing room we have some exercise stuff. Like dead weights and the AB ROLLER. The culprit of the future scar I will have just below my chin. So having nothing to do this was my best option. Some of the guys were trying out this ab roller and I was interested how it worked cause I never done it before. So I go to try it and needless to say.....I go down to the ground and doing really well until it just slides back into me and I slam my chin on the ground. I lie there not knowing to think. All I knew was that I was in pain. I look up, cup my hand under my chin and watch the blood drip like a faulty faucet into my hands. I am just in shock and walk to the sink. I pour water over it and try to stop the bleeding with a paper towel. It keeps bleeding and by this time the Stage manager is in the room with the medical kit. She makes a face and applies a bandage that quickly turns red. I start feeling a little faint and I fall the the ground. I started to breath in and out slowly. I bust out in cold sweats. I hate the site of BLOOD! I am praying that I don't pass out. "Please Lord don't let me faint in front of these people over this minor cut!" How embarrassing! And I sure didn't know how to say "I'm fainting...please help!" in Japanese. 30 seconds went by and I was over it and I went to the bathroom to take a break. I was fine. I go back in the dressing room and lay down. The 1st show starts and I continue to rest. After the show I wake up and look at the cut. I have dried blood all over my neck now. the cut was still kinda bleeding. So I change the bandage, clean up and decide to go ask if I can have this checked out. I thought I might need stitches or get a better bandage. They call E-Productions and they send over someone to take me to a clinic. The clinic was in a 7-Eleven. I thought that was weird. You had to catch the elevator to the 4th floor. I get there and it just looks like a little hole in the wall with a lot of Asians just waiting to be seen. I get seen quickly and the doctors says I will need 3 stitches. He sows me up and the nurses put some bandages on it so that I can put make-up on it and perform the last 2 shows. Oh and the doctor also gives me antibiotics. lol! So dramatic, I know! So I get back to the stage and my stage manager doesn't want me to go on because he thinks the bandage is too distracting and the audience will notice it. I was like you have to be kidding me. I was thinking to myself that I can't be out for a whole week cause my little bandage under my chin is too noticeable. I tell them let me put make-up on it and then lets make a decision. I do and then they said it's fine. I perform the last 2 shows with out a problem. So needless to say my day was crazy and I was glad to get home that night. I was also told that I have to go back to the clinic everyday to get it bandaged up so that I can put make-up on it. I have to do this until I get it off this Thursday. A little annoying, yes! But I am glad it was only 3 stitches and not a broken jaw or something. So its been a couple days since that day of hell. My wound is healing nicely, I got a new adapter for my computer and I have plans to get a new IPod next month. I am really excited for that. Since I have been here I have gone on a real roller coaster ride but it is all going towards my experience here in Tokyo. I know I will look back at this time and smile. And when i look back in a mirror I will have a minor constant reminder underneath my chin of this precious time. My foreign wound that has healed into a beautiful memory. Well, until my next adventure and hopefully with out a doctor visit.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Trip to Shibuya

Yesterday on my day off I decided to take a trip. I only brought myself and a camera along to a part of Tokyo called SHIBUYA:

Shibuya is one of the twenty-three city wards of Tokyo, but often refers to just the popular shopping and entertainment area around Shibuya Station.

Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts and birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends.

A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the station (Hachiko Exit), which is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets crossed by amazingly large crowds of pedestrians each time the traffic light turns green.

I had a fantastic time. I started the afternoon just walking around and going to shops. Then I had lunch at a SUBWAY I found...that I was all too excited for me. Then I got myself lost for about an hour. I knew I should've started asking for directions when I was in residential areas with no signs of a real city in sight. After asking people, "SHIBUYA doko desu ka?" Where is SHUBYA? I found my way back and walked some more this time it has gotten dark. I decided to find a movie theatre. After asking like 4 people I met a guy at a store who spoke perfect English and he pointed me towards the right direction. At the theatres they were showing 4 movies and 2 of them were in Japanese and one I had already seen. The only one left to choose was "Miss Potter" which I wasn't really excited about. It has Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGegor in it....I had heard nothing about it. It looked like a period piece and not terribly exciting. But my feet were hurting from walking so much and it was the only movie in English that I haven't seen...the other English speaking movie being Transformers. I thought about it for a while....especially because the tickets are like $18. It insanely expensive to watch a movie in Japan. I decide to go. I thought if anything I could get a good nap out of it. Would you believe that I loved it....OF COURSE. All I could see around me were single Japanese woman sitting by themselves. I couldn't help but to laugh at myself. The movie was surprisingly good and I was glad I went. After the movies I decided I needed some dinner so I went walking around and came to A TGI Friday's. I was SOOO EXITED! I don't know if you can tell but I miss AMERICAN FOOD. So I went in got a table for one and had my favorite Jack Daniel's chicken strips and then chased it with a NY style cheesecake covered with mixed berries for dessert. I was in heaven. I left the restaurant with a huge smile on my face only to find this woman outside the restaurant, practically on the street, throwing up in a bag. She was thrown on the floor with her friends huddled around her making sure she was OK. I thought she was dead until she started throwing up again. I started to laugh and en suite took a PICTURE like any tourist would do. Then I made my way back to the train station and headed home finishing my night around 11pm.

The whole day was exciting. Even though I was alone and wish I had some friends with me....I had a good time. I had time to explore and get a real glimpse of Japan. The movie also made me really think. If you haven't seen it, GO! I started to think of my life and what is coming of it. I know there is much to expect and alot to do but I have done alot and I am sooo blessed of what I have accomplished but I think what matters most to me is that there is a constant showering of love and devotion to and from those things that matter most to me. For me it mostly consists of my friends, family, GOD and one day a beautiful wife. I am happy with those things.

I didn't mean to go there. It kinda just came out. Anyway, I am gonna go back to watching episodes of Prison Break. Have a great day everyone. Love you all!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I just got my Internet connected today. YAH! Life has not been the same without it. It has been a whole week and a half with out the WWW. But now I'm complete!

Life has been crazy from the flight over here till last night even. On my flight here we had an emergency landing in Anchorage, Alaska because one of our flight attendants hit her head on something and was going in and out of consciousness. Our trip to Alaska was quick. We dropped of the injured attendant, re-fueled and then we went back on our way to Tokyo. Needless to say it added a couple of hours to an already long flight.

This is a picture outside my window seat from inside the plane of the attendant going into the ambulance.

When I got to the airport there was a Japanese woman with my name and another guy's name on a card. She welcomed us to Tokyo and got us on our way to our apartment called E-Village. On the way there I got to know David from Texas who is a drummer in my show who actually have been here before and is on his 2nd contract doing MOM(Minnie Oh Minnie). He has been a big help to me teaching me alot about life here in Japan and at Disney.

Upon my arriving, I had orientation for 2 days and then jumped right in to vocal rehearsals. Being extremely Jet lagged had to be the worst part of my first week. All my rehearsals are done with a translator. She is really cool. She is actually Japanese but lived in MEXICO most of her life and went to college in English. She has been so great to me and my only outlet of communication besides the occasional hand jester and panamine that goes a long way here. It is a weird experience though cause simple explanations take a long time to get across due to language barrier and even music terminology that the translator has trouble understanding. But it has been pretty smooth. They are very anal about everything. From on how I hit a note to how I walk to a certain spot in the choreography. But it has been a blessing to be able to speak Spanish and to know how to dance. I have been picking up the choreography really quick and moving fast giving me alot of time to go over and over it.

Since I have been here. I have had 2 days off. I had my first Sunday and yesterday off. Sunday I made my way to church. It was an English ward that is about an hour way on the subway that met at 9 am. It is also meets in the same lot as the Temple. I met one girl there that works for Disney also but she leaves in a month. But there is another LDS guy that got here a couple of days ago from BYU. So we should be able to go to church together for the next two Sundays I have off then I will have to work on Sunday, which sucks. I tried to get it off but it was impossible. I do get Monday's and Tuesdays off. I'm still going to try to work something out once I get my schedule. I should be able to hit the first hour of church or something. I did get invited to dinner by this older missionary couple after church. It was really nice of them. They also gave me some advice and maybe my first really good meal in TOKYO.

The Chapel

The Tokyo Temple right next to the chapel

Other then that. I have been in rehearsals and have been trying to meet new people. I did get to meet some Aussie girls that live on my floor. They are all princesses and gorgeous. I actually went out with 2 of them along with David and another drummer named Louis that is in our cast to GINZA last night, the fashion area of Tokyo. We went to dinner and then a Latin club. I danced the night away with Lauren who found a new love of Latin dancing. We had a really good time. I also got to go to COSTCO yesterday before I left for GINZA with Josh who went to BYU and was in Crazy For You with me. He has also been a good help when I got here. He took me shopping my first night and showed me the way. I got the essentials at COSTCO; laundry detergent, a towel and CHIPS AND SALSA! I felt like a kid in a candy store. I never knew I would be so excited to see a COSTCO.

Josh and I eating COSTCO food after a long shopping hour for American food!

My apartment is awesome. I love living in my own place. I also got to decorate it Little with somethings I found in the DOZO pile which is a designated area in the lobby of E-Village where people who are leaving dumped stuff off they don't want to take with them. Dozo is Japanese meaning "go ahead." The stuff in the pile is free for the taking. So instead of wasting money on stuff that I would just give away after my contract I just found everything in the DOZO pile. Needless, to say everything is kinda random.

This is me in a pose(for one of my numbers in my show) in my apartment.

My Bathroom. Got most of this stuff at the Japanese equivalent $1 store called the 100 yen store.

View from the outside of my front door of my apartment. Down the street is the Tokyo Bay where I would like to go for my morning jogs.

Before I retire this blog there are a couple of things that are different that I have to get used:

People wait at crosswalks here until the green light designates to walk. Which is very different from NYC

There is Absolutley no picture taking in it will be hard to get pics of me in costume and stuff but I bet with time that will change :) I'm a rebel!

At escalators people wait on the left side leaving room for others to walk up on the right which is opposite of what we do in America. It could be the fact that they also drive on the opposite side of the road...which also makes crossing the street interesting when you don't know which way the cars are coming from :)

The food is very interesting. So far I noticed that most everything is fishy. I learned how to say chicken in Japanese really quick. I have been eating alot at WENDY'S and KFC which are both right down the street from where I live. Now, that I have been grocery shopping I have been eating better. Just had a quesadilla with guacamole and salsa earlier :)

I found these lovely dead creatures at my local grocery store. YUM :/

That's it for know. I'll talk to ya'll later.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Seeking: 'Ricky Martin-like Tenor'

Irashaimasu (ee-ra-sha-ee-mas)! Welcome! I am starting this new blog to keep record of my experience in Japan and to keep everyone posted on what I am up to since calling won't be the easiest. Hope you enjoy it and hope you try to keep in touch with me.

It's finally happening. I am turning Japanese! lol. I am going to Tokyo to perform for The Mouse. I am excited. This is such a tremendous oportunity to travel and learn about another culture. Oh, and to be able to perform is always a blessing. For those who don't know I was conracted for 7 months to be a principal singer in a theatre show called "Minnie, Oh! Minnie" at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort(TDR) It's a latin style show showcaseing Minnie Mouse. It's a 30 minute show that I think I will do 5X/day. I host/sing the whole show along with my famle Japanese counter part. It should be a high energy and fun show for kids and adults alike. Here is little random fact about the [art I learned before I auditioned. I had laugh a little when I saw the breakdown for the role. The breakdown for the part said, "Seeking for a Ricky Martin-like Tenor that can move and sing in spanish." Aparently, I am the Ricky Martin they were looking for:) I can't wait to shake my "Bon-Bon"

I have been waiting for a long time to leave for this contract. I auditioned for them in the beginning of April and heard a week later that I got the part. September 2nd is the day i leave on a 13/14 hour flight to Tokyo, Japan. I don't think I have ever sat for that long EVER. I might go a little insane on this flight. Lord help me! Anyway, this is going to be fun. I already know a performer out there. So that should make my transition to all this alot easier. One thing I am going to miss is NYC! I really do love all my peeps there, my apartment, my ward(church congregation), and that pizza place by my house. Speaking of food. I hear the food in Japan is amazing. I am excited to try some new things. Raw fish is going to be hard for me. I sure hope they have Claifornia Rolls in Tokyo. That's pretty much all the sushi I can handle oh and I do like shrimp tempura rolls. YUM! I hear sushi is not all they have over there. Thank goodness. I do love me some noodles and rice! Well, I'll be back eating NY pizza in no time.

I will miss you all like crazy. Please keep in touch and I will try to do the same with these blogs, pictures, emails, IM and occasional phone calls. Much Love!

As a sign off I want to ask a question and if you have time to answer it I would love to hear some of your silly answers :)

If YOU were made into a SUSHI ROLL what would it be named and what would go in it?