Our last rehearsal for the musical was this weekend in a little town called Shihoro. Although we technically have one more get-together before performances start, that is a dress rehearsal, and I think our director will have us running the show over and over and over...
So, needless to say it was a busy weekend. Compounded by the fact that I have just finished a week of enkais. Welcome parties for the new people at my office and school and farewells for people like my supervisor. My new supervisor is still a little shy, but I think he'll be okay.
Friday was the Farewell to the old and Hello to the new party for my office. Of course I went, seeing as I was having a change in supervisor. So I went, ate, and drank far too much. I was only being polite though. I wasn't able to go to the ni-ji kai though, I had to go home and pack up to get to rehearsal. My musical buddies Jeshie and Svending Machine came by to pick me up and we were on our way through the mountains to musical mayem.
I had my own ni-ji kai, san-ji kai and probably yo-ji kai upon getting to rehearsal. I was lucky the next days rehearsal and run through wasn't more painful for me personally than it could have been.
Saturday evening after rehearsal we had a late dinner reservation at a yakiniku joint, so we had plenty of time to hit the onsen. A whole group of us ended up as some tiny, tiny onsen in the middle of nowhere. It was seriously a ghetto onsen. There had only recently been a wall put up between the male and female sides of the bath, and the unisex rotenburo (outside bath) was closed. But the people were very friendly, and after you've been singing and dancing all day a nice hot onsen is the best thing ever. I did feel kind of bad for my friends' cousin who was visiting from the States -- the little ghetto inaka onsen was his first introduction to onsen culture, and I'm not sure how much he enjoyed it...
Sunday was a full run through, with props and costumes. We managed to get the whole thing down to two and a half hours, and I'm sure we can get it down more. Yay!
After an exhausting weekend, there was still more for us to do. Shihoro gave us use of their town theatre/BOE building (including a place to stay!) all for free. In exchange, we taught a workshop for the kids in town. I stayed to help out, seeing as it wasn't too far of a drive home for me, and I really enjoy teaching elementary school kids.
Turns out, I was volunteered to lead said workshop, and teach the kids present our "Big Finish". They were incredibly shy though! I must be spoiled in my town, because only the littlest kids are painfully shy with me. These kids didn't even want to come on stage with us! After some coaxing and an excellent warm up game led by Miss Jeshie, they warmed up to us a little. That must be what happens when the town AET is a tall bald man who plays a cop with somewhat frightening ease (Gregory, if you're reading this, I love you, but you scare me). It was extra exuasting because the kids needed a lot of AET monkeying to get them to participate. It all worked out in the end though, and we even won over the grouchy new boss-man who wasn't too pleased about us being there.
We were also interviewed for an article about these workshops for a Hokkaido-wide magazine. If I can get my hands on the article I'll be sure to post it.