Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.513

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When I was a ninth-grader and a leader of the ninth-grade play team for the homecoming at school, I devoted myself to dramatization and direction in the run-up to the homecoming. The teacher in charge of our team praised my first dramatization. He said it was a good script and I had a talent. While I was motivated, other members of the team didn’t have a whit of interest or enthusiasm. They tried to make me decide everything. I took care of the set, the props and the costumes while teaching the lighting and acting. Above all, their acting was terrible. They were just reading their lines in a monotone. No matter how strenuously I explained, they simply couldn’t act. I acted every role for them and asked them to mimic me. As I needed to tell every member what to do and how to do, I felt like I was working with a bunch of robots in the team. At last, they started suggesting that I would be better off if I did everything in the play alone by myself, instead of giving them each and every single instruction. Maybe it was true, but there was one exception among the cast members. The girl whom I cast as a leading roll tackled her acting earnestly and seriously. She followed every instruction and advice from me. Other members were still sardonic for my casting of a non-pretty, unpopular girl as a leading role, but her acting got better and better. It seemed she felt an obligation to me for the casting. She even brought a present for me on my birthday although we had never been close and had hardly talked with each other at school until the play team got going. With her and my effort, our team successfully put on the play at the homecoming and it was much better than I had expected. This curriculum play was part of a school competition. The faculty would vote to decide the best play among the seventh, eighth, and ninth-grade team’s plays. It was a school’s tradition that a ninth-grade team won every year. As a ninth-grade team leader, I was sitting at the auditorium, preparing myself for receiving the prize out on the stage when the winner was announced. “The eighth-grade team!” the announcement filled the air. That year, for the very first time in the school history, the ninth-grade team didn’t win. In the joyful clamor of the eighth-graders, every member of our team shot me a reproachful glance. It was a perfect nightmare. Our team’s teacher later told me that a big set in the eighth-grade’s play had impressed the faculty. A large glittering slay with The Snow Queen on it appeared and that was the decisive factor in victory. Come to think of it, our team’s biggest set was an ordinary ping-pong table…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.512

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Back in my schooldays, there were required curricula specifically for the homecoming event. Students must participate in either an exhibition, retail, or a play. I chose a play every homecoming when I was a junior high school student. When the homecoming’s preparation began in my ninth grade, my passion for the theater was at its peak since I had been regularly cast for a major role in the drama club at school. Other students knew that and I was appointed as the ninth-grade play team leader almost automatically. Everyone had no interest in a required curriculum and I had to put together a play by leading fifty unwilling, reluctant team members. From the first meeting, I encountered foreseeable difficulties. No one brought up any suggestion of what play we would show at the homecoming. When I uttered a Japanese classic novel, they unanimously shouted, “That’s it! That’ll be our play!” in order to finish the meeting quickly. Our play was decided like this and I dramatized the novel for the first time in my life. I had thought it would be difficult, but it was unexpectedly so much fun. I finished the script quite fast. And then, the casting. I had decided not to be cast in the play myself because I had been already cast in a play of the drama club for the homecoming. I didn’t want to appear in every play at school like an attention freak. I thought it was cool that I produced, dramatized and directed for this curriculum play. But in the team, everyone had neither experience nor skill in acting and they didn’t want to be cast. It was again left to my sole decision. While I was choosing some students who seemed to like appearing on the stage, a girl timidly raised her hand. She said she wanted to act. Although I finally got a volunteer, I hesitated to cast her for a moment. She was not pretty. Other students started giggling at her brave attempt. Instantly I came to myself and remembered the fact that I was also regarded as an ugly girl at school. My bad looks contributed to continuous typecasting as an old, wicked woman in drama club’s plays. As I had been weary of disadvantage of appearance, I cast her as a leading role. My decision made other students gape. Thus, I had trying three months for the play with totally amateur actors and backstage staff…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.511

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Inside a cabinet in the old house where I grew up and spent much of my childhood, there was a beautiful music box. It stood out by its glamour and westernized style among other articles of Japanese folk art in the cabinet. My mother took it out once or twice a year for me, solemnly and carefully as a special occasion. She would wind up, open the lid slowly and let me listen to its heavenly melody. It was the first gift she received from my father when they were young. The tune was ‘Truimerai’ by Schumann. I asked my father what the title meant and he told me it meant ‘rosy happiness’ although I later learned it actually meant ‘dreaming’. I imagined that he felt rosy happiness when he was marrying her. Since the music box was expensive, my mother strictly forbade me to touch it. I wasn’t allowed to play it on my own. My parents were usually out for work and I was suffering from auto intoxication when I was little. I often fainted while I was playing alone at home and my grandmother had to call a doctor each time. In those days, my secret remedy was sneak open the cabinet and take out the music box. While my mother believed it was a once-or-twice-a-year occasion, I listened to it almost every day. Although by then I had already known that my parents got married by an arranged marriage for each family’s convenience and my mother especially married money, it helped me delude myself that my parents loved each other. By listening to the tune, I felt hopeful and had fewer blackouts from auto intoxication. When I lived in the city before moving in here, I had an idea that I would play ‘Truimerai’ on the piano for my parents on their wedding anniversary. I practiced playing it by listening to a Schumann’s CD. But my rare respectable attempt never materialized after all for a strange reason. Every time I practiced ‘Truimerai’, a cockroach appeared from somewhere as if it was a cue. It was impossible to continue practicing because I have a strong phobia about roaches…

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My favorite Japanese comedy talk show #S

My favorite Japanese comedy talk show #SummersSummers got terminated airing in the area I live in. It airs in other areas. Why my town!?

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There was an attacking message to me fro

There was an attacking message to me from my father on the machine yet again. It never stops. I’m so tired of it!

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