Rakugo, Guitar Legend, & Not Quite the Last Performance

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This is it!

My final Rakugo performance of the year!

I arrived extra early at “The Spreading Tree” to get ready for one of the most independent, independent theatre performances in the world.

I am rarer than a liger or a takahe, or just slightly lunatic to believe that Rakugo can work in New Zealand. A lone English Rakugo performer in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Sure enough, a few hundred fans were queuing up in front of the venue, anticipating my appearance.

“I’m a rockstar!”

My ego boosted. Finally, my time has come.

It had been a long journey.

Believe me, you can achieve anything if you dedicate your life to what you love. I wept with gratitude.

Casting a glance slightly to the right, I noticed a billboard and recognised a name on it.

“Joe Satriani”

What?

Whaaat?

JOE SATRIANI???

Like the legendary guitarist who has worked with Mick Jagger and Deep Purple?

Is he playing right next door??? On the same day???

AWESOME!!!

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Of course, I’d known that they were not there to watch my Rakugo (I’m not that deranged, believe me or not), but I was so excited to perform right next to the concert!

It turned out a cozy, intimate Rakugo performance that I like the most. Real connection, warmth, and support- everything positive filled the air.

I was so thankful that they came to see my Rakugo though there were numerous other options like watching Joe instead, eating curry at Satya, or perhaps having a cup of coffee at Circus Circus.

You are legends! Thank you all for joining me to share our journey into the fantastic world of Rakugo!

It was also amazing that audience included people from so many different countries: New Zealand, Canada, Britain, Japan, and two more European countries (I couldn’t recognise their accents).

They gathered to listen to the tales of our ancestors. We became one as I acted as a conduit of these ancient stories.

I am all for keeping traditions. I am not doing Rakugo in English to disrespect the 400 year-old tradition. But it needs to be translated and modified if necessary if we are to share this amazing tradition with the world.

Rakugo is so much bigger than just being confined in Japan.

Oh yes, I’d thought this would be the final performance of the year, but I have just been invited to do another one.

It is unfortunately a private function, but oh I love this feeling of getting an unexpected gift!

Two performance requests already coming in for early next year.

My journey as a Rakugo toddler continues.

Waddle on!