Happy New Year, everybody! 明けましておめでとうございます！
Hope you had a relaxing break during Christmas and New Year holidays 😃
This is the time of the year to make resolutions for the year… have you made yours yet?… so here we go!
Mind you… I have already failed my diet/ exercise targets in the first week, so let’s stick with my rakugo goals for now…
I will be focusing on 3 things this year:
1. Improve my ONLINE PLATFORMS (with special emphasis on my YouTube channel)
What I have learned through 2 lockdowns and all the restrictions due to the Covid crisis is that all live performers must improve their online platforms/ presence that would allow them to keep creating and supplement their income during a situation like the one we are facing right now. So I have decided to focus on the following this year:
a. Discover an irresistible “voice” that would woo the online audience 💖
I am very much a live performer, so I have been struggling to find my “voice” that would be appealing to the online audience. I want to develop my digital storytelling skills- presentation style, camera work, editing, etc.- so that I can entertain people online as much as when I am on live stage! It’s a completely different set of skills, so I need to learn from the scratch! 😃
b. Develop fairy tale and mystery rakugo 🦄+🧐=👍
In my attempt to discover my “online voice”, I have decided to write rakugo stories based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Edogawa Rampo‘s mystery novels. I chose these two sources because the former is so universal that it is approachable to most people and the latter is entertaining (it’s quite “pulpy”). But if you want me to be 100% honest, the copyrights for both of these have expired, so I can use their ideas freely, therefore I can focus on discovering my “voice” rather than spending hours overcoming writer’s block 😁 The stories I develop online will be performed live in the future!
c. I will acquire 1,000 followers on my YouTube channel by 30 June 2021!
To make my online work justifiable, I do need to start generating online income. You might be appalled that I am talking about money, but as a full-time performer I do need to think about the financial side of my rakugo journey so that I can keep doing what I do! If you have a burning desire to help me out, you can follow my channel. It’s free and takes a few seconds to do so!
2. Complete Te Ataarangi (Māori full-immersion) Programme
As a part of my rakugo journey, I have decided to attend a full-immersion programme to acquire the Māori language this year! The course is designed for working people, but it requires a full-time academic commitment.
I have decided to make this big commitment:
- To learn from the depth of their language and culture, particularly from their oral tradition
- To really understand Aotearoa/ New Zealand so that I can create a rakugo that is truly relevant to this country
- To teach rakugo more effectively at schools (I teach rakugo at NZ schools)
- To eventually perform rakugo in the indigenous language of this country- this is my way of showing absolute respect for te reo Māori me ōna tikanga (Māori language and its cultural protocols)
3. Expand English Rakugo Club
I want to devote myself more to the development of the English Rakugo Club.
I am NOT a leader type.
I am a lone-wolf, who likes to work on his own.
But I am realising more and more about the importance of building communities in this divisive world. I believe it is important that each person attempt building bridges for people from different walks of life with what s/he can do.
To me, rakugo is one of the few things that I can give, so I will use it to bring people together to build a better society. I want to contribute a small building block for a more connected, inclusive world.
I have always wanted to perform with the rakugo club members since I started the club in 2019, and my dream finally came true last weekend 😃
It was a tiny baby step (9 people all together!), but it was the first of many to come!