Archive for Biography

Where I am, What I’ve Done, and Where I am Going

HERO and I, 2009

The Visual Kei Band HERO and Myself

This is meant to summarize what I have done thus far to achieve my dream, what my status is as of right now, and how I plan to go about accomplishing it.

Right now, I am in my final semester of university. I am writing a thesis on lesbians and transgenders in Japanese society, specifically on media exposure and linguistic complications they encounter. Because of this rather time-consuming process, I do not have as much time to practice my piano and bass as I would like. Currently, I have one piano teacher and two bass teachers. Because I have to pay each of them monthly, I work three jobs. It pays the bills, at least the vast majority. As a direct result, not only is practice time reduced but so is my social life…At any rate, that is where I am right now: attempting to graduate with an ounce of sanity.

What I have done to reach my goal thus far…Well, I have gone to Japan multiple times, and my Japanese has improved dramatically from when I first started to use it three years ago. During my time in Japan, I went to innumerable concerts and met a variety of Japanese people that helped guide me towards this music-related decision. I met bands (HERO, Nega, A&D, The Kiddie, Vivid, etc), spoke to the fans, and gained a wider understanding of Japanese music as a whole. To be a musician in Japan is to work yourself to the brink. I began to question my dedication to the dream, but I realized that once I graduate, I will have time to practice and improve. Thus, I stuck by my guns. I found teachers to help me once I returned to America, and set things into motion.

Where I am going is a mystery. I am trying to get back to Japan, find a job of some kind that will help me to pay the bills. I realize that a proper, full-time job will impose on the band dream, but the way I figure, without money there will be no dream. Visual Kei is by no means a cheap genre to enter. There will be weekends available for practice, and until the band gets a solid start, it will be plenty to establish a fanbase and create a few singles. What people don’t realize about Visual Kei musicians is that a great many of them are forced to keep their part-time jobs as they tour. Another idea  have been playing around with includes going to Japan for a year or two and then attempting to enter a Japanese music academy. That way my Japanese will improve in addition to my music ability. Plus, I will be surrounded by people with a similar mindset, enabling me to negotiate my way through the difficult Japanese music underground.

The real question is: What do I need? I need confidence. I know I am not an awesome bass player, but I also know that if someone were to give me a chance, I will work with everything I am to make it work. I also need support, something that has been lacking somewhat. Time is also required, but I feel that will come once I graduate. I don’t have a job lined up for post-graduation yet, so I daresay there will be plenty of time soon enough…

And that is where I am, what I have done, where I am going and what I need. It’s a lengthy process, yes? I’ll post an update to my pursuits every month, just to keep people informed…

Chocobo sitting on a Cactuar's head...Such a balancing act!


And so it all begins…

Kobe Illuminarie, 2008

Illuminarie, Motomachi, Kobe, 2008

Kobe. I spent a year in this port city. In Uozaki, near Rokko Island.

My year abroad was nothing but an eye-opening experience. I went to concerts at least three times a week, at least one usually being free. I met Japanese people of every variety, from the hard-core sweet lolita to the ditzy law student to the aspiring musician with a lolita-complex. I slept in a Buddhist temple on Koyasan and piggy-backed through Hiroshima. I lived with four host-dogs that were both the most adorable and most annoying things I have ever encountered. I grew up during that year abroad.

Because of my time in Japan, I slowly woke up to the realization that I love music. Music, to me, is vital for living. I want to pursue it in some way, shape, or form. I play piano, and re-started my bass lessons. Though the going is slow, I have confidence that, when given the opportunity and a little instruction, I will be more than able to make the cut.

This blog will be about my pursuit of my dreams, sprinkled with stories I have written. Read, Enjoy, Comment. Be aware, though, that flamers will be deleted.

Sea Turtle

Kaiyukan, Sea Turle