An Update: Performing in Osaka, Japan

I’ve been radio-silent for a couple of months, but now that I’m settled into a new experience, it’s time to update the website.

At the beginning of April, I started a 6-month contract in Japan. I play 6 nights a week at The Bar, on the 5th floor of The Ritz Carlton, Osaka. This is my first long contract since I left P&O Australia cruise ships in June 2016, my first hotel contract, and my first time in Japan.

Osaka Castle Park Cherry Blossoms
I went to see the cherry trees blooming on a day off. It rained. (It didn’t matter.)

So I’ve been here for a month now, and at the risk of sounding annoyingly optimistic (something I think we Americans are prone to!), I LOVE it. I arrived in Japan just at the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, which is something I’ve wanted to experience for a long time. And now the weather is becoming warmer and the days are filled with beautiful sunshine. (When you normally reside in Scotland, that’s a big deal.)

I am also really enjoying the sometimes-challenging experience of performing for mostly Japanese audiences. I studied a bit of Japanese language a few years ago, and when I found out I was getting this job I revised as much as I could. But I’m still very grateful that most people undertstand at least a bit of English. My go-to Japanese phrases are “皆様こんばんは” (good evening, everyone) and “ありがとうございます” (thank you) and beyond that I’m still pretty useless. But people have been very friendly and patient with me.

Night view of Umeda, including Osaka Station.
Night view of Umeda, including Osaka Station.

Repertoire has also been a challenge. Different songs are popular here than were in Australia/Scotland, so I have been learning new songs like crazy to compensate. “Honesty” by Billy Joel is a huge hit, apparently, as are “My Heart Will Go On”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Hotel California”, and every 90s Disney ballad.

So my mind has been expanded in many ways. I feel very fortunate to be having this experience, and I owe a big thank-you to Cross Channel Productions for getting me here and looking after me!

This is a video from last night’s performance…if you’re in Osaka, come to The Ritz Carlton and say hi!

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