I interviewed with a friend yesterday to work for Global Live Entertainment as their representative in Japan. The two of us would share responsibilities to maintain flexibility to work on our other projects, for example, I could leave for Taiwan for a month to work with The Rocker. The contract would be for at least for a year, but could become permanent.
One project they are thinking about is starting up a small chapiteau circus without animals to tour in Asia, and we might be able to support them in that; finding acts, bookings, publicity, etc.
The job basically entails working between Global Live Entertainment and the Japanese stakeholders who I guess have not been pushing things very hard (according to GLE) and our job is to find out why and fix it.
GLE thinks that we need to get them thinking in new ways and possibly to engage in a little more market research.
So from my point of view, they need people who can operate smoothly in Japanese and Western business environments and who can manage and delegate authority well. Between me and my friend I think we can do it.
The interview went well the VP of GLE seemed pretty interested in my background and wanted to know all about why I was “smart enough to go to MIT, but not smart enough to stay away from circus.” I mentioned that I still want to perform, but that to do things in Asia the way I want to, I need to be able to produce and direct as well, and thus, I’m staying in Asia to try and carve out a niche market.
He was interested in that, and we talked for an hour or so, and I reiterated that two people working as a Japanese-American team is the best way to do the job because one person wouldn’t be able to really have the mind of the West and the mind of the Japanese in the same head.
At the end, he told me that even if this job doesn’t work out he has a proposition for me in Singapore where a friend wants to make a circus show but doesn’t know how. It would tour the world for a year or so, and he wanted to know if I would be willing to take part in that at the level of performing, directing, or production, and of course, I said ‘yes,’ but that this current position is my first goal.
I’d stay in Japan, get a house, visa, per diem (maybe), and paid flights to North America… for a year. During that time I hope to work also in Taiwan with The Rocker and on my own, and maybe after a year in Japan I will be able to find a way to perform in Japan as well, but it is so hard, an uphill battle all the way.
Of course, all that is the best-case scenario even if I just get a visa and money, I will be happy. I am so stressed because I have three weeks to figure out a way to stay in Japan from January; I need to get a visa and all that, so that’s another reason the contract with Global Live Entertainment would be great.
After the meeting, my friend took me out to lunch and talked about many other people he could introduce me to who might be willing to hire me in Japan in live show production.
So there you go, just by being true to my desires and needs, I hopefully presented myself well. It was a great lesson for me; not to be afraid or to try to find the right answer. I said right up that I was still interested in my own projects even though it might have hurt my chances of getting the job, but I do not want to be a producer for another company 365 days out of the year. I need to have the freedom to go where the arts take me.
We will see what happens with it.
If this position with Global Live Entertainment does not work out I am worried about how little time remains for me before I have to leave Japan on December 20th.
That leaves me two and a half weeks to find a Plan B which may not be enough time to find a job working in entertainment. Maybe I should reach out to start meeting with people now, ‘just in case.’ At this point, any position that will provide sufficient income and a visa to stay in Japan would be great.
I would hate to have to leave Japan because I didn’t start job searching soon enough!