Yes! I've got a new temp job! I've been helping my pal here with his production in Greenpoint here in Brooklyn. For one thing, Greenpoint is noted for its Polish community and there are shops with goods, restaurants, bakery, newsstands all in Polish!! For one moment was thinking perhaps I've just arrived in Europe. (and not to mention the Pole are quite DIRECT...let's say, they won't shy away when giving your their piece of mind) My gosh I was shocked by how "direct" the old lady was at McDonald's. She was like McDonald's Polizie giving the clerk guy a hard time demanding for hot water. "This isn't hot enough! Are you kidding me? How can I drink this?" she said impatiently.) Enough about the Poles. I love their food BTW and, of course, the BEER!!! I hope to get some tomorrow hehe.
The job, the show. OK. I am basically doing some simple job. I do whatever Nick asks me to. He is my commender. Both Jimmy and I are his protégés. The show we are working on is for a Japanese art festival called Japanese Arts Matsuri (JAM) 2007. We started everything from scratch. First, transport all the equipments into the venue, which is a Polish recreation center for the elderly. I had no idea they were so heavy! (more amazed by the idea that I'm actually moving them with my hands!) Then, after hours and days of clean up, set up, wiring (which I do a lot), errants, testing, programing, communicating (with the Polish director at the center... very DIRECT indeed.) And finally watch the performers rehearse. It's like putting the puzzle pieces together. I somehow gain a sense of achievement when everything seem to fall into places. (Though most of the job is still done by Nick-- Hey Nick! You're the man!) So, tomorrow today (it has passed midnight) is the opening night.
Since it's a Japanese festival, of course there are Japanese people involved, and lots of them! I am very happy to find so many Japanese together and watch them interact. For me, this is like watching a Japanese Dorama without subtitles! And I could try to speak a little but I try as much as I could. (If I can form the sentence quickly enough)
The show is composed of ballet, tap dancing, string quartet, Japanese Taiko (太鼓, huge drum set), a Chinese martial arts theatre(with a Chinese story in English-Japanese dialogs), and a samurai sword-fighting show (a big hit I heard). So far I really like the Taiko performances and the master Mr. Hiro is a great cool guy. At the rehearsal, there was a little pupil as young as 1 year old baby! He was banging the table at the side with drumsticks thicker than his arms! So amazing! If you feel like having a fest of Japanese culture or just some good old fun and exciting performance, come to visit us (and visit me!) at the Java Street Hall at 176 Java Street, Brooklyn. More show info and directions here.
*Read more about the Polish community in Greenpoint in New York Times here.
*Another article from a series called "Voices of New York" in New York University website can be found here.